Islam in Zimbabwe

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The arrival of Islam in Zimbabwe dates to the fourth Hijri century when Muslims established emirates on the coast of East Africa. During that period slave merchants extended their business to the interior regions reaching Zimbabwe. Over a period of hundreds of years more than four million slaves were stolen from Zimbabwe and surrounding countries and exported from Swahili ports by traders to India.[1]

Many Muslims entered Zimbabwe during the colonial period, primarily from the Indian subcontinent.

There are many Muslims in Zimbabwe who are considered to be people of mixed race.

Estimates on the number of Muslims in Zimbabwe vary from as low as 50.000 to as many as 120.000, according to the United States State Department.

There have been rumours that say that Arab traders played a major role in the construction of Great Zimbabwe. The proof given for this is that there are a number of indigenous people,in the city of Masvingo who have Muslim names and whose culture is similar to that of Muslims. A great number of Muslims have also arrived since the discovery of diamonds in the Manicaland area from north and western African regions. The Islamic migrants are largely coming from the Yao tribe of neighboring Malawi.

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