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These examples grew the process of Islamisation or conversion to Islam, as it gathered momentum. Islam also spread into West Africa through the activities of Muslim clerics, marabouts and scholars or mallams. These clerics or learned men founded their own religious centres which attracted students from all parts of the Western Sudan and who on the completion of their studies and training went back to their own homes to win converts.
Many of them went on lecture or missionary tours to convert people, while others became advisers to Sudanese Kings on how to become effective rulers. Some clerics devoted a great deal of their time to writing books and instructions on all aspects of Islam for the education and conversion of people or the purification and strengthening of Islam.
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Some examples of clerics follow:. Both of them settled in Mali where they taught Islam. Al-Sahili also designed the great mosque of Timbuktu as well as a magnificent palace for Mansa Musa in the capital of Mali. He built a mosque and introduced the practice of Koran recital and other devotional exercises. Another brilliant Berber scholar called Abd al-Rahman al-Maghili established his Zawiyaie Islamic school in Tuat in the Sahara, and from there went on a missionary tour of the Western Sudan which lasted from to During this tour, he visited Air, Takedda, Kano, Katsina and Gao and preached to both rulers and commoners.
Islam gained ground in West Africa through the activities of the individual rulers. The rulers of the Western Sudan encouraged the trans-Saharan trade and extended hospitality to both traders and visiting clerics, but perhaps one of the most important ways in which they encouraged acceptance of Islam was through their own conversion. With a Muslim King or ruler it rapidly became a matter of prestige among the aristocracy also to convert to Islam in many kingdoms.
Many rulers made considerable efforts to encourage Muslim institutions such as Islamic tax and legal systems or the provision of facilities such as mosques, through the appointment of Muslim officials such as judges and butchers who observe the Islamic code and to lead prayers, celebrating Muslim festival and ordering every town under their control to observe the ritual prayers.
The pilgrimages that many of the rulers undertook — such as Mansa Musa and Askia Mohammed — had a considerable spiritual effect increasing their determination both to strengthen and purify Islam and to spread it even further. What is more, another way in which Islam was introduced and spread in West Africa in general and the Western Sudan in particular was the militant jihad, or the waging of holy war against infidels or lukewarm Muslims. This method allowed the third and final stage of the process of Islamisation to reach its climax with the nineteenth-century jihad in the Western Sudan, between Mali and Senegambia and Hausaland in northern Nigeria.
The first jihad in the Western Sudan which has accounts was that waged by the head of the Sudanese confederation. It was Tarsina against the Sudanese people in , soon after his return from the pilgrimage to Mecca. He was killed during these clashes. The second is that of the King of Takrur, War-Ajabbi, before his death in The third and the best known of these early jihads was the one declared by the Almoravid movement of ancient Ghana between and by the scholar, Abdallah Ibn Yasin.
Between and s, the Almoravid conquered the whole area between ancient Ghana and Sijilmasa. By the Almoravid Empire stretched from the Senegal in the south across the Mediterranean to Spain in the north. Islam also spread on to West Africa through inter-marriages. The Muslim merchants from North Africa came down settled and married the African women who became Muslims including their children.
The early Muslim missionaries opened Islamic schools and colleges. The products of these schools and colleges also did well by spreading the religion. They worked with the rulers as advisors, councilors etc. Also one of the greatest clerics and missionaries of the Western Sudan was al-Hajj Suware, the Soninke scholar founded the important Zawiga at Diakha — Bambuk which attracted students from all over the Western Sudan during the first half of the thirteenth century.
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Scholarship was indeed also attractive to rulers in West Africa, because the widespread use of the Arabic script made administering their kingdoms easier, and tax revenues easier to accrue. Thus, Timbuktu became known for its famous Djingnereber Mosque and prestigious Sankore University, both of which were established in the early s under the reign of the Mali Empire, most famous ruler Mansa Musa.
Islam had a great impact on the people and states of Western Sudan and for that matter West Africa in general. Unlike Christianity, Islam is not a just a religion or a mass of doctrines or beliefs and rituals, but rather a complete way of life or civilization. The following are the effects of Islam in West Africa. Islam cut across family, clan and ethnic ties and loyalties and emphasized unity and brotherhood.
