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David H. Anthony

Islamic scholar, Jamaican slave, and author, was born in Timbuktu, Mali. When he was two years old his family moved to Jenné in the western Sudan, another major center of Islamic learning and a renowned Sahelian trade city. Heir to a long tradition of Islamic saints and scholars claiming descent from the Prophet Muhammad, he was part of one of several dynasties designated as Sherifian or Shurfaa. Abu Bakr was trained and certified in Jenné by several ulama, the highly intellectual stratum of Islamic teachers. He was in the process of becoming a cleric when he was captured. As was true for many Islamized Africans caught in the vortex of the Atlantic slave trade, Abu Bakr's itinerant life had pre slave African and post slave black Atlantic dimensions His path shares the trajectory of many coreligionists from Muslim areas of the continent as well ...


Beth Ann Buggenhagen

In his lifetime Ahmadou Bamba acquired a following of disciples who would become known after his death as the Muridiyya, a Muslim Sufi way. Sufism is an esoteric dimension of Muslim practice and thought in which disciples seek the path to divine union in this life. The Senegalese historian Cheikh Anta Babou suggests that at the time of Bamba’s death in 1927, estimates of Murid disciples totaled about 100,000. The Murid path is founded on the teachings of Bamba, who is said to have produced over seven tons of scholarship, which is now housed in the Murid library in Tuba, Senegal. During his lifetime Bamba demonstrated qualities of waliyat (saintliness) and developed considerable spiritual authority. Bamba was a student of the Qur’anic sciences, which he studied with his maternal uncles. Local qadis (Qur’anic scholars) recognized that he was a master scholar. Bamba’s biography, Les Bienfaits de l'eternal ...


Allan D. Austin

rising member of a leading Muslim family in Senegal, a captive in Gambia, and later a slave in Maryland, was born Ayuba ibn Suleiman Diallo in Bondu, West Africa, to a prosperous family. Though little information about Job's early years is available, it is known that by the age of fifteen he was, his amanuensis wrote, well on his way to becoming an Alfa—following his father and grandfather—one of the religious leaders in an area of eastern Senegal renowned then and at the time of the explorer Mungo Park's1775 visit as a territory where Muslims at least need not fear enslavement Job not only advanced positively in his koranic and Arabic studies but he also proved to be a brave and resourceful trader His growing wealth and respectability led to a marriage with the daughter of a neighboring Alfa of gold exporting Tombut Bambuk After ...


David J. Peavler

Ayuba Suleiman Diallo (later known to Europeans as Job Ben Solomon) was born to a powerful family of Muslim clerics of the Fulbe tribe in the northern region of present-day Senegal. While he was in Africa, Job received formal educational training in both secular and religious fields. He assisted his father in trade and became quite wealthy by the age of twenty-nine, owning three houses, a plantation with eighteen servants, and more than seventy head of cattle. In February 1730, however, Job's father sent him on a slave-trading mission that would ironically lead to his own capture and enslavement in North America.

After failing to receive his asking price from an English trader Job sent his servants home and crossed into the territory of a rival tribe in the hope of securing a better price He succeeded in this endeavor but was captured on his return journey and ...