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Islam in Africa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Mosque of the Companions, Massawa, reportedly Africa's oldest mosque[1]

Africa was the first continent into which Islam spread from Southwest Asia, during the early 7th century CE. Almost one-third of the world's Muslim population resides in the continent. Muslims crossed current Djibouti and Somalia to seek refuge in present-day Eritrea and Ethiopia during the Hijrah (Arabic: هِـجْـرَة‎, 'Migration') to the Kingdom of Aksum.[2] Most Muslims in Africa are non-denominational Muslims or Sunni[3]; the complexity of Islam in Africa is revealed in the various schools of thought, traditions, and voices in many African countries. The practice of Islam on the continent is not static and is constantly being reshaped by prevalent social, economic, and political conditions. Generally Islam in Africa often adapted to African cultural contexts and belief systems forming Africa's own orthodoxies.[citation needed]

It was estimated in 2002 that Muslims constitute 48% of the population of Africa.[4] Islam has a large presence in North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Sahel, the Swahili Coast, and much of West Africa, with minority immigrant populations in South Africa.

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  • ✪ Mansa Musa and Islam in Africa: Crash Course World History #16
  • ✪ Spread of Islamic Culture | World History | Khan Academy
  • ✪ Beyond Timbuktu: An Intellectual History of Muslim West Africa
  • ✪ Islam in Africa: Trends and Policy Implications
  • ✪ Butch Ware talks about Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa


Hi there, my name’s John Green, this is Crash Course World History and today we’re gonna talk about Africa. Mr. Green Mr. Green! We’ve already been talking about Africa. Egypt is in Africa, and you haven’t shut up about it the entire course— Yeah that’s true, Me from the Past. But Africa’s big— it’s like, super big— much bigger than it appears on most maps, actually. I mean, you can fit India and China, and the United States if you fold in Maine. All of that fits in Africa. Like any huge place, Africa is incredibly diverse, and its a mistake to focus just on Egypt. So today let’s go here, south of the Sahara desert. [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] [music intro] First, let’s turn to written record. Oh, right. We don’t have very many. At least not written by Sub-Saharan Africans. Much of African history was preserved via oral rather than written tradition. These days, we tend to think of writing as the most accurate and reliable form of description, but then again we do live in a print-based culture. And we’ve already said that writing is one of the markers of civilization, implying that people who don’t use writing aren’t civilized, a prejudice that has been applied over and over again to Africa. But 1. if you need any evidence that it’s possible to produce amazing literary artifacts without the benefits of writing, let me direct your attention to the Iliad and the Odyssey, which were composed and memorized by poets for centuries before anyone ever wrote them down. And 2. No less an authority than Plato said that writing destroys human memory by alleviating the need to remember anything. And 3. You think the oral tradition is uncivilized but HERE YOU ARE LISTENING TO ME TALK. But we do have a lot of interesting records for some African histories, including the legendary tale of Mansa Musa. By legendary I mean some of it probably isn’t true, but it sure is important. Let’s go to the Thought Bubble. So there was this king Mansa Musa, who ruled the west African empire of Mali, and in 1324ish he left his home and made the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. He brought with him an entourage of over 1000 (some sources say 60,000) and, most importantly, 100 camel loads of gold. I wish it had been donkeys so I could say he had 100 assloads of gold, but no. Camels. Right, so along the way Mansa Musa spent freely and gave away lots of his riches. Most famously, when he reached Alexandria, at the time one of the most cultured cities in the world, he spent so much gold that he caused runaway inflation throughout the city that took years to recover from. He built houses in Cairo and in Mecca to house his attendants, and as he traveled through the world, a lot of people— notably the merchants of Venice— no, Thought Bubble, like actual merchants of Venice— right. They saw him in Alexandria and returned to Italy with tales of Mansa Musa’s ridiculous wealth, which helped create the myth in the minds of Europeans that West Africa was a land of gold, an El Dorado. The kind of place you’d like to visit. And maybe, you know, in five centuries or so, begin to pillage. Thanks Thought Bubble. So what’s so important about the story of Mansa Musa? Well, first, it tells us there were African kingdoms, ruled by fabulously wealthy African kings. Which undermines one of the many stereotypes about Africa, that its people were poor and lived in tribes ruled by chiefs and witch doctors. Also, since Mansa Musa was making the hajj, we know that he was A. Muslim and B. relatively devout. And this tells us that Africa, at least western Africa, was much more connected to the parts of the world we’ve been talking about than we generally are led to believe. Mansa Musa knew all about the places he was going before he got there, and after his visits, the rest of the Mediterranean world was sure interested in finding out more about his homeland. Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage also brings up a lot of questions about west Africa, namely, what did his kingdom look like and how did he come to convert to Islam? The first question is a little easier, so we’ll start with that one. The empire of Mali, which Mansa Musa ruled until the extremely elite year of 1337, was a large swath of West Africa, running from the coast hundreds of miles into the interior and including many significant cities, the largest and best-known of which was Timbuktu. The story of the Islamization of the Empire, however, is a bit more complicated. Okay, so pastoral North Africans called Berbers had long traded with West Africans, with the Berbers offering salt in exchange for West African gold. That may seem like a bad deal until you consider that without salt, we die, whereas without gold, we only have to face the universe’s depraved indifference to us without the benefit of metallic adornment. That went to an ominous place quickly. Right, so anyway the Berbers were early converts to Islam, and Islam spread along those pre-existing trade routes between North and West Africa. Right, so the first converts in Mali were traders, who benefited from having a religious as well as commercial connection to their trading partners in the North and the rest of the Mediterranean. And then the kings followed the traders, maybe because sharing the religion of more established kingdoms in the north and east would give them prestige, not to mention access to scholars and administrators who could help them cement their power. So Islam became the religion of the elites in West Africa, which meant that the Muslim kings were trying to extend their power over largely non-Muslim populations that worshipped traditional African gods and spirits. In order not to seem too foreign, these African Muslim kings would often blend traditional religion with Islam. For instance, giving women more equality than was seen in Islam’s birthplace. Anyway, the first kings we have a record of adopting Islam were from Ghana, which was the first “empire” in western Africa. It really took off in the 11th century. As with all empires, and also everything else, Ghana rose and then fell, and it was replaced by Mali. The kings of Mali, especially Mansa Musa but also Mansa Sulayman his successor, tried to increase the knowledge and practice of Islam in their territory. So for example, when Mansa Musa returned from his hajj, he brought back scholars and architects to build mosques. And the reason we know a lot about Mali is because it was visited by Ibn Battuta, the Moroccan cleric and scholar who kinda had the best life ever. He was particularly fascinated by gender roles in the Malian empire— and by Malian women— writing: “They are extremely beautiful, and more important than the men.” Oh. It must be time for the open letter. [rolls with wild, reckless abandon to the caged inferno] An Open Letter to Ibn Battuta: I wonder what’s in the Secret Compartment today. Oh. I appears to be some kind of fake beard... [a hirsute wish is made] Movie magic! [John = L4D Bill] Stan, why did you do this to me? Dear Ibn Battuta, Bro, I love twitter and my x-box and Hawaiian pizza, but if I had to go into the past and live anyone’s life, it would be yours! Because you were this outlandishly learned scholar who managed to parlay your knowledge of Islam into the greatest road trip in history. You went from Mali to Constantinople to India to Russia to Indonesia; you were probably the most widely traveled person before the invention of the steam engine. And everywhere you went, you were treated like a king and then you went home and wrote a really famous book called the Rihla, which people still read today and also you could grow a real beard and I'M JEALOUS! Best wishes, John Green That was a great open letter. Not to brag er anything, but you know, it was. One more thing about Mansa Musa: There are lots of stories that Mansa Musa attempted to engage in maritime trade across the Atlantic Ocean, and some historians even believe that Malians reached the Americas. DNA investigation may one day prove it, but until then, we’ll only have oral tradition. The Malian Empire eventually fell to the Songhay, which was eventually overthrown for being insufficiently Islamic, meaning that centuries after his death Mansa Musa had succeeded at bringing Islamic piety to his people. All of which is to say that— like China or India or Europe— West Africa had its own empires that relied upon religion and war and incredibly boring dynastic politics. Man, I hate dynastic politics. If I wanted to live in an ostensibly independent country that can’t let go of Monarchy, I’d be like Thought Bubble and move to Canada. Oh, come on, Thought Bubble- that’s not fair. Shut up and take back Celine Dion! Alright, now let’s move to the other side of Africa where there was an alternative model of “civilizational” development. The eastern coast of Africa saw the rise of what historians called the Swahili civilization, which was not an empire or a kingdom but a collection of city states— like Zanzibar and Mombasa and Mogadishu-- — All of which formed a network of trade ports. There was no central authority – each of these cities was autonomous ruled, usually, but not always, by a king. But there were three things that linked these city states such that we can consider them a common culture: language, trade and religion. The Swahili language is part of a language group called Bantu, and its original speakers were from West Africa. Their migration to East Africa not only changed the linguistic traditions of Africa but everything else, because they brought with them iron work and agriculture. Until then, most of the people living in the East had been hunter gatherers or herders, but once introduced, agriculture took hold as it almost always does. Unless, wait for it-- --you’re the Mongols. [Mongol-tage horns sound] Modern day Swahili, by the way, is still a Bantu based language, although it’s been heavily influenced by Arabic. On that topic: For a long time historians believed that the East African cities were all started by Arab or Persian traders, which was basically just racist: they didn’t believe that Africans were sophisticated enough to found these great cities, like Mogadishu and Mombasa. Now scholars recognize that all the major Swahili cities were founded well before Islam arrived in the region and then in fact trade had been going on since the first century CE. But Swahili civilization didn’t begin its rapid development until the 8th century when Arab traders arrived seeking goods that they could trade in the vast Indian Ocean network, the Silk Road of the sea. And of course those merchants brought Islam with them, which, just like in West Africa was adopted by the elites who wanted religious as well as commercial connections to the rest of the Mediterranean world. In many of the Swahili states these Muslim communities started out quite small, but at their height between the 13th and 16th century most of the cities boasted large mosques. The one in Kilwa even impressed Ibn Battuta, who of course visited the city, because he was having the best life ever. Most of the goods exported were raw materials, like ivory, animal hides and timber— it’s worth noting, by the way, that when you’re moving trees around, you have a level of sophistication to your trade that goes way beyond the Silk Road. I mean, if you’ll recall they weren’t just trading tortoise shells and stuff--- [Pouf-dodges with cat-like agility] Not again! Africans also exported slaves along the east coast, although not in HUGE numbers, and they exported gold, and they imported finished luxury goods like porcelain and books. In fact, archaeological digs in Kilwa have revealed that houses often featured a kind of built-in bookshelf. Learning of books through architecture nicely captures the magic of studying history. Archaeology, writing, and oral tradition all intermingle to give us glimpses of the past. And each of those lenses may show us the past as if through some funhouse mirror, but if we’re conscious about it, we can at least recognize the distortions. Studying Africa reminds us that we need to look at lots of sources, and lots of kinds of sources if we want to get a fuller picture of the past. If we relied on only written sources, it would be far too easy to fall into the old trap of seeing Africa as backwards and uncivilized. Through approaching it with multiple lenses, we discover a complicated, diverse place that was sometimes rich and sometimes not— and when you think of it that way, it becomes not separate from, but part of, our history. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you next week. CrashCourse is produced and directed by Stan Muller, Our script supervisor is Danica Johnson, The show is written by my high school history teacher Raoul Meyer and myself And our Graphics Team is ThoughtBubble [Perhaps hanging at the Hoser Hut?] Last week's Phrase Of The Week was Animal Crackers If you want to suggest future phrases of the week or guess at this one, you can do so in comments Also, if you have questions about today's video Ask them, and our team of historians will endeavor to answer them. Thanks for watching and supporting CrashCourse And as we say in my hometown, Don't forget there's always money in the Banana Stand.



