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Bakkai al-Kunti, Ahmad al-

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

    Bakkai al-Kunti, Ahmad al-

    (d. 1865 )

    West African religious and political leader. One of the last principal spokesmen in precolonial Western Sudan for an accommodationist stance toward the threatening Christian European presence. The last of the great Kunta shaykhs, whose prestige and religious influence were interwoven with the Qadiri brotherhood and the economic fortunes of the Timbuktu region. His voluminous correspondence provides a rare, detailed glimpse into political and religious thought in nineteenth-century West Africa regarding three primary concerns: the nature of the imamate/caliphate in Sahelian and Sudanese communities, issues surrounding the encroaching Christian powers, and the growing politicization of Sufi tariqah affiliation.

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