The Murid Ethic and the Spirit of Entrepreneurship: Faith, Business and Mobility among Murid immigrants in Gabon

DRI Working Paper
by Cheikh Anta Babou

The Muridiyya order founded by the Senegalese Muslim cleric, Shaykh Ahmadu Bamba Mbakke, at the turn of the 20th century, has been the object of extensive scholarly investigation.[1] From its inception research on the Murid organization has focused primarily on the political and economic dimensions of the order. Scholars have investigated the role of the Muridiyya in Senegal’s colonial economy they have also explored the relationships between the Murid leadership and the colonial and post-colonial Senegalese state.  By reconstructing the history of Murid migration to Gabon, this paper contributes to the growing scholarship on Murid international migration. It sheds light on aspects of this migration that have received little scholarly attention: the trajectories of Murid migrants, their occupations and religious lives in their host countries, and the relationship between the much discussed industriousness of Murid migrants and their beliefs. [1] See Cheikh Anta Babou, Fighting the Greater Jihad: Amadu Bamba and the Founding of the Muridiyya of Senegal (Ohio University Press, 2007) for a comprehensive history of the origins and early development of the Muridiyya and a critical review of the literature on the Murid order.