This thesis deals with the trans-Saharan commercial links between the Maghreb and Bilād al-Sūdān from the 1st till 5th century AH, and the role the Ibāḍī Traders « community played in establishing these links. Ibāḍī Traders of Bilād al-Sūdān« merchants monopolized the trans-Saharan trade due to their alliances with local Berber tribes and their predisposition to trade, dating from their inception history in Basra. Missionary efforts by Ibāḍī Traders « traders to Bilād al-Sūdān led to the introduction of Islam in Bilād al-Sūdān, as well as the introduction of other Islamic traditions and customs. Both religion and trade where of the utmost importance for the Barbers « community in the Maghreb and thus a compromise between both had to be found. With the research presented in this thesis, I will show how the Ibadi Traders « community became the most important player in trans-Saharan trade and how they were able to hold on to this position until their demise at the beginning of the 4th century. Another significant result of trans-Saharan trade is the considerable impact that Ibadi traders had on both religious and cultural customs of the people of Bilād al-Sūdān. As a side note I will also tentatively argue that the importance of trade for the Ibāḍī community in the Maghreb must have had some influence on the way Ibadism manifested itself.


Arab & Islamic Civilizations Department

Degree Name

MA in Arabic Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

May 2012

First Advisor

Gomez-Rivas, Camilo

Second Advisor

ElBendary, Ami



Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Ibadites -- History -- Africa, North.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Ulama -- Africa, North.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item