When you think of Senegal, you might think of famous Muslim athletes like Sadio Mané, but how did Islam spread to Senegal?
Islam has been in Senegal for more than 1000 years and began through the Kingdom of Takrur. People first started to convert as early as 850 through interaction with Muslim traders from the North. But Islam became more widespread, when War Jabi, the 11th-century King of Takrur converted in the 1030s and introduced Islamic laws.
His subjects, the Tukulor people, followed his example, making this the first kingdom in the region to convert to Islam. The famous north African geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi wrote about the kingdom…
“Its commerce is profitable, and its people chivalrous. It is part of the domain of the Takruri [i.e. the ruler or king of Takrur] who is a powerful sultan… he is firm, patient and renowned for his justice. His country is safe and tranquil…”
The Tukulor people were influential in the spread of Islam in West Africa in the Medieval Era and take great pride in their Islamic tradition.
Today more than 90% of Senegal’s population are Muslim.