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Spread of Islam to Africa and Asia

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Presentation on theme: "Spread of Islam to Africa and Asia"— Presentation transcript:

1 Spread of Islam to Africa and Asia

2 What is “Dar al-Islam”? The collective regions of Islam – “ Islam-dom” (cf. Christendom) What do Mansa Musa’s Haj & Ibn Battuta’s journals reveal about the nature of “Dar al-Islam”?

3 African trends 1200-1400 State building
 1) Mali, Songhay – created more from military power than ethnic/cultural unity  2) Merchant city-states on west/East coast  3) Portuguese in 15th century brought Africans into world economy more (slavery)  4) Bantu migration continued  

4 African Societies: Diversities and Similarities
Diverse – some large centralized states to stateless societies Differences in geography, language, religion, politics Some spread of Judaism, Christianity & Islam penetrated continent, but not the norm

5 African Societies: Diversities and Similarities
Stateless societies/ local villages   1. kinship and other forms of obligation   2. council of families   3. little concentration of authority       - after internal dispute, can always leave and form new village 4. But unable to mobilize for war, organize large building projects, create stable conditions for long distance trade

6 African Societies: Diversities and Similarities
religion – animistic religion  - power of natural forces  - ritual and worship - dancing, drumming, divination, and sacrifice  - cosmology – how universe worked  - belief in creator deity

7 Spread of Islam Why was Islam attractive?
  Egalitarian teachings – all Muslims are equal    Reinforced African kings authority   Equal footing with Arab invader Mostly elite adopted it

8 Spread of Islam The Christian Kingdoms: Nubia and Ethiopia (influence of Egypt & Axum) “Islands” of Christianity left behind    Muslim invaders allowed them to keep religion – tolerance Met resistance in Kush/Nubia – couldn’t push Islam further south


10 Kingdoms of the Sahel Ghana, Mali, Songhay
Power over subordinate communities  Collect taxes, tribute, military support  Rulers separated from commoners through ritual – think “mandate of heaven”

11 The Niger is one of the great rivers of Africa, stretching over 2,500 miles (4,000 km) in a great arc that extends northward from Guinea to Mali before turning back toward the south and making its way to empty into the Gulf of Guinea. Makes the region inhabitable

12 All 3 kingdoms controlled some aspects of the famous Salt for Gold trade of Western Africa around the northern peak of the Niger River

13 Economy: Gold/Salt trade & agricultural production

14 Caravans traded southern GOLD for Sahara’s SALT with Muslims traders

15 Blind Salt  Gold Trade
How did it work? How did the trade benefit the Empires?


17 GHANA Gov’t based on Kings called “Ghanas” Capital at Koumbi

18 Ghana culture Culture Practiced tradition religions
Muslim traders introduced Islam to kingdom Cavalry & iron weapons enable Ghana to dominate neighbors Great wealth of the king and formal ceremony sets him apart

19 "The King adorns himself like a woman wearing gold necklaces round his neck and bracelets on his forearms and he puts on a high cap decorated with gold and wrapped in a turban of fine cotton.”

20 “He holds an audience in a domed pavilion around which stand ten horses covered with gold-embroidered materials …and on his right, are the sons of the vassal kings of his country, wearing splendid garments and their hair plaited with gold.”

21 At the door of the pavilion are dogs of excellent pedigree
At the door of the pavilion are dogs of excellent pedigree. Round their necks they wear collars of gold and silver, studded with a number of balls of the same metals." 10th century geographer Al-Bakri, quoted in Corpus of Early Arabic Sources for West African History

22 Mali Mali means “where the KING resides””


24 SUNDIATA: Early king - oral tradition tells his story
overcame great obstacles to oust an “evil” king... (ca. 1235) Beginning of the Empire of Mali


26 MANSA MUSA: Greatest King of Mali - Hajj to Mecca; Introduced Islamic culture to Mali

27 Mansa Musa’s haj “put Mali on the Map”


29 Mali Culture Rulers became Muslim prosperous kingdom
Timbuktu became center of learning (university) &Islamic cultural center contained Muslim art, mosques Evidence of trip to the Americas?

30 500 yr old manuscript from Timbuktu
Since the 12th century, accompanying the camel caravans rode the intrepid scholars of Islamic learning, bringing with them over time hundreds of thousands of manuscripts. These bound texts highlighted the great teachings of Islam during the Middle Ages. These sacred manuscripts covered an array of subjects: astronomy, medicine, mathematics, chemistry, judicial law, government, and Islamic conflict resolution. Islamic study during this period of human history, when the intellectual evolution had stalled in the rest of Europe, was growing, evolving, and breaking new ground in the fields of science, mathematics, astronomy, law, and philosophy within the Muslim world. By the 1300s the "Ambassadors of Peace" centered around the University of Timbuktu created roving scholastic campuses and religious schools of learning that traveled between the cities of Timbuktu, Gao, and Djénné, helping to serve as a model of peaceful governance throughout an often conflict-riddled tribal region. At its peak, over 25,000 students attended the University of Timbuktu.

