Islam spread through military conquest, trade, pilgrimage, and missionaries. Arab Muslim forces conquered vast territories and built imperial structures over time. The caliphate—a new Islamic political structure—evolved and became more sophisticated during the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates.
- 1 How did Islam spread so quickly?
- 2 How did Islam start and spread?
- 3 What are 3 reasons why Islam spread so quickly?
- 4 When did Islam start to spread?
- 5 How did Islam spread to Mecca?
- 6 Who wrote the Quran?
- 7 What was Islam influenced by?
- 8 How did Islam spread to India?
- 9 Who was the founder of Islam?
- 10 Why is Islam the most beautiful religion?
- 11 How was Islam developed?
- 12 Which religion came first in the world?
- 13 Spread of Islam
- 14 Did you know?: The Spread of Islam in Southeast Asia through the Trade Routes
- 15 Teachers Guide – Muslims
- 16 BBC – Religions – Islam: Early rise of Islam (632-700)
- 17 After Muhammad’s death
- 18 The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa
- 19 Sudan – The spread of Islam
- 20 Egyptian-Ottoman rule
How did Islam spread so quickly?
The religion of Islam spread rapidly in the 7th century. Islam spread quickly because of the military. During this time, on numerous accounts there were military raids. Trade and conflict were also apparent between different empires, all of which resulted in the spreading of Islam.
How did Islam start and spread?
The start of Islam is marked in the year 610, following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad at the age of 40. Muhammad and his followers spread the teachings of Islam throughout the Arabian peninsula. In other parts of the world, Islam spread through trade and commerce.
What are 3 reasons why Islam spread so quickly?
There are many reasons why Islam spread so fast, however the main three reasons was trade, winning battles, and treaties. Trade Routes was an important part of how Islam grew so fast.
When did Islam start to spread?
Although its roots go back further, scholars typically date the creation of Islam to the 7th century, making it the youngest of the major world religions. Islam started in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia, during the time of the prophet Muhammad’s life. Today, the faith is spreading rapidly throughout the world.
How did Islam spread to Mecca?
Islam spread through military conquest, trade, pilgrimage, and missionaries. Arab Muslim forces conquered vast territories and built imperial structures over time.
Who wrote the Quran?
The Prophet Muhammad disseminated the Koran in a piecemeal and gradual manner from AD610 to 632, the year in which he passed away. The evidence indicates that he recited the text and scribes wrote down what they heard.
What was Islam influenced by?
Because Islam originated and has developed in an Arab culture, other cultures which have adopted Islam have tended to be influenced by Arab customs. Thus Arab Muslim societies and other Muslims have cultural affinities, though every society has preserved its distinguishing characteristics.
How did Islam spread to India?
Islam arrived in the inland of Indian subcontinent in the 7th century when the Arabs conquered Sindh and later arrived in North India in the 12th century via the Ghurids conquest and has since become a part of India’s religious and cultural heritage.
Who was the founder of Islam?
The rise of Islam is intrinsically linked with the Prophet Muhammad, believed by Muslims to be the last in a long line of prophets that includes Moses and Jesus.
Why is Islam the most beautiful religion?
Islam is a beautiful religion which talks about equality, about peace and compassion. Most of the Islamic texts are written in Persian, which is an extremely rich language, the ground for some of finest and deepest prose and poetry, literature which has a profound impact on the being.
How was Islam developed?
How Islam Began. It was in the small desert town of Mecca, located in what is now Saudi Arabia and surrounded by the Byzantine and Sassanian empires, that Islam emerged in the early 7th century through revelations that Muslims believe were made to Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, by the archangel Gabriel – Jibril in Arabic.
Which religion came first in the world?
Hinduism is the world’s oldest religion, according to many scholars, with roots and customs dating back more than 4,000 years. Today, with about 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion behind Christianity and Islam.
Spread of Islam
- Visitors to Mecca who are participating in the Umrah (small pilgrimage) or the Hajj are among those who pay a visit to the other holy cities. You may take a cab to Mecca, which will cost around 500 SAR for up to four passengers and will take approximately 45 minutes. It is less expensive for individual travelers to take the railway to Mecca, with Economy Class seats costing 150 SAR and Business Class seats costing 250 SAR, respectively. SAPTCO (Saudi Arabia Public Transport Company) bus services are a significantly more cost-effective option for getting there. Both the ordinary and the VIP editions are available. There will be a charge of 55 SAR per passenger for the normal service, which is moderately pleasant. The VIP version (which you may catch from the Crowne Plaza hotel) is a little more opulent and will cost you 100 SAR per person (including breakfast).
- Because of the rise of the Arab Empire in the years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, caliphates were established, who ruled over enormous areas of territory while seeking converts to Islam. A large number of complex centers of culture and science were established by the inhabitants of the Islamic world, who developed extensive commercial networks, traveled, became scientists and hunters, became physicians and philosophers, and developed advanced mathematical and medical theories. Historians distinguish between two distinct groups of converts who lived at the same period. The first group consists of animists and polytheists from tribal communities in the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, while the second group consists of monotheistic inhabitants from agrarian and urbanized societies in the Middle East. The Arab conquerors generally adhered to the traditional middle-Eastern pattern of religious pluralism in their dealings with the conquered populations, allowing other faiths to practice freely in Arab territory, despite the fact that widespread conversions to Islam occurred as a result of the breakdown of historically religiously organized societies.
A position of Islamic leadership, most typically found in the context of a mosque’s worship leader and the Sunni Muslim community as a whole.
Zoroaster condensed the pantheon of early Iranian gods into two opposing forces, which led to the emergence of an ancient Iranian religion and religious philosophy in the eastern ancient Persian Empire when the religious philosopher Zoroaster wrote his religious philosophy. Because of the development of the Arab Empire in the years after the Prophet Muhammad’s death, caliphates were established over a broad geographic region. A major factor in the rise of Islam was the missionary operations of missionaries, notably those of Imams, who were able to readily intermingle with the local population in order to spread Islamic teachings.
Islam spread outwards from Mecca towards both the Atlantic and Pacific seas.
The establishment of Muslim dynasties was swift, and subsequent empires such as those of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Almoravids, Seljukids, and Ajurans, Adal and Warsangali in Somalia, Mughals in India, Safavids in Persia, and Ottomans in Anatolia were among the largest and most powerful empires in history.
- In the wake of Islamic expansion in South and East Asia, Muslim cultures in the Indian subcontinent, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China developed into cosmopolitan and eclectic melting pots.
- In actuality, little has changed for the people of this new kingdom, who were originally subjects of the drastically diminished Byzantine and annihilated Sassanid empires, save in name.
- As a result, it was only in the following centuries that there was a true Islamization.
- The first group consists of animists and polytheists from tribal communities in the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, while the second group consists of monotheistic inhabitants from agrarian and urbanized societies in the Middle East.
- In contrast, “Islam was replaced for a Byzantine or Sassanian political identity as well as for a Christian, Jewish, or Zoroastrian religious allegiance” in sedentary and frequently already monotheistic communities, according to the authors.
- When the religious and political leadership came to a new understanding, it resulted in the weakening or complete collapse of the social and religious institutions of rival religious communities such as Christians and Jews.
- Expansion halted under the reign of the Abbasid Caliphate, and the major disciplines of Islamic philosophy, theology, law, and mysticism gained in popularity, as did the gradual conversion of the inhabitants inside the empire.
- There were three routes across Africa: over the Sahara via trading centres such as Timbuktu, up the Nile Valley through Sudan and Uganda, and down East Africa via colonies such as Mombasa and Zanzibar.
Following a general pattern of nomadic conquests of settled regions, the Arab-Muslim conquests of Europe followed a similar pattern in which conquering peoples became the new military elite and reached a compromise with the old elites by allowing them to retain their local political, religious, and financial authority.
- With its foundation in 670 CE by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi, the Great Mosque of Kairouan is the oldest mosque in western Islamic countries and serves as an architectural icon of the expansion of Islam in North Africa.
- The Arab conquerors did not make the same error as the Byzantine and Sasanian empires, who had attempted and failed to impose an official religion on subject populations, resulting in hostility that made the Muslim conquests more palatable to the conquered peoples.
- Religious tolerance typified the early caliphate after military operations, which included the looting of several monasteries and the confiscation of Zoroastrian fire temples in Syria and Iraq, and people of all nationalities and religions were able to mingle in public life.
- In Iraq and Egypt, Muslim rulers worked in partnership with Christian religious leaders to achieve their goals.
- Some non-Muslim communities, on the other hand, were subjected to persecution.
- Zoroastrians were forced to pay an additional tax known as Jizya, and if they failed to do so, they were slaughtered, enslaved, or imprisoned as a result.
Jizya payers were exposed to insults and humiliation by the tax collectors, who demanded they pay the levy. In exchange for converting to Islam, Zoroastrians who had been kidnapped as slaves in battles were granted their freedom.
Did you know?: The Spread of Islam in Southeast Asia through the Trade Routes
The Silk Roads are among the most important routes in our collective history, and they are still in use today. The establishment of ties between east and west was made possible by the construction of these highways, which exposed varied regions to a variety of different ideas and ways of life. Notably, many of the world’s main religions, including Islam, were spread as a result of these contacts, which is noteworthy. Following the establishment of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula in the 7th century, the religion began to spread eastward through commerce, which was aided by the construction of the maritime Silk Roads.
