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why did many west african kings convert to islam?

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What important knowledge did the enslaved Africans bring to south Carolina? Naturally, when the Arabs began to convert to Islam, they carried their new religion to the shores of India. While this was a short-lived encounter, Muslims eventually left a Another group which fought against the tide of Islam were the Mossi people, who controlled the lands south of the Niger River and who attacked such cities as Timbuktu in the first half of the 15th century CE. ". Cartwright, Mark. When and how lovebirds will enter into the nest box? 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. The famous scholar Ibn Munabbah wrote … Musa took control of Timbuktu, an important trade center that would become a well-renowned center of Islamic scholarship in West Africa. However, just like the religion itself, there were minor local differences. Ghana, the first large West African kingdom, reigned from 750 to 1235. Ancient History Encyclopedia. In East Africa, Islam faced stiff competition from Christianity which was firmly entrenched in Nubia and states such as the Kingdoms of Faras (aka Nobatia), Dongola, and Alodia, and in the Kingdom of Axum (1st - 8th century CE) in what is today Ethiopia. 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 … - 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). Yet another appeal of Islam was that it brought literacy, a tremendously useful tool for empires who built their wealth on trade. The coming of Islam saw a general decline in the status of certain groups in ancient African communities. Over time, however, Islam played a growing role in West African society. Then the Christian Portuguese arrived in Africa on both the West and East coasts where they challenged the spread of Islam. The Muslims, for their part, did not try and convert the King and his people. They did not accept the Muslim belief in one God. 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. At first, Muslim traders and merchants lived side by side with the non-Muslims of West Africa. 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. Please note that content linked from this page may have different licensing terms. 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. Nearly every Muslim in Timbuktu learned to read and write. Why did west African kings convert to Islam? The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa. Top Answer. Contributed by Prof. Dr. Nazeer Ahmed, PhD. African architecture - African architecture - Influences of Islam and Christianity: Early civilizations in the western Sudan region had strong trading links across the Sahara, and an Islamic presence was established south of the desert 1,000 years ago. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Islamic architecture spread with the religion with mosques being built wherever there were worshippers. 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. 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. Many native converts studied & became scholars, missionaries, & even saints, & so Islam came to be seen no longer as a foreign religion but a black African one. Why did cyclone Tracy occur in 1974 at Darwin? The early journeys across the Sahara were done in stages. 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. Islam gained more converts in Africa than has Christianity, which labored under the burden of identification with European imperialism. Probably, at first in some zones of the country, force was used to convert people to Islam. Learning Qur'an was important for West African Muslims. "The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa." Islam first came to West Africa as a slow and peaceful process, spread by Muslim traders and scholars. As many as ten million African slaves were shipped north as part of the trans-Saharan slave trade between 750 and 1500 C.E.” In summary, the coming of Islam to Sub-Saharan Africa facilitated the rise of political empires, encouraged trade and wealth, and increased the traffic in slavery. During these later years, Muhammad did not seem at all bothered by conversions that were made under obvious duress. One of the chief losers were the metalworkers who had always enjoyed a mystical reverence from ordinary people because of their skills in forging metal. 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. 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. There were other challenges besides the Christians of Nubia. converting to Islam improved relations with Muslim merchants from North Africa and brought them recognition and support from Muslim states in the north. The Ancient History Encyclopedia logo is a registered EU trademark. We have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications: Ancient History Encyclopedia Foundation is a non-profit organization registered in Canada. 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). His special interests include pottery, architecture, world mythology and discovering the ideas that all civilizations share in common. Why don't libraries smell like bookstores? 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. Mali rose to prominence in 1230, witnessing its height under Mansa Musa, who ruled from 1312 to 1337. 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. With the religion came other ideas, too, especially those concerning administration, law, architecture, and many other aspects of daily life. Therefore, trans-Saharan trade brought Islam to the Western Sudan, and many of the kings of Mali and Songhai cultivated their relationships with Muslims in Northeast Africa and the Middle East. Talismans contains verses from the Holy Koran. Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups within Islam in America. In time, Arabic became the common language of the merchants and traders of West Africa. Ancient History Encyclopedia, 10 May 2019. Retrieved from https://www.ancient.eu/article/1382/. Sankore Mosque, Timbuktuby Radio Raheem (CC BY-NC-ND). 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. 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. The Berbers converted many of the merchants of West Africa to Islam, but most of the common people retained their traditional beliefs. West African rulers and common people’s introduction to and interactions with Islam were often quite different from each other. In West Africa, as was the case with Southeast Asia, it was traders who introduced Islam, and many rulers accepted it first, followed by others. Wherewhen and how do you apply for a job at Winco foods in indio ca.? 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. As a result, Islam influenced the culture and lifestyle, particularly of urban residents, in the Western Sudan. Wiki User Answered . 