Category: Special Feature

BlogSpecial Feature

Martyrs & Miracles: The Sapelo Square Muharram Series

compiled by Ryan Hilliard

The first Islamic calendar month of Muharram is underway, long considered one of the “sacred months”, a status it held even before the advent of Islam. For Muslims worldwide, it ushers in another new year since the Great Emigration (hijra) of the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him). One particularly special day called ‘Ashura, which occurs on the 10th day, carries myriad events of great importance to the Muslim community as a whole.

‘Ashura is most notable for the deliverance of Moses (peace be upon him) and the Children of Israel from the tyranny of Pharaonic Egypt and the heart-wrenching murder of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali (peace be upon him) at Karbala.

These two significant markers in our history are replete with lessons and echoes into today. We, as Black Muslims in United States, can clearly see our ongoing struggle to speak truth to power, support our siblings in faith and race, and achieve true liberation from a system of white supremacy and hegemony in the story of Moses and Aaron. We also see stark similarities in the painful ordeal of Imam Husayn and the Prophetic Household (peace be upon them), who were made vulnerable by the hypocrisy of those who called themselves Muslims and were slaughtered with no regard for their immense value.

Sapelo Square humbly presents these curated, but not definitive, pieces by which we intend to express the complicated yet powerful narratives of the blessed 10th day of Muharram, and points of entry to discovering the parallels with Black Muslims in America.

Our series includes concise overviews of the events at Karbala, its spiritual significance and parallels to the Black American experience from Hope CopelandBrother Adibudeen, and Dawud Walid. We also feature a video recording of the 2016 Next Wave Muslim Initiative (NWMI) panel discussion “Faith in Action: At the Intersection of Islam, Race, and #BlackLivesMatter,” wherein PhD candidate Donna Auston encouraged the audience to reflect on the story of Karbala and the Exodus from Egypt and ask themselves: where do you stand on the side of justice? In his comments, activist and author Tariq Touré discusses what allyship by non-Black Muslims should look like and encourages financial support to Black Muslim organizations and issues in the spirit of Muharram.

We also feature classic homages to the Ahl al-Bayt titled “I Love You More” by poet extraordinaire Amir Sulaiman and “By Any Means Necessary” featuring The Dean and the late Malcolm Latif Shabazz off the Karbala Mixtape Vol.1, Then we round out the series with reflective pieces from Sapelo Square alumni Narjis Nichole Abdul-Majid and our founder, Dr. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer.

Please Click Here! to access all the posts related to The Sapelo Square Muharram Series special feature.

BlogSpecial Feature

#BlackGirlMagic: A Sapelo Square Women’s History Roundup

By Sapelo Square

Each March, since 1987, Women’s History Month is celebrated in the United States to amplify the many contributions women have made locally, nationally and globally. Commemorative months like these are created because the contributions of marginalized people, like women, have been historically unrecognized or underappreciated or unknown. These months do a lot of good but often can still be incomplete—raising up the stories of some women but not all women. It is that kind of partial storytelling that resulted in the social media hashtag #BlackGirlMagic that responds to erasure by lifting up the experiences and triumphs of Black women and their profound impact on the world. Like Black women in general, Black Muslim Women, have a diverse set of experiences and triumphs, from enslaved women on Sapelo Island to Sister Clara Muhammad and others that have significantly shaped everything from religious traditions to social movements. To amplify those contributions, this Women’s History Month we invite you to read, listen and watch selected posts from the Sapelo Square archive that narrate some of the #BlackGirlMagic of Black Muslim women in the United States.

Sadaqa, Saraka and Sapelo

Profile: Black American Women in the Ahmadiyya Movement

Profile: The Legacy and Leadership of Sister Clara Muhammad

Profile: Mother Khadijah Faisal

A Path of Piece (Audio)

Black Muslim Politics: A Journey with Food After Embracing Islam

Narratives of Black Muslim Women: Between the Nation and Sunni Islam

Narratives of Black Muslim Women, Part 2: From Sunni Islam to the Nation

Elegy for the Khimar: A Community Poem

Profile: Intisar A. Rabb

Profile: The Tenacious Margari Hill

New Business on the Block: Carver’s Produce

Paradise is Under Her Feet: Honoring Our Sisters Sacrifices