The early journeys across the Sahara were done in stages. Wherewhen and how do you apply for a job at Winco foods in indio ca.? Islam stressed brotherhood of all believers. Ghana, the first large West African kingdom, reigned from 750 to 1235. It is perhaps worth noting at the start that the spread of Islam in Africa was much more than the passing on and adoption of religious ideas. As Muslim traders penetrated deeper into Africa so the religion spread from one empire to another, taking hold first at Gao in 985 CE and then within the Ghana Empire (6th-13th century CE) from the late 10th century CE. It is also true that in some cases oral traditions maintained their cultural integrity, and thus we are presented with a parallel history such as seen in the biographies of Sundiata Keita (r. 1230-1255 CE), the founder of the Mali Empire, who in written history converted to Islam but in oral tradition was a great magician of the indigenous religion. The ancient West Africans, like Native Americans and the Sumerians, were animists who believed that many gods existed in nature. Spread of Islam in West Africa. Contributed by Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. The Berbers converted many of the merchants of West Africa to Islam, but most of the common people retained their traditional beliefs. But when a Mali king tried to pressure people in the gold mining region around Wangara to convert, a disruption in the production of gold was threatened, and the pressure to convert was withdrawn. It was not until the 14th century CE and military intervention from the Mamluk Sultanate of Egypt (1250-1517 CE) that these Christian kingdoms became Muslim, the exception being the Kingdom of Abyssinia (13th-20th century CE). As in Ghana and Mali, though, the rural populace of Songhai remained stubbornly loyal to their traditional beliefs. The two spheres of Islam and trade are closely intertwined, as here explained in the UNESCO General History of Africa: The association of Islam and trade in sub-Saharan Africa is a well-known fact. 1965), Islam in Ethiopia (1952, repr. However, just like the religion itself, there were minor local differences. Cartwright, M. (2019, May 10). What was the dominant political structure in east Africa by thirteenth century CE? - Hadith Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260 (The Hadith Sahih are the true, verified sayings of Muhammad, pbuh, and form the basis for Islamic law, along with the Qur'an). Is evaporated milk the same thing as condensed milk? In contrast, in the Mali Empire, the kings did convert to Islam, the first certain case being Mansa Uli (aka Mansa Wali or Yerelenku), who went on a pilgrimage to Mecca in the 1260s or 1270s CE. Islam had more immediate success further south on the Swahili Coast. The states that accepted Islam first were usually states that sat astride the Trans-Saharan trade routes, they came in contact with Muslim traders and were converted. Merchants would regularly sail to the west coast of India to trade goods such as spices, gold, and African goods. Embracing an area more than half a million square miles, the kingdom of Mali was undoubtedly one of the richest and most prosperous on earth in the 14 th century. Please help us create teaching materials on Mesopotamia (including several complete lessons with worksheets, activities, answers, essay questions, and more), which will be free to download for teachers all over the world. Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. A third wave brought the religion to Africa’s eastern shores, the Horn of Africa and the Swahili Coast, directly from Arabia and the Persian Gulf. From the mid-8th century CE, Muslim traders from Arabia and Egypt began to permanently settle in towns and trading centres along the Swahili coast. (Qur'an 9:5, Yusuf Ali translation). 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. Islamic scholars spoke and wrote Arabic. In the first stage, African kings contained Muslim influence by segregating Muslim communities, in the second stage African rulers blended Islam with local traditions as the population selectively appropriated Islamic practices, and finally in the third stage, African Muslims pressed for reforms in an effort to rid their societies of mixed practices and implement Shariah. The legacy of the NOI, however, is that many African-Americans are drawn to Islam out of racial pride, thinking that there is some sort of association with Africa. Something which they achieved with a great degree of success. Islam was spreading with the trade of its merchants, and it appears that in the 1300s or 1400s the kings of Hausaland converted to Islam. Rulers were not always so keen to adopt Islam, King Sunni Ali of the Songhai Empire (r. 1464-1492 CE), for example, was vehemently anti-Muslim, but King Mohammad I (r. 1494-1528 CE) did convert, and he imposed Islamic law on his people and appointed qadis (Islamic magistrates or judges) as heads of justice at Timbuktu, Djenne, and other towns. His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. Once the religion had reached the savannah region which spreads across Africa below the Sahara Desert, it was adopted by ruling African elites, although