The Islamic Heritage of Brazil

11Over $12 billion was spent on the preparation and construction of the World Cup despite the fact that 1 in 12 people in Brazil live on less than a dollar a day – these are people mired in poverty. To make matters worse, the construction that went into the World Cup resulted in the displacement and systemic eviction of many low-income Brazilians. These great injustices, where so much wealth is being poured into the financing of a mere frivolous sporting event without any regard for the economic plight of the poor, says much about the corrupt state of the world and the misplaced priorities of the elite. The Qu’ran informs us that wealth should not merely circulate among the wealth of society.  M. Bugaje notes that:

americaislamOf all beliefs, ideologies and civilizations, Islam stands out distinct and unique in its resilience. No matter the damage it suffers, no matter the opposition and obstacles, no matter the length of time, it always reasserts itself.  Islam has consistently and persistently stood on the side of the weak and the oppressed, checked the excesses of the corrupt and the strong and insisted on the establishment of justice, equity and fairness in human society. It has thus offered the weak and the oppressed the only real and lasting hope and the corrupt and the unjust the only real and unflinching check.


Islam once played a key role in motivating people to fight for social justice in Brazil uthman43against the abhorrent shackles of plantation slavery, and in the midst  of modern forms of slavery it is time for Islam to reassert itself against social injustices.   Before discussing the Islamic Heritage of Brazil, it is necessary to discuss the history of Islam in Africa.   Uthman Dan Fodio was a prominent scholar and political leader who had firmly established Islam in Hausaland, and his  army consisted of disciplined Islamic scholars, many of whom had committed the Qur’an to heart. However, in battles that were lost, captured soldiers would be sold off to Europeans through the transatlantic slave trade by the existing corrupt elite.

brazil222These followers of Uthman Dan Fodio would eventually end up in the Western Hemisphere (in Brazil, more precisely) and they would bring with them their religion: Islam. The Portuguese described the Muslims as “exceedingly spirited and resolute individuals” as well as “the most intellectual.” The Europeans would eventually learned that they tried to make the wrong people slaves.  Two years before the death of Uthman Dan Fodio, his Hausa followers in the Western Hemisphere began their rebellion.



Islam in Brazil

200 Hausa Muslims began their revolt after the 4A.M. Fajr prayer, carrying out an attack of the plantation owner Manuel Ignacio Da cunha Menezes, killing him as well as his family, and having the slaves of their plantation join in the revolt. Subsequently, they marched forward to Itapoa, burning the crops of plantation owners and killing whites on their path. The governor of Brazil, Condos dos Arcos, sent in an army that would put a stop to the rebellion. The participants were either hanged, taken as prisoners, or deported. Arcos, the then governor of Brazil made the following statement:

“…those Negroes of Bahia, who are most resolute, fearless, and capable of any enterprise, particularly those of the Hausa nation; our proof is that furnished by Your Excellency, who cited their attacks undertaken with such fury … some refusing to surrender until dead.”

Following this failed revolt, Islam was heavily suppressed and had to be practiced in secret. Furthermore, efforts were taken to convert slaves to Catholicism. During this period, it may have seemed that the Muslims had given up, but such a perception was inaccurate. In reality, the Muslims secretly began organizing and patiently waiting for the right opportunity. Their mosque became a place to store weapons, and they began giving dawah to convert  animist Africans to Islam in order to build support.

layThe time for rebellion came once again. The Islamic Scholar Malal Bubkar issued out a ruling  that called for Muslims to revolt on  Laylat al-Qadr during Ramadan, the day in which the Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The Institute of African-Islamic Studies notes that:

“These Muslims had a complete awareness of who they were and what their place was in the scheme of things. They knew of the superior quality at least in their own eyes of Islamic civilization to other forms of civilizations. They were aware and utilized the historical precedents of Muhammad and his early community alongside the historical precedents of the jihads and emerging governments of Western and Central Sudan. This only meant that the historical conscience of these African rebels was intact.”

