“History of Islamic Learning and Scholarship in Africa” International Conference


IRCICA, jointly with the OIC General Secretariat and Arewa House, Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna, Nigeria, organized the International Conference on the “History of Islamic Learning and Scholarship in Africa”. The conference was opened on 13 June 2023 with a high-level ceremony attended by the Shehu of the Borno Emirate H.R.H. Abubakar ibn Umar Garba El-Kanemi. The ceremony was addressed by the Sultan of Sokoto His Eminence Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State H.E. Senator Uba Sani; Mr. Alhoucine Rhazoui, Director of Cultural Affairs at the OIC General Secretariat, on behalf of H.E. the Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha; Ambassador Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kılıç, Director General of IRCICA, in the presence of high officials, academics and cultural circles. Subsequently, Dr. Usman Bugaje, scholar from Nigeria, delivered a keynote address. The conference received specialized contributions from thirty-three participants from universities and research institutes in various countries (Cameroon, Canada, Gambia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, U.S.A.) and IRCICA, under the following session themes: “Sun Rises in the East and Central Africa: History of Islamic Scholarship in Eastern Bilad al-Sudan”; “Cross-Regional Transmissions and Interactions: I- Western and Eastern Bilad al-Sudan”; “Cross-Regional Transmissions and Interactions: II- Maghreb and Central Bilad al-Sudan”; “West African Flavours: Islamic Scholarship in Local Languages”; “Perspectives on Tajdid Movements in Africa”; “Methodologies of Learning and Teaching in West African Scholarship”; “Contributions of Muslim Scholars in West Africa”; “Effects of Colonialism, Women Scholarship, Youth Education and Legal Perspectives”. IRCICA researcher Dr. Ahmad Mukhtar Adam’s paper titled “The Tradition of Tafsir in Northern Nigeria: Genesis, Development and Approaches” was placed at the session on “Methodologies of Learning and Teaching in West African Scholarship”.

Prof. Dr. Mahmud Erol Kılıç, in his address, informed the audience that within IRCICA’s new conference series on the history of Islamic scholarship and education, this conference focusing on the English-speaking West, East and Southern Africa was the first to be held in Africa, to be followed by subsequent conferences on other geographical and linguistic regions of the continent. Prof. Kılıç expressed his appreciation of the ongoing cooperation between Nigeria and IRCICA which already has on its record the international conference on “Islamic Civilization in West Africa” organized jointly with Arewa House in 2019 and training programs on Islamic calligraphy, adding that this cooperation was going to be further expanded with the planned establishment of an academic center for Islamic calligraphy at Ahmadu Bello University with IRCICA’s academic consultancy.

An exhibition of award-winning works from the IRCICA International Calligraphy Competition was opened on the occasion of the conference. The Sultan of Sokoto and a large number of dignitaries visited IRCICA’s exhibition.

On this occasion, the Director General of IRCICA Prof. Mahmud Erol Kılıç offered samples of IRCICA’s publications to the Shehu of Borno El-Kanemi, as well as to Sultan Abubakar of Sokoto and the Governor of Kaduna Uba Sani. The Sultan of Sokoto offered to Prof. Kılıç the book entitled Selected Writings of Sheikh Abdullahi bin Fodio, containing a collection of texts authored by the well-known Islamic scholar of Sokoto, Abdullahi bin Fodio, who was the brother of the politician and scholar Usman bin Fodio.

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