Tippu Tip:Black History Month Bio

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Tippu Tip,Tib or Hamed bin Mohammed bin Juma bin Rajab el Murjebi (Raheem Ullah), is a 19th century Powerful Muslim Merchant whose occupation gave  him the ability to have influence in certain regions in Africa. Hamed bin Mohammed el Murjebi was born into a Zanzibar merchant dynasty at a time when trading routes from that East African metropolis were beginning to reach into the area which today forms the Republic of Zaïre. The trader was active in Swahili- Zanzibar and various of position in southeast Africa. He was a governor ivory trader, plantations owner.

The local used to call him Tippu Tib after the sounds that his many guns made. It was the third expedition where befriended the British missionary and Explorer David Livingstone. He is believed to be the key to open up the central  Africa trade for ivory and other commodities.

The first expedition he was involved in was the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika into northern Katanga  which took place in 1859-1860 and was followed by two more campaigns along the same route in 1865 and 1867-1869. He usually bought the ivory for a cheap price and made profit out of it. Tippu Tip was at one point involved in slavery, however calling him a slave trader would be incorrect as the Europeans had done. He was labelled as “Slave trader” because he represented strength and inlfuence which of course could ruin the colonization intrest in Central Africa. In 1870, he succeded building empire in Maniema region between Lualaba and Lomami rivers. He managed to 4.000-man caravan who were on the way to Gongo. This also marks the time British explorer  V.L Cameron visited him in 1874.  Tippu Tip had god relation with the locals and the chiefs who agreed to serve as  his auxillaries. Around the same period considerable number of Zanyibari traders who had been there before set up an entrepot at Nyangwe.

Although most of the European disliked him he maintained good relation with the Europeans. Henry Morton Stanley was one of the people who worked with him and explored the deepest jungles in the Congo. Between 1887 and 1887, Tippu Tib claimed the Eastern Congo for Himself for the Bargash bin Said el Busaidi Sultan of Zanzibar. Tippu Tip Raheem ullah despite of his influence was losing control over the situation.

In 1886 broke out between the Swahili and the Belgians Representative of King Leopold. Tippu had to consult with the belgians and returned to Zanzibar. Stanley seized the opportunity during the absence of Tippu Tip (Raheem Ullah) to secure the post at the upper river ( Stanley falls). Whilst being in Zanzibar Tippu Tip clarifiy his intentons and his role in central Africa. In June 1884 a modus vivendi was reached between Tippu Tip’s lieutenants and King Leopold’s representatives regarding each group’s respective sphere of influence, but Tippu Tip rejected this settlement and established himself at Stanley Falls to personally supervise the situation in November 1884.

.During 1883-1884 Tippu Tip seems to have been playing both ends of the field or to have been divided between his loyalty to the Sultan and his realization that European influence would probably prevail in the Congo.

After The Berlin Conference, the relations between Arab traders and agents of the Congo Free State rapidly worsen. This continued to deterioate because of various European activities which undermined the Arabs’ commercial position.Tippu Tip traveled back to Zanzibar in 1886 across what had now officially become German East Africa, and in his absence his men burned down the Congo Frees State post at Stanley Falls. In Zanzibar, Tippu Tip realized (as did the Sultan himself) that the days of Zanzibari power had passed, and in February 1887 he accepted from Stanley a commission from the Congo Free State as governor of the Stanley Falls district. At the same time, he also agreed to man the expedition which Stanley had been commissioned to organize for the purpose of rescuing Emin Pasha (E. Schnitzer), a German condottiere in the service of Egypt who had been stranded in the Bahr el Ghazal area as a result of the Mahdist uprising in Sudan.

Tippu Tip traveled back to the Upper Congo in the company of Stanley but this time by way of the Atlantic coast and up the Congo River. Aside from its doubtful usefulness, the relief expedition was marred by the near annihilation of its rearguard, a disaster for which Stanley attempted to place the blame on Tippu Tip. The old trader returned to Zanzibar in 1890 to defend himself in the lawsuit brought against him by Stanley. Although Tippu Tip’s good faith was vindicated, he never returned to the Congo.

