Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Compare African and Islamic culture during Middle Ages?

I have to do a report comparing and contrasting African and Islamic society in the Middle Ages and I have no clue where to start.

I must address their governments, religion, social structure, and the role of women. Can someone help me with which of these differ and which do not? Links to helpful websites would be appreciated very much!

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    During the Middle Ages and before enslavement of Africans in the Western hemisphere, many Africans were enslaved by Arabs under Islamic rule. In Arabic, the derogatory word for Black is "slave", "abeed", or "abed", or "abd". In addition, Muslim Africans called the "Moors" conquered Europe.


    Google: "Islamic Golden Age", Mali Empire, Keita Dynasty, Golden Age of the Moor. Also, Google Niger: Berber and Tuareg people.

    The Almoravides Dynasty (Senegal to Iberia).

    Western Africa and Islam - Ghana, Songhai Empire, Mansa Musa.

    Africa and Islam - Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Brigitte Gabriel, and Francis Bok's works.


    Prophet Mohammed's first convert, Bilal is Ethiopian.

    Mohammed is raised by Barakat, an African woman.


    Ethiopic Arabian warrior and poet Antar, also named "Gharab", or "The Cow"

    Women and Patriarchy - Read Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Gabriel's works. - Medieval Africa

    African Moslem conquests in Europe

    Visuals to use for your report:

    BOOK: Golden age of the Moor, Volume 11 By Ivan Van Sertima

    Page 361: Picture from Middle Ages - a manuscript of a Moorish battle.

    362: A Moorish Caliph

    Juan de Pereja - Portrait of an enslaved Moorish man at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City - ALL EXPERTS - Africa in the Middle Ages

    Women in Islamic Societies: A Selected Review of Social Scientific ...


    Check the Library of Congress. Search for Islam and Africa.

    Source(s): GOOGLE key terms listed above.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    All I can tell you is during those times women lived better lives than European women. In Ancient times Egyptian women lived much better than Greek women.

    As for the Middle Ages, the Islamic and African cultures were more advanced than the Europeans and one vital reason is because they bathed.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Pre-colonial Africa possessed perhaps as many as 10,000 different states and polities[30] characterised by many different sorts of political organisation and rule. These included small family groups of hunter-gatherers such as the San people of southern Africa; larger, more structured groups such as the family clan groupings of the Bantu-speaking people of central and southern Africa, heavily structured clan groups in the Horn of Africa, the large Sahelian Kingdoms, and autonomous city-states and kingdoms such as those of the Yoruba and Igbo people (also misspelled as Ibo) in West Africa, and the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa.

    By the 9th century AD a string of dynastic states, including the earliest Hausa states, stretched across the sub-saharan savannah from the western regions to central Sudan. The most powerful of these states were Ghana, Gao, and the Kanem-Bornu Empire. Ghana declined in the 11th century but was succeeded by the Mali Empire which consolidated much of western Sudan in the 13th century. Kanem accepted Islam in the 11th century.

    In the forested regions of the West African coast, independent kingdoms grew up with little influence from the Muslim north. The Kingdom of Nri of the Igbo was established around the 9th century and was one of the first. It is also one of the oldest Kingdom in modern day Nigeria and was ruled by the Eze Nri. The Nri kingdom is famous for its elaborate bronzes, found at the town of Igbo Ukwu. The bronzes have been dated from as far back as the 9th century.[31]

    The Ife, historically the first of these Yoruba city-states or kingdoms, established government under a priestly oba, (oba means 'king' or 'ruler' in the Yoruba language), called the Ooni of Ife. Ife was noted as a major religious and cultural centre in Africa, and for its unique naturalistic tradition of bronze sculpture. The Ife model of government was adapted at Oyo, where its obas or kings, called the Alaafins of Oyo once controlled a large number of other Yoruba and non Yoruba city states and Kingdoms, the Fon Kingdom of Dahomey was one of the non Yoruba domains under Oyo control.

    The Almoravids, was a Berber dynasty from the Sahara that spread over a wide area of northwestern Africa and the Iberian peninsula during the 11th century.[32] The Banu Hilal and Banu Ma'qil were a collection of Arab Bedouin tribes from the Arabian peninsula who migrated westwards via Egypt between the 11th and 13th centuries. Their migration resulted in the fusion of the Arabs and Berbers, where the locals were Arabized, and Arab culture absorbed elements of the local culture, under the unifying framework of Islam.[33]

    Ruins of Great Zimbabwe (11th-15th c.)

    Following the breakup of Mali a local leader named Sonni Ali (1464–1492) founded the Songhai Empire in the region of middle Niger and the western Sudan and took control of the trans-Saharan trade. Sonni Ali seized Timbuktu in 1468 and Jenne in 1473, building his regime on trade revenues and the cooperation of Muslim merchants. His successor Askia Mohammad I (1493–1528) made Islam the official religion, built mosques, and brought Muslim scholars, including al-Maghili (d.1504), the founder of an important tradition of Sudanic African Muslim scholarship, to Gao.[34] By the 11th century some Hausa states – such as Kano, jigawa, Katsina, and Gobir – had developed into walled towns engaging in trade, servicing caravans, and the manufacture of goods. Until the 15th century these small states were on the periphery of the major Sudanic empires of the era, paying tribute to Songhai to the west and Kanem-Borno to the east.

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