For history sources, I have depended heavily on the relevant pieces of literature in my possession, on those of Loma Linda University, California, and of the University of Washington, Seattle, and on those in the Arab Republic of Egypt, particularly at Al-Azhar University, the American University at Cairo, and the British Consulate in Cairo. Further, I have had personal interviews with professors at Loma Linda and Seattle, and with Muslim and Christian scholars (clergy and laity) in Egypt and Nigeria.

Since this survey is more historical than sociological, and since Islamic da'wah is twelve to thirteen centuries older than sociological theory as we know it today, I have made little use of sociological theory. However, I have noted, in passing, both conflict theory and functionalism. By the conflict theory, I am referring to (p. 67) that of George Simmel, not Karl Marx, who stresses domination and subjugation. Simmel stresses the socializing and unifying functions of conflict. I have equated the rationale of Islamic jihad (holy war) to Simmel's conflict functionalism. Further, I have equated the Muslim global brotherhood (p. 116) to Emile Durkheim's "collective conscience," a concept which stresses the eufunctions of religion in society.

I have found that the effectiveness of Islamic da'wah in the developing countries, especially Egypt and Nigeria, can be summarized in the following propositions:

  1. The less the social or cultural integration, the more inclined is a person or the more vulnerable is a society to Islam, e.g., the nomadic Arabs (pp. 3-9) and the Hausa city-states of Nigeria (pp. 95-99).
  2. The more culturally accommodating or absorbing a cause is, the more readily acceptable it is to the African mind (pp. 77-78).
  3. The more futuristic a cause is, the less appealing it is to the African (pp. 78-79)
  4. The more a cause can create a substitute to sacred objects ("fetishism") the more acceptable it is to the African, e.g., the "mune" of the Borno (northeastern Nigeria)--see pp. 77, 78, 95.
  5. Those who do not like to be restrained by religious structure, such as the church, are more likely to become Muslim (p. 80).
  6. Those who aspire to higher posts in politics or civil service are more likely to turn Muslim, e.g., the Nigerian situation (pp. 76, 77).
  7. The more a cause has nationalistic appeals, the more acceptable it is to the oppressed mind (pp. 115-123).

Other conclusions drawn are as follows:

  1. Islam and Christianity have influenced each other and shared methods and rationale of da'wah/mission with each other throughout their history.
  2. The connections between Nigeria and Egypt have been genealogical as well as religious (pp. 94-99).
  3. The indirect connections of Islamic da'wah between Egypt and Nigeria seem to be more effective than the direct ones in establishing and sustaining Islam in Nigeria (pp. 107-122).
  4. None of the methods of Islamic da'wah discussed in this paper has proven to be the most effective in all places at all times and under all conditions. However, of all the methods, coersive and peaceful, one element, nationalism, seem to prevail, especially the features of brotherly love and sense of global togetherness in peace and war (pp. 115-123).

Finally, I have suggested that Christian researcher and preachers among Muslims should treat the Muslims as equals. They should stress the common-grounds first before tackling the battlegrounds. A one-to-one interaction may be more effective and less suspicious than other methods of mission (pp. 128-131).


Middle Eastern Studies


Graduate School

First Advisor

Robert Darnell

Second Advisor

Aness A. Haddad

Third Advisor

John W. Elick

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Daʻwah (Islam); Islam -- Missions



Page Count

vii; 140

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives