You are on page 1of 23



S u l t a n a A f r o z
I nvi si bl e yet
I nvi nci bl e
The I sl ami c Her i t age of t he
Mar oons and t he Ensl aved
Af r i cans i n Jamai ca
Copyright Sultana Afroz
The right of Sultana Afroz to be identified as author of
this work has been asserted by her in accordance with section 77 and
78 of the Copyright, Designs and atents Act !"88#
All rights reser$ed# %o part of this publication &ay be reproduced,
stored in a retrie$al syste&, or trans&itted in any for& or by any
&eans, electronic, &echanical, photocopying, recording, or
otherwise, without the prior per&ission of the publishers#
Any person who co&&its any unauthorized act in relation to this
publication &ay be liable to cri&inal prosecution and ci$il clai&s for
A C' catalogue record for this title is
a$ailable fro& the (ritish )ibrary#
'S(% "78 ! 8*"+, !-8 .
/irst ublished 0.-!.1
Austin 2 3acauley ublishers )td#
.4 Canada S5uare
Canary 6harf
7!* 4)(
rinted 2 (ound in 8reat (ritain
Jazak ALLAH Khairun
(May the Supreme Creator Bless all those who
extended help)
Jazak ALLAH Khairun 03ay Allah reward you1 to all those
who e9tended their help in any &anner to deconstruct and
reconstruct the constructed past in establishing the 'sla&ic
paradig& in :a&aican history#
;espectfully, ' say, Jazak ALLAH Khairun to Dr# Saleha
3ah&ood, Director of the 'nstitute of 3usli& 3inority
Affairs, )ondon, <=# >$er the years, the internationally
reputed Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs of the 'nstitute has
published se$eral articles re$ealing the hidden 'sla&ic heritage
of :a&aica# ' thank the Journal for being the torchbearer of a
new interpreti$e history of :a&aica#
't is with great ad&iration, ' say Jazak ALLAH Khairun to
3r# /arruk (in# 3uha&&ad Abdullah 0Thorold De3ercado1
for his e9cellent and wonderful graphic designs for the book#
?our work speaks of your great depth of intellectual
conceptualization of the entire research# 6ithout your
contribution, the work would be lacking the appeal and
enthusias& of the readers# ?our work re&inds &e of your
words, @' will ne$er forgi$e you if you do not let &e do the
co$er for your bookA# 'ndeed, you ha$e done &ore than the
co$erB you ha$e left your &ark on e$ery chapter, needless to
&ention the editing of the chapters# 3ay you be rewarded
Dalerie Di9on, no reward is greater than the one fro&
Rabbul Alamin 0)ord of the 6orlds1# ' say Jazak ALLAH
Khairun to you for being with &e since the last decade both in
good ti&es and bad# 6ith you and your husband, Al$in Di9on,
' ha$e tra$elled far and wide in :a&aica, up the hill and down
the hill, into the bushes and on the highways searching out
'sla&ic traditions and institutions, taking pictures of signposts,
listening to local dialects and oral testi&onies, all with the ai&
of fortifying the 'sla&ic paradig& in :a&aican history# %e$er
for a &o&ent, did you doubt your 'sla&ic heritage as a
descendent of the great 3aroons# ?our role as a @de$ilEs
ad$ocateA challenging &y findings helped &e to strengthen &y
defensi$e argu&ents# To you, ' owe, a sincere @thank youA for
the great part you played in hosting the twoFday sy&posiu& on
the 'sla&ic heritage of the 3aroons in :a&aica in .--- at the
%orthern Caribbean <ni$ersity, 3ande$ille, :a&aica# ?ou
initiated the public discourse on a new interpretation of
:a&aican history, one that brings pride and dignity to the
people of African origin, a history which speaks of
enlighten&ent of the Africans# To Al$in Di9on, ' say Jazak
ALLAH Khairun# Delightfully, you acco&panied Dalerie to
take &e e$erywhere ' wanted to go for &y research# 3y
footwork in the :a&aican terrain would not ha$e been possible
without you two greatFhearted people, Dalerie and Al$inC
To 3rs# 7ileen (ia&by, ' e9press &y deepest appreciation
for painstakingly editing &y &anuscript# ?ou are a true
inspiration to &any of us who cry @wolfA at the s&allest of
distress# ?ou are &y teacher and it is hard for &e to enu&erate
the &any things that ' ha$e learnt fro& you# ' will re&e&ber
you with ad&iration and adoration# ?ou still ha$e a lot to gi$e
to hu&anity# Jazak ALLAH Khairun!
' owe a sincere Jazak ALLAH Khairun to Gafez
3oha&&ad Abdul 6ahhab for guiding &e through the Goly
HurEan to pick the right $erses in order to authenticate &y
research findings# %e$er did you fail to recite and cite the
$erses for clarification# ?our readiness and your a$ailability
with hu&ility and a s&ile or a laugh &ade &y daunting task
easy# ?ou ha$e helped &e to fortify &y argu&ents with the
Di$ine ;e$elation#
A heartiest Jazak ALLAH Khairun to Sheikh 3usa TiIani
for e9tending to &e his help in translating the na&es of the
Spanish and African 3aroon leaders# ?ou always listened to
&e with patience and cal&ness and helped &e to for&ulate &y
thoughts with spiritual insight while e9a&ining the 'sla&ic
traditions of the African :a&aican people# ?our ?oruban
background and your scholarship in Arabic and 'sla&ic studies
&ade &e &ore confident in conducting &y research with your
To &y HurEanic and Arabic teacher, Sister )eila Affane, '
say with a s&ile Jazak ALLAH Khairun# ?ou are &y teacher
and ' ne$er felt e&barrassed to call on you for clarification of
Arabic ter&s or for suggestions of Arabic ter&s in lieu of
7nglish words# ?ou always approached &y 5ueries with a
sense of hu&our and hu&ility# ?ou helped &e choose &any of
the ter&s for so&e of the title pages#
rofessor Derene Shepherd, &y colleague, ' owe you a
sincere thank you for in$iting &e to international conferences
and local presentations to e9pose &y work on the 'sla&ic
heritage of the 3aroons in :a&aica# /or your appreciation of a
new interpreti$e history of your heritage, ' say Jazak ALLAH
Jazak ALLAH Khairun to the 'sla&ic Cultural Centre and
the Central 3asIid of )ondon for ha$ing a weekFlong
e9hibition on &y work titled Islam in Jamaica: From
Columbus to th !rsnt in .--8# The e9hibition helped
e9pose the 'sla&ic heritage to the African Caribbean Diaspora
in the <=# 'n reference to this e9hibition, ' owe a special thank
you to Tre$on 3orris for designing &y posters so beautifully#
Jazak ALLAH Khairun, Tre$onC
To the 'sla&ic /oundation, also known as the 3arkfield
'nstitute of Gigher )earning in )eicestershire, <=, ' owe
sincere thanks# Jazak ALLAH Khairun for your graciousness to
acco&&odate &e to undertake &y research work in the
'nstituteEs library# A special Jazak ALLAH Khairun to Dr
3anazir Ahsan, Director 8eneral of the 'nstitute, for treating
&e as a sister and a scholar# ?ou ha$e kindly hosted &any of
&y se&inar presentations for public discourse# Through the
'nstitute, the AfricanFCaribbean Diaspora in the <= beca&e
aware of this hidden aspect of their heritage#
3yra Sa&&ara, ' say Jazak ALLAH Khairun for putting
&y work on your website, long before you knew &e# ?our
diligent scrutiny and your ad$ice to strengthen &y argu&ents
without e&otion speak of your wisdo& and knowledge and the
urgency to debunk the &yths in history# ?our defence of &y
work re$eals your lo$e for the "iin, 'sla&#
To &y uncle and aunt, Dr# 6ahidFuzFJa&an and ;abia
Ja&an who treated &e as their daughter and &ade &e &ost
co&fortable during &y $isits to )ondon for research and
presentations at $arious institutes and centres, ' say a war&
and hearty Jazak ALLAH Khairun# (oth of you ha$e taught &e
so &uch about 'sla& through long discussions# Abo$e all, '
cherish the books, which you ha$e gi$en &e through the years,
&aking &e aware of the latest literature by 'sla&ic scholars#
To &y parents, rofessor Dr# 3uha&&ad Abdul Aziz and
%ur :ahan (egu&, ' say Jazak ALLAH Khairun fro& the core
of &y heart for culti$ating in us the best of 'sla&ic $alues, @do
good and forbid e$il, fearing none but A))AG 0S6T1 and
abiding by the teachings of rophet 3uha&&ad 0SA61A# ?ou
ha$e e5uipped us with the best a$ailable education to &eet the
challenges of the e$erFchallenging world# 3ay e$ery blessing
accrued fro& this work be rewarded to both of you, i&&ensely
and eternallyC
To &y brother, Gasan 3ah&ud 'bn Aziz, ' say a sincere
Jazak ALLAH Khairun# ?ou ha$e been a delightful inspiration
to breaking down the walls of falsehood and upholding the
Truth# ' also acknowledge your editing of &y work# Jazak
