Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Muslim Societies in African History
Muslim Societies in African History


  • 15 b/w illus.
  • Page extent: 242 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.49 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: n/a
  • Dewey version: n/a
  • LC Classification: BP64.A1 R63 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Islam--Africa--History
    • Muslims--Africa--History

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521826273 | ISBN-10: 0521826276)

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.

• A concluding chapter offers reflections on the Muslim world in Africa in the wake of September 11, 2001 • Non-technical language, clear case-studies and maps and illustrations make Muslim societies in Africa understandable to undergraduates • Suggestions for further reading included


Part I. Introduction: the Foundations: 1. Muhammad and the birth of Islam; 2. The basic institutions of the faith; Part II. Explorations in the Islamic Identities of Africa: 3. The Islamization of Africa; 4. The Africanization of Islam; 5. Muslim identity and the Slave Trades; 6. Western views of Africa and Islam; Part III. Extended Case Studies: Muslim Societies in Old Nation-States of Africa: 7. Morocco: Muslims in a Muslim nation; 8. Ethiopia Muslims in a Christian nation; Part IV. Muslim Societies in Pre-Colonial Africa: 9. Asante and Kumasi: a Muslim minority in a sea of Paganism; 10. Sokoto and Hausaland: Jihad within the Dar al-Islam; Part V. Muslim Societies in Colonial Africa: 11. Buganda: religious competition for the Kingdom; 12. The Mahdi and competing imperialisms; 13. The Muridiyya: a Sufi Brotherhood under French Colonial rule; Conclusion.


'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

'Muslim Societies in African History should do well in the textbooks market. It deserves to be read beyond that market.' African Research and Documentation

'… remarkable book clearly emerged in dialogue … With its combination of general chapters, regional case studies and bibliographical information, the book is highly recommendable as an introduction for non-specialist readers.' Achim von Oppen, University of Berlin

'David Robinson's excellent new textbook Muslim societies in African history documents the interplay between Islamic thought and African political imagination on a wider scale.' Historical Journal

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis