Diop: Arab/Islamic Invasion of Africa “A Figment of the Imagination”

Much has been made of Arab invasions of Africa: … in Black Africa they are figments of the imagination. -Cheikh Anta Diop

The unconscious community is confused.  Especially about Islam.  One minute, as Moors, Muslims are the pride of African civilization, giving knowledge to the cave men West Asia (“Europe”) (who had actually been out of caves for MILLENIA, with little things like the Roman Empire to their credit.)  The next minute Muslims are the enemies of African civilization, interrupting the building of pyramids in Kemet (even though it had been colonized by Romans and Persians for CENTURIES before Islam).

So which one is it?  My advice is to take it from someone like the revered scholar Cheikh Anta Diop over a Facebook revolutionary who can drop names but won’t quote a book:

While the Arabs did conquer North Africa by force of arms, they quite peaceably entered [dark brown] Africa: the desert always served as a protective shield. From the time of the initial Umayyad setbacks in the eighth century, no Arab army ever crossed the Sahara in an attempt to conquer Africa, except for the Moroccan War of the sixteenth century. During the period of our study, from the third to the seventeenth centuries [Islam arose in the 7th century], not one conquest was ever launched by way of the Nile: that of the Sudan, accomplished with the help of England, came only in the nineteenth century. Nor was there ever any Arab conquest of Mozambique of any other East African territory. The Arabs in these areas, who became great religious leaders, arrived as everywhere else individually and settled in peacefully; the owe their influence and latter acceptance to spiritual and religious virtues. The Arab conquests dear to sociologist are necessary to their theories but did not exist in reality.  To this day no reliable historical documents substantiate such theories.  (101-102)

No Arabs invaded Sub-Saharan Africa because no Arabs could have.  The African imperial militaries were too strong.

These empires, defended when necessary by hundreds of thousands of warriors, and having their centralized political and administrative organization, were much too powerful for a single traveler, thousands of miles from home, to try any sort of violence against them. (91)

african army

The Empire of Ghana… was defended by two hundred thousand warriors, forty thousand of them archers.  Its power and reputation, renowned as far as Baghdad in the East, were no mere legend:  it was actually a phenomenon attested to by the fact that for 1250 years a succession of Black emperors occupied the throne of a country as vast as all of [West Asia], with no enemy from without nor any internal tensions able to dismember it. (91)

African empires were so strong, that far from invading them, the Arabs asked them for help!

The might of the Empire [of Mali] was such that the Arabs at times called on it for military aid.  Such was the case, according to Khaldun, of El Mamer, who fought the Arabo-Berber tribes from the region or Uargla, in the North Sahara.  He appealed to Kankan Mussa, on the latter’s return from Mecca, to come to his aid militarily. (93)

MossiCavalry

Any Arab traveler to such vast, mighty empires could only have been a subject, or at best, a guest of the ruler.

Contrary to the notions prevailing today, the relationship then existing between [pale-skinned people] and [brown-skinned people] could not have been those of masters to slaves.  (93)   Some of them thus traditionally took on the role of jesters at royal African courts. (95) 

A passage from Ibn Battuta, who visited that very Empire of Mali, clearly reveals the state of mind and the pride of Africans of this period (1352).  The border regions of the Empire, such as Ualata, at the edge of the Sahara, were governed by Black farbas who levied customs duties and other taxes on caravans bringing merchandise into the country.  Upon arrival, the merchants had to clear administrative formalities with them, before being allowed to carry on their trade.  It was in such circumstances that Ibn Battuta, accompanying one of these caravans, met the farba of Ualata, Hussein.

 

Our merchants stood up in his presence and, even though they were close to him, he spoke to them through a third person. This was a mark of the little consideration he had for them and I was so unhappy at this that I regretted bitterly having come to a country whose inhabitants display such bad manners and give evidence of such contempt for [pale-skinned] men.

mansa-musa

 

Ibn Battuta was an eyewitness;  it is difficult to contradict him regarding the feelings and attitudes he attributes to the speaker.  But, if the pride and dignity of the farba are beyond question, the contemptuous intentions attributed to him by Battuta seem to derive from the latter’s ignorance of the proper ceremonials governing receptions and audiences of any chieftain.  As we have already seen in chapter IV, the latter addresses a crowd only through a herald;  this was how the farba must have acted at his own court in Ualata. (93-4)

