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    1. #1
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      Icon Offtheair The Original Black African Arabs of Arabia - by Ogu Eji -Ofo Annu w/ review

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      ...."In modern geography the name Ethiopia is confined to the country known as Abyssinia, an extensive territory in East Africa. In ancient times Ethiopia extended over vast domains in both Africa and Asia.

      In the History of Ethiopia, Vol. 1. by Sir E.A Wallis Budge notes that, "Homer and Herodotos call all the "peoples of the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and Western Asia and India, Ethiopians". (pg.8)

      John G Jackson
      "Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization"

      The Original Black African Arabs of Arabia (Part 1) — Ogu Eji-Ofo Annu

      Posted in Rastas by Don Jaide on November 26, 2006.
      The Original Black African Arabs of Arabia (Part 1)

      Ogu Eji-Ofo Annu

      “If one understood Arab Culture it is immediately apparent that Blackness is highly cherished conceptually and in reality. In Arab culture the best camel is the black one the best Fig is the blackest, the best eyes are black, the best olives are black, the most beautiful rock is the Black Kaaba. Any Bedouin Arab that is asked his color, would undoubtedly respond Asmar or Aswad which means Black/Brown. No Arab ever describes himself as Bidan which means White. ”

      Who are the Arabs:

      In today’s world, one is seducively led by the racist western media to believe that the Arabs of Arabia and Africa represent a peculiar phenotype with all other non-conforming types being somewhat alien to that concept.

      In this way they impose a certain central Asian phenotype as the “racial Arab” and the almost ubiquitous Black Arabs of the modern times as either descendants of slaves or immigrants.

      In this way, they attempt to disconnect the linkage between the ancient Kushitic Black Arabs globally celebrated in antiquity (now reclassified as some “caucasoid” “semitics”) and their Kushitic African roots.

      This article is therefore another blow against the citadel of falsehood erected by the western intelligensia used to
      • discourage,
      • dis-empower
      • dissipate
      • and diffuse the energy of the Black nation

      Again one notes and deplores the unrelenting effort by non-continental peoples to appropriate the history and the achievements of brilliant Black African luminaries as their own.

      Much confusion attends the word “Arabs”, because it has not always been used with rigourous (righteous) consistency.

      Moreover, in the wake of the global dominance of the Arab culture and Islamic political power in the between 7AD and 14 AD, the number of Arabs increased exponentially by the addition of many non Arab Arabized people, because acculturation and assimilation were delibrately fostered by state policy.

      Today, the word Arabs does not strictly imply or designate any known racial category of people. It is an ethnic identification that has several aspect including
      • liguistics,
      • politics
      • and genealogy.

      Its meaning is nuanced depending on the particular context.

      As an ethnic identity, an Arab is someone who considers himself to be an Arab regardless of racial or ethnic origin. This definition encompasses many Africans, Indians, Indonesians and Chinese who describe themselves as Arabs.

      Usually the first language of persons who claim to be Arab is Arabic. There are over 200 million people worldwide whose first language is Arabic. Again these peoples spread over a large portion of the globe spanning from central Africa to central Asia.

      More than 70% of the so-called Arabs in the world live physically in Africa. Given that the Arabic language is a Semitic language, which forms part of the Afro-Asia language family, which originated in Africa, one can rightly view Arabic as an African language.

      Of the official languages of the African Union that include English, French, Spanish, Portugese, and Arabic,

      Arabic language is the only Afro-Asiatic language spoken.

      The rest are Euro-Aryan English, French, Spanish and Portugese. See Uwechia Jide; Hamito-Semitic Africa: Rasta Livewire Blog Archive Hamito-Semitic Africa; Semites of Africa II - By - Jide Uwechia. See also Peter T. Daniels, Origin of Semitic:

      Viewed from a political perspective, someone who is a resident or citizen of a country where Arabic is an official or national language, or is a member of the Arab League or is part of the wider Arab world is an Arab. This definition would cover more than 300 million people.

      Under this definition, there are more Arabs in Africa than anywhere else in the universe. Most of those Arabs that live in Africa are Black Africans, from
      • Chad,
      • Niger,
      • Nigeria,
      • Sudan,
      • Somalia,
      • Eriteria,
      • Kenya
      • Tanzannia,
      • Egypt,
      • Algeria
      • and Morocco.

      Many of them trace their ancestry to Yemen

      According to Habib Hassan Touma (1996, p.xviii),

      “An ‘Arab’, in the modern sense of the word, is one who is a national of an Arab state, has command of the Arabic language, and possesses a fundamental knowledge of Arabian tradition, that is, of the manners, customs, and political and social systems of the culture.”

      Here again, one finds that there more Black African Arabs based on this definiton than any other regional phenotype that lays claim to that heritage.

      A hadith related by Ibn Asakir in Tarak Dimashq and attributed to Islam’s prophet Muhammad states that :”Being an Arab is not because of your father or mother, but being an Arab is on account of your tongue. Whoever learns Arabic is an Arab.” .

      Genealogically, an Arab is someone who can trace his or her ancestry back to the original inhabitants of the Arabian Peninsula. Different groups estimate the relative importance of these factors differently. Most people who consider themselves Arabs do so on the basis of the overlap of the political and linguistic definitions

      Since there are so many different phenotypes all considered as Arabs, the query posed and answered by this paper then is: who are the original Arabs? Were they Black or White or Black and White? It is posited here that the original Arabs were Black African Kushites from the Nile valley who had settled in southwest Asia in the Arabian Peninsula in ancient times.


      They were Kushitic-Ethiopians, speakers of an African prototypical Semitic language who had left from an area falling between the regions bordered by modern day Dafur in Sudan and Asmara in Eriteria. They took their African genes, their African intelligence, their African culture, their African language and their African love and built the ancient and the modern civilization known as Arabic civilization. In the paragraphs that follow, one is gradually introduced to the original Black Kushitic Arabs. See Uwechia Jide; Hamito-Semitic Africa: Rasta Livewire Blog Archive Hamito-Semitic Africa; Semites of Africa II - By - Jide Uwechia. See also Peter T. Daniels, Origin of Semitic:

      Black Arabs and Classical Literature

      Up to a century and a half ago our information concerning Arabia was based mainly on Greek and Latin writers, such as Herodotus (Histories), Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca Historica), Strabo (Geography, Book XVI), Pliny, Ptolemy, and others. All those writers reported without any equivocation that Arabia was part of the ancient Kingdom of Ethiopia Kush, extending from Africa into Solomon Islands.

      Later Arabic writers and geographers, such as Hamadani’s “Arabian Peninsula,” Bekri and Yaqut’s geographical and historical dictionaries, and similar works also provide extremely valuable. However, those works are to be treated with caution because they contain fabulous and legendary traditions, partly based on native popular legends and partly on Jewish and rabbinical fancies.

      From the available literature and authorities, historians have broadly divided Arabs into three classes according to their different great ancestors. They are:

      •The original Black Arabs who were supposedly punished by destruction and deluge because, as legend has it in the book of Qur’an, they disobeyed their Prophets and flouted God’s instructions; they were: ‘Ad, Thamud, Tasam, Jadeis, Imru.

      •The classical Black Arabs, who are believed to have descended from Ya’arub ibn Yashjub ibn Ghatan and thus called Ghataniyun. They had lived in the Yemen; they included a number of tribes and sub-tribes, two of which became historically prominent – viz., Himyar and Kahlan (al’arab al’ariba).

      • The Arabized Arabs: These tribes immigrated into Arabia from different sections of central Asia. Many of them intermarried with the desert dwelling nomadic blemmyes - the Bejas (original Bedouin Arabs) and the Somali, Kenyan and Ethiopian tribes of Africa. Their mix -blood children who adopted a mingled form of their parents cultures are known as the Arabized Arabs (al ‘arab al musta ‘riba).

      Today, upon the dictates of the western intelligensia, this banch is the so-called prototypical Arabs. They are the picture boys of the “white-semitic” theories which seek to claim that some white or at the very least some off-white people were and remain the original and only Arabians.

      By employing vague
      and non-categorical semantics

      with words like:
      • Semites
      • Hamites
      • Ishmaelites
      • caucasiods

      the western negro-phobic intelligensia and educational establishment seek to erase every trace of black Africa from Arabia.

      Nonetheless, if one understood Arab culture it is immediately apparent that Blackness is highly cherished conceptually and in reality. In Arab culture the best camel is the black one the best fig is the blackest, the best eyes are black, the best olives are black, the most beautiful rock is the Black Kaaba. Any Bedouin Arab that is asked his color, would undoubtedly respond Asmar or Aswad which means Black/Brown. No Arab ever describes himself as Bidan which means White because they all understand instinctively if not consciously that Africa is their root.

      The Black Arabs as described in “Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews”:
      Josephus was a soldier, priest and scholar who was born in 37 AD.

      His written works are seminal in western history and for many centuries were some of the most widely read and influential books of the western civilization.

      In the paragraphs that immediately follow, excerpts of Josephus’ commentary on the Arabs and near easterners who were contemporary to his period are reproduced. See The Catholich Encyclopadia

      According to Josephus:

      “The children of Ham (note: Ham is the archetypal ancestor Black people according to Hebrew, Arabic and Jewish legends) possessed the land from Syria and Amanus (modern Jordan), and the mountains of Libanus (modern Lebanon); seizing upon all that was on its sea-coasts, and as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own.

      Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be discovered; yet a few there are which have kept their denominations entire.

      For of the four sons of Ham, time has not at all hurt the name of Chus; for the Ethiopians, over whom he reigned, are even at this day, both by themselves and by all men in Asia, called Chusites. The memory also of the Mesraites is preserved in their name; for all we who inhabit this country [of Judea] called Egypt Mestre, and the Egyptians Mestreans.


      Notes from "Islam: Ethiopia Last gift from GOD"

      • On its formation in 1946, the Arab League defined an “Arab” as: “… a person whose language is Arabic, who lives in an Arabic speaking country, who is in sympathy with the aspirations of the Arabic speaking peoples.” The Arab League’s definition of an Arab leaves no room for any racialist twist on the meaning of Arab and Arabic.

      • (These words simply denote ethnicity. Yet again, based upon this definition, there are more Black Africans who have a legitimate claim to the Arabic ethnicity than anywhere else in the world).

      • In 1946 the Arab League named themselves "Arab" cause they spoke Arabic to secularize Islam due to tribalism

      • King Abdul Aziz, "founder" of Saudi Arabia began conquering in 1902, consecrated Saudi Arabia as a nation in 1932.

      • Until the 1960s, a majority of the Saudi Arabian population was nomadic; but presently more than 95% of the population is settled, due to rapid economic and urban growth. As recently as the 1950s, the Saudi Arabia’s slave population was estimated at 450,000 — 20% of the population.