The Muslim revolutionaries planned to arson key areas of the city to distract police as



they seized control of the military bases to acquire weapons. However, some informants  tipped off the whites that a potential revolt was to take place, and the police entered the secret Mosque and began questioning the African Muslims. The Police officer was killed and, fearing more intrusion, the revolutionaries had to begin revolting earlier than initially planned. Muslims began marching outside, some wearing white turbans and other red kufis, carrying pistols and swords. They first went to the prison in an attempt to free an Islamic Scholar Bilal Lucutan and other companions who had  been imprisoned during earlier revolts.

Upon reaching the prison, the revolutionaries  killed two guards but were unable to find an entrance point to free their companions. Subsequently, the revolutionaries began heading to a Mosque on Victoria Street to meet up with the forces of Malam buakar, the  Muslim scholar who had issued a legal verdict mandating the rebellion.

Upon seeing soldiers outside a public theater, the revolutionaries attacked them, injuring five soldiers while three fled. The revolutionaries then sought to take control of a police station to acquire more weapons, but failed to do so due to the armed police presence.  Though they succeeded in injuring  Toti Joaquim Da Silva and three other police officers.

32braUpon the revolutionaries receiving reinforcement, they headed  back to the prison seeking to free their leader, Bilal Lucutan. However, there were 20 soldiers protecting the jail who opened fire on the rebels, eventually causing them to retreat. On top of that, soldiers led by Fransico Gonclaves Martins came to quell the rebellion. An extremely bloody incident took place when the brave African revolutionaries charged the artillery barracks, managing to injure Caption Francisco in the process.

There were 300 total Africans (who notably lacked artillery), while their enemies totaled approximately 1500 and had superior firearms. Nonetheless, their bravery was immense. Upon the African revolutionaries losing the battle, the Islamic scholars who organized it were given the death penalty or life imprisonment while other ground level revolutionaries were punished with whippings.

The following is a quote from Augusto Moniz Da Silva during the court trials of the revolutionaries:

“It will be proved that for a long time a considerable number of slaves gathered at brazilreddifferent places of this city and conspired to seize their liberty by force.…the leaders of the insurrection indoctrinated their followers in the principles of the religion of their country, instructed them in the writing of Arabic characters, and distributed to them papers written in these characters … which sought vengeful extinction of the white and pardo race, the properties, the profanation of our religion, the burning of our temples, and all the monuments of our splendor and glory.”

The court documents reveal without a shadow of a doubt that Islam was a driving force in these rebellions.  As the Dawah of Islam is carried out in Brazil, we must never forget the names of  Malam buakar,  Bilal Lucutan, and other Muslims who despite the odds, chose to revolt believing that oppression was worst than slaughter.  The story of these brave African revolutionaries deserves to be heard far and wide, and during the World Cup in Brazil, we should keep their brave sacrifices in mind.   We must continue to carry out the message of Islam,  so it can continue to be a force that strives towards a just and equitable society in the midst of inequality and oppression in Brazil.


The Islamic Slave Revolts of Bahia, B Arazil A Continuity of the 19th Century Jihaad Movements of Western Sudan by Abu Alfa MUHAMMAD SHAREEF bin,

A Revolution in History The Jihad of Usman Dan Fodio by Ibraheem Sulaiman,

Bye Bye ‘Alice in Arabia’ ABC drops the Show

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We are honoured to live in these times, and ask Allah swt to continue to bless this Ummah with the courage engagement and endeavour to improve the situation for the inhabitants of the earth. We all have a  long way to go before the last person the Ummah is being provided with the basic necessities but situation swiftly change in instances. The world in 50 years may look completely different and we may not even recognize it.

By the permission of Allah swt we made the “Allah” sign disappear in Katy Perry’s video Dark Horses.  The Hollywood movie Noah was banned in  majority of Islamic Countries. And that in itself is a manifestation of collective effort centred for one  universal cause. The very essence of what it means to be one Ummah finds its way back to the people.