- This allowed them to control the East-West trade routes that ran over the maritime Silk Roads, which linked numerous key ports in eastern Asian countries together.
- Due to these exchanges, Islam was able to spread even farther, reaching people living in significant coastal towns on the Indian Subcontinent and in China, as well as those living in more remote South-eastern islands such as modern Indonesia and the Philippines.
- Historically, Muslim traders traveling from the Arabian Peninsula to China’s ports had to transit via these islands in the southern hemisphere through the maritime Silk Roads.
- According to popular belief, some of these traders eventually moved in Indonesia and assimilated with the locals.
- It is possible to see archeological evidence of Islam being practiced by monarchs in the 13th century by looking at tombstones inscribed with dates according to the Islamic year of Sumatran Kings from the 13th century.
Furthermore, during the 13th century, contacts between Muslim merchants and the local population, as well as trade through the Silk Roads between the southern Philippines and other neighboring regions such as Brunei, Malaysia, and Indonesia, aided in the spread of Islam among the local population in those regions.
- Islam, like Buddhism, was assimilated into the existing cultural and religious influences of the Southeast Asian areas in a similar way.
- Sri Lanka has an ancient monastic hospital system that dates back thousands of years.
- The Khwarazm region and the Silk Roads are intertwined.
- The spread of Buddhism throughout South and Southeast Asia as a result of trade routes.
Sayyid Bin Abu Ali, a true representative of intercultural relations throughout the Maritime Silk Roads, was recently honored. Thailand and the Silk Roads of the Maritime Silk Roads The Greeks Have a Foothold in Central Asia Routes of the Maritime Silk Routes in Central Asia
Teachers Guide – Muslims
|Discussion and Activities|
|Beliefs and Daily Lives of Muslims|
Following the first revelation to the prophet Muhammad at the age of 40, the year 610 is commemorated as the beginning of Islamic history. Muslims all throughout the Arabian peninsula followed Muhammad and his companions in spreading the principles of Islam. Following the death of the prophet Muhammad, military expeditions were launched into what is now Egypt and other regions of North Africa, which were dubbed “futuhat,” which literally translates as “openings.” Islam expanded around the world through trade and business in various regions of the world.
- In the year 570 C.E.
- He is descended from a noble family and is well-known for his honesty and uprightness of moral character.
- According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad has a visit from the angel Gabriel while on seclusion in a cave in Mecca when he reaches the age of 40.
- Later, Muhammad is instructed to summon his people to the worship of the one God, but they respond with animosity and begin to punish him and his followers as a result of his actions.
- After facing persecution in Mecca, Muhammad and his followers flee to the adjacent town of Yathrib (which would eventually become known as Medina), where the locals welcomed Islam.
- Muhammad builds an Islamic kingdom in Medina, which is founded on the rules given in the Quran as well as the inspired direction he receives from the Almighty.
- Muhammad comes to Mecca with a significant number of his supporters in the year 630 CE.
The prophet orders the removal of all idols and images from the Kaaba, which is thereafter rededicated to the worship of God alone.
after a lengthy illness.
In 638 C.E., Muslims cross the border into the region north of Arabia known as “Sham,” which encompasses Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.
and rout the Byzantine army in the process.
Islam begins to expand over North Africa in the year 655 C.E.
This also marks the beginning of the Umayyad dynasty’s reign of terror.
The Islamic state eventually gains control over nearly the whole Iberian Peninsula.
by Charles Martel’s forces.
From 1000 C.E.
The European Crusaders capture Jerusalem from the Muslims in 1099 C.E.
Islam continues to spread throughout Asia as of the year 1120 C.E.
Turkey’s Anatolia region becomes the site of the formation of the first Ottoman state in 1299 C.E.
Around the year 1800 C.E., over 30% of Africans who were forced into slavery in the United States were Muslim.
The Ottoman Empire, the last of the Islamic empires, is defeated and destroyed at the end of World War I, marking the end of the war.
Traditional religious ways of life are under attack, and in some cases, have been completely obliterated.
Even while it is founded on some Islamic concepts, it also includes several innovations, like the designation or pronouncement of Elijah Muhammad as a prophet.
Some Palestinian and Lebanese refugees, including Muslims and Christians, have fled to the United States from their home countries.
Muslim students come from all over the world to study in the United States.
opened the door even wider for Muslim immigration.
Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad, takes over as head of the Nation of Islam and successfully integrates the majority of his followers into mainstream Islam.
C.E. 1979 was a year of transition. Eventually, the Iranian Revolution leads to Iran becoming known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is the first attempt at an Islamic state in the contemporary age.
