The advent of Islam into Kanem happened in about 1090 AD during the reign of Mai Ummi Jilmi. He made Kanem become an influential Muslim state.

Thus, Dunama I and Dunama II respectively were devout Muslims. The former made about three pilgrimages to Mecca while the later built a hostel in Cairo for Kanem pilgrims.

However, most of the Mais were Muslims and they made positive contributions to the growth of Islam in the second Kanuri empire.

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