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EARLY ARRIVAL IN THE SAFE LAND: LOOKING INTO THE RECTANGULAR SPACE OF ISLAM IN ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL ETHIOPIA TO 1543. [Abstract ID: 1304-07]
The objective of this abstract is to look into the early history of Islam in Ethiopia from four angles. The designed chronological fact to be treated will be from Islam’s arrival in Ethiopia in the 7th century, the earliest safe land of refuge for this religion, and until the year 1543. All angles are genuinely rectangular in space to be qualified as equal ones: religious space, role in socio-cultural space, the significant position in the political and economic space and finally reconstruction of Islamic space with respect to its heritage and historical developments of those days. The methodology to be employed, in this effort, will be a critical look at historical texts by early Arab geographers and historians of medieval times: Abul Fida, Ibn Seid, Ibn Hawqal, Al-Yaqubī, Al-‘Umarī, Al-Maqrizī, Ibn Kaldun and finally Arab Faqīh alias Chihab edDīn Ahmed ben Abd-Al Qadīr. What did they state and what did they perceive about Islam and the Ethiopian setting of the time? How contemporary Ethiopian sources will also be compared and the two sides carefully treated? Such an approach of comparison and contrast though the topic seems to be quite a vast topic will be condensed and put under one big umbrella. This should be the very umbrella that will lay down a systematic handling of this subject which hitherto has not been properly documented and which still need young but qualified scholars to engage and present themselves into this old terrain. This will generate new ideas and contribute to an established area of research in Ethiopian studies.