      • Slavery was finally abolished in 1962 (?)

      • Arabia, has only been autonomous from Ethiopian rule for 76 years.

      • Start: June 8, 632 with the transcending of **Prophet Muhamed (Origin of religion: Africa / **indigenous people: Ethiopian proper)

      • End: Saudi Arabia claimed the principal regions of Al-Hasa, Qatif, Nejd and Hejaz which unified The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in 1932.

      • GOD willing, 1300 years later we see a unified Kingdom in nomadic Saudi Arabia. 1300 years later Saudi Arabia has claimed its country as a nation not a *state; independent of federation, dispute,or as a country subdivion.

      • Why? Because today Arabia is a Absolute monarchy. Absolut Monarcy is a "monarchical form of government" where the monarch has the power to rule his or her land or country and its citizens freely.

      • Still making Arabia a district of Ethiopia

      White Devils from the West: Chapter X by Chancellor Williams

      "BEFORE THE "SIXTEENTH CENTURY" MOST AFRICANS ON THE continent had never seen a "real white face".

      Since in many societies all devils and other evil spirits were white, the ritual to ward these off was always led by chanting dancers whose faces and bodies were hideously painted with white chalk. That there were in fact "white humans" - living "white devils" - was unbelievable (probably few reports are better known than those of first contact where the boldest of the unbelievers would venture to rub the skin of whites to see if the "paint" would come off).

      Over a thousand years had passed since Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs and Turks had taken over Egypt, and Arabs now also ruled the Eastern Sudan.

      Arab - Hebrew rule was steadfast in isolated Abyssinia, while the Arabs along the East Coast, operating from their Zanzibar stronghold, had not themselves ventured far into the interior.

      Their Afro-Arab agents generally spearheaded slave-hunting operations.

      Ghana and Mali had disappeared, and now Songhay was making its last stand against Arab, Coloured, and Berber armies from across the desert.

      Even where where black armies clashed with invading white armies, the masses never saw white people.

      This refers not only to the countless thousands who fled upon the approach of enemy troops, but also to those who remained scattered over the country in their villages.

      Now things were changing rapidly and the people were becoming sharply aware that they wre being hemmed in from all directions. To begin with, the Arabs were spreading out and penetrating formerly forbidden borders of black states. They could therefore enter black territory from which Whites were barred.

      These "Black Arabs" (many were unmixed) confused African leaders everywhere, increased the tensions and tribal wars among them, and helped mightily in destroying the independence of African states.

      Having discussed this in connection with the fall of the Mossi States and elsewhere, my return to the same subject again is to keep a focus on the race's self - imposed chains is that Blacks themselves do not like to discuss these internal handicaps at all, not even among themselves. We prefer to pretend that certain things do not exist. This in itself is a weakness that strengthens the white power position over the Blacks.

      The Portuguese were the "first white European people" to arrive in West and Central Africa. They were not long in adopting the Arab strategy in dividing the Blacks against themselves - a strategy since adopted by all white people".~

      pg.243 The Destruction of Black Civilization

      and that's on the strength, All praise be to Allah

      Peace be upon you

    2. #2
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      still digesting this...

      but did Al-Jahiz speak more on this ???

      also, quiet as its kept, we're not only the OLDEST people, but also a GLOBAL people.

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      *book marks this page*

    4. #4
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      Follow up notes:

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      White Devils from the West

      The status of African people throughout the world remains too precarious to deal with their history by merely chronicling important events. The situation demands that greater efforts be made to determine the meaning

      • of those events
      • their effects on the people
      • the overall change in the direction of history
      • and what new directions the race must take.
      The major and immediate Portuguese aim in Africa was not the conquest of Blacks; rather, their aim was to destroy Arab power in Africa and the Islamic control of just about all of the overland trade routes to the East. For this cause:
      • Columbus had sailed
      • and other European nations took to the high seas.
      The Portugueses sought to use "religion" as the usual spearhead.

      That Christian states were in Africa from the "earliest times" had not been completely forgotten.

      • NOTE: The Suebian's were The First Dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, and they were Black (see PreAfrican Dynasty of Great Britian")
      One that from the "earliest times" had not been completely forgotten. One that had "escaped" Muslim destruction was located in what had been a south eastern border state of the Ancient Ethiopian empire, indentified by the Portuguese as a kingdom ruled by a "King" Prester John". The idea was to unite the Christian forces of Europe with those of Africa in an all-out war against the Arabs.

      *But what was not generally known was that the kingdom of Axum, expanding to become the Empire of Abyssinia, was ruled alternatively by Christian Arabs and Coloured Christian Hebrews.

      • All Arabs were not Muslims, (see note 1 in Stolen Legacy)
      • all Hebrews were not Jews in religion.
      It appears that African Hebrew and Christian Arab communities were in Southern Arabia and Yemen, just across from the East African country they later conquered. (Williams, pg. 250/251)

      Stolen Legacy

      "As mentioned elsewhere the Egyptian Mysteries and the philosophical schools of Greece were closed by the edicts of Theodosius in the 4th century A. D. and that of Justinian in the 6th century A. D. (i.e., 529 ...long before White Supremacy); and as a consequence, intellectual darkness spread over Christian Europe and the Graeco-Roman world for ten centuries (*the dark ages); during which time, knowledge had disappeared. As stated elsewhere, the Greeks showed no creative powers, and were unable to improve upon the knowledge which they had received from the Egyptians (Hist. of Science by Sedwick and Tyler p. 141; 153; Zeller's Hist. of Phil. Introduction p.31).

      During the:
      • Persian,
      • Greek
      • and Roman invasions,
      Large numbers of Egyptians fled not only to the desert and mountain regions, but also to adjacent lands in:
      • Africa,
      • Arabia
      • and Asia Minor,
      where they lived, and secretly developed the teachings which belonged to their mystery system.

      In the 8th century A. D. "The Moors",
      • ie., "natives of Mauritania in North Africa",
      • NOTE 1: non white Arabs (Black Arabs)
      invaded Spain and took with them, "the Egyptian culture which they had preserved."

      Knowledge in the ancient days was centralized i.e.,
      • it belonged to a common parent
      • and system,
      • i.e., the Wisdom Teaching or Mysteries of Egypt,
      • which the Greeks used to call "Sophia".

        As such, the people of North Africa were the neighbours of the Egyptians, and became the custodians of Egyptian culture, which they spread through considerable portions of:
      • Africa,
      • Asia Minor
      • and Europe
      During their occupation of Spain, the Moors displayed with considerable credit, the gradeur of "African culture and civilization".

      The schools and libraries which they established became famous throughout the Mediaeval world; Science and learning were cultivated and taught; the schools of Cordova, Toledo, Seville and Saragossa attained such celebrity, that they "like their parent Egypt", attracted students from all parts of the Western world; and from them arose the most famous African professors that the world has ever known, in medicine, surgery, astronomy and mathematics.

      But these people form North Africa did more than merely distinguish themselves in Spain. They were really the recognized custodians of African culture, to whom the world looked for enlightment. Consequently, through the medium of "the ancient Arabic language", philosophy and the various branches of science were disseminated: (a) all the so-called works of Aristotle in Metaphysics, moral philosphy and natural science (b) translations by Leonardo Pisano in Arabic mathematical science (C) translation by Gideo a Monk of Arezzo in musical notation. (Sedgwick and Tyler's Hist. of Science C. IX).

      In addition, the Moors kept up constant contact with the Mother Egypt: for they had established Caliphates not only at Baghdad and Cordova, but also at Cairo in Egypt. (Europe in the Middle Ages by Ault p. 216-219). Just here it would be well to mention that all the great leaders of the great religions of antiquity were "Initiates of the Egyptian Mystery System": from Moses, who was an Egyptian Hierogrammat, down to Christ.

      It should also be of interest to know that European scientists like Roger Bacon, Johann Kepler, Copernicus and others obtained their science through Arab or Berber sources. It is also noteworthy that through Arab or Berber sources. It is also noteworthy that throughout the Middle Ages, European knowledge of medicine came from these same sources. (James p.40)

      The Name "Negro" Its Origin And Evil Use

      "Similary, the chronicle of Azurara as soon as the area south of the Senegal river has been reached, where the modern *slave trade was begun by the Portuguese, the designation of the native Africans is changed from "Moors or Azenegues" to "negros", which was later transposed into English as "negroes." (Moore, pg. 38)

      The Moors in Spain

      "Spain, was then under the rule of the Visigoths, or "West Goths", a tribe of barbarians, like the many others who overan the provinces of the Roman Empire in it's decline. The Ostrogoths had occupied Italy; and their kinsmen, the Visigoths, displacing or subduing the Suevi (or Swabians) and other rude German tribes, established themselves in the Roman province of Iberia (Spain) in the *5th century after christ. They found the country in the same condition of effeminate luxury and degeneracy that had proved the ruin of other parts of the empire.

      Like many warlike peoples, the *Romans, when their work was accomplished and the world was at their feet, had rested contentedly from their labours, and abandonded themselves to the pleasures that wealth and security permit. They were no longer the brave stern men who lived simple lives and left the ploughshare to wield the sword when a Scipio or a Caesar them to defend their country or to conquer a continent.

      Out of such men as these, a strong and resolut army could not be formed; and "The Goths" therefore entered Spain with little trouble; the cities willingly opened there gates, and the diseased civilization of Roman Spain yielded with hardly a blow. The truth was that the road of the Goths had been too well prepared by previous hordes of barbarians - Alans, Vandals, and Suevi - to need much exertion on their own part.

      Later, with the victory of Guadalete, easily won by Ṭāriq ibn Ziyad,and 12,000 Moors.

      • was seized from the "ChristianVisigoths Spaniards"
      • who betrayed Roderick in battle,
      • assisting in the lost of Spain
      • and 8 centuries of Moslem domination
      (Poole, pg.4 and p.20).


      The status of African people throughout the world remains too precarious to deal with their history by merely chronicling important events. The situation demands that greater efforts be made to determine the meaning

      • of those events
      • their effects on the people
      • the overall change in the direction of history
      • and what new directions the race must take
      African Dynasties have shared and aquired us a vast, and rich history from the Sudan and Egyptian Mystery Systems to the Arab/Hebrew Christian Dynasty's of Ethiopia (which are not so ancient) to The Moors in Spain.

      All have come with a Legacy that continues to breath motivation and inspiration in all it's students.

      Allah, has blessed the African Continent.

      But it is we who must choose to be purified.

      Thus, Islam, the rightful successor, to the Egyptian Mystery system must continue to inspire knowledge, wisdom, and understanding in those who choose to be enlighted. As we further continue to unravel the Mystery system of Ma'at through submission to Allah, GOD willing.

      All Praise be to Allah

      Peace be upon you
      • "Stolen Legacy: The Greeks were not the authors of Greek Philosophy, but the people of North Africa, commonly called the the Egyptians were".
      • Richard B. Moore The Name "Negro" Its Origin And Evil Use
      • Chancellor Williams "The Destruction of the Black Civilization
      • The Story of the Moors by Stanley Lane - Poole
      • The PreAfrican Dynasty of Great Britian
      • "...did you say "Nigger"?...

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      The african presence in early iraq

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      AFRIKAN PRESENCE IN IRAQ: Runoko Rashidi

      re/p Baba Ahmed 11-24-2004





      "What became of the Black people of Sumer?' the traveler asked the old man, for ancient records show that the people of Sumer were Black. `What happened to them?' `Ah,' the old man sighed. `They lost their history, so they died." --A Sumerian Proverb

      Evidence of the presence of African people in ancient Southwest Asia, particularly in the country now known as Iraq, stretches far back into antiquity. The Greek writer Homer, for example, describes African people referred to as "Ethiopians" as "dwelling at the ends of the earth, towards the rising and setting sun." The Greek historian Ephorus wrote that "the Ethiopians were considered as occupying all the south coasts of both Asia and Africa, divided by the Red Sea into Eastern and Western Asiatic and African."

      A very important part of Southwest Asia is the country that we now call Iraq. In truth, Iraq has had an African presence for thousands and thousands of years. Indeed, the first civilization of Southwest Asia, known as Sumer and located in Southern Iraq (formerly Mesopotamia "the land between the two rivers") was dominated by Black people.

      Flourishing during the third millennium B.C.E. between the mighty Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, Sumer set the guidelines and established the standards for the kingdoms and empires that followed her including Babylon and Assyria. Sumer, as is well known, has been acknowledged as an early center for advanced mathematics, astronomy and calendars, writing and literature, art and architecture, religion and highly organized urban centers, some of the more notable of which include Kish, Uruk, Ur, Nippur, Lagash and Eridu.

      While Sumer's many achievements are much celebrated, the important question of the ethnic composition of her population is frequently either glossed over or left out of the discussion altogether. As topical as Iraq is today and since the civilization of ancient Sumer has been claimed by other peoples, it is important to set the record straight and we believe that we can state without equivocation that Sumerian civilization was but an extension of Nile Valley civilizations "of which Egypt was the noblest-born but not the only child."

      To buttress our claims about Sumer's African origins we first point out that the ancient Sumerians referred to themselves as the "Black headed people." And there is no doubt that the oldest and most exalted deity of the Sumerians was Anu, a name that loudly recalls thriving Black populations at the dawn of history including Africa itself, the Arabian Peninsula, India and even Europe. Equally important is the skeletal evidence exhumed from ancient Sumerian cemeteries, Biblical references in which Nimrod (the Old Testament founder of Sumer) is described as a son of Kush (Ethiopia), architectural similarities, eye witness accounts and oral traditions. All of this data points to and supports an early African origin for the Sumerians of ancient Iraq.


      Well after the fall of Sumer African people continued to play an imporant role in the region. One of the great men and intellectuals of early Iraq was Al-Jahiz. According to Al-Jahiz, in his Book of the Glory of the Blacks Over the Whites, "The Ethiopians, the Berbers, the Copts, the Nubians, the Zaghawa, the Moors, the people of Sind, the Hindus, the Qamar, the Dabila, the Chinese, and those beyond them...the islands in the seas...are full of Blacks...up to Hindustan and China."

      Abu `Uthman' Amr Ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri, an outstanding African scholar known to posterity as Al-Jahiz (ca. 776-869), has been described by Bernard Lewis as "one of the greatest prose writers in classical Arabic literature." On this issue all of the major authorities agree. According to Christopher Dawson, "Al-Jahiz was the greatest scholar and stylist of the ninth century." Philip K. Hitti wrote that al-Jahiz "was one of the most productive and frequently quoted scholars in Arabic literature. His originality, wit, satire, and learning, made him widely known."

      Born in Basra, in Southern Iraq, Al-Jahiz "studied philology, philosophy, and science there," and became a brilliant scholar, prolific writer and chronicler of the deeds of African people. During the lifetime of Al-Jahiz, Basra was a major trading city on the Shatt al Arab waterway, which empties into the Persian Gulf. According to William Jelani Cobb: "There has been a Black presence in Basra--present day Southern Iraq--as early as the seventh century, when Abu Bakra, an Ethiopian soldier who had been manumitted by the prophet Muhammad himself, settled in the city. His descendants became prominent members of Basran society."

      Al-Jahiz lived during an era marked by a visible increase in overt racial hostility directed by Arabs against Africans in the Islamic world. One of the most extreme reactions to this racial bias was the massive slave insurrection in 868 (around the time of Al-Jahiz's death), known in Arab histories as the "Revolt of the Blacks."

      Al-Jahiz was the author of the Book of the Glory of the Blacks Over the Whites--a special essay in which the global history of African people and the subject of Blackness itself was discussed. During the 1980s, through the efforts of Mr. William Preston, the work was finally translated and published in English. It was long overdue.

      The Book of the Glory of the Blacks Over the Whites is a remarkable document. It includes penetrating commentaries on great African heroes such as Antarah the Lion--a dashing knight and poet who is considered by some to be the father of the codes of "European" chivalry, Lokman--the "celebrated sage of the East", and the African ancestry of the prophet Muhammad himself. According to Al-Jahiz, Abd al-Muttalib (the guardian of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca) "fathered ten Lords, Black as the night and magnificent." One of these men was Abdallah, the father of the prophet Muhammad.


      The subject of African bondage anywhere is one of the most sensitive historical issues to be discussed, and all to often it is asserted that most, if not all, of the great international movements of African people in history occurred only the guise of slavery and servitude. Obviously, as we have seen, this has not at all been the case. The period of bondage is in fact dwarfed by the ages of magnificent African civilizations, glory and splendor, not just in Africa itself but throughout the whole of the global African community including early Iraq.

      It was in early Iraq where the largest African slave rebellions occurred. Here, well over a millennium ago, were gathered tens of thousands of East African slave laborers called Zanj. These Africans, from Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi and Zanzibar (an island off the coast of mainland Tanzania that gave the Zanj their name) and other parts of East Africa, worked in the humid salt marshes of Southern Iraq in conditions of extreme misery. Laboring in terrible, humid conditions, "the Zanj workers dug up layers of topsoil and dragged away tons of earth to plant labor-intensive crops like sugarcane on the less saline soil below. Fed scant portions of flour, semolina and dates, they were constantly in conflict with the Iraqi slave system."

      Conscious of their large numbers and oppressive working conditions the Zanj rebelled on at least three occasions between the seventh and ninth centuries. The largest of these rebellions lasted for fifteen years, from 868 to 883, during which time the Africans inflicted defeat after defeat upon the Arab armies sent to suppress their revolt. This rebellion is known historically as the "Revolt of the Zanj" or the "Revolt of the Blacks."

      It is significant to point out that the Zanj forces were rapidly augmented by large-scale defections of Black soldiers under the employ of the Abbassid Caliphate at Baghdad. The rebels themselves, hardened by many years of brutal treatment, repaid their former masters in kind, and are said to have been responsible for great massacres in the areas that came under their sway.

      At its height the Zanj revolt spread as far as Iran and advanced to within seventy miles of Baghdad itself. The Zanj even built their own capital, called Moktara (the Elect City), which covered a large area and flourished for several years. They even minted their own currency and actually dominated Southern Iraq. The Zanj rebellion was ultimately only suppressed with the intervention of large Arab armies and the lucrative offer of amnesty and rewards to any rebels who might choose to surrender.

      African people have always defied subjugation, and the Revolt of the Blacks is in and of itself a glorious page in African history and Black resistance movements. Through the Revolt of the Blacks, a now relatively little known episode in a part of the world that until very recently some of us regarded as foreign and strange we see African people doing what they have always done--asserting their basic and essential dignity and standing up for and demanding their inalienable human rights.


      Rashidi, Runoko and Ivan Van Sertima, eds. African Presence in Early Asia. Tenth Anniversary Edition. New Brunswick: Transaction Press, 1995.

      AFRIKAN PRESENCE IN IRAQ: Runoko Rashidi

      *Runoko Rashidi is an historian, research specialist, lecturer and global traveler in love with African people. He is very active online and the moderator of the Global African Presence Egroup. Runoko is currently organizing educational tours to Vietnam and Cambodia in April 2005 and Brazil in November 2005. For information on his tours, to schedule lectures and order audio and video tapes contact Runoko at (210) 337-4405 or email him at You are further encouraged to visit Runoko's award winning web site at

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Arabs are not Kushites nor are they decendants of kushites. How can arabs be semitic and kushititc at the same time when kushites decend from kush (son of ham) and the so-called semites decend from shem (brother of ham)?
      The original semites were indeed black but none labeled themselves as "arabs".

      Arabs are caucasian. They are a composite of african and european with the european lineage coming through their father and african coming through the mother's line because the women, of ancient arabia (who were racially Ethiopian) were raped by invading indo-european tribes. This bastardization happened also in persia and north africa and india.

      Arabs are responsible for destroying african culture and many great afrikan civilizations. They invaded afrika with the idea that their actions against afrikan culture people and civilization were sanctioned by god. They prospered economically and gained terretorially at the expense of afrikans losing their lands and lives. arabs did not respect afrikan, do not respect afrikan and never will respect afrikans. arabs will never ackknowledge the reality that they desend from foreign invaders, namely white europeans.

      Islam is not in any way related to the mystery system of ancient egypt. Islam took over around A.D. 620 driving the greaco roman colonizers out.

      Arabs are just as much the enemy of afrikans as europeans are.

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      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by cush215 View Post

      Arabs are not Kushites nor are they decendants of kushites. How can arabs be semitic and kushititc at the same time when kushites decend from kush (son of ham) and the so-called semites decend from shem (brother of ham)?

      Arabs are caucasian. They are a composite of african and european with the european lineage coming through their father and african coming through the mother's line because the women, of ancient arabia (who were racially Ethiopian) were raped by invading indo-european tribes. This bastardization happened also in persia and north africa and india.

      Arabs are responsible for destroying african culture and many great afrikan civilizations. They invaded afrika with the idea that their actions against afrikan culture people and civilization were sanctioned by god. They prospered economically and gained terretorially at the expense of afrikans losing their lands and lives. arabs did not respect afrikan, do not respect afrikan and never will respect afrikans. arabs will never ackknowledge the reality that they desend from foreign invaders, namely white europeans.

