Effects of Islam on West Africa Essay

290 WordsDec 16, 20142 Pages
Between 1000 C.E., and 1750 C.E., Islam entered West Africa and changed the country’s political, economic, and cultural structures. Throughout the years, Islam changed West Africa’s trade route, culture, and government structure. In 1000 C.E., West Africa’s political structure had no centralized government. The country ran off of feudalism. Their wealth came from trade across the Sahara Desert; they traded slaves and other goods. West Africa had gold, and everyone wanted it. Gold paid a huge tribute to their wealth. The cultural structure was based off of different local religions and practices; there wasn’t one official religion. Along with West Africa, other countries relied on trade for their wealth. As Islam entered West Africa, several aspects began to change. Their trade route expanded to Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Due to Muslim merchants bringing Islamic practices into West Africa, the local religions combined with Islam. For example, people continued to wear charms as protection (a practice of Muslims), but began to visit mosques daily. Furthermore, rulers gained more control. The gender roles of the women and men remained the same. Lastly, the Ghana Empire began to fall. Ghana fell due to other countries’ jealousy of their wealth. When Ghana was completely fallen, the Mali Empire eventually took over in 1235. Towards the end of the time period, Timbuktu became a major trade point. Trading was very common between many countries and states. Islam continued to grow. Eventually, Mansa Musa (Mali’s ruler) declared that the Islam religion would be their official religion. In conclusion, Islam impacted West Africa greatly by increasing trade, blending cultures, and changing government structures. In the time period of 1000 C.E. to 1750 C.E., several Islamic states rose and
Open Document