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ThingsReligion and the Question of Materiality$
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Dick Houtman and Birgit Meyer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823239450

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.001.0001

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The Tasbirwol (Prayer Beads) Under Attack: How the Common Practice of Counting One's Beads Reveals Its Secrets in the Muslim Community of North Cameroon

The Tasbirwol (Prayer Beads) Under Attack: How the Common Practice of Counting One's Beads Reveals Its Secrets in the Muslim Community of North Cameroon

Chapter:
(p.180) The Tasbirwol (Prayer Beads) Under Attack: How the Common Practice of Counting One's Beads Reveals Its Secrets in the Muslim Community of North Cameroon
Source:
Things
Author(s):

José C. M. van Santen

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823239450.003.0011

Drawing on fieldwork among the Fulbe in northern Cameroon, this chapter uses the tasbirwol as a material point of entry into the contested and submerged mystical Islamic brotherhoods. The tasbirwol is a string of ninety-nine prayer beads, corresponding to the ninety-nine beautiful names of Allah. It is used for tashbugo, “counting one's beads,” a practice historically associated with mystical Sufism. Even though the Sufi brotherhoods have been banned for political reasons since the 1960s, their sympathizers can still be recognized by this practice of tashbugo, currently under attack by Islamic reform movements who consider it an improper “pagan” influence.

Keywords:   Tasbirwol, Tashbugo, Prayer beads, Sufism, Mysticism, Islam, Sufi brotherhoods, Cameroon

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