THE SPREAD OF ISLAM Among the People of AFRICA
AFRICA Part TWO
A History of the Propagation of the Muslim Faith
T.W. Arnold Ma. C.I.F
Professor Of Arabic, University Of London, University College. Written in 1896, revised in 1913
Rearranged by Dr. A.S. Hashim
In the West of Africa
In the West of Africa two orders have been especially instrumental in the spread of Islam, the Qadiriyyah and the Tijaniyyah. The former, the most widespread of the religious orders of Islam, was founded in the twelfth century by Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani, said to be the most popular and most universally revered of all the saints of Islam,—and was introduced into Western Africa in the fifteenth century, by emigrants from Tuat, one of the oases in the western half of the Sahara; they made Walata the first center of their organization, but later on their descendants were driven away from this town, and took refuge in Timbuktu, further to the east. In the beginning of the nineteenth century the great spiritual revival that was so profoundly influencing the Muslim world, stirred up the Qadiriyyah of the Sahara and the Western Sudan to renewed life and energy, and before long, learned theologians or small colonies of persons affiliated to the order were to be found scattered throughout the Western Sudan from the Senegal to the mouth of the Niger. The chief centers of their missionary organization are in Kanka, Timbo (Futah-Jallon) and Musardu (in the Mandingo country).
For the guiding principles that governed the life of Abd al-Qadir were love of his neighbor and toleration: though kings and men of wealth showered their gifts upon him, his boundless charity kept him always poor, and in none of his books or precepts are to be found any expressions of ill-will or enmity towards the Christians; whenever he spoke of the people of the Book, it was only to express his sorrow for their religious errors, and to pray that God might enlighten them. This tolerant attitude he bequeathed as a legacy to his disciples, and it has been a striking characteristic of his followers in all ages.
The Tijaniyyah, belonging to an order founded in Algiers towards the end of the eighteenth century, have, since their establishment in the Sudan about the middle of the nineteenth century, pursued the same missionary methods as the Qadiriyyah, and their numerous schools have contributed largely to the propagation of the faith.
But unlike the Qadiriyyah, they have not refrained from appealing to the sword to assist in the furtherance of their scheme of conversion, and, unfortunately for a true estimate of the missionary work of Islam in Western Africa, the fame of their Jihads or religious wars has thrown into the shade the successes of the peaceful propagandist, though the labors of the latter have been more effectual towards the spread of Islam than the creation of petty, short-lived dynasties.
The records of campaigns, especially when they have interfered with the commercial projects or schemes of conquest of the white men, have naturally attracted the attention of Europeans more than the unobtrusive labors of the Muslim preacher and schoolmaster.
But the history of such movements possesses this importance, that—as has often happened in the case of Christian missions also—conquest has opened out new fields for missionary activity, and forcibly impressed on the minds of the faithful the existence of large tracts of country whose inhabitants still remained unconverted.
Some mention has already been made of the introduction of Islam into this part of Africa. The seed planted here by Abd Allah b. Yasin and his companions, was fructified by continual contact with Muslim merchants and teachers, and with the Arabs of the oasis of al-Ḥawḍ and others. A traveler of the fifteenth century tells how the Arabs strove to teach the Negro chiefs the law of Muhammad, pointing out how shameful a thing it was for them, being chiefs, to live without any of God's laws, and to do as the base folk did who lived without any law at all. From which it would appear that these early missionaries took advantage of the imposing character of the Muslim religion and constitution to impress the minds of these uncivilized savages.
We have ampler details of a more recent movement of the same kind, which had been set on foot in the south of Senegambia by a Mandingo, named Ṣamudu, commonly known by the name Samory, a pagan soldier of fortune born about 1846, who became a Muslim early in the course of his career and founded an empire, south of Senegambia, in the country watered by the upper basin of the Niger and its tributaries.
An Arabic account of the career of Samory, written by a native chronicler, gives us some interesting details of his achievements. It begins as follows : "This is an account of the Jihad of the Imam Aḥmadu Ṣamudu, a Mandingo. . . . God conferred upon him His help continually after he began the work of visiting the idolatrous pagans, who dwell between the sea and the country of Wasulu, with a view of inviting them to follow the religion of God, which is Islam.
Know all ye who read this— that the first effort of the Imam Ṣamudu was a town named Fulindiyah. Following the Book and the Law and the Traditions, he sent messengers to the king at that town, Sindidu by name, inviting him to submit to his government, abandon the worship of idols and worship one God, the Exalted, the True, whose service is profitable to His people in this world and in the next; but they refused to submit.
Then he imposed a tribute upon them, as the Quran commands on this subject; but they persisted in their blindness and deafness.
The Imam then collected a small force of about five hundred men, brave and valiant, for the Jihad, and he fought against the town, and the Lord helped him against them and gave him the victory over them, and he pursued them with his horses until they submitted.
Nor will they return to their idolatry, for now all their children are in schools being taught the Quran, and a knowledge of religion and civilization. Praise be to God for this."
They Opened schools in the conquered towns, established there the organization of their order, and both instructed the new converts and sought to win fresh ones.
With regard to these militant movements of Muslim propagandism, it is important to notice that it is not the military successes and territorial conquests that have most contributed to the progress of Islam in these parts; for it has been pointed out that, outside the limits of those fragments of the empire of al-Ḥajj Omar that have definitively remained in the hands of his successors, the forced conversions that he made have quickly been forgotten, and in spite of the momentary grandeur of his successes and the enthusiasm of his armies, very few traces remain of this armed propaganda.
Merchants from the Hausa country in their frequent trading expeditions have brought the knowledge of their religion, and have succeeded during the last and the present century in winning large numbers of converts.
Especially noteworthy is the activity of those Qadiriyyah preachers and Muslim traders who have won fresh converts to their faith since the French occupation has brought peace to the country; this peaceful penetration has been facilitated in the French Sudan, as in other parts of Africa that have recently come under the sway of European powers, by the consideration shown by French officials to the educated classes, who are of course all Muslims, and by the open contempt with which the degraded habits and superstitions of the pagan fetish-worshippers are regarded.
But the proselytizing work of the order that is now to be described has never in any way been connected with violence or war and has employed in the service of religion only the arts of peace and persuasion.
The Sanusiyyah sect
In 1837 a religious society was founded by an Algerian jurisconsult, named Sidi Muhammad b. Ali al-Sanusi, with the object of reforming Islam and spreading the faith; before his death in 1859, he had succeeded in establishing, by the sheer force of his genius and without the shedding of blood, a theocratic state, to which his followers render devoted allegiance and the limits of which are every day being extended by his successors.
The members of this sect are bound by rigid rules to carry out to the full the precepts of the Quran in accordance with the most strictly monotheistic principles, whereby worship is to be given to God alone, and prayers to saints and pilgrimages to their tombs are absolutely interdicted.
They must abstain from coffee and tobacco, avoid all intercourse with Jews or Christians, contribute a certain portion of their income to the funds of the society, if they do not give themselves up entirely to its service, and devote all their energies to the advancement of Islam, resisting at the same time any concessions to European influences.
This sect is spread over the whole of North Africa, having religious houses scattered about the country from Egypt to Morocco, and far into the interior, in the oases of the Sahara and the Sudan.
The center of its organization was in the oasis of Jaghabub in the Libyan desert between Egypt and Tripoli, where every year hundreds of missionaries were trained and sent out as preachers of Islam to all parts of northern Africa. It is to the religious house in this village that all the branch establishments (said to be 121 in number) looked for counsel and instruction in all matters concerning the management and extension of this vast theocracy, which embraced in a marvelous organization thousands of persons of numerous races and nations, otherwise separated from one another by vast differences of geographical situation and worldly interests.
For the success that has been achieved by the zealous and energetic emissaries of this association is enormous ; convents of the order are to be found not only all over the north of Africa from Egypt to Morocco, throughout the Sudan, in Senegambia and Somaliland, but members of the order are to be found also in Arabia, Mesopotamia and the islands of the Malay Archipelago.
Though primarily a movement of reform in the midst of Islam itself, the Sanusiyyah sect is also actively proselytizing, and several African tribes that were previously pagan or merely nominally Muslim, have since the advent of the emissaries of this sect in their midst, become zealous adherents of the faith of the Prophet. Thus, for example, the Sanusi missionaries labored to convert that portion of the Baele (a tribe inhabiting the hill country of Ennedi, E. of Borku) which was still heathen, and communicated their own religious zeal to such other sections of the tribe as had only a very superficial knowledge of Islam, and were Muslim only in name; the Tedas of Tu or Tibesti, in the Sahara, S. of Fezzan, who were likewise Muslims only in name when the Sanusiyyah came among them, also bear witness to the success of their efforts.
The missionaries of this sect also carry on an active propaganda in the Galla country and fresh workers are sent thither every year from Harar, where the Sanusiyyah are very strong and include among their numbers all the chiefs in the court of the Amir almost without exception.
In the furtherance of their proselytizing efforts these missionaries open schools, form settlements in the oases of the desert, and — noticeably in the case of the Wadai — they have gained large accessions to their numbers by the purchase of slaves, who have been educated at Jaghabub and when deemed sufficiently well instructed in the tenets of the sect, enfranchised and then sent back to their native country to convert their brethren. It would appear, however, that the influence of this order is now on the decline.
Slight as these records are of the missionary labors of the Muslims among the pagan tribes of the Sudan, they are of importance in view of the general dearth of information regarding the spread of Islam in this part of Africa. But while documentary evidence is wanting, the Muslim communities dwelling in the midst of fetish-worshippers and idolaters, as representatives of a higher faith and civilization, are a living testimony to the proselytizing labors of the Muslim missionaries, and (especially on. the south-western borderland of Islamic influence) present a striking contrast to the pagan tribes demoralized by the European gin traffic.
This contrast has been well indicated by a modern traveler, in speaking of the degraded condition of the tribes of the Lower Niger : "In steaming up the river (i. e. the Niger), I saw little in the first 200 miles to alter my views, for there luxuriated in congenial union fetishism, cannibalism and the gin trade.
But as I left behind me the low-lying coast region, and found myself near the southern boundary of what is called the Central Sudan, I observed an ever-increasing improvement in the appearance of the character of the native; cannibalism disappeared, fetishism followed in its wake, the gin trade largely disappeared, while on the other hand, clothes became more voluminous and decent, cleanliness the rule, while their outward more dignified bearing still further betokened a moral regeneration.
Everything indicated a leavening of some higher element, an element that was clearly taking a deep hold on the negro nature and making him a new man. That element you will perhaps be surprised to learn is Islam.
On passing Lokoja at the confluence of the Benue with the Niger, I left behind me the missionary outposts of Islam, and entering the Central Sudan, I found myself in a comparatively well-governed empire, teeming with a busy populace of keen traders, expert manufacturers of cloth, brass work and leather; a people, in fact, who have made enormous advances towards civilization,"
In order to form a just estimate of the missionary activity of Islam in Nigritia. it must be borne in mind that, while on the coast and along the southern boundary of the sphere of Islamic influence, the Muslim missionary is the pioneer of his religion, there is still left behind him a vast field for Muslim propaganda in the inland countries that stretch away to the north and the east, though it is long since Islam took firm root in this soil. Some sections of the Funj, the predominant Negro race of Sennaar, are partly Muslim and partly heathen, and Muslim merchants from Nubia are attempting the conversion of the latter.
