Realizing Islam: the Tijaniyya in North Africa and the 18th Century Muslim World By Zachary Wright
(University of North Carolina Press, 2020)
This analysis of the origins of the Tijaniyya situates the order within the broader intellectual history of Islam in the early modern period. In introducing Shaykh Ahmad al-Tijani, Wright focuses on the wider network in which al-Tijani traveled, revealing it as a veritable global Islamic revival whose scholars commanded large followings, shared key ideas, and produced literature read widely throughout the Muslim world. They were linked through chains of knowledge transmission from which emerged vibrant discourses of renewal in the face of perceived social and political corruption. Wright argues that this constellation of remarkable Muslim intellectuals, despite the uncertainly of the age, promoted personal verification in religious learning. With distinctive concern for the notions of human actualization and a universal human condition, the Tijaniyya emphasized the importance of the realization of Muslim identity.