Article

Islam in Africa

Abdulkader Tayob

in Islamic Studies

ISBN: 9780195390155
Published online December 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195390155-0003
Islam in Africa

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The study of Islam in Africa provides some useful insights into the history of Islam as a global and localized religious tradition. Its history and spread in Africa are closely connected with the history of Islam from its very beginning. Overland from North Africa, or by sea route along the East African coast, religious trends like Sufism and reform, or political movements like Islamism (modern reformism) and radicalism are rooted in African religious experiences. Africa was not merely a recipient of these various movements. The long and varied history gave rise to deep cultural interactions that produced syntheses, syncretisms, and also tensions and conflicts between Islamic normative ideas and local cultural traditions. The study of Islam and local cultures in general can hardly be appreciated without an understanding of Islam in Africa. This entry presents a guide to the history of Islam in Africa, with a particular focus on sub-Saharan Africa. It addresses the major historical periods when Muslims played influential roles in African kingdoms through postcolonial developments. Moreover, it guides researchers to thematic issues on the interaction between Islam and local traditions.

Article.  8978 words. 

Subjects: Islam

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