Islam and Qur'anic figures in Africa: Prophets, Sages and Disciples
by Abdin Chande Adelphi University 2012
that pdf file is an article published by open access by Iowa Research Online. It has been accepted for inclusion in Mathal .
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 Afrocentric thought and, second, to probe and re-center or re-state Africa's position within Islam's civilization and spiritual narrative.
well that is the abstract of that article., and it is mostly about the story of former slave of Ethiopian Bilal ibn Rabah al-Habashi (Arabic: بِلَال ٱبْن رَبَاح ٱلْحَبَشِيّ, Bilāl ibn Rabāḥ al-Ḥabashīy, 580–640 AD) also known as Bilal ibn Rabah (بِلَال ٱبْن رِيَاح), was one of the most trusted and loyal Sahabah (companions)
of the Islamic prophet Muhammad_Sa. He was born in Mecca and is considered as the first mu'azzin, chosen by Muhammad himself. He was a former slave of Ethiopian ancestry. Bilal ibn Rabah was known for his beautiful voice with which he called people to their prayers. He died in 640, at the age of 57.
Bilāl origins , his story and he being a disciple of the prophet Muhammad with an array of confusing titles, including: "the first Muezzin (high priest!)," "head of the nation of Islam!" and the person "responsible for the creation of Islam!"6 Even a casual observer of Islam would know that the function of a Muezzin in Islam is not to officiate at religious functions the way a high priest does but simply to summon people to prayer. It is also misleading and mainly wishful thinking for Ben to claim that Bilal was "head of the nation of Islam" when, apart from being the Prophet's treasurer, Muezzin, and among his closest and most revered companions, he did not assume the mantle of political leadership of the Muslim community as a caliph/ruler the way Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali had done in succession after the death of Muhammad,....
well that is how the author starts his paper., well I ahve to agree with his paper w.r.t that Yosef Alfredo Antonio Ben-Jochannan
(/ˈbɛn ˈjoʊkənən/; December 31, 1918 – March 19, 2015), referred to by his admirers as "Dr. Ben", was an African-American writer and historian.