The presence of Islam in Africa can be traced to the 7th century CE, when in Rajab 8 BH, or May 614 CE, Muhammad advised a number of his early disciples, who were facing persecution by the polytheistic inhabitants of the Mecca, to seek refuge across the Red Sea in Axum. In the Muslim tradition, this event is known as the first hijrah, or migration. Twenty three Muslims migrated to Abyssinia where they were protected by its king, Armah An-Najāshī (Arabic: الـنَّـجَـاشِي‎), who later accepted Islam. They were followed by 101 Muslims later in the same year. Most of those Muslims returned to Medina in 7 AH / 628 CE but some settled in the neighboring Zeila, which was at that time part of Bilād al-Barbar (Arabic: بِـلَاد الْـبَـرْبَـر‎, "Land of the Berber(s)"). Once in Zeila, they built the Masjid al-Qiblaṫayn (Arabic: مَـسْـجـد الْـقِـبْـلَـتَـيْـن‎, "Mosque of the two Qiblahs") in 627 CE. This mosque has two Qiblas because it was built before the Prophet switched the Qiblah from Jerusalem to Mecca. They also reportedly built Africa's oldest mosque, that is the Mosque of the Companions in the Eritrean city of Massawa.[1] This qibla of this mosque in Massawa points towards Jerusalem as well, though now defunct, occasional prayers are still held in this mosque with qibla correction towards Mecca.[5]