In actuality, when far from their homeland, the Arabs were often led by their isolation to adapt to the [brown-skinned] African milieu.  Some of them thus traditionally took on the role of jesters at royal African courts.  Though never before emphasized, this aspect of the relations between the two cultures was no less ancient or general.  Khaldun thus relates the story of two Arab courtiers, Abu-Ishac el Toneijen-El-Mamer, who were part of Mansa Musa’s entrourage on his return from Mecca.

musa_2371716b

“We were part of the royal cortège and even outranked the viziers and heads of state.  His Majesty listened with pleasure to the tales we told him and, at each stopping-place, he rewarded us with several kinds of foods and sweets.” (95)

bn

The UNconsciousness community has a hidden inferiority complex.  On the one hand, they claim that “Blacks” are gods, possessors of divine melanin, masters of the universe, and the only true humans.  On the other hand, they claim that every other “race” has been conquering and enslaving “Blacks” all over the globe.  One minute they’re gods, the next minutes they can’t be racist because they can never have enough power to oppress cavemen/devils.  They’ll talk Kemet all day, but how many cats are down to marry their sisters?

I didn’t think so (& I was hoping not!)

You don’t know what you’re talking about.  You’re not thinking.  You’re UNconscious

The UNconscious community, put simply, doesn’t know what it’s talking about.  UNconscious people are addicted to soundbites and Facebook ‘likes’.  They put African Consciousness scholars on Facebook memes, but fail to read their books.  It’s not about facts, but feelings.

For all their factoids, they aren’t bringing anything new, just reactionary Afro-centrism (unconsciousness) that in reality just parrots the arguments of “white” nationalists:  whatever they say, we say the opposite:

  • “White” “Aryans” claimed to be Germanic and Hindu at the same time, now “Black” conscious websites are claiming to Kemetic and Hindu (kundalini, yoga, etc.)
See, we're totally different.
See, we’re totally different.
  • They’re pure blood makes them superior;  our melanin makes us superior.
  • They called us subhuman apes, we call them subhuman neanderthals.
  • They said “race”-mixing is unnatural;  now we say the same.
"Just because we're both racist against mixing "races" doesn't mean we have anything in common."
“Just because we’re both racist against mixing “races” doesn’t mean we have anything in common.”

The list goes on.  “This isn’t an ideology- it’s “defensive racism”:  Adopting the enemy’s values in order to compete against the enemy ie. conceding to play the enemy’s game.

 All that god talk is fine if you like it, but deep down inside all you really wanna do is play victim to your devil.

Africa Was Never Perfect

Your ancestors were probably NOT kings.  The majority of the population in any empire or kingdom is of modest birth, from craftsmen and farmers all the way down to slaves.  You’re more than likely a descendant of one of them.  Go to Africa and tell somebody you’re a king (or king’s descendant).

Here’s some real truth:  The truth about Africa is that it had slaves, it had slave markets, and anyone, including foreigners, including “white” foreigners, could buy.

Slave markets sold Africans to any buyer
REAL research shows that African slave markets sold Africans to any buyer

The Empire [of Ghana] first opened itself to the world-at-large through commerce;  it already enjoyed international repute which would be inherited and extended by the future empires of Mali and Sonhgai.  But domestic slavery at this time was rife in African society:  one could sell his fellow man to another citizen or a foreigner.  Which explains why Berber and Arab merchants, grown rich since settling at Aoudaghast, though still vassals of the Black sovereign, could acquire Black slaves on the open market.  Some individuals in the city owned as many as a thousand slaves. (91)

This shows the peaceful means by which the [pale-skinned] world could possess [brown-skinned] slaves.  It was not through conquest, as has often been asserted.  … (91-92)

All the [paled-skinned] minorities living in Africa might own [brown-skinned] slaves, but slaves and [pale-skinned] masters alike were all subjects of a [brown-skinned] Emperor:  they were all under the same African political power.  No historian worth his salt can permit the obscuring of this politico-social context, so that only the one fact of Black slavery emerges from it. (92)

Admitting Sub-Saharan pre-colonial slavery does not justify the genocidal horrors of the Jewish-led Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, or of colonial slavery.  Denying it does.  Denying the truth feeds the lie.  So does not knowing it.