Tippu Tip’s son, Sefu, attempted to reassert control over one of his father’s African auxiliaries, Ngongo Lutete. The latter, however, went over to the side of the Congo Free State, and in the ensuing conflict (1892-1894) the commercial and political control of the Arab traders over the eastern Congo was shattered and Sefu himself was killed. Tippu Tip, who had vainly tried to dissuade his son from opening hostilities against the Europeans, spent his last years in retirement disrupted by litigation.

Famous Qoute

” If you whit men are desirous of throwing away your lives ( exploring large parts of Africa) , it is no reason we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains and you spend your lives for no reason and purpose

This was response to Henry Morton Stanley who offered him and his men 5, 000 to escort him on his African exploration in 1875

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

If you white men are desirous of throwing away your lives [exploring large parts of Africa], it is no reasons we Arabs should. We travel little by little to get ivory and slaves and are years about it. But you white men look only for rivers and lakes and mountains, and you spend your lives for no reason and no purpose.

– See more at: http://politicalquotes.org/node/41020#sthash.yag6HA9B.dpuf

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Iluminating the Darkness: Interview with Habeeb Akande: Internchange

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Dawah Man take on The Black History Month The Real Story just before he left fo Pakistan

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Islam, Arabs and Slavery part 2

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So as we already mentioned before it only makes perfectly sense  to cast light anywhere were there was Islamic Involvement. West Africa was a region that had a lot of Islamic influence.  The local slave  trade in west Africa was active. Especially in areas populated by particular nations such as Ashanti, Yoruba  imbanagala and Nyamwezi. All these nations engaged in a specific form of slavery. Most of slaves were captured during war and were sometimes sold to Slave dealers. John Thornton and Linda Heywood of Boston University estimate that 90 percent of those shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders.

Henry Louis Gates, the Harvard Chair of African and African-American Studies, has stated that “without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents, the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible, at least on the scale it occurred.

We don’t fully agree with this assertion, as we know about the resistance movements of The Muslim Kingdoms and empires opposing and combating Trans-Atlantic model. Suleyman Bal  and Abdel Kader Kane were among the Muslims that were fighting against slavery in 18th century. Nasir Dir al Din  Raheem ullah the Berber marabout leader was an inspiration for the two who studied in dahira (Quranic Schools) of Koki and Pir in Kayor.

In 1776 they established the independent theocracy of Futa Toro. Kane was elected as almami, and in July the vibrant movement in the islamic states of Bundu and Futa Toro were determine to put an end to the selling of their coreligionists  and subjugated the French slave convoys.  in 1788, Abdel Kader Kane in particular was determined to make sure he was determined to force the law. A French slave convoy was stopped by his men and ultimately freed 90 men. Furthermore  the persistence of the French in the region he wrote a letter that would strike terror in the hearts of the people. The letter was directed to the governor in Saint-Louis, dated March 1789.

“We are warning you that all those who will come to our land to trade in slaves will be killed or massacred if you do not send our children back. Would not somebody who was very hungry abstain from eating if he had to eat something cooked with his blood?  We absolutely do not want you to buy Muslims under any circumstances. I repeat that if your intention is to always buy Muslims you should stay home and not come to our country anymore. Because all those who will come can be assured that they will lose their life”

Another group of people were the Mossi who opposed the slave trade in the Sahel region. This however had a slight change when in the 1800s with the Atlantic slave trade and the Mossi Kingdom entered the slave market. Walter Rodney says in his Journal ” African Slavery and other Forms of Social Oppression on the Upper Guinea region.

I.A Akinjogbin narrates that before the European arrived the coast of west Africa that there was no major activity in slave trade industry. He notes that the demand for slavery increased dramatically with the beginning of the Atlantic slave trade. The few groups that controlled the coast were  Yoruba people and Aja people.

In East Africa or Horn Africa engaged in slavery. The Dynasties which included the region were the Islamic influenced Adan Sultanate and Christian Solomonic dynasty. As a slave you were more prescribed to domestic services in east Africa. Slaves had  the right to roam around freely and engage in business under the condition the requirements of the owner were met. The Freedom was so great that slaves even had the freedom of religion. The Dynasties of the Ethiopian Highlands dealt with Nilotic slaves that they captured through conquering and reconquering the lowland territories.