The Great Mosque of Kairouan (also known as the Mosque of Uqba), founded in 670 by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi, is the oldest mosque in Northwest Africa,[6] located in the city of Kairouan, Tunisia
The Great Mosque of Kairouan (also known as the Mosque of Uqba), founded in 670 by the Arab general and conqueror Uqba Ibn Nafi, is the oldest mosque in Northwest Africa,[6] located in the city of Kairouan, Tunisia

In 20 H / 641 CE, during the reign of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab, Muslim troops took over current Egypt and conquered current Libya the following year. Muslims then expanded to current Tunisia in 27 H / 647 CE, during the reign of the third Muslim Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan. The conquest of North Africa continued under the Umayyad dynasty, which annexed parts of Algeria around 61 H/680 CE and Morocco the following year. From the latter Muslim troops crossed the Strait of Gibraltar to Europe in 92 H/711 CE. Islam gained momentum during the 10th century in West Africa with the start of the Almoravid dynasty movement on the Senegal River and as rulers and kings embraced Islam.[citation needed] Islam then spread slowly in much of the continent through trade and preaching. During this period these Muslims from North and West Africa came to be known by Europeans at large as Moors and were depicted by Europeans as black, swarthy or tawny in skin color.[7] By the 9th century, Muslim Sultanates started being established in the Horn of Africa, and by the 12th century the Kilwa Sultanate had spread as far south as Mozambique. Islam only crossed deeper into Malawi and Congo in the second half of the 19th century under the Zanzibar Sultanate. Then the British brought their labor force from India, including some Muslim-Indian nationals, to their colonies in Africa towards the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries.

