Native Americans and Islam

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Contents

Introduction

There are numerous accounts of Muslims who were integrated within Native Indian tribes pre Columbus, of Turkic, Moorish and African Muslims leaving colonies to live amongst the Native Indians. There are also historical letters and colonial advertisements describing the threat to the colonies of African Muslim Slaves fleeing and integrating with the Native American Indians. There is also the case of Mahomet Weyonomonof the Mohegan tribe, who arrived in Britain in 1736 CE (1148 AH) [1]century to discuss the land grabs by the British.

Mapmali.jpg
  • in the 12th century Al-Idrisi reported in Nuzhat Al-Mushtaq Fi Ikhtiraq Al-Afaq (Excursion of the Longing One in Crossing Horizons), that a group of eight Muslim sailors from North Africa sailed west of Lisbon. After sailing west for more than 31 days, they landed on what must have been an island in the Caribbean. The intrepid explorers were initially imprisoned by Indians but were later released when a translator appeared who spoke Arabic [2]
  • 1310 CE (709 AH) Sultan Abu Bakari of the Mandinka kingdom of Mali sent two different fleets of ships, totalling 2,400 ships, sailing west from Africa. The fleets never returned to Africa.

There are also numerous reports of 'black skinned' Indians. For example in Honduras Columbus reported seeing Black skinned Indians. Giles Cauvet's 'Les Berberes de l'Amerique' reported that a pre-Columbian tribe in Honduras was know as the Almamys a corruption of the Mandinka word for the Arabic Imam.

American Treaties and laws with American Muslims


Several colonial advertisements made direct reference to the integration of African Americans into the Native American communities. For example ..ran off with his Indian wife... had kin among the Indians .. part Indian and speaks their language good. [3]

In South Carolina, colonists became so concerned about the possible threat posed by the mixed African and Indian population that was arising as runaway Africans escaped to the Indians that they passed a new law in 1725 CE (1137 AH). This law stipulated a fine of 200 pounds on anyone who even brought a slave to the frontier regions of the colony. In 1751 CE (1164 AH) the colony of South Carolina found it necessary to issue another law, warning that having Africans in proximity to Indians was deemed detrimental to the security of the colony.

In 1726 CE (1138 AH) the British governor of colonial New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois Indians to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron Indians in 1764 CE (1177 AH) and from the Delaware Indians in 1765 CE (1178 AH). Despite their promises, no escaped slaves were ever returned by these tribes, who continued to provide a safe and secure home for escaped slaves.

And finally a census was undertaken of the Cherokee in 1835 CE (1250 AH) where fully 10% were of African descent [4]

Turkic and Moorish colonies

JamesTown and Roanoke Island

The Ottoman Navy from late 14th century was one of the main navel powers , and controlled much of the Mediterranean Sea. There where many skirmishes and battles with the European nations, and as such many Turkish sailors where imprisoned and taken to the new world. Once in the New World, these Muslim captives were assigned to slave labor on sugar plantations and in the mining operations of among other places, Cuba and Brazil.

Main article: Ottoman Navy

In 1586 CE (994 AH) English pirate Sir Francis Drake commanded thirty English ships, made a daring raid against the Spanish of the coast of Brazil. During this raid, Drake liberated some 400 prisoners, 300 of them estimated to be Moorish and Turkish galley slaves, as well as some South American Indians. On his return he picked up stranded English on Roanake Island, and unloaded around 200 of the captives, returning with the remaining 100 to be ransomed to the Turkish Dominons. On his return two weeks later, the prisoners were gone as where the small rowing boats that where left behind. [1]

The Spanish established the Santa Elena, South Carolina, colony in 1566 CE (973 AH). The colony thrived for more than twenty years until it was overrun by the English in 1587 CE (995 AH).

Many of the Santa Elena colonists were forcibly converted Muslims and Jews (Conversos). In Spain the Muslims were known as Mudajjan. Captain Joao Pardo recruited heavily from the Berber Galician Mountains of northern Portugal in 1567 CE (974 AH).[5]

When Santa Elena fell, its inhabitants-including its converted Jews and Muslims escaped into the mountains of North Carolina.

In Eastern Tennessee in the late 1700, Jonathan Swits an English men married a Mullungeon women and utilized them in his mining operations and these dark skin individuals were known as Mecca Indians and they described them as being good with Silver crafts and this really comes out of Muslim Spain and Muslims were very good in that. He continues to say that they use to fall down in prayer on the ground a number of times during the day facing East.

in 1784, Tennessee governor John Seevier records an encounter with people in the Western North Carolina with Dark reddish brown complexion and he said that they were supposed to be of Moorish decent.

