Islam Affecting West Africa, East Asia, and Europe

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AP WORLD ESSAY

Islam is the second largest religion on Earth today, having 23% of the world following it; very close to Christianity, which has 33%. It has been around 1400 years since the beginning of Islam, and since then, it’s been spreading. Islam is appealing to people, because of its belief in one god, the role of women and their privileges, its views on every person being equal in God’s eyes, and other religious ideologies. From the years 1000 to 1750 C.E., Islam most influenced West Africa, South Asia, and Europe, having both changes throughout the regions, as well as continuities.

West Africa was introduced to Islam through merchants who traded in the Trans-Saharan Trade. Before Islam, West African tradition and culture was very ancient. They still had ancestor worship, still had rituals and sacrifices. The role of women was respected heavily, but the concept of women owning property wasn’t there yet. West African culture brought people closer to each other, and created unions and communities; people were very friendly to each other. At the arrival of Islam, women were allowed to have property. Now there was a belief in one god. What did stay the same were the vast communities that were present. The communities helped spread Islam to others, and it gave people something to talk about, and a way to keep themselves company. Before Islam, West African economy wasn’t as good. Because of Islam, trade flourished within West Africa. People had more wealth to support their families. Luxuries were somewhat there. Politically, pre-Islam, West Africa was scrambled. There wasn’t any specific government present. People were just living, doing their own thing. After Islam arrived, there wasn’t much change. People were still just living, but there were now mosques and with mosques, there were imams.

South Asia was introduced to Islam through merchants as well, but in the Silk Road. Economically, the region flourished. It brought in many exotic things, like...
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