This is but a humble attempt to frame a discussion on Islam, prophetic voices and geographical spaces in Africa as territorial canvasses for sketching out Islam's sacred history. This way of thinking or conceptualizing about Africa is not as fashionable among Muslim Qur'anic scholars as it is among black Biblical theologians. Yet, this is not to suggest that the approach of this study is grounded in the Afro-centered methodology. Such an approach has its own place and serves certain ideological and cultural functions especially within a given African American diasporic scholarship. Rather, the aim of this research is two-fold: first, to critique Afro-centric thought and, second, to probe and re-center or re-state Africa's position within Islam's civilizational and spiritual narrative.


African Landscape, Afro-centric, Qur’anic Figures, Patriarchs/Matriarchs, Hijra/Exoduses, Sacred Drama/Islamic Sacred History

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Copyright © 2012 by Abdin Chande

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1. If one seeks to frame or construct a discourse that hopes to challenge some of the prevalent negative images that are directed at people of African descent the place to turn to for this in Muslim societies is in the popular literature that was produced and legitimated within the context of slave owning societies and the Trans-Saharan or Mediterranean and Indian Ocean slave trade. This is a separate study that needs to be undertaken and to which some scholars have began to devote scholarly attention. See for starters, Chouki El Hamel 2002; Hunwick 1992: 5-38 and others. 2. An international collaborative effort by scholars (that has been ongoing) proposed that our most recent common/Adamic ancestor lived in Africa 59,000 ago (Underhill 2000, Spencer 2002). 3 African American Muslims have found a kindred spirit in Bilal who endured the same kind of suffering as they did earlier in their history as black slaves of white masters in the New World. 4 See Saudi Aramco World (March/April 1974), 2-3. Information on Luqman can be obtained from the works of Muslim commentators such as Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Qalam, n.d.) 3: 379-381.