The pagan tribe of the Jukun, whose once powerful kingdom disappeared before the victorious development of the Fulbe, has withstood the advancing influence of Islam, though the foreign minister of their king has always been a Muslim and colonies of Hausas and other Muslims have settled among them; but these Muslim settlers do not succeed in making any converts from among the Jukun, whose traditions of their past greatness make them cling to the national faith whose spiritual headship is vested in their king.
The West Coast
The West Coast is another field for Muslim missionary enterprise where Islam finds itself confronted with a vast population still unconverted, in spite of the progress it has made on the Guinea Coast, in Sierra Leone and Liberia, in which last there are more Muslims than heathen.
One of the earliest notices of Muslim missionary activity in the neighborhood of Sierra Leone is to be found in a petition for the dissolution of the Sierra Leone Company, ordered to be printed by the House of Commons, on the 25th May, 1802:
In the Mendi country, about one hundred miles south of Sierra Leone, Islam appears to have found an entrance only in the present century, but to be now making steady progress. "The propagandism is not conducted by any special order of priests set apart for the purpose, but every Muslim is an active missionary.
Some half a dozen of them, more or less, meeting in a town, where they intend to reside for any length of time, soon run up a mosque and begin work. They first approach the chief of the town and obtain his consent to their intended act, and perhaps his promise to become an adherent.
They teach him their prayers in Arabic, or as much as he can, or cares to, commit to memory. They put him through the forms and ceremonies used in praying, forbid him the use of alcoholic beverages—a restriction as often observed as not—and lo! the man is a convert."
On the Guinea Coast, Muslim influences are spread chiefly by Hausa traders who are to be found in all the commercial towns on this coast; whenever they form a settlement, they at once build a mosque and by their devout behavior, and their superior culture, they impress the heathen inhabitants; whole tribes of fetish-worshippers pass over to Islam as the result of their imitation of what they recognize to be a higher civilization than their own, without any particular efforts being necessary for persuading them.
On the East Coast
We must now turn to the history of the spread of Islam on the other side of the continent of Africa, the inhabitants of which were in closer proximity to the land where this faith had its birth. The facts recorded respecting the early settlements of the Arabs on the East Coast are very meager; according to an Arabic chronicle which the Portuguese found in Kiloa when that town was sacked by Don Francisco dAlmėida in 1505, the first settlers were a body of Arabs who were driven into exile because they followed the heretical teachings of a certain Zayd, a descendant of the Prophet, after whom they were called Emozaydij (probably أمة زيدية or people of Zayd).
The Zayd here referred to is probably Zayd b. Ali, a grandson of Husain and so great-grandson of Ali, the nephew of Muhammad : in the reign of the Khalifah Hisham he stirred up a revolt among the Shi'a faction, but was defeated in A.H. 122 (A.D. 740).
They succeeded gradually in extending their settlements along the coast, until the arrival of another band of fugitives who came from the Arabian side of the Persian Gulf, not far from the island of Bahrayn. These came in three ships under the leadership of seven brothers, in order to escape from the persecution of the king of Lasah, a city hard by the dwelling-place of their tribe.
The first town they built was Magadaxo, which afterwards rose to such power as to assume lordship over all the Arabs of the coast. But the original settlers, the Emozaydij, belonging as they did to a different Muslim sect, being Shi'as, while the new-comers were Sunnis, were unwilling to submit to the authority of the rulers of Magadaxo, and retired into the interior, where they became merged into the native population, intermarrying with them and adopting their manners and customs.
Magadaxo was founded about the middle of the tenth century and remained the most powerful city on this coast for more than seventy years, when the arrival of another expedition from the Persian Gulf led to the establishment of a rival settlement further south.
An Arab trading vessel was driven out of its course by a tempest in the year A.D. 922 and carried to the country of the man-eating Zanj, where the crew expected certain death.
On the contrary, the king of the place received them kindly and entertained them hospitably for several months, while they disposed of their merchandise on advantageous terms; but the merchants repaid his kindness with foul treachery, by seizing him and his attendants when they came on board to bid them farewell, and then carrying them off as slaves to Omam.
Some years later the same merchants were driven by a storm to the same port, where they were recognized by the natives who surrounded them in their canoes; giving themselves up for lost this time, they repeated for one another the prayers for the dead.
They were taken before the king, whom they discovered to their surprise and confusion to be the same they had so shamefully treated some years before.
Instead, however, of taking vengeance upon them for their treacherous conduct, he spared their lives and allowed them to sell their goods, but rejected with scorn the rich presents they offered. Before they left, one of the party ventured to ask the king to tell the story of his escape.
From the same source we learn that even at this early period, this coast-land was frequented by large numbers of Arab traders, yet in spite of centuries of intercourse with the followers of Islam, the original inhabitants of this coast (with the exception of the Somalis) have been remarkably little influenced by this religion.
Even before the Portuguese conquests of the sixteenth century, what few conversions had been made, seem to have been wholly confined to the sea-border, and even after the decline of Portuguese influence in this part of the world, and the restoration of Arab rule under the Sayyids of Omam, hardly any efforts were made until the twentieth century to spread the knowledge of Islam among the tribes of the interior, with the exception of the Galla and Somali.
As a modern traveler has said : "During the three expeditions which I conducted in East Central Africa I saw nothing to suggest Mulims as a civilising power. Whatever living force might be in the religion remained latent. The Arabs, or their descendants, in these parts were not propagandists. There were no missionaries to preach Islam, and the natives of Muscat were content that their slaves should conform, to a certain extent, to the forms of the religion.
They left the East African tribes, who indeed, in their gross darkness, were evidently content to remain in happy ignorance. Their inaptitude for civilization was strikingly shown in the strange fact that five hundred years of contact with semi-civilized people had left them without the faintest reflection of the higher traits which characterized their neighbors—not a single good seed during all these years had struck root and flourished."
Given up wholly to the pursuits of commerce or to slave-hunting, the Arabs in Eastern Africa exhibited a lukewarmness in promoting the interests of their faith, which is in striking contrast to the missionary zeal displayed by their co-religionists in other parts of Africa.
