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Muslims in American History: A Forgotten Legacy Paperback – September 1, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Jerald F. Dirks holds A.B. and M.Div. degrees from Harvard University and an M.A. and Psy.D. from the University of Denver. He is the author of The Cross and the Crescent, Abraham—The Friend of God, Understanding Islam—A Guide for the Judaeo-Christian Reader, and The Abrahamic Faiths—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Dr. Dirks has lectured widely throughout the United States and Canada on comparative religion and has been interviewed about Islam by several American newspapers and by American, Canadian, and Arabic television stations.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Amana Publications (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590080440
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590080443
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.9 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The history written about here is familiar to many of us but, I was not fully aware of the Muslim connection.

Mr. Dirks has organized the book in a chronological format starting with the first recorded voyage in 889 CE of Khashkhash ibn Saeed ibn Aswad, who sailed West from the same port that Columbus launched his 3 ships, to Muslims in modern day America. The topics covered are Muslims in the Americas in the pre-Columbian period, the European explorers, the slave trade, Muslims in Native American tribes, the Melungeons, Islamic residuals In the West and Muslims in 20th century North America. The first four chapters covering the pre Columbian period to the Slave trade were the most interesting and surprising.

I found the most interesting accounts were related to the Slave trade. Mr. Dirks writes about the approximately 20 million Muslims who were taken as slaves from Africa. The vast majority of these were highly educated individuals such as the Ulema (religious leaders) Hafiz-ul-Quran (those who memorized the Quran) and military and political leaders. As a result Muslims were responsible for many of the slave revolts that occurred in the European Colonies in the West, so much so that Spain passed a law forbidding slave traders from enslaving Muslims from Muslim parts of Africa.

Mr. Dirks also gives considerable attention to individual biographies of Muslims who were captured as slaves, and since I enjoy reading biographies, I felt the savage human cost of slavery in general and the impact to Muslim slaves in particular.

All in all this is a well written book that gives some very interesting insights about Muslims in the history of the Americas. Much of what is written here is familiar but it's the Muslim connection that gives this book an interesting twist.
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Muslims in American History, Jerald Dirks
I found this book interesting about Muslims in America before Columbus. But considering the knowledge of the Muslim at the time I can believe their early arrival after all Europe was in the dark ages while the Muslim Countries were studding Greek and Ottoman concepts. I was un- aware that most West Africans were of the Muslim faith and most black slaves were exported form that area. But again the Moors controlled Spain and North Africa before Columbus so it seems plausible. Another in-site was that Muhammad and Christ are considered prophets, Mohammad being the last. The Koran talk’s about Jesus Christ (phuh) and considers him a man of Allah (God) in the same sense as Adam is considered the first man. This has prompted a renewed interest in religion that I intend to peruse.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book and Servants of Allah by Sylviane Diouf gives Africans in Diaspora clear information about Muslim from the Motherland here in America before Columbus late arrival here and proof that most if not all their ancestors were from West Africa and were Muslims so those who refused to become Muslims and stop holding onto Christianity as a cop out because they so Westernized that if it weren't their African phenotype ( outward appearance) they would know they are from the Motherland let alone were Traditional Islam is their true heritage and way of life!
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Really great book, gives you a lot of insight on how Muslims came to the Americas, before the Europeans. The book is very detailed on story of the explorers, and African slave who were brought here. I would recommend for everyone to read this.
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Format: Paperback
Provides fascinating facts and historical references on Muslim contributions to America. A must-read for everyone.
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Format: Paperback
Great overview of the history of muslims in America, pre columbus to modern day. I think it would be a great read for African Americans, as it covers a lot of the history during the slave trade. The many accounts of individual stories are amazing. How great is it for someone to struggle to buy paper while a slave, and write their own copies of the Quran or books teaching Islam.

The one thing I would like to see in the future, is further investigations or details related to the early Pre-Columbus periods of trade between Muslim nations and the Americas. I'm sure its difficult to get this information, but as it becomes available, I would love to see more.

If only the "love it or leave it"/"Americas is a christian" nation crowd would read more of their history, the country may be a more tolerant and successful place.
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Format: Paperback
Simply put: every single American (Muslim and non-Muslim) must read this book.

Muslims are not foreigners to America nor are they here to destroy American ideals and culture. In fact, they helped build this country from the very first days of its existence.

READ THIS BOOK.
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