The Black Prophets of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

All of the known Judeo-Christian & Islamic prophets and messengers were “black”.

I have come to this conclusion after reading the following sources extensively:

  • Hebrew/Israelite scripture and literature
  • Christian scripture and literature
  • Islamic scripture, narrations and literature
  • Genetic studies
  • Ancient historians
  • Modern historians
  • Archaeological reports
  • Historical portraits and self-portraiture

These sources are unambiguous and unanimous.

Long story short:  Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelite prophets, Jesus, and Muhammad were all black.

Short story long, get ready for a long read…

Abraham / Ibrahim

Ibrahim was born in a house of idolaters in the ancient city of Ur, in the Mesopotamian plains of Babylonia (present-day Iraq). The language that was spoken at the time was Akkadian (wikipedia).  The empire united all the indigenous Akkadian-speaking Semites and the Sumerian speakers for the first time under one rule.

SUMERIAN ETHNIC TYPE

The earliest civilization of Mesopotamia was that of the Sumerians. They are designated in the Assyrio-Babylonian inscriptions as the black-heads or black-faced people, and they are shown on the monuments as beardless and with shaven heads. This easily distinguishes them from the Semitic Babylonians, who are shown with beards and long hair. From the myths and traditions of the Babylonians we learn that their culture came originally from the south. Sir Henry Rawlinson concluded from this and other evidence that the first civilized inhabitants of Sumer and Akkad were immigrants from the African Ethiopia. John D. Baldwin, the American Orientalist, on the other hand, claims that since ancient Arabia was also known as Ethiopia, they could have just as well come from that country.  (Jackson 1939)

(The Identity of the Sumerians As Seen In Ancient Art)

SEMITIC ETHNIC TYPE

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

Semitic Genetic Marker:  The Cohen Haplotype-

Discovered in 1997 by Jewish scientists, this paternal genetic marker (it is found on the Y-chromosome) has a high frequency among the Jewish (Askenazi and Sephardic) priesthood (Cohanim) and is thought to be a signature of ancient Hebrew ancestry.  The haplotype (CMH) is indeed part of a haplogroup (Hg J) that originated in Black Arabia or Afrabia ca 30 kya (thousand years ago) and in high frequencies is believed to indicate “Semitism.”

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

There was a further “discovery” that the “purest” surviving remnant of the Children of Israel identified by CMH tests is the tribe of Black Jews in India, the Bene Israel and the Black Jews of Cochin, who show a genetic affinity not only to Ethiopians and Yemenis, but also to the tribe of Black Jews in South Africa, the Lemba, whose relation to the ancient Hebrews has also been confirmed by the presence of high frequencies of the CMH. (Muhammad 2010)

Bene Israel (India)

Ethiopian Jews

Yemeni Jews

Lemba Jews (southern Africa)

Israelite Prophets (Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Daniel, etc.)

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The Fiery Ascent of the Prophet Elijah

In describing Abraham’s Semitic ancestry, we have described the appearance of the Semites and Israelites briefly.  There is further evidence that they were Black, even though I haven’t found specific personal descriptions for many of them.

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Prophet Malachi days.pravoslavie.ru

There is a very convincing, but also very long, presentation here to read, which analyzes Hebrew and Israelite scriptures to prove that the appearance of this branch of Semites was “black.”  I highly recommend reading it, but it’s too long to paste here:

Physical Appearance

physical appearance 2

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Prophet Daniel in the Lion’s Den illustrious-divinity.tumblr.com

Moses

There is a specific reference to Moses in an Islamic prophetic narration:

Moses was of brown complexion, straight hair and tall stature as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.” (Bukhaari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 648)

Jesus

Most of these black gods were regarded as crucified saviors who died to save mankind by being nailed to a cross, or tied to a tree with arms outstretched as if on a cross, or slain violently in some other manner. Of these crucified saviors, the most prominent were Osiris and Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Mithra of Persia, Quetazlcoatl of Mexico, Adonis of Babylonia and Attis of Phrygia. Nearly all of these slain savior-gods have the following stories related about them: They are born of a virgin, on or near Dec. 25th (Christmas); their births are heralded by a star; they are born either in a cave or stable; they are slain, commonly by crucifixion; they descend into hell, and rise from the dead at the beginning of Spring (Easter), and finally ascend into heaven. The parallels between the legendary lives of these pagan messiahs and the life of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible are so similar that progressive Bible scholars now admit that stories of these heathen Christs have been woven into the life-story of Jesus. (These remarkable parallels are discussed and interpreted in a pamphlet, Christianity Before Christ, by John G. Jackson, New York, 1938.)

Jesus’ hair was short with tight curls

  • Bible: “…and the hair of his head like pure wool… (Daniel 7.9)”
  • Early Christian Historians: “At that time also there appeared a certain man of magic power … if it be meet to call him a man, [whose name is Jesus], whom [certain] Greeks call a son of [a] God, but his disciples [call] the true prophet who is supposed to have raised dead persons and to have cured all diseases. Both his nature and his form were human, for he was a man of simple appearance, mature age, black-skinned (melagchrous),… prognathous (lit. ‘with a long face [macroprosopos]), a long nose…with scanty & curly hair, but having a line in the middle of the head after the fashion of the Nazaraeans, with an undeveloped beard. (*Halōsis, ii.174).” (Flavius Josephus)”
  • Modern Bible Scholars: “While most religious artists have put long hair on Christ,most biblical scholars believe that it was probably short with tight curls…” [3]
  • Islamic Prophetic Narrations: “Jesus was a curly-haired man of moderate height.”

Jesus’ hair was also long, and parted at the middle

  • Early Christian Historians: “with scanty, curly* hair [1], but having a line in the middle of the head
  • Islamic Prophetic Narrations: “I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’” (Prophet Muhammad)

“No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’”

* Note the juxtaposition of the Messiah and False Messiah, both important to Islamic and Christian eschatology.

Which kind of hair did he have:  Tightly-Curled or Long?

Indeed both.

How can the same man have both short, tightly-curled or wooly hair, and also long, lank hair?

The answer is that these are describing different stages of (“dread”)locked hair, specifically those of an African.

Wool & Locked Hair

Wool compares favorably in appearance to (“dread”)locks:

Scanty, Short, and Curly Hair & Short Locked Hair

Only the hair of Sub-Saharan (“black”) Africans, and others like Andamanese Islanders and aboriginal Southeast Asians (“Negritos”, Orang Asli) is (tightly) curled or ‘woolly’ when it is short.  It also appears scanty or thin because of the parting of the hair into small knots (also known as ‘peppercorn’ hair texture):

These compare favorably with early depictions of Jesus Christ:

Long Hair that can be Scant & Tightly-Curled while Short

The locked hair of an African (or others with “Negroid”/“Africoid” features) is the only type of hair that can be both short and curly, and long hair.  Short locks are initially spread apart (‘scanty’) and tightly-curled, but after growing, their weight causes them to be long and limp (‘lanky’).

Jesus was a Dreadlocked African(-Diasporan)

Thus, the seeming contradiction is solved:  Jesus was a (“dread”)locked African(-diasporan).  His hair was sparse and tightly curled when short, and long and lank once it had grown into locks.  These are descriptions of different stages of his locked hair.

African(-diasporan) males compare favorably with phenotypical features common to Christian and Islamic sources, and also with those unique to each:

  • Common to both: Brown skinWoolly hairHair that is tightly curled when shortHair that can be parted in the middle when long
  • Christian only: Prognathous (having a projecting lower jaw or chin- common among many Sub-Saharan Africans)An undeveloped beard (Many Sub-Saharan Africans do not grow full beards)
  • Islamic only: Shoulder-length air that can drip lots of water
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Lastly, the peculiar Islamic description of copious water drops will be addressed in brief.  This can’t be a description of long hair of thin strands, because that hair lays flat when wet, and droplet dribble down the back of the person, but could only drop from his or her head if they shook it violently.

