Color doesn’t matter. To Allaah, God. But it does to a lot of people. This article seeks to counter racism and prejudice against dark skin by showing that according to Christian, Jewish and Islamic sources, some of the greatest men and women in history were black.
Color doesn’t matter.
“And among His Signs is the Creation of the Heavens and the Earth, and the Variation of your Languages and your Colors. Verily in that are Signs for those who know.” (Qur-aan 30.22)
Prophet Muhammad (sAaws) said, “Verily Allah does not look to your bodies nor to your faces but He looks to your hearts,” and he pointed towards the heart with his fingers. (Sahih Muslim Book 032, Hadith Number 6220.)
Skin color does NOT matter.
To Allaah (God).
But to most people most of the time it does. We’re obsessed with it. Racism against Blacks of African descent is only one example. Racism against dark skin exists in every culture. It also exists within races, as light-skinned members are automatically considered better-looking and more desirable for marriage. Arabs, South Asians, and African-Americans are all guilty of this. There’s the concept of mejor la raza prevalent in Latin America. (Seen Sammy Sosa lately?) “Fairness” creams, with their commercials of happier, more successful newly-lightened people are the rage in Asia. African diasporans the world over spend billions straightening and lightening their hair (the point sometimes is to make it look naturally straight, as if to say “I’m not Black enough to have to straighten my hair.”)
Black people all over the world, from the Americas to Cambodia have been infected with feelings of inferiority and self-hatred, and relatively lighter-skinned peoples are equally convinced of their superiority and inherent beauty and goodness. These are not only popular sentiments, but academia itself has been compromised. History has been covered up and re-written for various reasons, to justify slavery, genocide and colonization, and after that to maintain the status quo.
But what if everyone knew that some of the most influential people in history were black? That the prophets respected by people of all races the world over, were in fact, African in appearance? No need to re-read; you got it right the first time: Abraham, Joseph, Moses, the Hebrews, Jesus, and even Paul, were all black. Christian, Jewish and Islamic sources, along with voluminous historical research, all corroborate these claims. It is little taught, but well-known: the prophets were black.
The Qur-aan does not generally describe appearances in detail, because there is a greater focus on the “moral” of the story than its details. However, in the Hadeeth literature (authenticated sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad recorded by his companions), there are some descriptions of various 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)
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)
Prophet Muhammad: “While sleeping near the Ka’ba last night, 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.’” (Bukhaari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 649)
The Old and New Testament(1), in concert with sound historical research, make it explicit that Abraham, and the Israelites who were his descendants all the way to Mary and Jesus, were black in appearance. Paul, while not a prophet, had an unparalleled influence on Christianity. He was black, too.
The following two articles are too long to paste here. But they contain a detailed analysis of the Old and New Testament scriptures (no reference to which version), along with photographs, paintings, statues and reliefs and references to published research. Click the title to read.
Ham; Cush, Mizraim, Phut, & Canaan; Joseph, the Hebrews, and the Egyptians; Moses, the Hebrews and the Egyptians; Paul of Tarsus; Mary & Jesus
The Ethiopian Hebrew baptized by Philip; The Hebrews in Antioch: Simeon that was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, etc.; Paul of Tarsus; Abraham, Nimrod, son of Cush, the Chaldeans (ancient Iraq)
The list of great black ancient figures and civilizations is not limited to prophets and saints, nor even to Africa. In fact, many original or at least pre-historical civilizations were what you would call black, according to the way they chose to depict themselves, as well as published historical research.
But the point here is not to establish one race as superior to another. There is no “pure race”. There are no “chosen people”:
“O people! We Created you from a Male and a Female, and Made you into Nations and Tribes, that you may know each other. Verily, the most honorable of you before Allaah are the most pious of you. (Qur-aan 49.13)
Allah’s Apostle was asked, “Who is the most honorable amongst the people?” He replied, “The most Allah fearing.” (Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 597)
So these facts are here because truth is an amaana, a trust that must be discharged. Black History is world history. It is my history, your history, everyone’s history. Go to your children’s schools and start demanding this. Sit down with your children and teach this. Stop hiding your hair texture- Black men and women- and invest in a new, real self-esteem. Tear the idols of black hatred down from your minds. Petition black artists to stop Europeanizing their appearances. Protest films with inaccurate depictions of great civilizations of old. Make films of your own.
Celebrate Black History all year, not just the shortest month of the Gregorian calendar…
(1) The body of narrations originating from Judeo-Christian traditions, rather than from revealed books such as the Scrolls of Ibraaheem (Abraham), the Taura (Torah), Zabuur (Psalms) and Injeel (Gospel) are known as the Israa-eeliyaat in Islamic theology. They are mostly non-biblical explanatory stories and traditions (in Hebrew: midrashim) giving extra information or interpretation about events or individuals recorded in the Hebrew scriptures.
Muslims classify such narrations in three categories:
1) Those considered to be true because the Qur-aan or narrations of Muhammad confirm them.
2) Those considered to be false, because the Qur-aan or narrations of Muhammad reject them.
3) Those not known to be either true or false.
So the Islamic position on Judeo-Christian narrations and what is left of the revealed books could be summed up with the following narrations of Prophet Muhammad:
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)
Narrated Abu Huraira: The people of the Scripture (Jews) used to recite the Torah in Hebrew and they used to explain it in Arabic to the Muslims. On that Allah’s Messenger said, “Do not believe the people of the Scripture or disbelieve them, but say: “We believe in Allah and what is revealed to us.” (Qur-aan 2.136) (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 4125)