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4 - Prayer of Emergency

Black Subjects and Sufi Spirituality

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 March 2022

Ferdinand De Jong
Affiliation:
University of East Anglia
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Summary

Not all inhabitants of Saint-Louis embrace the history of colonialism. The descendants of the colonial subjects remember colonialism very differently from the elites who celebrate the Fanal. They remember that the founder of the Muridiyya Sufi order, Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba, was tried by the privy council in Saint-Louis in 1895 and sent into exile. On 5 September of each year, the disciples of the Sufi marabout commemorate a prayer of emergency said by their saint at that trial. This chapter analyses the history of that prayer and examines it as a palimpsest performance that accumulates many different histories and remembers them at once. It analyses the commemoration as a hybrid of different temporalities aligned to repair the legacy of colonial domination for the disciples of a Muslim marabout whose resistance is remembered as the foundation moment of the independent nation. In an interpretation inflected by Afro-nationalism and Sufi spirituality, the disciples credit the prayer with bringing about national independence through occult means. They remember it as a miracle performed by the Sufi leader that established Senegal’s political independence.

Type
Chapter
Information
Decolonizing Heritage
Time to Repair in Senegal
, pp. 140 - 164
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Prayer of Emergency
  • Ferdinand De Jong, University of East Anglia
  • Book: Decolonizing Heritage
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009086189.006
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  • Prayer of Emergency
  • Ferdinand De Jong, University of East Anglia
  • Book: Decolonizing Heritage
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009086189.006
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Prayer of Emergency
  • Ferdinand De Jong, University of East Anglia
  • Book: Decolonizing Heritage
  • Online publication: 10 March 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009086189.006
Available formats
×