Examining a series of processes (Islamization, Arabization, Africanization) and case studies from North, West and East Africa, this book gives snapshots of Muslim societies in Africa over the last millennium. In contrast to traditions which suggest that Islam did not take root in Africa, author David Robinson shows the complex struggles of Muslims in the Muslim state of Morocco and in the Hausaland region of Nigeria. He portrays the ways in which Islam was practiced in the 'pagan' societies of Ashanti (Ghana) and Buganda (Uganda) and in the ostensibly Christian state of Ethiopia - beginning with the first emigration of Muslims from Mecca in 615 CE, well before the foundational hijra to Medina in 622. He concludes with chapters on the Mahdi and Khalifa of the Sudan and the Murid Sufi movement that originated in Senegal, and reflections in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001.
In The Press
'At a time when popular interest in global Islamic studies is growing, this book's arrival is welcome, particularly given its suitability as an undergraduate textbook. … the book can function as a core text for a semester-long survey. It uses easy language, assumes no prior knowledge of Islamic history, and provides recommendations for further reading at the end of each chapter, as well as a glossary of terms at the back of the book. … the book has much to offer scholarly audiences, too, because of the author's wide erudition and his ability to set the development of African Islam against the broad sweep of global Islamic history. As a lucid and concise overview of major trends in African Islamic history, Muslim Societies in Africa will make an ideal undergraduate textbook as well as a useful reference for historians.' Heather J. Sharkey, University of Pannsylvania