It enabled rulers to build larger Kingdoms and empires embracing different peoples and Linguistic groups. It also provided them with a commonly accepted basis of authority in place of African traditional religious which differed from place to place. Many of the rulers of Western Sudan, such as Mansa Musa of Mali, Askia Mohammed of Songhai and Idris Alooma of Borno did attempt to use Islam in these ways to generate a feeling of unity and as a basis of their authority.
Most of the Muslim rulers of Western Sudan adopted the Muslim systems of justice and taxation. Thus, Islam promoted a more efficient administration in some of the states of Western Sudan since it enabled the rulers to employ educated Muslims as secretaries, administrators, judges and diplomats and also to correspond with provincial rulers and administrators. It is significant that even non-Muslim rulers such as those of ancient Ghana before the eleventh century employed some Muslims in their administration.
Furthermore, the holy wars which some rulers waged helped to extend the frontiers of their states. The rulers of Western Sudan established strong diplomatic relations with other Muslim rulers abroad as Mansa Musa and Idris Alooma did with those of Egypt and Tunis respectively.
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The hajj brought pilgrims into contact with technology and scholarship at the centre of the Muslim world, which were often adopted and introduced when the pilgrims returned home. For instance, Idris Alooma of Borno brought back from his pilgrimage musketeers and Turkish military instructors, and created musketeers corps in his army which enabled him to extend the frontiers of his state relatively with ease. The pilgrimage or hajj which Muslims were expected to undertake if they were able to do so, contributed in many ways to the growth and strength of some of the states.
This power was of great importance, especially for the rulers, since it greatly increased their reputation and religious standing among their subjects. Indeed, it is because of the acquisition of this power that the hajj was and is still so popular among Muslims, especially, Muslim rulers. There was the replacement of the worship of false gods in some areas. Converts seriously observed the five pillars of Islam, namely; daily prayers including the Friday congregational prayer, fasting, compulsory alms-giving and pilgrimage to Mecca hajj.
Islam introduced literacy as well as Muslim education into West Africa. Literacy made it possible for scholars to preserve the history and the oral traditions of some of the states in books. Literacy also enabled people in the Western Sudan to join access to the invaluable Islamic literature, sciences and philosophy which broadened their knowledge, improved their statecraft and widened their horizon.
As Islam continued to spread in West Africa, schools and educational centres were established in large towns and cities in Western Sudan. Islam produced great scholars in Western Sudanese states and West Africa as a whole. The third was Ahmed Baba, the author of fifty works on law and a biographical dictionary. Thirteen of his writings are known.
He was also the owner of an important library. There was also the change in cultural life as a result of the introduction of Islam in West Africa. In all the states of Western Sudan-Muslim wives of prominent men were required to live in purdah seclusion and to veil their faces when they went out.
Islam helped in the introduction of burnt brick for example, Ibrahim As-Sahil designed a magnificent brick mosque in Gao, Timbuctu and a stone palace in Mali for Mansa Musa. Islam promoted trade between West Africa and the Mediterranean. The religion developed and widened the trans-Saharan Caravan trade. The trade enriched the West African and the Muslim traders.
Muslims from North Africa came in their numbers and settled in the commercial centres. This helped in the development of the cities such as Timbuctu, Gao, Jenne and Kano. The Islamic religion had a great effect on West African societies.
In the first place, it challenged traditional African religion, weakening the basis on which some of the Sudanese states such as Kanem and ancient Ghana rested, contributing to their downfall. Secondly, it often divided the ruling group into Muslim and non-Moslem factions, conflict between which further weakened some of the states such as Songhai. Thirdly, the jihad not only caused periodic outbreaks of instability and chaosin the Western Sudan but also precipitated the downfall of some states like the Hanusa.
From here it is important to understand the history of Islam in West Africa through different movements. So the remainder of the chapter looks at some key moments: the Almoravids and Ghana, the role of the Jakhanke the rise of Sokoto in Nigeria, and the importance of Omar Tal in the 19th century. The Almoravid dynasty was an imperial Berber Muslim dynasty centered in Morocco. It established an empire in the 11th century that stretched over the western Maghreb and Al-Andalus.
