Historically, Africans have tended to find it easy to embrace Islam, whenever and wherever the message of Islam is preached to them in the right way. This is the reason as to why Islamic missionaries seem to have had so much success in spreading Islam to Africa – and specifically getting huge African populations to embrace Islam. There has to be something in Islam that is appealing to the African psyche. And that is what I will be trying to shed light on, as I explore the three things that make it easy for Africans to embrace Islam.
The first thing that makes it easy for Africans to embrace Islam is the fact that Islam synchronizes well with (at least some of) their traditional beliefs. To give an example, the fact that Islam is accommodative of polygamy makes it much more attractive in Africa than other foreign religions that Africans have been exposed to — and which generally tend to uncompromisingly discourage polygamy.
The second thing that makes it easy for Africans to embrace Islam is the concept of universal brotherhood, which is a core part of Islam. This is important, because certain other foreign religions that Africans have been exposed to preach a message of individualism, which Africans find hard to accept. The message of brotherhood that Islam teaches is, on the other hand, one that Africans find attractive – because the nature of the African society is such that people live communally, helping each other in difficulties, and celebrating with each other whenever there are triumphs. You see this even in African Diaspora: like where, in the USA, people with African roots often visit websites such as the Offender Connect website, to help their brethren who happen to have gotten incarcerated. In other words, brethren who get into problems, including incarceration, are not forgotten – but rather, they are helped to the very end. Islam advocates for such brotherhood (rather than individualism), and this is attractive to the African psyche.
The third thing that makes it easy for Africans to embrace Islam is the fact that Islam promotes social and economic justice. These are important concepts to the African, who has often found himself being a victim of social and economic injustice throughout history.