This new book was co-authored by Sidi Ahmad Mubarak al-Azhari and by imam Dawud Walid , and the foreword was written by Ustadh Abdullah Ali of Zaytuna College.
How Did The Idea Come About?
With a slew of very public anti-black events relating to hate crimes to police brutality in the spotlight as well as the expressed sentiment that there has been continued ignorance and erasure of the black experience within Islam, an idea came to birth among two Islamic educators.
During Black History Month this year, Ahmad Mubarak, who attended Al-Azhar University, and Dawud Walid, a lecturer on Islam and racial justice, were inspired to start the Facebook page Muslim Personalities Who Were Black In Early Islamic History to highlight Muslims from that era who were from African heritage and Arabs who had dark brown to black skin. Some of the personalities featured were Sumayyah, the first martyr among the Sahabah, Fiddah, the maid servant of Fatimah Az-Zahra, and the 8 Abyssinians who accepted Islam and migrated with Ja’far bin Abi Talib to Al-Madinah. Source
Blackness is a term which has been understood differently based upon time and geography. The authors of this book explore how the term was understood by Arabs during the era surrounding the first three generations of Muslims and how such context can better inform understanding who from among them would today be considered Black Muslims in the West. This is very important in light of the effects of colonialism and scientific racism theories such as eugenics etc.,, have forced the idea of species level taxonomies which are in reality social constructs upon the psyche of laymen across the globe. By examining texts of antiquity and centering them in the modern discourse, it is hoped that the nuance and breadth of the human experience can be appreciated. Moving beyond providing generic descriptive terminology, they elucidate in detail particulars based upon semantics of the Arabic language. Authors then give biographical information on a series of early Muslims from African and Arab lineage who would be considered Black in the post modern era.
For more information about the book, please click on the picture below: