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Map Link: Geographic Zones of Africa:
610 First revelation to Muhammad
c. 615 Some Muslims flee to Abyssinia (Ethiopia)
Late 7th/early 8th c. Muslims take N. Africa
8th c. First Muslim records of W. Africa
Map Link: Africa in 1453:
Role of trade
“Silent trade”?
Muslims buying gold, slaves, ivory, indigo
leather, beeswax. Selling horses, dates,
wheat, dried grapes, nuts, textiles,
copper and silver goods
Role of trade
African rulers controlling trade
Rulers in W. Sudan finding it useful to
convert to Islam
Mansa Musa of Mali (r. c. 1307-36)
Great Mosque of Jenné (bt. 13th c., rebuilt 1907)
Sankoré Mosque, Timbuktu (bt. 15th c.,
rebuilt 16th c., 18th c., 19th c.)
In E. Sudan
Trade also playing prominent role
Role of immigration of Arabs and others
Harar, Ethiopia, as intellectual centre
Conversion of rulers in Western Sudan, more
widely in Eastern Sudan
Impact of local religions on African Islam
Ibn Battuta (1304-btw. 1368 and 1377)
Late 16th c./early 17th c. Fragmentation
of Sudanese states
Weakening of Islam in cities
Strengthening of Islam in rural areas
Map Link: Africa in 1648:
1725 Fula/Fulani/Fulbe rebellion/jihad
1750 Fula take control of Futa Jalon
Map Link: Africa in 1789:
Slave trade
Prisoners of war, criminals
Muslim states as new market
Portuguese in 15th c., other European
powers in 16th c.
Slave trade
17th c. Establishment of plantations in
By 1750: c. 70,000 slaves taken every year
to Americas
Slave trade
Depopulation in parts of Africa
Muslim slaves
African slaves as workforce to replace
native Americans, essential to
European economies
Muhammad ibn Battuta (b. Tangier 1304,
d. Morocco btw. 1368 and 1377)
Shams al-Din Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad
ibn ‘Abd Allah al-Tanji
Trained as qadi, then in 1325 set out to
perform hajj and find teachers. By time
returned to Morocco in 1349 had
covered over 60,000 miles and done
hajj three times
Muhammad ibn Battuta (b. Tangier 1304,
d. Morocco btw. 1368 and 1377)
Travelled through most of Muslim world.
Met Ottoman sultan Orhan (r. 1326-62),
Il-Khan Abu Sa‘id (r. 1316-35) and
Uzbeg, Khan of Golden Horde (r. 1313-41)
Served sultan of Delhi for 7 years as qadi,
and spent several months in Maldives in
same role. Visit to China may have been
added to his travelogue (rihla) by his editor
Later visited Mali and Granada