The Almoravid capital was Marrakesh, a city which was the ruling house founded in The Gudala nomadic Berber tribes of the Sahara, traversing the territory between the Draa, the Niger and the Senegal rivers. The Almoravids were crucial in preventing the fall of Al-Andalus to the Iberian Christian kingdoms, when they decisively defeated a coalition at the Battle of Sagrajas in This enabled them to control an empire that stretched 3, kilometers North to South, from Senegambia to Spain. Ibn Yasin certainly had the ardour of a puritan zealot, his creed was mainly characterised by a rigid formalising and a strict adherence to the dictates of the Quran and orthodox tradition.
He responded to questioning with charges of apostasy and handed out harsh punishments for the slightest deviations. The Gudala soon had enough and expelled him almost immediately after the death of his protector, Yahaya Ibn Ibrahim, sometime in the s. Ibn Yasin, however, found a more favourable reception among the neighbouring Lamtuna people. The Lamtuna leaders, however, kept Ibn Yasin on a careful leash, forging a more productive partnership between them. He identified tribalism, in particular, as an obstacle. He believed it was not enough to urge his audiences to put aside their blood loyalties and ethnic differences, and embrace the equality of all Muslims under the Sacred Law, it was necessary to make them do so.
For the Lamtuna leadership, this new ideology dovetailed with their long desire to refound the Sanhaja union and recover their lost dominions. In the earlys, the Lamtuna, under the joint leadership of Yahya Ibn Umar and Abdallah Ibn Yasin-soon calling themselves the al-Murabitin Almoravids -set out on a campaign to bring their neighbours over to their cause.
From the year , the Almoravids began to spread their religious way to the Berber areas of the Sahara, and to the regions south of the desert. After winning over the Sanhaja Berber tribe, they quickly took control of the entire desert trade route, seizing Sijilmasa at the northern end in , and Aoudaghost at the southern end in Yahya Ibn Umar was killed in a battle in , but Abdullah Ibn Yasin, whose influence as a religious teacher was paramount named his brother Abu Bakr Ibn Umar as chief.
Under him, the Almoravids soon began to spread their power beyond the desert, and conquered the tribes of the Atlas Mountains. The Berghouata resisted. Abdullah ibn Yasin was killed in battle with them in , in Krifla, a village near Rommani, Morocco. They were, however, completely conquered by Abu Bakr Ibn Umar, and were forced to convert to orthodox Islam. Abu Bakr married a noble and wealthy Berber woman, Zaynab an-Nafzawiyyat, who would become very influential in the development of the dynasty.
Zaynab was the daughter of a wealthy merchant from Houara, who was said to be from Kairouan. In , Abu Bakr Ibn Umar made a division of the power he had established, handing over the more-settled parts to his cousin Yusuf Ibn Tashfin as viceroy, and also assigning to him his favourite wife Zaynab. Ibn Umar kept the task of suppressing the revolts that had broken out in the desert. When he returned to resume control, he found his cousin too powerful to be superseded. In Novermber , Abu Bakr was killed in battle — according to oral tradition by an arrow, while fighting in the historic region of the Sudan.
In he founded the city of Marrakech. In , he conquered the kingdom of Tlemcen in modern-day Algeria and founded the present city of that name, his rule extending as far east as Oran.
According to Arab tradition, the Almoravids conquered the Ghana Empire sometime around An example of this tradition is the record of historian Ibn Khaldun, who cited Shaykh Uthman, the faqih of Ghana, writing in According to this source, the Almoravids weakened Ghana and collected tribute from the Sudan, to the extent that the authority of the rules of Ghana dwindled away, and they were subjected and absorbed by the Soso, a neighboring people of the Sudan.
Traditions in Mali related that the Soso attacked and took over Mali as well, and the ruler of the Soso, Sumaouro Kante Sumanguru Kante took over the land. Lisbon was conquered by the Portuguese in According to some scholars, Ali Ibn Yusuf provided a new generation of leadership that had forgotten the desert life for the comforts of the city.
