Thursday, April 23, 2015

Is Allah Syriac? Shaka Ahmose and the Sloppy Scholarship of the Afrocentric Jihad

(Black Arabia Strikes Back)

The gasping Afrocentric Jihad against Islam has a new magic bullet: the claim that the Arabic divine name "Allah" derived from Syriac, particularly Syriac Christianity. This is supposed to somehow disauthenticate Islam's Allah. Of course, the most current advocate of this is Shaka Ahmose.

Now, if it was true that the current Arabic "Allah" is anchored in a Syriac "Allaha," that would cause me no discomfort at all. I have demonstrated in my book Black Arabia and the African Origin of Islam (2009) that the Modern Standard Arabic quadraliteral word "Allah" is a very late development from the Proto-Semitic biliteral word ʾḷ (pronounced Alah); both the Modern Standard Arabic Allah and the Syriac Allaha are both quite late branches on the "Alah Tree."

Nevertheless, the Magic Bullet is only a Nerf and does nothing more than demonstrate luminously the shobby, sloppy scholarship of the Afrocentric Jihad which relies on outdated and discredited sources. It routinely fails to engage the most current scholarship on a subject. It is true that neither Shaka Ahmose nor the Afrocentric Jihad originated this claim: it was seriously and soberly entertained in Islamicist scholarship as early as Arthur Jeffery's "The Foreign Vocabulary in the Qur'an" (1938). Today, however, it is mainly discredited "throw-back" or "wannabe" Orientalist Christian scholars like the pseudonynous Christoph Luxenberg who champion this "Allah is Syric" Cause. And it is these outdated and/or academically spurious sources that are the sources for the Afrocentric Jihad. Nothing surprising there.

Nonetheless, the credibility of an idea does not live or die on the credentials (or lack thereof) of its popular advocates. The "Allah is Syriac" claim is discredited though the linguistic data and revealed by the most recent sober research done on the question.

Specifically, David Kiltz in his study“The Relationship between Arabic Allāh and Syriac Allāhā,” Der Islam 88 (2012): 33-50 takes up the question and, after reviewing the data, finds that the grammatical evidence militates against the Syriac being the origin of the Arabic Allah. He concludes:

“Regardless of whether the Arabic word was or was not the source of Syriac allāhā, the Arabic can be plausibly explained as being not a loan word but the result of inner-Arabic developments...There is no reason to assume a loan from Syriac into Arabic, as allāh is perfectly motivated, i.e. phonetically regular, in (some dialects of) Arabic and its development within Arabic is safely accounted for.” (45-46).

Case Closed

Ra IZ Allah: Response to Asar Imhotep. Part I: Deconstructive Analysis

Black Arabia Strikes Back I

(For Mature Audiences Only)

This Report is Part I of my response to Asar Imhotep’s 2013 critical review or attempted refutation of my 2009 work, Black Arabia and the African Origin of Islam, specifically a particular claim that I made therein. Imhotep’s critical review is very lengthy and robust: over 80 pages dense with linguistic theorizing. My response of necessity is equally lengthy and robust with a heavy indulgence in historical linguistics. This ensures that, unfortunately, this Report will be no easy read for those unfamiliar with the field of linguistics and its jargon. I apologize up front. But because the matters on which Imhotep and I are at variance are linguistic matters, there is no avoiding this difficulty for the reader. Language and linguistics, like higher mathematics, is Big Boy and Big Girl stuff. This Report is thus for mature audiences only. The consolation is this: if you have read and were able to follow Imhotep’s critical review then you should have little difficulty reading this Report.

        This Report will be issued in two parts. Part I is a Deconstructive Analysis of Imhotep’s critique. Here I highlight some of the merits of Imhotep’s work, but also and in great detail the many academic problems with it: the methodological issues, the data issues, etc. Here not only are many of Imhotep’s conclusions impeached, but his scholarly license to even engage the subjects that he has and in the way that he has appears, well, counterfeit. It should not be concluded from this, however, that Imhotep’s critique has no value at all. Despite its many and fatal documented problems, this critique by Imhotep actually has made an important contribution to the overall discourse on Africa, Egypt and Islam. There are points of his critique that I concede, and thus my personal consideration of these matters have benefited from Imhotep’s contribution. The forthcoming Part II of this Report is a Constructive Analysis. Here I document in much detail the linguistic origin of the Egyptian God Rah (Rʿ) and the Semitic God Allah (͗Aḷah). I demonstrate that, contra Imhotep, these two are dialectical variants of the same deity. In other words, Rah IZ Allah, still.

          There can be no doubt that on first sight and on first read Imhotep’s critical examination of my thesis is an imposing and impressive piece of scholarship. Even after the second, third and fourth reads compel a more sober perspective one cannot help but remain impressed with Imhotep’s mind. This critique of my 2009 argument definitely warrants applause in places, but it also warrants reprimand. Within those pages one finds impressive erudition, brilliant insights and a commendable critical mind at work. Within those same pages, however, these merits sit all too comfortably alongside poor methodology, a lack of thoroughness, misrepresentation, misappropriation, and a much too laissez faire approach to the scholarly convention of citing sources and documenting claims.

          What then might we say in conclusion about Imhotep’s scholarly offering after such a “deconstructive analysis”? Despite its insights and moments of brilliance, this critique smacks of amateurism concealed behind eloquent verbosity. Imhotep’s lack of formal training either as a linguist or an historian shines through as brightly as does his natural brilliance. His methodological parochialism and the many faulty conclusions produced ultimately renders this work of scholarship a valuable read but an unqualified authority on most of the subjects broached therein. Imhotep too often ventured into areas for which he failed to properly prepare and the overall value of this work is severely diminished as a result, at least its value as a scholarly authority on the relevant matters.

Go to document here:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Report: The Black Arabian Origins of the Yoruba and Ifa

By Wesley Muhammad, PhD 

The below is only a summary. The full, 41-page report is here:

(The ideological dogmatists will judge the conclusions here presented on the basis of reading this summary alone. The true Truth-seekers will reserve judgement until afterreading the report in full and weighing the evidences presented and arguments proffered.)

Conclusion: Islam is as African a religion as is Ifá.

“Status quaestionis” is a Latin phrase meaning “the state of the investigation” and refers to scholarly presentations of the up-to-date accumulated data relevant to a particularly controversial and unresolved topic. Truth of God Institute (TGI) publishes Status Quaestionis Reports on various debated Religious Studies topics. This Report concerns the origin of the Yoruban magico-religious tradition called Ifá and its relationship to Islam. This Report is an extract from my upcoming book that treats the subject more fully: Aḷḷāh and Olódùmarè: Islām and Ifá as Sibling Rivals (Atlanta: A-Team Publishing, 2014).    

Professor Razaq Olatunde Rom Kalilu of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, observed in 1997 that there exists “a paradoxical relationship of love and hate between the Yorùbá culture and Islam”. He says further: “That paradoxical relation itself was a result of some similarities and contrasts in the cultures which both the indigenous Yorùbá religions setup and Islam radiated.”

In my forthcoming book, Aḷḷāh and Olódùmarè: Islām and Ifá as Sibling Rivals, I argue that this “paradoxical relationship of love and hate” between Ifá and Islam is most aptly described as a sibling rivalry. A sibling rivalry is competition or animosity among siblings, particularly (though not exclusively) siblings that are close of age and of the same gender. Because they are siblings, there is naturally love between them (unless something egregious is done to change that). But their rivalry also produces animosity and hate at times.

Islam was founded in Mecca by Black Arabs and Ifá was founded in Ifẹ (Nigeria) by Black Arabs too. As siblings, Ifá and Islam have the same father (the magico-religion of ancient Black Arabia) but different mothers (Egyptian tradition/Qurʾānic tradition). In ways, both Islam and Ifá are developments from the ancient magico-religion of Black Arabia. This means, among other things, that, just as we cannot fully understand Islam without a sufficient knowledge of pre-Islamic religious tradition in Arabia, we equally cannot fully or even adequately understand Ifá absent that same knowledge.

Nigerian linguist and exegete Modupe Oduyoye collected data for a yet unpublished work entitled, African Words in the Bible and the Qur’an. Oduyoye maintains that “there arecruces interpretationis (i.e. passages very difficult to interpret) in the Hebrew Bible and the Arabic Qur’an which can be resolved only by resort to comparative linguistic data from African languages.” Oduyoye very ably demonstrated this for the Hebrew Bible in his 1984 publication, The Sons of the Gods and the Daughters of Men: An Afro-Asiatic Interpretation of Genesis 1-11.  Unfortunately, any similar work that Oduyoye has done on the Qurʾān has, to my knowledge, not been published. In Aḷḷāh and Olódùmarè, I intend to fill this lacuna. I illustrate that, not only does West African religious and linguistic tradition, Yorùbá in particular, illuminate some parts of the Qurʾān and Islamic tradition in general, but also that the Qurʾān and Islamic tradition can shed light on some Yoruban tradition.

The late Dr John Henrik Clarke has stated:

From the great Nile Valley religions came Judaism, Christianity, and the elements that went into Islam. Islam came out of the Nile Valley. All these great religions are derivative religions…If I wanted a great religion I would bypass all of them and go to the original…Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all carbon copies of African religions. We need to go back and take the original and deal from the original rather than the carbon.

The first part of this statement by our great teacher Dr. Clarke is factually correct, as far as it goes. That some of the substantive elements of the Judeo-Christian (Biblical and extra-Biblical) tradition derived from the Nile Valley, Kemet in particular, has been well documented. That substantive elements of Islam have parallels in Kemet has also been documented and I have argued that the peoples of Arabia who are likely responsible for the religious tradition that later morphed into Islam ultimately derived from the Nile Valley regions (though not necessarily from Kemet).

