From there, the religion spread eastwards to the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) and the Songhai Empire (c. 1460 - c. 1591 CE). License. Islam has a large presence in North Africa, West Africa, the horn of Africa, the Southeast and among the minority but significant immigrant population in South Africa. He also discusses the influence of Islam in Mali in the 13th century and describes the rule of Mansa Musa, whose fame spread to Sudan, North Africa and up to Europe. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. Spread of Islam in West Africa Islam reached the Savannah region in the 8th Century C.E., the date the written history of West Africa begins The Muslim-Arab historians began to write about West Africa in the early 8th century. Ghana's capital at Koumbi Saleh was, significantly, divided into two distinct towns from the mid-11th century CE. There were also sometimes violent resistance by supporters of traditional African beliefs such as animism and fetish, spirit and ancestor worship. ISLAM: ISLAM IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Islam entered Africa within decades of its inception in the seventh century ce. In contrast, an association with Islam sometimes brought a certain prestige, a point seen most clearly in the re-recording of community histories and foundation myths to include the arrival of a founder from the East. In 642 AD, Egypt was brought under Muslim rule, and the Arab military subsequently ventured into regions surrounding Egypt. Related Content Trading has a big part to play in the spread of Islam. Last modified May 10, 2019. The same applies to those who found and mined such precious metals as gold and iron. This could well be the most important factor in the Kingdom of Kanem’s adoption in the late 11th century CE. In the Muslim tradition, this event is known as the first Hijra or migration. Often such names were adapted to suit African languages, for example, Muhammad became Mamadu and Ali was Africanized to Aliyu. It is thus perhaps more comprehensible, given the above, why so many African rulers and elites were ready to adopt a foreign religion when it also brought with it definite advantages of governance and wealth. Islam enjoys a dominant presence in States situated in West Africa, North Africa, the Swahili Coast, and the Horn of Africa. In addition, the religion arrived in East Africa when Arab traders crossed the Red Sea and, in a second wave, settled along the Swahili Coast. Aside from genuine spiritual conviction, African leaders may have recognised that adopting Islam (or seeming to) or at the least tolerating it would be beneficial to trade. They undergo strict training and learn many skills, including how to use herbs for healing and other, more mystical skills. With the religion came other ideas, too, especially those concerning administration, law, architecture, and many other aspects of daily life. Finally, Muslim clerics often made themselves very useful to the community in practical daily life (and so they increased the appeal of Islam) by offering prayers on request, performing administrative tasks, offering medical advice, divining - such as the interpretation of dreams, and making charms and amulets. Great Mosque, Kilwaby Richard Mortel (Public Domain). The Berbers were early converts to Islam and Islam spread along those pre-existing trade routes between North and West Africa. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Meanwhile, the religion also spread down through Egypt and swung westwards through the Sudan region below the Sahara Desert. The spread of Islam throughout the African continent was neither simultaneous nor uniform. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/article/1382/. "The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa." Their migration to East Africa changed, not only the linguistic traditions of Africa but everything else because they brought with them ironwork and agriculture. Great Mosque, Djenne, Maliby Carsten ten Brink (CC BY-NC-ND). Multiple Trajectories of Islam in Africa Islam had already spread into northern Africa by the mid-seventh century A.D., only a few decades after the prophet Muhammad moved with his followers from Mecca to Medina on the neighboring Arabian Peninsula (622 A.D./1 A.H.). Some Rights Reserved (2009-2020) under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license unless otherwise noted. Mansa Musa Illustrationby M.Hassan.Qureshi (CC BY-SA). Otherwise noted in later centuries, meant to be found in social economic... 11Th century CE also supports moral order and order in the guidance of their ancestors.. Became known for its rich culture, wealth, organisation, and more flashcards. 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