Wet Asiatic Hair

Locks on the other hand, absorb copious amounts of water, and can drip visible droplets for quite some time.5

Wet Locked Hair

Muhammad

Muhammad was a member of the tribe of Quraysh.  The progenitors of this tribe were Ibrahim/Abraham (see above) and Hajr’s (Hagar’s) son Ismail (Ishmael) and his wife from the Arab tribe Jurhum.

Below we will alternate between narrative of the amalgamation of these individuals and peoples and exposition of their ethnic types according to contemporary and modern historians and geneticists.  To illustrate, self-depictions of the relevant groups as well as illustrations consistent with the given descriptions will be included as well.

HAJR’S ETHNIC TYPE

Hajr was the daughter of Egyptian king and second wife of Abraham she was gifted to prophet Abraham from the king of Egypt. (wikipedia)

“It seems certain,” declares Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, “that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans.” (History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.)

“Not a few writers,” says he, “like the traveler Volney in the 18th century, have expressed the belief that the ancient Egyptians were Negroes, or at any rate strongly Negroid. In recent times even a writer so discriminating as Ripley usually is has given his adhesion to this view.” (The writers referred to here, are Count Volney, the French Orientalist and Professor William Z. Ripley, of Harvard University, an eminent American Anthropologist.)

No people have bequeathed to us so many memorials of its form complexion and physiognomy as the Egyptians. … If we were left to form an opinion on the subject by the description of the Egyptians left by the Greek writers we should conclude that they were, if not Negroes, at least closely akin to the Negro race. That they were much darker in coloring than the neighboring Asiatics; that they had their frizzled either by nature or art; that their lips were thick and projecting, and their limbs slender, rests upon the authority of eye-witnesses who had traveled in the country and who could have had no motive to deceive. … The fullness of the lips seen in the Sphinx of the Pyramids and in the portraits of the kings is characteristic of the Negro. (The Ancient History of the East, pp. 25-26, London, 1881.)

In the Biblical genealogies, Cush (Ethiopia) and Mizraim (Egypt) are brothers, while from the former sprang Nimrod (Babylonia.)

Bust of an Egyptian princess (Akhenaten:  Prophet of Monotheism? )

Enter Arabia

He left with her and their son Ismaa’eel, and they journeyed and journeyed and journeyed on their riding animal through the desert, all the way south to Makka. You have to drive to Makka to appreciate this. It’s in the middle of a desert, not a sand desert, a volcanic field. There’s nothing there but cooled lava, i.e. a bunch of rocks. It is absolutely barren. Then, when they reached where Allaah had told them to reach, Ibraheem dismounted, left his wife and son- can you imagine how hard this would be?- remounted and started to ride away.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

He says nothing.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

No reply.

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

Silence. He doesn’t look back. His horse keeps walking.

“Did Allaah tell you to leave me here?”

“Yes.”

“Then we will be fine.”

Hajr, may Allaah have mercy on her, had nothing. She saw nothing. She heard nothing. There was nothing. Just a couple of rocky hills, in the middle of a lava field. But this woman had faith. She put her baby down and ran to the top of a hill to look around.

Nothing. Nothing but faith. She ran down that one, and up the other one. Nothing. Hungry (not that I-skipped-lunch-‘cause-I-was-busy feeling, REAL hunger). Thirst. And nothing. She ran back down and up again. Then back down and up again. Until she had run up those hills seven times.

Then she saw something. The angel Jibreel (a/k/a Gabriel), Allaah’s strong one. He dug with his heel in the ground, and water began to well out. In other narrations it was the writhing of the baby Ismaa’eel which opened this water source.

“Zam! Zam! (Stop! Stop!)” she commanded, fearing the spring of water would run itself onto the ground. She then dug a hole around it, so it would become a well. Had she left it, according to a narration attributed to Muhammad, it would be a river right now.

Hoopoe

Soon, the Hud-hud (hoopoe) a bird that flies around a source of water, started circling over their two heads. A tribe of Arabs- Jurhum- took note and followed. They were a noble people, so even thought they could have done away with Hajr and her son, they asked for permission to camp near the miraculous water source. Hajr, a young woman, mother of a suckling child, alone in a wasteland, was fearless. She gave them permission, but denied them any rights to ownership of the well.

Creation of Quraish, Muhammad’s Tribe

The tribe stayed and taught Ismail Arabic (Arabized him).  Soon he married one of them.  Thus began the tribe of Quraish, started by a Semitic-Sumerian prophet, an Egyptian princess, and the noblest of the Arabs.

Arab Ethnic Type

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups, including the “Pure Arabs” of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan.  The Qahtanites (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen following the destruction of the Ma’rib Dam (sadd Ma’rib).

Jurhum (also Banu Jurhum) was a Qahtani tribe in the Arabian peninsula. An old Arab tribe, their historical abode was Yemen before they emigrated to Mecca (wikipedia).

Discussion of the Arab ethnic type as it concerns Prophet Muhammad, therefore, should focus on this branch of pure, originally southern Arabs.

Bertram Thomas, historian and former Prime Minister of Muscat and Oman, reported in his work ‘The Arabs’:

“The original inhabitants of Arabia…were not the familiar Arabs of our time but a very much darker people.  A proto-negroid belt of mankind stretched across the ancient world from Africa to Malaya.  This belt…(gave) rise to the Hamitic peoples of Africa, to the Dravidian peoples of India, and to an intermediate dark people inhabiting the Arabian peninsula.  (Muhammad 2011)

Modern dark-skinned descendants of ancient Arabians like the Qarra and Mahra of Oman told colonial observers they originated in Africa.

Al-Mubarrad (d. 898), the leading figure in the Basran grammatical tradition, claimed: “The Arabs used to take pride in their brown and black complexion (al-sumra wa al-sawād) and they had a distaste for a white and fair complexion (al-ḥumra wa al-shaqra), and they used to say that such was the complexion of the non-Arabs.”  (Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ nahj al-balāghah, V:56) (Muhammad 2013)

Ibn Mandhor (1232-1311 A.D.) says in his book Lisan El-Arab:

سبوطة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العجم من الروم والفرس. و جُعودة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العرب

“Non-kinky hair is the kind of hair that most non-Arabs like the Romans and Persians have while kinky hair is the kind of hair that most Arabs have.”

(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth

MUHAMMAD’S ETHNICITY

Now we know that the Quraish were a tribe founded by a Sumerian/Semitic/Egytian man and an Arab woman.  Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and Blessings be upon him, was a member of Banu Hashim, a sub-tribe of Quraish known for their strict endogamy (intramarriage within one’s group).  While this practice was prevalent amongst all the Quraysh- Al-Azmeh relates an instance of Qurayshi women marrying outsiders as being “unusual” (Azmeh 160)- the Banu Hashim were particularly known for it.

In his 2009 work “Black Arabia and The African Origin of Islam” Dr. Wesley Muhammad quotes Robert F. Spencer as saying: “It is said that the Quraish explained their short stature and dark skin by the fact that they always carefully adhered to endogamy.”  (Muhamad 2013)

Therefore, in the ethnic makeup of Prophet Muhammad, the Sumerian, Semitic, Kemetic and pure Arab strains would have been predominate, with outer admixture making up a negligible proportion.

Bonus:  The Buddha

According to some Islamic thinkers, the Buddha may be an acknowledged prophet:

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir, in hisBuddha the Great: His Life and Philosophy (Arabic: Budha al-Akbar Hayatoh wa Falsaftoh), postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran (Al-Anbiya 85 and Sad 48) as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Although most scholars identify Dhu’l-Kifl with the Prophet Ezekiel, Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. Although the truths that Buddha realized under the fig tree are not described as revelation, later great Buddhist masters have received revelations of sacred texts, such as Asanga in fourth century India directly from Maitreya in Tushita, the Heaven Filled with Joy.

