First class business graduate becomes scholar and author on Islamic history and law

Habeeb Akande is the author of a recently published book called Illuminating the Darkness: Blacks and North Africans in Islam, that seeks to critically address the issue of racial discrimination and colour prejudice in religious history.

After graduating with a first class honours degree in business and film studies from Kingston University, Habeeb headed to Cairo in Egypt, to study Arabic, Islamic Law and Islamic History at al-Azhar High School and University, where he carried out research for his book.

He told People With Voices that through his book he hopes to tackle “common misconceptions” and to “elevate the status of black and North African people in Islam.”

The book is divided into two sections. Part One explores the concept of race, blackness, slavery, interracial marriage and racism in Islam in the light of Islamic and early historical sources. Part Two contains a compilation of short biographies of noble black and North African Muslim men and women in Islamic history including prophets, warriors, kings, queens and more recent historical figures. 

“I am passionate about enlightening people about the history of black and African people as well as erasing some of the unfortunate misconceptions about blackness and [people] of African descent that have been in many cases exacerbated by racist thinking.

“The topic of racial discrimination and colour prejudice particularly in Muslim communities is one that is not often addressed” Habeeb told People With Voices.

The book has been well received by both Muslims and Non-Muslims and Habeeb is pleased with the positive response. His hobbies include studying and writing, and he also has a keen interest in erotology, race relations, theology and financial empowerment and hopes to pen books on these topics in the future.



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