For Love of the ProphetAn Ethnography of Sudan's Islamic State

For Love of the ProphetAn Ethnography of Sudan's Islamic State

Noah Salomon

Print publication date: 2018

ISBN: 9780691165158

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Abstract

For some, the idea of an Islamic state serves to fulfill aspirations for cultural sovereignty and new forms of ethical political practice. For others, it violates the proper domains of both religion and politics. Yet, while there has been much discussion of the idea and ideals of the Islamic state, its possibilities and impossibilities, surprisingly little has been written about how this political formation is lived. This book looks at the Republic of Sudan's twenty-five-year experiment with Islamic statehood. Focusing not on state institutions, but rather on the daily life that goes on in their shadows, the book examines the lasting effects of state Islamization on Sudanese society through a study of the individuals and organizations working in its midst. The book investigates Sudan at a crucial moment in its history—balanced between unity and partition, secular and religious politics, peace and war—when those who desired an Islamic state were rethinking the political form under which they had lived for nearly a generation. Countering the dominant discourse, the book depicts contemporary Islamic politics not as a response to secularism and Westernization but as a node in a much longer conversation within Islamic thought, augmented and reappropriated as state projects of Islamic reform became objects of debate and controversy. The book reveals both novel political ideals and new articulations of Islam as it is rethought through the lens of the nation.