Often told from the perspectives of colonizers and those who have an interest in maintaining the image of the Islamic world as full of “heathens” in need of liberation, history as is prevalently known is fundamentally inaccurate.
Coming back to the roots of true Islamic history, we examine the expansion of Islam into Africa and Muslim Spain, Al-Andalus. From the earliest journeys of the persecuted Muslims to Abyssinia during the time of the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), to the rise and fall of Islamic rule in Al-Andalus, this course will shed light on an often misunderstood and misinterpreted history of the region.
One of the little known facts about Islamic history is that the Muslims had a profound influence on Europe during its “Dark Ages.” They kept the journey of knowledge moving forward which enabled Europeans to experience their later Renaissance of knowledge. Islamic empires were highly developed, continuously producing vast stores of knowledge and giving rise to powerful revivalist movements that renewed the zeal for Islamic teachings in Muslims lands at numerous points in history.
We will journey across Africa and Europe, casting light on these highly developed Muslim societies that gave birth to immense scientific, social, and spiritual accomplishments.
“Timbuktu’s thousands of manuscripts and its deep legacy destroy racist notions of Black inferiority and educational backwardness. Timbuktu gives solid proof of a powerful African past and an unbroken chain of African scholarship.”
Just as history is told from the colonizer’s perspective, current events that are history-in-the-making are also told through a biased lens. That lens presupposes that the Islamic world has not made significant contributions to knowledge and civilization, whereas the truth is that the Muslim world was crucial to these developments on every fundamental level. Similarly, contrary to the widely held belief that Islam was spread by the sword, Islam spread throughout Africa, Europe and much of the known world through contact made by merchants, mystics and pious people.
“The capital of Ancient Ghana included a Muslim town and a royal town. The two were separated. This allowed each group to maintain and practice different religious rites that may have been offensive to the other group. The Muslims served the king as scribes, accountants, trade advisors and translators. They benefitted society and the non-Muslim rule gave them autonomy and protection. This relationship of tolerance and autonomy is the basis of a mutual co-existence where Islam can spread peacefully.”
“At its height around 1000 A.D., Cordoba had over 200,000 houses, 600 mosques, 900 public baths, 50 hospitals, and several large markets that catered for all branches of trade and commerce, including 15,000 weavers! The streets were lit for 10 miles in any direction, an innovation that took London and Paris 700 years to achieve!”
Dr. Abdullah Hakim Quick with his extensive research on and specialization in Islamic history in Africa and Europe, will lead you on a path of rarely told stories studied from a “Makkah-centric” perspective.
“When I was very young, little kid in a Masjid in Winnipeg, the uncles gathered the youth together for a lecture from this visiting speaker from Toronto. I loved his lecture, and I was so impressed that he was using names and terms that I, as a kid, was familiar with. (come to think of it, that may be the first time I was exposed to that style, it became my style years later). It was Sh.Abdullah Hakim Quick.”
- Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef
Just as Islamic rule brought about a Golden Age of knowledge, it also showed potential for destructive behaviours. When the Muslims established justice and adhered to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah, they were successful and maintained control over a vast expanse of land. However, when they succumbed to the enjoyments of this world and corruption spread, their rule could only come to an end.
Re-establish the connection with the roots of our Muslim ancestry and learn at the feet of those who brought Islamic civilization to its pinnacle!