The Socio-Cultural and Economic Dimensions of Islam in Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter
Philip A. Ojo

Using Senegal as a prototype, this paper examines the socio-cultural and economic dimensions of Islam in postcolonial African societies as treated in Mariama Bâ’s So Long a Letter. A literary and cultural reading of the epistolary text demonstrates that the introduction of this religion into sub-Saharan Africa engendered new customs and legitimized some pre-islamic traditions. Islam is presented as the motor of the society, which has significantly shaped the lives of the people and has impacted education, culture, religious beliefs, economy, and the civil society. I opine that post-Islamic sub-Saharan African socio-cultural and economic difficulties are not caused by religion per se but by the attitudes of believers who use religion as a means to an end. In the conclusion, I call on fellow Africans to liberate themselves from social vices and economic hardship by not using religion as an excuse to abuse or exploit fellow human beings.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jflcc.v3n1a3