Mahbubur Rahman Robin

studied at Islam

103w ago

Christianity did. specially in Egypt and Somalia by byzantine empire and it went towards south.

Islam entered in northern parts of Africa by khilafat and entered in sub-saharan Africa via Trade and merchandise.

Farther reading,

Multiple Trajectories of Islam in Africa

 had already spread into northern Africa by the mid-seventh century 
A.D., only a few decades after the Prophet Muhammad moved with his 
followers from Mecca to Medina on the neighboring Arabian Peninsula (622
 A.D./1 A.H.). The

 and the push of Arab armies as far as the Indus River culminated in an 
empire that stretched over three continents, a mere hundred years after 
the Prophet’s death. Between the eighth and ninth centuries, Arab 
traders and travelers, then African clerics, began to spread the 
religion along the eastern coast of Africa and to the western and 
central Sudan (literally, “Land of Black people”), stimulating the 
development of urban communities. Given its negotiated, practical 
approach to different cultural situations, it is perhaps more 
appropriate to consider Islam in Africa in terms of its multiple 
histories rather then as a unified movement.

The first converts were the Sudanese merchants, followed by a few 
rulers and courtiers (Ghana in the eleventh century and Mali in the 
thirteenth century). The masses of rural peasants, however, remained 
little touched. In the eleventh century, the

,
 led by a group of Berber nomads who were strict observers of Islamic 
law, gave the conversion process a new momentum in the Ghana empire and 
beyond. The spread of Islam throughout the African continent was neither
 simultaneous nor uniform, but followed a gradual and adaptive path. 
However, the only written documents at our disposal for the period under
 consideration derive from Arab sources (see, for instance, accounts by 
geographers al-Bakri and Ibn Battuta).

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Islamic Influence on African Societies

Islamic political and

 on African societies remain difficult to assess. In some capital 
cities, such as Ghana and Gao, the presence of Muslim merchants resulted
 in the establishment of mosques. The Malian king Mansa Musa (r. 
1312–37) brought back from a pilgrimage to Mecca the architect 
al-Sahili, who is often credited with the creation of the 
Sudano-Sahelian building style. Musa’s brother, Mansa Suleyman, followed
 his path and encouraged the building of mosques, as well as the 
development of Islamic learning. Islam brought to Africa the art of 
writing and new techniques of weighting. The city of Timbuktu, for 
instance, flourished as a commercial and intellectual center, seemingly 
undisturbed by various upheavals. Timbuktu began as a Tuareg settlement,
 was soon integrated into the

, then reclaimed by the Tuareg, and finally incorporated into the

.
 In the sixteenth century, the majority of Muslim scholars in Timbuktu 
were of Sudanese origin. On the continent’s eastern coast, Arabic 
vocabulary was absorbed into the Bantu languages to form the Swahili 
language. On the other hand, in many cases conversion for sub-Saharan 
Africans was probably a way to protect themselves against being sold 
into slavery, a flourishing trade between Lake Chad and the 
Mediterranean. For their rulers, who were not active proselytizers, 
conversion remained somewhat formal, a gesture perhaps aimed at gaining 
political support from the Arabs and facilitating commercial 
relationships. The strongest resistance to Islam seems to have emanated 
from the Mossi and the Bamana, with the development of the Segu kingdom.
 Eventually, sub-Saharan Africans developed their own brand of Islam, 
often referred to as “African Islam,” with specific brotherhoods and 
practices.

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Local Mixes of Islamic and African Aesthetics

Because of its resistance to the

,
 the nature of Islam’s interaction with the visual arts in Africa was 
one in which Islamic forms were accommodated and adapted. Muslim 
clerics’ literacy and esoteric powers drew scores of converts to Islam. 
Sub-Saharan Muslim clerics known as marabouts began fabricating amulets with Qur’anic verses, which came to displace indigenous

and medicinal packets. These amulets are featured in the design of many traditional African artifacts.

Islam also reinforced the African fondness for

 and the repetition of patterns in decorating the surface of textiles 
and crafted objects. Local weaving may have been transformed with the 
importation of North African weaving techniques.

Islam has also often existed side by side with representational 
traditions such as masquerading. Such practices have often been viewed 
as supplemental rather than oppositional to Islam, particularly when 
they are seen as effective or operating outside of the central concerns 
of the faith. An early example of this was noted by Ibn Battuta, the 
Maghribi scholar who visited Mali in 1352–53 and witnessed a masquerade 
performance at the royal court of its Muslim king. In many areas of 
Africa, the coexistence of Islam with representational art forms 
continues today. But although Islam has influenced a wide range of 
artistic practices in Africa since its introduction, monumental 
architecture is the best-preserved legacy of its early history on the 
continent. Mosques are the most important architectural examples of the 
tremendous aesthetic diversity generated by the interaction between 
African peoples and Islamic faith.

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Department of Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Khalid Zakaria Hassan

Student of IslamicSciences University of Qassim however londoner born and raised

103w ago

Christianity of course, it is 600 years older than Islam, North Africa was home to scholars of Christianity such as Augustine of Hippo who was from present day Algeria, also Christianity was prevalent in Egypt as well as Ethiopia where it thrives to this day.

As for what is deemed as ‘Black Africa’ apart from Ethiopia, Islam was the first organised religion to really take hold in the region, European Christians came around 1100 years later

Prashasth Neelakantan

studied at RNS Vidyaniketan

103w ago

Islam had travelled along the south west to Africa through Egypt and the culture and tradition followed are basically adopted from Arabia and hence islam was the first religion which had entered Africa far before Christianity

Goran Mekota

Seon (Korean Zen) Buddhist, curious about all religions

103w ago

Christianity, being older. Some parts of North Africa (specially Egypt) have been of great historical importance to Christiaity before the spread of Islam.

Zelalem Habteselassie

103w ago

Christianity Ethiopia is the oldest Christiannation in Africa 

Mihr Aharuni

I learnt fasih arabic for a reason

103w ago

Ethiopia become christian in 330 AD!

Original siteon Quora

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