In North Africa, the Ibadi school (الاباضية) of Islam exists only among the Berber communities of the Nafusa Mountains in western Libya, the island of Jerba in Tunisia, and certain oases (such as Mzab) in eastern Algeria. The Ibadis of Libya are, of course, not so often discussed–to some extent even within the country itself. Although not everyone knows it, one of the most famous figures of Libyan history–Suleyman Baruni, who had a storied career as an Ottoman official and intellectual–was an Ibadi originally from the Nafusa Mountains.
Most of the western-language scholarship on the Ibadi communities of Libya was carried out by the Polish scholar Tadeusz Lewicki (تاديوش لويتسكي) some decades ago, fortunately usually in French. His publications include items that are also of interest for those working on Berber language and literature, such as medieval Berber chronicles (written in Arabic). Some important publications are the following:
- Lewicki, Tadeusz. 1934. Quelques textes inedits en vieux berbere provenant d’une chronique ibadite anonyme. Revue des Etudes Islamiques 3. 275–305.
- Lewicki, T. 1955. Études Ibadites Nord-Africaines. Warsaw.
- Lewicki, T. 1957. La répartition géographique des groupements ibadites en Afrique du Nord au Moyen Âge. Rocznik Orientalistyczny 21, pp. 301-343.
Lewicki, T. 1961. Ibaditica 1. Rocznik Orientalistyczny 25/2, pp. 87-120.
Lewicki, T. 1962. Ibaditica 2. Rocznik Orientalistyczny 26, pp. 97-123.
- Lewicki, Tadeusz. 1973. Les noms propres berbères employés chez les Nāfūsa médiévaux (VIIIe–XVIe siècle) Partie I. Folia Orientalia 14. 5–35.
- Lewicki, Tadeusz. 1974. Les noms propres berbères employés chez les Nāfūsa médiévaux (VIIIe–XVIe siècle) Partie II. Folia Orientalia 15. 7–21.
Numerous further references, some with commentary in French, can be found at the website of the “Maghribadite” project based in France–click here for their bibliographic resources page. Otherwise, scholarship on various aspects of the Ibadis of North Africa is quite broad and this isn’t the place for a comprehensive bibliography. See the work of Virginie Prevost and Vermondo Brugnatelli, among others, for some good starting points.