7 Influential Quotes from Black Muslims Who Made History

In celebration and recognition of Black History Month in the United
 7 Influential Quotes from Black Muslims Who Made
 The Muslim Vibe
 23 February 2020
In celebration
and recognition of Black History Month in the United States, here are just some
of the greatest and most influential quotes by Black Muslims who have made
history and continue to make history in our world today. Remembering that
systematic and community-level realities of racism are still deeply embedded in
our society, it remains imperative on all our parts to acknowledge the powerful
legacy Black Muslims have left and continue to pave within Muslim communities
across the globe.

 1)   Muhammad Ali
 Nicknamed “the
Greatest”, Muhammad Ali was an American professional boxer and human rights
activist, known for his quick wit (and quick punch), as well as his public
devotion and faith in Islam. Converting to Islam in 1960, Muhammad Ali left
behind a powerful legacy of activism and charity. When asked why he refused to
serve in the United States Army during the Vietnam War, he
famously answered in 1966:
 Why should they
ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs
and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in
Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?”
 2)   Malcolm X
Malcolm X was a
revolutionary Black civil rights activist in the United States, and was an
integral part of the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s. A courageous
advocate for the right of Blacks in America during a time of immense
suppression, Malcolm X converted to Islam in the early 1950s after first being
introduced to the Nation of Islam. Changing his last name to “X”, he dropped
his previous last name of Little because he believed it represented a
slave name.
 “Time is on the
side of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. Truth is on the side
of the oppressed today, it’s against the oppressor. You don’t need anything
 3)   Nana Asma
 Asma’u was a
princess, a revered poet, a teacher, and was the daughter of the founder of the
Sokoto Caliphate. Born in the early 19th Century, she was named after Asma bint
Abu Bakr, a female companion of the Prophet Muhammad. She was well educated in
Quranic studies, knew four languages, and had a reputation as a leading female
scholar. Her works emphasise on women’s rights under Sunnah of the
Prophet and Islamic law.
 How can
educated men allow their wives, daughters and female dependents to remain prisoners
of ignorance, while they themselves share their knowledge with students every
 4)   Bilal Al-Habashi
 Bilal, one of the
great companions of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), began his life as a persecuted
slave in Arabia. He went on to become one of the Holy Prophet’s greatest
companions. At a time where racism was rife in Arabia and many Arabs owned
slaves, the Prophet personally appointed Bilal to be the first Muslim to climb
the Ka’ba and recite the call to prayer for the Muslims, showing that piety,
not colour, elevates the status of a person in the eyes of Allah. The Prophet
is even reported to have said to Bilal:
 If we should
want to take one particular person as the shining example of good behaviour and
adab, then you [Bilal] would be the clear and obvious example.”
 5)   Ilhan Omar
 Ilhan Omar is an
American politician, serving as the US Representative for Minnesota’s 5th
congressional district since being elected in 2019. Making history, she is the
first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from the continent of
Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota. Omar is also one
of the first two Muslim women, along with Rashida Tlaib, to serve in the US
Congress. Not afraid of making controversial remarks on US lobbying and
Israel’s influence in the US, Omar was recently attacked for her
‘controversial’ but truthful remarks:
 “But it’s
almost as if, every single time we say something regardless of what it is we
say that is supposed to be about foreign policy or engagement or advocacy about
ending oppression or the freeing of every human life and wanting dignity, we
get to be labeled something, and that ends the discussion. Because we end up
defending that and nobody ever gets to have the broader debate of what is happening
with Palestine. So for me, I want to talk about the political influence in this
country that says it is okay for people to push for allegiance to a foreign
Abu Uthman Amr (Al-Jahiz)
 Abu Uthman Amr,
also known as Al-Jahiz, was a renowned theologian and one of the most important
writers in Islamic history. Born in Basra in modern day Iraq in the 9th
century, Al-Jahiz wrote some 200 books over the course of his life, on subjects
that included Arabic grammar, zoology, poetry, lexicography and rhetoric. He
also wrote a famous book on Black Africans, praising their courage, generosity,
nobility and cheerfulness, while also discussing how the colour of skin was
simply a natural outcome of environmental circumstance, dispelling racist myths
on why Africans had darker skin.
 “Ikhlaas is to
forget the vision of the creation by constantly looking at the Creator.”
 7)   Ibtihaj Muhammad
 An American sabre
fencer and member of the United States fencing team, Muhammad is celebrated for
being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the
United States in the Olympics – winning the Bronze medal as well. The first female
Muslim American athlete to win an Olympic medal, she remains a powerful source
of inspiration for not only women but for Muslim women who wear the hijab as
well. In her memoir Proud, Muhammad stated:
 “I’ve had to
fight for every win, every place at the table, every ounce of respect on my
path to world-class athlete. And I will continue to fight because the prize
this time – an America that truly respects all of its citizens – is worth more
than any medal. Inshallah: so, may it be.”
 Let us hope that we
not only recognize the powerful importance of diversity and multi-culturalism
during months like Black History Month, but in our everyday lives in the
continued movement towards living a life of God-consciousness and humanitarian

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