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Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890-2000$
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Felicitas Becker

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264270

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264270.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Becoming Muslim in Mainland Tanzania, 1890-2000

Felicitas Becker

British Academy

Muslims and Muslim polities have been present for hundreds of years on the coast of East Africa. Some 80 percent of the population in Southeast Tanzania is estimated to be Muslim. How and why this came to be the case, and how this process has shaped both the ritual practice of these Muslims and the way they understand their place within their country, is the subject of this book. It concentrates on the role of proselytizers rather than the motives of converts, emphasizing the former's personal commitment and piety. The conversion to Islam among non-Muslims in the countryside, and the spread of Sufi orders in the towns where many people already were Muslim, are addressed. The religious practice and everyday life, and the role of the state, travel, and local society in the production of oral records are described. Moreover, the chapter discusses the historicity of local views of history and religion, kin networks, villages and religious affiliations, and the polyvalence of religious change, struggle, and negotiation.

Keywords:   Muslims, Southeast Tanzania, kin networks, religious affiliations, Sufi orders, religious practice

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