No one needs to steal our history if we’re willing to hide it from ourselves.

The UNconscious Community needs to learn to read instead of react.

All quotations from Diop, Cheikh Anta, Precolonial Black Africa.  Chicago:  Lawrence Hill Books.  1987.

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44 thoughts on “Diop: Arab/Islamic Invasion of Africa “A Figment of the Imagination”

    • The white colonialist hated ISLAM and passed it down to the Afrocentrics. It is what it is ISLAM is now the fastest way of life not only here in the U.S but in Africa as well. To slander Diop only hurts the slanderers. The scholarship of TIMBUKTU alone has not been equaled in history let alone the female scholars ISLAM has produced with the greatest African female Fulani scholar and MUSLIM Nana Asma’u.

  1. Diop is wrong in several instances here, and a lot of it doesn’t even make any sense at all. What was the selling point of Islam? Why would people in present day Sengal, Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Niger etc, adopt Islam when they already had perfectly fine spiritual systems to begin with? The answer is simple, FEAR. In principal, muslims weren’t allowed to enslave other muslims (although we DO know that pale-arabs, who aren’t really Arabs at all, did not hesitate to enslave black people who happened to be muslim themselves) , so states superficially (at first) adopted Islam, as a way to avoid being enslaved. Also, the Almoravides were muslim FANATICS, and they were BLACK as NIGHT. The coming of the Abrahamic religions in Africa was one of the key elements to our downfall, that and our childish naïveté.

    Secondly, there were no such thing as chattel slavery in west-africa at that time, that is not an African institution at all.

    • With all due respect, you’re refuting a well-sourced excerpt from a book, without using any sources. I’m ready to believe you, but convince me. Where did you get your information?

    • ASK ANY MUSLIM FROM SENEGAL, GAMBIA MALI ETC., THEY WILL TELL THAT THEIR ANCESTORS EMBRACED ISLAM. ASK ARABIZED NORTH AFRICAN AND THEY’LL TELL YOU THAT MUSLIMS CONQUERED THEIR LANDS, BUT IT DOESN’T MATTER SINCE THEY WERE ALREADY CONQUERED BY THE ROMANS AND OTHERS BEFORE THAT. YOU CAN’T STEAL WHAT HAS ALREADY BEEN STOLEN.

    • The Africans may have accepted Islam because it appealed to them spiritually, and was not in conflict with their Religious values. Not out of fear..

    • The downfall of Africa was their lack of knowledge of Self. Playing the innocent victem is not right and exact. The Black Man is the Father of Islam long before Prophet Muhammad.

    • You chose to refute a researched documented proof. Where’s your research, sources of info that backs up your refutation?

    • I do know in the whole of Africa there is no country with a vast population of Muslims than Nigeria.The question is did the Arabs ever invaded the country to impose islam on us or threatened and instilled fear how when ?

      • I have never heard or read of an Arab invasion of Africa. How could ther have been? Arabs from Arabia would have had to sail around South Africa, or cross the Sahara or central Africa. Even Arabized northern Africans would have had to cross the Sahara, and then hundreds of miles of terrain. There are no reasons to think it could have happrned, nevermind whether it did.

  2. For all of the people who doubt the scholarship of Diop and probably are ignorant of any of the source text dealing with the subject, then please do due diligence and research before speaking. The Africans themselves documented how Islam came to West Africa. They were totally literate and the record is clear for any one who is squad red with the sources. Abdur Rahman As-Saadi, who was a black African scholar from Songhay wrote the most famous history of the region in his monumental work التاريخ الفتش. For those who don’t read Arabic, the late Dr. John Hunswick translated it under the title “The History of Songhay.” The empire of Ghana had friendly relations with the Muslims who were Berbers and not even Arabs! The ignorant Afro-centrist can’t seem to tell the difference between Berbers and Arsbs but that’s another story. Ghana had a Muslim and non-Muslim city called “Kumbi-Saleh. When the state began to collapse internally, black Soninke who had converted on their own accord rebelled against the authority of the Ghana along with Berbers from the north. The next significant conversion was the Mansa Wati, although some day that Sundiate Keita converted, but that’s up for debate. They weren’t afraid of anyone, they converted because they believed in the precepts and concepts of Islam. As a matter of fact later when Mansa Musa tried to convert the Wangara who supplied the gold, they told him to stop trying to proselytize or they would cut off the gold supply. Mali was ruled by Muslim elites, who controlled a majority non-Muslim population in peace. Songhay fought with Moroccco because of their independence and refusal to acknlowdgr Ahmad Mansur as the ruler of all the Muslims in the region. Sigh

    • Peace if the original is the black how can we not come from royalty than ? bloodline don’t lie if it’s been tamper and diluted peace!

