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12 March 2011

Africa: The continent of Islam:"Afrique: Le continent de l'Islam" أفريقيا : قارة الإسلام

Don't Forget Africa: The continent of Islam:
"Afrique: Le continent de l'Islam"
 أفريقيا : قارة الإسلا

The Larabanga Mosque of Ghana, one of the oldest mos
quesDon't Forget Africa: The continent of Islam:"Afrique: Le continent de l'Islam"  أفريقيا : قارة الإسلام

Africa is predominantly an Islamic continent. According to a May 9, 2009 Congressional Research Service report, there were 371,459,142 Muslims, 304,313,880 Christians, 137,842,507 who practiced indigenous religions, and 9,818,542 people who practiced other religions in Africa.[2]
The presence of Islam in Africa can be traced to the seventh century when the prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him] advised a number of his early disciples, who were facing persecution by the pre-Islamic inhabitants of the Mecca, to seek refuge across the Red Sea in the Christian Kingdom of Abyssinia (modern day Ethiopia) under the rule of al-Najashi. In the Muslim tradition, this event is known as the first hijrah, or migration. These first Muslim migrants provided Islam with its first major triumph, and Africa became the first safe haven for Muslims and the first place Islam would be practiced outside of the Arabian Peninsula. Seven years after the death of Muhammad (in 639 AD), the Arabs advanced toward Africa and within two generations, Islam had expanded across North Africa and all of the Central Maghreb.[1][2] In the following centuries, the consolidation of Muslim trading networks, connected by lineage, trade, and Sufi brotherhoods, had reached a crescendo in West Africa, enabling Muslims to wield tremendous political influence and power. During the reign of Umar II, the then governor of Africa, Ismail ibn Abdullah, was said to have won the Berbers to Islam by his just administration. Other early notable missionaries include Abdallah ibn Yasin, who started a movement which caused thousands of Berbers to accept Islam.[5]
Similarly, in the East African coast, Islam made its way inland - spreading at the expense of traditional African religions. This expansion of Islam in Africa not only led to the formation of new communities in Africa, but it also reconfigured existing African communities and empires to be based on Islamic models.[2] Indeed, in the middle of the eleventh century, the Kanem Empire, whose influence extended into Sudan, converted to Islam. At the same time but more toward West Africa, the reigning ruler of the Bornu Empire embraced Islam.[5] As these kingdoms adopted Islam, its populace thereafter devotedly followed suit. In praising the Africans' zealousness to Islam, the fourteenth century explorer Ibn Battuta stated that mosques were so crowded on Fridays, that unless one went very early, it was impossible to find a place to sit.[5]
In the sixteenth century, the Ouaddai Empire and the Kingdom of Kano embraced Islam, and later toward the eighteenth century, the Nigeria based Sokoto Caliphate led by Usman dan Fodio exerted considerable effort in spreading Islam.[5] Today, Islam is the predominant religion of Northern Africa, mainly concentrated in North and Northeast Africa, as well as the Sahel region. This has served to further differentiate the various cultures, customs and laws of different parts of the African continent. Although the majority of Muslims in Africa are Sunni or Sufi, the complexity of Islam in Africa is revealed in the various schools of thought, traditions, and voices that constantly contend for dominance in many African countries. African Islam is not static and is constantly being reshaped by prevalent social, economic, and political conditions.[2] The Sharia law broadly influences the legal code in most Islamic countries, but the extent of its impact varies widely. In Africa, most states limit the use of Shar’ia to “personal-status law” for issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody. With the exceptions of Nigeria and Somalia, secularism does not seem to face any serious threat in Africa, even though the new Islamic revival is having a great impact upon segments of Muslim populations. Cohabitation or coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims remains, for the most part, peaceful.[2]
Nigeria is home to Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest Muslim population. In 1999, Nigeria’s northern states adopted the Shar’ia penal code, but punishments have been rare[Wikipedia]
For more details for each country, click : 

Algeria · Angola · Benin ·Botswana · Burkina Faso · Burundi · Cameroon · Cape Verde · Central African Republic ·Chad · Comoros · Democratic Republic of the Congo ·Republic of the Congo ·Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) · Djibouti · Egypt · Equatorial Guinea ·Eritrea · Ethiopia · Gabon · The Gambia · Ghana · Guinea · Guinea-Bissau · Kenya · Lesotho ·Liberia · Libya · Madagascar · Malawi · Mali ·Mauritania · Mauritius · Morocco · Mozambique ·Namibia · Niger · Nigeria · Rwanda · São Tomé and Príncipe · Senegal · Seychelles ·Sierra Leone · Somalia · South Africa · Sudan · Swaziland · Tanzania ·Togo · Tunisia ·Uganda · Zambia · Zimbabwe
Main source: Wikipedia
Islam, Slavery & Africans:
Abdullah Hakim Quick, an African-American convert to Islam, sheds light on the fascinating topic of Islam and the African people. From the beginning, Africa has been a continent of various religions and beliefs including monotheism. Therefore, Islam (the root definition of which is "submission to the one God") was not a new concept in Africa, and the Prophet Muhammad (P) simply came to confirm this. In this talk at the University of Florida, Imam Quick looks at the root of "racial" slavery while making a survey of what slavery was like during the time of the Prophet (P). What was, or is, the role of slavery in Islam? And is it possible that the concept of slavery has changed with time? This lecture is full of important historical information relevant for all races of people, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Other topics discussed: stereotyping, the separation of Asia and Africa, Columbus, evidence of Muslims resisting slavery in the early Americas, the present-day economic-spiritual-psychological slavery, non-Muslim scholars not using primary sources, and the connections between Muslim slaves in Haiti & Africa. (Abdullah Hakim Quick was born in the U.S. and accepted Islam in Canada in 1970. He pursued his study of Islam at the Islamic University of Madinah where he graduated and received an ijaza from the College of Da'wah and Islamic Sciences in 1979.
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