      Islam is not in any way related to the mystery system of ancient egypt. Islam took over around A.D. 620 driving the greaco roman colonizers out.

      Arabs are just as much the enemy of afrikans as europeans are.


      According to Lenormant, 36 A Kushite Empire orginally existed thoughout Arabia. This was the epoch personified by the Adites of (Diop.,pg.123) Ad, grandsons of Ham, the Biblical ancestor of the Blacks.

      Chedade, a son of Ad and builder of the legendary "Earthly Paradise" mentioned in the Koran, belongs to the epoch called that of the "First Adites." This empire was destroyed in the eighteenth century B.C. by an invasion of coarse, white Jectanide tribes, who apparently came to settle among the Blacks.

      Before long, however, the Kushite element regained political and cultural control. The first White tribes were completely absorbed by the Kushites. This epoch was called that of the "Second Adites." (Cf. Lenormant, pp. 260-261)

      These facts, on which even Arab authors agree, prove, as will shortly beome more evident, that the Arab "race" cannot be conceived as anything but a "mixture" of Black and Whites, a process continuing even today. These same facts also prove that traits common to Black culture and Semitic culture have been borrowed from the Blacks. The reverse is historically false.

      To attempt to explain the Negro Egyptian world by the so-called Semitic world should be impossible on the basis of no more than a few grammitical similarities, such as suffixal conjugations, pronoun suffixes, and t for the feminine. The Semitic world, as we conceive of it today, is too recent to explain Egypt. As we have seen, prior to the eighteenth century B.C., only Negroes (Kushites, in official terminology) were found in the region of Arabia.

      Infiltrations before the second millennium were relatively insignificant. Egypt conquered the country during the early centuries of the Second Adites, under the minority of Tuthmosis III.
      Lenormant believes that Arabia is the land of Punt and of the Queen of Sheba.

      We should remind the reader that the Bible places Put, one of the sons of Ham, in the same country.

      In the eighth century B.C., the Jectanides, having become strong enough, seized power in the same manner- and during the same period-as the Assyrians won control over the Babylonians (also Kushites):

      Though they shared the same customs and the same language, the two elements that formed the population of southern Arabia remained quite distinct, with antagonistic interests, just as in the basin of the Euphrates, the *Assyrians and Babylonians, the first of whom were likewise *Semites, and second, Kushites. . . .

      So long as the empire of the Second Adites lasted, the Jectanides(Diop, pg.124) were under the Kushites. But a day came when they felt strong enough to become masters in their turn. Led by Iarob, they attacked the Adites and were able to overcome them. This revolution is usually dated at the beginning of the eighth century B.C. (rf.37)

      Lenormant reports that after the Jectanide victory, some of the Adites crossed the Red Sea at Bab el Mandeb to settle in Ethiopia, while the others remained in Arabia, taking refuge in the mountains of Hadramaut and elsewhere. This is the source of the Arab proverb:

      "As divided as the Sabaens," and why southern Arabia and Ethiopia became inseparable linguistically and ethnographically. "Long before the discovery of the Hymyaritic language and inscriptions, it had been noted that Ghez, the Abyssinian language, is a living remnant of the ancient language of Yemen. " (rf.38) (Diop., pg. 125)

      Peace be upon you

      Arabia excerpt from The African Origin of Civilization by Cheikh Anta Diop., pg.123,124, and 125

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      Al-Jahiz (776-869): Superiority Of The Blacks To The Whites

      0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
      Quote Originally Posted by SoularFlarez View Post
      still digesting this...

      but did Al-Jahiz speak more on this ???

      also, quiet as its kept, we're not only the OLDEST people, but also a GLOBAL people.
      repost: SonOfIsis
      Al-Jahiz (776-869): Superiority Of The Blacks To The Whites

      Al-Jahiz (in Arabic الجاحظ) (real name Abu Uthman Amr ibn Bahr al-Kinani al-Fuqaimi al-Basri) (born in Basra, c. 781 – December 868 or January 869) was a famous Arab scholar, believed to have been an Afro-Arab of East African descent. He was an Arabic prose writer and author of works on Arabic literature, biology, zoology, history, early Islamic philosophy, Islamic psychology, Mu'tazili theology, and politico-religious polemics.

      Al-Jahiz (776-869): Al-Fakhar al-Sudan
      min al-Abyadh (Superiority Of The Blacks To The Whites)

      In the name of the Almighty, Merciful God; May God protect and keep you; let He make you
      obey Him and make you part of his favorites. You mentioned – may Allah protect you from
      deception – that you read my treatise (kitab) on the refutation of the pure Arabs to
      those of mixed parentage, the replies of the mixed ones and the answers of their maternal
      uncles. But I did not mention in it anything about the boasts of the Sudan. So know, -
      may Allah preserve you – that I postponed that intentionally. And you mentioned that you
      would like me to write to you the boasts of the Sudan, so I have written what I recall of
      their boasts. Al-Asma'I said : Al-Fizr, a slave of the Fazara, who had a pierced earlobe
      is known to have said: Harmony arrives quickly in the creation. Because of that goats
      stay away from the sheep as long as there are goats around. The lamb avoids the
      predators, and also does not feel close to the ones with big hoofs. Abu Zaid al-Nahwi
      recited the following verse: Without harmony, man perishes. Saddad Al-Hariti - with
      erudite eloquence - tells: “I requested from a black slave of the desert steppe:

      -To whom do you belong, O Black one?
      -To the Lord of Hadr (sedentary settlement), O Bald person.

      -Aren't you black?
      -Aren't you a bald person?
      -Does truth thus puts you so much in anger?
      - It is this truth which puts you so much in anger! Do not insult and you will be
      dreaded; really best is than you give it up completely ".
      Saddad concludes: “In truth, at the time when I addressed the word to her, I thought to
      be worth all the inhabitants of Nagd and, at the time when she left me, I had the thought
      not to be worth my slave”. Al 'Asma' i reports according to 'Isa b. 'Umar these words of
      Du l-Rumma: “That Al1ah curses the black slave of the family of Such and Such! That she
      speaks well and that she is eloquent!”. I asked him: “How is the rain which falls at your
      place?” She answered: “We received as far as we wanted it”.

      Qualities of the Blacks:

      Among the Blacks, there is Luqman the Wise-one and it is him which said: “There are three
      men who are known to us only into three (circumstances): he who preserves his control in
      anger, the courageous one in the face of danger, the friend when you need him. He gave
      his son the following advice: If you whish to remain with someone, make him angry before
      that. You will learn in advance if he is just and good. This is the only quote of him we
      regularly hear, because he had o to many sayings to chose from. More important then this
      is that God called him "the Wise" in the Koran as well as his testament to his son.
      Said ibn Jubair was also black. He got killed by Hajjaj at the age of 49 half a year
      before Hajjaj himself died at the age of 53. Said was a very pious man highly esteemed
      for his profound knowledge of the traditions of the prophet Mohamet and a companion of
      Ibn Abbas. The Hadith-scholars doubt even all Hadith who come from the companions of Ibn
      Abbas except those of Said ibn Jubair. His father was a marwa of the Asad tribe, and Said
      himself was a marwa of the Umayads. After he was killed people felt the loss. Also among
      the blacks was: the Ethiopian, Bilal, of whom Caliph Omar said that he alone was worth a
      third of all Islam; Afga, the first to die in the holy wars of the Prophet; EI-Migdad,
      the first to fight in the holy war as a horseman; El Wanshi, who killed the false
      prophet, Musailima; known as "the Liar". He had the habit to say; I've murdered the best
      one of all men; meaning Hamza ibn Abd al-Muttalib, may God's peace rest on him - and I
      killed the worst out of men, namely Musailima the impostor ".
      And another Black, Makhul the lawyer. And another Black, Al-Haiqutan the poet, who was
      higher [then the others] through his personal judgment, his reason and by the size of his
      insights. It is him who said in connection to friends: “the friend is recognized when one
      shares intimacy of the heart and when one accompanies one on a journey ". And another
      Black, Gulaibib, on whom the transmitters said how the Envoy of Allah - How the blessing
      and the safety of Allah are on him! - left to carry out a raid and after it asked his
      companions: “Do we not miss somebody?”. They answered: “We seek Such and Such”. Then he
      left again and asked them [again]; “Do we not miss somebody? “. They answered: “We seek
      Such and Such”. Then he left again and asked them [again]: “Isn’t there somebody missing?
      ” 'They answered for the third time: “We do not seek anybody”. The Prophet said: “As for
      me, I miss Gulaibib. Seek him!”. They went to seek and found him lying in the middle of
      seven [men], which he in fact had killed. The Prophet - That the blessing and the safety
      of Allah are on him - said: “He killed seven (men) and they killed him. This man is of me
      and me of him!” The Hadith specialists adds: “Then the Prophet held him in his arms until
      one had dug for him a tomb, without him having no other bed than the arms of the Prophet.
      We do not know if they were able to wash him before the burial.. One of the Blacks was

      Faraj, the barber-surgeon, who was so just that he was often called by the judges for
      council. He was a freedmen of Jafar ibn Sulayman. He served Jafar many years cutting his
      hair and beard. Jafar had never found him making mistakes in what he did or said. So he
      decided to test him. If it really turns out his behavior is the result of inner- wisdom,
      I will make him free, find him a wife, and make him rich. If things turn different, I
      will have to take other steps. And one day when Faraj was cupping him he asked: slave do
      you cup yourself to?

      -And when?
      -When I need some.
      -Do you know when you need some?
      - I know it most of the time, but sometimes it happens to me to make an error.
      -What do you eat?
      - In winter of sweetened big Dakbirah and in summer Sikbaga bitter-sweet ".
      Ga' far b. Sulaiman kept his promises. It is in connection to this that Abu Firun said
      “Out of the way, my wife is in front of me, I am a very close friend of Farag the layer
      of suction cups ".
      One says: Farag had acquired such a reputation of impartiality, of nobility of heart of
      piety and religious scruple, that his owners, the descendants of Ga' far and the notable
      ones of Mirbad required his testimony only for healthy businesses and without dispute ".
      As for El-Haiqutan, he is the one who wrote the poem used in Yemen when arguing with the
      Quaresh and Mubar. The same poem the people from Persia and Ethiopia use against the
      Arabs. When the white poet, Jarir, saw El-Haiqutan in a white robe on a feast day, he
      remarked, "He looks like the penis of a donkey wrapped in white paper." El-Haiqutan
      replied to him in a poem in which he said, "Though my hair is wooly and my skin black as
      coal I am generous and my honor shines. My color does not prevent my being valiant with
      my sword in battle. Know, you who would boast of your petty glory : The people of the
      Negus have more reason for glory then you. In the days that Islam was offered to
      El-Julanda, Ibn Kisra, Harith, Hawdha, the Copts, and Caesar they all refused. Off al
      the kings only the Negus accepted. As a result his kingdom lasted long, unmovable and
      prosperous. Loqman was one of them, so to were his son and his mothers son. As well as
      Abraha, the most renowned king. Abu Yaksum's invasion threatened the existence of your
      country, and yet, you were as numerous as the grains (of sand), and more still, Like
      the water birds, when, on them, fall in a deserted country, the bird with the bent claws
      and gray of color. If another than Allah had wished to push back 'Abraha. You would
      have noticed. That one which has the most experience of men is closest to the facts.
      There is no claim to fame, except that you live opposite the Sanctuary, and that you lit
      fires in its vicinity. If one of your chiefs, concerned his honor, advances (against
      us), Or we face him, or he turns the back to us and as for what you say, that it is
      about a divine prophecy, You did not know to protect the Sanctuary surrounded by veils.
      You claim to be a tribe never subjugated and never paying tribute, But it is simpler to
      pay a tax than to flee. If a sovereign had wanted to seize it, Then the Himyar and their
      Maqawil would have come there. One can not stay there neither in summer nor in winter;
      and its water is far from spouting out as in Guata. There is neither place pleasant to
      the eye nor hunting ground, but only the trade, and the trade is a disdainful thing.
      Aren't you (Garir) a puppy (kulaib) and your mother is she not a ewe?
      Fats sheep are the source of your shame and your vanity. As for the verses: Gulanda, the
      son of Chosroes, Harit, Hawda, the Copt and the worthy Cesar said no to Islam, then he
      is referring to the time when the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) wrote to the Bana Julanda, but they
      refused to listen. As was the case with Chosroes, of Harith ibn Abi Shamir, of Hawdha ibn
      Ali al-Hanafi, of the Muqawqis, the patriarch of the Copts and ruler of Alexandria, and
      of the emperor of Byzantium; Caesar. However the Bana Mulanda became Muslim some time
      later, there where the Negus became Muslim before the conquest of Mecca and so retained
      his dominions while God took away the treasures (meaning provinces) from the others. The
      emperor of Byzantium; his diminished empire still exist, but he has been driven from
      every place where the hoofs of horses can tread. What rests him are bays, the high
      mountains, the strongest castles, the cold places and the rainy-windery ones. The poet
      also talks proudly of Loqman and his son. When the poet says: Abu Yaksum invaded the
      very heart of your country, and this despite the fact that you were as numerous as the
      grains of sand. He alludes here to the Lord of the Elephant whose army's attacked Mecca
      to destroy the Ka'ba. The Poet says : You were as numerous as the grains of sand, so why
      did you flee from him ? None of you withstanding him until he reached Mecca. Mecca is the
      mother of the cities. The Arabian Peninsula is the homeland of the Arabs and Mecca is one
      of its towns, but an important and ancient one. Because of that it is considered the
      mother of the peninsula. That is why with the conquest of conquests is meant the conquest
      of Mecca. Similarly the Fatiha of the Book is called the Mother of the Book. It happens
      that the Arabs say of a thing that it is the mother of what it did not generate. Thus the
      expressions: he hid him on the top (Mother) of his head, of the same; Mother of hell. The
      host calls his hostess “my hospital Mother”. A Bedouin, having been bitten by flees at a

      woman of which he was the host, says (Ragaz):

      O Hospital mother! That your face is saved to me; and that the supreme Master delivers
      me from your residence and of the bites of flees which - I see it! - will make me die. I
      spent the night to scratch me, to scratch myself as scrapes itself a scabrous camel,
      during the rest. Allah - How He is exalted! - clarifies Mecca and the Temple, when He
      says: “In truth, the first temple [which] was founded for people, is certainly that
      located at Bakka, [temple] blessed and direction for the world ''. The poet wants to say:
      when Mecca Mother of the cities, place of the Holy Temple and your claim to fame - was
      the object of raids, it is you all which were the object of raids. As for the verses of
      the poet: And as for what you say, it is about a divine prophecy; You did not know to
      protect the Sanctuary, surrounded by veils.
      You claim that your people have never been subjugated or paid tribute. But paying that
      you will find easier then fleeing. This is why the poet Abid ibn al-Abras says: They
      refused to submit to kings and are free-people. When they hear the call of war they go.
      What he says means; you say you pay no tribute but paying is easier then fleeing and
      surrender although you enormously outnumber your enemies. When the poet says: Your
      country is not nice in winter or summer, nor is there the abundant water like Juatha (in
      Bahrayn). He means conquering Mecca would never have brought profit, otherwise Yemen and
      other countries would have. The climate is bad; in winter its people go to Taif; during
      the heat to Jidda. And nothing in Mecca can compare with the lushness of Juatha. When
      the poet says: There is no grazing for the male oryx, no hunting either; Only trading
      places and trade is never a right occupation. He means Mecca has no lush green places,
      hunting is prohibited. There are only merchants which have no good reputation. He also
      says that the people of Mecca lack strength and kings refrain from taking their means of
      living because they would not satisfy a king. Those from Mecca are unable to protect
      themselves. Because of this the poet Muawiya ibn Aws said:
      I bought, in a shop, more than one goatskin flask of wine, as swarthy as a man with the
      dark skin, I folded back the opening of it on the neck, Folded back it resembled a
      mutilated hand; I carried them to a greedy Arab merchant, or a wine merchant bearing
      earrings and with cripple Arab. All these verses refer to the Quraysh. They say that the
      Quraysh are merchants who seek the protection of the Sanctuary, and when they travel,
      they carry the fruit of the palm tree and the bark of trees, so that they are recognized
      and that nobody kills them.

      The poet says: Are you not a member of the Kulayb tribe? Isn't your mother one of those
      Your fat sheep are both your pride and your shame. It is rumored that the Kulayd tribe is
      having intercourse with their sheep just like the tribes of el-Araj and Sulaym. And the
      people of the Ashja are rumored to have intercourse with goats. Al-Najashi said: If only
      one of the tribes of the Quraysh had degraded me other then the goat buggers Sulaym and
      Al Farazdaq said: As long as I live I will never be able to bring as sacrifice the milk
      sheep that belonged to the Araj. After spending my money I may find the animal gives bird
      to a boy. Another poet: If you want more money for your female donkey, just tell the
      Darimi that you sell it. He will kiss its back, but for its dryness, would draw near to
      its buttocks. The Darimi, when he copulates with the donkey wants his mouth to reach the
      animals mouth. Abd ibn Rashid said: They are bad people, the best of them are still bad.
      To the sheep they herd they are the male and the shepherd. When one of their women is
      made ready for marriage; it will be the spotted sheep that weeps sincerely. This is why
      Al 'Ahtal said (Kamil); Enjoy your ewes, O Garir. Because your heart encouraged you only
      with the depravity in loneliness. This is why Al-Haiqutan says: Are not you not a puppy
      (kulaib) and your mother is she not a ewe? Fat sheep are the source of your shame and
      your vanity. As for shame, it is about their bad reputation in connection with the ewes.
      As for their claim to fame: the poet makes it clear that, when they are prevailed of
      something, it is ewes, if still they would arrive to the camels.

      Among the claims to fame of the Blacks, of Zang and Abyssinians, in addition to the
      fragment of the Al-Haiqutan poem, which we have mentioned, it is necessary to count,
      after Garir b. Al-Hatafa who had turned against the Banu Taglib in (Kamil): Do not seek
      really any maternal uncle at [Banu] Taglib, because Zang have maternal uncles nobler than
      them [Banu Taglib], the verses of Sanih b. Ribah which, in anger, turns to Garir and,
      against him, glorifies the Zang (Kamil): Why does this animal of the Kulayd talks bad
      about us? Has he seen he is no match for Hajib and Iqal? Somebody who compares the donkey
      called Maragha and her son (Jarir) to al Farazdaq is unreal and beyond understanding. If
      you would meet Zanj in formation for battle, you would see noble heroes. Ask Ibn Amr,
      when he sought out their spears, did he not find the Zanj spears to be long? They took
      (killed) the son of Ziyad and they dismount their horses for battle. And when they have
      dismounted to go to battle, what a battle. They left in their courtyards the horses of
      war, while you had only sheep and lambs in your corals. Ibn Nadba, a warrior in your

      ranks, was one of us blacks. So was Khufaf, who had many problems to take care of, and
      the two sons of Zubayba, Antara and Harasa. We don't see other people like that in your
      ranks . Ask Ibn Jayfar, when he marched against our homeland, How destructive they were
      when they attacked him. Ans Sulayk, called the lion, or the respected Abbas, When they
      attack, they all outshine you completely. Among them is also Ibn Khazim ibn Ajla. He
      surpassed all tribes in courage and honesty. They were all sons of noble women, who were
      on they turn descendents of noble women. They are the lions who bring up their little

      And so are we nobler then the Kulaib because of our maternal uncles; You, however, you
      are viler than them under this same report. And the sons of Al-Hubab, here are people who
      can strike a lance or to nourish you. In winter, when the wind of the North blows. The
      ibn 'Amr of which we talked is Hafs b. Ziyad b. 'Amr Al 'Ataki; he replaced his father as
      the head of the Al-Haggag police force, when Ribah Sar az-Zangi seized the area of the
      Euphrate, Hafq b. Ziyad went then to meet him. Ribah killed them, him and his men, and
      pillaged his camp. As for Ibn Gaifar, it is an-Nu' man b. Gaifar b. 'Ubad b. Gaifar b. Al

