Black Muslims are an integral a part of our Ummah, contributing to our communities in each manner. From Islamic scholarship to humanitarian staff, from voices of justice to beloved mother and father and aunties and uncles, Black Muslims proceed to do unimaginable work that’s usually not acknowledged by the remainder of us. This Black Historical past Month, choose up a few of these fantastic reads by Black Muslim authors and share them with your loved ones, your pals, and your native libraries!
– “Salat in Secret” by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Salah is the very basis of our lives as Muslims, and this gorgeously detailed image e book shares this worth in an unimaginable manner.
Preserve supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah
Alhamdulillah, we’re at over 850 supporters. Assist us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small reward from a reader such as you to maintain us going, for simply $2 / month.
The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the most effective of deeds are people who achieved persistently, even when they’re small.
Click on right here to assist MuslimMatters with a month-to-month donation of $2 monthly. Set it and gather blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you are supporting with out serious about it.
Muhammad receives his first actual sujjaadah (prayer mat) on the age of seven, together with his father’s phrases ringing in his ears: “By no means delay salat.” However when Muhammad realizes that he has to hope in school… the problem is a bit more than he anticipated it to be. It’s when he witnesses his father residing as much as his rules it doesn’t matter what that he realizes what it really means to make salat the last word precedence.
This e book is completely beautiful in so some ways – an instance of how one can powerfully share the significance of salah with kids.
– “Pricey Muslim Baby” by Rahma Rodaah
“Pricey Muslim Baby” is completely priceless: a literal love letter to each Muslim baby, stuffed with love, mild, and tenderness.
Rahma’s phrases are so highly effective as a result of in only a few strains, she is ready to underscore every little thing from loving Allah to the religious components of wudhu to the significance of salah. She is ready to acknowledge Muslim kids’s fears of being teased and harassed, and on the similar time empowers younger readers to show to Allah for power.
– “The Masjid Kamal Loves” by Ashley Franklin
There may be nothing extra charming than pure #MuslimJoy in kidlit, and “The Masjid Kamal Loves” is without doubt one of the most fantastic examples of it!
From the buddies he meets at jumu’ah, to playful splashing whereas doing wudhu, to the imam’s knowledge and the grins of different believers – this e book highlights the very essence of loving the masjid and its experiences. The textual content is straightforward but candy; it’s the illustrations, with their vivid colours and unimaginable particulars, that really convey this complete story to life. There’s even some niqabi illustration on the finish!
Past charming, that is the good e book to make use of in a masjid storytime or give as an Eid reward.
– “Room for Everybody” by Naaz Khan
“Room for Everybody” by Naaz Khan, illustrated by Merce Lopez, is laugh-out-loud hilarious. This foolish, rhyming story is about in Zanzibar, and is all about having the generosity of coronary heart to ‘make room for everybody.’
The colourful illustrations, the fantastic rhyming, and the message all mix to make an important read-aloud favourite. What I notably beloved about it was that it encompasses a Muslim nation and tradition that’s not often ever even thought-about! Really, it is a fantastic instance of Black Muslim pleasure and illustration.
– “River Spirit” by Leila Aboulela
Leila Aboulela’s newest novel, “River Spirit,” is yet one more instance of good, wealthy writing that includes characters and a setting unfamiliar to many.
The story opens in Eighteen Nineties Sudan, the place rumors of a person claiming to be the Mahdi flip right into a revolution towards Ottoman rule. Towards this backdrop, we meet a large solid of characters – most notably Akuany (later Zamzam), a village lady rescued by Yaseen, a younger service provider from Khartoum who later turns into an ‘aalim from al-Azhar.
Akuany and Yaseen’s story – and the story of Sudan itself – is gorgeous and painful, and we witness the various twists and surprising turns of their journey by means of the eyes of many others: Musa, a fervent follower of the Mahdi; Yaseen’s mom Fatima and his spouse Salha; Robert, a Scottish artist; and lots of others apart from.
Aboulela’s writing is past beautiful, and this distinctive strategy to the narrative layers the e book with unimaginable depth. Historical past, human nature, politics, and extra – Aboulela explores all of it. The ending was surprising and really pulled at my heartstrings, and I used to be left with that stunning achiness that signifies a narrative genuinely well-told (and a piqued curiosity to be taught extra concerning the historic occasions re. the Sudanese Mahdi).
– “Chicken Summons“ by Leila Aboulela
“Chicken Summons” is a wierd, generally dreamy, usually heavy, and but deeply evocative learn. It’s maybe some of the distinctive Muslamic fiction I’ve but learn – magical realism, with Muslim characters and deeply significant religious themes.
Readers of Aboulela’s earlier books will acknowledge the emotional weight that her characters bear and navigate. On this e book, we comply with three very completely different Muslim girls: younger, stunning, tragic Iman – widowed and divorced a number of instances already; Moni the martyr-mother, clinging to her disabled son; and Salma, middle-aged and secretly resentful of her seemingly charmed life.
The three girls embark on a highway journey to the Scottish hinterlands, seeking Woman Zainab Evelyn Cobbold’s grave. Alongside the best way, they have to cope with each other and with themselves; the Hoopoe fowl, of Qur’anic significance, seems with mysterious fables and the keys to their salvation. Aboulela’s phrases are easy and but totally highly effective; she entwines the intimately religious and brutally human in starkly stunning prose. Her exploration of religion, identification, and rising from private tragedy isn’t comfy and but illuminating.
