Muslims speak of Islam in egalitarian terms: the religion of peace, the religion that seeks to elevate man over his base desires, the religion that does not discriminate based on race and ethnicity. Despite the egalitarian spirit of Islam, the lived reality of many Muslims is very different, and this is most apparent when we observe how Muslims deal with race and ethnicity.
Muslims who are Black in the West, in particular, have found that while Islam may not discriminate based on race, many Muslims do. To make matters worse, some of those Muslims will delve into the Islamic tradition to justify their biases and bigotries, seeing no contradiction between their racism and the Islamic ideals.
This work seeks to clarify and debunk some traditions which support their racist positions and presents biographies of early Muslims who were Black. The biographies of these great Muslim personalities shows us how Blackness was a normal part of life for early Muslims, in sharp contradistinction to modern prejudices against Black folks found in some Muslim communities.
“Imam Dawud Walid’s life’s work – in his previous publications, in the present volume and over the decade that I have known him – commends him as a soldier against satanic racism and especially its most perfect historical expression: white supremacy. This volume, by framing a religious response to what must be understood as a satanic spiritual attack, should be widely read and taught.” -
Dr. Rudolph Bilal Ware – Associate Professor of West Africa, Islamic Knowledge & Spirituality