In the list of prophets who are specifically mentioned in Islamic sources, there are certain names which do not seem to belong to the prophets of Israel. Many commentators therefore are inclined to believe that they are non-Arab prophets who are included in the list just for the sake of representation of the outer world. For instance, Dhul-Kifl is one name in the list of prophets which is unheard of in the Arab or Semitic references. Some scholars seem to have traced this name to Buddha, who was of Kapeel, which was the capital of a small state situated on the border of India and Nepal. Buddha not only belonged to Kapeel, but was many a time referred to as being ‘Of Kapeel’. This is exactly what is meant by the word ‘Dhul-Kifl’. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.”

Fig Tree is Bodhi Tree of Enlightenment

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one. Some scholars accept this theory and, as supportfor this position, point out that the eleventh-century Persian Muslim scholar of Indian history, al-Biruni, referred to Buddha as a Prophet. Others dismiss this last piece of evidence and explain that al-Biruni was merely describing that people in India regarded Buddha as a prophet.

Maitreya means Prophet

Manifestations of Buddha = Coming of Prophets?

Some scholars associate the prophesied future Buddha Maitreya, the Loving or Merciful One, with the Prophet Muhammad as the servant of the Merciful One.

Buddhists as People of the Book

Buddha’s attainment and his teachings of techniques for others to achieve the same are known in Sanskrit as “Dharma,” literally “preventive measures.” They are measures to take and methods to follow in order to avoid causing oneself and others suffering. Starting in the second century BCE, Buddha’s discourses on them that had been transmitted orally up until then were written down in the form of scriptural texts. In present-day Uzbekistan and northern Afghanistan, where the Arabs first encountered Buddhists, the versions of these texts most widely available were in Old Turk and Sogdian translation. In these languages, the word Dharma was translated as nom, a loan word from Greek, meaning “law.”

Buddhist Prostration

The Quran taught tolerance for the religions of “people of the Book,” which referred to Christianity and Judaism. When the Arabs encountered Buddhism, then although its followers were not strictly “people of the Book,” nevertheless they were granted the same status and rights as the Christians and Jews under their rule. They were allowed to follow their religion, provided the laypeople among them paid a poll-tax. Thus, the legal concept of “People of the Book” seems to have been widened to include those who followed a set of ethical principles of higher authority.

The Buddha, too, was “black”:

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair-always shown in corn rows or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to be Africoid, with the wide nose, thick lips and frizzy, nappy, hair which are distinctive Negro characteristics. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in most of the ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips

Buddha Vietnam

Buddha Thailand

Buddha China

Buddha India

Note the stretched ears of this modern Masaai man from Kenya and compare to the Buddha’s.

Buddha Thailand

There are absolutely no historical records that portray Buddha as pale-skinned or even ‘yellow’-skinned.

There were two types of Blacks from Africa who created the first civilization of mankind. One was the Nubian, who had broad features and Woolly, Nappy hair, while the other had the aquiline nose with straight hair,(Dravidian) but both were early ddescendants straight out of Black Africa.

Southern Indian Man

Modern Black people of Southern India.

Orissa women from northeast India. Note the similarity in jewellery worn compared to the African women below.

Woodabi woman from West Africa

Ndabele woman from South Africa

Pre-Buddhist South Asian society consisted of four basic groups.
1. Brahmins (priesthood)
2. Kshatriyas (the warrior class)
3. Vaishyas (the merchant class)
4. Sudras / Untouchables / outcastes, the hated ones

� These outcast in India consist of the agricultural labourers who are kept segregated in every village.
� They had to eat the carcasses of dead animals.
� They could only eat from broken plates.
� They had to tie a cup around their necks to catch their spit because it was considered to be contaminating.
� They had to tie a broom to their rear ends to hide their tracks, since crossing such tracks was forbidden and deemed to be polluting.
� They could only enter the other castes’ neighbourhood at night because their shadow was defiling.
� They had to clean corpses and wear the clothes of the dead.
� Their women were relegated to the function of common prostitutes.

Buddha Thailand
9th Century

Conclusion

The real question should be:  Why was there never a prophet/messenger who wasn’t“black”?

Sources

Original African Buddha

From “Ancient Black Buddha” by Horus:  Ancient Black Buddha – Religion – Nigeria

http://www.berzinarchives.com/we…

http://www.answering-christianit…

Al-Azmeh, Aziz.  The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and his people.  Cambridge University Press.  2014.

Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 fromhttp://2017blackart.wordpress.co…

King, Diane E. 2005 Kinship and State: Arab States. In Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, vol. II: Family, Law, and Politics. Suad Joseph, ed. Pp. 347-349. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

Mackenzie, Donald Alexander.  Indian Myth and Legend.  London:  Gresham Publishing Co., Ltd.  1913.  Retrieved from Indian Myth and Legend: Introduction

Muhammad, Wesley.  God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem.  A-Team Publishing.  2010.

ibid.  ““His Daddy was Black. His Momma was Black. So…” A Look at Prophet Muhammad’s Lineage”.  2013.  Retrieved fromhttps://www.academia.edu/5260656…

ibid.  “How Did Black Arabs Become White?”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.blackarabia.blogspot….

ibid.  “Muhammad: The Black-skinned Prophet of Black Arabia”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved fromhttp://blackarabia.blogspot.com/…

“Arabs”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs

“Abraham in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Abraham in Islam

“Banu Hashim”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ba…

“Hagar in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Hagar in Islam

“Jurhum”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ju…

“Patrilineality”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pa…

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Africa’s Golden Age

As a whole, Black Africa, in the 15th century, before slave trading, was superior to Europe.  

Timbuktu ranked with Alexandria, Fez, Seville, Cordova and Constantinople as a great centre of learning.  Economically, the textiles of Congo and Guinea were as high quality as those of Europe.  Metal works, of copper in particular, of Katanga and Zambia, and iron works of Sierra Leone, were much superior to those they were made to import by force later from Europe.  In Zimbabwe, Rhodes mercenaries and traffickers found huge constructions, and mines well exploited. Bronze metal in Benin was better quality than the Portuguese. European superiority was only in terms of gun fire .

Dawn of a New Era

Shortly after the adoption of Islam, Kanem rose to be a state of considerable importance and extended its sway over the tribes of the Eastern Sudan to the borders of Egypt and Nubia; the first Muslim king of Kanem is said to have reigned either towards the close of the 11th or the first half of the 12th century (8).

Ibn Battuta gives a good description of the people of Mali under Islam:
‘The Black people possess some admirable qualities. they are seldom unjust, and have greater abhorrence of injustice than any other people. their sultan shows no mercy to anyone who is guilty of the least act of it. There is complete security in their country. Neither traveller nor inhabitant in it has anything to fear from robbers or men of violence.

They are careful to observe the hours of prayer, and assiduous in attending them in congregations, and in bringing up their children to them. On Fridays, if a man does not go early to the mosque, he cannot find a corner to pray in, on account of the crowd. It is a custom of theirs to send each man his boy [to the mosque] with his prayer-mat; the boy spreads it out for his master in a place befitting him [and remains on it] until he comes to the mosque. Their prayer-mats are made of the leaves of a tree resembling a date-palm, but without fruit (9).


Another of their good qualities is their habit of wearing clean white garments on Fridays. Even if a man has nothing but an old worn shirt, he washes it and cleans it, and wears it to the Friday service. yet another is their zeal for learning the Qur’an by heart (10).’