        • There are kingdoms in Africa now? Is everyone in them a king or queen? So, in 100 years can everyone who is a descendant from that kingdom say they are royal? For one to rule, many must follow. If we were all kings, then none of us were kings. You don’t have to be a king, or a descendant of one, to be great.

      • It’s quite simple: the presence of a king implies that there is a KINGdom; and most people in a kingdom are not royalty, the vast majority in fact. So there is an overwhelming probability that a given African(-diasporan) does NOT descend from royalty. Our ancestors were in a kingdom, but most of them were not kings.

  3. We that are born again believers are citizen’s of a kingdom where Y’Shua/ Jesus is King & we are royal subjects/ we happen to be also kings & Priest unto G-d, I think yall missed the point, as was stated’ we were from royal tribes’ I once was a 3time Golden Gloves boxing Champion but when I was invited to the Nationals’ they came from all over the nation to this one place, & everybody their was a Champion’ Knesset BenDavid Klein’ The Tribe of Judah’

  4. As much as I respect Diop he is wrong on some things, first lets realize Arab in these times didn’t equate to skin color but was a term that meant “Desert dweller”, secondly it was the Moors (black Muslims) who were originally in control of North Africa, parts of france, and Spain…we lost a majority of what we held in 1492 because we were battling for years with the white/mixed Muslims

    I will even go so far as to say that Blacks invented Islam and taught it to others just as we did other religions, same thing the Jewish people did to dethrone Black Hebrews is what happened here in Islam as well…I’m not even going to delve into the racist alterations that have been put into the Quran favoring Whiteness over Black.

    Lets go back even further, and establish a timeline by visiting one of the most historic Islamic wars of all time…. the Zanj rebellion (A.D. 869–883), the popular black Muslim revolt against the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate empire. These guys were far from peaceful….originally they served as the Turkish mercenaries that the Umayyad Caliphate hired to further terrorize Africans in general “Black” Muslim or not!

    The Zanj was successful destroying most of the core forces the Abbāsid Caliphate relied on but when they were offered a peace treaty, they were ambushed at the signing in Baghdad and were ultimately double-crossed by these tricksters.

    That led to the creation of the Fāṭimid Dynasty , a political and religious dynasty that dominated an empire in North Africa and subsequently in the Middle East from A.D. 909 to 1171 and tried unsuccessfully to oust the ʿAbbāsid caliphs as leaders of the Islāmic world. It took its name from Fāṭimah, the daughter of the Prophet Muḥammad, from whom the Fāṭimids claimed descent. (proof not only Islam was created by blacks but also that the prophet Muhammad is black but also his descendants.)

    There are four different kinds of interpretations of Islam accepted but the one that matters is The Maliki (strongest African interpretation popular in Senegal, Mali, Northern Ghana, that stuff practiced in Mecca doesn’t fly with them!) you can’t claim to stand for the same beliefs the Moors did unless you adhere to that school of thought…the Moors came from Senegal, Mali, Niger, and Northern Ghana….

    Nevertheless we were systematically over time pushed deeper into Africa, which meant unfamiliar terrain, forests, rivers, wildlife populations, and regions they were not fully able to have a strategic advantage against any Sub-Saharan / deep Africa civilizations.

    It’s also no hidden secret the white/mixed Muslims were the biggest African slave-traders in history and taught the business to Anglo-Saxon Europeans for the founding of America, regardless of the fact blacks preexisting in America or not…the white/mixed Muslims were allowed to continue their slave-trading well into the 1960s! The Islamic Republic of Mauritania only recently outlawed slavery in 2007 so get the facts straight guys…

    Despite Mauritania having its share of Maliki, a majority is Sunni..