A notable exception is the propagandist activity of the Arab traders who were admitted into Uganda in the first half of the nineteenth century; they probably recognized that the sturdy independence of the Baganda made slave-raiding among them impossible, so they sought to gain their confidence by winning them over to their own faith. Many of the Baganda became Muslims during the reign of King Mutesa, but Stanleys visit to this monarch in 1875 led to the introduction of Christian missions in the following year, and the power of the Muslims in the state declined with the rapid increase in the numbers of the Christian converts and the establishment of a British Protectorate.
But a number of Muslims still hold important positions in Uganda, and it is stated that there is a possibility of the Eastern Province becoming Muslim. In the rich tributary country of Busoga, to the north of Uganda, a large number of those in authority were said, in 1906, to be Muslims. But with this exception Islam in East Equatorial Africa was up to the latter part of the nineteenth century confined to the coast-lands and the immediately adjoining country. The explanation would appear to be that it was not to the interests of the slave-dealers to spread Islam among the heathen tribes from among whom they obtained their unhappy victims; for, once converted to Islam, the native tribes would enter into the brotherhood of the faith and could not be raided and carried off as slaves.
The suppression of the slave-trade, with the extension of European rule over East Equatorial Africa, was followed by a remarkable expansion of Muslim missionary activity; peace and order were established in the interior, railways and high roads were made, and the peaceful Muslim trader could now make his way into districts hitherto closed to him.
An instance of the operation of this feeling may be taken from West Usambara, which was said in 1891 to be still closed to Islam; the feeling of both chiefs and people was hostile to the Muslims, who were hated and feared as slave-dealers ; but when the days of the slave-trade were over and an ordered administration was established, the first native officials appointed were almost entirely Muslims; they impressed upon the chiefs and other notables who came in touch with them that it was the correct thing for those who moved in official circles to be Muslims, and thereby achieved the conversion of some of the greater chiefs, who afterwards exercised a similar influence on chiefs of an inferior degree.
There seems to be little evidence of the activity of professional missionaries or of any of the religious orders, but there are not wanting evidences of systematic efforts, such as those of a Muslim teacher, who is reported to have regularly visited a district in the Kilimanjaro country every week for five months, preaching the faith of Islam; his ministrations were welcomed by the people, whom he entertained with feasts of rice, etc.
In this zealous propaganda it is noticeable that the preachers of Islam do not confine their attention to pagans only, but seek also to win converts from among the native Christians.
The Galla and the Somali
Islam has achieved a similar success among the Galla and the Somali. Mention has already been made of the Galla settlements in Abyssinia; these immigrants, who are divided into seven principal clans, with the generic name of Wollo-Galla, were probably all heathen at the time of their incursion into the country, and a large part of them remain so to the present day. After settling in Abyssinia they soon became naturalized there, and in many instances adopted the language, manners and customs of the original inhabitants of the country.
The story of their conversion is obscure: while some of them are said to have been forcibly baptized into the Christian faith, the absence of any political power in the hands of the Muslims precludes the possibility of any converts to Islam having been made in a similar fashion. In the eighteenth century, those in the south were said to be mostly Muslims, those to the east and west chiefly pagans.
More recent information points to a further increase in the number of the followers of the Prophet, and in 1867 Munzinger prophesied that in a short time all the Galla tribes would be Muslim, and as they were said to be "very fanatical," we may presume that they were by no means half-hearted or lukewarm in their adherence to this religion.
The Galla freedman whom Doughty met at Khaybar certainly exhibited a remarkable degree of zeal for his own faith. He had been carried off from his home when a child and sold as a slave in Jiddah ;
Among the Galla tribes of the true Galla country, the population is partly Muslim (some tribes having been converted about 1500) and partly heathen, with the exception of those tribes immediately bordering on Abyssinia who in the latter part of the nineteenth century were forced by the king of that country to accept Christianity.
Among the mountains, the Muslims are in a minority, but on the plains the missionaries of Islam have met with striking success, and their teaching found a rapidly increasing acceptance during the last century.
Antonio Cecchi, who visited the petty kingdom of Limmu in 1878, gives an account of the conversion of Abba Baghibo, the father of the then reigning chieftain, by Muslims who for some years had been pushing their proselytizing efforts in this country in the guise of traders. His example was followed by the chiefs of the neighboring Galla kingdoms and by the officers of their courts ; part of the common people also were won over to the new faith, and it continued to make progress among them, but the greater part cling firmly to their ancient cult.
These traders received a ready welcome at the courts of the Galla chiefs, inasmuch as they found them a market for the commercial products of the country and imported objects of foreign manufacture in exchange.
As they made their journeys to the coast once a year only, or even once in two years, and lived all the rest of the time in the Galla country, they had plenty of opportunities, which they knew well how to avail themselves of, for the work of propagating Islam, and wherever they set their foot they were sure in a short space of time to gain a large number of proselytes.
Islam here came in conflict with Christian missionaries from Europe, whose efforts, though winning for Christianity a few converts, have been crowned with very little success,—even the converts of Cardinal Massaja (after he was expelled from these parts) either embraced Islam or ended by believing neither in Christ nor in Allah,—whereas the Muslim missionaries achieved a continuous success, and pushed their way far to the south, and crossed the Wabi river.
The majority of the Galla tribes dwelling in the west of the Galla country were still heathen towards the end of the nineteenth century, but among the most westerly of them, viz. the Lega, the old nature worship appeared to be on the decline and the growing influence of the Muslim missionaries made it probable that within a few years the Lega would all have entered into the pale of Islam.
The North-East Africa
The North-East Africa of the present day presents indeed the spectacle of a remarkably energetic and zealous missionary activity on the part of the Muslims. Several hundreds of missionaries come from Arabia every year, and they have been even more successful in their labors among the Somali than among the Galla.
The close proximity of the Somali country to Arabia must have caused it very early to have been the scene of Muslim missionary labors, but of these unfortunately little record seems to have survived.
The people of Zayla were said by Ibn Ḥawqal in the second half the ninth century to be Christians, but in the first half of the fourteenth century. Abul-Fida speaks of them as being Muslims. The new faith was probably brought across the sea by Arab merchants or refugees. The Somalis of the north have a tradition of a certain Arab of noble birth who, compelled to flee his own country, crossed the sea to Adel, where he preached the faith of Islam among their forefathers.
In the fifteenth century a band of forty-four Arabs came as missionaries from Ḥaḍramawt, landing at Berberah on the Red Sea, and thence dispersed over the Somali country to preach Islam.
One of them, Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Zarbay, made his way to the city of Harar about A.D. 1430, and gained many converts there, and his tomb is still honored in that city. A hill near Berberah is still called the Mount of Saints in memory of these missionaries, who are said to have sat there in solemn conclave before scattering far and wide to the work of conversion.
Islam gradually became predominant throughout the whole of North-East Africa, but the growing power of the Emperor Menelik and his occupation of Harar in 1886 resulted in a certain number of conversions to Christianity.
In the Cape Colony
In order to complete this survey of Islam in Africa, it remains only to draw attention to the fact that this religion has also made its entrance into the extreme south of this continent, viz. in Cape Colony. These Muslims of the Cape are descendants of Malays, who were brought here by the Dutch either in the seventeenth or eighteenth century;
They speak a corrupt form of the Boer dialect, with a considerable admixture of Arabic, and some English and Malay words. A curious little book published in this dialect and written in Arabic characters was published in Constantinople in 1877 by the Turkish minister of education, to serve as a handbook of the principles of the Muslim faith.
The thoroughly Dutch names that some of them bear, and the type of face observable in many of them, point to the probability that they have at some time received into their community some persons of Dutch birth, or at least that they have in their veins a considerable admixture of Dutch blood. They have also gained some converts from among the Hottentots.
Very little notice has been taken of them by European travelers, or even by their co-religionists until recently. In 1819 Colebrooke had drawn attention to the growth of Islam in some interesting notes he wrote on the Cape Colony:
During the last fifty years the Muslims in Cape Colony have been visited by some zealous co-religionists from other countries, and more attention is now paid by them to education, and a deeper religious life has been stirred up among them, and they are said to carry on a zealous propaganda, especially among the colored people at the Cape and to achieve a certain success.
This proselytizing movement is especially strong in the western part of Cape Colony. It is said that there is a movement on foot for the founding of a college at Claremont, in the vicinity of Cape Town, which shall become a center for the propagation of Islam. One of the methods at present employed is the adoption of neglected or abandoned children, who are brought up in the Muslim faith.
Every year some of them make the pilgrimage to Mecca, where a special Sheikh has been appointed to look after them. The Indian coolies that come to work in the diamond fields of South Africa are also said to be propagandists of Islam.
On account of its isolated position, 220 to 540 miles from the mainland, the island of Madagascar calls for separate mention. The only tribe that has adopted Islam is that of the Antaimorona, occupying a part of the south-east coast; they undoubtedly owed their conversion to missionaries from Arabia, but the date at which this change of faith took place is entirely unknown; tradition would carry it back to the very days of Muhammad himself, but it is not until the sixteenth century that we get, in the works of Italian and Portuguese geographers, authentic mention of Muslims on the island.
The Muslim missionary
Wherever Islam has made its way, there is the Muslim missionary to be found bearing witness to its doctrines,—the trader, be he Arab, Pul or Mandingo, who combines proselytism with the sale of his merchandise, and whose very profession brings him into close and immediate contact with those he would convert, and disarms any possible suspicion of sinister motives. Such a man when he enters a pagan village soon attracts attention by his frequent ablutions and regularly recurring times of prayer and prostration, in which he appears to be conversing with some invisible being, and by his very assumption of intellectual and moral superiority, commands the respect and confidence of the heathen people, to whom at the same time he shows himself ready and willing to communicate his high privileges and knowledge;—
The arrival of the Muslim in a pagan country is also the beginning of the opening up of a more extensive trade, and of communication with great Muslim trading centers such as Jenne, Segu or Kano, and a share in the advantages of this material civilization is offered, together with the religion of the Prophet.
Thus "among the uncivilized negro tribes the missionary may be always sure of a ready audience: he can not only give them many truths regarding God and man which make their way to the heart and elevate the intellect, but he can at once communicate the Shibboleth of admission to a social and political communion, which is a passport for protection and assistance from the Atlantic to the Wall of China.
Wherever a Muslim house can be found there the negro convert who can repeat the dozen syllables of his creed, is sure of shelter, sustenance and advice, and in his own country he finds himself at once a member of an influential, if not of a dominant caste.
This seems the real secret of the success of the Muslim missionaries in West Africa. It is great and rapid as regards numbers, for the simple reason that the Muslim missionary, from the very first profession of the converts belief, acts practically on those principle? regarding the equality and brotherhood of all believers before God, which Islam shares with Christianity;
and he does this, as a general rule, more speedily and decidedly than the Christian missionary, who generally feels bound to require good evidence of a converted heart before he gives the right hand of Christian fellowship, and who has always to contend with race prejudices not likely to die out in a single generation where the white Christian has for generations been known as master, and the black heathen as slave."
It is important, too, to note that neither his color nor his race in any way prejudice the Negro in the eyes of his new co-religionists. The progress of Islam in Negritia has no doubt been materially advanced by this absence of any feeling of repulsion towards the Negro—indeed Islam seems never to have treated the Negro as an inferior, as has been unhappily too often the case in Christendom.
