Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas

By Sylviane A. Diouf | Go to book overview

3
The Muslim Community

Muslims in America during slavery strove hard to keep their religion alive, in both the enslaved community and the larger Christian society. But to be a Muslim was more than just respecting the Five Pillars of Islam. It implied a distinctive lifestyle. Especially for West Africans, with their community-based traditions, Islam is a highly communal, public, and visible religion. It dictates and regulates the daily life, material culture, and demeanor of the faithful. To be a Muslim entails following strict dietary rules, behaving in a certain way, dressing in a particular fashion, and interacting with coreligionists and non-Muslims in the manner deemed appropriate. The Africans enslaved in the Americas were no exception; they formed close-knit communities and distinguished themselves in numerous ways, as they had in their homeland.

As a minority scattered all across North and South America and the Caribbean, and with an ethnically mixed population on any given plantation, the possibility of the Muslims forming coherent communities may seem to have been remote. Much has been said about the cultural disruption that the mixing of people from different areas induced. Recent research has shown, however, that the magnitude of this fragmentation has been overstated. For some new crops, such as rice and indigo, slaveholders relied on the expertise of Africans who were already involved in or familiar with such cultivation in their homelands. Large groups of Africans from the same area were thus transplanted as specialized units.1 In the United States, for example, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana slaveholders had a predilection toward Senegambians, who knew how to work the rice paddies and indigo plantations, and slaves from this area represented between 20 and 40 percent of the workers. Furthermore, pseudoanthropology was rampant during slavery and assigned particular qualities and defects to specific African peoples, so planters often chose their laborers from among a precise ethnic group and bought them in quantities.

As the slave owners' choices were based on ethnicity, even a thorough

-71-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Servants of Allah: African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction an Understudied Presence and Legacy 1
  • 1: African Muslims, Christian Europeans, and the Atlantic Slave Trade 4
  • 2: Upholding the Five Pillars of Islam in a Hostile World 49
  • 3: The Muslim Community 71
  • 4: Literacy a Distinction and a Danger 107
  • 5: Resistance, Revolts, and Returns to Africa 145
  • 6: The Muslim Legacy 179
  • Notes 211
  • Select Bibliography 235
  • Index 247
  • About the Author 254
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 254

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.