However, while some earlier histories mention Islam being widely adopted beyond the Arab peninsula beginning in the mid-seventh century, in reality this did not occur for at least a century beyond that time period. According to Richard C. Foltz, the reason for this misunderstanding is due to a misinterpretation of the wordislam (which means “submission”), which has been used in Muslim histories to refer to the submission of one clan to the authority of another, rather than the spread of the Islamic faith in its proper sense.
To the contrary, Foltz claims that the act of submitting resulted in the formation of de facto non-aggression pacts between Muslim Arabs and their neighbors.
When the Muslim clans expanded into these territories, they had no difficulty ousting the Sassanian and Byzantine rulers and their soldiers; some communities, according to Foltz, even opened their doors to the Muslim Arabs and greeted them as liberators after the invasion.
Several other kingdoms ruled by Arab and non-Arab Muslim dynasties would come to dominate the entire world by 750, extending from Spain in the west all the way through northern Africa, across all of Persia and the entire Middle East, as far east as the eastern edge of the Tang Empire in the Tarim Basin, and crossing the Indus river into the Indian subcontinent.
- Instead, they were bound together by governments that were based on the interpretation of Islamic law and had a common history.
- For the most part, Muslims referred to their faith as “the Arab religion” (al-din al-‘arab), and they made little effort to convert non-Muslims to Islam.
- 3 Consistently distinguishing between reigning Muslims and conquered non-Muslims provided for smoother government and ensured Muslims a favored position under the rules of each of the numerous Islamic nations in which they lived.
- Fourteenth, non-Muslims were strongly encouraged to convert to Islam, particularly those who had previously held elite economic, social, and political positions.
- Apart from that, the Arabs saw in those they conquered a natural aptitude for administrative work.
- As government officials, it would appear that they should have converted to Islam, however they did not do so until after they began to advocate for the same rights as Arab Muslims.
- As a result of this development, Arab Muslims began to see non-Arab converts asmawla (or “clients”), so elevating themawla to the status of honorary clan member.
6 By the middle of the ninth century, Muslims had gained control of the western part of the Silk Route, and trade had emerged as the second most important element in Islam’s growth.
7Muslim traders journeyed as far as the Tang capital of Chang-an, as well as other towns in the Chinese empire, and even further to the east, to trade with the Chinese.
At 757, the Tang emperor handed Muslim troops lands in the western-most periphery of the empire as a prize for their assistance in putting down the uprising of An Lushan, and fifty years later Muslims were permitted to settle in Yunnan province.
8 Islam dictates that children of Muslim fathers must be reared as Muslims, which resulted in the establishment of a Muslim Chinese minority in certain locations during the Tang dynasty.
– John D.
Martin’s Press, 1999), p.
(2) Foltz, Richard C., Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century (New York: St.
(4) Lewis, Bernad, et al (ed.).
II, Religion and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), page 224.
II, Religion and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), page 224.
(6 ) Ira M. Lapidus’s A History of Islamic Societies (Cambridge University Press, 1988) has the following passage: “A History of Islamic Societies” (p. 98). Foltz (1996), p. 96.
BBC – Religions – Islam: Early rise of Islam (632-700)
It is reported in some ancient histories as beginning as early as the mid-seventh century, but in reality, it is likely that this did not occur until at least a century later. According to Richard C. Foltz, the root of this misunderstanding is from a misunderstanding of the wordislam (which means “submission”), which has historically been used to refer to the surrender of one clan to the authority of another, rather than the propagation of the Islamic faith itself. 1 According to historical evidence, it was the early Muslim clans’ extraordinary success in obtaining the obedience of other Arab groups that ultimately facilitated the expansion of the faith outside the Arabian peninsula.
- Having bowed to and declared their devotion to the Muslim clans by 630, they were forced to expand their raiding territory outside the Arabian peninsula, including areas controlled by Byzantium and Sassanian Persia, as well as lands controlled by Byzantium and Sassanian Persia.
- As a result of their conquests, the Muslims formed Islamic governments throughout their territories, and the Umayyad monarchy, which was based in Damascus, was created by the 660s.
- Even though it was sometimes referred to as the “Islamic Empire,” it was not a genuine empire since there was no single authority that ruled over all of these many countries.
- Until approximately the beginning of the eighth century, the actual Islamization of the Silk Routes had not yet begun.
- However, even though early Islam attempted to transcend both class and ethnic divides, this objective was abandoned after the conquest of regions outside the peninsula began in earnest.
As an example, the tax policy of ‘Umar (634-44) for the Christians of Syria expresses clearly this Muslim ruler’s attitude toward his non-Muslim subjects: “Leave these lands, which God has granted you as booty, in the hands of their inhabitants, and impose on them a poll tax (jizya) to the extent that they can bear, and divide the proceeds among the Muslims.” Please let them to till the soil, as they are more knowledgeable about it and more skilled at it than we are.
- Fourteenth, non-Muslims were strongly encouraged to convert to Islam, particularly those who had previously held top economic, social, and political positions.
- Apart from that, the Arabs saw in those they conquered a natural aptitude for administration.
- Although it was natural for them to convert to Islam in their position as government officials, they soon began to advocate for the same rights as Arab Muslims following their conversion.
- Eventually, Arab Muslims began to regard non-Arab converts asmawla (or “customers,” as they were known in Arabic), which elevated themawla to the status of honorary clan member.
- 6 When Muslims conquered the western part of the Silk Route in the middle of the ninth century, trade became the second most important factor in Islam’s growth.
- 7Muslim traders journeyed as far as the Tang capital of Chang-an, as well as other towns in the Chinese empire, and even further to the east, to trade with the locals.
- At 757, the Tang emperor handed Muslim troops lands in the western-most periphery of the empire as a prize for their assistance in putting down the uprising of An Lushan, and fifty years later, Muslims were permitted to settle in Yunnan province as well.
8 Children of a Muslim father are obligated to be reared as Muslims under Islamic law, which resulted in the establishment of a Muslim Chinese minority in certain locations during the Tang dynasty.
The following are some recommended readings: (1) Foltz, Richard C., Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century (New York: St.
90; (2) Foltz, Richard C., Religions of the Silk Road: Overland Trade and Cultural Exchange from Antiquity to the Fifteenth Century (New York: St.
90; (3) (2)Ibid.
Bernad Lewis is a fourth-grade teacher (ed.).
II, Religion and Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987), page 224.
II, Religion and Society, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987).
Page number: 98.
The history problem
It is possible to find many narratives from this time period regarding the early Muslim conquests, although most of the material is inaccurate and written in a style that glorifies the conquerors and their god. Although they provide some insight into the big events of the seventh century, they are just incomplete explanations. However, this is not to suggest that the Muslims were not courageous or that their belief that they were carrying out Allah’s will was not significant: it was unquestionably.
Despite the massive amount of words written, we have yet to discover the complete explanation for Muslim success.
Conversion by conquest?
Although it is impossible to determine if Islam was the driving force behind Muslim military development, one new book shows that Islam undoubtedly aided the rise of Muslim power.only one viable explanation exists for Arab success—and that is the spirit of Islam. The generous terms that the conquering troops frequently presented enabled their faith to be accepted by the subjugated inhabitants. Moreover, even though it was a young and upstart religion, its administration by simple and honest individuals was better to the corruption and persecution that were the norm in more sophisticated civilizations at the time.
- Nafziger and Mark W.
- And Islam reaped enormous benefits from the improbable military victories of the troops of Arabian Arabia.
- Simply said, Islam may have accelerated the conquests, but it also shown far more long-term viability.
- Islam at War: A History, edited by George F.
- Walton, published in 2003.
- Following the Ridda wars and the Arabs’ quick conquest of the majority of the Near East, the new religion was more clearly characterized as a monotheistic religion for the Arab people than it had been previously.
- The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800, by Jonathan P.
The justification of conquest
Whether Islam was the driving force behind early Muslim imperialism or not, it could be used to offer justification for it in the same way that it had previously been used to defend Muhammad’s own actions against his adversaries. The Qur’an contains a number of passages that support military action against non-Muslims, such as:But when the forbidden months have passed, fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem; but when the forbidden months have passed, fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them (of war).
Qur’an 9:5 (from the Qur’an) You must fight all of those who deny the existence of Allah and the Last Day, as well as those who adhere to that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, and who refuse to recognize the religion of Truth (even though they are) of the People of the Book.
Considering that the armies of those days were not like contemporary armies – rather, they were more like an association of tribal mercenary groups that received no compensation and received their sole material benefit from the spoils of war – this is hardly unexpected.
After Muhammad’s death
When Islam was elevated to a political stature and given the function of both a political and a religious force by Muhammad, the military conquests served to solidify this position. For a caliph like Umar, it appears that he considered himself first and foremost as the leader of the Arabs, and that their monotheistic religion served as the religious component of their new political identities. The Formation of Islam: Religion and Society in the Near East, 600-1800, by Jonathan P. Berkey, published in 2003.
The conquest of Arabia
Following Muhammad’s death in 632 CE, the new Muslim commonwealth began to experience difficulties. Some tribes came to the conclusion that, because their commitment to Islam had been largely to Muhammad himself, Muhammad’s death gave them the opportunity to renounce their allegiance to Mecca and to Islam. Furthermore, the Prophet had not given clear instructions as to who would be in charge of the community following his death, which made matters much more complicated. Fortunately, the community picked Abu Bakr, the Prophet’s close associate and father-in-law, to be his successor very soon after his death.
Abu Bakr took rapid military action against the villages that were attempting to secede from the government.
