Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas

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.
This 15th anniversary edition has been updated to include new materials and analysis, a review of developments in the field, prospects for new research, and new illustrations.

Editorial Reviews

Review

“For scholars and non-scholars, Servants of Allah provides a sweeping but accessible introduction to the history of Islam across the Western Hemisphere and over the entire four-hundred year history of enslavement.”-Journal of Islamic Studies

“A must read for anyone interested in the early history of Islam in the African American community. Diouf goes beyond generalities and sheds light on the lives of transplanted Muslims who have become an important block in the rewriting of the history of Islam in the United States, providing heroic examples of adjustment and survival in a hostile environment.”-Yvonne Haddad,Georgetown University

Servants of Allah remains an important scholarly work, significant in retrieving historical memory and as a testament of religious endurance under dislocation, separation, and enslavement. Beyond the familiar assumptions of struggle, survival, and liberation, the book points to the vigorous intellectual life of Islam in which New World Muslim Africans participated. Diouf has put her finger on a critical impulse when she draws out the transnational dimensions of Islamic scholarship that sustained learning and practice among the besieged Muslim Africans, which makes the irony of the decline of Muslim life during slavery in the Americas all the more striking.”-Lamin Sanneh,Yale University

From the Inside Flap

Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas was named 1999 Outstanding Academic Book by the American Library Association, and received Honorable mention for the Outstanding Books Award from the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights. –This text refers to an alternate Paperbackedition.

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