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. Islam's presence in African history Islam’s presence in African history dates back to the first phase of the Prophet Muhammad’s mission, when in 615 A.D. he instructed a group of Muslims to seek refuge in Abyssinia (present-day Ethiopia). Islam faces a very formidable enemy in form of the biased media in Europe and the Americas. How do you put grass into a personification? Although King Sundiata did not convert to Islam, he had many Muslim men who served in his court. In the late 9th century, Al-Yaqubi wrote that Muslims were living along the northern Somali seaboard. The Berbers offered salt in exchange for West African gold. During the 9th century, Muslim Berber and Tuareg merchants brought Islam southward into West Africa. For many decades, we have witnessed a phenomena of African-Americans converting to Islam. 1000 CE, 390 A.H The city of Timbuktu is founded. Islam also spread in the region by the founders of Sufi brotherhoods ( tariqah ). 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. Meanwhile, the religion also spread down through Egypt and swung westwards through the Sudan region below the Sahara Desert. Ancient History Encyclopedia. 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. There were several technical innovations that came with Islam such as writing, numbers, mathematics, measurements and weights. Many native converts studied in such places as Fez, Morocco, and became great scholars, missionaries, and even saints, and so Islam came to be seen no longer as a foreign religion but a black African one. West African trade routes Merchants and traders in West Africa saw many advantages in converting to Islam. It already has a strong presence in … 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. (Vol III, 20). License. This moral code helped to sanction and control commercial relationships and offered a unifying ideology among the members of different ethnic groups, thus providing for security and credit, two of the chief requirements of long-distance trade. Web. Mauritania established itself as the Islamic Republic after it gained sovereignty in 1960. 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. Islamic scholars spoke and wrote Arabic. Yes, many convert to Christianity, and many are presumed to do so after the book ends. Clothing changed, too, with women, in particular, encouraged to dress more modestly and adolescents to cover their nudity. What are wildlife sanctuaries national parks biosphere reserves? During the Hijarat, Muslims sought refuge in Ethiopia's territory having crossed Djibouti, Somalia, as well as Eritrea. 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. 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). 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. 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. 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. From there, the religion spread eastwards to the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) and the Songhai Empire (c. 1460 - c. 1591 CE). This website is for people of various faiths who seek to understand Islam and Muslims. Merchants would regularly sail to the west coast of India to trade goods such as spices, gold, and African goods. Bibliography 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. From 1019, Islam. Spread of Islam in West Africa. He holds an MA in Political Philosophy and is the Publishing Director at AHE. As more people were converted, so more Muslim clerics were attracted from abroad and the religion was spread further across West Africa. As noted, ancient indigenous beliefs continued to be practised, especially in rural communities, as recorded by travellers like Ibn Battuta who visited Mali c. 1352 CE. Great Mosque, Djenne, Maliby Carsten ten Brink (CC BY-NC-ND). The local Bantu peoples and Arabs mixed, as did their languages, with intermarrying being common, and there was a blending of cultural practices which led to the evolution of a unique Swahili culture. In the seventh century, Islam entered Africa from the northeast corner. Why did West African people convert to Islam? Western Africa - Western Africa - The early kingdoms and empires of the western Sudan: In the 10th century the kings of Ghana extended their sway over the Ṣanhājah, the congeries of Amazigh nomadic groups living around Audaghost, just north of their kingdom, who supplied them with salt and North African goods. In many cases, they have embraced a militant version of the faith, most notably the Nation of Islam (currently headed by Louis Farrakhan). 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. 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. the development of the Muslim religion on the African continent. 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. 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. That may seem like a bad deal until you consider that without salt, we die. Islam was introduced to the northern Somali coast early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. According to Lost Islamic History , one example of an African Muslim who brought Islam … 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 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. Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city. Why did West African people convert to Islam? Mansa Musa and the Kingdom of Mali. Islam made an entrance in Africa from Asia in the 7th century. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited is a non-profit company registered in the United Kingdom. The Mali kings who followed Sundiata Keita converted to Islam. These North African nomads had established trade with the West African kingdoms that were wealthy in gold and ivory. Men and women’s roles sometimes changed, some African communities having previously given women a more equal status with men than was the case under Muslim laws. 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. There were many who vehemently held on to their traditional beliefs in the face of this new religion. Part 1: Islam reaches West Africa, and a history of the Islamic Empire of Ghana. All Rights Reserved. As the historian P. Curtin puts it: "The Muslim religion ultimately became one of the central elements of Swahili identity. Spread of Islam in West Africa. Mansa Musa Illustrationby M.Hassan.Qureshi (CC BY-SA). Islam was more firmly established from the 12th century CE when Shirazi merchants arrived from the Persian Gulf. 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. what was the dominant political structure in east Africa by the 13th century C.E? To be a Swahili, in later centuries, meant to be a Muslim" (125). In spite of all the hurdles, it is one of the fastest growing religions in the United States of America. 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.

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