Expansion in the Middle East
The caliph Abu Bakr died in 634, and his successor was Umar ibn al-Khattab, the second caliph, who governed until his death in 644. After becoming the ruler of a vast, cohesive kingdom with a well-organized army, Umar utilized this position as a vehicle to advance Islam’s expansion throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Umar’s first operations were against the Byzantine Empire, which he defeated. Following the crucial Battle of Yarmouk in 636, the Muslim troops seized the erstwhile Byzantine realms of Syria, Palestine, and Lebanon, bringing them under their control.
It was made considerably simpler by the weakness of the Sassanid Empire, which had been devastated by internal disputes and a protracted battle with the Byzantine Empire when this conquest took place.
Is proselytism still appropriate?
For complete instructions, go to BBC Webwise. In this debate, Christians and Muslims compare and contrast their respective histories of mission, conversion, and religious growth around the world. Is there a religion that has a monopoly on the truth?
The Spread of Islam in Ancient Africa
The Islamization of West Africa began with the conquest of North Africa by Muslim Arabs in the 7th century CE. Islam spread throughout the region through merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries, primarily through peaceful means, as African rulers either tolerated the religion or converted to it. Islam spread throughout the region through merchants, traders, scholars, and missionaries. As a result of this, Islam expanded in and around the Sahara Desert. In addition, the faith came in East Africa when Arab traders crossed the Red Sea and established along the Swahili Coast in a second wave of migration after that.
Supporters of traditional African beliefs such as animism and fetish, spirit and ancestor worship, as well as supporters of traditional African beliefs such as ancestor worship, shown sometimes violent opposition.
(Creative Commons BY-NC-SA) Although Islam spread slowly and quietly for at least six centuries in areas where there were economic ties with the larger Muslim world, particularly in the southern Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Sea, the religion continued to spread peacefully and gradually.
With religion came the introduction of new ideas, particularly in the fields of administration, law, architecture, and a variety of other facets of everyday life.
A Note on Islam
The rise of Islam in Africa was characterized by much more than only the transmission and adoption of religious concepts, it is maybe worth mentioning at the outset. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) General History of Africa, Islam is more than a religion; it is a comprehensive way of life that encompasses all aspects of human existence. Muslim teachings give direction in all elements of life – individual and social, material and moral (including financial), political (including economic), legal (including cultural), and national (including international).
III, page 20) Given the foregoing, it is probably more understandable why so many African kings and elites were willing to embrace a foreign religion, especially when that religion also carried with it tangible benefits in terms of governance and riches.
After the Umayyad Caliphate of Damascus conquered North Africa in the second half of the 7th century CE, Islam moved from the Middle East to take root throughout the whole continent during the second half of the 7th century CE. Through Islamized Berbers (who had been either pushed or coaxed to convert) it spread throughout West Africa in the 8th century CE, traveling from the east coast into the interior of central Africa, and eventually reaching Lake Chad, where it was eradicated. Meanwhile, the religion moved down through Egypt and then swung westward across the Sudan area below the Sahara Desert, where it is still practiced today.
Trade Routes Across the Sahara Aa77zz is an abbreviation for Aa77zz (Public Domain) Once the religion reached the savannah region, which stretches throughout Africa below the Sahara Desert, it was embraced by the governing African elites, however local beliefs and rites were frequently maintained or even incorporated into the new religion’s practices and ceremonies.
- In the east, the faith spread via the Mali Empire (1240-1645 CE) and the Songhai Empire (1240-1645 CE) (c.
- 1591 CE).
- 900 – c.
- Do you enjoy history?
Muslims in East Africa were up against stiff competition from Christians, who were firmly entrenched in Nubia and states such as the Kingdoms of Faras (also known as Nobatia), Dongola, and Alodia, as well as in the Kingdom of Axum (first – eighth centuries CE) in what is now Ethiopia, among other places.
- In addition, the Sultanates of Adal (1415-1577 CE) and Ajuran (1415-1577 CE) were two prominent Muslim states in the Horn of Africa during the same period (13-17th century CE).
- Islam achieved greater instant success on the Swahili Coast, which is farther south.
- As the native Bantu peoples and Arabs mingled, so did their languages, and intermarrying became popular.
- From the 12th century CE, when Shirazi merchants arrived from the Persian Gulf, Islam began to become more firmly entrenched in Europe.
- Curtin, a historian, describes it thus way: “In the end, the Muslim faith emerged as one of the most important determinants of Swahili identity.
- Despite the fact that Islam was a huge success on the coast, it had little effect on the peoples who lived in the interior of East Africa until the nineteenth century CE.
- A significant number of people were adamant in their refusal to accept this new religion in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
- In the following centuries, the Christian Portuguese came in Africa, on both the west and east coasts, where they posed a serious threat to the growth of Islamic civilization.