There was high concentration of Bantu and Oromo slaves In Somalia. The treatment  slaves in Somalia and the view on slaves was externally influenced.

Bantu slaves were regarded as inferior and were bought for undesirable work on plantation grounds. In any other society where slavery existed the relation between master and slave had sexual aspect. Whereas in the Somali society having sexual relation with their slave was frown upon and strongly discouraged. The Italian colonial presence worsened the situation.

The Italian regarded the Somali people racially superior. And that does make sense if we look at the scientific world in the 19th century. These were the odd few occasion where slavery was based upon the race or ethnicity  regarded as the decision factors to enslave people. Oromo in comparison were almost seen as equal when they intermarried or the slave master. Manumission was granted If Oromo female became pregnant.

Central Africa also had its own experience with slavery. However the slavery there was predominately based on the status of an individual. War captives as Early Portuguese explorer narrate during the reign Lukeni Lua reign over Mwene Kabunga.

Then of course we have the slavery society around the African Great lakes in South east africa. The African Great Lakes experienced the greatest influx of ethnic Arab slave traders. Slavery in this region was regarded as secondary commodity, merchant like Tippu Tip interest for ivory were far greater.  Tippu Tip was considered ethically Arabs but there was no much differences in their physical appearance to he slaves. Surprisingly before the 1800s we see the same trend again.

Slavery was taking place on a small scale, concentrated in one specific area.There were was no specific distinction between slave and master in the society. Post the Transatlantic slave trade the islands of Kilwa Kisiwani, Madagascar and Pemba involvement in the Slave trade exponentially grew. The peak of the slavery reached between the 18th and 19th century with efflux of 30,000 thousands slaves per year. The exporting records for the 19th century are 718,000 captives from the Swahili coast. Two major changes, transformed the slave trade in the region.Merchant from Oman and India start taking interest in the shores of southeast Africa. The plantation industry required labor, thus slave raiding increased the area.

The treaty of 1776 that stated that 1,000 slaves would be delivered to the french. The treaty was signed by king of Kilwa island. So again we can see the same trend. Everything becomes more intense towards 18th century more focus is on the slave trade. Tippu Tip (Raheem Ullah) is the best example of that change being active in Great lake before Henry Morton Stanley gives us a good understanding on how the Arab presence was in Africa at that time.

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Curse of Ham part 2

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In  the last article we discussed the christian narrative and the incorrect points that had been propagated throughout History. Unfortunately a few Muslim writers adopted the belief. The two main areas that suffered under the myth were historiography and ethnography of Muslim literature. scholars and writers wanted to know causes for the dark skin, and sometimes borrowed from the story of ham in the from the people of the book. One of them is jarir at tabri in his masterpiece Tarik ar Rasul  wal muluk.

The story however had a twist. Noah’s curse against his son Ham was a result of him seeing the nakedness of his father. Similar to the story in Genesis, Nuh Aley selam is being shown in a bad light and the majority of the classical scholars opposed the idea.  Among scholars we have the likes of As-suyti, Al jahiz and Ibn khaldun.David M. Goldenberg’s mentions something similar  his study of representation of Black  Africans in Judaism, Christianity and Islam, by saying

” The Biblical story ( curse of Ham) has been the single greatest justification for black Slavery for more than thousand years, It’s a strange justification  for black slavery for there is no reference in it to blacks at all”.

The major problem in the story is the lack of evidence there is no supporting pillar to back up the claim , and we tried  to show the flaws in he story in part of the cure of Ham. The advice of the Prophet SaS was to not acknowledge the stories nor disagree. There are a few traditions that allow Muslim to narrate the stories of the Jewish, but there are of course conditions. For example the narration on the authority of Abdullah ibn Amr RD.  narrates

that the Prophet sas said convey from me, even if it is one ayah. Narrate from the Children of Israel without fear of reproach and whoever lies about me deliberately  should prepare his seat in the Fire”

(Al-Bukhari kitab al -anbiya. bab ma dhukira an Bani Israil No. 3274)