History of Islam In America
The Beginnings 13121600
Native Americans and Islam 13001900
Muslims First Journey To America 1312 CE (711 AH)
Christopher Columbus 1492 CE (897 AH)
Estevanico 1538 CE (944 AH)
Slavery in the Americas 1538 CE (944 AH)
Melungeons 1600 CE (1008 AH)
Blackamoor 1639 CE (1048 AH)
Islam In America 18th Century 17001799
Mahomet Weyonomon 1708 CE (1119 AH)
Lamine Jay 1730 CE (1142 AH)
Job Ben Solomon Jallo 1730 CE (1142 AH)
Abel Conder 1753 CE (1166 AH)
Kunta Kinte 1767 CE (1180 AH)
Runaway Slaves 17691790
Peter Saleem 1775 CE (1188 AH)
Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman 1788 CE (1202 AH)
Yusef Ben Ali 1790 CE (1204 AH)
Islam In America 19th Century 18001899
Salih Bilali 1803 CE (1217 AH)
Yarrow Mamout 1807 CE (1221 AH)
Abraham of the Micanopy Indian Tribe 1812 CE (1226 AH)
Umar ibn Said 17701864
Lamine Kebe 1835 CE (1250 AH)
Islam In America 20th Century 19001999
Islam In America 21st Century 2000–Present

African American integration

An increasing number of primary sources have come to light, detailing the religious make up of the African Slaves brought over from West Africa to the Americas. West Africa included large Islamic Kingdoms and many of the African tribes where Muslim, such as the Mandinka, Fullo, etc. Estimates place the number of Muslim African slaves at 30%. Therefore any evidence of Africans integrating with the native Americans is likely to include Muslim Africans.

see

The earliest recorded example of African slaves escaping from European colonists and being absorbed by American Indians occurred as far back as 1526 CE (932 AH). In June of that year, Lucas Vasquez de Ayllon established a Spanish colony near the mouth of the Pee Dee River in what is now eastern South Carolina. The Spanish settlement was named San Miquel de Gualdape. Amongst the settlement was 100 enslaved Africans. In November 1526 (Muharram 933), the first African slaves fled the colony and was taken in by the local Indians[6]

In 1622 CE (1031 AH) the European colony of Jamestown was overrun by Native Americans. The African slaves did not share the same fate as the Europeans who were killed , but where instead taken and intergrated into the Native American communities.

Several colonial advertisements made direct reference to the integration of African Americans into the Native American communities. For example ..ran off with his Indian wife... had kin among the Indians .. part Indian and speaks their language good. [7]

In South Carolina, colonists became so concerned about the possible threat posed by the mixed African and Indian population that was arising as runaway Africans escaped to the Indians that they passed a new law in 1725 CE (1137 AH). This law stipulated a fine of 200 pounds on anyone who even brought a slave to the frontier regions of the colony. In 1751 CE (1164 AH) the colony of South Carolina found it necessary to issue another law, warning that having Africans in proximity to Indians was deemed detrimental to the security of the colony.

In 1726 CE (1138 AH) the British governor of colonial New York exacted a promise from the Iroquois Indians to return all runaway slaves who had joined up with them. This same promise was extracted from the Huron Indians in 1764 CE (1177 AH) and from the Delaware Indians in 1765 CE (1178 AH). Despite their promises, no escaped slaves were ever returned by these tribes, who continued to provide a safe and secure home for escaped slaves.

And finally a census was undertaken of the Cherokee in 1835 CE (1250 AH) where fully 10% were of African descent [8]

Linguistic similarities

An additional and particularly intriguing piece of evidence attesting to the pre-Columbian presence of Muslims in America can be found by examining the relationship between certain American Indian words and their corresponding words in Turkish and Croation (Croatia and Bosnia being part of the Ottoman empire at the time). For Example Kentucky is supposedly named after an Indian word (Kain-tuck) that means dark and bloody ground The Turkish word Kan-tok means saturated with or full of blood. Another example is Chicago, named after an Indian word meaning a nasty, smelly, uncultivated land. The Turkish Chee-kahkahl has the same meaning. For more examples of place names

Individually these similarities may not hold much weight but Jerard F. Dirks in his book Muslims in American History suggests that taken as a whole they are evidence of Turkish influence on Native Indian culture and linguistics.

There are many more examples, that also correlate ancient Turkish. Which suggests that the Turkish influence was pre-Columbian.

Cultural dress

Turbaned cherokee

In the old books on Cherokee clothing up until the time of 1832, you will see the men wearing turbans and the women wearing long head coverings.

Famous Native American Muslims

See also

Further reading

References

  1. http://www.conferences.uconn.edu/heroism/Davison.pdf
  2. Quick AH 1998, Mroue Y 1996, Irving TB
  3. Katz WL 1997 p103
  4. Katz WL 1997
  5. Kennedy NB The Melungeons(1997)ISBN 0865545162,Cambpbell H The Powhatan remnants(2001)
  6. Muslims in American History p204
  7. Katz WL 1997 p103
  8. Katz WL 1997
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