Sunday, February 19, 2006

Four Muslims of African Descent

Salaam alaikum,

Okay, okay. I'm trying to play catch up. My bad, but I've been under the weather.

Uthman dan Fodio

Shaihu Usman dan Fodio (Arabic: عثمان بن فودي ، عثمان دان فوديو) (also referred to as Shaikh Usman Ibn Fodio or Shehu Usman dan Fodio, 1754 - 1817) was a writer and Islamic reformer. Dan Fodio was one of a class of urbanized ethnic Fulani living in the Hausa city-states in what is today northern Nigeria. He lived in the city-state of Gobir.

Dan Fodio was well-educated in classical Islamic science, philosophy and theology and became a revered religious thinker. His teacher, Jibril ibn 'Umar argued that it was the duty and within the power of religious movements to establish the ideal society, free from oppression and vice. Dan Fodio used his influence to secure approval to create a religious community in his hometown of Degel that would, dan Fodio hoped, be a model town.

However, in 1802, the ruler of Gobir and one of dan Fodio's students, Yunfa turned against him, revoking Degel's autonomy and attempting to assassinate dan Fodio. Dan Fodio and his followers fled into the western grasslands where they turned to help from the local Fulani nomads. Yunfa turned for aid to the other leaders of the Hausa states, warning them that dan Fodio could trigger a widespread Jihad.

Yunfa proved right and dan Fodio was proclaimed Amirul Momineen or Leader of the Faithful. This, in effect made him political as well as religious leader, giving him the authority to declare and pursue a military conquest, raising an army and becoming its commander. A widespread uprising began in Hausaland. This uprising was largely composed of the Fulani, who held a powerful military advantage with their cavalry. It was also widely supported by the Hausa peasantry who felt over-taxed and oppressed by their rulers.

After only a few short years of the Fulani War, dan Fodio found himself in command of the largest state in Africa, the Fulani Empire. Dan Fodio worked to establish an efficient government, one grounded in Islamic law. Already aged at the beginning of the war, dan Fodio retired in 1815 passing the title of Sultan of Sokoto to his son Muhammed Bello.

Another fact about the Shaykh, may God bless him, is that he was a strong advocate against female genital mutilation.

An Interview with Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick on his PhD on Sheikh Uthman dan Fodio

Islam article

Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick

Shaykh Abdullah Hakim Quick Ph.D. has travelled to more than 34 countries on lecture and educational tours. He embraced Islam in 1970 and thereafter pursued his studies at the Islamic University of Madinah, where he completed a BA from the College of Da'wah and Usul al-Din. He later read for his Masters degree and completed his PhD on the History of Islam in Africa at the University of Toronto, Canada. The focus of his thesis was the life of the great mujaddid of the 18th century, Shaykh Uthman Ibn Fudi (Usman dan Fodio), the Amir of the Sokoto Caliphate. Shaykh Ibn Fudi succeeded in combining the best of fiqh, theology and spirituality, and successfully developed an Islamic State.

Shaykh Abdullah Hakim has served as Imam, teacher and counselor in the USA, Canada and the West Indies. For three years he contributed to the religious page of Canada's leading newspaper. He is presently a Senior Lecturer at the Dar-ul-Arqam Islamic Institute and Director of the Da'wah Department of the Muslim Judicial Council, Cape Town, South Africa.

Article from Abdullah Hakim Quick

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad

It’s probably safe to say there aren’t many 25-year-olds who have been responsible for organizing a Harvard-wide conference on a hot topic (Islam in America), creating their own publishing company, and discovering an important scholarly treasure, the 1873 autobiography of an African Muslim ex-slave who spent the last years of his life starting schools for black children in Alabama. Yet a Harvard Divinity School student has done all this recently and more.

“Frustration leads to creation,” explains Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, a second-year masters of theological studies (MTS) student who impressively embodies her own adage. A third-generation African American Muslim, Muhammad has long been frustrated by the dearth of historical information and adequate coverage of Islam in America in academic circles as well as in the media, especially in regard to Islam and the African American experience.

The fourth Muslim is coming up but I have to prepare a proper journal entry for him. It's El-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz, our brother Malcolm X.


Jinnzaman said...

Assalamu alaikum

For information regarding Shaikh Uthman Dan Fodio:

With regards to his daughter, Nana Asma'u:


izzymo said...

Jazak Allah!