Kilwa has a magnificent mosque. Richard Mortel is a fictional character created by author Richard Mortel in the 1960s. Mortel’s character is based on the fictional character of the same name created by author Richard Mortel in the 1960s (Public Domain)
Reasons For Adoption
Beyond true spiritual commitment, African leaders may have recognized that adopting Islam (or seeming to do so) or at the very least tolerating it would be good to trade relations with other countries. Both Islam and trade have long been interwoven, as illustrated in this section of the UNESCO General History of Africa: Islam and Trade. A well-known truth about Islam and trade in Sub-Saharan Africa is that they go hand in hand. The Dyula, Hausa, and Dyakhanke were among the first peoples to be converted when their respective nations came into contact with Muslims since they were the most commercially engaged peoples in their respective countries.
- Islam, a religion that originated in the commercial community of Mecca and was proclaimed by a Prophet who himself had worked as a merchant for a long period of time, presents a set of ethical and practical prescripts that are intimately tied to the conduct of business.
- (Volume III, page 39) However, there is no indication that the kings of theGhanaEmpire themselves converted to Islam; rather, they accepted Muslim traders and Ghanaians who chose to convert during their reign.
- Two towns existed: one was Muslim and featured 12 mosques, while the other, which was just 10 kilometers distant and connected by several intermediary structures, served as the royal home and contained many traditional cult temples, as well as a mosque for passing merchants.
- Mansa Musa is the illustrator.
- In the following centuries, several monarchs followed suit, most notably Mansa Musa I (r.
- Mosques were constructed, such as Timbuktu’s Great Mosque (also known as Djinguereber or Jingereber), and Koranic schools and institutions were formed, all of which swiftly garnered international renown and prestige.
- A clerical elite arose, many of whose members were of Sudanese descent, and many of them commonly served as missionaries, bringing Islam to the southern areas of West Africa and expanding it throughout the region.
- In proportion to the increase of conversions, an increase in Muslim clerics from outside was recruited, resulting in the expansion of the faith throughout West Africa.
Finally, Muslim clerics were frequently of great assistance to the community in practical daily life (and thus increased the appeal of Islam) by offering prayers on demand, performing administrative tasks, providing medical advice, divining – such as the interpretation of dreams – and creating charms and amulets, among other things.
- This might very well have been the most essential element in the adoption of the Kingdom of Kanem in the late eleventh century CE.
- Another advantage of Islam was that it provided literacy, which was a hugely important tool for empires that relied on commerce to build their riches.
- Carsten ten Brink is a Dutch businessman.
- 1464-1492 CE) was vehemently anti-Muslim; however, King Mohammad I (r.
The rural inhabitants of Songhai, like their counterparts in Ghana and Mali, remained steadfastly committed to their traditional beliefs.
Accommodating Ancient African Beliefs
However, as previously said, traditional indigenous traditions continued to be practiced, particularly in rural populations, as documented by travelers such as Ibn Batuta, who visited Mali in 1352 CE. Furthermore, Islamic studies were done, at least initially, in Arabic rather than native languages, which further limited their appeal outside of the educated clerical class of towns and cities. It may have been because African rulers could not afford to completely dismiss the indigenous religious practices and beliefs that were still held by the majority of their people, and which very often elevated rulers to divine or semi-divine status, that Islam did eventually take hold, though it was a distinct variation of the Islam practiced in the Arab world.
Ancestors were still honored, and in certain places, women were given more privileges than they would have had under strictly sharia rule.
Sankore Mosque, TimbuktuRadio Raheem is a local radio personality.
Islam had tremendous influence on many elements of everyday life and society, albeit these effects varied depending on the period and region in which they occurred. The arrival of Islam resulted in a broad deterioration of the social standing of various tribes in ancient African cultures. One of the most significant losers was the metalworkers, who had long been held in magical regard by the general public due to their abilities in forging metal. A similar statement may be made about individuals who discovered and mined valuable metals such as gold and iron.
- Also true is that in some cases oral traditions retained their cultural integrity, and as a result, we are presented with a parallel history, such as the biographies ofSundiata Keita(r.
- 1230-1255 CE), the founder of the Mali Empire In various African communities, men and women’s roles have evolved in the past, with some African societies formerly granting women a more equal standing with males than was the case under Muslim legislation.
- Some of the more cosmetic alterations included the use of Muslim-friendly names in place of Christian names.
- In addition, clothing has altered, with women in particular being pushed to wear more modestly, and teenagers being encouraged to hide their nudity.
- However, there were slight regional variations in the religion, just as there were in the religion itself.
- The introduction of Islam brought with it a plethora of technological advancements, including writing, numbers, arithmetic, measures, and weights.