very often indigenous beliefs and rituals continued to be practised or were even blended with the new religion. Again, were religious dissent from Catholicism or Orthodoxy the cause, why did not Christianity disappear from many other areas as well as from North Africa? Ancient History Encyclopedia, 10 May 2019. Wiki User Answered . (Vol III, 20). Islam spread from the Middle East to take hold across North Africa during the second half of the 7th century CE when the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE) of Damascus conquered that area by military force. So Islam became the religion of the elites in West Africa, which meant that the Muslim kings were trying to extend their power over largely non-Muslim populations which worshipped traditional African gods … 1087 CE, 480 A.H Soninke gain control from Al Moravids. Christianity was the religion of the Westerners. Only by giving a belief system a proper name can a comprehensive, complex theology and cosmology emerge, along with a mâ¦ From 1019, Islam. As a result, Islam influenced the culture and lifestyle, particularly of urban residents, in the Western Sudan. Islam also spread in the region by the founders of Sufi brotherhoods ( tariqah ). He ruled between 1217 and 1255. 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. 1949, repr. Often such names were adapted to suit African languages, for example, Muhammad became Mamadu and Ali was Africanized to Aliyu. Although the Berbers who converted to Islam never tried to convert the West Africans to Islam, by the start of the 12th century, Muslim scholars and clerics started accompanying the traders. converting to Islam improved relations with Muslim merchants from North Africa and brought them recognition and support from Muslim states in the north. Trans-Saharan Trade Routesby Aa77zz (Public Domain). (Vol. Cartwright, Mark. In time, Arabic became the common language of the merchants and traders of West Africa. Adopting Islam permitted, too, the exchange of diplomatic embassies with North African states, as well as the possibility to send scholars for training, both of which brought the sub-Saharan states, in particular, into contact with the wider Mediterranean world and increased the prestige of rulers. From there, it spread via Islamized Berbers (who had been variously coerced or enticed to convert) in the 8th century CE along the trade routes which crisscrossed West Africa, moving from the east coast into the interior of central Africa, finally reaching Lake Chad. Mâ¦ Why did West African people convert to Islam? The most influential Malian king was Mansa Musa, who reigned from 1312 to 1337 and took a famous pilgrimage to Mecca, the Holy site of Islam, in 1324. Musa took control of Timbuktu, an important trade center that would become a well-renowned center of Islamic scholarship in West Africa. During the 9th century, Muslim Berber and Tuareg merchants brought Islam southward into West Africa. Last modified May 10, 2019. 1000 CE, 390 A.H The city of Timbuktu is founded. From there, the religion spread eastwards to the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) and the Songhai Empire (c. 1460 - c. 1591 CE). Conversion to Islam linked the West African savannah through belief in one God and similar new forms of political, social and artistic accoutrements. Islam was introduced to the northern Somali coast early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. Why did West African people convert to Islam? The famous scholar Ibn Munabbah wrote â¦ As more people were converted, so more Muslim clerics were attracted from abroad and the religion was spread further across West Africa. Of course, one way of convincing people is to point out that believing in Islam is better than being killed: "[F]ight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, an seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful." However, in the Ghana Empire, for example, there is no evidence that kings themselves converted to Islam, rather, they tolerated Muslim merchants and those from Ghana who wished to convert. Embracing an area more than half a million square miles, the kingdom of Mali was undoubtedly one of the richest and most prosperous on earth in the 14 th century. All Rights Reserved. Web. Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization. Mali rose to prominence in 1230, witnessing its height under Mansa Musa, who ruled from 1312 to 1337. The traditional belief systems, spirituality and faith of West African peoples has been described in more or less disparaging terms over the course of history, broad terms that fail to reflect the complexity and depth of these beliefs: âpaganismâ, âanimismâ, âancestor-worshipâ, âidolatryâ, âfetishismâ, âheathenismâ, etc. (African Adorned. Not only did Muslim scholars and missionaries visit and stay in African communities but also Muslim travellers and chroniclers like Ibn Battuta and Ibn Khaldin (1332-1406 CE) who made invaluable observations and records of African life in the medieval period. In many cases, they have embraced a militant version of the faith, most notably the Nation of Islam (currently headed by Louis Farrakhan). They did not accept the Muslim belief