ALLAH Khairun to &y sisters, Sultana Dilruba Aziz and
Sultana 3ahfuza Aziz for their endless encourage&ent and
inspiration to bring the work to fruition# Dilruba, &y older
sister, you ha$e helped &e tre&endously in shaping &y
oweroint work on 'sla&, and 3ahfuza, &y younger sister,
you always inspire &e spiritually# 3ay you two sisters be
endlessly rewardedC
Sister ;aushanah 3uwwakkil, you ha$e inspired &e
through the years to re$eal the distortions which plague your
history and to reconstruct the truth about the greatness of your
forefathers, the 3usli&s of 6est Africa# A sincere Jazak
ALLAH Khairun, to you, Sister ;aushanah#
A war& and a heartfelt Jazak ALLAH Khairun to 3r#
Saiful 'sla& for &aking arrange&ents for &y long rides into
the countryside for the deli$ery of lectures to schools on 'sla&
in :a&aica# ?ou ne$er failed to keep any of &y re5uests# 3ay
you be rewarded fro& this workC
;ebecca Staple, you filled &y house with laughter and
ga$e &e Ioy and inspiration to co&plete &y work# /or your
e$eryFhour checkFup on how ' was doing and your effort to
attend to the slightest proble& ' had with &y laptop, ' say a
war& and affectionate thank you# Jazak ALLAH Khairun,
To all those who helped &e in the $arious libraries, the
ublic ;ecords >ffice, )ondon, <=, the 3ain )ibrary of the
<ni$ersity of the 6est 'ndies, the %ational Archi$es of
:a&aica and the 'nstitute of :a&aica, ' owe you all a $ery
special thank you# Jazak ALLAH KhairunC
Jazak ALLAH Khairun to the authorities of the Caribban
#uartrly for taking the initiati$e to bring the hidden truth to
its readers#
To &y critics, ' wish to state that your criticis&s ga$e &e
strength and deter&ination to re$eal the enlightened truth of
the forefathers of the people of :a&aica of African origin#
Gistory is open to new interpretation with the re$elation of
new sources and re$olutionary scientific &ethodologies such
as D%A# 't is the historiansE inherent right to re$eal the truth
and &eet the challenges of the reactionaries# ' lea$e &y critics
with the followingK
6e ought not to be e&barrassed of appreciating the
truth and of obtaining it where$er it co&es fro&, e$en
if it co&es fro& races distant and nations different
fro& us# %othing should be dearer to the seeker of the
truth than the truth itself, and there is no deterioration
of the truth, nor belittling either of one who speaks it
or con$eys it#
0Abu ?usuf ?aE5ub AlF=indi, "
Century 3usli&
hilosopher, Scientist, 3athe&atician, Che&ist and
hysician cited fro& Sali& T# S# AlFGassani 0Chief
7ditor1, $%%$ In&ntions: Muslim Hrita' in (ur
)orl*, 3anchester, <=K /oundation for Science
Technology and Ci$ilization, .--+, p# "4#1

Sultana Afroz
3ona, =ingston,
:a&aica, 6#'#
The Deconstruction and Reconstruction of the
Constructed ast
The 7uropean reign of terror in Africa that began subse5uent
to the end of 3usli& rule in the 'berian eninsula in !*".,
continues today in the worldwide @war on terrorA since .--!#
The +ucra Massa 0a ter& used by the ensla$ed Africans to
&ock the white plantation &asters in :a&aica1 of the twentyF
first century are the offspring of the +ucra Massa of
The goals of yesteryear inherently re&ain the sa&e
L the de$elop&ent of the western world at the e9pense of the
resources of Africa and Asia# 6hile hu&an labour was
e9ploited for the &aintenance of the plantation econo&ies in
the A&ericas leading to the industrialisation of the western
world between the fifteenth and the eighteenth centuries, the
sur$i$al and security of the oilFbased ci$ilisation of the
de$eloped countries at present depends on the control of the oil
and natural gas deposits of Asia and Africa# The brutal stories,
the agonies and sufferings endured by the $icti&s of yesteryear
and of today are for the &ost past hidden fro& international
public discourse and debate# They are portrayed as the
Munci$ilisedE, de$oid of decoru& and hu&an dignity and
without any sense of nationalis& or patriotis&, while the
perpetrators of the cri&e are depicted as benefactors of
ci$ilisation, carrying the beacon of de&ocracy and the