Islam was introduced to the northern Somali coast early on from the Arabian peninsula, shortly after the hijra. Zeila's two-mihrab Masjid al-Qiblatayn dates to the 7th century, and is the oldest mosque in the city.[8] In the late 9th century, Al-Yaqubi wrote that Muslims were living along the northern Somali seaboard.[9] He also mentioned that the Adal kingdom had its capital in the city,[9][10] suggesting that the Adal Sultanate with Zeila as its headquarters dates back to at least the 9th or 10th century. According to I.M. Lewis, the polity was governed by local dynasties, who also ruled over the similarly-established Sultanate of Mogadishu in the littoral Benadir region to the south. Adal's history from this founding period forth would be characterized by a succession of battles with neighbouring Abyssinia.[10] The local Somalis adopted the Islamic faith well before the faith even took root in its place of origin.[11]

In the following centuries, the consolidation of Muslim trading networks, connected by lineage, trade, and Sufi brotherhoods, had reached a peak in West Africa, enabling Muslims to wield tremendous political influence and power. During the reign of Umar II, the then governor of Africa, Ismail ibn Abdullah, was said to have won the Berbers to Islam by his just administration. Other early notable missionaries include Abdallah ibn Yasin, who started a movement which caused thousands of Berbers to accept Islam.[12]

The History of Islam in Africa and accounts of how the religion spread, especially in North and the Horn of Africa, have always been contentious. Head of Awqaf Africa London, Sheikh Dr. Abu-Abdullah Adelabu has written in his Movements of Islam in face of the Empires and Kingdoms in Yorubaland claims about the early arrival of Islam in the southwestern Nigeria. He seconded the Arab anthropologist Abduhu Badawi on the argument that the early Muslim missionaries had benefited their works from the fall of Kush in southern Sudan and the prosperity of the politically multicultural Abbasid period in the continent which, according to him, had created several streams of migration, moving west in the mid-9th century into Sub-Saharan Africa.[13] Adelabu pointed at the popularity and influences of the Abbasid Dynasty (750–1258), the second great dynasty with the rulers carrying the title of 'Caliph' as fostering peaceful and prosperous migration of the intercultural Muslims from the Nile Valley to Niger as well as of the Arab traders from the desert to Benue. Adelabu's claim seems to be in line with the conventional historical view that the conquest of North Africa by the Umayyad Caliphate between AD 647–709 effectively ended Christianity in Africa for several centuries.[14]

Similarly, in the Swahili coast, Islam made its way inland – spreading at the expense of traditional African religions.[15] This expansion of Islam in Africa not only led to the formation of new communities in Africa, but it also reconfigured existing African communities and empires to be based on Islamic models.[16] Indeed, in the middle of the 11th century, the Kanem Empire, whose influence extended into Sudan, converted to Islam. At the same time but more toward West Africa, the reigning ruler of the Bornu Empire embraced Islam.[12] As these kingdoms adopted Islam, their subjects thereafter followed suit. In praising the Africans' zealousness to Islam, the 14th-century explorer Ibn Battuta stated that mosques were so crowded on Fridays, that unless one went very early, it was impossible to find a place to sit.[12]

In the 16th century, the Ouaddai Empire and the Kingdom of Kano embraced Islam, and later toward the 18th century, the Nigeria based Sokoto Caliphate led by Usman dan Fodio exerted considerable effort in spreading Islam.[12]

Today, Islam is the predominant religion of the northern half of Africa, mainly concentrated in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, as well as West Africa.[citation needed]


The 12th-century Sankore Madrasah, Timbuktu, Mali. One of the earliest universities in the world. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu. Madrasah (Arabic: مَـدْرَسَـة‎) means 'school' or 'university' in Arabic, and in other languages associated with Muslim people.
The 12th-century Sankore Madrasah, Timbuktu, Mali. One of the earliest universities in the world. The three mosques of Sankoré, Djinguereber Mosque and Sidi Yahya compose the famous University of Timbuktu. Madrasah (Arabic: مَـدْرَسَـة‎) means 'school' or 'university' in Arabic, and in other languages associated with Muslim people.

