I first read something similar to the article on nairaland but it has a different name for the author. The name of the author was one Chinweizu  (http://www.ncobra-intl-affairs.org/Africa_resist.pdf ). The article is more or less the same thing with this article. Before going into the article i am particularly disturbed that our own beloved Sahara reporters will post such an article devoid of intellectual objectivity nor intellectual analysis, I doubt if the editor of Sahara reporters had the patience to read the whole long piece of “copy and paste” “junk” before posting it on the webpage.

Going into the article, the author first says “Unlike Christianity islam cannot be translated into local languages” any intellectual will see the dumbness of this statement.  The quran i agree is recited in its Arabic form to preserve its meanings and prevent it from corruption like other books but islam as a religion can be taught and explained to people in any language. The obligatory worship is done in Arabic to unify the mode of worship of all Muslims worldwide. I wonder how the ijebu Muslims in Yoruba land accepted islam if it could not be translated to other laguages or the Chinese Ughur Muslims  in the Xingang province. The quran is currently translated into tens of languages worldwide. I would like to note at this point i will not have bothered with this article if it had been just an attack on arabs but the author calls the title “arabs” but the article is obviously at islam which translates into an obligation for me to defend against lies.

He says “the quran doest not differ between races ....but early islam encourages black slavery” He immediately fires two “ahadeeths” without wrting the reference for the hadiths neither does he write the whole context of the hadiths. This is a crime against intellectuality in its highest form ; attributing a quote to a faith without stating the reference in order words it is as good as false and fabrication. He further says the Arabic word for slave abd equated to blacks , honestly this is a very shallow thought and depicts the author as not having any understanding whatsoever of the faith of islam. Millions of muslims bear the name abd which means slave and when muslims call themselves abd they are the slaves of Allah. He slowly advances in his falsehood and says “Muhammad owned and sold Black slaves.  In fact, he ordered and built the pulpit of his mosque with African slave labour” Yes Muhammad (PBUH) owned a black slave before he became a prophet and freed him when he became a prophet this slave became his adopted beloved son Zaid ibn Harith (RA) who in turn had another son called Usama ibn Zaid and the prophet called usama the beloved son of the beloved. Usama was black and the prophet appointed him the leader of a muslim army dominated by arabs older than Usama’s father and many senior companions at the age of 15 or 17. I suppose this delegation of authority to the black son of a black slave is racism and the freeing of zaid is also the sale of balck slaves. Naiwu hallucinates aagain and adds no evidence to suggest Muhammad sold slaves. The mosque was built on African labour ! i laughed when i read this statement not for the lies of Naiwu nor he not substantiating his claims but i laugh at the stupidity of his allegation and his wholesome ignorance on islam. Lets educate Naiwu and explain to him that the prophet had only 70 muslims who emigrated to medina, the mosque was built by them and the muslims of medina. In fact it was a great honour for these muslims to build the first proper mosque of islam. The prophet himself participated in the building of this mosque. Among the 70 muslims were some freed slaves  who were the early muslims like Bilal and so on. Many of the initial followers of the prophet were slaves who loved the message and the rich companions freed them all with their personal money.

I cannot reply to all this fellows outrageous lies and shallow intellectual garbage but i will just highlight some of his malicious allegations to discredit the whole write up.  He says “Ibn Sina (Avicenna 980–1037), Arab’s most famous and influential philosopher/scientist in Islam, described Blacks as “people who are by their very nature slaves.”  He wrote: “All African women are prostitutes”.  Firstly,  he calls ibn sina an arab which is false Ibn sina is Persian and there is a great differenc e between Persian and arab. Secondly, he attaches this quote to this genius acknowledged by even non muslims as the father of modern medicine and clinical pharmacology without a reference. The quote is false and i want to know how Naiwu read his classical books which are mostly in Arabic and not translated. Also, ibn khaldun the father and founder of the of sociology, demographics and so on was not arab but a Berber, again there is a huge difference e between a Berber and an Arab. No reference again for the quotes of Ibn khaldun.

Naiwu again hallucinates and pens down the concoction in his imaginary mind “After the Arabs had conquered Egypt and shortly after Muhammad’s death, they began demanding Nubian slaves from the south. This continued for 600 years. Dominated African kingdoms were forced to send on a regular basis, tributes of slaves to the Arab ruler in Cairo. From as early as the 6th century CE, they had developed slavery supply networks out of Africa, from the Sahara to the Red Sea and from Ethiopia, Somalia and East Africa, to feed demands for slaves all over the Islamic world and the Indian Ocean region. The African male slaves were castrated and used as domestic servants or to work the Sahara salt deposits or on farms all over the Islamic world.

The African female servants were continuously raped before being sold to households to be used as sex labour.  Of springs from the illicit encounters were largely destroyed as unworthy to live. Between 650 CE and 1905 CE, over 20, 000,000 African slaves had been delivered through the Tans-Sahara” Naiwu can never substantiate this statements and he tries to by quoting one Dr Azumas book which is another hallucination.

Slavery existed before islam and continued with islam. Slavery was practised in Africa since the time of Abraham , slavery was practised in Egypt thousand s of years before islam and even in Yoruba history slavery was practised. Islam’s message was to abolish slavery and it was in a systematic way. Freeing a slave was a act of charity in islam that carried numerous rewards, the prophet had no slave after freeing Zaid, many of the notable companions were freed slaves who became governors of lands and scholars of islam. The difference i want to emphasise here between slavery in islam and European transatlantic slavery is that slavery in islam  was not depicted by race. During a war the defeated are taken in captivity and enslaved as was the general practice even in yourba history of the 14 -18th century. These slaves could be sold as they were seen as properties and in Yoruba language there is a saying “Eni to ba ni eru loni eru ati aru” whoever owns the slaves owns the slaves property. There were many non black  slaves in the time of the prophet  (PBUH) who were freed as well  like Salman al farsi from Persia , European slave girls who were captured from the roman empire and sold to some arabs, Arab slaves, yes Arab slaves! Especially after the battle of hunain the defeated arabs were taken in captivity and some were sold. After the prophet (PBUH) during the battle against rida by Abubakr (RA) the defeated army were taken in captivity and they were arabs. Slavery did exist and islam’s message was to systematically abolish it but this slavery wasn’t characterised by race like our dear Naiwu wants us to believe it was just blacks that were enslaved. You cannot just capture people and make them slaves, they have to be the defeated in a war Naiwu so your allegations of 20,000,000 Nubian slavery by arabs is not only untrue but malicious as these people accepted islam and are still muslims till date which leaves us to wonder why were they enslaved.

Naiwu goes further to take us through history of wars on morocco and spain he then lands to west Africa  and uthman bin fodio. Firstly, this was supposed to be an article at Arabs.  Anyway the tairqas of west Africa were by blacks and uthman inn fodios was black which makes me wonder the inference he wants us to draw from his narration. Did uthman bin fodio enslave other blacks as well?

Naiwu again runs through a whole list of places and wars and concludes arab imperialism was worse than European imperialism. Firstly the arab imperialism he means s actually the Islamic civilisation that spread through the whole of Africa. The civilisation than emancipated sub Saharan Africa from ignorance , the civilisation that established university of Timbuktu in Mali which till today its manuscripts especially in the filed of medicine and other science are being preserved and gradually translated, the civilisation that stabilised the nothern Nigeria and stamped out the evil practices of the then rulers, the civilisation the gave birth to breakthrough in mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, navigation, modern medicine, the civilisation of 800 years of civilised spain, the civilisation that western Europe adapted and developed kudos to them. Having said all this, i would like to distinguish between islam and some practices of muslims. Muslims are not perfect and human subject to corruption and legitimising some evil in the name of God. The raids of North African against themselves and Muslims has nothing to do with Islam but mere rivalry and quest for power. Naiwu states accepting the evil of black slavery means accepting the fallibility of the quran but  he stated in the beginning of his article that the quran doesn’t distinguish between races. This is an oxymoron and the first statement was an amateur way of casting a sense of objectivity and implying his article is not against Muslims but Arabs.

Islam is a faith that preaches against racism in all forms, detests tribalism and opposes nationalism rather it says and calls for the human race is one ummah (one nation). The prophet (PBUH) said in his last sermon before he died “No Arab is superior to a non arab and no none arab is superior to an arab” he appointed a black man as the muadhin (who called to prayer) despite his African accent. In Bukhari “ a companion addressed bilal in a derogatory manner calling him son of a black woman  the prophet heard this and said this companion was still in jahliyyah ( which means his islam is not real and in the heart) This companion felt the world was going to collapse on his head and asked bilal to please step on his head to atone for his misdeeds”. It will be interesting to note that the prophet is called Muhammad son of Abdullah son of Abd mutallib son of Hashim son of Abd Manaf. The prophet’s great great grand father Abd Manaf married a black woman from Ethiopia and they had a son called Hashim the Muhammad’s (PBUH) great grand father. In order words the prophet had black lineage. Also, the first place where the muslims emigrated to was black Africa Ethiopia which explains the prophets love for Africa . The then king of Ethiopia who was Christian loved the prophet and sent him a gift of slave girl who was Christian ( this shows the practice of slavery among Africans pre-islam and this king was a very good Christian). The prophet accepted the gift of the Christian slave girl, this girls name in Arabic was mariya alqatiy (Mary the Coptic) She accepted islam and the prophet married her a black woman. The prophet had a black wife!!!

I acknowledge the racism of some arabs today in the middle east and north Africa and will like to state categorically this has nothing do with islam but the inherent racism in their hearts which goes against the very principle of equality in islam. From Ghadaffi to Anwar Sadat to all the arab leaders, these people are not loved by their own people and everything they stand for is at odds with islam so relating judging islam according to them is like judging Christianity according George Bush or Adolf Hitler. Their actions and evil should not be used to judge Islam.  I finish this article by saying Arab is a race and islam is a faith that transcends races.

Jamal Akin Jamal wrote in from London.

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