The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast

The Ahmadiyya in the Gold Coast : Muslim Cosmopolitans in the British Empire

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, a global movement with more than half a million Ghanaian members, runs an extensive network of English-language schools and medical facilities in Ghana today. Founded in South Asia in 1889, the Ahmadiyya arrived in Ghana when a small coastal community invited an Ahmadiyya missionary to visit in 1921. Why did this invitation arise and how did the Ahmadiyya become such a vibrant religious community? John H. Hanson places the early history of the Ahmadiyya into the religious and cultural transformations of the British Gold Coast (colonial Ghana). Beginning with accounts of the visions of the African Methodist Binyameen Sam, Hanson reveals how Sam established a Muslim community in a coastal context dominated by indigenous expressions and Christian missions. Hanson also illuminates the Islamic networks that connected this small Muslim community through London to British India. African Ahmadi Muslims, working with a few South Asian Ahmadiyya missionaries, spread the Ahmadiyya's theological message and educational ethos with zeal and effectiveness. This is a global story of religious engagement, modernity, and cultural transformations arising at the dawn of independence.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 302 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 19.05mm | 580.6g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 14 b&w illus., 7 maps
  • 0253026199
  • 9780253026194

Review quote

"A significant history of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in what is now Ghana that reconstructs its history and also places it in the context of wider geographical movements by people and ideas, including the history of religious change in British India, the role of travel with the empire in disseminating new ideas and practices, and the trans-national and trans-regional history of a religious movement." -Sandra E. Greene, author of Slave Owners of West Africa "A nuanced argument for the unusual development of a South Asian Muslim reform movement, born in the complex religious environment of British colonialism, taking root in a completely different setting in Gold Coast, today's Ghana. It will have considerable appeal for African, world and imperial history, for religious studies, and for those dealing with questions of modernity." -David Robinson, author of Muslim Societies in African History
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About John H. Hanson

John H. Hanson is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University, where he is also Director of the Africa Studies Program. He is author of Migration, Jihad, and Muslim Authority in West Africa: The Futanke Colonies in Karta and coeditor (with Maria Grosz-Ngate and Patrick O'Meara) of Africa. He is also an editor of History in Africa: A Journal of Method.
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Table of contents

Preface and AcknowledgementsNote on Terminology and SpellingList of AbbreviationsIntroductionSection 1: Preparing the Way in the Gold Coast1. The Hausa Force and the Religious Marketplace in the Fante States2. Binyameen Sam's Fante Muslim CommunitySection 2: Ahmadiyya Genesis and Expansion to London and Lagos 3. The Genesis of the Ahmadiyya in British India4. Ahmadiyya Expansion to London and LagosSection 3: Ahmadiyya Arrival and Consolidation in the Gold Coast 5. Ahmadiyya Arrival in the Gold Coast6. Ahmadiyya Consolidation in the Gold Coast 7. Ahmadiyya Expansion to Asante8. Ahmadiyya Expansion to WaConclusionGlossaryBibliographyIndex
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