– “Rekiya & Z“ by Muti’ah Badruddeen
“Rekiya & Z” is a narrative of the sophisticated friendship between two Nigerian Muslim girls, Rekiya & Zaynunah, who come from dramatically completely different backgrounds however had bonded deeply in school. Now, as adults who’ve drifted aside, the 2 girls discover themselves pushed again collectively, and should unearth each other’s histories and navigate their new relationship.
The creator does an unimaginable job of weaving collectively Islamic values all through, making it related however not preachy – even and particularly within the story arc of a “non-religious” character. She packs in so many components: religion, niqab, polygamy, prejudice, trauma, grief, and loss.
– “From Somalia, With Love“ by Na’ima B. Robert
Safia Dirie is a teenage lady residing in East London together with her mom, Hoyo, and two older brothers, Ahmed and Abdullahi. Although she was born in Somalia, she doesn’t actually keep in mind it — Safia’s a London lady, by means of and thru. However now, after 12 lengthy years, her father, Abo, has returned to the household from war-torn Mogadishu. Safia knew issues would change, however nothing may have ready her for the truth of coping with Abo’s cultural expectations. Or that Ahmed, her favourite brother, would begin to run wild. And she or he herself definitely didn’t anticipate finding her cousin Firdous’ party-girl life-style so tempting.
Safia should come to phrases with who she is — as a Muslim, as an adolescent, as a poet, as a buddy, however most of all, as a daughter to a father she’s by no means identified. Rooted in Somali and Muslim life, this poignant and superbly written novel about one lady’s quest to seek out her personal place on the earth strikes a chord with younger readers in every single place.
– “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved within the Americas“ by Sylviane Diouf
Dr Sylviane A. Diouf’s e book “Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved within the Americas” tracks the journeys and experiences of African Muslims who discovered themselves shipped aboard slave-trafficking vessels and brought to the opposite facet of their identified world. From their induction into the Transatlantic slave commerce, to their dedication to uphold the 5 pillars of Islam – no matter their circumstances – to the construction of the enslaved Muslim neighborhood, their prized (and harmful) literacy, and their unending resistance towards slavery, Diouf illustrates in unimaginable element the highly effective and painful experiences of enslaved African Muslims, and the legacy that they left behind within the Americas.
(Learn a extra detailed evaluation right here.)
– “Past Bilal“ by Mustafa Briggs
“Past Bilal: Black Historical past in Islam” by Mustafa Briggs is an easy-to-read introduction to the richness of Black historical past as it’s intertwined with Islamic historical past.
The e book begins with a dialogue on the Blackness of figures resembling Luqman and Musa , and strikes on to how Islam was launched to Africa, the fantastic eras of Islamic African dynasties, and eventually to Islam in America. I particularly loved the summarized historical past of Islamic African empires, and the transient introduction to notable West African students whose names I’ve come throughout extra lately, resembling Shaykh Ibrahim Niasse and Sh Hassan Cisse. The ultimate chapter on feminine African Islamic students was additionally fairly highly effective.
– “Warda: My Journey from the Horn of Africa to a School Training“ by Warda Mohamed Abdulahi
This memoir a couple of Somali lady’s journey throughout the Horn of Africa to America, fulfilling her dream of getting an schooling, really stands out!
In contrast to so many “inspiring tales” written by folks of Muslim backgrounds, stuffed with anger in the direction of their cultures/ household/ Islam and adoration of the West as a savior, Warda Abdullahi’s memoir is stuffed with love and respect in the direction of her household, her tradition, and Islam.
She makes a degree of offering historic context to her household’s story, praising her grandfather for elevating her and crediting her father for his dedication to get her the most effective schooling doable. Even when matters like polygamy or FGM come up, Warda by no means falls into blaming Islam or trashing her tradition – she acknowledges the horrors of FGM gravely, with out evaluating her tradition to the West.
Most significantly, her dedication to Islamic values holds all through: from her fasting in Ramadan regardless of her huge college workload and Islamic heart volunteering and household obligations; to sustaining her hijab staunchly & refusing to the touch pupil loans due to the riba concerned. In the long run, the barakah is obvious: by means of her relentless dedication and onerous work, she is ready to cowl nearly the complete price of her faculty tuition by means of scholarships alone.
– “Higher, Not Bitter“ by Yusef Salaam
“Higher, Not Bitter” by Dr. Yusef Salaam is the autobiography of one of many Exonerated 5: 5 younger males (4 of them African American, one in every of them Latino) – boys, on the time – who had been arrested, charged, and convicted in 1989 for raping and assaulting a white feminine jogger in Central Park. Many years later, the actual rapist confessed, and the lads had been lastly freed. Dr. Salaam’s e book gained the 2021 Muslim Bookstagram Awards for its highly effective story of looking for justice, holding onto his religion in Allah , and dealing by means of the trauma of racism and jail.
“Higher, Not Bitter” stands out not simply as a memoir of an injustice that epitomized America’s systemic racism, however as a lot extra: a glimpse of Yusef’s life earlier than he was unjustly imprisoned; his mom’s robust, light steering and endless advocacy for her son and others in dire straits; a religious journey of selecting to not permit one’s soul to be imprisoned even when one’s bodily physique is. Gratitude, self-discipline, introspection, schooling, and dedication to “reside with objective” are recurring themes in Dr. Salaam’s e book.
(Learn a extra detailed evaluation right here.)
Have you ever learn any books on Black Muslims that you just really feel are worthy of a point out? Share your individual favourite works by Black Muslim authors within the feedback!