Islam in Benin : Islam

The Republic of Benin, the former Republic of Dahomey, is a country in West Africa with nearly 100 million inhabitants (2013 estimates). The country is predominantly a Christian country but has a sizeable Muslim minority of almost 27-30% of the total population. It is not uncommon for members of the same family to practice Christianity, Islam, traditional African religion, or a combination of all of these.

Islam was brought to Benin from the north by Hausa and Songhai Dendi traders. Almost all Muslims adhere to the Sunni Maliki branch of Islam. Some Shiite Muslims are mainly expatriates from the Middle East.

There are no legal restrictions on Muslim worship in Benin. A liberal environment consistent with the diversity of religions in the country is created by the Constitution and other laws. In virtually all parts of the country, salah can be performed without interference. As part of its commitment to secularism, the state of Benin is funding the construction of mosques and other relevant services. Mosques in the country were built with the assistance of wealthy Muslim merchants or with assistance from Kuwait. Mosque costs are covered by their communities. Islamic occasions such as Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha and the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) are official holidays. [2]

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