Similarly in the French Sudan, Islam actually spread in rates far greater than the previous centuries. Language is one of the main cultural influences left behind by most invading forces: the Romans brought Latin to its European conquests, providing the roots of modern Romance languages and much of English, and through political control, the Arabs made Arabic the predominant language in North Africa. While this was a short-lived encounter, Muslims eventually left a lasting influence in North Africa which has since spread to western, eastern, and central Africa. Benin City was described by early European visitors in the 16th century as a city of great population and broad avenues. Trade and long-distance commerce, in fact, was carried out in many parts of the continent and linked regions beyond the orbit of Muslim penetration.
Portuguese attempts thereafter to bring Ethiopian Christianity into the Roman Catholic church failed, and Ethiopia remained isolated, Christian, and fiercely independent. They document famous trade routes in Africa - from Sijilmasa to Taghaza, Awdaghast, which led to the empire of Ghana, and from Sijilmasa to Tuat, Gao and Timbikutu. It is therefore fundamental to understand Islam on its own terms, its creation and spread from the Arabian Peninsula in the Seventh century. Cities such as Cairo, Timbuktu, and Kairouan were academic and cultural hubs which attracted scholars and travelers alike. Peoples Of The Forest And Plains As important as the Islamic impact was on the societies of the savanna and the East African coast, other African peoples in the continent's interior and in the forests of West Africa were following their own trajectories of development. Until about 1450, however, Islam provided the major external contact between sub-Saharan Africa and the world. Despite its small size, this Muslim force succeeded in driving the Byzantines out of Egypt and installing their own ruler, known as emir.
Islam provided a universalistic faith that served the interests of many groups. The history of Islam in West Africa can be explained in three stages, containment, mixing, and reform. Mansa Musa brought back from Muslim Spain the poet and architect Ishak as-Sahili, whom he had met in Mecca. Islam itself penetrated very little into the interior among the hunters, pastoralists, and farmers. Toward the end of the Roman Empire, Christianity had taken a firm hold in Mediterranean Africa but in the warring between the Vandals and the Byzantines in North Africa in the 5th and 6th centuries A. Nomadic Somali herders spread Islam into the rural interior, where it developed alongside traditional African religions and customs and blended with them. A number of social, religious, and technological changes took place that influenced many of the different peoples throughout the vast and varied continent.
Such a system was strongly linked to specific places and people. The villagers were people of the hoe who looked to the skies in the spring for the first rains to start their planting. Kingdoms Of The Grasslands Islam spread through North Africa by conquest, much as it had done on the Indian subcontinent and in the Middle East. We must build primary schools where we must equip the young with all tools of civilization in a Muslim environment. In various places, however, states had formed. Eminent Arab historians and African scholars have written on the empires of Ghana, Mali, Songhay, and Kanem Bornu. African civilizations, however, built somewhat less clearly on prior precedent than was the case in other postclassical societies.
Islam in the Ancient Empire of Ghana Al-Bakri, the Muslim geographer, gives us an early account of the ancient Soninke empire of Ghana. One scholar places the total in the trans-Saharan trade at 4. By the time the Portuguese arrived on this coast around 1500, the Swahili culture was widely diffused. Other alternatives to formal government were also possible. May peace and blessings of Allah be on thee Islam From The Beginning To 1300 Date: 2002 Spread Into Africa The spread of Islam, from its heartland in the Middle East and North Africa to India and Southeast Asia, revealed the power of the religion and its commercial and sometimes military attributes. By the late 1800s, British and German colonial armies had taken over these regions. The History of Islam in Africa.
Although the majority of Muslims in Africa are or , the complexity of Islam in Africa is revealed in the various schools of thought, traditions, and voices that constantly contend for dominance in many African countries. African Societies: Diversity And Similarities The continent of Africa is so vast and the nature of its societies so diverse that it is almost impossible to generalize about them. Apparently, his spending devalued the price of gold in Egypt for several years. New religious, economic, and political patterns developed in relation to the Islamic surge, but great diversity remained. This situation tended to keep Muslim influence concentrated in the cities and towns. Blyden, Liberian writer and thinker. Its fundamental teaching that all Muslims are equal within the community of believers made the acceptance of conquerors and new rulers easier.
The Coastal Trading Ports A first century Greek account of the Indian Ocean, The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, mentioned some ports in East Africa but was somewhat vague as to the nature of the local inhabitants; that is, whether they were Africans or immigrants from the Arabian peninsula. However, as the population of Muslims, or followers of Islam, grew, the rulers began allowing parts of Islam to mix with their culture. Among peoples of the West African forest, secret societies of men and women exercised considerable control over customs and beliefs and were able to limit the authority of rulers. In the Muslim tradition, this event is known as the , or migration. In the 14th century the Black Death came from Europe and seriously undermined the social and economic life of North Africa, or the Maghreb, as it is known. Many African peoples shared an underlying belief in a creator deity whose power and action were expressed through spirits or lesser gods and through the founding ancestors of the group.
This makes Islam the second largest religion Europe and in the world, following Christianity. Much of the art seems to be associated with kings and the authority of kingship. The towns were commercial and often included craft specialists and a resident foreign merchant community. The expansion of the Arab Empire in the years following Muhammad's death led to the creation of caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area and conversion to Islam was boosted by missionary activities particularly those of Sufis, who easily intermingled with local populace to propagate the religious teachings. According to Arab oral tradition, Islam first came to Africa with Muslim refugees fleeing persecution in the Arab peninsula. Muslim traders, herdsmen, warriors, and religious leaders became important minorities within these segmented African societies, composed of elite families, occupational groups, free men, and slaves.
These North African and Spanish developments were an essential background to the penetration of Islam into sub-Saharan Africa. While he creatid the political institutions of rule that allowed for considerable regional and ethnic differences in the federated provinces, he also stationed garrisons to maintain loyalty and security. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Provincial leaders and subkings ruled with the approval of the mansa, who also served as supreme judge and leader. As a result, whole social structures were transformed from their original tribal set-ups to fit with Islamic arrangements. For many, this made conversion to Islam easier and less upsetting than conversion to Christianity.