M3 Discussion 1: The Development of Islam and Its Spread in Africa
Unlocked: Monday, October 25, 2021 12:01 AM MDT – Sunday, October 31, 2021 11:59 PM MDT.Subscribe
To study the ancient history of Africa is difficult due to a lack of written resources, but with the coming of Islam to the continent, the task became much easier. In this discussion, you will focus on the rise of Islam as a monotheistic religion and the rapid spread of Islam, particularly on the African continent.
Using at least one secondary source and your eText answer the following questions focusing on one of the African empires discussed in this module as an example:
- How does the spread of Islam compare to the spread of previous religions such as Buddhism and Christianity?
- What made Islam so appealing to different societies in West and East Africa? Why?
Make sure to incorporate historical evidence from the sources and source types noted in the prompt to support your points and use proper citations. You may use sources other than those found in the Recommended Resources, but you should write at least 300 words in your response.
Reply to at least two other students’ posts with substantive responses of at least 100 – 150 words, and be sure to reply briefly to your instructor as well.
Main post Includes at least two quotes or paraphrases as evidence from relevant sources of the type required in prompt; includes properly formatted citations and a bibliography of sources in one of the approved formats (MLA, APA, or Chicago Style for Humanities.
Heres the 2 peers to respond with 150 words after main post is done.
peer 1 ( Lilliana Garza)
How does the spread of Islam compare to the spread of previous religions such as Buddhism and Christianity? “The history of Islam in West Africa can be explained in three stages, containment, mixing, and reform. In the first stage, African kings contained Muslim influence by segregating Muslim communities, in the second stage African rulers blended Islam with local traditions as the population selectively appropriated Islamic practices, and finally in the third stage, African Muslims pressed for reforms in an effort to rid their societies of mixed practices and implement Shariah. This three-phase framework helps sheds light on the historical development of the medieval empires of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay and the 19th century jihads that led to the establishment of the Sokoto Caliphate in Hausaland and the Umarian state in Senegambia.” This quote is telling me what it is like for muslims in west africa and what it is like for them to blend in. they have to go through 3 stages in order to reform themself.
“This trade network, or diaspora, was closely associated with the diffusion of Islamic studies, including mysticism in the later centuries, and enabled Islam to penetrate peacefully beyond the Sahel—the semiarid region of African between the Sahara and the savannahs—into the savannah area. In the coastal trading communities of East Africa the process of interaction between the Middle Eastern immigrants, mainly south Arabians, and the dominant African groups created a new urban ethos in which Islam blended with the indigenous local culture to produce Swahili Islam. The cross-cultural trade in many parts of Africa, apart from reinforcing cultural self-identity and nurturing religious commitment, fostered a pluralist structure in which commerce, Islam, and the indigenous system supported the urban network. In this way a balance was established between local ritual prescriptions and those of universal Islam.” I know this is a lot but i thought all of this would be important to know what is so appealing about west and east africa. This is so appealing to me because it caught my eye right away when i saw this paragraph. I thought even though this was a long paragraph everyone who is reading this should know how many different things they have in culture wise, nectwork, and group.
hill, Margari (2009). The Spread of Islam in West Africa: Containment, Mixing, and Reform from the Eighth to the Twentieth Century https://spice.fsi.stanford.edu/docs/the_spread_of_islam_in_west_africa_containment_mixing_and_reform_from_the_eighth_to_the_twentieth_century/
“African Culture and Islam .” Encyclopedia of Islam and the Muslim World. . Retrieved October 25, 2021 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/african-culture-and-islam
peer 2 ( Sarah Svenson )
The spread of Islam and Christianity are both closely linked, as they follow the same principles and beliefs. The main principle that set both apart from their predecessors’ religious was that “If they chose to join the church, they had to abandon all previous religious commitments and associations.” (Ehrman) Both promoted a sort of exclusivity, positing that you could only believe in their god if you condemned all other gods and religions. If you joined Christianity or Islam, you agreed that the gods you believed in before were fake. This helped to spread both religions and stomped out all other religious competition. Both Islam and Christianity spread through low class citizens first, before slowly making their way up to figures of power. By going from the bottom to the top, it allowed both to spread quickly. However, where these religions differ are the reasons for which they started and how that contributed to their spreading. While Christianity may be known for its more violent crusades, it started as strictly a spiritual belief, in contrast to Islam which strived for uniformity across culture, language, and government. Christianity worked its way to the top through spiritual belief, from which it transformed into a political device. Christianity weaponized their beliefs, creating “… a need for salvation that no one knew they had.” (Ehrman) Christianity gave rewards and punishments for believers and nonbelievers, which made people think that they would be sent somewhere horrible after their death if they did not believe. This was one way that Christianity spread so fast, promoting salvation and damnation.
Islam was so appealing to societies in eastern and western Africa because its main principle was to promote accountability for those of lesser status and wealth. His “… early converts belonged to groups of people who had failed to achieve any significant social mobility, which, of course, included many of the poor. His followers memorized his recitations and message that called for the powerful to take care of the weak, a message that resonated with many of these economically and socially marginalized.” (Berger) With a vast majority of Africans being lower class individuals, following a religion that required those higher up to take care of you was especially appealing. Word of this spread fast among poorer citizens in different communities, which spread to different African societies.
Berger, Eugene Clark, et al. World History: Cultures, States, and Societies to 1500. University of North Georgia Press, 2016. Etext
Ehrman, Bart D. “Inside the Conversion Tactics of the Early Christian Church.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 29 Mar. 2018, https://www.history.com/news/inside-the-conversion-tactics-of-the-early-christian-church.