Islam in Africa
615 CE Muslims migrate to Abyssinia to escape
persecution from the Makkans. The king of Abyssinia, Negus, treats them well and later
accepts Islam, himself.
670 CE,50 A.H Qairowan (in present-day Tunisia)
founded by Uqbah bin Nafi, Radi-Allahu anhu.
680 CE, 60 A.H Uqbah bin Nafi, Radi-Allahu anhu,
marches west and claims Africa for Islam.
698 CE, 78 A.H Byzantines flee from Carthage and
Muslims get full power on the Berber Country.
750 CE, 132 A.H Muslim Arabs have created a huge
Islamic Empire in Middle East.
900 CE, 287 A.H Arab Merchants come to live in Ghana.
And as Arabs gain more influence, they teach the people of Ghana about Islam. Many
government officials and merchants convert to Islam. Some merchants spend large funds to
builds mosques. Among the first converts were the Mandinke people from the Southern
Sahara. They served as middlemen between Arab traders and Wangara. The Mandinke build
small trading companies that made contact with many different people. They spread Islam
throughout West Africa. Many people converted to Islam because they were impressed by its
teachings and the conduct of the early Muslims. Islam stressed brotherhood of all
believers. This also encouraged peaceful trade between people of different nations.
1000 CE, 390 A.H The city of Timbuktu is founded. As
traders settle there, they bring Islamic scholars with them. Islamic scholars spoke and
wrote Arabic. West African tribes spoke many different languages and so Islam gave them
one language to speak. Nearly every Muslim in Timbuktu learned to read and write. Learning
Qur'an was important for West African Muslims.
1087 CE, 480 A.H Soninke gain control from Al
1100 CE, 493 A.H Berbers, who had long been Muslims,
battle for power.
1203 CE, 599 A.H King Sumanguru over throws Soninke
1235 CE, 632 A.H King of Mali defeats King Sumanguru
and Mali replaces Ghana. This year marked the fall of Ghana.
1307 CE, 706 A.H Mansa Musa, a devout Muslim, becomes
king of Mali. Under his rule, conversions to Islam greatly increased.
1324 CE, 724 A.H Mansa Musa makes pilgrimage to
Makkah and after this pilgrimage, European merchant get interested in Mali's wealth. Mansa
Musa had brought Muslim scholars from Makkah to teach in Mali's learning centers. Mali's
border also expanded under Mansa Musa's rule.
1332 CE, 732 A.H Mansa Musa dies. Mali is ruled by a
series of kings who are unable to protect it's vast territories. Songhai begins to revolt.
People from south raid Mali's southern border.
1400 CE, 802 A.H Mali slowly weakens. Berber's take
over the trade and learning centers of Timbuktu and Walata.
1435 CE, 838 A.H Songhai's prince declares Gao's
independence from Mali.
1464 CE, 868 A.H Songhai begins conquering neighbors
under leadership of Sunni Ali, a Muslim. Gao becomes Songhai's capital. After Sunni Ali
died, his son, a non-Muslim, takes over.
1490 CE, 895 A.H Askia Muhammad over throws Sunni
Ali's son and becomes king of Songhai declaring Islam as the state religion. Askia
Muhammad encourages non-Muslims to convert and invites scholars to his country and his
country becomes a city of learning.
1500 CE, 905 A.H As the number of Muslims increase,
Songhai becomes the greatest empire of Africa.
1585 CE, 993 A.H Morocco ruler captures
Songhai's salt mines.
1590 CE, 998 A.H Morroco's ruler sends soldiers to
conquer Songhai. They wanted to control Songhai's source of gold and in the end, Goa fell,
then Timbuktu, and finally Songhai.