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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religion and state in the Songhay Empire, 1464-1591
Author:Hunwick, J.O.ISNI
Book title:Islam in tropical Africa
Geographic terms:Burkina Faso
Subject:Islamic history
Abstract:After 1010, when the 15th Dia of the Songhay Kingdom, Kossoi, was converted to Islam, Gao became the royal capital. The Islam became the official royal religion with the mass of the populace remaining pagan and with a largely pagan court ceremonial. There always existed a very delicate balance between Islam and the indigenous Songhay religious structure. After a period under Mali the Songhay kings called themselves Shi or sunni. By the time of the (18th) Sunni 'Ali Islam tended to eclipse completely the Songhay religous system and hence destroy Sunni 'Ali's authority as magicianking. Sunni 'Ali's policy was therefore to try and contain this force, exploit it and maintain a balance between it and the indigenous Songhay cult. However, Islam gained rapidly strength and in 1494 Muhammad Ture came to power which accelerated the process of Islamization. During the last 10 years of the independent Songhay empire rapidle decayed as a political entity. During Muhammad Bani a civil war split the empire in two. References; French summary p. 315-317.