He was defeated by the combined action of his Christian foes in Iberia and the agitation of Almohads the Muwahhids in Morocco. In he was killed in a fall from a precipice while attempting escape after a defeat near Oran. The conquest of the city of Marrakech by the Almohads in marked the fall of the dynasty, though fragments of the Almoravids the Banu Ghanaiya, continued to struggle in the Balearic Islands, and finally in Tunisia. Abdallah Ibn Yussin imposed very strict discipline measures on his forces for every breach of his laws The Almoravid first military leader, Yahya Ibn Umar al-Lamtuni, gave them a good military organization.
Their main force was infantry, armed with javelins in the front ranks and pikes behind, which formed into a phalanx, and was supported by camelmen and horsemen on the flanks. They also had a flag carrier as the front who guided the forces behind him, when the flag was upright, the combatants behind would stand and when it was turned down, they would sit.
Al-Bakri reports that, while in combat, the Almoravids did not pursue those who fled in front of them. Their fighting was intense and they did not retreat when disadvantage by an advancing opposing force, they preferred death over defeat. These characteristics were possibly unusual at the time. A history of Islam in West Africa cannot be complete without a mention, however brief, of the Jakhanke Islamic Movement which arose in the 12th century under the charismatic scholar Alhajj Salim Suwareh who helped to spread Islam in the present day countries of Mali, Guinea, Senegal and The Gambia, the most Islamized countries in West Africa today.
The Jakhanke Islamization effort indeed have borne rich fruit! But let us begin by addressing the brass tacks: who were the Jakhanke? Why do they deserve attention in our study of the spread of Islam in West Africa? Today, they are erroneously categorized as Mandinka. Apparently, the Jakhanke who are found in the Senegambia region today in large numbers do not put much premium on their ethnic origins but rather on their work as propagators of Islam in the past years.
This is exactly why the Jakhanke should interest us. They started a peaceful propagation of Islam in the Senegambia region. This is all the more relevant as we write today because of the rampant violence associated with Islam in many parts of the world. Much of the subsequent styles, and techniques associated with the peaceful spread of Islam in Senegambia is their creation. In a nutshell, they set the standards for missionary work. What were these standards? Chiefly, they professed the peaceful path to Islam.
They did not raise the sword to spread the religion. But just as they had methods, they also had tactics! For example, they believed in numbers and therefore were keen to multiply their talibes or disciples. The disciples having gone through years of tutelage, would be allowed to disperse and then mass up new disciples themselves.
Through massification, the Jakhanke helped to strengthen their religion. Also, they had a tactic of withdrawing into enclaves far from the maddening crowds, so to speak.
Generally, Jakhanke needed the quietude of the monastery and thus were very good at establishing theocratic entities sometimes deep in the Senegambian Savannah, where they developed self sustaining communities dedicated to Islamic scholarship and renditions. So far absent in our discussion is the figure of Alhaji Salim Suwareh, the founder of the Jakhanke Islamic movement we have discussed above. He was a central in the success of the Jakhanke missionary work and therefore deserves our brief attention.
His early life is shrouded in mystery, but a few strands deserve serious attention and are revealing. Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory n. Book Description Cambridge University Press, Never used! This item is printed on demand. Seller Inventory Language: English. Brand new Book. The Making of Peace represents a fascinating contribution to the study of war: namely, the difficulties that statesmen have confronted in attempting to put back together the pieces after a major conflict. These essays examine how Western belligerents have addressed - or failed to address - the making of peace across a span of two and a half millennia and in contests reflecting a broad range of prompting disputes.
Some efforts produced at best a momentary suspension of hostilities. Others transformed the very context of international relations. Defined more modestly, however, as the control and moderation of violence, some peacemaking efforts were notably more successful than others. This study also serves as a first draft of a guide for those who will confront the equally difficult task of maintaining the peace, once achieved. It contains path-breaking essays by leading historians of the United States and the United Kingdom.
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Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Williamson Murray. Publisher: Cambridge University Press , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title The Making of Peace represents a unique contribution to the study of war: namely, the difficulties that statesman have confronted in attempting to put back together the pieces after a major conflict.
Review : "All of the essays are clearly written, informative, intellectually stimulating, and full of important insights.