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Discuss the Effect of Islam upon West Africa Essay

Change Over Time Essay Assignment # 1The camel. with its ability to go long distances without H2O and carry heavy tonss. facilitated trans-Saharan communicating.

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During the 7th and 8th centuries CE. Islamic vanquishers had added North Africa to the dar al-Islam. By the terminal of the 8th century CE. Muslim merchandisers had crossed the Sahara and initiated commercial dealingss with Sub-Saharan West Africa and by the beginning of the 2nd millenary. Islam had become entrenched in West African life. Islam dramatically changed West Africa culturally. politically. and economically in the clip period between 1000 CE and 1750 CE. but many basics of West African society remained the same.

Economically. Islam ushered a new epoch of economic prosperity into West Africa. The acceptance of Islam by West African provinces provided them with common land upon which provinces such as Mali greatly expanded their gold trade to embrace Arab and Mediterranean states. Established Muslim trade paths facilitated the immense addition in the volume of African trade. Commercial metropoliss sprung up across West Africa. with commercialism increasing Timbuktu’s population to 100. 000. In the 12th century. Muslim merchandisers introduced cotton. rice. and citrus fruits to West Africa ; by the 16th century cotton was the chief fabric produced in West Africa.

European demand for cotton fabrics ensured that West Africa would stay economically comfortable. Muslim merchandisers expanded the African break one’s back trade to a Continental degree. supplying Europeans with a model upon which to construct the ruinous Atlantic slave trade. replacing little graduated table tribal bondage with immense province economic systems built wholly around capturing slaves and selling them to foreign states. However. despite these immense alterations in economic methods and volume. West African provinces relied to a great extent upon trade as the rule signifier of economic support throughout periods of Islamic influence.

The addition in trade with Islamic merchandisers between 1000 and 1750 led to the pervasion of Muslim civilization among West African peoples. Islamic swayers built big mosques and universities where people could larn about Islam. every bit good as other countries of cognition. These universities spread literacy within West African society. Islam was by and large tolerant of traditional values. such as polygamy. This allowed it greater popularity than Christianity. and decreased opposition to transition. Islam was non forced upon citizens by their male monarchs. but instead was voluntarily encouraged. Despite this. many people adopted Islam. particularly those who interacted with Muslim merchandisers. However. many of those who adopted Islam did non follow Islam in its original signifier. but instead combined it with traditional spiritual beliefs to make a syncretistic faith. There was much societal convulsion among purists. such as the Fulani. and those who practiced syncretistic Islam. Despite the big Islamic influence in the country. many chose non to follow a syncretistic religion and instead kept their traditional beliefs.

The integrating of Islamic civilization into West Africa. every bit good as the economic prosperity that Islamic trade brought West Africa. led to the creative activity of big centralised provinces. As opposed to the little lands. such as the land of Ghana. that the first Islamic merchandisers encountered in West Africa. by the 15th century two big centralized imperiums had emerged. Muslim influence played a big portion in the creative activity of these big imperiums. First. the gross created by integrating of West Africa into Islamic trade allowed West African swayers to make and back up big standing ground forcess. These ground forcess ensured that these imperiums could protect their peoples and beginnings of income. every bit good as exert their influence.

Second. Islamic jurisprudence. known as Shari’a. introduced to West Africa allowed for incorporate regulation. Previously. changing tribal Torahs had caused upset and atomization. every bit good as discontent. Islamic jurisprudence facilitated and demanded the creative activity of big centralised imperiums. However. Islam itself did non needfully go the sole faith of these imperiums ; many. so most. citizens of these imperiums clung to and practise their traditional heathen spiritual beliefs. Following the prostration of these two imperiums. West African political construction returned to the little regional lands that had been West African norm before Muslim merchandisers crossed the Sahara.

Overall. the Islam greatly. sometimes even wholly. changed cultural. political. and economic environments in West Africa between 1000 CE and 1750 CE. Examples of this alteration include the debut of centralised lands. trans-Saharan trade. and Muslim values. Despite this great alteration. many elements of West African society. such as popular faith. dependance on trade. and basic values remained the same despite Muslim influence up through 1750 CE. Near the terminal of that period. Africa began to be colonized by European states. and fell under European influence.