in one God. These writers, along with archaeology, have helped enormously in the reconstruction of ancient Africa following the European colonial period where every attempt was made to obliterate the history of the continent lest it conflict with the racist belief that Africa had long been waiting to be civilised. Even on the Swahili Coast, which adopted Islam with perhaps more success than anywhere else, many converts continued the practice of appeasing spirits who brought illness and other misfortunes. The Swahili Coast, located along the shores of East Africa, was... Timbuktu (also Timbuctoo) is a city in Mali, West Africa which... UNESCO General History of Africa, Vol. They viewed Africans as backward, barbaric and uncivilized. But look at the growth and spread of Islam in the West. What are wildlife sanctuaries national parks biosphere reserves? During Muhammad's lifetime a group of Muslims escaped Meccan persecution (615) by fleeing to Ethiopia, where the Negus [king] gave them protection. While this was a short-lived encounter, Muslims eventually left a Its territory touched the Atlantic Ocean to the west and extended as far as the bend in the Niger River to the east. Islam recommends the freeing of slaves in itself as a 'good' religious act and says that slaves who convert to Islam ... Islam than it was in the West. For only $5 per month you can become a member and support our mission to engage people with cultural heritage and to improve history education worldwide. In addition, two important Muslim states in the Horn of Africa were the Sultanates of Adal (1415-1577 CE) and Ajuran (13-17th century CE). Ancient History Encyclopedia. How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God. Where the Europeans traded extensively such as on the western coast of Africa states like the Kingdom of Kongo (14-19th century CE) became Christian, and from the 16th century CE, Islamic domination of the Swahili coast was challenged. Following the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE, Islam spread throughout West Africa via merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, that is largely through peaceful means whereby African rulers either tolerated the religion or converted to it themselves. In empires like Mali and Songhai , most of the kings were Muslims or converted to Islam, while others did not convert but supported the presence of Islamic culture and institutions. 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. When did organ music become associated with baseball? Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. More superficial changes included the changing of names to those favoured by Muslims. Islam reached urban centers and the ruling elite first. In fact, historical accounts suggest that at first West African kings tried to contain the growth of Islam by dictating that Islamic communities remain separate from West African ones. Answer. Mosques were built such as Timbuktu’s Great Mosque (aka Djinguereber or Jingereber), and Koranic schools and universities were established which quickly gained an international reputation. The famous scholar Ibn Munabbah wrote … Mauritania established itself as the Islamic Republic after it gained sovereignty in 1960. And remember that conversion to Islam is a one way street: "[T]he Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.'" In all cases, it remains the basic Islam rule and Quran Golden rule that: Accordingly, in all Islam history, never one of any religion was forced to convert to Islam. Historians believe that a group of people called the Soninke founded Ghana as early as the year 300 and it thrived until around 1200. In addition, Islamic studies were, at least initially, conducted in Arabic, not native languages, and this further impeded its popularity outside the educated clerical class of towns and cities. Aside from genuine spiritual conviction, African leaders may have recognised that adopting Islam (or seeming to) would be beneficial to trade. How long will the footprints on the moon last? This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon this content non-commercially, as long as they credit the author and license their new creations under the identical terms. There were many who vehemently held on to their traditional beliefs in the face of this new religion. With the adoption of Islam by the rulers of the Kingdom of Kanem (c. 900 - c. 1390 CE) between the 11th and 13th century CE and Hausaland from the late 14th century CE, the religion’s encirclement of Africa below the Sahara Desert was complete. Learning Qur'an was important for West African Muslims. Why did West African people convert to Islam. How do you put grass into a personification? According to Lost Islamic History , one example of an African Muslim who brought Islam â¦ Many subsequent rulers followed suit, most famously Mansa Musa I (r. 1312-1337 CE) who visited Cairo and Mecca and brought back to Mali Muslim scholars, architects, and books. License. 