Beyond Bilal: Black Muslims in the East

Beyond Bilal: Black Muslims in the East

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In Beyond Bilal: Black History in Islam, aside from Black history in the Qur’an and the black companions of the Prophet ﷺ we focused on the History of Islam in West Africa and the role Black Muslims played in the West. In this second volume, based on Mustafa Briggs lectures “Africans in Asia” and “Black History in the Arab World,” we will move eastward and explore the little discussed relationship between Africa and Asia and the Middle East.

We will first look at Black History in the Arabian Peninsula, discovering the history of the legendary black heroes of pre-Islamic Arabia, who were some of the most well known poets, warriors, explorers and conquerors of Arabia. We will then explore the brilliant black intellectuals and revolutionaries who impacted the Islamic Empires of the Middle Ages, including the first Muftis of Makkah, Egypt and Syria, as well as some of the key narrators of hadith and early scholars in the Islamic Tradition.

We will also delve into the spread of Islam in East Africa; from Sudan and Somalia all the way down to the Swahili Coast, and the stories of mighty kingdoms in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh that were ruled and shaped by East African kings, saints, and adventurers, the communities they developed, and the impact that their legacies have left on the region until the modern day.