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Although coastal rulers did not send missionaries to the interior, local Africans embraced Islam freely through attraction to the religious life of the Muslims.

Close integration with the local population helped to foster good relations resulting in Islam gaining a few converts, based on individual efforts.

Despite encountering local communities, Islam was not ‘indigenized’ along the patterns of the local Bantu communities.

Nevertheless, Islam grew through absorption of individuals into the newly established Afro-Arabic Muslim communities.

Unlike West Africa where Islam was integrated to the local communities, the local Islam was ‘foreign’; the Arab-Muslims lived as if they were in the Middle East.

The primary concern for the early Muslims was trade with a few interested in propagating Islam.

These Shia Muslims include the Dawoodi Bohra, who number some 6,000-8,000 in the country.

Pioneer Muslim traders arrived on the Swahili Coast around the eighth century.

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In large part, Shias are Ismailis descended from or influenced by oceanic traders from the Middle East and India.Other factors included, harsh climatic conditions, the fierce tribes like the Maasai, tribal laws restricting passage through their land, health factors, and the lack of easy mode of transportation.For Trimingham, the brand of Islam introduced to the region was equally to blame.The Moroccan Muslim traveller, Ibn Battuta, visiting the Swahili Coast in 1331 AD, reported a strong Muslim presence.Ibn Battuta said: The inhabitants are pious, honourable, and upright, and they have well-built wooden mosques.In addition, the embracing of Islam by large portions of coastal tribes in the Nineteenth Century aided in its spread. The coming of the second wave of Europeans, in the Nineteenth Century, brought mixed fortunes to the coastal Muslims, their strong sense of pride and belonging was greatly diminished, with efforts being redirected to self adjustments.Besides, local Muslim preachers and teachers played major roles in teaching religion (Ar. Nonetheless, Muslim agents deployed by Europeans as subordinate labourers to assist in the establishment of Colonial administration centres, were advantageously placed throughout the country, bringing the Islamic influence to the interior.Swahili, structurally a Bantu Language with heavy borrowings from Arabic, was born.Primarily, Islam spread through the interactions of individuals, with the Arab Muslims who had settled in small groups maintaining their culture, and religious practices.Basically, progress in the spread of Islam in Kenya came between 18.This was when most social structures and the African worldviews were shattered, leaving them requiring a new, wider worldview encompassing or addressing the changes experienced.


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