The history of Islam in Australia predates Christianity hundreds of years. This is because the Muslim Macassan and Buggis traders originating from the island of Sulawesi, trading with the Aborigines from the years between 1550 and 1904, met throughout the history of both peoples, however, their brief encounters left little to be desired, and the cultural exchange was minuscule at best. This timeline will explore the results of a prolonged, earlier cultural exchange between the Aboriginal people and the Muslim traders.
During the first wave of mass trading (1550-1600) between the Bugis/Macassan people and the northern-Australian Maung Aboriginals (the most populous north-Australian Aboriginal group of the time), cultural exchange between the groups was limited. This changed, however, following an explosion in the Trepang (sea cucumber) trade in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
This precipitated the mass cultural exchange during the early 1600's, the most important of which would be the introduction of Islam to the continent. The first monotheistic religion in the land's recorded history, it was more quickly adopted by the Maung people, the group that also took many diplomatic and cultural queues from the Bugis as well. Violent clashes between the followers of Islam and those who did not escalated between the 1610's and the 1650's, bringing about a time of more violence and conflict, as well as encounters.
This explosion in meetings and encounters between the Aboriginal people across the continent continued until the middle of the 17th century, when the continent was struck with disaster, the introduction of disease. The increased "cosmopolitan" aspects of Aboriginal life would allow alien diseases carried from China to Sulawesi and finally Australia to thrive. The Great Death was a marked increase in fatalities brought about by disease occurring between 1647 to 1660, and resulted in the deaths of almost 800,000 Australian Aboriginals.
However, cosmopolitanism would have a major upside, as around the year 1668, the Maung people united under the banner of the Bugis-Aboriginal tribesman Amanrooka OlbNarang, and the beginning of true, centralized civilization in Australia began with the formation of the Kanton Empire.