The positive impact Islam had on African society was observed by later Western writers and travellers. Smith notes how:
‘We hear of whole tribes laying aside their devil worship, or immemorial fetish, and springing at a bound, as it were, from the very lowest to one of the highest forms of religious belief. Christian travellers, with every wish to think otherwise, have remarked that the Black person who accepts Islam acquires at once a sense of the dignity of human nature not commonly found even among those who have been brought to accept Christianity (11).’
Smith adds:
‘Nor as to the effects of Islam when first embraced by a Black tribe, can there, when viewed as a whole, be any reasonable doubt. Polytheism disappears almost instantaneously; sorcery, with it attendant evils, gradually dies away; human sacrifice becomes a thing of the past. The general moral elevations is most marked; the natives begin for the first time in their history to dress, and that neatly. Squalid filth is replaced by some approach to personal cleanliness; hospitality becomes a religious duty; drunkenness, instead of the rule becomes a comparatively rare exception. Though polygamy is allowed by the Koran, it is not common in practice…; chastity is looked upon as one of the highest, and becomes, in fact, on of the commoner virtues. It is idleness henceforth that degrades, and industry that elevates, instead of the reverse. Offences are henceforth measured by a written code instead of the arbitrary caprice of a chieftain-a step, as every one will admit, of vast importance in the progress of a tribe (12).’

The Islamic impact is also on the economic and cultural levels. Muslims proved to be excellent traders and came to dominate the commercial world, helping to foster progress in sciences, philosophy and technology wherever they settled. Merchants from Arabia and the Gulf opened up the eastern coasts of Africa, from the Horn to Madagascar, to international trade (13). The rich trading settlements of Sofala, Kilwa and Mogadishu became Africa’s outlets to the Indian Ocean. Along the coast, from the Horn to Madagascar, the original Muslim civilisation developed around the Muslim trading settlements: the Swahili civilisation (14).
Browne, and Englishman, who undertook extensive travels in Central African in the years 1799 and 1806 (15), remarks that, among the idolaters of Sheibon and other places, the only persons he saw wearing decent clothes, or indeed clothing at all, were Muslims; that it was to the introduction of Islam a century and a half before his time that Darfur owed its settled government and the cultivation of its soil; and that the people of Bergoo were remarkable for their zealous attachment to their religion, and read the Qur’an daily. In this summary we hear of the use of decent clothing, and the arts of reading and agriculture, attributed to Islam (16).

Mungo Park, educated as he was for the Scotch Church, and cruelly persecuted as he was throughout his travels by the ‘Moorish banditi’, Smith notes would not be likely to be a friend of Islam, and many of his remarks show a strong bias against it: his testimony, therefore is all the more valuable. His travels lay almost exclusively among Muslims or semi-Muslim tribes, and he found that the Black people were everywhere summoned to prayer by blasts blown through elephants’ tusks. On reahing the Niger, the main object of his wanderings, he found, to his surprise, that Sego, the capital of Bamharra, was a walled town, containing some 30,000 inhabitants, that the houses were square and very often white-washed, and that there were Muslim mosques in every quarter. ‘The view of this extensive city,’ he writes, ‘the numerous canoes upon the river, the crowded population, and the cultivated state of the surrounding country, formed altogether a prospect of civilisation and magnificence which I little expected to find in the bosom of Africa’ (17).
His impression of the women was most favourable. ‘I do not recollect,’ he says, ‘a single instance of hard-heartedness towards me among the women. In all my wandering and wretchedness I found them uniformly kind and compassionate.’ One of the first lessons in which the Mandingo women instructed their children was the practice of truth. (18)

Mungo Park adds: ‘the beverages of the pagan Negroes are beer and mead, of which they frequently drink to excess. The Muslims amongst them drink nothing but water’ (19).
As to education, Mungo Park found schools and active teachers everywhere (20). In Africa, we are assured, at all hands, that the Muslim population has an almost passionate desire for education. Wherever Muslims are numerous, they establish schools themselves; and there are not a few who travel extraordinary distances to secure the best possible education (21).

The Reverend Edward Blyden, a native Black African and Christian missionary, counters those who attack Islam, and says:
‘If those Christians who are so unmeasured in their denunciations of ‘Mohammedanism’ could travel, as I have travelled, through those countries in the interior of West Africa, and witness, as I have witnessed, the vast contrast between the pagan and ‘Mohammedan’ communities- the habitual listlessness of the one, and the activity and growth, physical and mental, of the other; the capricious and unsettled administration of law, or rather the absence of law, in the one, and the tendency to order and regularity in the other; the increasing prevalence of ardent spririts in the one, and the rigid sobriety and conservative abstemiousness of the other- they would cease to regard the ‘Mussulman’ system as an unmitigated evil in the interior of Africa’ (22).

Western Efforts to Block the Progress of African Civilization

The Western slave trade, which reached its peak in the 18th century, shattered not just Muslim communities, but the whole of African society and economy, and permanently. Garaudy and Howitt explain how this disastrous impact in great detail (23). It is not that African society, as generally held in Western writing, was initially backward, thus clearing the conscience of the slave traders from their responsibility in its backwardness, but rather, as a whole, Black Africa, in the 15th century, before slave trading, Garaudy explains was not inferior to Europe (24). Coming from Goa or Egypt, Islam penetrated as far as Chad, and met in Nigeria and old black civilisation, which was remarkable for its art, possibly tributary to Mediterranean classical influences, which it soon adopted (25). The African states of Ghana, Mali and songhay shared in the great age of Islamic civilisation from the 9th to 16th centuries (26). On his return from his pilgrimage to Makkah in 1324, Mansa Musa brought back with him the Muslim poet and architect Es Saheli, who built the famous mosques and learning academies of Timbuktu and Gao (27). Timbuktu ranked with Alexandria, Fez, Seville, Cordova and Constantinople as a great centre of learning (28). Blyden speaks of the story of the Hejazi jurist who sought employment in Timbuktu, but who, finding too many scholars went on to Fez where he found employment more easily. He quotes with relish many honourable appearances of a black skin in Islamic literature, as an encouragement to African learning (29).

Economically, the textiles of Congo and Guinea were as high quality as those of Europe; Nigerian decorated hides and leather were appreciated in Europe, getting to it via North Africa; and metal works, of copper in particular, of Katanga and Zambia, and iron works of Sierra Leone, were much superior to those they were made to import by force later from Europe (30). The Empire of Ghana was a thriving commercial centre, and its large capital, Kumbi Saleh, was an important centre of trade and scholarship, where Islamic theology and history were studied (31). In Zimbabwe, Rhodes mercenaries and traffickers found huge constructions, and mines well exploited. Bronze metal in Benin was better quality than the Portuguese. European superiority was only in terms of gun fire (32).
It was Western Christendom, and above all the slave trade it inflicted on Africa, which destroyed these progresses of the African continent, and made the prosperity of the slave-trading nations (33). In 1540, only 400 Africans were deported, a figure which rose to nearly 300,000 every year in the 18th century (34). Due to losses during capture, transportation, deaths at the plantations, etc., 100 million Africans perished as a result of the slave trade (65).

