I know that during the Muslim conquest of the North Africa it was more a military colonization than an Arabization an spread of their culture as the Berbers in North Africa kept their culture and were not merged to the Arabs. After that and with the Hilalian invasions to North Africa that were sent by the order of the Fatimid Caliphate, they Arabized North Africa and spread the Arabic culture. My question now is how many military troops and how many nomads were sent to the Maghreb during these conquests ?.

My sources and my researches: -Muslim conquest of the Maghreb -Hilalien invasion of Ifriqiya (this one is available only in French) I did not found any answers of what I'm asking in those links. I'm also trying to look for other sources in this topic but I did not found anything yet.


1 Answer 1


This book on "The spread of Islam throughout the world" published by UNESCO says:

The Muslim conquest of the Maghrib passed through a number of stages: the first, which was the more important, continued for some 70 seventy years from 21/641 to 91/711 and can be divided into seven military campaigns.

The Wikipedia article you link to on "Muslim conquest of the Maghreb" cites this book as a source but divides this period of conquest into three separate invasions. It mentions about 40,000 Arabs involved in the first invasion led by Abdallah ibn Sa'd in 647. In the second invasion from 665 to 689, it says there were 40,000 in the first wave followed by another 10,000. I'm not seeing any estimates of the invading forces for the third invasion c. 698-703. So in total during all these early invasions of the 7th century, there were something more than 100,000 Arabs involved. It is unclear if any significant number of these stayed there long-term.

Later on (11th century) the article on the Banu Hilal says that, "Abu Zayd al-Hilali led between 150,000 and 300,000 Arabs into central North Africa, who assimilated and intermarried with the indigenous peoples."

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