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shiamehdi14

"Black" People

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(salam)

It is well known that in many shia households worldwide, whether Persian, Arab, Indo-Pak, or even white, that our dark skinned brothers are ones to look out for. There are many undertones in our cultural upbringing to avoid these people. However, what I do not understand is that why people do this.

Do our shias not know that the second half of our Imams (as) were BLACK and the Imam of our time Imam Mehdi(aj) is mostly BLACK?

Yet we find many of our shia youth constantly saying the N word and whether it is *igga or *igger is irrelevant. Both have negative connotations. It disgusts me whenever I am at the Mosque or a shia household and hear that word being thrown around.

It baffles me as to how our shias, kids-elders, have this view of "black" people.

I would like to finish by leaving with a question.

Do you not think the our Imams especially the African ones are embarrassed by our anti Black mentality?  

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ws

the African shia Imams? come on.

anti-black mentality is of course against the most elementary shia Islam teachings, but that does not force you to change the history and make Shia Imams Africans.

it seems you don't have any idea about the difference between black as a race, and a slight change in the skin color which is possibe in anyone, in any race.

such pathetic reactions to racism, is a kind of racism itself.

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(salam)

It is well known that in many shia households worldwide, whether Persian, Arab, Indo-Pak, or even white, that our dark skinned brothers are ones to look out for. There are many undertones in our cultural upbringing to avoid these people. However, what I do not understand is that why people do this.

 

That is cultural ignorance. Not Shia thing.

I wasn't raised up like that. You were.

Edited by John Al-Ameli

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Historically, the term 'black' represented darkness (it still does - ie, a black heart, black fate) and negativity and everything that was bad and evil with humanity. These cultural attitudes existed at the time of the dawn of Islam in Arabia when you see the traditions that talk about 'whites' having no superiority over the 'blacks'. Obviously in Arabia the white and black did not mean the same racial background as in modern times but you get the point. Those long established cultural attitudes towards 'black' have come down to us and metamorphosed into casual racism against black or dark-skinned people. This is racism for sure but it not equal a thousand times over to the racism the Western white races subjected the blacks, which is where the West and we modern Muslims today derive our anti-racist attitudes. It was not a big problem in the Islamic world of old but just bad manners to look down upon people with black or dark skin.

 

That said, Imams were not black or African in the way we understand these categories today. Some later Imams had mothers who came from non-Arab ethnic groups like Berbers. But Berbers are not black Africans. Some might have had dark skin and so mixing of blood might have created dark children in the line of Sayyeds but they can't be labelled as black as we know it today.

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I don't see why you make it sound like we are all a bunch of racists, true white people think they are better and so do Asians and Arabs, but they are the ignorant bunch, a learned person who is pious and a true believer would not be racist because of the skin colour of a man.

 

So anyone reading this thread please don't think we are all racist towards blacks as the OP implies but rather the OP wants to discuss why people are what they are and how should they change.

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Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum.

Is this picture accurate?

M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah

Mother of imam kadhim was berber, amazigh.

Mother of imam ridha is Moroccan possibly from the coast.

Mother of imam jawad is nubian.

Mother of imam hadi is Moroccan

Mother of imam askari is Moroccan

Edited by Chaotic Muslem

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I love black kids :)

and unfortunately I've heard many bad remarks from Muslims in the community when they refer to black people, I don't wanna say what ethnicity specifically but I can't stand how some people feel so pious and enlightened and go around being racist.

But then again, I've seen a lot of racism within the shia community unfortunately towards anybody basically not only blacks. It's heart breaking, how they cry for Imam Hussain (as) and beat their chests and then make other shias feel completely inferior due to their race.

 

May Allah forgive them and help them stop this disease. 

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If I'm not mistaken, I believe the OP's intention was to try to affirm that there is a problem in our Shi'a community globally where some of it's adherents are justifying their position in making black people including our black Shi'a brothers as inferior based on their unislamic cultural upbringing. As a result of their actions, the OP is insisting that since they associate with the rest of the Shi'as like any typical laymen, their actions need to be rebuked much more effectively in order to preserve the image of Shi'aism just as much for example, homosexuals and extreme sectarianists have been rebuked openly in those same communties.

Moreover, the fact of the matter is, there are unfortunately many Shi'as who disgustingly believe such nonsense. Based on my experience alone and being an Arab myself, it is very common among Arabs in Iraq, Levant and the Gulf countries to believe that blacks including the Shi'as among them are inferior to them. I am not sure about other non-Arab Shi'a communities but I assume there are similarity ignorant people among them as well. Moreover, you will see those people going to the mosques on Jummah, fasting on Ramadan, paying their Zakat and Khums, but when a devout black Shi'a Mumin asks the hands of their daughters for marriage they reject him merely because of his skin colour. Of course this Nifaq no doubt contradicts the fundamental teachings of Islam, but that still does not negate the fact that it exists in our community and we as a community collectively might not be doing enough to battle this problem especially when the root of it, that is the culture that these people are raised in is hardly ever fixed, at least in the east and not in the west where Racism is more of an apparent Taboo. I remember about a couple of years ago, I was watching an Arabic documentary from BBC on the black Iraqis living in southern Iraq, mainly in Basrah and based on the testimonials of the black people living there who were interviewed, they say that they are often discriminated by other non-blacks and feel the apparent racism they have to face either in public places, government buildings often times religious communities as well. It clearly portrayed those problems that exist they indeed exist.

In a general, I beleive as mentioned earlier this roots back mainly to the mix of some unislamic elements of the cultures(Arab and non-Arab) with limited Islamic teachings in the upbringing of such people as well as their extreme ignorance in formal Islamic education which together results in the bigger apparent problem in our community. That is, the making of some ignorant Shi'as hold on to different unislamic practices/beliefs(for example making Haram Music Halal ect) and among them the inferiority of our black brethren, and this is what needs to be cured first.

May Allah guide us all,

Wa'alykom Al-Salam

Edited by Al-Najashi

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That said, Imams were not black or African in the way we understand these categories today. Some later Imams had mothers who came from non-Arab ethnic groups like Berbers. But Berbers are not black Africans. Some might have had dark skin and so mixing of blood might have created dark children in the line of Sayyeds but they can't be labelled as black as we know it today.

 

Well there is one hadith about Imam Jawad (as) which says that he was so dark skinned that one of the Arabs in a bath house thought he was one of the slave hands. But from what I understand, some hadith aren't clear on his exact skin tone.

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Hello,

 

It is great to see this discussion on Shia Chat.  And the comments above definitely present a positive image of Islam to us "outsiders" and lurkers.

 

As many of you know, I grew up in a Christian family.  And, in Churches across America, every Sunday, you have your "white" congregations coming together and your "black" congregations coming together.   In the Church I grew up in there were about 100 white families and 2 black families.  I do not think racism is the sole culprit for this separation.  The preferred manner of worshiping between blacks and whites seems to be a little different.  But, I am sure racism played apart.

 

Racism is one of the most potent poisons.  It can slip into our hearts without us hardly noticing.  And, the damage it creates has the power to destroy civilizations.

 

All the Best,

David

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The Holy Qur'an calls us "children of Adam." We are all related by our humanity. What color our skin is has nothing to do with Islam.

The pic that Sis Laayla posted is small. See if this is larger.

ethnicities.jpg

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Lol. Can always count on you to save the day akhi. My intentions were not to call out shiism but the majority of people that follow it. I was intending to make the shias that have that type of mindset to see that they are in grave error.

Edited by shiamehdi14

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Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum.

Is this picture accurate?

M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah

 

I keep seeing that picture spread around this site. What is its source and how did they come up with such statistics? I think the fact that such a diagram uses statistics proves it is falsely made up..

Edited by PureEthics

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I keep seeing that picture spread around this site. What is its source and how did they come up with such statistics? I think the fact that such a diagram uses statistics proves it is falsely made up..

It's fairly straightforward. The mother of Imam Sajjad was Persian, so he was 50% Persian. The mother of Imam al-Baqir was Arab, so he was only a quarter Persian (hence the 25%). The mother of Imam al-Sadiq was Arab, so he was only one eighth Persian (12.5%). The mother of Imam al-Kadhim was African, so he was 50% African, 6.25% Persian (half of his father's Persian blood), and 43.75% Arab. Etc, etc.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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It's fairly straightforward. The mother of Imam Sajjad was Persian, so he was 50% Persian. The mother of Imam al-Baqir was Arab, so he was only a quarter Persian (hence the 25%). The mother of Imam al-Sadiq was Arab, so he was only one eighth Persian (12.5%). The mother of Imam al-Kadhim was African, so he was 50% African, 6.25% Persian (half of his father's Persian blood), and 43.75% Arab. Etc, etc.

 

So what is the logic behind the percentages? How did you come up with it? How do you know, maybe the mother was just 64.56% Persian. These are weak findings based on one sided findings.

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So what is the logic behind the percentages? How did you come up with it? How do you know, maybe the mother was just 64.56% Persian. These are weak findings based on one sided findings.

Well, obviously the assumption is that the mother is not of mixed parentage herself, which seems fairly likely back then. However, even if it's not the case, it doesn't really change the main point, which is that the Imams were mostly mixed race, and the latter ones mostly had African blood running through them. There are also descriptions of them as being 'dark' or 'very dark'.

Of course, there would be no real need to make an issue out if this were it not for the fact that there is a huge amount of racism in Muslim communities. The racism is of both the soft and hard kind. On one hand you can find some pretty shocking statements made my many Muslims about black people (behind closed doors of course). This is pretty general, and then you have more community-specific racism directed towards white people, or Arabs, for example. Many instances of all this can even be found on this forum. On the 'softer' side, you have people that have no problem with people of other races in terms of interactions with them, and don't necessarily see them as inferior, but draw the line at the idea of their children marrying outside of their own race. For such people, it is good for them to get into their thick heads that many of the Imams were a mixture of different races, and were actually quite dark by Arab standards at least.

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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Well, obviously the assumption is that the mother is not of mixed parentage herself, which seems fairly likely back then. However, even if it's not the case, it doesn't really change the main point, which is that the Imams were mostly mixed face, and the latter ones mostly had African blood running through them. There are also descriptions of them as being 'dark' or 'very dark'.

Of course, there would be no real need to make an issue out if this were it not for the fact that there is a huge amount of racism in Muslim communities. The racism is of both the soft and hard kind. On one hand you can find some pretty shocking statements made my many Muslims about black people (behind closed doors of course). This is pretty general, and then you have more community-specific racism directed towards white people, or Arabs, for example. Many instances of all this can even be found on this forum. On the 'softer' side, you have people that have no problem with people of other races in terms of interactions with them, and don't necessarily see them as inferior, but draw the line at the idea of their children marrying outside of their own race. For such people, it is good for them to get into their thick heads that many of the Imams were a mixture of different races, and were actually quite dark by Arab standards at least.

 

Wow! Im surprised at your totally irrelevant post, trying to change the point of the discussion at hand. For people who are always crying authentic sources, they sure seem to assume that diagram is "authentic". The point here is, that diagram, is not authentic, based mainly on weak assumptions, therefore it is false to assume and spread such misinformation. Maybe remove the statistics, and back up the racial identities with authentic sources, and then make an new diagram, and spread it around. No one is saying the imams werent mixed races, that isnt the discussion at hand. Even then, one much scientifically prove they were black. Just because one comes from africa does not necessitate they are black, I would call that racist in fact. Just because one is in the desert does not necessitate their skin color to be dark. People should stop falsely assuming, without having scientific backings to prove it.

 

For people who have an issue with race or skin color, grow up and stop being so ignorant. By the quran Allah sent prophets and messengers to every community on earth, therefore every single race and skin color had a divinely chosen representative. Stop being racist, please.

Edited by PureEthics

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Wow! Im surprised at your totally irrelevant post, trying to change the point of the discussion at hand. For people who are always crying authentic sources, they sure seem to assume that diagram is "authentic". The point here is, that diagram, is not authentic, based mainly on weak assumptions, therefore it is false to assume and spread such misinformation. Maybe remove the statistics, and back up the racial identities with authentic sources, and then make an new diagram, and spread it around. No one is saying the imams werent mixed races, that isnt the discussion at hand. Even then, one much scientifically prove they were black. Just because one comes from africa does not necessitate they are black, I would call that racist in fact. Just because one is in the desert does not necessitate their skin color to be dark. People should stop falsely assuming, without having scientific backings to prove it.

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that people are resistant to the idea that the Imams might not be as light-skinned as in the pictures you see drawn of them (to put it mildly). It's also quite funny to see the kind of people who usually couldn't care less about authentic sources when it comes to the popular fairy tales they get told at majlis suddenly asking for them when it comes to an issue like this. Of course, the standard of proof is much lower when it comes to the mother of Imam Mahdi (as) being a Roman princess. I wonder why?

In any case, as it happens there is plenty of proof of the lineage of the Imams. For example, read Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh Mufeed, where he clearly states where their mothers were from. In fact, any biography of the Imams that is even trying to be serious will mention the origin of their mothers.

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I guess it shouldn't surprise me that people are resistant to the idea that the Imams might not be as light-skinned as in the pictures you see drawn of them (to put it mildly). It's also quite funny to see the kind of people who usually couldn't care less about authentic sources when it comes to the popular fairy tales they get told at majlis suddenly asking for them when it comes to an issue like this. Of course, the standard of proof is much lower when it comes to the mother of Imam Mahdi (as) being a Roman princess. I wonder why?

In any case, as it happens there is plenty of proof of the lineage of the Imams. For example, read Kitab al-Irshad by Shaykh Mufeed, where he clearly states where their mothers were from. In fact, any biography of the Imams that is even trying to be serious will mention the origin of their mothers.

 

Actually, I have no problem at all whether our imams were jewish or chinese. The issue I have is everyone passing this diagram around, with false statistics attributed to it. Then you have the same people who are strictly "authentic source preachers", claiming it as the truth. As I said, my issue here was the statistics attributed.

Edited by PureEthics

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Actually, I have no problem at all whether our imams were jewish or chinese. The issue I have is everyone passing this diagram around, with false statistics attributed to it. Then you have the same people who are strictly "authentic source preachers", claiming it as the truth. As I said, my issue here was the statistics attributed.

Where is your evidence for claiming the statistics are false? They can be backed up from many sources, and are well-known.

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Allah SWT planned everything, and it is a blessing that our Imam Zaman AJ is not one race but multi-racial.

Since Islam does not promote racism, all people can be attracted to Shia Islam.

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I have two problems with this chart:

 

1) Why doesn't it take into account the places of birth of the Imams and the time they spent on certain land regions? For example, if a person has a German father and an Austrian mother, but was born and raised and lives in the U.S., will they not be called American at all? This is the case with several Imams who were only part of a certain ethnicity because of their parents but didn't step foot on the land themselves where one of their parents were from. Imam Ali al-Hadi was born in Surya in Medina, but was forced to move by al-Mutawakkil from Medina to Samarra2 where he lived for over 10 years of his life. No mention of him stepping foot on African lands or Persian lands, yet according to this chart (which mistakenly names Imam Ali al-Hadi an-Naqi as Imam at-Taqi) as 94% African. This is a huge discrepancy.

 

 

There's a difference between someone's ethnicity and someone's nationality. In the example that you gave, the person would have an American nationality but their ethnicity would be 50% German and 50% Austrian. I think. Actually maybe their ethnicity would be Caucasian? I'm kind of confusing myself a little now, too. But I think the point of the chart is just to educate people that the Imam's were diverse in their ethnicity... maybe not so much in their nationality but they were not all fair-skinned Arabs which many people may assume without knowing that the Imams married and had children with women who were not Arab. 

 

I also think the point of the chart is just to make people think a little bit about marriage, about history, and about what Islam really looks like. 

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(salam)

 

A different comment about racism. So you all read it in the right way.

 

I was follow-up reading a couple years ago about Neanderthals being up to 4% (known) in our genetics, but not in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

So, maybe "racism" exists because Africans are 100% human and the rest of us are genetically polluted.

 

As a reminder, some of you may remember me calling Washingtownians "racist" last Summer because they were ignoring the Ebola crisis in West Africa. This Fall, I saw former UN Sec Gen Kofi Annan say the same thing.

The discrimination/descriptioning I saw in the 50s was a lot different than what people see today.

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Ethnically wise, she was berber.

Well there is one hadith about Imam Jawad (as) which says that he was so dark skinned that one of the Arabs in a bath house thought he was one of the slave hands. But from what I understand, some hadith aren't clear on his exact skin tone.

Mother of imam jawad was nubian. Nuba is the area of northern Sudan and southern Egypt. The Arab Sudanese people look like the typical Africans with wide nose , big lips and small eyes. Though Arab Africans could also carry modified facial features due to intermarriage .

Arabs themselves can be dark. I am Ali was not a light bright man. But our facial features are Arabs. Long straight nose, not small nor too puffy lips, wide eyes and generally tanned skin complextion with dark brown to black hair and eyes. So it is possible that imam jawad was mistaken for a slave due to his facial features rather than skin.

The berber or north African including the Egyptians are like Arabs. Egyptians have larger bodies . Berbers faces can be African like or Arab like.

If this discussion is only to mean that all late imams looked like typical Africans, then this is misleading. Most of them had amazigh mothers.

And they are Arabs, they are grand children of the Arabic prophet . They were the best Arabic speakers. They wore Arabic clothes and ate Arabic food. They are well known figures in Arabic culture and history.

