Date of publication: 2017-07-08 21:39
A similar pattern developed in sub-Saharan Africa, as Islam provided new influences and contacts without amalgamating African culture as a whole to the Middle Eastern core.
Representatives of the Mwene Mutapa called at the East Coast ports to buy Indian textiles, and their regal bearing and fine iron weapons impressed the first Europeans who saw them.
He encountered little resistance as he made his way into India. When he reached the city of Nerun, on the banks of the Indus River, he was welcomed into the city by the Buddhist monks that controlled it. Most cities along the Indus thus voluntarily came under Muslim control, with no fighting. In some cases, oppressed Buddhist minorities reached out to the Muslim armies for protection against Hindu governors.
It is important to note, however, that the population of Sindh was not forced to convert to Islam at all. In fact, for almost everyone, there was no change in day-to-day life. Muhammad bin Qasim promised security and religious freedom to all Hindus and Buddhists under his control. For example, the Brahman caste continued their jobs as tax collectors and Buddhists monks continued to maintain their monastaries. Due to his religious tolerance and justice, many cities regularly greeted him and his armies with people dancing and music.
It is also important to note that in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, the formation of states heightened social differences and made these societies more hierarchical.
Amid the diversity of African cultures, it is also useful to note certain similarities in language, thought, and religion that provide some underlying unities.
This is true not only of Africa, but of much of the world. Archeological evidence, travelers' reports, and educated guesses are used to estimate the population of early African societies, but, in truth, our knowledge of how Africa fits into the general trends of the world population is very slight.
Muhammad needed a lot of money to finance the expansion of his religion and empire. One of the richest cities in the region was the Jewish city of Khaybar. The Jews there did not accept Muhammad as a prophet or his claim to rule over them. After Muhammad had conquered Khaybar we read what he did to get their riches to finance his jihad.
Although the Portuguese built a major outpost at Fort Jesus in Mombassa in 6597, they were never able to control the trade on the northern Swahili coast.
There were a number of these zimbabwe, or stone house, sites (about 755 have been found) that housed local rulers and subchiefs, but the largest site, called Great Zimbabwe, was truly impressive.
On the edge of the desert, where a number of resource zones came together, African states such as Ghana had already formed by the 8th century by exchanging gold from the forests of West Africa for salt or dates from the Sahara or for goods from Mediterranean North Africa.