What is the history of how Islam came to Africa and due to what did it happen? What are the zones where Muslims were the most widespread? Read the information below to learn more historical and religious facts.
How Islam came to Africa?
How did Islam spread to Africa? Africa was the first continent outside Arabia where Islam has extended at the beginning of the 7th century. Nearly a third of the Muslim population lives in the world on this continent. Muslims have crossed territories of modern Djibouti, Somalia, and Eritrea to find a shelter in modern Ethiopia during resettlement. Most of Muslims in Africa are Sunnites. The complexity of spread of Islam in Africa is disclosed at various philosophical schools and traditions in many African countries. The African Islam isn't static and constantly changes under the influence of social, economic, and political conditions. Usually, Islam in Africa often adapts to the African cultural contexts, views and creates various new forms.
How did Islam spread to North Africa?
According to 2002, Muslims make 45% of the population of Africa. A large number of Muslims live in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and in the most part of the Western Africa. In addition, the smaller quantity, but nevertheless, a significant amount of immigrants live in South Africa. On the advice of Muhammad, twenty-three Muslims migrated to Ethiopia where they were protected by its king, who has taken Islam later. 101 Muslims have followed them later the same year. All Muslims came back to Medina, but locals who have accepted Islam remained. Muslim troops have occupied territories belonging to Egypt and have won territories of modern Libya next year. Later Muslims have expanded the influence to modern Tunisia during the domination of the third Muslim Caliph. The gain of North Africa has proceeded during the board of caliphate. Next year Morocco was taken. From Morocco, Muslim troops have crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Europe in 711. Islam got more and more followers within the 10th century in the Western Africa. Islam has slowly extended on the most part of the continent by means of trade and preaching. By the beginning of the 9th century, Muslim Islam Sultanates has begun to extend on the Horn of Africa, and by the 12th century, the Sultanate has extended Islam even to the far South, to Mozambique. Islam has got deeper into Malawi and Congo only in the second half of the 19th century. Then British have brought the labor from India, including some Muslim Indian citizens, to their African colonies by the end of the nineteenth and in the early twenties centuries.
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The presence of Islam in Africa can be tracked until the 7th century when Muhammad has advised a number of the followers who have suffered persecution, to find a shelter. For this purpose, it was necessary to cross the Red Sea and to ask for asylum at the governor of Somalia. In Muslim tradition, this event is known as the first migration. These first Muslim migrants have brought to Islam its first main triumph, and the coastline of Eritrea became the first safe zone for Muslims and the first place where Islam, outside Arabian Peninsula, has begun to practice. Seven years later, after Muhammad's death, Arabs has expanded the influence in Africa. For two generations, Islam has extended to the Horn of Africa and North Africa.
In the next century, consolidation of the Muslim retail chain stores connected with family relations and Sufi brotherhoods has reached the peak in the Western Africa, having allowed Muslims to take control of huge political influence and the power. During Umar II's domination, the governor of Africa of that time has inclined Berbers to Islam by means of his fair management.
Islam has extended in the country at the expense of traditional African religions. Expansion of Islam in Africa not only has led to the formation of new communities but also has reformed the existing African communities and empires so that they were based on Islamic model. At the same time, the governor of the empire of Bornu has adopted Islam. The researchers of the 14th century noting eagerness of Africans to Islam have noted that mosques have been so crowded on Fridays that it was impossible to find the place. However, it should be noted that Islam history in Africa and history of distribution of this religion, especially in the North and the Horn of Africa, was always a subject of disputes. The head of Awqaf Africa in London has written in the work 'Development of Islam in Empires and Kingdoms of the cultural region Yoruba land' about early emergence of Islam in southwest Nigeria. He has supported the Arab anthropologist with his argument that falling off a kingdom in South Sudan and prosperity of the multicultural caliphate on the continent has brought benefit to early Muslim missionaries. According to him, it has created several streams of migration, which have moved in the middle of the 9th century in the western direction to so-called ‘Black Africa’. He has pointed out popularity and influence of the caliphate in 750-1258, the second great dynasty with the governors carrying the name 'Caliph' and that the caliphate promoted the peaceful and prospering migration of Muslims.
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