Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Religious Practices: Conversion: East Africa
(1,683 words)

Historical overview

In East Africa the phenomenon of conversion to Islam is as old as Islam itself. The spread of Islam into the interior of the region, however, was largely a twentieth-century development.

The first Muslim Arab traders settled on the East African coast as early as in the middle of the eighth century C.E. Some of these traders married into the African ruling families resulting in the formation of the Swahili community, w…

Cite this page
Scharrer, Tabea, “Religious Practices: Conversion: East Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0611c>
First published online: 2009

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