Glossary

Amadu Bamba
A Senegalese Muslim holy man who lived from 1853 until 1927. Bamba's teachings emphasized charity, humility, peace, self-reliance, and the dignity of work. Bamba is a saint ("Wali Allah" in Arabic, or "Friend of God"), and the Mouride movement has developed around his messages and examples.

Islam
One of the world's great religions, with more than a billion and a half followers. One of every three Africans is Muslim, and Islam is growing so rapidly in the United States that there will soon be more Muslims than Jews in the U. S. The word Islam comes from a root meaning "peace," and refers to the surrender of one's will to Allah (God) and His Messenger, the Prophet Mohammed. Islam guides every aspect of existence, and so it is more a state of being and way of life for Muslims than the word "religion" may mean to non-Muslims.

Mohammed (Muhammed)
A man living in the late fifth and early sixth centuries CE in what is now Saudi Arabia, who was chosen by Allah (God) as Prophet and Messenger. Muslims do not worship Mohammed, they revere his examples and teachings.

Mourides
Followers of the saint Amadu Bamba, around whom the Mouride Movement has developed. Nearly half of Senegalís eight million Muslims are Mourides.

Muslim (Moslem)
A person who lives in Islam (noun), or something that pertains to Islam (adjective). The word Muslim comes from a root referring to submission.

Qur'an (Koran)
The holy book which contains the verbal revelations that the Prophet Mohammed received from Allah (God). The Qur'an is an inspired book of stories about the prophets, with much advice and many examples for pious living.

Sufism
A mystical body of knowledge and way of life within Islam. Sufis learn to recognize God's secret signs and numbers in every thing, place, circumstance, and relationship, and the knowledge they gain can be used to heal, protect, and promote welfare.

West Africa
The independent nations of the western part of the continent. From west to east, beginning with those along the coast: Cape Verde Islands, Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire), Ghana, Togo, Bénin, Nigeria; proceeding to those inland: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger.