NU-Q Research

Presence of the Prophet: Eighteenth-Century Islamic Renewal and the Muhammadan Way of Ahmad al-Tijani

Project Description

Professor Wright’s most recent project contributes to three sets of pre-existing literatures: religious actualization, eighteenth-century Islamic intellectual history, and the Tijāniyya. The inscription of Islamic identities through Sufism was a key subject of his earlier work on the community of Ibrāhīm Niasse (2015), but Presence of the Prophet invokes the notion of human actualization (taḥqīq al-insāniyya) much more explicitly. Wright connects more directly with those who have analyzed idealized personhood in the writings of earlier Muslim scholars such as Ibn al-ʿ Arabī, Jāmī, or Shāh Walī-Allāh, showing that North African texts from the eighteenth century, particularly emerging from the nascent Tijāniyya, reframed the question of “human actualization” (taḥqīq al-insāniyya) to apply to the common person (al-ʿ ām), made more urgent by the perceived arrival of an age of unprecedented corruption.


Zachary Wright


NU-Q Internal Scholarly Research Grant