principles of freedo& and e5uality far and wide# The stories of
herois& and $alour of the $icti&s of western e9ploitation in
the twentyFfirst century re&ain hidden under the label of
@terroris&A and @acts of terrorA, like the stories of African
sa$agery and obeah of the ensla$ed Africans# These acts of
holocaust and genocide are Iustified by western &ilitary
prowess under the guise of @the white &anEs burden to ci$ilise
the unci$ilisedA, @the sur$i$al of the fittestA, and @pree&pti$e
strikeA# Such acts lack legal decency but are sanctioned by the
+ucra is a distortion of the Arabic ter&s used in the Goly HurEan to
denote the fossilized souls of &en who consider the&sel$es to be selfF
sufficient# See the Goly Huran, ,urat Al-+a.arah, for the spiritual
essence of the ter& +a.arah#
international organisations L the )eague of %ations and its
successor the <nited %ations and the 'nternational Court of
:ustice L for&ed by the western i&perial colonial powers to
collecti$ely plunder the wealth of the de$eloping world in the
na&e of &aintaining international security#
6ith western hege&onic rule since the fifteenth century,
the constructed past of the African Diaspora in the A&ericas
has been a story of &yth and falsehood of 7uropean colonial
herois& based on arrogance and pride, written and told by the
7uropeans whose societies re&ained only cultural and entities
and ne$er reached the state of high &ark ci$ilisation,
characterised by intellectual enlighten&ent and &aterial
progress# Their &ight is &ilitary prowess based on borrowed
science and technology and not cultural superiority based on
acknowledge&ent of hu&an dignity and tolerance of nonF
western cultures# Their acts of barbarity and sa$agery against
their $icti&s were recorded as acts of ci$ility and their i&perial
colonialis& as @i&perialis& of righteousnessA# erpetrators of
cri&e against hu&anity e&erge as disco$erers, hu&anitarians,
enlightened benefactors and sponsors of abolition in the
docu&entations of the officials which ha$e influenced the
scholarship of both the 7uropeans and the offspring of their
$icti&s who ha$e undergone total transfor&ation# %o one was
there to challenge the truth of western historiography and
historical writings#
The stories of the $icti&s of 7uropean ensla$e&ent L the
6est African 3usli&s, their good ti&es and bad and their
sincere de$otion to the Supre&e Creator, Rabbul-Alamin, ha$e
not been un$eiled e$en by the &ost sincere descendants of the
ensla$ed African 3usli&s# ;ather the $icti&s L the 3usli&s
of 6est Africa L ha$e been labelled as the initiators and
collaborators of the Transatlantic trade in Africans# /or the
&ost past, ensla$e&ent did not allow the ensla$ed people to
lea$e behind their written records, nor were they allowed to
teach their children# Gerois& and acts of $alour and decency of
the ensla$ed people were &isconstrued by the preIudicial
7uropeans and penned through the lenses of obeah and
witchcraft# This 7uropean per$ersion of the Africans has ne$er
been ade5uately challenged by the offspring of the ensla$ed
Africans who ha$e undergone total &eta&orphosis by western
culture and 7uropean Christian beliefs, based on 8recoF;o&an
culture, which are far different fro& the original teachings of
rophet :esus ibn Maryam 0son of 3ary1 in line with the
&onotheis& of rophet Abraha&# The lack of 'sla&ic
scholarship and the preIudice against 'sla& and the 3usli&s at
large, instilled by the apal authorities and their associates, are
barriers to the construction of the true identity of their past#
Scholarship has failed to attribute 'sla& at the core of the
African unity to resist ensla$e&ent and establish hu&an
dignity# ;epugnantly, the e$ils of obeah and witchcraft are the
defining ele&ents of Africanness in the writings of the African
Diaspora authorities L the 7uropean constructs to perpetuate
the constructed &yths and legends#
The deconstruction of the constructed past of the African
Diaspora re$eals an enlightened story of the Africans, starting
with the 3oors fro& AlFAndalusia who played an historic role
in the ad$enturous $oyages of Colu&bus, lea$ing their &ark
