Islam and dating
Islamic Influence on African Societies Islamic political and aesthetic influences on African societies remain difficult to assess.
D., only a few decades after the Prophet Muhammad moved with his followers from Mecca to Medina on the neighboring Arabian Peninsula (622 A. Between the eighth and ninth centuries, Arab traders and travelers, then African clerics, began to spread the religion along the eastern coast of Africa and to the western and central Sudan (literally, “Land of Black people”), stimulating the development of urban communities.
Given its negotiated, practical approach to different cultural situations, it is perhaps more appropriate to consider Islam in Africa in terms of its multiple histories rather then as a unified movement.
The first converts were the Sudanese merchants, followed by a few rulers and courtiers (Ghana in the eleventh century and Mali in the thirteenth century).
In the sixteenth century, the majority of Muslim scholars in Timbuktu were of Sudanese origin.
The spread of Islam throughout the African continent was neither simultaneous nor uniform, but followed a gradual and adaptive path.
However, the only written documents at our disposal for the period under consideration derive from Arab sources (see, for instance, accounts by geographers al-Bakri and Ibn Battuta).