      Julanda (or Gulanda); they had made an incursion in Zang territory: The Zang killed them
      and plundered the camp. Then the poet speaks about the sons of the Zang women, when they
      draw towards the Zang in bravery and self-esteem. He mentions then Hufaf bin Nadba,
      'Abbas b. Mirdas, the two sons of Saddad: 'Antara 'l-Fawaris and his brother Harasa, as
      well as Sulaik bin as-Salaka. The latter, lions among the men, have the boldest hearts,
      the most intrepid courage and they passed in proverb. One counts among ( the sons of the
      Zang women) 'Abd Allah b. Hazim as Sulami, and the sons of Al-Hubab: 'Umair b. Al-Hubab
      and his brothers. Al Jahhaf ibn Hakim was one of them to. They are also proud of Raban,
      Bilal's brother, because of his piety also Amir ibn Fuhayra who was at Badr and died a
      martyrs dead on the day of Bir Mauna, and those present saw him being raised up by God up
      from the earth to the heaven, so he has no grave among us. Among the blacks is also
      Yasir's family. They also say: El-Ghandaf who was with Ubayd Allah ibn al Hurr was one of
      us, he was the most courageous among men. He would attack caravans single-handed. Also a
      man with proverbial courage was Kabawayh who was with al Mughira ibn al Fizr. Marbah al
      Ashram ; the young slave of general Abu Bahr was black to. He came here from Syria in the
      days of Qutayba ibn Muslim. His reputation was so widespread that people tried not to
      meet him. Also among them was El Maglul and his sons, who though slaves were very
      generous and wise and were renowned among the people of the dessert about their knowledge
      of it. Also among us was Aflah, who attacked caravans in Khorassan single handed for
      twenty years. Malik ibn al-Rayb killed him after he had sodomized him in the middle of
      the night, when he was to intoxicated and unarmed. The verses of his son testify about
      this (Tawil): He Malik! If 'Aflah had not been drunk, you would have seen undoubtedly
      that he is brother of the russet-red lion and even the eclipse! The Blacks continue:
      coming from Abyssinia, we were Masters of the country of Arabia up to Mecca, and on all
      the country our law reigned. We put to rout Du Nuwas, killed by the 'Aqyal Himyarites.
      You, you never dominated our country. Your poet says (Tawil): They ruined Gumdan and
      threw its roof down. Riyat and his troops, by an impetuous attack, with force. The
      Abyssinians encircled it at night and threw down a construction built by the 'Aqyal at in
      remote times, a multitude, of black color, coming from Al-Yaksum, such as the lions of
      d’as-Sara, which would have been wearing a leopard skin. [Blacks] add: we count among us
      Kabagila; no one of those who went up the Sulaiman channel and who fought in singular
      combat did resemble him. They continue: also the forty are ours who revolted, at the time
      of the qadi Sawwar b. 'Abd Allah, in the area of the Euphrates; they drove out their
      dwellings the populations of this area and went on to an immense massacre of the
      inhabitants of Ubulla. The one who did cut the head of Isa ibn Jafar in Oman with a
      Bahrayni scythe when all were afraid was one of us.

      Everybody knows that the Zanj are among the most generous of mortals ; a quality that is
      found only among noble characters. These people have a natural talent for dancing to the
      rhythm of the tambourine, without needing to learn it. There are no better singers
      anywhere in the world, no people more polished and eloquent, and no people less given to
      insulting language. All other peoples in the world have their stammerers, those who have
      difficulty in pronouncing certain sounds, and those who cannot express themselves
      fluently or are downright tongue-tied, except the Zanj. Sometimes some of them recite
      before their ruler continuously from sunrise to sunset, without needing to turn round or
      pause in their flow. No other nation can surpass them in bodily strength and physical
      toughness. One of them will lift huge blocks and carry heavy loads that would be beyond
      the strength of most Bedouins or members of other races. They are courageous, energetic,
      and generous, which are the virtues of nobility, and also good-tempered and with little
      propensity to evil. They are always cheerful, smiling, and devoid of malice, which is a
      sign of noble character. Some people say that their generosity is due to their stupidity,
      shortsightedness and lack of foresight, but our reply is that this is a scurvy way of
      commending generosity and altruism. At that rate the wisest and most intelligent man
      would be the most stingy and ungenerous. But in fact the Slavs are more stingy than the

      Byzantines, and the latter more intelligent and thoughtful; according to our opponents'
      argument, the Slavs ought to be more generous and open-handed than the Byzantines.
      Likewise we see that women have less sense than man and children have less sense than
      women, but are meaner than they are. If more sense meant greater meanness, then the child
      should be the most generous of all. Yet in fact we know nothing on earth that is worth
      than a boy, for he is the most untruthful of mankind, the most calumnious, the nastiest,
      and the meanest, the least inclined to do good, and the most ruthless. Only gradually
      does the boy leave these qualities as he gains in sense and gains in good deeds. How then
      can the lack of sense be the cause of generosity in the Zanj? You have admitted that they
      are generous, and then you make assertions which are untenable, and we have already shown
      you the fallacy of your argument according to true reasoning. This opinion would mean
      that the coward is wiser than the brave man, the treacherous wiser than the loyal, and
      that the worrier is wiser than the patient man. This is something for which you have no
      proof. These qualities in man are a gift of God. Sense is a gift, and good character is a
      gift, and generosity and courage likewise. The Zanj say to the Arabs: You are so
      ignorant that during the jahiliyya (the times of ignorance ) you regarded us as your
      equals when it came to marrying Arab women, but with the advent of the justice of Islam
      you decided this practice was bad. Yet the desert is full of Zanj married to Arab wives,
      and they have been princes and kings and have safeguarded your rights and sheltered you
      against your enemies. You even have sayings in your language which vaunt the deeds of our
      kings--deeds which you often placed above your own; this you would not have done had you
      not considered them superior to your own. Al Namr ibn Tawlab recited the following poem:
      Bad luck came over his rule as over Tubba and the great king Abraha, placed him higher
      then the princes of his own country. Labid ibn Radi'a recited the following: If a person
      could reach eternity during his lifetime, Abu Yaksum would be among those. This kind of
      virtue has never been ascribed to anyone before.

      The (Zanj) also say: from Labid's verses it becomes also clear that you put our kings
      higher then your own.
      Darkness came over those who survived from Muharriq's family. Darkness that had done its
      work with Tubba and Heraclius, Darkness that had vanquished Abraha, who was living in the
      palace of Mawkal. So he prefers Abraha , but he would like the other kings to be his
      equals. The (Zanj) say : The Ethiopian, Akym ibn Akym, was more eloquent than Eli-Ajjaj.
      It is from him that the Syrians learnt the sciences and also from El Montagi ibn Nabhan,
      who was a native of Negroland and had a pierced ear. He had come to the Arabian desert as
      a child and left it with a complete knowledge of Arabic. Hakim ibn Ayash al Kalbi said:
      Don't feel pride in the maternal uncle from the Asad tribe; because even the Zanj and
      Nubians are more noble to have as uncles then they. Akym ibn Akym the Abyssinian made the
      following response: On the day of the battle of Ghumdun we were like lions and on the day
      of Yathrib we were the stallions of the Arabs. On the fearful day of the elephant the
      hearts of the Arabs deserted them and they fled on their camels. The negus is one of us;
      and Dhul Aqsayn is your brother in law. The grandfather of Abraha, the protector of Abu
      Talib was one of us. I have to forgive Adnan if he makes fun with us ; because what can
      be said of the genealogy of the Himyari? They are muleteers, assembled from everywhere,
      gathered as a net gathers fish in the stormy sea. Gumdan, a fortress, ordinary the
      residence of the king - then Persian - who reigned on Yemen. When Abyssinians seized
      Yemen, they let remain only of the ruins which 'Utman b. 'Affan - That Allah satisfied
      with him! - destroyed at the time of the coming of Islam, while saying: “It is necessary
      to extirpate the vestiges of the gahiliya (the false prophet)”. The fortress comprised a
      cistern, capped by an asbestos roof, of which Halaf Al 'Ahmar said; and an asbestos
      cistern, which demolished by the attacking Abyssinian, and his king. About it, Qudama,
      the wise of the Moslem East and Master in alchemy, has said (Tawil); He lit its fire
      there; nevertheless fire Would last indefinitely, the cistern does not disappear,
      because asbestos, even if a fire burned there thousand years, would not heat. Those
      which launch the naphtha coat themselves with some, when they want to penetrate into the
      fire. Labid says (Wafir); O friendly, do you not see a flash illuminating the black
      night, like the flame on the wick of the lamp? I could not find the sleep, while the
      flash moved away towards Nagd in the motionless night, and when the companions were held
      dormant on their saddles of wood. Its shoddy cloud illuminated the heavy clouds and there
      cut out silhouettes of Abyssinians, Armed with small swaths and javelins.

      "Labid," he says, "used this imagery because when the Ethiopians, splendid in the
      blackness of their skins and in the vigor and strength of their superb bodies, attacked
      with their spears, bows, and arrows they spread an unimaginable terror around them." When
      Ukaym says : On the day of Yathrib we were the stallions of the Arabs. It is a reference
      to Musrif ibn Uqba al Murri the general who gave the conquered city (Medina) over to the
      troops for pillage and the Negroes cohabited with the captured women, which are mentioned
      in the following verses of Mudar; Ask Musrif El Mwirri the general in question about the
      morning when he gave the captured virgins over to his weather-beaten Negro soldiers. On
      this occasion the Zanj fought you, Whites, in spite of your rage. Wahrig defended you

      with his Persians, whilst the Ethiopian general commanded in the midst of destruction. It
      was then the women of your race were enjoyed by a Negro, whose phallus was the size of a
      donkey's. When the poet says: They are muleteers, assembled from everywhere, gathered as
      a net gathers fish in the stormy sea. He here accepted what story tellers say about
      Himyar.-That they used to be muleteers. The Negroes can also be proud of the fact that
      the single dead person over whom the Prophet ever prayed was their ruler, the Emperor of
      Ethiopia. He prayed for the Negus, while the Prophet was in Medina, and the tomb of the
      Negus in Abyssinia. And also: “the Negus is who gave in marriage to the Prophet - That
      blessing and the safety of Allah be on him! - 'Umm Habiba, girl of Abu Sufyan: he asked
      Halid b. Sa' id to be the tutor of 'Umm Habiba, offering in the name of the Prophet - How
      the blessing and the safety of Allah are on him! - a dowry of four hundred dinars. And
      also: we made you three presents: the civet, the most sweet perfume, most exquisite and
      noblest; the litter; it is the best defense for the women and best protection for what is
      sacred for man; the codex: it preserves best its contents and ensure best preservation;
      it is splendid and most handy. And also: we inspire the most fear in the heart and catch
      most of the glances (of the onlookers), just as the carriers of black (Abbasid) inspire
      more fear and fill up more the heart than the carriers of white (Umayyad), in the same
      way the night inspires more fear than the day. And also: the color black always inspires
      the most fear. The Arabs, to describe their camels, say: “the black horses are most
      beautiful and most robust, the black cows best and most beautiful, and their skins are
      most valuable, most useful and most durable. The black ewes give the fattiest milk and
      creamy, moreover the dark brown ewes give more milk then the russet-red ewes”. while
      every stone and hill is dryer and harder the more it is black. The black lion is
      invincible. The black date is the highest quality. Healthy date palms have black stems. A
      hadith of the Prophet says : Follow the great black color. The poet al-Ansari says: I'm
      in debt but I do not have to worry; because I own tall date groves, well pruned and every
      heavy laden palm seems to have been smeared with the pitch of blood of sacrificed