This consideration goes partly to explain the success of Muslim as contrasted with Christian missions among the Negro peoples. It has frequently been pointed out that the Negro convert to Christianity is apt to feel that his European co-religionists belong to a stratum of civilization alien to his own habits of life, whereas he feels himself to be more at home in a Muslim society.
This has been well stated by a modern observer, in the following passage :—
Thus, the converted Negro at once takes an equal place in the brotherhood of believers, neither his color nor his race nor any associations of the past standing in the way.
It is doubtless the ready admission they receive, that makes the pagan Negroes willing to enter into a religious society whose higher civilization demands that they should give up many of their old barbarous habits and customs; at the same time the very fact that the acceptance of Islam does imply an advance in civilization and is a very distinct step in the intellectual, moral and material progress of a Negro tribe, helps very largely to explain the success of this faith.
The forces arrayed on its side are so powerful and ascendant, that the barbarism, ignorance and superstition which it seeks to sweep away have little chance of making a lengthened resistance.
What the civilization of Muslim Africa implies to the Negro convert:
What the civilization of Muslim Africa implies to the Negro convert, is admirably expressed in the following words: "The worst evils which, there is reason to believe, prevailed at one time over the whole of Africa, and which are still to be found in many parts of it, and those, too, not far from the Gold Coast and from our own settlements—cannibalism and human sacrifice and the burial of living infants—disappear at once and for ever.
The words above quoted were written before the partition of the greater part of Africa among the governments of Christian Europe—England, France and Germany—but the imposing character of Muslim civilization has not ceased to impress the Negro mind, or to operate as one of the influences favorable to the conversion of the African fetish-worshippers. Brought suddenly into contact with European culture, these have received an impulse to advance in the path of civilization, but being unable to bridge over the gulf that separates them from their foreign rulers, they find in Islam a culture corresponding to their needs and capable of understanding their requirements and aspirations. So far, therefore, from the extension of European domination tending to hamper the activities of Muslim propagandists, it has to a very remarkable degree contributed towards the progress of Islam. The bringing of peace to countries formerly harassed by wars of extermination or the raids of slave-hunters, the establishment of ordered methods of government and administration, and the increased facilities of communication by the making of roads and the building of railways, have given a great stimulus to trade and have enabled that active propagandist, the Muslim trader, to extend his influence in districts previously untrodden, and traverse familiar ground with greater security. Further, the suppression of the slave-trade has removed one of the great obstacles to the spread of Islam in pagan Africa, because it was to the interest of the Arab and other Muslim slave-dealers not to narrow the field of their operations by admitting their possible victims into the brotherhood of Islam. Converts are now won from pagan tribes which in the days of the slave-trade were untouched by missionary effort. To this result the European governments have contributed by employing Muslims to fill the subordinate posts in the civil administration (since among the Muslims alone were educated persons to be found) and distributing them throughout pagan districts, by employing Muslim teachers in the Government schools, and by recruiting their armies from among Muslim tribes; they have thus added to the prestige of Islam in the eyes of the pagan Africans—a circumstance that the Muslims have not been slow to make use of, to the advantage of their own faith.
So little truth is there in the statement that Islam makes progress only by force of arms, that on the contrary the partition of Africa among the European powers, who have wrested the sword from the hands of the Muslim chiefs now under their control, has initiated a propaganda which seems likely to succeed where centuries of Muslim domination have failed.
 Rinn, p. 175.
 Bonet-Maury, p. 239.
 Id. p. 230.
 Le Chatelier (2), pp. 100-9.
 Rinn, p. 174.
 Oppel, pp. 292-3. Blyden, p. 10. Le Chatelier (3), p. 167 sqq.
 Delle Navigationi di Messer Alvise da Ca da Mosto, (A.D. 1454.) Ramusio, tome i. p. 101.
 Blyden. pp. 357-60.
 This has been set forth in detail by Le Chatelier (3), p. 225 sqq.
 Le Chatelier (3), p. 237. " Samory n'intervint pas directement dans la question religieuse. "L. G. Binger arrived at the same conclusion, as the result of personal acquaintance with Samory. (Le Peril de I'lslam, p. 20.) (Paris, 1906.)
 Le Chatelier (3), pp. 238-40.
 Le Chatelier (2), p. 112. R. du M. M., vol. xii. p.22.
 "The Fulanis are all fervent Mohammedans. Wherever there are Fulanis there will be found a mosque." (Haywood, p. 200.)
 Le Chatelier (3) pp. 231, 273, 303. Westermann, pp. 632-3.
 Muḥammad b. 'Uthmān Ḥashā'ishī, p. 84 sqq.
 In 1895 Sidi al-Mahdī, the son and successor of Sīdī Muhammad al-Sanūsī. migrated to Kufra, as being more central than Jaghabūb (Muḥammad b. 'Uthmān al-Hashā'ishī. pp. 111-15), but later went further south to the region of Borku and Tibesti, where he died in 1902. The head of the order in 1908 was Sidi Ahmad, a relative of the founder. (J. C. E. Falls ; Drei Jahre in der Libyschen Wūste, p. 274.) (Freiburg, 1911.)
 Riedel (I), pp. 7, 59, 162.
 G. Nachtigal: Sahara and Sudan, vol. ii. p. 175. (Berlin, 1879-81.)
 Duveyrier p. 45.
 Paulitschke, p. 214.
H. Duveyrier : La Confrerie musulmane de Sidi Mohammed Ben 'Ali Es-Senousi. passim, (Paris, 1886.) Louis Rinn : Marabouts et Khouans, pp. 481-513. N. Slousch : Les Senoussiya en Tripolitaine. (R. du M. M., vol. i.p. 169 sqq.). For a bibliography of the Sanūsiyyah movement, see Der Islam, iii. pp. 141-2, 312.
 R. du M. M., vol. i. p. 181 ; vol viii. pp. 64-5.
 Joseph Thomson (2), p. 185.
 Oppel, p. 303
 In the Muri Province of Northern Nigeria.
 Journal of the African Society, vol. vii. pp. 379-81.
 Haywood, p. 33.
 Claude George : The Rise of British West Africa, pp. 120-1. (London, 1902.)
 Islam and Missions, pp. 73-4.
 Lippert: Über die Bedeutung der Haussanation für unsere Togo- und Kamerunkolonie, p. 200. MSOS, Band x. (1907), Abteilung III.
 Waītz : IIer Theil, p. 250.
 C. S. Salmon, p. 891.
 Pierre Bouche, p. 256.
 BIyden, p. 357.
 C. S. Salmon, p. 887.
 BIyden, p. 202. Weatermann, pp. 633-4.
 Situated on an island about 20 S. of Zanzibar.
 "Hum Mouro chamado Zaide, que foi neto de Hocem filho de Ale o sobrinho de Mahamed." (De Barros, Dec. i. Liv. viii. cap. iv. p. 211.)
 Ibn Khaldūn, vol. iii. pp. 98-100.
 Possibly a mistake for al-Ḥasā. See Ibn Baṭūṭah, tome ii. pp. 247-8.
 Or (to give it its Arabic name) Maqdishu.
 J. de Barros: Dec. i. Liv. viii. cap. iv. pp. 211-12.
 De Barros, id. pp. 224-5. See also Justus Strndes: Die Portugiesen-zeit von Deutsch- und Englisch-Ostafrika, p. 81 sqq. (Berlin, 1899.)
 Kitāb 'ajā'ib al-Hind ou Livre des Merveilles de 1'Inde, publié par P. A. van der Lith. pp. 51-60. (Leiden. 1883.)
 Mohammedanism in Central Africa, by Joseph Thomson, p. 877.
 Roscoe, p. 229 sq.
 Zwemer, p. 236. Gairdner (p. 26) gives the number of Muhammadans as 200,000 out of a population of four millions, but he does not state from what source he derives these figures. Roscoe (p. 6) gives the total population of Uganda as about one million only.
 Richter, pp. 146-7, 154. Merensky, p. 156. Klamroth, p. 4.
 R. du M. M., vol. ix. (1909), p. 322.
 Oscar Baumann: Usambara und seine Nachbargebiete, pp. 141153. (Berlin, 1891.)
 Becker, Islam in Deutsch-Ostafrika, p. 10.
 Id. p. 13 sqq. Klamroth, pp. 14-28.
 Id. p. 53
 Klamroth. pp. 21, 25, 54.
 Id. pp. 23-4.
 Id, p. 26.
 Id. p. 67.
 Becker: Islam in Deutsch-Ostafrika, p. 14. The Muslim World, vol. ii. p. 3 sqq.
 A contemporary Ethiopic account of these tribes,—Geschichte der Galla. Bericht eines abessinischen Mōches Über die Invasion der Galla in secbzehnten Jahrhundert. Text und Übersetzung hrsg. von A. W. Schleichler (Berlin, 1893),—seems certainly to represent them as heathen, though no detailed account is given of their religion. Reclus (tome x. P- 330) however, supposes them to have been Muhammadan at the time of their invasion.
 Henry Salt: A Voyage to Abyssinia, p. 299. (London, 1814.)
 James Bruce: Travels to discover the source of the Nile, 2nd ed. vol. iii. p. 243. (Edinburgh, 1805.)
 Munzinger, p. 408.
 I. L. Krapf: Reisen in Ost-Africa, ausgeführt in den Jahren 1837-55, vol. i. p. 106. (Korntbal. 1858.)
 Arabia Deserta, vol. ii. p. 168.
 Id., vol. ii p. 109,
 Morie, vol. ii. p. 248.
 Reclus, tome. x. p. 309. Basset, pp. 270-1.
When the Roman Catholics opened a mission among the Gallas in 1846, Abba Baghibò said to them ; " Had you come thirty years ago, not only I, but all my countrymen might have embraced your religion; but now it is impossible." (Massaja, vol. iv. p. 103.)
Da Zeila alle frontiere del Caffa, vol. ii. p. 160. (Rome, 1886-7.) Massaia. vol. iv. p. 103; vol. vi. p. 10.
 Massaja, vol. iv. p. 102.
 Speaking of the failure of Christian missions, Cecchi says : " di ciò si deve ricercare la causa nello espandersi che fece quaggiù;jiu in questi ultimi anni 1' islamismo, portato da centinaja di preti e mercanti musulmani, cui non facevano difetto i mezzi, 1' astuzia e la piena conoscenza della lingua." (Op. cit. vol. ii. p. 342.)
 Id., p. 343
 Reclus, tome xiii. p. 834.
 The Lega are found in long. 9° to 9° 30/ and lat. E. 34° 35/ to 35°.
 Reclus, tome x. p. 350.
 Paulitschke, pp. 330-1.
 Ibn Ḥawqal p. 41.
 Abu'I-Fida, tome ii. Ire partie, pp. 231-2.
 Documents sur I'histoire, la geographie et le commerce de 1'Afrique Orientale, recueillis par M. Guillain. Deuxième partie, tome i. p. 399. (Paris, 1856.)
 R. F. Burton : First Footprints in East Africa, pp. 76, 404. (London, 1856.)
 R. du M. M., vi. p. 288. (1908.)
The Cape of Good Hope was in the possession of the Dutch from 1652 to 1795; restored to them after the Peace of Amiens in 1802, it was re-occupied by the British as soon as war broke out again.
 Among these was Shaykh Yūsuf, a religious teacher of great influence in Java and the last champion of the independence of Bantam; in 1694 he was removed by the Dutch to Cape Colony as a prisoner of state, together with his family and numerous attendants; his tomb is still regarded as a holy place. (G. M. Theal: History and Ethnography of Africa south of the Zambesi, vol. ii. p. 263 ) (London, 1909.)
