WEST AFRICA & ISLAM:
BEFORE & AFTER
Before Islam…
Before Islam…
“Evil” spirits
Belief in Spirits
“Nature” spirits
“Good” spirits
Before Islam…
 African Tribal dance
 http://www.metmuseum.org/special/Genesis/origi
n_video.htm
How did Islam spread to West
Africa?
After Islam…
Africa: Before & After
Before Islam
After Islam
Society
Language
• Matriarchal
• Patriarchal
• Tribal languages
(Soninke, Mande)
What
religion
looked
like
• Polytheistic
• Ancestor worship
• Spirits (nature,
good, evil, etc.)
• Arabic (in gov’t, trade, &
cities)
• Tribal languages
• 3 Options: Convert to
Islam, maintain old ways
or blend both religions
Africa: Before & After
Before Islam
After Islam
Culture
• Oral (SPOKEN)
language
• Written language (Arabic)
in addition to oral one
Gov’t
• Importance of
Kinship
• Only men could
inherit property
• Laws based on Islam
(Qur’an & Sunnah)
• Women given some
rights when fathers died
Economy
• $$$ from gold/salt • $$$ from gold/salt
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West Africa before Islam