Islam has been in Africa for so long, since its emergence on the Arabian peninsula, that some scholars have argued that it is a traditional African religion.[17]

Although the majority of Muslims in Africa are non-denominational Muslims, Sunni[3] or Sufi, the complexity of Islam in Africa is revealed in the various schools of thought, traditions, and voices that constantly contend for dominance in many African countries. Islam in Africa is not static and is constantly being reshaped by prevalent social, economic and political conditions.[16]

Islam in Africa is often adapted to local cultural contexts and belief systems, thereby forming the continent's own orthodoxies. Different societies in Africa have generally appropriated Islam in both more inclusive ways, or in the more radical ways, as with the Almoravid movement in the Maghreb and Sahara.[18]

Additionally, Islam in Africa has both local and global dimensions. On the local level, experts assert that Muslims (including African Muslims) operate with considerable autonomy and do not have an international organization that regulates their religious practices. This fact accounts for the differences and varieties in Islamic practices throughout the African continent. On the global level, Muslims in Africa are also part of the Ummah (Arabic: أُمَّـة‎, Islamic community worldwide), and follow global issues and current events that affect the Muslim world with keen interest. With globalization and new initiatives in information technology, Muslims in Africa have developed and maintained close connections with the wider Muslim world.[16]

Analysts argue that Muslims in Africa, like other Muslims in Asia, the Middle East and the rest of the world, seem to be locked into an intense struggle regarding the future direction of Islam. At core of the struggle are questions about the way in which Muslims should practice their faith. The scholars assert that the majority seems to prefer to remain on the moderate, tolerant course that Islam has historically followed. However, a relatively small, but growing group would like to establish a stricter form of the religion, one that informs and controls all aspects of society.[16]


The 13th-century Larabanga Mosque of Ghana, one of the oldest surviving mosques in West Africa
The 13th-century Larabanga Mosque of Ghana, one of the oldest surviving mosques in West Africa

The Sharīʿah (Arabic: شَـرِيـعَـة‎) of Islam broadly influences the legal code in most Islamic countries, but the extent of its impact varies widely. In Africa, most states limit the use of Sharia to "personal-status law" for issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody. With the exception of northern Nigeria in West Africa, secularism does not seem to face any serious threat in Africa, even though the new Islamic revival is having a great impact upon segments of Muslim populations. Cohabitation or coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims remains, for the most part, peaceful.[16]

Nigeria is home to Africa's largest Muslim population. In 1999, Nigeria’s northern states adopted the Sharia penal code, but punishments have been rare. In fact, dozens of women convicted of adultery and sentenced to stoning to death have later been freed. Egypt, one of the largest Muslim states in Africa, claims Sharia as the main source of its legislation, yet its penal and civil codes are based largely on French law.[16]


Muslims in Africa mostly adhere to either the non-denominational Muslim stance or Sunnism[3], although there are also a significant number of Quranists, Shias and Ibadi adherents[19]. In addition, Sufism, the mystical dimension of Islam, has a presence. The Maliki madh'hab is the dominant school of jurisprudence amongst most of the continent's Sunni communities, while the Shafi'i madh'hab is prevalent in the Horn of Africa, eastern Egypt, and the Swahili Coast. The Hanafi fiqh is also followed in western Egypt.


Quranism is an umbrella term denoting a strand within Islam that endorses a Quran-oriented form of islam and often eschews hadiths. There are many forms of Quranism and they may not all agree on practical tenets. [20] Quranists who hail from northern Africa include Mohamed Shahrour[21]. In eastern Africa in places such as Sudan, Quranists are persecuted for their beliefs.[22]

Nondenominational Muslims

According to a survey by Pew, there are thirteen countries in Africa wherein at least twenty percent of the Muslim population adheres to a non-denominational form of islam, i.e. are non-denominational Muslims. These countries, as well as the percentages of the Muslim populations who fall under this bracket include, Mali (55%), Nigeria (42%), Cameroon (40%), Tunisia (40%), Guinea Bissau (36%), Uganda (33%), Morocco (30%), Senegal (27%), Chad (23%), Ethiopia (23%), Liberia (22%), Niger (20%), and Tanzania (20%).[3]


Sufism, which focuses on the mystical elements of Islam, has many orders as well as followers in West Africa and Sudan, and, like other orders, strives to know God through meditation and emotion. Sufis may be nondenominational Muslim, Sunni or Shi’ite, and their ceremonies may involve chanting, music, dancing, and meditation.[16]

Many Sufis in Africa are syncretic where they practise Sufism with traditional folklore beliefs. Salafis criticize the folklorists Sufis, who they claim have incorporated "un-Islamic" beliefs into their practices, such as celebrating the several events, visiting the shrines of "Islamic saints", dancing during prayer (the whirling dervishes).[23]

The Great Mosque of Touba, is one of the largest mosques in Senegal, West Africa
The Great Mosque of Touba, is one of the largest mosques in Senegal, West Africa

West Africa and Sudan have various Sufi orders regarded skeptically by the more doctrinally strict branches of Islam in the Middle East. Most orders in West Africa emphasize the role of a spiritual guide, marabout or possessing supernatural power, regarded as an Africanization of Islam. In Senegal and Gambia, Mouridism Sufis claim to have several million adherents and have drawn criticism for their veneration of Mouridism’s founder Amadou Bamba. The Tijani is the most popular Sufi order in West Africa, with a large following in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Gambia.[16]


Relatively recently, Salafism has begun spreading in Africa, as a result of many Muslim Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) such as the World Muslim League, the World Assembly for Muslim Youth, and the Federation of Mab and Islamic Schools primarily funded by Salafi governments in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. These Salafist organizations, often based out of Saudi Arabia, promote a form of conservative reformism and regard Sufism as "heterodox" and contrary to their interpretation of traditional Islam.[16] Such NGOs have built Salafi-dominated mosques and Islamic centers in Africa, and many are staffed by puritanical African Muslims, often trained in the Middle East. Academic scholarships to study in Islamic universities in the Middle East are also offered to further Salafism.[16]

Notable kingdoms and sultanates

Muslim Population In some African Countries

Country Total Population Muslim Percentage Muslim Population
 Morocco 36,471,769 99.50% 34,643,910
 Tunisia 11,694,719 99.00%[24] 11,331,837
 Egypt 100,805,313 94.90%[25] 93,151,461
 Libya 6,798,134 97.00%[26] 6,276,827
 Algeria 43,235,156 99.75%[27] 42,439,599
 Somalia 15,628,976[28] 99.80%[29] 15,597,718
 Ethiopia 109,224,414 33.90%[30] 37,027,076
 Eritrea 6,000,000 37[31]-48.00%[32] 2,300,000-2,900,000
 Djibouti 884,017 94.00%[33] 830,976
 Sudan 43,120,843 97.00%[34] 41,827,218
 Nigeria 203,452,505 53.50%[35] 108,847,090
 Niger 19,866,231 99.30%[36] 19,727,167
 Mauritania 3,840,429 99.90%[37] 3,836,589
 Chad 15,833,116 52.10%[38] 8,249,053
 Mali 18,429,893 93.90%[39] 17,305,670
 The Gambia 2,051,363 95%[40] 1,948,795
 Burkina Faso 19,742,715 61.5%[41] 12,141,770

See also


  1. ^ a b Reid, Richard J. (12 January 2012). "The Islamic Frontier in Eastern Africa". A History of Modern Africa: 1800 to the Present. John Wiley and Sons. p. 106. ISBN 0470658983. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  2. ^ Muslim Societies in African History (New Approaches to African History), David Robinson, Chapter 1.
  3. ^ a b c d "Chapter 1: Religious Affiliation". The World’s Muslims: Unity and Diversity. Pew Research Center's Religion & Public Life Project. August 9, 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2013.
  4. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica. Britannica Book of the Year 2003. Encyclopædia Britannica, (2003) ISBN 9780852299562 p.306
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Further reading

External links

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