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The Development of Islam in Africa

7th and 8th Century was the time that made Islam more known in Africa. It was brought by the Umayyads to the Middle East and then to North Africa. The Berbers from the coast of Africa was also influenced by Islam and the Muslim community grows bigger and almost immediately drove north across the Mediterranean into Europe. The city of Fes was also founded in Morocco which gave Andalusian Muslims their refuge as an uprising in Cordoba. In the 9th and 10th century, the Arabs from the east coast of Africa founded colonies on the offshore islands more particularly in Zanzibar.

this trade routes helped them to slowly accept Islam and made them develop Swahili culture and language. The 19th century is a big blast for Islam expansion I Africa. The south of Sahara was immediately gained as an Islamic Community. West Africa’s Islamization began from the kingdom of Ghana’s extension into the Sanhajah’s Islamic center. The state which made Islam its first religion is Mansa Musa of Mali (1307-32). Timbuktu became enters of trade and Muslim learning during the 16th century which made Mali’s successor state Songhaj included.

Nile’s route was followed in the regions of East Sudan to penetrate Islamization. And in 1366, the two Christian Kingdoms of East Sudan was also captured by the Muslims. (Infoplease, 2008) Many converts were made and Muslim law was adopted by European colonialists as a unifying administrative structure rather than the indigenous and often competing tribal customs. From this article how does Islam made a great influence in the African states? The African Dimension : http://macdonald. hartsem. edu/articles_akinade. htm Christians and Muslims in Africa experienced many encounters and dialogues sine the 19th century.

African Muslims and Christians have been living side by side with their corresponding differences and commonalities. People from both religion continues to challenge their perspectives of an ideal Christian-Muslim relationship. The day- to-day lived experience of members of the two communities flies in the face of dogmatic presuppositions imposed from outside. Both Christianity and Islam are well established in Africa. African people embraces these religions and put their respective stamps and affirmations when it comes to their chosen faith.

African traditional ethos and culture have penetrated both religions and endowed them with tolerant spirits. This fact under girds what I have called the cultural dimension of Christian-Muslim engagement in Nigeria and many parts of Africa. (Akinade 2002) Within the African Society, there is respect for all the religious beliefs of humankind. Africans knows how to respect the rights of people from different religion and allows them to practice their own beliefs in their own ways provided that they also do it the other way around by respecting them in return.

The importance of acceptance and respect to others belief is necessary to maintain peace and order between Muslims and Christians living in Africa. What are the main keys to avoid conflicts in Africa when it comes to re;igion? The Role of Islam in Slavery: http://africanhistory. about. com/library/weekly/aa040201a. htm Slavery is one of the great activity manifested in ancient history. Many ancient civilizations practices this institution including societies in Central America and Africa.

The spread of Islamic empire in Africa resulted slavery wherein people who failed to pay taxes will be enslaved and even people whoa re from outside the boarders of Islamic Empire were accepetd as slaves granted that they were not able to pay their taxes. (African History, 2008) Slaves are not automatically freed even if they were already converted into Muslims. Highly educated slaves are used for military purposes and has a greater chance of freedom while those who are uses as domestic helpers have low chances of being freed.

Islam created a law for slaves that prohibits their mutilation and so mutilation is done before they cross the borders. Black Africans were transported to the Islamic empire across the Sahara to Morocco and Tunisia from West Africa, from Chad to Libya, along the Nile from East Africa, and up the coast of East Africa to the Persian Gulf. This trade had been well entrenched for over 600 years before Europeans arrived, and had driven the rapid expansion of Islam across North Africa.

Islamic world gave slaves their chances of experiencing religious practices and they were granted chances of serving either military or domestically. This trade labor is considerably a way for African Muslims not only to profit through goods and commodities but also from services as well which clearly shows how clever Muslims are when it comes to business. Once a slave chooses to convert himself into a Muslim will you set him free? Why?

Works Cited:

Akinade, Akintunde E. (2002). The Precarious Agenda: Christian-Muslim Relations in Contemporary Nigeria. Retrieved, January 6, 2008 from: http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/articles_akinade.htm

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