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. There were also sometimes violent resistance by supporters of traditional African beliefs such as animism and fetish, spirit and ancestor worship. Why Do So Many African-Americans Convert to Islam? At first, Muslim traders and merchants lived side by side with the non-Muslims of West Africa. The early journeys across the Sahara were done in stages. Islam made an entrance in Africa from Asia in the 7th century. Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa has known a thousand years of cohabitation with traditional religion and adaptation to it, even to the extent of intermixture. It already has a strong presence in … Mansa Musa and the Kingdom of Mali. During the Hijarat, Muslims sought refuge in Ethiopia's territory having crossed Djibouti, Somalia, as well as Eritrea. This website is for people of various faiths who seek to understand Islam and Muslims. To be a Swahili, in later centuries, meant to be a Muslim" (125). Many orthodox Albanians in present-day Macedonia, Greece or Serbia lost their ethnic identity while Albanian Muslims didn't. Muslim artisans and traders spread Islam to Mauritania's territory, and they were later joined by the founders of Islamic brotherhoods. The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, Insoll, T. "The Archaeology of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa. Military campaigns did occur from the 14th century CE against the Christian kingdoms of Nubia, for example, while in the 18th century CE the Muslim Fulani launched a holy war in the Lake Chad region. When Genghis Khan let himself loose on the Khwarizm Empire in 1219 (Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran), the subsequent events were so traumatic for the Islamic World that the word "holocaust" has sometimes been used to describe it. Mark is a history writer based in Italy. why did the west African kings convert to Islam? What important knowledge did the enslaved Africans bring to south Carolina? The Berbers were early converts to Islam and Islam spread along those pre-existing trade routes between North and West Africa. Christianity was subtly intertwined with the agenda of the West. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. tween many Christians of southwestern Asia and the Muslims. With the religion came other ideas, too, especially those concerning administration, law, architecture, and many other aspects of daily life. How Islam spread into sub-Saharan region of West Africa, and the great civilizations it established there, taking its inhabitants out of paganism to the worship of One God. This website is for people of various faiths who seek to understand Islam and Muslims. Meanwhile, the religion also spread down through Egypt and swung westwards through the Sudan region below the Sahara Desert. African Muslim scholars became established in the major towns like Timbuktu, and they taught, wrote and practiced Islamic law as judges. He brought with him an entourage of over 1000 people (some sources say 60,000) and, most importantly, 100 camel loads of gold. So their mission was to "civilize" the African. Islam was a success on the coast but it made no impact at all on peoples living in the interior of East Africa until the 19th century CE. Bibliography Many of them went on lecture or missionary tours to convert people, while others became advisers to Sudanese Kings on how to become effective rulers. 30 Nov 2020. The Berbers offered salt in exchange for West African gold. Submitted by Mark Cartwright, published on 10 May 2019 under the following license: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. Pastoral North Africans called Berbers had long traded with West Africans. they knew about Islam and its truthfulness, they knew about the authenticity of Quran and that it reflects real God words revelation to prophet Muhammad (PBUH) without single letter alterations, and. 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. Why did west African kings convert to Islam? The Spread of Islam and its Relationship to Medieval Europe Growth of Islam. It is difficult to generalize about West Africa, which was linked to the rise and diffusion of Islam. So there was this king Mansa Musa, who ruled the west African empire of Mali, and in 1324-ish, he left his home and made the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Probably, at first in some zones of the country, force was used to convert people to Islam. This division reflected the continuance of indigenous animist beliefs alongside Islam, the former being practised by rural communities. Our latest articles delivered to your inbox, once a week: Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and Michigan State University and University of Missouri. Ancient History Encyclopedia. Cite This Work Cartwright, Mark. Angela Fisher, 1984.) Ancestors continued to be worshipped, in some cities women enjoyed better rights than they did under strictly sharia law, and, in a very un-Islamic practice, cemeteries were filled with tombs where precious goods were buried with the dead. Does pumpkin pie need to be refrigerated? Spread of Islam in West Africa. Some clerics devoted a great deal of their time to writing books and instructions on all aspects of Islam for the education and conversion of people or the purification and strengthening of Islam.
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