Look at the traditional dress of Africans
Stabroek News
December 20, 2001

Dear Editor,

I refer to the letter by Mr Accabre Nkofi captioned (Islam is not the ancestral religion of Africans [ please note: link provided by LOSP web site ]( (17.12.2001). Where have you been living, Mr Nkofi? Most of your information is incorrect. "The slave trade in black Africans still continues" you say, but by whom? Not Muslims!

"Muslim slavery was more brutal and terrible than western slavery", you say. Utterly wrong and unthinkable, Nkofi, and you have the gall to present the story of the beloved Bilal as your example. He was lashed and burned by un Islamic owners but rescued and given new life by Allah and Islam. Get your facts straight, Nkofi! He became a Muslim, was given his freedom and lived his days as the prophet Mohamed's (s.a.w) caller to prayer. Don't attempt to stain this man or his story, I know it too well.

When you talk of Africa, Mr Nkofi, you talk Islam. From Timbuktu with the world's oldest Islamic university to Ethiopia where you yourself attest to their presence. Despite the circumstances. "Fellow Arab" means "fellow Arabs" not fellow Muslims.

It is in the history books. It is in the living culture. Look at the traditional dress of Africans. Long gowns and beautiful matching headdresses Islam! Nkofi.

You say we want "to deceive Africans into joining the Islamic religion." Talk to African Muslims right here in Guyana. Islam gives them freedom, right of brotherhood and upliftment in this evil world.

If you ever go to the Hajj (the pilgrimage to Mecca) Mr Nkofi, then as Malcolm saw, you would see black and grey and brown and pink and white and every colour of ever nation and every colour of every black nation.

You will see the king with the beggar, the queen and the maid, the dung collector and the merchant and they bow together to the Arabic call of prayer and they say together the Arabic words of praise "Allah Akbar" Allah is the Greatest.

We don't need titles and medals to confer distinction, Mr Nkofi and try not to give us "equivalents" with your list of "distinguished black Christian Westerners". We seek not to be like or fight anyone or anyone's religion.

You talk of warring factions , Mr Nkofi. Sadly they exist even in the best of families. Only with Allah and Islam can we fight this for Allah has said to the Believers that he would not accept their prayers or efforts when their attitude to their kinsfolk and community is not one of compassion and peace.

Someone asked "What is in a name"? Look at your name, Mr Nkofi! I can sense your pride. Your name defines you. Your name tells me who you are. Allah has said to the believers more or less. "Give your children good news". Names of respect and love, name that mean to a Muslim what your name means to you.

"What is in a name?" sometimes everything. As a sign of being a Muslim, a convert chooses a beautiful name with a beautiful meaning. It is like giving the body a proper cover.

The Holy Book, The Quran, was revealed in the Arabic language in the land of Arabia to the Prophet from among the Arabs. Arabic is called "the mother tongue". All prayers in Islam are said in Arabic because these are readings from the Quran. Duaas or personal prayers which are so important between man and God can be said in whatever language the worshipper knows.

Islam makes no "demands". "The right path is distinct from the wrong." To go either way is your right to choose. But, there is one right way, and when you accept and you follow that right way it becomes your duty, Mr Nkofi one that you do willingly to please your creator.

Yours faithfully,

Sister Shamini Persaud