Africa, Islam, and Black History Month

from Shane's Muslim Connect

I love a nice overlap. Like when a sermon can be used for an article, or a trip to the grocery takes you by your favorite thrift store

Here’s my current overlap: Today is the third day of Black History Month in the U.S., there is a shared history among Islam and African and Caribbean Americans, my friend hooked me up with an amazing Black History Month prayer calendar, and I’m writing while en route to the Ivory Coast to see if God may open a door of outreach to Muslims there!

So much fun!

Some of Islam’s first steps in the Americas were taken by West African slaves brought here. Muslim slaves made up a minority and faced many challenges in maintaining their faith. But some stood out, including one man who left an entire Qur'an in Arabic, written from memory. (I know you’re remembering your Sunday School teacher or Navs discipler asking you, “How much scripture do you have memorized?”)

Then, in the heady civil rights days of mid-last century, some Black Americans found a home in a new version of an ancient faith, the recently founded Nation of Islam. While a side current to main stream Sunni Islam, it seemed to provide what many Blacks were looking for. 

Does your church formally recognize Black History Month? Mine doesn’t and I’m wondering why. 

So I’m planning to do two things:
1. Ask my pastor if we can distribute this calendar.
2. I’m going to listen a lot this month. For the next few days to Ivorians. I know a little north of nothing about Muslims in Côte d’Ivoire. I need to learn. 

For that matter, I also need to learn about Blacks here in the U.S. Maybe you’ve got a book you’d recommend for starters. 

If you’ve read this far, can I ask a favor? Click here to watch the first ever 90-Sec Muslim Connect video. It will tell you about the trip to CI and some ways to pray. If you subscribe, you’ll get an alert when the second one drops and maybe see the first footage you’ve ever witnessed from Ivory Coast!