This article was an excerpt of al-Djazairi, S.E., A Short History of Islam, The Institute of Islamic History, Manchester: 2006
(1) J.S. Trimingham: the Influence of Islam; op cit; p. 53
(2) Ibid; pp. 62-3
(3) Ibid; p. 67
(4) Ibid; p. 68
(5) Ibid; pp. 68-9
(6) on the day of Judgement each person will be held responsible for his deeds. ‘The fate of every man have We bound upon his neck…, neither shall any laden soul be charged with the burden of another’; sura xvii.13, 15, vi 34 [Qur-aan 17.13, 15; 6.34]
(7) J.S. Trimingham: The Influence of Islam; op cit; p. 57
(8) C. H. Becker: Geschichte des ostlichen Sudan; Der Islam; vol 1; Strassburg; 1910; pp. 162-3
(9) Ibn Battuta: Voyages d’Ibn Battuta, Arabic text accompanied by Fr tr by C. Defremery and B.R. Sanguinetti, preface and notes by Vincent Monteil, I-IV, Paris, 1968, repring of the 1854 ed; vol 4; pp. 421-2
(10) Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa; tr and selected by H.A.R. Gibb; George Routledge and Sons Ltd; London, 1929; pp. 329-31
(11) R.B. Smith: Mohammed; op cit; p.38
(12) Ibid; pp. 42-3
(13) D.T. Niane: General History of Africa; op cit; p.2
(14) Ibid; p. 3
(15) See Pinkerton: Voyages; vol xv and xvi
(16) In R.B. Smith; Mohammed; op cit; p. 44
(17) Mungo Park’s Traves; Cap I. Nd fin; in R.B. Smith: Mohammed; op cit; p. 45
(18) In R.B. Smith; Mohammed; op cit; p. 46
(19) Mungo Park; Cap VII; in R.B. Smith: Mohammed; op cit; p. 46
(20) In R.B. Smith: Mohammed; p. 47
(21) Ibid; p. 41
(22) Ibid; pp. 50-1
(23) R. Garaudy: Comment l’Homme; op cit. W Howitt: Colonisation an dChristianity. op cit.
(24) R Garaudy; Comment l’Homme; op cit; p. 271
(25) E Perroy: Le Moyen Age, Presses Universitaires de France, 1956; p. 525
(26) D. M. Traboulay: Columbus and Las Casas; University Press of America, New York, London, 1994. p. 69
(27) Ibid; p. 70
(28) G.O. Cox: African Empires and Civilisations; New York; 1974; p. 161
(39) Blyden in N. Daniel: Islam, Europe and Empire; Edinburgh University Press; 1966; p. 314
(30) R. Garaudy: Comment l’Homme; op. cit; p. 271
(31) D.M. Traboulay: Columbus and Las Casas; op cit; p. 69
(32) R. Garaud: Comment l’Homme; op cit; p. 271
(33) E. Williams: Capitalism and Slavery; North Carolina; 1944. Catherine C. Vidrotitch: Villes Africaines; op cit; at p. 1390. M. Craton: Sinews of Empire: A short history of British slavery; Garden City; NY; Doubleday; 1974
(34) R. Garaudy; Comment l’Homme; op cit; p. 275
(35) Ibid.

What Ethnicity was Muhammad?

Skin color and physical features, especially of the prophets, were a part of early Islamic teachings, so they are still important today.  Much is known about the ethnicity of Prophet Muhammad’s ancestors, and the inmarriage practiced by his clan means we can reliably guess what his was as well.

“Race Doesn’t Matter In Islam.”

This is a popular mantra in the Muslim community.  But is it Islamically sound?

No, for Prophet Muhammad taught his followers extensively about what we use to define ‘race’ today, such as skin color, hair texture, and genealogy.  And, as with all his teachings, he commanded them to convey them to others:

 

Narrated ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amr: The Prophet said, “Convey (my teachings) to the people even if it were a single sentence, and tell others the stories of People of Israel (which have been taught to you), for it is not sinful to do so. And whoever tells a lie on me intentionally, will surely take his place in the (Hell) Fire.” (Sahih Bukhari. Hadith 3202)

 

In particular, he taught about the appearance of the prophets:

 

Moses was of brown complexion, straight hair and tall stature as if he was from the people of Az-Zutt.” (Bukhaari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 648)

 

This is a reference to a specific ethnic type with which the listeners would obviously have been familiar.  The same happens in the next narration:

 

The Prophet (Muhammad) said “The prophet Moses was brown, a tall person as if from the people of the tribe of Shanu’a. Jesus was a curly-haired man of moderate height…” (Bukhaari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 608)

 

At times, he even praised the skin color of the person in question:

 

“I saw in my dream a man of brown color the best one can see amongst brown color and his hair was long that it fell between his shoulders. His hair was lank and water was dribbling from his head and he was placing his hands on the shoulders of two men while circumambulating the Kaba. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘This is Jesus, son of Mary.’” (Prophet Muhammad) Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 649

 

His companions faithfully recorded and related these teachings, as commanded, and even corrected each other about them:

 

No, By Allah, the Prophet did not tell that Jesus was of red complexion but said, “While I was asleep circumambulating the Ka’ba (in my dream), suddenly I saw a man of brown complexion and lank hair walking between two men, and water was dropping from his head. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ The people said, ‘He is the son of Mary.’ Then I looked behind and I saw a red-complexioned, fat, curly-haired man, blind in the right eye which looked like a bulging out grape. I asked, ‘Who is this?’ They replied, ‘He is Ad-Dajjal.’  (Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 55, Number 650)

 

In Islamic eschatology (end times theology) both Jesus and the Dajjal (Anti-Christ) will appear, so it could be said that skin color was only discussed to allow believers to be able to distinguish the two.  However, this does not explain descriptions of Jesus’ skin color where mention of the Dajjal is absent, nor those of Moses, who does not figure in Islamic eschatology.

 

If skin color and ethnicity were not important in Islam, then the Messenger would not have spoken about them.

That is, unless one wants to claim that Prophet Muhammad spoke idly and vainly to his followers.  But that would be saying that he adopted a type of speech forbidden in the same Quran which he recited to them, which praises him as the best example.  This, would be tantamount to blasphemy.

It has to be accepted, then, that race, specifically the race of the prophets, is a valid and necessary topic.  Claiming otherwise is slanderous and self-contradictory.  Non-Muslim readers can rest assured that studying the ‘race’, ethnicity and appearance of Prophet Muhammad is neither an offense to Muslims, nor Islam.

 

The ethnic make-up and appearance of the prophets is a valid and important topic, and those of the greatest and final prophet all the more so.

 

 

Introduction

Muhammad was a member of the tribe of Quraysh.  The progenitors of this tribe were Ibrahim (Abraham) and Hajr’s (Hagar’s) son Ismail (Ishmael) and his wife from the Arab tribe Jurhum.

 

This paper will alternate between narrative of the amalgamation of these individuals and peoples and exposition of their ethnic types according to contemporary and modern historians and geneticists.  To illustrate, self-depictions of the relevant groups as well as illustrations consistent with the given descriptions will be included as well.

 

 

Ibrahim’s Ethnic Type:  Akkadian = Sumerian + Semitic

 

Ibrahim was born in a house of idolaters in the ancient city of Ur, in the Mesopotamian plains of Babylonia (present-day Iraq). The language that was spoken at the time was Akkadian (wikipedia).  The empire united all the indigenous Akkadian-speaking Semites and the Sumerian speakers for the first time under one rule.

 

 

Sumerian Ethnic Type

The earliest civilization of Mesopotamia was that of the Sumerians. They are designated in the Assyrio-Babylonian inscriptions as the black-heads or black-faced people, and they are shown on the monuments as beardless and with shaven heads. This easily distinguishes them from the Semitic Babylonians, who are shown with beards and long hair. From the myths and traditions of the Babylonians we learn that their culture came originally from the south. Sir Henry Rawlinson concluded from this and other evidence that the first civilized inhabitants of Sumer and Akkad were immigrants from the African Ethiopia. John D. Baldwin, the American Orientalist, on the other hand, claims that since ancient Arabia was also known as Ethiopia, they could have just as well come from that country.  (Jackson 1939)

(The Identity of the Sumerians As Seen In Ancient Art)

 

Semitic Ethnic Type

 

Enter a caption

 

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

 

Semitic Genetic Marker:  The Cohen Haplotype-

Discovered in 1997 by Jewish scientists, this paternal genetic marker (it is found on the Y-chromosome) has a high frequency among the Jewish (Askenazi and Sephardic) priesthood (Cohanim) and is thought to be a signature of ancient Hebrew ancestry.  The haplotype (CMH) is indeed part of a haplogroup (Hg J) that originated in Black Arabia or Afrabia ca 30 kya (thousand years ago) and in high frequencies is believed to indicate “Semitism.”

