Two million Muslims are coming to the end of their pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. However, increasing construction to cope with the world’s biggest annual movements of humanity is leading many archaeologists to warn that large amounts of irreplaceable Islamic history are being bulldozed.
By: Hakeem Muhammad
Over $12 billion was spent on the preparation and construction of the World Cup despite the fact that 1 in 12 people in Brazil live on less than a dollar a day – these are people mired in poverty. To make matters worse, the construction that went into the World Cup resulted in the displacement and systemic eviction of many low-income Brazilians. These great injustices, where so much wealth is being poured into the financing of a mere frivolous sporting event without any regard for the economic plight of the poor, says much about the corrupt state of the world and the misplaced priorities of the elite. The Qu’ran informs us that wealth should not merely circulate among the wealth of society. M. Bugaje notes that:
Of all beliefs, ideologies and civilizations, Islam stands out distinct and unique in its resilience. No matter the damage it suffers, no matter the opposition and obstacles, no matter the length of time, it always reasserts itself. Islam has consistently and persistently stood on the side of the weak and the oppressed, checked the excesses of the corrupt and the strong and insisted on the establishment of justice, equity and fairness in human society. It has thus offered the weak and the oppressed the only real and lasting hope and the corrupt and the unjust the only real and unflinching check.
Islam once played a key role in motivating people to fight for social justice in Brazil against the abhorrent shackles of plantation slavery, and in the midst of modern forms of slavery it is time for Islam to reassert itself against social injustices. Before discussing the Islamic Heritage of Brazil, it is necessary to discuss the history of Islam in Africa. Uthman Dan Fodio was a prominent scholar and political leader who had firmly established Islam in Hausaland, and his army consisted of disciplined Islamic scholars, many of whom had committed the Qur’an to heart. However, in battles that were lost, captured soldiers would be sold off to Europeans through the transatlantic slave trade by the existing corrupt elite.
These followers of Uthman Dan Fodio would eventually end up in the Western Hemisphere (in Brazil, more precisely) and they would bring with them their religion: Islam. The Portuguese described the Muslims as “exceedingly spirited and resolute individuals” as well as “the most intellectual.” The Europeans would eventually learned that they tried to make the wrong people slaves. Two years before the death of Uthman Dan Fodio, his Hausa followers in the Western Hemisphere began their rebellion.