Islam has a proven track record of producing actual Black revolutionaries. This includes Sister Safiya Bukhari, who was a leader in the Black Liberation Army, Imam Jamil Al Amin who pushed Black Liberation forward and Sekou Odinga who liberated Assata Shakur from prison. Islam has saved black communities from drug addictions and produced men of discipline and esteem. Indeed, Afrocentric in the Black Conscious community can’t stop singing the praises of Malcolm X, a man who said it was Islam that raised him from the mud of the White Man’s World.
We are not sure, what the Black Conscious YouTube sensationalist, such as Polite, Young Pharaoh, Sara Suten Seti, have produced other than PowerPoint presentation of ancient Egyptian pyramids, drug trafficking to fund their trips to Egyptian or scamming individuals of money.
Yet, anti-Islam Afrocentric insist upon opposing the message of Islam claiming it to be a tool of Arab subjugation of Black people, despite being informed upon how Bilal ibn Rabah embraced Islam in opposition to Arab slavery, how Islam spread to West Africa through the just economic practices of merchants, and the integral role Islam played in anti-colonial and anti-slavery resistance such as the Bahia slave rebellion in Brazil. The next issue the Afrocentrist cite
Turning the Tide in the Debate Concerning the Marriage of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with Aisha (RA)
Furthermore, Afro centrists such as Sa Ra Garvey and Young Pharaoh, are citing to the young betrothal age of Aisha, the noble wife of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Sahi Bukhari to justify their opposition to Islam.
We the Muslims say to the Afrocentrists, if your decision to reject and denigrate Islam is based upon the betrothal age of Aisha (RA) cited in hadith collection of Sahih Bukhari, then you have an even greater reason to reject, denigrate and apostate from Kemetic spirituality and indigenous African spirituality for Pharaoh Akhenaten married not only just a nine year old but his own daughter by the name of Nefernefruaten Tasherit. Furthermore, he also married his other six daughters and granddaughters. Among those Meritaten and Ankhensenpaaten were around 11 or 12.
Afrocentrists such as Sa Ra Garvey and Young Pharaoh criticize the marriage between Aisha (RA) and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) while revering and naming themselves after ancient Egyptian Pharaohs who married their daughters. On the contrary this comparison is unjustifiable keeping in view above references of marriages in Kemetic dynasty.
Pharaoh Ramses married four young girls Binanath, Meritamen, Nebettawi, and Henmire who happened to be his own daughters. The ancient Egyptian scribe Qunherkphasenhef at 53 married a young girl who was 12. Pharaoh Ramses II is believed by historians to have married his own young daughter. Historians further argue that Queen Ankhesenamun is believed to be married to her own father, then her own brother King Tutankhamen and after the death of King Tutankhamen she is believed to have been forced into marriage with her grandfather. Queen Tiye, whose statue is often revered by Afrocentrists as an example of a beautiful black Queen, married Pharaoh Amenhotep when she was 11 or 12.
Again, if their decision to reject the message of Islam is based upon the reported betrothal age of Aisha (RA) in Bukhari, they have an even greater reason to reject native African spirituality. In pre-modern times, the indigenous Angas of people married off young girls as three, among the Akan people, a girl could be betrothed as an infant or even before birth, and an adultery fee could even be claimed against someone making advances against an infant wife. Among the Azande people of the Congo, infant betrothal was common.
In short, the Afro centrists have no ground upon which to stand on to attack the beautiful marriage of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Aisha (RA). In any case, there are Muslim scholars of hadith who indicate Aisha(RA) was likely nineteen at the time of her marriage and all hadiths are unanimous in indicating Aisha(RA) was a fully adult woman when she entered the household of the Prophet, peace be upon him.
The true legacy of Aisha Bint-e-Abu Bakr (RA) in Africa.
Aisha (RA) was an adult woman when the marriage between her and the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was costumed. Contrary to her being forced into a marriage, Aisha (RA) is the entire reason we know Islam does not allow for forced marriages.
Aisha (RA) was expressing indignation because she found a young woman whose father was attempting to force her into a marriage. Aisha brought this to the attention of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), who spoke to the young woman’s father and mandated that women not be forced to marry against their will. However, the young girl then stated, “O Messenger of God, I do accept the marriage that my father arranged. By asking you to intervene, I was trying to show women that fathers did not have any right to force their daughters into marriage.” This incident is cited for Islam’s prohibition of forced marriages.
The true legacy of Aisha Bint-e-Abu Bakr (RA) is not that of a victim, but an esteemed scholarly woman, whose light and scholarship ignited a legacy of women’s education in the world including in Africa. Aisha’s (RA) scholarly stature in Islam is of immense importance as she narrated 2210 sayings and orders (Hadith) of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
We can see the influence of Aisha Bint-e- Abu Bakr (RA) on women’s education in Africa. In a poem, Nana Asmau who was commissioned to spread women’s education and learning in Africa, stated that
“I bring all women to Aisha; Aisha, the Noble Daughter of Al-Siddiq… She was held in esteem by the Prophet. “The purpose of such a poem in her education campaign was to call upon her community to study the life of Aisha Bint-e- Abu Bakr (RA) to foster an attitude of women’s learning and scholarship.”
The house of Aisha Bint Abu Bakr (RA) became one of the earliest Islamic academic centers in the world. Within her academic center, many of the earliest scholars of Islam would learn, study, and graduate. Ibn Abu Malayka, stated about her, ”When she was faced with something that she did not know, she was not able to stand without learning more.
In Women and the Transmission of Religious Knowledge in Islam, the author Asma Sayeed notes that the life of Aisha Bint-e-Abu Bakr (RA) ”challenges two opposing views: that Muslim women have been historically marginalized in religious education, and alternately that they have been consistently empowered thanks to early role models such as Aisha Bint-e- Abu Bakr (RA)”
“In Aisha: The Wife, The Companion”, The Scholar, Resit Haylamaz notes, “She found orphans and needy people, and fought to educate useful members of society. She not only provided their material needs, but turned them into a store of knowledge.”
In one tradition, Aisha Bint-e- Abu Bakr (RA) praises the women of Ansaris for not allowing their modesty to deter them from going out and acquiring knowledge. Aisha’s legacy was of international repute; people would travel from Syria to hear her lecture in Medina.
This is the true legacy of our mother Aisha Bint Abu Bakr (RA) and it is time we as Muslims educate the world of her greatness.