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Islam - Africa - Muslim Frontier Communities, Islamic Philosophy, Indigenous Vehicles Of Islamization, Bibliography

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It was the long, drawn-out confrontation of the seventh century C.E. between the emerging Islamic caliphate and the declining Roman Empire over the Mediterranean African shores, and the subsequent breakdown of the empire, that created favorable conditions for the establishment of the two earliest Islamic frontier provinces in North Africa: Egypt and Tunisia. But the establishment of these two provinces did not, by itself, lead to immediate large settlements of immigrant Muslims, or to dramatic transformations in African communities. Yet, barely six hundred years after the death of the prophet Muhammad, various African communities and chieftains had either adopted Islam as a court religion or incorporated Muslim practices into their religious systems. Grasping the cultures and structures of these Islamized and Islamizing communities is indispensable to understanding the development of Islam in Africa. However, space does not permit a detailed examination of each of these communities. For our purposes it is sufficient to identify the major frontier communities through which Islam made inroads into Africa, to give a brief summary of the main controversies in Islamic philosophical outlook, to examine the types of African social forces that appropriated it, and to make a few observations that seem relevant for an understanding of the current signs of regeneration of Islam in modern Africa.

Islam - Shii - Bibliography [next]

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