People: Islam and African Society Essay

Submitted By CantDodgeIt
Words: 566
Pages: 3

Continuity and Change Over Time for Africa Islam caused Africa to change in multiple ways. They went from a matriarchal society to a patriarchal, trade went from being mostly regional to throughout Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Ocean, and the political structure went from stateless societies’ to a more centralized and organized government that had laws and garrisons. Although Islam did change those aspects of African society, some aspects of African society remained the same, such as local clans remained and peasants and farmers were less likely to convert. Before Islam spread to Africa, trade was very small and controlled by merchants, but afterwards trade was opened up to the larger Muslim world. This is because when merchants converted to Islam and became Muslim it allowed them to trade with all other Muslims. Islam also enabled North Africa to trade more with the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, while East Africa’s trade increased along the coast with India and other traders in the Persian Gulf. The merchants that converted to Islam that lived on the East African Coast could also begin to trade in the Indian Ocean Basin. Since the merchants were now Muslims they could trade with Muslims from India, Arabia, Persia, and China.
Africa went from being a matrilineal society to a patriarchal after people converted to Islam. This means that before Islam arrived in Africa women had rights which were much closer to their male counterpart. This changed because of the customs inscribed in the Sharia, the Islamic law, which said that males are supposed to be the dominant force in a society. Certain areas of African society remained unchanged, an example of this would be that the majority of the population never converted to Islam, and those who did still maintained their old beliefs, also Africa continued to speak Bantu. Most of the people who converted to Islam were rulers and merchants who used the Islam religion to be benefit themselves. The Merchants would use being a Muslim to increase their trading area. The Rulers would use it to reinforce their authority with Islamic titles, such as emir or caliph. The rulers also didn’t try to convert…