Our education does not provide adequate curriculum about black history, let alone Black Muslim history. Growing up in public education systems means you’re only exposed to the history of white Canada and white Europe, with little reference to the history of “coloured” people. Often, we have to encounter Black Muslim history through our own learnings and surprisingly enough even at our sermons. In particular the story of Bilal ibn Rabah Al-Habashi who was not only beloved to the Prophet, but was also freed from slavery by Abu Bakr Al-Siddiq. If you’ve seen The Message, the cringe-worthy experience of Bilal’s slavery is vividly depicted and leaves you in wonder on the atrocities of how humans treat each other.
Today, we are extremely connected to more knowledge and information yet we remain less knowledgeable than ever before. Ideally, the internet should leave us more informed about our past. In response to this gap of content, I want to share with you stories that have profoundly affected me in my learning of Black Muslim history.
- Malcolm X: A man who dropped out of school, went to jail, converted to Islam, led a movement then got assassinated
- Ali: The biography of the greatest boxer of all time
- Prince Among Slaves: A prince who got captured, enslaved and then got the President of the United States to free him
- The Message: The story of Islam, including Bilal’s story
- Kareem Abdul Jabbar: One of the 50 greatest players in NBA history.
These links will not teach you everything about Black Muslims, but I hope it works as a starter kit to get you reading into more about Black and Muslim history. These two histories are inextricably linked, and to ignore them will be to lose out on so much knowledge and information. Let’s not let black history month be confined to only one month of the year, but something we actively choose to learn about during any time of the year.
Do you have any black Muslim stories you want to share? Drop a comment.