      The Zanj say that the best green is the darkest green. God, may he be exalted said: And
      besides these there are two gardens. When describing them so as to make people long for
      them God called them dark green. Ibn Abbas said : they became dark green through
      irrigation. Black ebony is the most solid and most durable of woods. It s also most
      expensive , free of disease, best fit for art-work. It is so heavy that of all woods
      expensive and cheap ones only ebony sinks in the water. Remember that even certain stones
      do not sink while ebony sinks immediately. A person remains handsome as long as his hair
      is still black and in paradise everyone will have black hair. The pupils of the eye, too
      are black and are they not the most precious part of the human body. The most expensive
      kohl is made of antimony which is black. This is why a hadith of the Prophet states that
      God will have all the faithful enter paradise hairless (on their body) beardless, and
      their eyes blackened with kohl. Man doesn’t have anything more useful in him than his
      liver, which ensures the good operation of the stomach and the digestion of food and the
      good functioning of the unit maintains the life of the body; however, the liver is black.
      Man does not have anything more valuable, more expensive in him than the black bile of
      his heart, a clot of black blood situated in the folds of this internal organ; it holds
      in this heart the same place as the brain in the head. The woman does not have anything
      sweeter and more pleasant than her lips, for the kiss; however, they are all the more
      beautiful as they are as close to the black as possible. Du r-Rumma says (Basit): Sunk
      are its lips blood-colored and purple, Of the same are her gums, fine and bright her
      teeth. The most pleasant shade and freshest is the shade [well] black. The poet says
      (Ragaz): Jet black, similar to the shade projected by the stone. Humaid b. Tawr says
      (Tawil): We sought the shade of a cave, while our mounts Sought the wood shade shaded on
      which would fall the evening, trees in the major shades, like Ascetic nuns, who prohibit
      the wine. Allah created, the night for the rest and recovery, and the day for the profit
      and the labor. One can also say that black is associated with activity as scorpions and
      snakes come out at night and bring their poison into the night. This activity counts for
      most wild animals and also ghosts. All this happens during the night. The blacks say; we
      also resemble the night like this. They also say : the greatest of siestas that last the
      longest is in the darkness of the closed door and windows. They also say : no color is
      deeper and homogeneous then black. A proverb to say that something is very far: You will
      not see this until tar becomes white and the raven gray-haired. According to the
      philosophers, black is the accident that fills the area. Musk and amber are the best
      perfumes. Both are black; as are the hardest rock. Abu Daddil al-Jumahi said the
      following lines in praise of al Azzaq al Makhzumi who was called Abd Allah ibn Abd Shams
      ibn al Mughira: My gratefulness to you is boundless; as long as there are rocks in the
      valley of the Lebanon, you will be the object of praise and precious in value. Just as
      there is no fault in the Black Stone.

      The Arabs draw glory from the black color. If an objector advances; “On what is that
      based, as they say: Such is of a pure white, bursting of whiteness, white and of clear

      face? We will answer: By this, the Arabs do not mean the whiteness of the skin, but
      rather the nobility and purity of character. The Hudr (of Banu) Muharib draw glory from
      their dark color, and people with the black dye are called among Arabs the hudr.
      As-Sammah b. Dirar says (Tawil): The camels leave in the evening Zarud, and [the setting
      sun] covered Zubala with the coat of the night. The poet says (Ragaz); Until the moment
      when the morning draws me from a dark night, Like the valiant knight who takes from the
      sleeve the well soaked sword. The Arabs qualify the iron as dark, because it is hard,
      and that it is dark means black. Al-Harit b. Hilliza says (Munsarih): When we force our
      camels from the branches of palm tree of Bahrain, a race not stopped until Al-Hisau
      retains them. We then put to defeat the troop of the son of Umm Qatam, The ones with
      the dark weapons of Persia. Al-Muharibi said the following about his being a member of
      the Khudr clan. Every man of virtue knows I'm a member of the Khudr clan of the tribe of
      Qays. Not easily to command; not enduring any injustice, and mentally sharp. The clan of
      Mughira are the Khudr of the tribe of Makhzum . Al Makhzumi spoke the following lines,
      which were also from al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas al Lihbi: I am the famous Al Akhdar, very well
      known The dark one in the land of the Arabs. Those finding me in a contest as adversary,
      find a noble man. The one who fills the bucket to the knot in the rope. The Khudr of the
      Ghassan tribe are the royal house of Jafna. Al Ghassani said: According to Al Hakam I'm a
      descendent from the royal Khudr. Of those who paid the blood money to those of Baris.
      Some poet; maybe Hassan mentions the Khudr of the Ukaym tribe; saying; You are not from
      the nobles of the clan Hashim, neither from the Jumah, Khudri, and the other powerful.
      The ten sons of Abd el Mottalib the grandfather of Mohammed were all black and strong.
      The Amir ibn al Tufayl said that the Kaba was well guarded when he saw them on black
      camels going around the Kaba. Ibn Abbas was black and very tall. Those of Abu Talib's
      family , who are the most noble of men, are more or less black.

      The Zanj say: The Prophet (p.b.u.h.) said: I was send to the red and the black. And
      everybody knows that the Zanj, Abyssinians and Nubians or surely not white or red but
      definitely black.
      We know that Allah, the Most Powerful and Exalted, sent His Prophet (to the people), all
      of them: Arabs and non-Arabs (ajam) alike. And if he (Muhammad) said: I was sent to the
      ruddy (Al-ahmar) and the dark-skinned (al-aswad), then in his view we are neither ruddy
      nor light-skinned (bid); so he was sent to us. Indeed, his use of the dark-skinned refers
      to us, as the people (of our community) are in one of these categories (i.e. either ruddy
      or dark-skinned). Therefore, if the Arabs are ruddy, then they belong to the Byzantines
      (Rum), Slaves (Saqaliba), Persians and Khurasanis. But if they belong to the dark-skinned
      peoples, then they are a sub-category of our stock. So they are called
      medium-complexioned and brownish-black (sumr sud) when they are classified with us, as
      the Arabs use the masculine gender to refer to a group consisting of females and males
      and if the Prophet – may Allah be pleased with him – knew that the Zanj, Ethiopians and
      Nubians were not ruddy or light-skinned, rather dark-skinned, and that Allah Most High
      sent him to the dark-skinned and the ruddy, then surely he made us and the Arabs equals.
      Hence, we are the only dark-skinned people. If the appellation dark-skinned applies to
      us, then we are the pure Sudan, and the Arabs only resemble us. Therefore we are the
      first people to whom he was missioned. Thus the appellation of the Arabs is predicated on
      ours, since we alone are designated dark-skinned, and they are not so designated unless
      they are part of us. The Zanj also say: The Arabs think that the more people the better
      but we are the most numerous on this world, and have the most children. You can say there
      are two kinds of people among us (among the Zanj) the ants and the dogs. Trying to
      measure the amount of Arabs with the amount of ants you will see the ants are more
      numerous. Well then still add the dogs to that amount. You really have to add on the
      people of Abyssinia, Nubia, Fazzan, Marawa, Zaghawa and all the other black tribes.
      Qahtan is far from Adman. We are closer kin to the Abyssinians and our mothers are closer
      kin then those of Adnan are to Qahtan. When talking about languages the one from Ajuz of
      the Hawazin tribe is very different. Languages can be very different but still have the
      same origin; or have different origins but resemble each other anyhow. The language in
      the different regions of Khurasan differ as well as those of Jibal and Faris it all
      depends on the region but they have the same origin.. They say: You have never seen the
      genuine Zanj. You have only seen captives who came from the coasts and forests and
      valleys of Qanbuluh, from our menials, our lower orders, and our slaves. The people of
      Qanbaluh have neither beauty nor intelligence. Qanbaluh is the name of the place by which
      your ships anchor.

      The natives in the Bilad Zanj are in both Qambalu (Pemba) and Lunjuya (Unguja), just as
      Arabs are the descendants of Adnan and Qahtan in the Middle East.
      You have yet to see a member of the Langawiya kind, either from the coast (al-Sawahil),
      or from the interior (al-Jouf). If you would meet these, you would forget the issue of
      fair looks and perfection. Now if you refuse to believe this, saying that you have yet to
      meet a Zanji with the brains even of a boy or a woman, we would reply to you, have you
      ever met among the enslaved of India and Sindh individuals with brains, education,

      culture and manners so as to expect these same qualities in what has fallen to you from
      among the Zanj. Yet you know how much there is in India of mathematics, astronomy,
      medical science, turnery and woodwork, painting, and many other wonderful crafts. How
      does it happen that among the many Indian captives you have made there has never been one
      of this quality, or even a tenth of this quality? If you say, People of standing,
      intelligence and knowledge only live in the centre, near the seat of government; these
      are hangers-on uncouth types, peasants, people of the coast and swamps and forests and
      islands, plowmen and fishermen, we answer you; the same is true of those who you see and
      those you do not see of us. Our answer to you is as your answer to us. They say; If a
      Zanji and a Zanji women marry and their children remain after puberty in Iraq, they come
      to rule the roost thanks to their numbers, endurance, knowledge, and efficiency. On the
      other hand, the child of an Indian and an Indian woman, or of a Greek and a Greek woman,
      or of a Khurasani and a Khurasani women remain among you and in your country in the same
      condition as their fathers and mothers. The child of two Zanji parents does not remain
      thus after puberty, so that we do not find, among ten thousand, one who does what we
      said, except when a Zanji mates with a non-Zanji woman or a Zanji women with a non-Zanji
      man. Were it not for the fact that neither the Zanji man nor the Zanji women has much
      desire for people of other races, we would see an abundant progeny for Zanji men, while
      Zanji women hardly respond to non-Zanji men. They say: Likewise, you whites are not very
      active in seeking progeny from Zanji women, and the Zanji women falls pregnant more
      swiftly to a Zanji than to a white man. They say; it hardly ever happens among you that a
      man has a hundred children sprung from his loins, unless it is a Caliph, and then it is
      because of the large number of his women. You don’t find this among the rest of you.
      Among the Zanj so large a progeny would not be considered remarkable, for there are many
      such in their country. A Zanji woman bears about 50 times in about 50 years, each bird
      being twins, so that there are more then ninety. For it is said that women do not bear
      children when they reach 60, except for what is told of the women of Quraysh in

      The Zanj are the most eager of all God’s creatures for their women, and so also their
      women for them. They are also better compared to other women. Please think about what we
      have said. We have used facts from history as arguments and explained or quoted poetry
      from Arabs and others. Al Farazdaq was the one specialist of women and he had tried all
      races and remained unsatisfied. So he finally married Umm Makkiya the Zanj women and
      stayed with her. Forgetting all others because of her qualities. He made the following
      verse: He quotes Arab poet Farazdaq (d730) How many a tender daughter of the Zanj walks
      about with a hotly burning oven as broad as a drinking bowl. Dananir the daughter of
      Kabawayh al Zanji lived with Asha Sulaym. She was extremely black. Once she dyed her
      hands with henna and her eyes with black kohl. He made the following verse of it. She
      dyes the palm of her hands, palms as if clipped off from her forearm. She dyes the henna
      with her black color. She seems with the kohl in her pencil, as if she is applying kohl
      to her eyes with part of her skin. She answered with the following poem: Uglier than my
      color is the blackness of his arse. Contrasting with his skin, which is like palm pith or
      even whiter. In the streets they started calling him black and the street kids yelled it
      and he divorced her. The day of their wedding he had said: Dinars are of poor metal; and
      her response was: A white head is worse then my black color. The worst however are gray
      eyebrows. He kept quiet for some time and then attacked again. When she finally brought
      disgrace on him he divorced her. They say; If white men look on black women without
      desire, so too do black men look on white women without desire, for passions are habits
      and mostly convention. Thus, for the people of Basra, the most desirable women are
      Indians, the daughters of Indian women and Ghuris; for the Yemenis the most desirable
      women are Ethiopians and the daughters of Ethiopian women; for the Syrians the most
      desirable women are Greeks and the daughters of Greek women. Each people has a taste for
      the women whom they import as slaves and captives, apart from the exceptions, and no
      inferences can be drawn from exceptions.

