Warning: The following message might be too real to handle for some Muslims living in a colorblind, fictional, utopian society.
Black Muslims exist in Islam too! No, we do not all need to be of Middle Eastern descent or be native Arabic speaking hijabis to be considered legitimate Muslims.
Whether a Black Muslim converted or not is irrelevant to the issue at hand as well. The reality of the situation is that we are all equally Muslim regardless of what shade of the color wheel we come from. Why are we doing this to each other?
In a religion that constantly condemns racism through multiple versus in various chapters of the Quran, we are most definitely not adhering to its orders.
Have we forgotten that one of the most well-known companions of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) was black? Bilal (RA) was not just known for being the first person to call the Athan (the official call to prayer).
His story portrays one of the first times God commanded us to look past the color of person’s skin, when his freedom out of slavery was purchased by an Arab man. In a religion that constantly condemns racism through multiple versus in various chapters of the Quran, we are most definitely not adhering to its orders.
During our biannual Eid celebrations (Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al Fitr), social media gets flooded with Eid selfies of families getting tagged under the hashtag #BlackOutEid. Why? Because there is lack of recognition of Black Muslims in Islam. The hashtag was started to shine light on Black Muslims all across the world to allow us to share how we celebrate Eid.
Yes, Islam loves everyone, but don’t try to deny and belittle the severity of the situation by looking at it with an “All Lives Matter” mentality.
The existence of this trend puts it in a clear perspective that the significance and magnitude of this issue is astronomical. Yes, Islam loves everyone, but don’t try to deny and belittle the severity of the situation by looking at it with an “All Lives Matter” mentality.
There is photographic evidence taking over our news feeds of many Black Muslims from all around the world on this controversial issue. Twitter user @sondus_9 tweeted “the reason for #BlackOutEid is because we Black Muslims get no recognition! Watch the Eid snapchat story; are there any blacks?”
This year’s past post-Ramadan Eid featured a filter on snapchat that allowed Muslims to post pictures and videos to our stories of us celebrating Eid. The only problem was that this feature was only available for people in the Middle East.
Twitter user Yasmin Younis tweeted her frustration of the lack of recognition:
In an article titled “Dear Snapchat, Black Muslims Exist Too,” the author, Farida El Koudori posted multiple Eid pictures of Black families while making a summary analysis in the end saying that “The moral of this story is that if you don’t feel represented, represent yourself! We hope Snapchat can appreciate black Muslims more in the future and include all Muslims in their stories.”
Not being inclusive only perpetuates the misconceptions and stereotypes that non-Muslims get of us.
Islam is not some exclusive club that requires a VIP pass. Ostracizing each other only hurts our already tainted reputation. Not being inclusive only perpetuates the misconceptions and stereotypes that non-Muslims get of us. During a time where solely being Black or a Muslim in America increases our chances of being subjected to discrimination, we cannot afford to turn against each other.
In fact, we need each other now more than ever. With the constant pleas of both sides being asked to “go back to our country,” there is no one who could resonate more than ourselves. Some Black Muslims have been rejected by both sides forcing us to diagnose ourselves with “The Diaspora Blues.” Feeling too foreign to “go back home” or be respected as a true American citizen while simultaneously being rejected by the Muslim community for not inheriting the stereotypical “Islamic image,” Black Muslims are stuck between a rock and a hard place trying to find an equilibrium.
So this year, on Sept. 12, let us recognize each other’s differences and unite under our mutual beliefs to celebrate a day meant for being thankful for each other and everything we have.