Image of Israelites from the time of the Assyrian Empire

 

There was a further “discovery” that the “purest” surviving remnant of the Children of Israel identified by CMH tests is the tribe of Black Jews in India, the Bene Israel and the Black Jews of Cochin, who show a genetic affinity not only to Ethiopians and Yemenis, but also to the tribe of Black Jews in South Africa, the Lemba, whose relation to the ancient Hebrews has also been confirmed by the presence of high frequencies of the CMH. (Muhammad 2010)

 

Bene Israel (India)

 

Ethiopian Jews
Yemeni Jews

 

Lemba Jews (southern Africa)

 

Ibraheem’s Migration to Egypt & Marriage to Hajr

 

Ibrahim’s father or uncle was an idol-maker.  Rejecting this religion, he called him and all their people to Islam, they violently rejected him.  After a miraculous rescue from a bonfire meant to kill him, he fled to Egypt.

 

It should not be a surprise that he went there, because Sumer had historic ties to ancient Egypt (Kemet), so it was a likely place of refuge, because he wouldn’t have been a complete outsider in a place where he had cultural and linguistic ties:

 

“…from their beginnings the Sumerians seem to have been in touch with Egypt. Some of their early texts mention Dilmun, Magan and Meluhha. … Dilmun was the first settlement that was made by the god Enki, who was the founder of Sumerian civilization. … Magan was famous among the Sumerians as a place whence they got diorite and copper, Meluhha as a place whence they got gold. Dilmun has been identified with some place or other in the Persian Gulf, perhaps the Bahrein Islands, perhaps a land on the eastern shore of the Gulf. … In a late inscription of the Assyrians it is said that Magan and Meluhha were the archaic names for Egypt and Ethiopia, the latter being the south-western part of Somaliand that lay opposite.” (The Growth of Civilization, pp. 60–61, 2nd Edition, Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England, 1937, Published by Penguin Books, Ltd.)

 

It was there that he married Hajr, and they soon had a son, Ismail (Ishmael), who was Semitic/Sumerian on his father’s side, and Egyptian on his mother’s.

 

 

Hajr’s Ethnic Type

Hajr was the daughter of Egyptian king and second wife of Abraham she was gifted to prophet Abraham from the king of Egypt. (wikipedia)

 

“It seems certain,” declares Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, “that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans.” (History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.)

 

Black Egyptians | hide caption A bust of the powerful Queen Tiye, King Tut's grandmother ...:

“Not a few writers,” says he, “like the traveler Volney in the 18th century, have expressed the belief that the ancient Egyptians were Negroes, or at any rate strongly Negroid. In recent times even a writer so discriminating as Ripley usually is has given his adhesion to this view.” (The writers referred to here, are Count Volney, the French Orientalist and Professor William Z. Ripley, of Harvard University, an eminent American Anthropologist.)

nefertiti

 

No people have bequeathed to us so many memorials of its form complexion and physiognomy as the Egyptians. … If we were left to form an opinion on the subject by the description of the Egyptians left by the Greek writers we should conclude that they were, if not Negroes, at least closely akin to the Negro race. That they were much darker in coloring than the neighboring Asiatics; that they had their frizzled either by nature or art; that their lips were thick and projecting, and their limbs slender, rests upon the authority of eye-witnesses who had traveled in the country and who could have had no motive to deceive. … The fullness of the lips seen in the Sphinx of the Pyramids and in the portraits of the kings is characteristic of the Negro. (The Ancient History of the East, pp. 25-26, London, 1881.)

 

In the Biblical genealogies, Cush (Ethiopia) and Mizraim (Egypt) are brothers, while from the former sprang Nimrod (Babylonia.)

Mektaten was the second daughter of six born to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Wife Nefertiti.:

Bust of an Egyptian princess (Akhenaten:  Prophet of Monotheism? )

 

 

Enter Arabia

 

He left with her and their son Ismaa’eel, and they journeyed and journeyed and journeyed on their riding animal through the desert, all the way south to Makka. You have to drive to Makka to appreciate this. It’s in the middle of a desert, not a sand desert, a volcanic field. There’s nothing there but cooled lava, i.e. a bunch of rocks. It is absolutely barren. Then, when they reached where Allaah had told them to reach, Ibraheem dismounted, left his wife and son- can you imagine how hard this would be?- remounted and started to ride away.

 

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

 

He says nothing.

 

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

 

No reply.

 

“Are you really going to leave me here?”

 

Silence. He doesn’t look back. His horse keeps walking.

 

“Did Allaah tell you to leave me here?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then we will be fine.”

 

Hajr, may Allaah have mercy on her, had nothing. She saw nothing. She heard nothing. There was nothing. Just a couple of rocky hills, in the middle of a lava field. But this woman had faith. She put her baby down and ran to the top of a hill to look around.

 

Nothing. Nothing but faith. She ran down that one, and up the other one. Nothing. Hungry (not that I-skipped-lunch-‘cause-I-was-busy feeling, REAL hunger). Thirst. And nothing. She ran back down and up again. Then back down and up again. Until she had run up those hills seven times.

 

Then she saw something. The angel Jibreel (a/k/a Gabriel), Allaah’s strong one. He dug with his heel in the ground, and water began to well out. In other narrations it was the writhing of the baby Ismaa’eel which opened this water source.

 

“Zam! Zam! (Stop! Stop!)” she commanded, fearing the spring of water would run itself onto the ground. She then dug a hole around it, so it would become a well. Had she left it, according to a narration attributed to Muhammad, it would be a river right now.

Hoopoe

 

Soon, the Hud-hud (hoopoe) a bird that flies around a source of water, started circling over their two heads. A tribe of Arabs- Jurhum- took note and followed. They were a noble people, so even thought they could have done away with Hajr and her son, they asked for permission to camp near the miraculous water source. Hajr, a young woman, mother of a suckling child, alone in a wasteland, was fearless. She gave them permission, but denied them any rights to ownership of the well.

 

 

Creation of Quraish, Muhammad’s Tribe

The tribe stayed and taught Ismail Arabic (Arabized him).  Soon he married one of them.  Thus began the tribe of Quraish, started by a Semitic-Sumerian prophet, an Egyptian princess, and the noblest of the Arabs.

 

 

Arab Ethnic Type

 

Medieval Arab genealogists divided Arabs into three groups, including the “Pure Arabs” of South Arabia, descending from Qahtan.  The Qahtanites (Qahtanis) are said to have migrated from the land of Yemen following the destruction of the Ma’rib Dam (sadd Ma’rib).

 

Jurhum (also Banu Jurhum) was a Qahtani tribe in the Arabian peninsula. An old Arab tribe, their historical abode was Yemen before they emigrated to Mecca (wikipedia).

 

Discussion of the Arab ethnic type as it concerns Prophet Muhammad, therefore, should focus on this branch of pure, originally southern Arabs.

 

Bertram Thomas, historian and former Prime Minister of Muscat and Oman, reported in his work ‘The Arabs’:

“The original inhabitants of Arabia…were not the familiar Arabs of our time but a very much darker people.  A proto-negroid belt of mankind stretched across the ancient world from Africa to Malaya.  This belt…(gave) rise to the Hamitic peoples of Africa, to the Dravidian peoples of India, and to an intermediate dark people inhabiting the Arabian peninsula.  (Muhammad 2011)

Modern dark-skinned descendants of ancient Arabians like the Qarra and Mahra of Oman told colonial observers they originated in Africa.

