fbpx
CURRENTLY ON AIR ⇒
  • NEWS
    Sun, 7:00 am - 7:05 am

feedback@radioislam.org.za

Radio Islam Logo


((( Listen Live )))))
Radio Islam Logo


Islam in Africa Part 4

May 27, 2021

Like a benevolent mother opening her arms to all the children in the neighbourhood, Africa held its arms open for successive waves of refugees from Arabia. In turn, the immigrants brought with them the light of Islam and shared it with the people of Africa. This was the quid pro quo (favour for a favour) between Africa and Arabia: Africa gave protection to the Arabs. In turn, the Arabs shared their faith and their knowledge with Africa.

It was the year 613, nine years before the Hijrah. Prophet Muhammed ﷺ was still in Makkah. Mighty was the struggle he was engaged in, teaching the message of the Unity of Allah and the brotherhood of man to a people steeped in layers of ignorance.

As conversion to Islam gathered momentum, so did the persecution of the Muslims. Conditions became so harsh in Makkah that the Prophet ﷺ ordered a group of Muslims to migrate to Abyssinia or Habsha in Arabic, across the Red Sea from Arabia. There the Christian king received them with honour and gave them protection. Two years later, in 615, a larger migration took place. Many were the well-known Companions (RA) including the Blessed Prophet`s ﷺ daughter and son-in-law, the third Khalifah of the Muslims, Hadhrat Uthmaan bin Affan (RA). The second group stayed in Africa for a long period, returning TO Arabia much later, in fact by the time they returned, the Great Hijrah and the establishment of a Muslim community in the City of Madinah had already taken place.

This proves that Africa was the first continent that Islam spread into out of Arabia in the early seventh century. Almost one-third of the world’s Muslim population resides today in the continent. It was estimated in 2002 that Muslims constitute 45% of the population of Africa. Islam has a large presence in North Africa, West Africa, the horn of Africa, the Southeast and among the minority but significant immigrant population in South Africa.

Islam in West Africa
The first West Africans to be converted were the inhabitants of the Sahara, the Berbers, and it is generally agreed that by the second half of the tenth century, the Sahara had become Dar al-Islam that is the country of Islam.
After the Berbers’ Islamisation, the religion spread into the Western Sudan from the closing decades of the tenth century. First, Islam spread into the regions West of the Niger Bend (Senegambia, Mali), then into Chad region and finally into Hausa land.

According to some Arabic sources the first Black ruler to embrace Islam was the King of Gao who had done so by 1009. The first King of Mali to become a Muslim was Barmandana, who was reigning by the middle of the eleventh century. The Kings of Ghana, on the other hand did not embrace Islam until about the beginning of the twelfth century, after the Almoravid invasions.

In the Chad region, it appears from the Arabic sources that Umme Jilmi, who became the king of Kanem in 1086 was the first Muslim King. Islam was first introduced into Hausa land from either Kanem or Air in the twelfth or thirteenth centuries, but it did not really take root there until during the second half of the fourteenth Century.

Islam in East Africa
The earliest concrete evidence of Islam and Muslims in eastern Africa is a mosque foundation in Lamu where gold, silver and copper coins dated 830 were found during an excavation in 1984. The oldest intact building in eastern Africa is a functioning mosque at Kizimkazi in southern Zanzibar Island dated 1007. It appears that Islam was common in the Indian Ocean by 1300. When Ibn Battuta of Morocco visited the East African coastlands in 1332, all the way down to the present border between Mozambique and South Africa, most of the coastal settlements were Muslim, and Arabic was the common literary and commercial language spoken all over the Indian Ocean. Islam thus seems to have arrived quite early to East Africa through traders. It certainly did not spread through conquest or settlement, but remained an urban and coastal phenomenon for quite long. Later it spread to the interior after 1729 when the Portuguese were pushed beyond the Ruvuma River that forms the present Tanzania-Mozambique border.

It would be erroneous to consider Islamic practices in eastern Africa as Arabic practices, and associate Islam with Arabs, since Islam did not arabise East Africans; on the contrary, Arab immigrants, Islam and Islamic practices got Africanised or swahilised, thereby developing Islam as an indigenous African religion! This is also linguistically evidenced by the fact that Arab immigrants became Swahili speaking, adopted the Swahili dress, food and eating habits and other cultural elements. Islam is therefore not a foreign but rather a local religion on the coast, and along the old trade/caravan routes. It is more of an urban religion also in the interior and inland ports of Tanzania and the rest of East Africa.

ADVERTISE HERE

Prime Spot!!!

Contact:
advertisingadmin@radioislam.co.za 

Related Articles

This Week in History

This Week in History

This Week in History June 10, 1980 Nelson Mandela writes from prison In South Africa, the African National Congress (ANC) makes public a statement by Nelson Mandela, the long imprisoned leader of the anti-apartheid movement. The message, smuggled out of Robben Island...

read more
Islamic Motivation of Environmental Conservation Part 4

Islamic Motivation of Environmental Conservation Part 4

We continue to take a look at reasons as to why we need to conserve and preserve nature and the environment around us. Consideration of the availability of clean water Another source of wealth that is very important to be taken care of is water, a source of life for...

read more
Islamic motivation of Environmental Conservation Part 3

Islamic motivation of Environmental Conservation Part 3

One of the environmental protection concepts in Islam is a concern for reforestation by planting and farming. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ classified the planting of trees as Sadaqah. عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ "‏ مَا مِنْ مُسْلِمٍ...

read more
Environment in the Quran Part 2

Environment in the Quran Part 2

In the Quraan, there are many verses that speak about the obligation to maintain and restrict of ruining the environment. Therefore, the universe and all its potential contained in it are given to man to be processed and used. To manage it and explore it requires...

read more
Importance of the Environment Part 1

Importance of the Environment Part 1

Even though Saturday the 5th of June was World Environment day, it is never too late to educate ourselves on the importance of the environment and the steps we need to take to preserve it. For too long, we have been exploiting and destroying our planet’s ecosystems....

read more
The Effect on Children Part 5

The Effect on Children Part 5

Today the 4th of June is the International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression. We have been covering this aspect for the entire week and whilst children are suffering as a result of aggression in many countries of the world, the Palestinian children are...

read more

Subscribe to our Newsletter

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *