Monday, January 19, 2009

Beyond Bilal: Contributions of Blacks To Islam

Most Muslims, when asked about the contributions of Blacks to Islam can only talk about the great Companion Bilal. It is an article of faith in Islam that no race of people is superior to another. However, there has been a concerted effort to erase the contributions of Blacks to Islam. This effort has resulted in a negative perception of Blacks by immigrants to America and has caused Blacks to disrespect themselves and their leaders and to lack confidence in their own potential. Since you can't do great things unless you know you have done great things in the past, and with a view to uplift our own image of ourselves so that we can compete in the world, we present some of the great Blacks in the history of Islam:

  • Hajar: Wife of the Prophet Ibrahim. The Prophet Ismail, son of Ibrahim is regarded as the father of the Arabs. Ismail's mother, Hajar, was an African woman. Thus all Arabs are descendants of a Black woman! Indeed, Dr. Bertraim Thomas, former Prime Minister to the Sultan of Muscat and Oman wrote: "The original inhabitants of Arabia...were not the familiar Arabs of our time, but a very much darker people." Quoted in Story of The Moors In Spain by Stanley Lane-Poole.

  • Zayd Ibn Harithah. Zayd, a Black African, has the distinction as the only companion of the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace) who is mentioned by name in the Holy Qur'an! (Qur'an 33:37). He was one of the first 5 converts o Islam and died as a martyr.

  • Usaamah Bin Zayd Ibn Harithah He was the son of the previously mentioned Zayd Bnin Harithah. Zayd was honored by he Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in a way that other companions envied: Zayd was given command of an army that fought against the mighty Byzantine empire. This Muslim army included Abu Bakr Siddique, Umar and Uthman. Zayd was commander over these eminent companions! At the time Zayd was only 18 years old! Some of the companions protested Zayd's appointment. The Prophet himself silenced those who protested! Zayd helped wash the body of the Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) upon his death.

  • Luqman This wise African man has the 31st chapter of the Qur'an named after him!

  • Askia Muhammad This African king of the 15Th century established the Songhai Empire as the largest in West African history. He rapidly established trade with Europe and Asia and established many institutions of learning.

  • The Moors The Moors were North African Muslims who conquered Spain and ruled it for 600 years. The Moors brought astronomy, architecture, medicine,mathematics, street lights and cleanliness to Europe and rescued Europe from the dark Ages. The Moors established bathing facilities for the Europeans who believed it was a sin to wash. The unsanitary habits of the Europeans brought measles, mumps and polio to the world.Many modern Muslim writers have attempted to distort history by portraying the Moors as white skinned! Far too much evidence proves that the Moors were Black. All the writers of that era described the Moors as Black. The word "moor" means "black" in Latin. Shakespeare's Othello is a Moor and Shakespeare portrayed his as black. The Philadelphia Art Museum has ancient pictures of the Moors as Black people including a famous picture of a Black Moorish chief.

  • Mansa Musa This 14Th century African king was a great benefactor of Islamic scholarship. He is famous for his pilgrimage to Mecca which awakened the world to the stupendous wealth of the Kingdom of Mali. His caravan included 60,000 men, 100 camels with 300 pounds of gold each, 500 slaves each carrying a 4 pound staff of solid gold. So much gold did Mansa Musa give away that he destabilized the economy in several countries! The Kingdom of Mali had an advanced level of urban living compared with the relative backwardness of Europe.

  • Uthman Dan Fodi This famous African scholar of scholars led a jihad in northern Nigeria in the early 19th century that created an Islamic empire 180,00 square miles.

  • Muhammad Ahmad Though most Muslims dispute the claim that he was the "Mahdi", none can dispute the fact that while Britain had colonized much of the Arab world, Muhammad Ahmad led a jihad in 1881 against the British General Gordan and established Sudan as an independent state.

  • Black Muslims of America! There can be no doubt that Blacks have always been the backbone of the Islamic movement in America. Too many of our people have fought police batons, police dogs, judges, courts and been killed and/or imprisoned in order to make it safe for Muslims to wear veils, khimars, throbes, beards, have Islamic names, masjids and be respected in America, while many immigrants cowered in fear. No Islamic organization could effectively or safely exist in America without the previous efforts of Blacks. Not Cair, ISNA, MSA, ICNA, OR ANY OTHER GROUP COULD HAVE GROWN WITHOUT THE EFFORTS OF Blacks NOR WILL THEY SURVIVE WITHOUT THE SUPPORT OF Blacks! SO LET US BE RECOGNIZED AND RESPECTED. AND MOST IMPORTANT: LET US RESPECT OURSELVES.


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  3. We never respond or publish anonymous comments. Take off your hood and have enough courage to identify yourself.