New Article: Beck, From West Africa to Mecca and Jerusalem: The Tijāniyya on the Hajj Routes

Beck, Irit. “From West Africa to Mecca and Jerusalem: The Tijāniyya on the Hajj Routes.” Journal of the Middle East and Africa 6.1 (2015): 1-15.

 

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21520844.2015.1026243

 

Abstract

Pilgrimage routes from West Africa provided channels for cultural and spiritual exchange between West African and Middle Eastern Muslims, and facilitated religious exchanges. Some of these exchanges were orthodox in nature; others, such as Sufi beliefs and practices, were more popular in their appeal. This article examines the ways that Tijāniyya tāriqa leaders and disciples spread their beliefs and practices along the hajj routes during the colonial period. Since this period saw the transformation of boundaries and borders, the hajj could be perceived more as a “state affair,” as its routes moved within the boundaries of the new empires or fluctuated between the new colonial empires. The article focuses on the Tijāniyya tāriqa, mainly because this tāriqa was relatively new (established around the beginning of the nineteenth century) and as such serves as a good case study for the spread of tāriqa affiliations through the hajj routes from West Africa during the colonial period. This article also examines the role of the hajj for Tijāni West African Muslims who settled in Jerusalem in the same period.