 M. J. de Goeje: Mohammedaansche Propaganda, pp. 2, 6. (Overge-drukt uit de Nederlandsche Spectator, No. 51, 1881.)
 Attention was drawn to them in 1814 by a Mr. Campbell. See William Adams: The Modern Voyager and Traveller, vol. i. p. 93. (London, I834.)
 Sir T.E.Colebrooke:The Liie of H.T.Colebrooke,p.335. (London, 1873.)
 F. Coillard : Au Cap de Bonne Espéranre. (Journal des missions évangéliques, avril 1899, p. 265.)
 Kumm, p. 233.
 C. Snouck Hurgronje (3), vol. ii. pp. 296-7.
 Jacques Bonzon: Les Missionaires de 1'Islam en Afrique. (Revue Chrétienne, tome xiii. p. 295.) (Paris. 1893.)
 G. Ferrand, Les Musulmans à Madagascar, pp. 19. 50 sqq., 138. (Paris, 1891.) Id. Les Migrations musulmanes et juives à Madagascar. (Revue de 1'Histoire des Religions, vol. lii. p. 381 sqq.).
 Richard F. Burton (I), vol. i. p. 256.
 Travels in the Interior of Africa, chap. xxv. ad fin.
 D. J. East, pp. 118-20. W. Winwood Reade, vol. i. p. 312. Blyden, pp. 13, 202.
 Bishop Crowther on Islam in Western Africa. (Church Missionary Intelligencer, p. 254, April 1888.)
 D. J. East, pp. 112-13. BIyden, p. 202.
 It is said that over a thousand missionaries of Islam leave Tripoli every year to work in the Sudan. (Paulitschke, p. 331.)
 For a detailed examination of these points of contact, see Forget, p. 28 sqq. Merensky, p. 155.
 Sir Bartle Frere (I), pp. 18-19.
 E. W. Blyden, pp. 18-24. E. Allégret, p. 200. Westermann, pp. 644-5.
In a very interesting, but now forgotten, debate before the Anthropological Society of London, on the Efforts of Missionaries among Savages, a case was mentioned of a Christian missionary in Africa who married a negress: the feeling against him in consequence was so strong that he had to leave the colony. The Muslim missionary labours under no such disadvantage. (Journal of the Anthropological Society of London, vol. iii. 1865.)
The contrast between the way in which Christianity and Islam present themselves to the African is well brought out by one who is himself a Negro, in the following passage:—" Tandis que les missions renvoient a une epoque indéfinie I'établissement du pastorat indigène, les prêtres musulmans pénètrent dans 1'intérieur de 1'Afrique, trouvent un accès facile chez les pȧiens et les convertissent à I'islam. De sorte qu'aujourd'hui les negres regardent I'islam comme la religion des noirs, et le Christianisme comme la religion des blancs. Le christianisme, pensent-ils appelle le nègre au salut, mais lui assigne une place tellement basse que, décourage, il se dit: ' Je n'ai ni part ni portion dans cette affaire.' L'mais appelle le nègre au salut et lui dit: 'II ne dépend que de toi pour arriver aussi haut que possible.' Alors, le negre'islam se livre corps et âme an service de cette religion." L'islam et le christianisme en Afrique d'après un Africain. enthousiasmé(Journal des Missions Ēvangiliques. 630 année, p. 207.) (paris, 1888)
 E. D. Morel: Nigeria, its people and its problems, pp. 216-17. (London, 1911).
 Ibn Khallikān, vol. i. p. 18.
 "Extracts from the Quran form the earliest reading lessons of children, and the commentaries and other works founded upon it furnish the principal subjects of the advanced studies. Schools of different grades have existed for centuries in various interior negro countries, and under the provision of law, in which even the poor are educated at the public expense, and in which the deserving are carried on many years through long courses ol regular instruction. Nor is the system always confined to the Arabic language, or to the works of Arabic writers. A number of native languages have been reduced to writing, books have been translated from the Arabic and original works have been written in them. Schools also have been kept in which native languages are taught." Condition and Character of Negroes in Africa. By Theodore Dwight. (Methodist Quarterly Review, January 1869.)
Dr. Blyden (pp. 206-7) mentions the following books as read by Muslims in Western Africa: Maqamat of Ḥarīrī, .portions of Aristotle and Plato translated into Arabic, an Arabic version of Hippocrates, and the Arabic New Testament and Psalms issued by the American Bible Society. For the literature of the Muslims in East Africa, see Becker: Islam in Deutsch Ostafrika, p. 18 sqq.
 Mohammedanism in Africa, by R. Bosworth Smith. (The Nineteenth Century, December 1887, pp. 798-800.)
 Le Chatelier, (3), p. 348.
 Forget, p. 95. Merensky, p. 156. (" Den Vertretern des Islam aber stand ihr Vorteil, der Gewinn, den die Unterdückung der Eingebornen bringt, höher als die Ausbreitung ihres Glaubens. Hätte man die Völker Afrikas durch die Macht geistiger Waffen unter gütigen Entgegenkommen zu Mohammedanern gemacht, so waren sie Glaubensgenossen, gleichberech-tige Bruder, die man nicht mehr berauben, zu Sklaven machen, oder als Sklaven nur Arbeit ausnutzen konnte.")
 Westermann, p. 643. L. de Contenson, p. 244. Kumm, p. 122.
 Thus Merensky, discussing the failure of Islam to dominate the whole of Africa after centuries of occupation says :—" Wir sehen die Ursache für diese merkwürdige Erscheinung in den Beziehungen, in denen bei den Mohammedanern änern die aussere Gewalt zum Islam und zur Ausbreitung des Islam steht. Beides steht und fällt miteinander, dringt miteinander vor und geht miteinander auch wieder zurü." (p. 156.)