by calling the 6est 'ndies, the Caribbean# Carib, an Arabic
ter& &eans MnearbyE or MneighbouringE# 't is highly probably
that the islands in the 6est 'ndies being so near to each other
were gi$en the na&e Caribbean by the 3oorish na$igators, to
include all the islands in the region# Si&ilar is the re$elation of
the ensla$ed Africans# The &aIority were of 'sla&ic heritage
or had co&e under so&e degree of 'sla&ic influence in 6est
Africa for al&ost a thousand years prior to the initiation of the
Transatlantic trade in Africans#
The present work has three parts, na&elyK art >neK The
7stablish&ent of the 'sla&ic aradig& in :a&aica, 6est 'ndian
GistoryB art TwoK The 'sla&ic Geritage of the 3aroons in
:a&aicaB and art ThreeK The 7nsla$ed 3usli&s on the
lantations in :a&aica#
art >ne contains se$en chapters and atte&pts to establish
the 'sla&ic paradig& in :a&aica and 6est 'ndian history and
heritage# At the pre&ise of the deconstruction of the
constructed past, is the 'sla&ic heritage of AlFAndalusia and
6est Africa, which for&s the genesis of the &aIority of the
forefathers of the present day people of African heritage in
:a&aica# The work atte&pts to deconstruct the established
construction of the past, which is based on official docu&ents,
ecclesiastical records, &issionary reports, tra$ellersE accounts,
planter historians, edited narrati$es and diaries of a few
ensla$ed people# Critical analysis of conte&porary history
re$eals an acknowledge&ent of the presence of ensla$ed
3usli&s in the plantations, but the e&phasis is on ancestral
worship and on ethnicity by subse5uent 6est 'ndian
Chapters two and three in art >ne, illustrate the high
points of 'sla&ic ci$ilisation and its contribution to ushering in
&odern 7urope and the role played by 'sla& in 6est Africa
and %orth Africa in the spread of literacy, e9pansion of trade
and the establish&ent of a legal support syste& upon which
rested the centralised political units, respecti$ely# The
deconstruction process dis&isses the @unci$ilisedA constructed
past of the free and the ensla$ed Africans and in its place
e&erges the i&age of enlightened cultured Africans, and
$alidates the clai& that 'sla& spread in 6est Africa peacefully
through traders, &issionaries and agriculturists# The research
re$eals that the predo&inance of 3usli&s in 6est Africa and
their e&phasis on the pursuit of scholarship and learning, and
their disregard for a standing ar&y and a &ilitary force &ade
the& easy prey to the Transatlantic trade# Si&ilar was the
situation in alFAndalusia 3usli& kingdo&s and '&perial China
which succu&bed to western &ilitary &ight because of their
indulgence in scholarship and culture and neglecting to build
an ade5uate defence syste& based on &ilitary hardware to
defend ci$ilisation fro& the &arauding 7uropean powers#
Critical e9a&ination of the factors responsible for the
&eta&orphosis of the ensla$ed people and their offspring
e9pose the spiritual genocide carried out by the Christian
church in its policy of prosletisation of the ensla$ed people
through forceful baptis& and Christian education# The death of
the first generation of ensla$ed 3usli&s and the lack of
'sla&ic scholarship added to the process of total
transfor&ation of the ensla$ed Africans fro& being 3usli&s to
their offspring, called creoles, beco&ing docile Christians#
6hile the constructed past portrays the perpetrators of the
Transatlantic trade as sponsors of abolition, the deconstruction
re$eals the role played by the 3usli& leaders of 6est Africa
in challenging the 7uropean sla$e traders through state ar&ies
for&ed as a result of the /iha* ca&paigns of the late eighteenth
and nineteenth centuries for the political unification of the
frag&ented societies# The wealth of 3oghul 'ndia and '&perial
China ha$e been brought into the e5uation for a better
understanding of the underlying factors for the abolition of the
plantation syste& based on the ensla$ed Africans, which was
no longer profitable for the industrialisation of (ritain and
art Two deconstructs the established 3aroon history#
