The History of Islam in Africa

In a beautiful courtyard at the Dar al Islam Teachers’ Institute in New Mexico, Sulayman Nyang discusses the development of Islam in Africa beginning with the first migration of Muslims to Abyssinia up to their expansion into Spain.

Dr. Nyang, a historian, professor and author of several books on Islam, begins by looking at how and why Islam crossed the Red Sea into Africa and how the Muslim civilization rapidly became a thriving world power.

A brief historical background of Egypt is discussed in order to provide a context for understanding the spread of Islam across North Africa, and the phenomenon of “Arabization” and “Islamization” are examined as a means for the spread of Islam south of the Sahara.

The speaker also covers the Berbers in Libya and their assimilation into Arab culture, the establishment of the Muslim naval power and the various Sufi movements that played key roles in this profound expansion.

Other topics discussed: links between Africa and the Abrahamic faiths, Afro-Semitic people, development of trade routes, significance of gold trading, Arabtowns, conversion of African nobles, and the Al-Murabitun and Al-Muwahiddun movements.

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