Middle Ground Book Club meets the Second Tuesday every month. We are currently reading Sylviane A. Diouf’s Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas (ISBN 978-1479847112 ). Our next meeting will
The book “illuminates how African Muslims drew on Islam while enslaved, and how their faith ultimately played a role in the African Diaspora.”
Servants of Allah presents a history of African Muslims, following them from West Africa to the Americas. Although many assume that what Muslim faith they brought with them to the Americas was quickly absorbed into the new Christian milieu, as Sylviane A. Diouf demonstrates in this meticulously researched, groundbreaking volume, Islam flourished during slavery on a large scale. She details how, even while enslaved, many Muslims managed to follow most of the precepts of their religion. Literate, urban, and well traveled, they drew on their organization, solidarity and the strength of their beliefs to play a major part in the most well-known slave uprisings. But for all their accomplishments and contributions to the history and cultures of the African Diaspora, the Muslims have been largely ignored. Servants of Allah—a Choice 1999 Outstanding Academic Title—illuminates the role of Islam in the lives of both individual practitioners and communities, and shows that though the religion did not survive in the Americas in its orthodox form, its mark can be found in certain religions, traditions, and artistic creations of people of African descent.
I’m certain next meeting will bare many fruitful discussions, in sha’Allah.
Please join us! If you’re interested we ask that you email email@example.com to RSVP a spot. Trust me you don’t want to miss out.
Ali Kirat, Book Club Member