>ral testi&onies and pre$alent institutions re$eal the 'sla&ic
heritage of the 3aroons, dis&issing the established notion of
3aroons being ancestral worshippers deep into the practice of
obeah# A&ong the &any funda&ental 'sla&ic traditions
present in 3aroon societies such as the 'sla&ic prayer ground
L the Jumu0ah Gole, &anneris&, fa&ily practices, and the land
syste& based on the 'sla&ic principles of spoils of war, speak
of the 3aroons as li$ing e9a&ples of 'sla&, wellF$ersed in the
dictates of the Goly HurEan# Through 3aroon leadership,
'sla& challenged the forces of inIustice and established the
dignity of the soul through treaty rights with the defeated
(ritish authorities#
The study ends with the deconstruction of the story of the
ensla$ed people in the plantations in :a&aica# /or the
reconstruction of a truthful past, one which establishes the true
identity of the African Diaspora ste&&ing fro& the
Transatlantic trade, the scholarship penned by the established
authorities of the western world on the ensla$ed Africans has
been &inutely dissected through the lens of 'sla& and
corroborated with 'sla&ic traditions pre$alent throughout the
country# The work shows how the 'sla&ic thread wo$en
through the di$erse ethnic African groupings, &elted away the
difference, dissi&ilarities and distinctions, and bound together
the inherent ele&ents of social cohesion, and co&&onalities in
fa&ily patterns and social networks# The defence of the dignity
of the soul of these educated ensla$ed 3usli&s fro& 6est
Africa in :a&aica united the& in the pursuit of a co&&on goal
of challenging oppression# The dignity of the soul of the
ensla$ed Africans was established, but the lack of 'sla&ic
scholarship and scholars &ade the descendants of the African
3usli&s obli$ious to 'sla&#
The e&erging reconstructed history through the
deconstruction of the constructed past introduces new ter&s
and concepts in the historiography of the 6est 'ndies# These
ter&s are Arabic in origin and the concepts are the uni$ersally
accepted 'sla&ic principles based on the Goly HurEan and the
teachings of rophet 3uha&&ad 0SA61# The ter&s and
concepts help e9plain the 'sla&ic for& of worship, beha$ioural
attitudes, fa&ily patterns and practices, the political syste&,
land ownership, and the nature of resistance to bring an end to
the oppressi$e ensla$e&ent syste& in :a&aica#
The work raises issues, which are for further 5uest for
scholarship and discourse far beyond the 7uropean
enlighten&ent and learning but on e9panded global $ision and
A!T "#E
!sta"lishin# the $slamic aradi#m in %amaican
and &est $ndian 'istory
$ha%ter &
The $n(inci"ility of $slam in %amaican and &est
$ndian 'istory
;esearch on 'sla& in :a&aica is a hu&ble beginning laying the
foundation for deeper analyses and understanding of the
3usli&s, both free and ensla$ed fro& alFAndalusia, Spain, and
6est Africa, who occupied a uni5ue and do&inant place
within the Transatlantic trade in Africans# The seed of 'sla&
sown by the 3usli&s fro& alFAndalusia, at first as &ariners of
Colu&busEs disco$ery entourage and, subse5uently, as
ensla$ed 3oors, gradually propagated through the ensla$ed
3usli&s fro& 6est Africa into the plantation econo&y of
:a&aica# The knowledge, techni5ues and skills brought by
these 3usli&s into the %ew 6orld contributed enor&ously to
the de$elop&ent of 6estern ci$ilization, &ost of which ha$e
been neglected in recorded history# 6hile shipping and
co&&ercialization of 6estern 7urope and the A&ericas
prospered due to the i&&easurable Transatlantic trade in
Africans for al&ost fi$e hundred years, agricultural science
and abo$e all, industrialization of the 6est owe their growth
and de$elop&ent to the application of science and techni5ues
of Africa brought by the ensla$ed# The physical labour of the
ensla$ed Africans, the &aIority of who& were, e$idently, of
'sla&ic heritage, created the capital and econo&ic wealth of
the 6est#
The nature of the struggle or resistance 0/iha*1 carried out
by these ensla$ed 3usli&s against the abo&inable sla$e
syste& differed under different circu&stances# 3any took
