Cheikh Anta Babou is an associate professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has taught African history and the history of Islam in Africa since 2002. He is the foremost historian of the Muridiyya of Senegal and has published extensively on the genesis of the Murid order, the expansion of the Senegalese and Murid diaspora, and the politics of Sufi Islam in Senegal.
Representations of diasporic Murid disciples often depict them as passive recipients of change wrought by powerful clerics left behind in Senegal. In this study, Cheikh Anta Babou examines the construction of their transnational collective identity and its influence on cultural practices, identities, and aspirations.
In Senegal, the Muridiyya, a large Islamic Sufi order, is the single most influential religious organization, including among its numbers the nation’s president. Yet little is known of this sect in the West. Drawn from a wide variety of archival, oral, and iconographic sources in Arabic, French, and Wolof, Fighting the Greater Jihad offers an astute analysis of the founding and development of the order and a biographical study of its founder, Cheikh Ahmadu Bamba Mbakke.Cheikh