31 SONGHAI SUNNI ALI: conquered cities of Mali
expanded empire to include most of W. African savanna- Songhai controlled both ends of the Salt-Gold Trade

32 ASKIA MUHAMMAD: Empire reached height - golden age of the western Sudan
Skilled traders, fishers, & farmers

33 Went on hajj to Mecca Divided Songhai into 5 provinces, each with gov’t, tax collector, court & trade inspector Introduced laws based on teaching of the Koran warships patrolled Niger

34 The African Slave Trade emerges
“Here there is a certain place where slaves are sold, especially on those days when the merchants are assembled. And a young slave of fifteen years of age is sold for six ducats, and children are also sold. The king of this region has a certain private palace where he maintains a great number of concubines and slaves." Leo Africanus, Moroccan writer/traveller

35 Weakening of Songhai Moroccan kingdom to the north launched continuous attacks Moroccans wanted to control the gold source destroyed the Empire economic decline internal fragmentation

36 The Empire of Mali Sundiata, the “Lion Prince”
 Rulers supported Islam – encouraged obedience to ruler  built mosques, attended public prayers, supported preachers Created peace through loyalty, severely punished crimes  Mansa Musa…       

37 III. Kingdoms of the Grasslands
c. Sundiata – Sunjata – brilliant leader                                                 1. Lion Prince – expanded Mali                                                 2. Originator of social arrangements – divided into clans – caste like                                                             a. 16 free to bear arms, 5 religious, 4 blacksmiths                                                 3. Created peace through loyalty, severely punished crimes                                                             a. Security of traders key to survival                                                             b. Ibn Batuta – Arab traveler – noted impressive security   d. Mansa Musa – 1324 trip to Mecca – awesome, impressive                                                 1. passed out gold – devalued                                                 2. brought back Ishak al-Sahili architect – great Mosque of Jenne

38 III. Kingdoms of the Grasslands
D. City Dwellers and Villagers                         1. Cities flourished – Timbuktu and Jenne                                     a. Mosque, library, university                                     b. Book trade                                     c. Difficult life – soil sandy and shallow                                                 1. Clearing land done communally                                                 2. Polygamy for the purpose of having more labor                                     d. irrigation in Timbuktu

39 The Songhay Kingdom “masters of the soil”; “masters of the waters”
 1370, Songhay broke from Mali – gold trade  Sunni Ali – ruthless, tactical commander  Expanded borders, created administration Mid-16th century Songhay dominated Disrupted by Moroccan invaders created unique brand of Islam - pagan/Muslim beliefs both believed

40 KILWA Located on East African Coast
Independent City-State - not part of kingdom Monopolized (controlled) gold trade with interior

41 Model drawing of Palace of Kilwa - Palace was destroyed by the Portuguese in early 16th century

42 Islamic & African culture blended Swahili language Beautiful mosques
Swahili Culture: Islamic & African culture blended Swahili language Beautiful mosques Hail Mary in Swahili

43 Ruins of the Great Mosque at Kilwa

44 III. Kingdoms of the Grasslands
                        5. Familiar pattern – created unique brand of Islam                                     a. pagan/Muslim beliefs both believed                                                 1. fusion, priests still need to work with local spirits                                     b. local interpretation of Muslim law                                     c. woman mixed freely in public, no veil                         6. Downfall when Muslim army from Morocco came down > this led to revolts                         7. Muslim role in city                                     a. Came as merchants – joined communities                                     b. Though minorities, became elite                                                 1. Located throughout west Africa, but no Islamicized state                                     c. Intermarriage took place

45 Culture of the Grasslands
Large states represented goals of elite family/group leaders took names emir/caliph to reinforce authority as advisors/scribes – Muslims helped with administration maintained theocracy – spiritual and political leader

46 Culture Many African societies matrilineal
Conflicted with Islam (patrilineal) woman mixed freely in public, no veil  Slavery always existed, Muslims saw slavery as process in conversion Used slaves as servants, laborers, soldiers, administrators, eunuchs, concubines  Led to desire to enslave women and children; children of slave mothers freed 