Abu Hurayrah RD. narrates ” The  People of the Book used to read the Tawrah in Ibraniyyah ( Hebrew) and explain it in Arabic to the  people of Islam, so the Messenger of Allah swt  said, Do not believe the People of the Book , nor disbelieve them, but rather” Say  ” We belive in Allah  and what has been revealed to us( Surat al Baqarah 2:135) Hadith is found in ( Al-Bukhari, kitab at tafsir, bab qulu amanna billahi wa ma unzila ilayna No, 4215, see also Nos 6928 and 7013)

So what is the lesson we can take from here ? Prophetic tradition is superior to any statements any other human makes providing the tradition is thoroughly understood, and goes hand with the consensus of the majority of scholars. Then of course the ability to categorize  the Israel narration  is vital to understand. There are narration that there confirmed by Qur’an and Sunnah, then there are narration which contradict  Qur’an and Sunnah. And then those one who are no found in Islam teaching which the Hadith above gives us guidance how to deal with it. These Hadith we mentioned should be enough to understand that there is a way of filtering away Non- Islamic principles. Furthermore we can learn from our past mistake and see what could once we adopt beliefs that outside Islam. Why does it matter what people in the past said or did. Well the 9th century represented the century of slavery in Iraq and around that time many racial slurs were motivated by these teachings.

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Black Horses, Black Magic and Katy Perry

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black horse

The Anti-Black Horse Campaign is growing by the minute. Katy Perry and her Production company will have to understand that the mix message in the new music video is forcefully being rejected by the Muslim community.

28 million views in 4 days shows how many people were anticipating this video.The Pepsi promotional stunt on Twitter encouraged fans to participate in a voting program, where fans could unlock song titles and their respective lyrics by tweeting the hashtag “#KATYNOW”. The chosen tracks for the campaign were “Walking on Air” and “Dark Horse”. Once tweets voting for each song reached a certain number, their respective samples were unlocked and fans could vote for which one they wanted to have an early release on digital retailers. “Dark Horse”, won and was released on September 17, 2013 on the iTunes Store.However, due to its commercial success, it was sent to contemporary hit and rhythmic radio stations on December 17, 2013 as Prisms third official single.

Is Katy Perry aware of the message she is sending out or is she even in control of the video and the production?

The people who worked close with her on the project affirm it. The director of the Music Video Cullen defends the video and says ” Ancient Egypt is part of what he calls our “shared collective mythology”. He also said “The most important thing is that when you create something, and this is actually something Katy and I worked to do”.

Rapper Juicy J who is featured in the video says ” very professionally, the verse I did on that song, she was singing it”. He adds “She’s really a genius, she was by the mixing board and telling the guy what to take in and take out, She’s really hands-on with her music, she knows music”. Katy talks about the song herself, in an interview, she says  she wanted the song to have a “witchy, spell-y kind of black magic-y idea”, so she wrote it from the perspective of a witch warning a man not to fall in love with her because if he does, she will be his last. Could this be the reason behind the failure of her marriage ?

The Qur’an supports the idea that Black Magic could be used to separate or manipulate Man and Woman perception of each other. What is so striking about this is that the US singer claims it herself and says that the motivation behind the song was to warn men.

Of course a warning that is not being taking seriously by her 28 mio viewers on Youtube. However let us follow the narrative the Qur’an presents. And the noble Quran narrates

And they followed [instead] what the devils had recited during the reign of Solomon. It was not Solomon who disbelieved, but the devils disbelieved, teaching people magic and that which was revealed to the two angels at Babylon, Harut and Marut. But the two angels do not teach anyone unless they say, “We are a trial, so do not disbelieve [by practicing magic].” And [yet] they learn from them that by which they cause separation between a man and his wife. But they do not harm anyone through it except by permission of Allah . And the people learn what harms them and does not benefit them. But the Children of Israel certainly knew that whoever purchased the magic would not have in the Hereafter any share. And wretched is that for which they sold themselves, if they only knew”     { Surah Baraqah}

