The prophet Mohammed (peace be up on him) sent a group of his early followers to Axum when life in Mecca become unbearable as a result of their persecution in the hands of the Quraysh Oligarchy. The arrival of the refugees marked the earliest contact between ancient Islam and Ethiopia, and stands out as a significant milestone and point of departure for the history of Islam in the country. The refugees were remained for 13 years in Ethiopia.
The progress of Islam in Ethiopia can be summarized in the following chronological and thematic scheme:
- Early phase (from 7th to 11th century) characterized by the arrival of Muslim, immigrants:-traders, preachers and other professional groups as individual and families not as a whole tribes. The result of this early penetration of Islam were:
- The establishment of Islamic bridgeheads along the coast.
- The conversion of the coastal population and the nomadic and sedentary groups of the plains.
- The supplanting of the Byzantine traders by Ethiopian Muslim which suggests that there was considerable rate of local conversion to Islam.
- The emergence of Islam as a political factor in the Horn of Africa from the tenth Century.
- Period of expansion and consolidation (12th to 15th century). A number of Muslim states are established in the Ethiopian hinterland, mainly in the areas south of the Awash basin. This period saw the earliest outbreak of conflicts with the medieval Christian kingdom over the control of trade and access to the coast. This coincided with, or was triggered off, by demographic factor movements of nomadic sedentary population from southeastern Ethiopian and the expansion of both the reconstituted Christian kingdom and the Muslim states.
- Period of confrontation (the 16th century Ahmed Gragn episode). This was not simply a clash between Islam and Christianity but the Climax of the centuries old expansion of sedentary and nomadic populations. It eventually resulted in the collapse of Muslim power in the highlands and the decline of Islam as a political factor in the region. The Oromo expansion also temporarily arrested the progress of Islam.
- Period of steady expansion (17th and 18th century). Islam made remarkable progress in the north/ central plateau while the Christian state was faced with internal problem, mainly the decline of the central authority of the monarchy. Islam regained political ascendancy under regional dynasties, particularly in Yejju, Warra Himano and other parts of Wollo.
- Period of reveal and internal reverses (the 19th Century). The first half of the century saw the coming and expansion of the mystical order both in central and southern Ethiopia. The second half was a time of crisis resulting from the attempt of the revived Christian monarchy to check the progress of Islam and undermine it as political and cultural factors in north/central Ethiopia.
THE Mosque of Dire Sheh Hussein
It is founded by sheh Nur Hussein Sheh Ibrahim in 400 Hegira Calendar. This Mosque is located in Oromia Region in the district of Jarra within the Bale Zone at the particular place known as Anajlna. It is 331 k,M from Addis Ababa on the newly constructed road to Arsi and 600 k.M far on the way to Bale.
- Aged and hung fence made of stone.
- Doomed construction (Kubba) in the name of Sheh Husein and other religion teachers.
- Ponds named as Shoka and Dinkure.
- Aged Mosque and the cave of Aynage which has historical contact with Sheh Hussein.
- Two pilgrimages used to be made within a year from different parts of the country to the place until the present time.
- It is used as a religious school (medresa) and as a tourist attraction place.
Goza Mosque is found in Amhara Region in the district of Kewet. It is located eight kilometers far from Shewa Robit Town.
Based on Oral tradition this mosque is in 110 of hegira calendar. Therefore, its age of establishment is around 1000 years, though there is another oral tradition which bring its establishments to 14th century. In general, Goze served as Muslim intellectual center for several years. As a result there are many Muslim clerics in the Country as a graduate of this center.
It is found in Tigray region at the place known as Negash. This place is considered as the first followers of Prophet Mohammed (Peace be Upon Him) immigrated to escape from the massacre of Quraysh tribe and lived for certain time. The immigrant were allowed to Inter the country by the then king Asmeha Aujar (Nejashi) and gave them protection.
The burial of king Nejashi and some immigrants who died before going back to their country is found at this place. The burial age of these funerals is expected to be in 7th century.
Source: The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs supreme council, Addis Ababa, Ethiopian.