AfricaThe Arrival And The Sources Of Islamic Architecture In Africa
Coupled with Islamic architectural influence in Africa are the processes of Arabization in northern Africa spawned by migrating and conquering Muslims who were spreading the faith and the new forms of political leadership that Islam inspired from the early part of the seventh century C.E. The religion founded by the prophet Muhammad (c. 570–632 C.E.) spread rapidly throughout most of the Arabian Peninsula into northern Africa. By 641 Egypt had fallen to the Muslim conquerors, and it was only a matter of time before the remaining parts of Byzantine North Africa fell. The rapid spread of Islam and its new building traditions, which incorporated traditions from Byzantine Rome, helped inspire various styles of Islamic architecture in northern Africa. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia, started around 670 and completed in the ninth century, is one of the great mosques that set the pace for the new building traditions that emerged in northern Africa. The evidence that Islam had spread to most of West and East Africa before the tenth century is abundant, and Islamic-inspired architectural structures dating to the fourteenth century can be located in Mali, such as the Great Mosque of Djinguere Ber, and Tanzania, such as the Palace of Husuni Kubwa at Kilwa. It is important to keep in mind that the styles of Islamic architecture varied greatly between northern, western, and eastern Africa.
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