      The Negroes also have the sweetest breath and the greatest amount of saliva being in this
      respect like the dog as compared with other animals. The Zanj say: Black delights the
      eye. When the eyes hurt a common prescription is sitting in the dark with a rag over the
      eyes. Good eyesight is the most precious thing for a person. They say : The blacks are
      more numerous than the whites. The whites at most consist of the people of Persia, Jibal,
      and Khurasan, the Greeks, Slavs, Franks, and Avars, and some few others, not very
      numerous; the blacks include the Zanj, Ethiopians, the people of Fazzan, the Berbers, the
      Copts, and Nubians, the people of Zaghawa, Marw, Sind and India, Qamar and Dabila, China,
      and Masin... the islands in the seas between China and Africa are full of blacks, such as
      Ceylon, Kalah, Amal, Zabij, and their islands, as far as India, China, Kabul, and those

      They say; Al-Ishtiyan the blind man used to say; There are more blacks than whites, more

      rocks than mud, more sand than soil, more saltwater than sweet water. They say; The Arabs
      belong with us and not with the whites, because their color is nearer to ours. The
      Indians are more bronzed than the Arabs, and they belong to the blacks. For the Prophet,
      God bless and save him, said; I was sent to the red and the black, and everyone knows
      that the Arabs are not red, as we already have stated above. He said; This advantage
      belongs to us and to the Arabs, as against the whites, if the Arabs want it. If they do
      not want it, then the advantage is ours alone against all the rest. The Zanj also say: If
      we are more numerous because of Zabaj alone we would still be far superior to you because
      of our merit. If it happens that the king of Zabaj has problems with the citizens, and
      they don't pay their taxes, he sends his army of thousands of people not with orders to
      beat and fight them. He does give orders for his soldiers to settle between them till
      they pay them. His army is bothering the people so badly by taking food and clothing from
      them that it is easier to pay the taxes. If they still don't pay he sends more regiments.
      The local rulers always wind up paying for fear he and his people will finally be
      destroyed by the army.

      Once a king of Zabay reached an estuary which is several parasangs long and wide. In his
      camp he heard a women crying. He interrupted his meal to go and ask what had happened. He
      was told that the son of the women was eaten by a crocodile in the swamp. The king got
      angry because a creature existed that just like him took the right to decide on live or
      dead of his people. He dived into the water, all his soldiers followed him. They
      finished every single crocodile in the place with their hands. The people of Zabay alone
      are half of the population on earth. On the ends of the inhabited world all are black
      people. These ends are more populated then the central area, just like the circumference
      of a windmill in the wind is bigger than the pivot of that windmill. It is like the
      balcony of a house; it is narrow but as it goes all around the house its total area is
      bigger then the house itself. After the land of Zabay there are no more white people as
      we have reached there the periphery of the world where all are black. This is a proof
      that we are more numerous then the whites and we have the right to be proud of it. One of
      the white poets said: You are not more then they in number and glory belongs to those
      bigger in number. The Zanj also say: The Copts too are blacks. Abraham the friend of God
      married one of them and so was born a big prophet the ancestor of the Arabs; Ismael. The
      Prophet (p.b.u.h.) also married one of them and Ibrahim was born. The angel Gabriel when
      addressing the prophet called him father of Ibrahim. The Zanj also say: The Black Stone
      is from paradise. The darker a piece of copper the more it is worth.

      To those who despise the color black, we would reply that the excessive lanky, thin, and
      reddish hair of the Franks, Greeks, and Slavs, the redness of their locks and beards,
      the whiteness of their eyelashes, are uglier and more loathsome. There are no albinos
      among blacks, but only among you. The Zanj also say : We also have philosophers from
      among us as well as theologians and we have fine manners. God may he be exalted , did not
      make them black in order to disfigure them; rather it is their environment that made them
      so. The best evidence of this is that there are black tribes among the Arabs, such as the
      Banu Sulaim bin Mansur, and that all the peoples settled in the Harra, besides the Banu
      Sulaim are black. These tribes take slaves from among the Ashban to mend their flocks and
      for irrigation work, manual labor, and domestic service, and they take their wives from
      among the Byzantines; and yet it takes less than three generations for the Harra region
      to give them all the complexion of the Banu Sulaim. This region is such that the
      gazelles, ostriches, insects, wolves, foxes, sheep, asses, horses and birds that live
      there are all black. White and black are the results of environment, the natural
      properties of water and soil, distance from the sun, and intensity of heat. There is no
      question of metamorphosis, or of punishment, disfigurement or favor meted out by Allah.
      Besides, the land of the Banu Sulaim has much in common with the land of the Turks, where
      the camels, beasts of burden, and everything belonging to these people is similar in
      appearance: everything of theirs has a Turkish look. The soldiers of the frontier
      garrisons on this side of the Awsim sometimes come across Byzantine sheep mixed up with
      sheep belonging to the local inhabitants, but they have no difficulty in distinguishing
      the Byzantine flocks from the Syrian by their Byzantinity. When one comes across the
      descendents of Bedouin men and women who have ended up in Kurasan it is immediately
      apparent that they are the barbarians of these parts.

      This exists in all things. Thus we see that locusts and worms on plants are green, and we
      see that the louse is black on a young man’s head, white if his hair whitens, red if it
      is dyed.
      Our blackness, O people of the Zanj, is not different from the blackness of the Banu
      Sulaym and other Arab tribes we have mentioned. And the very blackness of the
      Zanj is like the total whiteness of the white men.

      The same rules apply to the brown color of the children of mixed marriages, also on their
      appearance, their habits in eating and desires. A poet when talking about Usaylim ibn al
      Alnaf al Asadi mentioned the blackness of the people of Yemen. There is Usaylim, easily
      noticed by those searching . He belongs to the elite chiefs through his line of descent.
      Others then in fear of his royal birth clap their hands. Black musk is applied to his hair as well as perfumed oil. If the black Yemenites would make him a woolen cloak, they
      have to make it thin and wide. A slave of the Bana Jada; being laughed at because of his
      black color said: They ridicule me because of my black color. I answered that only very
      stupid men can do so. Because as much as my skin is black I am in character white. I help
      friends in their needs as well as women traveling in their litters. When I have to face a
      fight (litt: the lance) I am called father of Saraq. The wife of Amr ibn Sha treated Irar
      ibn Amr badly. Because he was the son of a black women. Because of this he said the
      following on the children of Abyssinian and Zanj women: Did she not notice that I'm grown
      up and humble, so that I do not answer anger with anger? Like the courageous I bow in
      silence. If a courageous man would find it proper he would bite deeply. Her aim was to
      humiliate Irar and those wanting to do so are very unjust. Although he is dark, he has
      a very good figure If you really are like me and have principles, then be for him like
      the date butter which smoothens the skin. If not get away even by horse, with provisions
      for 5 days without rest stops. As regards the Indians, they are among the leaders in
      astronomy, mathematics in particular, they have Indian numerals, and medicine; they alone
      possess the secrets of the latter, and use them to practice some remarkable forms of
      treatment. They have the art of carving statues and painted figures. They possess the
      game of chess, which is the noblest of games and requires more judgment and intelligence
      than any other. They make Kedah swords, and excel in their use. They have splendid music,
      including that of the kankala, an instrument with a single string mounted on a gourd,
      which takes the place of the many stringed lute and cymbals. They know a number of
      sprightly dances.

      To them belong the variety of arts from sword fighters to magicians and fumigators and
      medical skills. They posses a script capable of expressing the sounds of all languages as
      well as many numerals. They have a great deal of poetry, many long treatises, and a deep
      understanding of philosophy and letters; the book Kalila wa-Dimna originated with them.
      They are intelligent and courageous, and have more good qualities than the Chinese. Their
      sound judgment and sensible habits led them to invent pins, cork and toothpicks, the
      drape of clothes and the dyeing of hair. They are handsome, attractive and forbearing,
      their women are proverbial, and their country produces the matchless Indian aloes which
      are supplied to kings. They were the originators of the science of fikr by which a poison
      can be counteracted after it has been used, and of astronomical reckoning, subsequently
      adopted by the rest of the world. When Adam descended from Paradise, it was to their land
      that he made his way.

      The Zanj also say : Among our good qualities are our good singers. As you can find among
      the slave girls from Sind. Also nobody is a better cook then the black slaves from Sind.
      Also moneychangers will never entrust their money then to those from Sind or their
      descendents as they are found to be better in those affairs, more alert and worthy of
      thrusting . One hardly ever finds a Greek or a Khorassan in a position of trust in a
      bank. When the bankers of Basra saw the excellent affairs that Faraj Abu Kub, a Sindi,
      had negotiated for his master, each of them took a Sindi assistant. They all wanted to
      make the profit his master had made. Caliph Sultan Abdelmalik ibn Mcrwan often said, "El
      Adgham is a master among all the Orientals." This El Adgham is also mentioned by Abdullar
      ibn Khnazim, who calls him, "An Ethiopian, a black son of Ethiopia. And this is all that
      came to my mind about what the blacks could be proud about. In former books we wrote of
      the pride of the Qahtan and later on if God whishes I will write on the pride of the
      Adnam against the Qahtan in much of what they said.

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