Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Asalaamu alaikum readers,
This is a topic that is close to my heart in terms of my personal self and my deen. I am Black British as most people would describe it. My mom was born here in the UK, the first generation from a Kittian mother (from St Kitts) and a Monstratton father (from Monserrat). My dad was born in Jamaica and came to England when he was about 17 with his younger brother as his mother was already here in the UK.
Growing up here, my mom and dad despite one being born here and the other from over seas they expereinced the same kind of racism. “No Irish, no blacks, no dogs” as my grandad described it in the early days. They didn’t suffer it as badly as my grandparents did but the UK was still extremely overtly racist.
Then my sister and I were born, she in the 80’s me in the 90’s. My sister by far experienced more racism than me but I had my fair share mostly when I hit my older years and more so now I’m Muslim. In our beloved Prophet’s (saw) last sermon He (saw) said “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.” This to me is Islam in a nut shell but many Muslims have forgotten this.
I see the looks I get when I go to halaqahs (Islamic circles) or the mosque and I’m the only black Muslim there. I know that if Allah swt had not already blessed me with a wonderful husband then it may be difficult for me to get married because of my skin colour. I also know how wrong all of these statements are in light of our beautiful religion but Islam should not be judged based on the people that follow it now but the example of our Messenger (saw) and the words of Allah swt.
We all know about the struggles of Bilal (ra) and how there were some people that just refused to accept him for the man he was first and foremost, putting his race aside. For some Muslims today it’s no different. Racism is a form of pride and the one with just a speck of pride in their heart will never enter paradise. There are different types of pide in Islam and this is one of the blameworthy kinds.
As a black Muslim, I have often sturggled to find my ‘place’ in Islam. But as time goes on and I learn more about who I am and more about my deen I feel my secure in my own skin. InshaAllah by sharing these posts, I’ll be able to help more black Muslims that may be feeling the same way.
This is part 1 of ‘Black is My Colour’. Part 2 is coming soon inshaAllah.
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You