AFRICAN AND AFRICAN AMERICAN MUSLIMS & MEMORIAL DAY

Black Soldiers of the 54th & 55th Massachusetts Regiment, Union Arny
Buy it and Read it - It's very worthwhile

Muhammad Ibn Said
Muslim Memorial Day Commemoration
 7 Sha’baan 1436 A.H./ May 25, 2015 C.E.

During this month commemorating the 90th birthday of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz/Malcolm X we remember the teaching made popular by him in the broad African American community, “Of all our studies history is best qualified to reward all research”.
            Historical research reveals that Memorial Day was started by black former slaves on may, 1, 1865 in Charleston, S.C. to honor 257 dead Union Army soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial , as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children where they marched, sang and celebrated[1].
            Amongst those black soldiers who served in the Union Army was the brave and stalwart freedom fighter Harriet Tubman, who drew upon her experience leading 300 enslaved black folk to freedom on the underground railroad, to act as a nurse, a cook, and a spy[2].
            Today we want to mention however that amongst the soldiers of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments were black men - Africans and Americans of African descent, who were Muslims. The historical record shows that on the roster of those soldiers were 

292 listed with Muslim last names” 1 named Allah (that was probably Abdullah), 2 named Muhammad,4 named Hamin, 55 named Hassan. 2 named Naeem, 3 named Rahman, 3 named Shakir, 11 named Salem, and 82 named Usman.
 We also find on the roster of the U.S. army colored troops, the names of Max Hassan, Barclay Osman, Ewell Hasoon, Edward Salem, and the Sudanese immigrant Muhammad ibn SaId (known also as Nicholas)[3]. Ibn Sayeed was not only a soldier but a medic, whose life details we have learned because he actually lived to write an autobiography[4], copies of which can be purchased today. We salute these black, Muslim, Civil War soldiers who fought beside their comrades of different faith traditions, as strangers in a strange land in pursuit of freedom, justice, and equality.
 Traditional Islamic Funeral Prayer
Allaahum-maghfir lihayyinaa, wa mayyitinaa, wa shaahidinaa, wa ghaa'ibinaa, wa sagheerinaa wa kabeerinaa, wa thakarinaa wa 'unthaanaa. Allaahumma man 'ahyaytahu minnaa fa'ahyihi 'alal-'islaami, wa man tawaffaytahu minnaa fatawaffahu 'alal-'eemaani, allaahumma laa tahrimnaa 'ajrahu wa laa tudhillanaa ba'dahu, ameen.
            translation:  “O Allah forgive our living and our dead, those who are with us and those who are absent, our young and our old, our menfolk and our womenfolk. o Allah, whomever you give life from among us give him (or her) life in Islam, and whomever you take way from us take him (or her) away in faith. o Allah, do not forbid us their reward and do not send us astray after them, amen”.



[1] BLACKTHEN.COM
[2] http://www.americaslibrary.gov/aa/tubman/aa_tubman_spy_1.html
[3] Muslim Veterans of American Wars, Amir N. Muhammad (2007)
[4] The Autobiography of Nicholas Said: A Native of Bornou, Eastern Soudan, Central Africa (1873)

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