47 III. Kingdoms of the Grasslands
                        3. Adjustment                                     a. Women                                                 1. Many societies matrilineal                                                             a. But…Sharia…Islamic law says it must be patrilineal                                                             b. Many visitors shocked at African women’s equality                                                 2. Impact of slavery – 4.8 > 7 million traded                                                             a. Always existed, Muslims brought it to new heights                                                                         1. Muslims saw slavery as process in conversion b. Used as servants, laborers, soldiers, administrators, eunuchs, concubines             1. Led to desire to enslave women and children             2. Children of slave mothers freed                         a. Need for more slaves

48 IV. The Swahili Coast of East Africa
A. Introduction                         1. Indian Ocean coast – center for Islamic influence                                     a. string of Islamicized trading cities – why?                                                 1. universal set of ethics                                                 2. maritime contacts easier                         2. Compromise between indigenous ways and new faith

49 The Swahili Coast of East Africa
The Coastal Trading Ports      1. Founding – Bantu people from 1st century to 10th century        a. Even Indonesia and Malay in 2nd century- bananas/coconuts on Madagascar        b. Fishers, farmers made rough pottery & iron

50 IV. The Swahili Coast of East Africa
2. 13th century – urbanized trading ports – at least 30 port towns                                     a. Shared Swahili language                                     b. Contained mosques, tombs, palaces cut of stone and coral                                     c. Exported ivory, gold, iron, slaves, exotic animals                                     d. Imported silks – Persia, porcelain – China                                     e. Sofala – beautiful coastal city, gold access, furthers south to catch monsoon                                                 1. Riding the monsoon season key to trading in Indian Ocean]                                     f. link to coastal commerce and caravan trade                                     g. Chinese sailing expeditions – 1417 > 1431 – big boats

51 IV. The Swahili Coast of East Africa
            C. Mixture of Cultures – Islam fused with local religions – not entirely accepted                         1. 13th century – great Islamic expansion                                     a. Trust and law to facilitate trade                                     b. Ruling families built mosques and palaces                                     c. Claimed to be descendants of Persian ruling families                                                 1. Gave rule legitimacy                                     d. Rulers and merchants Muslim, but others retained beliefs                         2. Swahili language – Bantu + Arabic words                                     a. Arabic script used                         3. Islam didn’t penetrate internally                                     a. Class based                         4. Women – some still were matrilineal, some patrilineal                         Portuguese arrive                                     a. Wanted to control gold trade                                     b. Established Fort Jesus, but couldn’t control trade

52 V. Peoples of the Forest and Plains
            A. Introduction                         1. Internally – following own trajectories independently                                     a. Some herding, some agricultural                                     b. Some small villages, some larger states                         2. Most preliterate – knowledge, skills, traditions through oral methods                                     a. But…could still make strides in arts, building and statecraft

53 V. Peoples of the Forest and Plains
B. Artists and Kings: Yoruba and Benin                         1. Nigeria, Nok                                     a. Terra cotta/bronze realistic/stylized art                                                 1. portrait heads of rulers                                     b. Long gap in history                         2. Yoruba                                     a. Agricultural society led by ruling family/aristocracy                                     b. City Ile-Ife                                     c. Spoke non-Bantu language                                     d. Small city-states, regional kings                                     e. Urbanized nature similar to city-states of Italy/Germany                         3. Benin – Edo peoples                                     a. Ivory/bronze art – sculptures                                                 1. Some even included Portuguese soldiers                                     b. Ruler in large royal compound

54 V. Peoples of the Forest and Plains
C. Central African Kingdoms                         1. South of rain forest near Lake Victoria 2. State formation replaced kinship based societies             a. Rituals reinforced ruler’s power             b. Luba peoples - believed leaders controlled fertility of humans/agriculture.             D. The Kingdom of Kongo and Mwene Mutapa                         1. Kongo                                     a. Art – weaving, pottery, blacksmithing                                     b. Sharp division of labor                         2. Farther east – Bantu confederation – built royal courts of stone                                     a. zimbabwes – stone houses – Great Zimbabwe most famous                                                 1. Some even believed Phoenicians – prejudices                                     b. Mwene Mutapa                                                 1. Controlled gold, glass beads, porcelain trade                                                 2. Iron weapons

55 Global Connections -more written records in Sudanic states and Swahili coast – Islam Synthesis of African/Islamic values changed some Africans lives Portuguese arrived in 15th century Muslims and Portuguese intensified trade of ivory, slaves and gold

56 Islam comes to India How different from previous invaders ?
Why the difference? How and why spread of Islam different here than in Africa? Raiza Sultan? Impact of Tamerlane? 1500’s – establishment of the Mughal Empire.





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