    Long story short the Moors were against these bastards and so should we!

    • I wouldn’t go as saying Diop is wrong, because my personal reading of the book quoted does not contradict your ideas. He does not fail to point out the origin of the Arabs, as it is beyond the scope of the book, but he does mention how “Oriental” customs brought a despotic, un-African nature to Arabized monarchies.

      I am with you, and I have dealt with the subject of the proper Islamic view of Arabs here: https://qahiri.wordpress.com/2015/11/21/arabs-arab-culture-in-islamic-history-scripture-prophecy/

      To end, while not intending to argue, as I broadly agree with you, I doubt your claim that Arab means “desert dweller”. In fact, the original Arabs dwelt near the Ma’arib Dam in modern day southern Yemen. When it burst, those fleeing the ensuing flooding spread out into the Arabian peninsula, and obviously (though it is not mentioned) to Africa and other places by sea. So they were not desert dwellers, but a settled urban people. Rather, the wandering, uncultured nomads we see today are from the Asian steppes (like the Mongols and Scythians & Hyksos). They are Arabized Asiatics who continued their lifestyle in the Arabian Peninsula until they met a scathing critique in the Qur-an and early Islamic scholarship, under the name ‘A’raab. They were distinguished in name from the true, noble Arabs.

    • Hajjar/Hagar Prophet Ishmael’s mother (a black African Kemit woman) is the mother of the Ishmaelites or Arabs Explain how it is that Hajjar/Hagar prophet Ishmael’s mother (a black African Kemit woman) is the mother of the Ishmaelites or Arabs. The Arab is not a distinct ethnic group it is a linguistic attribution that identifies a culture not a geographical or racial people by ethnicity. The Arab is so named after their language; there is not any reference to their ethnicity. In fact they are just like the Hebrews, both the Hebrew and the Arab themselves are ethnically African. Allah blessed Ibrahim with Hajjar/Hagar an African woman, from a highly sophisticated but pagan Black African Egypt, He Allah positions her as the mother of Prophet Ishmael, raises her high in dignity among the greatest of those of dignity,

  5. HI,
    what are you guys are saying, is all through, but theirs conception happen in Africa kingdom.
    Do we know ? or do we know, where the first Africa kingdom located?…………….
    Because Arabs came to Africa, before Islamic.and there were two kingdom of Africa.
    Africa kingdom located east of red see, and that time,there is no red see, and now we’re living
    In kingdom of the animals .

  6. Prior to the birth of the Prophet Mohamed almost all Arabs were Black skinned…in fact black skin was a sign of Arab purity…the Arabs who entered North Africa after becoming Muslims were BLACK SKINNED and it was they who conquered North Africa….contemporary Arabs who are fair skinned are not original but rather adopted the language and SOME of the culture of the Black Arabs….

  7. Okay but that needs to be emphasised and made clear since people are parrot ingredients this “Arabs were slavers” yeah Arabs had slaves but mist them were white….in fact black people had white drives over 1000 years before the the transatlantic slave trade…black Arabs also had black slaves…black Arabs also enslaved each other just like Africans did…slavery waw very normal during that period of time but the Transatlantic one took it to another level…as for the the Rebellion of the Zinj most of those narratives are fabricated….it was not even the Zinj who were being abused it was black Arabs being oppressed by Indo Arab Persians

  8. This is one of the best articles i ever read on the Topic ! I want to translate it into German and Share it.

  9. Pingback: Die arabische Invasion Afrikas. Ein Hirngespinnst. – Halbmondschwarz

  10. I have an issue with “kings and queens”.
    Who are we ruling if we are all kings and queens?
    Kings and queens need subjects to rule over do they not?
    To me, we are manifestations of the Origin, and supposed to be upholders and examples of the Law
    as a guide to the nations to come. We got sucked into their ways instead and now pay the price.

  11. Read the Destruction of Black Civilization. Arabs have had a negative effent on Africa. Africans had Islam forced on them but they were able to Africanize it and use it for their benefit.

  12. Now that I have read you’re whole post, you are clearly an Islamic nut job and a coon who can’t see past what he’s been taught to believe. BLACK people have been on this planet millions of years waiting for Mohammed to come save us right? Yeah, right.

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