flight or ran away 0hi/ra1 fro& the plantations and for&ed their
own co&&unity 0ummah1, known as 3aroon co&&unities, a
feature then co&&on in the %ew 6orld plantation econo&y#
>pen sla$e belligerencies on the plantation estates in :a&aica
cul&inated in an islandFwide rebellion in !8,!F!8,.# The
rebellion, &isunderstood as the (aptist 6ar, is reported to be
in response to the call for /iha* &ade through a 2athi.ah, a
Mpastoral letterE, which e9horted the 3usli&s to be true and
faithful if they wished to enter aradise# The insurrection
;ichard rice 0ed1, Maroon ,ocitis: Rbl ,la& Communitis in th
Amricas, (alti&ore and )ondonK :ohn Gopkins <ni$ersity, !""+, is a
co&prehensi$e study of the 3aroon Societies in the %ew 6orld#
ai&ed to destroy the pernicious sla$e institution, which denied
the ensla$ed the dignity of the soul# Such insurrections carried
out by the ensla$ed Africans, which were co&&on throughout
the (ritish 6est 'ndies, posed serious security proble&s and
aggra$ated the already faltering plantation econo&ies# The
&ilitary inade5uacies of the (ritish ;ed Coats in the face of
the 'sla&ic spirit of the ensla$ed 3usli&s together with the
failing plantation econo&ies co&pelled the i&perial (ritish
go$ern&ent to bring an end to sla$ery in :a&aica and in the
(ritish 6est 'ndies in !8,8#
'ncidentally, abolition of sla$ery in the (ritish 6est 'ndies
ca&e at a ti&e when 8reat (ritain was preparing for the
>piu& 6ar to forcefully open and subdue the 7&pire of China
for a century with the assistance of (ritish 'ndia, which until
then was under 7ast 'ndia Co&pany rule# 6hile 'sla& failed to
sur$i$e in the 3aroon societies due to isolationis&, lack of
'sla&ic learning, and the penetration of the MbucraE culture
with the conclusion of the 3aroon Treaties, the ensla$ed
African 3usli&s on the plantations saw their faith eclipsed and
subdued by the sla$e institution, the &etropolitan powers and
the $arious Christian churches with their draconian laws#
'sla& is deeply e&bedded and wrapped up in 6est 'ndian
history# The uni$ersality of 'sla& and its principles of purity
and brotherhood shine through the different layers and periods
of 6est 'ndian history# Although in$isible in written
docu&entation, the cultural landscape of :a&aica and the
wider 6est 'ndies speaks of the in$incibility of 'sla&# 'n order
to establish this historical truth in 6est 'ndian or in any
history, scholarship &ust rise abo$e racial preIudice and
religious bias, Iust as the light through a pris& should be
allowed to pass without obstruction for the proper display of
the &ultiFcolour, likened to the &ultiFcultural and &ultiF
heritage society of :a&aica and the 6est 'ndies#
;ecent scholarship on the African Diaspora in the
A&ericas has re$ealed the uni5ue position of the 3usli&s
fro& alFAndalusia, Spain, and 6est Africa in the Transatlantic
Trade in Africans# Through the 7ast 'ndian 3usli& Diaspora,
Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu, Mali,
Timbuktu, Mali,
West Africa
Taj Mahal, Agra,
the 'sla&ic culture of the great 3oghuls has also enriched the
lifestyles of :a&aica and the 6est# 'n$estigati$e research on
'sla& in :a&aica is en$isaged to strengthen the 'sla&ic
paradig& in the study of the Diaspora in :a&aica and by
e9tension in the wider 6est 'ndies and the A&ericas#
The presence of 'sla& in the for& of e9isting historical
institutions and $ernacular culture in a predo&inantly black
Christian country is an eyeopener to researchers with 'sla&ic
backgrounds to unearth the story of the hundreds of thousands
of 3usli&s ensla$ed fro& alFAndalusia, Spain, and 6est
Africa to work on the plantations of :a&aica# The stories of the
3oorish 3usli& &ariners and the ensla$ed 3oors ha$e been
o$ershadowed by the fabricated &yths of Colu&busEs
disco$ery of the A&ericas in :a&aican and 6est 'ndian
history# 6hile the ethnicity of the ensla$ed Africans do&inates
the nature and scope of pre$ious scholarship, 'sla&, which was
the predo&inant religion of these people and, which
o$ershadowed $aried traditional cultures, for&s the basis of
this research#