Modern dark-skinned descendants of ancient Arabians like the Qarra and Mahra of Oman told colonial observers they originated in Africa.

 

Al-Mubarrad (d. 898), the leading figure in the Basran grammatical tradition, claimed: “The Arabs used to take pride in their brown and black complexion (al-sumra wa al-sawād) and they had a distaste for a white and fair complexion (al-ḥumra wa al-shaqra), and they used to say that such was the complexion of the non-Arabs.”  (Ibn Abī al-Ḥadīd, Sharḥ nahj al-balāghah, V:56) (Muhammad 2013)

 

Ibn Mandhor (1232-1311 A.D.) says in his book Lisan El-Arab:

سبوطة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العجم من الروم والفرس. و جُعودة الشعر هي الغالبة علـى شعور العرب

“Non-kinky hair is the kind of hair that most non-Arabs like the Romans and Persians have while kinky hair is the kind of hair that most Arabs have.”

true arabs 2

 

 

(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth

(l) Yemenite Bronze, Kingdom of Sheba, 715 CE?; (r) modern Arab youth

 

 

Muhammad’s Ethnicity

 

Now we know that the Quraish were a tribe founded by a Sumerian/Semitic/Egytian man and an Arab woman.  Muhammad, may Allah’s peace and Blessings be upon him, was a member of Banu Hashim, a sub-tribe of Quraish known for their strict endogamy (intramarriage within one’s group).  While this practice was prevalent amongst all the Quraysh- Al-Azmeh relates an instance of Qurayshi women marrying outsiders as being “unusual” (Azmeh 160)- the Banu Hashim were particularly known for it.

 

In his 2009 work “Black Arabia and The African Origin of Islam” Dr. Wesley Muhammad quotes Robert F. Spencer as saying: “It is said that the Quraish explained their short stature and dark skin by the fact that they always carefully adhered to endogamy.”  (Muhamad 2013)

 

Therefore, in the ethnic makeup of Prophet Muhammad, the Sumerian, Semitic, Kemetic and pure Arab strains would have been predominate, with outer admixture making up a negligible proportion.

 

 

Conclusions

Not an Arab?

According to the millenia-old Arab concept of patrilineality, Muhammad was not an Arab.

 

Patrilineality, also known as the male line or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual’s family membership derives from and is traced through his or her father’s lineage. (wikipedia)

 

Besides the Arabic language, patrilineality is what defines one as an Arab.

 

Although the Arab world is geographically vast and features considerable sociocultural diversity, its peoples have in common patrilineal kinship, away of organizing kin relations that places emphasis on agnatic descent groups. (King 2005)

 

Muhammad’s patriline leads to Ismail and Abraham, neither of whom were Arab or even part Arab, so the only way to call him an Arab is to negate what defines an Arab.  Expanding the definition of Arab to include anyone who speaks Arabic is dubious, because anyone today can learn Arabic in a matter of months, but that does not suddenly transform their ethnicity.  Arabic is the language of the Arabs, but speaking Arabic doesn’t make someone an Arab:

By way of illustration, it may be pointed out in this connection that English is spoken at the present day by, among others, the Hong Kong Chinamen, the American Red Indians and negroes, by the natives of Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and the Scottish Highlands, besides the descendants of the ancient Britons, the Jutes, the Angles, the Saxons, the Norsemen, the Danes, and the Normans in England, but all these peoples cannot be classified in the racial sense simply as Englishmen. (MacKenzie 2013)

Similarly, the varied types of humanity who are Arabic in speech cannot all be regarded as representatives of the original, true and native Arabs.

Therefore, by the typical definitions of Arab-ness, Prophet Muhammad, was musta’rab (Arabized), but he was not an Arab.

However, in an authentic narration he did make the unequivocal statement “I am an Arab,” (Jami at-Tirmidhi) so there is a way of defining Arab than the andro-centric concept of today’s self-styled Arabs.

Prophet Muhammad was not pale-skinned (“white”) or light-skinned (“wheatish”)

The endogamy which was strict among the Quraysh and even stricter among Banu Hashim makes it certain that Prophet Muhammad’s phenotype- ethnic appearance- was close to those of the Akkadians, Egyptians and Pure Arabs, as shown in their own self-depictions and historians’ descriptions, shown and illustrated above.  He was undoubtedly a member of the Ethiopian race- dark brown skin, curly hair and a full nose and lips.

Historian Henry Lammens made clear the the endogamy of the Banu Hashim maintained their phenotype.

  • “les Hāśimites, famille où dominait le sang nègre” (“the Hashimites, the family where Black blood dominated”)
  • the Banū Hāshim are “généralement qualifies de ﻢﺪٲ= couleur foncée” (“generally described as ādam = dark colored”).  (Muhammad 2013)

 

It is argued by many, including the famous biograper Martin Lings, that Prophet Muhammad was “white” but with the ability to tan, i.e. wheatish, in color.  His ancestry makes this an impossibility when the endogamy described is taken into consideration.  Dark-skinned people cannot acquire pale skin without considerable exogamy, and, again, this did not happen in the case of Prophet Muhammad’s ancestors.

 

Arguments to this rebuttal may include narrations (hadith, plural ahadith) which describe the prophet as light-skinned, but there are others which confirm an appearance consistent with the ethnicity of his forebears.  It is beyond the scope of this paper to explore the authenticity and reconciliation of possibly conflicting narration, to which branches of Islamic science are devoted, so they will simply be posted here for any curious readers:

 

Al-Tirmidhī (d. 279/892) in his Jami’ al-Ṣāḥīḥ reports on the authority of the famous Companion of the Prophet, Anas b. Malik:

 

“The Messenger of Allah was of medium stature, neither tall nor short, [with] a beautiful, dark brown-complexioned body (ḥasan al-jism asmar al-lawn). His hair was neither curly nor completely straight and when he walked he leant forward.” (VI:69 no. 1754)

 

Ibn Manzur reports in his Lisān al-arab (s.v. سمر IV:376) that

 

“al-sumra [is] a degree between white (al-bayād) and black (al-aswad), and it is that in the context of human complexions, camels, etc.”

 

According to Ibn Athīr, al-sumra’s ‘blackness’ predominates over its ‘whiteness’ (al-sumra alladhī yaghlibu sawāduhu alā bayādihi), and al-Taftāzānī (d. 792/1390) reports in his al-Tahdhīd:

 

‘al-sumra…is a color inclining to a faint blackness (sawadin khafiyin), as in the description of the Prophet: he was brown complexioned (kāna asmar al-lawn)…” Muhammad 2012)

 

——-

References

 

Al-Azmeh, Aziz.  The Emergence of Islam in Late Antiquity: Allah and his people.  Cambridge University Press.  2014.

 

Jackson, John G. “Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization” (1939); Retrieved 17.12.2014 from http://2017blackart.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/ethiopia-and-the-origin-of-civilization-by-john-g-jackson/

 

King, Diane E. 2005 Kinship and State: Arab States. In Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures, vol. II: Family, Law, and Politics. Suad Joseph, ed. Pp. 347-349. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

 

Mackenzie, Donald Alexander.  Indian Myth and Legend.  London:  Gresham Publishing Co., Ltd.  1913.  Retrieved from Indian Myth and Legend: Introduction

 

Muhammad, Wesley.  God’s Black Prophets: Deconstructing the Myth of the White Muhammad of Arabia and Jesus of Jerusalem.  A-Team Publishing.  2010.

