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African Islamic movement in the United States - Essay Example

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Islam has deep origins in the African-American practice of religion,roots that can be traced back to the period of slavery black Sunni communities in the United States.Islam played a greatly encouraging role in the evolution of a distinct African-American identity…
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African Islamic movement in the United States

Download file to see previous pages... Islam has deep origins in the African-American practice of religion, roots that can be traced back to the period of slavery and early 20th century black Sunni communities in the United States. Islam played a greatly encouraging and ideological role in the evolution of a distinct African-American identity This study will outline the spiritual, ideological and psychological way for tracing the course of Islamic expansion within the United States and how has the matter of race in the United States influenced the practices and the community experiences of black Sunni Muslims who conventionally see Islam as a color and race-blind religion.Malcolm X's Hajj in 1964 and Warith Deen Mohammed's transformation of the Nation of Islam into an orthodox community in 1975 are two of the more recent visible signs of the importance of mainstream Islam in the African-American experience (American Black Islam, 1989). African Americans comprise about 42% of the Muslim population in the United States, which conservatively is somewhere between four to six million; and Sunni African-American Muslims are the predominant community in the United States today.Muslim slaves-involuntary settlers, who had been the urban-ruling elite in West Africa - comprised at least 15% of the slave populace in North America in the 18th and 19th centuries. Their spiritual and racial roots could be tracked to ancient black Islamic monarchy in Ghana, Mali, and Sohghay. Some of these West African Muslim slaves brought the first mainstream Islamic beliefs and practices to America by keeping Islamic names, writing in Arabic, fasting during the month of Ramadan, praying five times a day, wearing Muslim clothing, and writing and reciting the Qur'an (McCloud, 1995).
By the end of the Civil War, the old Islam of the West African Muslim slaves was for all realistic purposes obsolete, because these Muslims were not able to develop community establishment to maintain their faith. When they died, their version of Islam, which was African-American, personal, and with conventional and unorthodox practices disappeared.

Early 20th-Century Mainstream Communities
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Pro-Africanist ideas of Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832-1912), which criticized Christianity for its racial discrimination and recommended Islam as a feasible alternative faith for African Americans, offered the political agenda for Islam's influence on black Americans. Furthermore, the global outlook of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association and the Great relocation of more than one million black southerners to northern and Midwestern cities during the World War I era offered the social and political background for the emergence of African-American mainstream communities from the 1920s to the 1940s. The Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam, an unorthodox disciple community from India, set the foundation for conventional Islam in Black America, by imparting African Americans with their first Qur'an, significant Islamic literature and culture, and association to the mainstream world of Islam.
Black Sunni Muslims can track their ancestry in the United States in the early 20th century to two multi-ethnic communities: the Islamic Mission of America, led by Shaykh Daoud Ahmed Faisal in New York City, and the First Mosque of Pittsburgh (Marsh, 1984).
Shaykh Daoud, was born in Morocco and migrated to the United States from Grenada. He was greatly influenced by the Muslim migrant societies, by Muslim sailors from Yemen, Somalia, and Madagascar, and by the Ahmadi version of the Qur'an. He established the Islamic Mission of America, also known as the State Street Mosque, in New York City in 1924. This was the first African-American conventional muslim community in the United States.
The president of the Muslim Ladies Cultural Society was none other than Shaykh Daoud' s wife, "Mother" Khadijah Faisal, who possessed Pakistani Muslim and black Caribbean ancestry. The Islamic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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