The Islamic conquest of the seventh century marked the beginning of a process that pulled the Far and Central Maghreb into the emerging Islamic world. This process was, however, not straightforward. Step by step, commercial, political and intellectual bonds linked the Maghreb with the Middle Eastern centers, while religious missionaries and political dissidents arrived there and sought for adepts amongst the newly converted population. Umayyads and Fatimids used this territory to fight their battles. The conflicts between these rival regional macro-powers forced the Berber imamates to increase their dependence on the Western Umayyads in Al-Andalus. Economically the Maghreb had become part of a transregional commercial network (slave- trade) and eventually became part of the Islamicate world sharing legal practices, religious doctrines and globally connected scholarly elites. The growing influence of Maliki scholars and practices prepared the terrain for the adoption of the Maliki legal school and the marginalization of local forms of Islam. Finally, the Maghreb became part of a “Sunni” mainstream Islam throughout the tenth and eleventh centuries.
Umayyad Islamization Arabization Umayyad caliphate Khārijism Idrisids Ibāḍite communities Kharijites Shiites Ismailites Central and Far Maghreb arḍ al-Barbar modern Algeria and Morocco land of the “Berbers”