A “Jabri” madhhab of the early modern Sudan?

By Kristina L. Richardson Given the centuries of exposure to northern African Islamic thought like Khārijism, Ibāḍism, and Mālikism, could sub-Saharan Muslims have established an indigenous, perhaps syncretic, Islamic legal school? 17th-century Ottoman explorer Evliya Çelebi claimed as much, though we may have to take his descriptions with a grain of salt. Between August 1672 … Continue reading A “Jabri” madhhab of the early modern Sudan?

Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

By Kristina L. Richardson For centuries the Sunnī Mālikī madhhab has predominated among Muslims of northern and western Africa, but before the 12th century, Shīʿī, Khārijī, and Ibāḍī legal schools vied for dominance.[1] Merchants living under the Ibāḍī Rustamids (779-909, capital in Tāhart) and in independent Khārijī states in the western Maghrib, such as the … Continue reading Ibāḍism in the Medieval Sahel

Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History

By Kristina L. Richardson Allow me to share a factoid about Toni Morrison’s (1931-2019) little known connection to Islamic historians. She grew up in Lorain, Ohio, with her younger cousin John Ralph Willis (1938-2007), who carried the name of their grandfather, a violinist named John Solomon Willis. The cousins forged separate paths as adults, only … Continue reading Toni Morrison, John Ralph Willis, and Black Muslim History