The Cultural Economic and Political Impact of Islam on West Africa

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Between 1000 and 1750 C.E. Islam entered West Africa and increased its trade, many Islamic states rose and fell, but many aspects of African religion and gender roles remained unchanged. Between 1000 and 1700, Islam caused West Africa to experience an increase in trade and economic activity, the rise and fall of several Islamic states and empires, and provided new practices to be blended with the traditional African culture. In the period of 1000 and 1750 C.E Islam increased West African economics by increasing trade. Muslim merchants brought Islam into West Africa and it spreads throughout the rest of Africa. Islam helped expand trading routes from just the Trans-Saharan to outside of Africa, like Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Also Timbuktu in both the Mali and Songhai Empires becomes a major trading point. Second, Islamic states rose and fell during the period of 1000 and 1750 C.E. The Ghana Empire which fell in 1224 never converted to Islam. However the Mali Empire was established around 1235. It was a multi-ethnic state with various religious and cultural groups. Mansa Musa made Islam the official religion of the state, and in 1324 displays the wealth of the Mali Empire when he makes the pilgrimage to Mecca, and devalues gold in Egypt for about a decade because he spends so much. Third, many aspects of African religion and gender roles remained unchanged, however new practices were blended in with the traditional African culture. African rulers began to adopt Islam while ruling over populations with diverse faiths and cultures. Many of these rulers blended Islam with traditional and local practices in what is called the mixing phase. Over time, the population began to adopt Islam. In conclusion, Islam impacted West Africa greatly by increasing trade, and blending its culture with West African culture. As for the political aspect many Islamic states rose and fell, in the time period of 1000 and 1750 C.E.
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