Timeline - Islam in Africa
615 CE Muslims migrate to Abyssinia to escape persecution from the Makkans. The king of Abyssinia, Negus, treats them well and later accepts Islam, himself.
670 CE,50 A.H Qairowan (in present-day Tunisia) founded by Uqbah bin Nafi, Radi-Allahu anhu.
680 CE, 60 A.H Uqbah bin Nafi, Radi-Allahu anhu, marches west and claims Africa for Islam.
698 CE, 78 A.H Byzantines flee from Carthage and Muslims get full power on the Berber Country.
750 CE, 132 A.H Muslim Arabs have created a huge Islamic Empire in Middle East.
900 CE, 287 A.H Arab Merchants come to live in Ghana. And as Arabs gain more influence, they teach the people of Ghana about Islam. Many government officials and merchants convert to Islam. Some merchants spend large funds to builds mosques. Among the first converts were the Mandinke people from the Southern Sahara. They served as middlemen between Arab traders and Wangara. The Mandinke build small trading companies that made contact with many different people. They spread Islam throughout West Africa. Many people converted to Islam because they were impressed by its teachings and the conduct of the early Muslims. Islam stressed brotherhood of all
believers. This also encouraged peaceful trade between people of different nations.
1000 CE, 390 A.H The city of Timbuktu is founded. As traders settle there, they bring Islamic scholars with them. Islamic scholars spoke and wrote Arabic. West African tribes spoke many different languages and so Islam gave them one language to speak. Nearly every Muslim in Timbuktu learned to read and write. Learning Qur'an was important for West African Muslims.
1087 CE, 480 A.H Soninke gain control from Al Moravids.
1100 CE, 493 A.H Berbers, who had long been Muslims, battle for power.
1203 CE, 599 A.H King Sumanguru over throws Soninke king.
1235 CE, 632 A.H King of Mali defeats King Sumanguru and Mali replaces Ghana. This year marked the fall of Ghana.
1307 CE, 706 A.H Mansa Musa, a devout Muslim, becomes king of Mali. Under his rule, conversions to Islam greatly increased.
1324 CE, 724 A.H Mansa Musa makes pilgrimage to Makkah and after this pilgrimage, European merchant get interested in Mali's wealth. Mansa Musa had brought Muslim scholars from Makkah to teach in Mali's learning centers. Mali's border also expanded under Mansa Musa's rule.
1332 CE, 732 A.H Mansa Musa dies. Mali is ruled by a series of kings who are unable to protect it's vast territories. Songhai begins to revolt. People from south raid Mali's southern border.
1400 CE, 802 A.H Mali slowly weakens. Berber's take over the trade and learning centers of Timbuktu and Walata.
1435 CE, 838 A.H Songhai's prince declares Gao's independence from Mali.
1464 CE, 868 A.H Songhai begins conquering neighbors under leadership of Sunni Ali, a Muslim. Gao becomes Songhai's capital. After Sunni Ali died, his son, a non-Muslim, takes over.
1490 CE, 895 A.H Askia Muhammad over throws Sunni Ali's son and becomes king of Songhai declaring Islam as the state religion. Askia Muhammad encourages non-Muslims to convert and invites scholars to his country and his country becomes a city of learning.
1500 CE, 905 A.H As the number of Muslims increase, Songhai becomes the greatest empire of Africa.
1585 CE, 993 A.H Morocco ruler captures Songhai's salt mines.
1590 CE, 998 A.H Morroco's ruler sends soldiers to conquer Songhai. They wanted to control Songhai's source of gold and in the end, Goa fell, then Timbuktu, and finally Songhai.