Islam at a Crossroads in West Africa


Manage episode 282147769 series 1011677
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narrated by Chris Gratien
featuring Wendell Marsh, Rabiat Akande, and Ann McDougall
| From the 10th century onward, Islamic polities emerged in West Africa. Centered on the southern edge of the desert, these states built empires that benefited from the brisk Saharan trade. With time, they also built centers of Islamic learning as the wider population of West Africa began to embrace Islam. In this episode, we study what Islam meant for West Africa and what West Africa means for the history of Islam. We trace the evolution of Islamic polities in the region, which were built on the mineral wealth of salt and gold. Like other states of the period, they were also built on slavery and the slave trade. In our discussion, we focus on how the local tradition of Maliki jurisprudence engaged with the question of slavery, especially as the trade became increasingly racialized and global around the turn of the 17th century.
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