African History, African Religion

“Islam and Africa has made something of each other that is quite extraordinary,” – Rene A. Bravmann in ‘African Islam’.

“African Muslims have always maintained a quite close links with the Arab world, from which a numbers of reformers came. But Islamization was essentially carried out by Africans themselves, who shared the same life, spoke the same language, lived in the same cultural world entirely. There is no doubt that, for African Muslims, ‘Africanicity’ and Islam are in no way opposed. For them Islam is not an imported religion. For many, abandoning the Muslim religion is equivalent to the rejection of all their family and tribal traditions, so intermingled are the two socio-religious universes. One must conclude that, Islam in the traditional African form, is entirely a part of African cultural heritage and thus an Afican reality,” – Estella in book Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To many historians – African-Islamic connection goes back to the arrival of first humans, Adam and Eve, on Earth. Both began their life in African continent – and according to Holy Qur’an – both Adam and Eve – like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Yusuf, Moses, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, and Jesus – were all Muslims (worshippers of One Allah).

Islam with no church, teaches that all humans, irrespective of their gender, skin color, and ethnic origin are capable of doing good – there is no ‘Original Sin’. The one Creator (Allah) is the Lord of all, not of some ‘chosen people’ or tribe.

According to report published by Washington-based Population Reference Bureau and USAID – the African population has reached one billion in 2008 – and at the current growth rate, it’s expected to double by 2050.  Muslims make 48% of African population, followed by Christianity (37%).

Professor Dr. Mohamed Elmasry (University of Waterloo, Canada), an Egyptian-born African Canadian – wrote an excellent article titled What if European had not discovered Africa?, published in The Canadian Charger.

“Begining in 711, and for some 700 years, Africans were rulers, academics, scholars, army commanders and sailors in Muslim Spain. Mixed marriages led to more than 25 generations of African Europeans. There is increasing evidence that Africans came to America long before Columbus (see professor Ivan Van Sertima’s classic They Came Before columbus).

Before 1412, Africa was also heavily influenced by Asians, specially by the Arabs, before and after Islam, via Sinai, the Red Sea, and Indian Ocean. The relations were based on trade and culture exchange, rarely on wars. These marriages, which Islam accelerated, were a positive social integration factor in the advancement of both Africans and Arabs.

Before Islam, the most famous Queen of Arabia, the Queen of Sheba (Bilqis), was an African and her son sat on the throne of Ethiopia.

Islam teaches that a slave (Black or White) is a victim of circumstances who should be helped to be free and treated fairly in the meantime. Trading in slaves is a sin. This is in contrast to the teaching of the Bible, “Slaves obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling (Ephesians 5-6)”. (According to Talmud, every male Jew is required to recite in the daily prayer: “Thanks G-d for not making me a Gentile, a Woman, and a Slave”)……”

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