The Things We Carry in a Time of War and No Peace

Where are the grief counselors for the things we carry When the whole world is portrayed as falling apart in our religion’s name And all some people can do is politicize and police the depth of our sorrow While we struggle to stay sane? Where are the safe spaces to share the things we carry Who are the helpers who can help us heal Who can lift the burden of the horrors we see too clearly While the rest of the world… Read more

We Can’t Breathe: An African-American Muslim Mother Speaks

I thought I was doing a good job compartmentalizing recent events until I couldn’t sleep for several nights in a row. The deepest recesses of my being just wouldn’t allow it. My soul was too busy trying to make sense of the evils ravaged against my peoples. Read more

I am Proud to be of Christian and Muslim Heritage

Muslim History Detective’s log, 08/13/14: In researching my family history, I recently learned that one set of great-great grandparents, on my mother’s side, owned land in South Carolina that has been in our family for over a century. Though I did not know it until recently, I among the heirs of this land. There is a family cemetery on this land. Those are my people, my own flesh and blood. There is a family church on this land, and people… Read more

Make it Plain: The Truth about the Muslims Called Bilalians

By Precious Rasheeda Muhammad and Guest Co-Author Mahasin Abuwi Aleem* We read a well-meaning article recently, by Chaplain Bilal Ansari, which misrepresented the history of the American Muslim community that once referred to themselves as “Bilalians.” We co-authored this piece to correct the most problematic inaccuracies. Going forward, we will also be co-curating a documentary website, The Bilalian Project, to provide a window into how this rich history fits in the greater narrative of Islamic, African American, and United States… Read more

The American President and the Muslim Sister in the Majestic Purple Headdress

Muslim History Detective’s log, 2/28/14 Just four or five rows behind President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton, the Muslim woman sat, adorned in a majestically wrapped and hued purple headdress. The color crowned her glowing brown skin, completing her worthily. I had not been looking for her. I did not even know she was there. But in that moment she was all that I saw: A dignified pioneer. A familiar face. Sister Amatullah Sharif is her name. I… Read more

An African Muslim Prince Goes to Boston in 1828

Muslim History Detective’s log, 2/26/2014 On a jubilant Boston afternoon in August of 1828, David Walker – an African-American merchant, civil rights activist and fierce abolitionist – delivered an intense toast at a banquet in honor of Abdul Rahman Ibrahima ibn Sori, a West-African born Muslim and prince who had been enslaved in the United States for 40 years. Now a freedman – in part as a result of the direct intercession of President John Quincy Adams – Abdul Rahman arrived… Read more

2014 Black History Month Reflections: Imam W.D. Mohammed on Religious Freedom

(NB: During this Black History Month, I aim to write a few short pieces focusing on events connected to Muslims of black African descent who have contributed to the American religious and historical landscape in a significant way.) Muslim History Detective’s log, February 5, 2014 On June 25, 1988, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed attended the First Liberty Summit in Williamsburg, Virginia. Along with 100 other prominent Americans present that day, he served as a national signer of the historic Williamsburg… Read more

Muslims in the House: A History Lesson Born from a Prayer in Congress

Muslim History Detective’s log, 08/7/13 TALIB SHAREEF, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran and imam of Washington, DC’s Masjid Muhammad, eloquently delivered the opening prayer during last Wednesday’s session of the U.S. House of Representatives. What a refreshing sight to behold during the final few days of the blessed month of Ramadan. At one point, the Muslim leader spoke of the “many diverse, wonderful, beautiful expressions of human life that have contributed to the beauty and strength of America.” When… Read more

The Qur’an, Trayvon Martin, the Black Pathology Lie and God’s Awesome Creation

Muslim History Detective’s log, 07/17/13 Ramadan, the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic calendar, is the month when the Qur’an was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. In addition to fasting during Ramadan, from sunrise to sunset, Muslims read one thirtieth of the Qur’an each day, so that by the end of Ramadan they have read the entire Qur’an. This past Saturday, I happened to be on the one thirtieth of the Qur’an wherein Chapter 5, verse 8, teaches… Read more

A Muslim in a New York State of Mind—Part 3

Muslim History Detective’s log, 06/3/13 At 11 A.M. on Sunday, December 10, 1893, the adhan (Muslim call to prayer), heard throughout the world wherever praying Muslims are found, could be heard three stories above New York City’s famed Union Square. This was the same call, which, by the appointment of the Prophet Muhammad, had first been called and perfected in the seventh century by Bilal ibn Rabah, a Meccan ex-slave of Ethiopian origin. Bilal had become a close companion of the prophet and… Read more


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