I am literally speechless the Quran has the answer to all issues we can think of.  ” And wrected is that for which they sold themselves, if the only knew” This is what Imran Hussein beautifully conveys in his video as responds to Katy Perry. He takes the attention away from the controversial “Allah-Chain -scene” and gives a spiritual advice. see video here. {Imran Hussein}

imran Khan { Anticipation of Dawah man’s Video}

About an hour ago Dawah Man posted  the picture above stating he also will respond to the incident Insha Allah which means it will be his fifth video to a Celebrity.  His Eminem video that went viral caused a whole generation for the first time to unite against an A-list super mega star. Dawah man got his point across in a unmatched fashion, and the result of that is  50 thousand views see video here { Dawah To Eminem} . What can we expect and from which angle will he tackle this, we are still waiting for his respond. The Muslim are sharp and more than willing to be vocal about where the red line needs to be drawn, when associating anything to Allah swt. I think the most shocking thing about the fiasco is that the fans and, now even academics praise her for creativity and being accurate as Robert K. Ritner, Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, said “Whoever put this together actually knew something about the myth of Cleopatra. There are a number of features in here that I could use in class”.

The Muslim responds is an E-petition circulating online with over 30 thousand supporters. There are about 15 thousand sign up  needed for You tube remove the video. So please share this article, sign up the E-Petition here{ Remove} Please leave us comment what you think about the uproar not justified ?.

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Nana Asmau: Black History Icon

“It is a religious duty to seek knowledge; women may leave their homes freely for this.” — Nana Asma’u

nanaNana Asma’u lived between 1793–1864 in modern day Nigeria and is a perfect example of a Muslim inspired by the Prophet Muhammad and his legacy of furthering women’s rights. She was a scholar, a politician, and a poet; she also led an educational reform for women in the Sokoto Caliphate. In one poem she writes:

“Such knowledge enables you to follow God and the


Insight into the Sunna will carry us to Ahmada.

Wishing for a Muslim everything that you

Wish for yourself is [in keeping with] the character of

Muhammada.” (vv. 19-21, 28)

When her father first formalized the Sokoto Calphiate, there were many non-Muslim pagans in rural areas who had no exposure to reading or writing. Her job was to integrate these people into society and give them education. She was successful in her mission and formed female study groups and formalized mnemonic devices to memorize Surahs in the Qur’an.  The women in these societies learned reading and writing by studying the Qur’an and, more importantly, in Nana Asma’u’s educational reforms, she was strongly influenced by the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad. In one poem, Nana Asma’u states:

“She was most revered and had great presence.

I speak of Aisha, a saint

On account of her asceticism and determination.

And Joda Kowuuri, a Qur’anic scholar

Who used her scholarship everywhere….

There were others who were upright

In the community of the Shehu; I have not listed them.

Very many of them had learned the Qur’an by heart

And were exceedingly pious and zealous.”

(Sufi Women, vv. 68-70, 73-74)

In this poem of hers, Nana Asam’u lauds female Islamic scholars through history, demonstrating how much educational opportunities for women in Islamic society were valued. She describes these women as being incredibly pious and upright. Aisha was a woman who was a frequent subject in the poetry of Nana Asam’u; in ”One Woman’s Jihad,” the author notes, “The first describes Aisha’s accomplishments as a devout Muslim who cared for orphans and widows, promoted community harmony.” Nana Asam’u was an active advocator of women’s rights and education. Her father, Usman Dan Fodio, led a social revolution and founded the Sokoto Caliphate. . His entire family was incredibly progressive. Usman Dan Fodio’s son, Muhammad Bello, according to Dr. Ahmad Bangura, “dedicated an entire book, Kitaab An-Nasiha (1836), to the subject of women who inspired rulers, taught the masses and commanded great respect. When Bello became caliph, he made use of Nana Asmau, then only twenty-seven, as one of the powerful instruments for fashioning society.  And in this she succeeded, thus earning her place in history and in the hearts of her people as one of Sokoto’s major caliphal leaders.” Nana Asam’u was not an exception to the rule in the Sokoto Caliphate; Dr. Ahmad Bangura further notes, ”Nana Asma’u’s leadership and intellectual profile is by no means an isolated phenomenon in the region. West Africa has an old tradition of women leadership. There is also evidence of distinguished scholarly women in the region, notably in Timbuktu. Also, Nana Asma’u was not the only woman writer and leader in the Sokoto caliphate. Some of her sisters were also writers and exercised leadership.”

Nana Asma’u promoted virtuous values and was a cultural icon in her society.   She is a great example of a powerful Muslim woman.

One Woman’s Jihad: Nana Asma’u, Scholar and Scribe