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One Woman's Jihad: Nana Asma'U, Scholar and…

One Woman's Jihad: Nana Asma'U, Scholar and Scribe

by Beverly B. Mack

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On the one hand, this is an accessible biography of a 19th century Nigerian Muslim woman who was clearly neither subjugated nor oppressed—Nana Asma'u was a multilingual scholar who was heavily involved in state building, a poet who established a network of female teachers throughout the Sokoto caliphate. On the other hand, One Woman's Jihad is very text-centred—I would have loved to have seen documentation/contextualisation for Asma'u that wasn't derived from her poetry—and tends towards the hagiographic. Celebratory women's history is great, but it's hard to believe that the woman didn't have a flaw, and I would have liked a more analytical look at her life and works. The lengthy appendices, which reproduce and translate a number of Asma'u's poems, are useful. Sadly, I can't say the same about the rather shoddy citations—if your chapter indicates 17 end notes, I shouldn't flip to the relevant section at the back of the book and find there are only 14 there. ( )
  siriaeve | Aug 9, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0253213983, Paperback)

"... a most welcome addition to the body of scholarship on the Sokoto Jihad and Caliphate." —Religious Studies Review

The fascinating life and times of Nana Asma'u (1793 - 1864), a West African woman who was a Muslim scholar and poet. As the daughter of the spiritual and political leader of the Sokoto community, Asma'u was a role model and teacher for other Muslim women as well as a scholar of Islam and a key advisor to her father as he waged a jihad to bring Islam to the population of what is now northwestern Nigeria.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:07 -0400)

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Indiana University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Indiana University Press.

Editions: 0253213983, 0253337070

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