 

ibid.  ““His Daddy was Black. His Momma was Black. So…” A Look at Prophet Muhammad’s Lineage”.  2013.  Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/5260656/_His_Daddy_was_Black._His_Momma_was_Black._So_A_Look_at_Prophet_Muhammad_s_Lineage

 

ibid.  “How Did Black Arabs Become White?”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved from http://www.blackarabia.blogspot.com/2011/09/how-did-black-arabs-become-white.html

 

ibid.  “Muhammad: The Black-skinned Prophet of Black Arabia”.  Black Arabia.  Retrieved from http://blackarabia.blogspot.com/2012/02/muhammad-black-skinned-prophet-of-black.html

 

“Arabs”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabs

 

 “Abraham in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Abraham in Islam

 

“Banu Hashim”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banu_Hashim

 

“Hagar in Islam”.  Wikipedia. Hagar in Islam

 

“Jurhum”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurhum

 

“Patrilineality”.  Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patrilineality

 

Why Do Some Africans Have Light Skin and European Features?

People generally divide Africa into

  • “North Africa”- populated by brown-skinned, wavy-haired “mulattos”/”Semites”
  • “Sub-Saharan”/”Black” Africa- populated by dark-skinned, “nappy”-haired “Negroids

Image result for africa arabia

From that one would assume the following pictures are from “Sub-Saharan Africa”:

Algerian woman of Ouargla, Algeria, 1965Girl from Algeria (Biskra), 1902Young Black Algerian Woman c.1910sWoman from the Oran Province, Algeria, 1906

In fact they are all from Algeria in northern Africa.

Dark-skinned people with tightly-coiled hair are native to ALL of Africa and many other places.

 

Pale-skinned Hordes Central Asian Hordes (The Emergence of “White” People)

400px-ie_expansion
Emergence and Spread of “White” Asians from Steppes

Above:  Scheme of Asiatic migrations from ca. 4000 to 1000 BCE. The magenta area corresponds to the assumed homeland . The red area corresponds to the area  settled up to ca. 2500 BCE; the orange area to 1000 BCE. (wikipedia)

steppe.jpg
Asiatic Steppe, original homeland of “white people” (hence “Indo-European” i.e. between India and “Europe”)

 

Pale or “white” North Africans are remnants of Asiatic steppe hordes who have made various incursions into Africa throughout history (Hyksos, Turkic, Germanic, etc.):

The Alans (1st Century BCE onwards):

image

The Germanics (of whom the Vandals were a branch)

Step 1:  Central Asia to West Asia (“Europe”)
image
Phase 2:  Western Asia (“Europe”) to Northern Africa

Turkic Ottomans:

The Ottoman Empire was an empire founded in 1299 by Oghuz Turks.

oghuz
Oghuz Turk homeland (c. 600 BCE), between Caspian and Aral Seas
image

What Happened to the Central Asians in Africa?

The fate of these Asiatic hordes was to:

  1. remain unmixed as separate ethnicities, or sub-tribes,
  2. to intermarry with the native Africans, or
  3. to become enslaved or trafficked by native Africans

Unmixed Descendants of Asiatic Hordes in North Africa:

image

Unmixed Native North Africans:

image

North African Nomads Displaying Mixed Asiatic-African Phenotypical Traits:

image

Mixed Asiatic-African North Africans, Asiatic Features Dominant:

Asiatic Women in North African Slave Market:

image

Some of those who intermarried or got enslaved by native north Africans eventually made it across the Sahara to “Sub-Saharan Africa”.  This was in very small numbers of course, but not too small to leave a mark on the phenotype.  This is part of the reason why some “Black” Africans have relatively light skin (golden brown instead of dark brown) and even more rarely have (relatively) straight hair and light eyes:  these are recessive traits from Asiatic ancestors.

Those who would argue that an ancient “white”, “Caucasian” presence in Africa was as an invading master race are delusional.  There were some invasions, but Asiatic movement in Africa was not as some “master race”.  They were either isolated, assimilated, or subdued, and always a minority.

Sub-Saharan African displaying recessive Asiatic phenotypical traits

Relatively light skin:

image

Relatively light skin and hair color, Hazel eyes

image

Lank hair, epicanthic fold (eyes), relatively light skin:

image

Naturally-born child with Asiatic features (Not Albino)

image

Possible Residual Recessive Asiatic Influence on Phenotype?

Nigerian Women

Mali

Fulani (Nomadic group)

The fact that these ‘full-blooded’ Africans resemble African-Americans and other African diasporans who are known to have mixed with Asiatics (known as “Europeans” after settling in western Asia “Europe”) is sufficient testimony to the fact that they may, too, have acquired Asiatic ancestry in Africa.

Africa has never been isolated.  It wasn’t ‘discovered’ by anybody, certainly not “Europeans” who’d just discovered civilization from Moors (who were from Africa).  That’s why the question is so complicated:  many features commonly associated with Asians (western included) and not with Africans actually are African:

caucasian 2

Epicanthic Eye Fold:

Tightly-coiled (“coarse”, “nappy”) hair is usually associated with dark skin, but the ‘nappiest’ hair is found on people with light skin!

Africans have been moving around the globe- and around Africa- forever.  People have been moving into Africa forever.  The place with the most diverse genotype will have the most diverse phenotype as well.  “Non-African” features could have come from another part of Africa just as easily as a place outside it.

Modern Aryans

Ancient Medes & Persians were Aryans…

aryan review

Ancient Medes

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Ancient Persians

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Modern Aryans

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Arya Dharma (The Noble Way) a/k/a Buddhism: An Afro-Islamic Inspiration? (6 of 6)

arya dharma 02

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair- always shown in cornrows, or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to have had Africoid facial features- full nose and lips. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in many ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips.

Source:  https://selfuni.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/original-african-buddha/

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran  as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one.

Read more at “The Buddha:  An Islamic Prophet?

Arya Dharma (The Noble Way) a/k/a Buddhism: An Afro-Islamic Inspiration? (5 of 6)

arya dharma 03

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair- always shown in cornrows, or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to have had Africoid facial features- full nose and lips. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in many ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips.

Source:  https://selfuni.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/original-african-buddha/

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran  as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one.

Read more at “The Buddha:  An Islamic Prophet?

Arya Dharma (The Noble Way) a/k/a Buddhism: An Afro-Islamic Inspiration? (4 of 6)

arya dharma 04

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair- always shown in cornrows, or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to have had Africoid facial features- full nose and lips. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in many ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips.

Source:  https://selfuni.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/original-african-buddha/

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran  as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one.

Read more at “The Buddha:  An Islamic Prophet?

Arya Dharma (The Noble Way) a/k/a Buddhism: An Afro-Islamic Inspiration? (3 of 6)

arya dharma 05

The statues of ancient Buddhas of the East depicted him as having woolly hair- always shown in cornrows, or “peppercorn” texture of small tight curls. These statues also clearly show him to have had Africoid facial features- full nose and lips. In most ancient temples throughout Asia, he is shown as jet Black. In fact, in many ancient temples of Asia and India, statues of the gods and goddesses have Africoid features with woolly hair in the peppercorn style, while some even have dreadlocks. These pictures of Buddha portray him in no uncertain terms as a Negro with kinky, coiled hair, a flat nose and full lips.

Source:  https://selfuni.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/original-african-buddha/

The mid-twentieth century scholar, Hamid Abdul Qadir postulates that the Prophet Dhu’l-Kifl, meaning “the one from Kifl,” mentioned twice in the Quran  as patient and good, refers to Shakyamuni Buddha. Qadir explains that “Kifl” is the Arabicized form of Kapila, short for Kapilavastu. It should be remembered that the consonant ‘p’ is not present in Arabic, and the nearest one to it is ‘fa’. Hence, Kapeel transliterated into Arabic becomes Kifl.

He also proposes that the Qur’anic mention of the fig tree (At-Tin 1-5) refers to Buddha as well, since he attained to enlightenment at the foot of one.

Read more at “The Buddha:  An Islamic Prophet?