Social media has played the key role during these Phenomenons. A  lesson for us to learn that technology is tool to be reckoned with. Brooke Eikmeier former U.S. Army translator , is behind the  ” Alice in Arabia” series, her response to the controversy indicated how narrow-minded the notion is. BuzzFeed and Muslim advocacy were at the frontier against the campaigns and made sure to stop such bigotry on American national TV ABC Family bought then did not hesitate after the uproar to drop the programme four days later.

The opposition main concerns were the Anti-Arab Stereotypes that were loaded in  in theprogram. BuzzFeed’s Rega Jha pointed out some of these factual inaccuracies, she says ”  “the garment Alice dons in Saudi Arabia is incorrectly labelled an ‘abaya’ — an abaya is a robe that doesn’t include a face covering, while what Alice puts on does veil her face and head, including her eyes, making it either a niqab or a burqa.”

 Rega Jha says the source of the inspiration for the show mirrors the classical clichés Hollywood always had about the middle east and Islam which is discussed in the article below.

In an open letter Eikmeier says to her defence that she sees the story as a “high-stakes drama” in which an American girl is “abducted” by her Saudi Arabian family, where she fights for survival behind the veil.

She explained, “Personally, I would have simply written: A drama centring on an American teenager who, after her mother’s death must make the adjustment to living with her maternal family in Saudi Arabia.”

The former U.S. Army translator  has background as a cryptology linguist in Arabic, does not only know how to write script but also how to communicate the message. We all wonder how a she then can defend herself for that poor attempt and ignore the real concern behind the criticism instead of calling it a  ” hit job”

Well if that is the case let me sell you the biggest secret within Hollywood many people forgot or deliberately hide.

From the beginning of Hollywood and the entertainment business in America had a big interest to paint their own interpretation of what the Muslim world meant to be. These wild imagination underwent  an evolution and end-up having Arabs starring as barbaric people without mercy, greed and craze.

This led t vilify Islam to the extent that people like Eikmeier do not even realise why they are wrong. And we dont directly blame them, these notion are deeply embedded in the Hollywood culture.

Hollywood classic “The Sheik”  as early as  in 1921 is a film that pioneered these notion in early stages of the making of Hollywood. Hollywood fabricated an eroticized and exoticized Orient, titillating audiences with adventure and lust in the untamed desert landscape. The Arab stereotype in films in the 1920s was mostly an unsavory concoction of exoticism, abduction, banditry, revenge, and slavery. Strange as if we heard this somewhere just recenty right.

The plots invariably made Arabs the adversaries, pitting them against Western good guys. These films not only helped actors like Rudolph Valentino into stardom. Blockbuster hits like this helped to reinforce negative notions, perceptions and laws. I mean for someone to believe 9.11 was the start of the modern conflict needs to go back into history lesson.  These prejudices over another group of people helped government to pass laws. ” Sounds  Far-fected” ?


JimcrowCover to an early edition of “Jump Jim Crow” sheet music (c 1832)


Jim Crow Laws may ring the bells. Jim Crow Law” first appeared in 1904. he origin of the phrase “Jim Crow” has often been attributed to “Jump Jim Crow“a song-and-dance caricature of blacks performed by white actor Thomas D. Rice in blackface, which first surfaced in 1832 and was used to satirizeAndrew Jackson‘s populist policies. As a result of Rice’s fame, “Jim Crow” had become a pejorative expression meaning “Negro” by 1838. When southern legislatures passed laws of racial segregation – directed against blacks – at the end of the 19th century, these became known as Jim Crow laws.

The one thing these people miss that the attack they launching is a  direct attack on Islam. They use the Arabs to attack fundamental beliefs like the Burqa.






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Aisha’s true legacy, Women’s Scholarship in West Africa

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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:

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:

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:

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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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