7 Things Masjids can do during Black History Month
by Abdul Malik Mujahid
What would a Masjid have to do with Black History Month? Plenty.
As an institution of Islamic education and outreach to neighbors and the
general public, Masjids must play an active role during Black History
Month. Members of Masjids' adminstration and leadership, as well as general
attendees, must learn about the contributions of Africans and African-Americans.
They must also present African and African-American Muslims' contributions
on this continent and abroad. Here are some ideas of the kinds of activities
Masjids can organize to do this.
1. Weekend programs on Mansa Musa, Omar bin Said, Uthman Dan Fodio
and other notable African Muslims
Imams and community leaders need to enlighten Muslims in their communities
about great Muslims like Bilal ibn Rabah, the Prophet Mohammed's Companion
and Islam's first muezzin; Umm
Ayman or Barakah, about whom the Prophet said she was his "mother
after my own mother. She is the rest of my family"; Mansa Musa, a
pious, just and very rich king of
Mali, a country that once had over 10,000 Islamic schools. Or of Omar
bin Said a Muslim from West Africa who was enslaved then brought to North
America via the Transatlantic slave trade.
These men, and millions like them, strove to stay Muslim and retain their
Islam under the brutal yoke of slavery over a period of almost 500 years.
By protecting Islam, they providing some of the earliest roots of the
faith on this continent. Muslims of all backgrounds need to know more
2. Show documentaries like Islam
in Africa and Deeper
These are two excellent videos featuring Islamic scholar and historian
Abdullah Hakim Quick's research about Islam, Muslims, Africa and North
America. They are wonderful starting points for an open discussion on
Islam and how it impacted African and Africans. This is something you
can invite non-Muslims to as well, making it a double event: a discussion
forum and a mosque open house. Make sure to serve refreshments after the
3. In the Masjid bookstore
While the Masjid bookstore does need copies of the Quran, books of Fiqh
and various other Islamic subjects, for Black History Month, stock up
on some books that talk about
Islam in Africa. Make sure to put them on display, along with free pamphlets
and articles about Islam and various aspects of Africa and African history.
Also, for every purchase made at the bookstore, include these freebies
as a gift to your customer. This will encourage Muslims to buy and find
out more about their Muslim African brothers and sisters.
3. Hold a workshop on how to deal with accusations against Islam about
Muslims are being accused of supporting the enslavement of Africans in
places like Sudan and Mauritania. We must develop ways of responding to
challenge the false belief that Islam condones slavery. Islam has always
been a liberating force. However, individuals of all fatih are capable
of wrongdoings not encouraged by God. We should be first to condemn these
type of people. A workshop by a knowledgeable and wise scholar and/or
activist who has dealt with this issue first-hand is an excellent way
to raise the topic in the Muslim community while providing Muslims with
the tools to respond.
4. Islamic weekend school classes should do projects on Islamic African
If your Masjid has a weekend Islamic school, make sure that they are given
readings and class projects about notable Muslims from Africa. This way
they will learn about part of their history as Muslims. They will also
be able to contribute to Black History Month in their public schools by
being able to share knowledge about what Africans of their religious heritage
have contributed to the world.
5. Give a Khutbah (Friday sermon) on the universality of Islam
This is a great way to bring up the topic of African Muslims and their
contributions to Islam. Discuss the universality and brotherhood of all
Muslims regardless of race and ethnicity, and make Dua (supplication)
for the millions of Muslims who died as slave-martyrs when coming to America.
You can use this manifesto against
racism as notes for this kind of a Khutbah.
6. Hold a Muslim unity dinner with international food
What's one thing all humans have in common? They eat and most of them
love good food. Host a potluck dinner during Black History Month. This
is a great time to have a Muslim unity dinner that is open to the public.
What a great way to show the universality of the Ummah, with people and
food from different parts of the world.
7. Announce other programs that are relevant
The Masjid should announce suitable Black History Month events and lectures
and encourage Muslims to attend. The purpose of this is to learn more
about African-Americans and their contributions. The other aim is to provide
some positive Dawa about the contributions of Muslim Africans and African-Americans
while clarifying misunderstandings about Islam that may arise.
After Juma prayers is an excellent time to announce such programs. Make
sure to have all of the details right (i.e. date, time, location, phone
number for more information, etc.). Also, have a flyer for the event is
posted in the Masjid.
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BLACK HISTORY MONTH TIPS, IDEAS AND ARTICLES
Ideas for individuals during Black History Month
Ideas for Masjids during Black History Month
Ideas MSAs and schools for Black History Month
Ideas for Black History Month
Select Bibliography about Africa and Africans
the first refuge for Muslims
Ayman, May Allah be pleased with her
History Month: Links You Can Use
interview with Imam Khalid Fattah Griggs
Muslim Country Profile
Muslim Country Profile
tomorrow's Muslims today!
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