The issue is that all this calculation is only to show that imams could be very dark due to their Moroccan mothers despite the fact that Moroccans are not darker than Arabs and that Arabs can be as dark as Africans without African features .

Still some will prefer white Arab skin and others will prefer dark Arab skin, but some people here are projecting the issue on their racist mentality and this that only Africans are dark skinned. Like as if Asians are albino.

لا فضل لعربي على اعجمي إلا بالتقوى.

No favor of Arabic over the non Arabic except in their piety. This is the Islamic stance. Luqman was African slave. Bilal was African slave. Luqman has a chapter in Quran named after him not because of his skin color but because of his piety.

And if we allowed this type of thinking to grow then we ought to ask : what's wrong with Chinese? why we don't have a Chinese mother for one of the imams?

This is misleading. If a modern black African today wanted to follow ahlulbyt then he should know that he belongs to ahlulbyt through his deeds and actions.

I hate to see in future a troll who claim to be mehdi who happen to be black African then see ignorant motivated people following him because he is black African, despite that he can't speak Arabic, or don't know Quran etc etc.

I sense a dirty game behind this misleading information.

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ws

the African shia Imams? come on.

anti-black mentality is of course against the most elementary shia Islam teachings, but that does not force you to change the history and make Shia Imams Africans.

 

Why is it so inconceivable to you?

 

Have you ever looked at a map?

 

The only thing separating the peninsular Arabs from the African continent is the Red Sea.

 

Also, all Arabs are originally from Yemen. At their closest points, hell, you could probably WALK from Yemen to the eastern coast of Africa. And you think it is inconceivable for one of our Imams to have some African blood?

 

You tell others not to change history but it seems you are the one who is confused about history and wants it to fit into your own comfortable vision.

 

Bismehe Ta3ala,

Assalam Alikum.

Is this picture accurate?

M3 Salamah, FE AMIN Allah

 

Don't show this to godzapostle. He would probably slit his wrist.

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Why is it so inconceivable to you?

Have you ever looked at a map?

The only thing separating the peninsular Arabs from the African continent is the Red Sea.

Also, all Arabs are originally from Yemen. At their closest points, hell, you could probably WALK from Yemen to the eastern coast of Africa. And you think it is inconceivable for one of our Imams to have some African blood?

You tell others not to change history but it seems you are the one who is confused about history and wants it to fit into your own comfortable vision.

Don't show this to godzapostle. He would probably slit his wrist.

I meant African as understood it combinations like: "African American"

Nobody thinks of an Egyptian face when heard about Africans, while geographically speaking, they are Africans.

the inhabitants of North Africa are more Arab than "African" in its western sense. western culture does not use the word "African" in its geographical sense.

that's what I meant by remoteness of African Imams, not geographical neighborhood.

Edited by mesbah

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Salam Alaykom,

 

Some of you have asked about the table that summarises the probable ethnicities of the Imam's using modern racial categories. To put this discussion into context, thought I should let you know where it came from.

 

Sister Amina Inloes recently gave this talk in London entitled "Race and gender in how we portray Karbala".  It was her that came up with the table based on her own research of the most authentic historical narrations. It was a really interesting discussion and I encourage you all to watch it in full here.

 

She explains her ethnicity table from 44minutes onwards.

 

 

 

Wasalaam

Edited by keys2paradise

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Why is it so inconceivable to you?

Have you ever looked at a map?

The only thing separating the peninsular Arabs from the African continent is the Red Sea.

Also, all Arabs are originally from Yemen. At their closest points, hell, you could probably WALK from Yemen to the eastern coast of Africa. And you think it is inconceivable for one of our Imams to have some African blood?

You tell others not to change history but it seems you are the one who is confused about history and wants it to fit into your own comfortable vision.

Don't show this to godzapostle. He would probably slit his wrist.

What is African blood? We all have African blood according to modern science.

Saying that imams looked like Africans with a picture of black African American in mind is a joke. It is like saying prophet ibrahim had iraqi a middle eastern blood in him .

Africa is not an ethnicity. If mothers were from eastern coast of Africa, they would be described as habashi. Or nubi. If they were from central Africa, they would be called zenji. But they were from north Africa and thus maghribi. They might not be black, they might be black.

We don't use this lame reason to propagate the idea that Islam welcomes african people because our imams looked like African Americans.

We don't try to play on people's emotions to attract them to religion for the blacks by the blacks.

That is not our message.

This is rather disgusting to bring the names of our imams to such racism oriented mentality level.

Edited by Chaotic Muslem

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