Along with archaeology, these writers have made significant contributions to the reconstruction of ancient Africa following the European colonial period, during which every effort was made to obliterate the history of the continent lest it conflict with the racist belief that Africa had been waiting for civilisation for eons before it was discovered.
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Sudan – The spread of Islam
However, thearistocracy eventually converted to Islam and, while they kept many ancient African rituals, they were nominal Muslims throughout their history. The conversion was mostly the result of the efforts of a small group of Islamic missionaries who traveled to Sudan from other parts of the Muslim world. Although these missionaries had significant success among the Funj, they had even more success among the Arabized Nubian people who had settled along the Nile’s eastern bank. It appears that the missionaries were successful in fostering a genuine dedication to Islam among these people, something that appears to have been noticeably missing among the nomadic Arabs who had originally arrived in Sudan following the collapse of the kingdom of Maqurrah.
- amad Ab Danana, who lived in the 15th century, appears to have stressed the path to God through mystical exercises rather than the more orthodox readings of the Qur’an taught by Ghulam Alla, rather than the more orthodox interpretations of the Qur’an.
- The conversion of the Shyqiyyah confederacy occurred throughout the 16th and 17th centuries along the White Nile, which resulted in the establishment of various institutions of religious instruction.
- As a means of connecting the Sudan to the greater world of Islam beyond the Nile valley, the Sufi brotherhoods played an important role.
- The “missionaries” were really faqihs (Islamic jurists) who gained a following via their teachings and piety, laying the groundwork for a long line of indigenous Sudanese holy men who would follow in their footsteps.
- Thefaqhs played an important role in teaching their followers and assisting them in gaining access to the highest levels of governance, which enabled them to propagate Islam and the influence of their separate brotherhoods throughout the region.
Consequently, a rivalry developed between the mystical, traditionalfaqihs (who were close to the Sudanese, if not actually members of their community) and the orthodoxulams (who were aloof, if not actually members of the government bureaucracy), which resulted in open hostility during times of crisis and sullen suspicion during times of peace.
It has recently become less pronounced; thefaqhs are free to pursue their traditional traditions, and the Sudanese have recognized the role of theulams in their culture.
During the month of July 1820, Muammad ‘Al, viceroy of Egypt under the Ottoman Empire, dispatched an army under the command of his son Ismil to conquer the Sudan. Interested in the riches and slaves that the Sudan might give, Muammad Ali sought to establish authority over the enormous hinterland that stretched south of Egypt. Eventually, the Funj and the Sultan of Darfur were forced to submit, and the Nilotic Sudan – stretching from Nubia to the Ethiopian highlands and from the Atbara River to Darfur – was annexed to Muammad Al’s growing dominion in 1821.
As a result, resistance to his reign grew increasingly severe, finally culminating in revolt and the death of Ismael and his bodyguard.
In response to the Sudanese’s sullen animosity, the government maintained its repressive policies until the appointment of Al Khrshd lh as governor-general in 1826.
Abd al-Qadir wad al-Zayn, a recognized Sudanese statesman, assisted him in lowering taxes and consulting with the Sudanese people on several issues.
With the implementation of a more equal taxation system, the government was able to gain the support of the strong class of religious men and sheikhs (tribe chiefs) for the administration by exempting them from paying taxes.
He was responsible for the protection and expansion of trade routes, the development of Kharkou as the administrative capital, and a wide range of agricultural and technological advancements that occurred under his watch.
Despite some deviations from his ideas, Amad Pasha Ab Widn continued them in large part and made it his major goal to root out government corruption.
Among his favorite institutions was the army, which benefited from regular salary and decent working conditions in exchange for bearing the brunt of the Egyptian administration’s development and consolidation in Kassala and among theBakkharArabs of southern Kordofan.
Ineffective governance in Khartoum, along with vacillating viceroys in Cairo, caused the nation to stagnate for the following two decades.
They were rarely able to exhibit their administrative abilities, even when they claimed to be Abd Widn’s successors.
New plans were never implemented, and existing initiatives were left to deteriorate.
In 1856, the viceroy, Sad Pashavi, visited the Sudan and was so taken aback by what he saw that he considered quitting the country entirely.
After Sad’s death in 1863, this was the condition of affairs for several years.
In response to pressure from Western nations, primarily Great Britain, the Sudanese governor-general was instructed to put an end to the slave trade.
If the prohibition of the slave trade sparked opposition among the Sudanese, the appointment of Christian officials to positions of authority and the rise of the European Christian community in the Sudan sparked widespread hostility among the people of the country.
Because of pressure from European powers, they grew to be a powerful and influential group whose lasting contribution to Sudan was to take the lead in opening up the White Nile and southern Sudan for navigation and commerce after Muammad ‘Al’ abolished state trading monopolies in 1838 in response to pressure from European powers.