Islam Influences

Topics: Islam, Africa, Religion Pages: 2 (440 words) Published: April 12, 2012
Islam influences sub-Saharan African Culture

The relationship between the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa is complex and can be examined from many perspectives. It could be looked upon as a cultural level, given the intertwining of historical association, settlement, and religion between populations through time. Lastly, the relationship may be examined within the context of a maturing alternative Islamic development agenda which intends to be established and nurtured in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Islamic influences in sub-Saharan Africa are political, religious, and economical, culturally the intertwining of historical association, settlement, and religion between populations through time. Between 600’s and 700’s North Africa changed in the area of Religious and Social but stayed the same in political. Islam brought to Africa new religious beliefs, rituals, and practices, although some African cultures already had the idea of a supreme being, most also recognized the presence of many other minor gods and spirits. The Islamic belief that there is no God but Allah clashed with African polytheistic beliefs. However, many West African converts readily accepted Muslim prayers and charms, as their traditional religions already had similar elements. In addition, some Africans saw Muhammad's role as Allah's messenger as similar to the role of holy men and women in their own religions. Islam also posed a political problem for African rulers who adopted it. In many traditional societies, the rulers' leadership was based partly on their role as guardians of the religious traditions. So rulers who accepted Islam had to abandon some African beliefs, and this move weakened their claim to leadership. African kings and chiefs were often torn between the demands of Muslim scholars and those of the indigenous priests and non-Muslims who made up the majority of their subjects. For the last century or so, Islam's influence in Africa has been challenged by Christian...
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