On African American Muslim History

“[We] must work to build a better place for [ourselves], one that will benefit all people, regardless of race or religion. Form alliances, firstly among yourselves…Leadership is in the resourceful people that represent the productive life of society”Imam W. Deen Mohammed (ra)

“Many scholars estimate that 15-30% of Africans imported as slaves were Muslim. The majority of the remaining practiced indigenous forms of worship. All were converted to Christianity. Most became Baptist although slaves from Louisiana became Catholic because of the French settlers in that area.” Here are some of those whose names and stories have survived the ravages of man’s inhumanity to man and time.

Omar Ibn Said (ca. 1770-1864) was born in the Muslim state of Futa Toro in Western Africa, in present-day Senegal. He was a Muslim scholar and trader who was captured and enslaved. He arrived in South Carolina in 1807, and was sold to James Owen of North Carolina.

Sali-Bul Ali was a slave on a plantation. His owner James Cooper wrote: “He is a strict Mahometan (sic); abstains from spirituous liquors, and keeps various fasts, particularly that of the Ramadan…”

Lamen Kebe was a slave who used to be a school teacher in Africa. He shared information about the texts and teaching methods used in the Islamic schools of his country.

Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Sori spent 40 years in slavery before he returned to Africa to die. He wrote two autobiographies, and signed a charcoal sketch of himself by Henry Inman, which was featured on the cover of “Freedman’s Journal” and is on display in the Library of Congress.

Copyright Courtesy of:

Islam in America During the Slavery Years, by Huda Islam Expert http://islam.about.com/od/history/a/afammuslims.htm



Leave a Reply