Islam, Youth, and Modernity in the Gambia

The Tablighi Jama'at
by Marloes Janson
rrp $36.30

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Series: The International African Library

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

ISBN: 9781107461659

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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This monograph deals with the sweeping emergence of the Tablighi Jama'at - a transnational Islamic missionary movement that has its origins in the reformist tradition that emerged in India in the mid-nineteenth century - in the Gambia in the past decade. It explores how a movement that originated in South Asia could appeal to the local Muslim population - youth and women in particular - in a West African setting. By recording the biographical narratives of five Gambian Tablighis, the book provides an understanding of the ambiguities and contradictions young people are confronted with in their (re)negotiation of Muslim identity. Together these narratives form a picture of how Gambian youth go about their lives within the framework of neoliberal reforms and renegotiated parameters informed by the Tablighi model of how to be a 'true' Muslim, which is interpreted as a believer who is able to reconcile his or her faith with a modern lifestyle.