Nation Within a Nation: An Examination of the Liberation Theology in the Ansaaru Allah Community in Brooklyn from 1970 to 1993, and its Relationship to the Black Islamic Tradition in the United States
Yusuf Abdullah Muhammad
Thesis DT 3.5 2009 M843
vii, 89 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
In 1977, my parents converted to Islam and lived among an isolated community of Black Muslims in Brooklyn, New York. This group of Black Muslims, who called themselves the Ansaaru Allah Community, provided a scene unlike any other in the African American community from 1970 to 1993. I am writing my thesis on this understudied group of Black Muslims. The community was initiated by As Sayyid Al lmaam Isa Al Haadi Al Mahdi, or Isa Muhammad. His followers included former members of the Nation of Islam and African Americans dissatisfied with the Christian Church. Isa Muhammad attempted to establish a community of Muslims economically, socially, and mentally independent from the white world, and in the 1970s, built a magnificent Masjid (Mosque) in Brooklyn, New York which served as the Ansaaru Allah Community's headquarters. The Masjid offered a school, playgrounds, lecture halls, a library, restaurant, and living quarters. Families living in the community practiced a communal lifestyle; each individual played a role in its maintenance. The women of the community wore long, loose white garments with a veil covering the face, and the men wore long garments and turbans. Members of the community learned how to speak Arabic, and raised their children to speak the language. The religious component of the community shifted throughout its existence to include controversial (among Orthodox Muslims) interpretations of the Qur'an, and even a combination of Christianity and Judaism among its teachings. Through their communal lifestyle, cultural tendencies, and interpretation of Islam, the Ansaaru Allah Community distinguished themselves from other Black Muslim movements in America. My research will introduce the Ansaaru Allah Community to Africana scholarship, and tell their story.