Book: Servants of Allah – African Muslims Enslaved in the Americas

Servants of Allah opens a new door on the African Diaspora and provides readers with even more insight into Islam, as well as enslaved Africans. Diouf’s study greatly enhances current literature on the Diaspora.”
Jason Zappe, Copley News Service Dec ’98


  • “A must read for anyone interested in the early history of Islam in the African American community. Diouf goes beyond generalities and sheds light on the lives of transplanted Muslims who have become an important block in the rewriting of the history of Islam in the United States, providing heroic examples of adjustment and survival in a hostile environment.”

    —Yvonne Haddad, Georgetown University

  • Servants of Allah remains an important scholarly work, significant in retrieving historical memory and as a testament of religious endurance under dislocation, separation, and enslavement. Beyond the familiar assumptions of struggle, survival, and liberation, the book points to the vigorous intellectual life of Islam in which New World Muslim Africans participated. Diouf has put her finger on a critical impulse when she draws out the transnational dimensions of Islamic scholarship that sustained learning and practice among the besieged Muslim Africans, which makes the irony of the decline of Muslim life during slavery in the Americas all the more striking.”

    —Lamin Sanneh, Yale University

  • “This historical study is ground-breaking not only in its theme but also its approach, which can be described as pan-Africanist to the extent that it relates the histories of these deported Muslims to the political upheavals of medieval Africa…; forges links between the varied sites of their dispersal from the 16th to the 19th century…; and examines the issue of return to Africa and the lineage (or the absence thereof) of this first American Islam.”
    Sylvie Kandé, QBR Jan/Feb ’99

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