So there is nothing historically problematic about Dr. Clarke’s claim. His judgment that seems to derive from these facts, however, warrants reconsideration, especially in the light of the foregoing. Is Islam, which originated with Africans in Arabia who migrated there from the Nile Valley area and which shows such remarkable similarities to Ma’at, to be rejected as a “carbon copy” religion? If we applied this same logic to Ifá we would have to discard it as a “copy-cat” religion, for it shows direct derivation – by way of Egypt – from the magico-religious tradition of Black Arabia. If we modified Dr. Clark’s words slightly, this is what we are asked to consider:

From the great [Black Arabian] religions came [Ifá], and the elements that went into [Ifá]. [Ifá] came out of [Black Arabia]. All these great religions [of the Yorùbá] are derivative religions…If I wanted a great religion I would bypass [Ifá] and go to the original…[Ifá is] carbon cop[y] of [Black Arabian] religions. We need to go back and take the original and deal from the original rather than the carbon.

While the first half of this statement is factually true, who will follow the judgment of the second half of this statement? Ifá does derive in part from Black Arabia and in part from Kemet. Is this a good reason to “bypass” it and go back instead to the original Black Arabian religion? I don’t think so. Yet, if we enforce Dr. Clark’s judgment of Islam then we must enforce this judgment on Ifá, lest we are guilty of an unjustifiable double standard.   

Continuing to deny Black Arabia and its products (e.g. Islam) their rightful place within the Africa-centered paradigm has serious consequences. For example it renders our Ifá-practicing Yoruban family a leg short: to deny Black Arabia is to make Ifá stand and hop about on one leg only. 

If Islam is to be denied its Africanity, if you will, because it originated with Black people whose home was east of the Red Sea in Black Arabia, then Ifá’s Africanity is to be similarly denied, for it similarly originated with Black people whose home was east of the Red Sea in Black Arabia. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Join me in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas This Weekend, July 11 - 14, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

“His Daddy was Black. His Momma was Black. So…” A Look at Prophet Muhammad’s Lineage

By Wesley Muhammad, PhD © 2013

The Prophet Muhammad of Arabia was a pure Arab from the Banū Hāshim clan of the Quraysh tribe. Not only were the original and true Arabs black (aswad, akhar, udma), but the Prophet’s particular tribe and clan were famously black. As Robert F. Spencer remarks: “It is said that the Quraysh explained their short stature and dark skin by the fact that they always carefully adhered to endogamy,”[1] and Henry Lammens took notice of “les Hāśimites, famille où dominait le sang nègre” (“the Hashimites, the family where Black blood dominated”), remarking further that the Banū Hāshim are “généralement qualifies de ﺁﺪﻢ = couleur foncée” (“generally described as ādam = dark colored”).[2]

These Western observations are in complete accord with the confessions found in Classical Arabic/Islamic literature. Ibn Manūr (d. 1311), author of the most authoritative classical Arabic lexicon, Lisān al-‘arab, notes the opinion that the phrase aswad al-jilda, ‘black-skinned,’ idiomatically meant khāli al-‘arab, “the pure Arabs,” “because the color of most of the Arabs is dark (al-udma).”[3] In other words, blackness of skin among the Arabs indicated purity of Arab ethnicity. Likewise, the famous grammarian from the century prior, Muhammad b. Barrī al-‘Adawī (d. 1193) noted that an Akhar or black-skinned Arab was “a pure Arab (‘arabī maḥḍ)” with a pure genealogy, “because Arabs describe their color as black (al-aswad)”[4] Al-Jai (d. 869), in his Fakhr al-sūdān ‘alā l-bidan, declared: “The Arabs pride themselves in (their) black color, تفخر بسواد اللون العرب (al-‘arab tafkhar bi-sawād al-lawn)”[5] Finally Al-Mubarrad (d. 898), the leading figure in the Basran grammatical tradition, took this a step further when he claimed:

“The Arabs used to take pride in their brown and black complexion (al-sumra wa al-sawād) and they had a distaste for a white and fair complexion (al-umra wa al-shaqra), and they used to say that such was the complexion of the non-Arabs.”[6]

If Muhammad was in fact a pure Arab, how could he have been Caucasian or pale complexioned, the characteristic trait of non-Arabs within the Hejaz? This question is the more urgent when we consider that, not only was his Arab tribe and clan notably black-skinned, but so too was his immediate and extended family.

I.                    Paternal Blackness

‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib (d. 578) was the Prophet’s paternal grandfather and, as an Hāshimī Arab, he was (as expected) black-skinned. Muhammad b. ‘Umar Bahriq al-Hadramī, in his book al-Anwār wa matāli’i al-asrār fī sīrat al-Nabī al-Mukhtar, reports: “Concerning ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib…he was [dark] brown (asmar) complexioned.” This dark brown Arab fathered sons with Arab women from clans who were even blacker than his own clan and these sons will be even blacker than he. Al-Jāi noted:

“The ten lordly sons of ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib were deep black (dalham) in color and big/tall (ukhm). When Amir b. al-ufayl saw them circumambulating (the Ka’ba) like dark camels, he said, ‘With such men as these is the custody of the Ka’ba preserved.”  ‘Abd Allah b. ‘Abbās was very black and tall. Those of Abū ālib’s family, who are the most noble of men, are black (sūd).”[7]
 Dalham is a very deep black or ‘jet black.’ ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib’s ten dalham sons were: ārith, ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā (Abū Lahab), Abū ālib, al-Zubayr, ‘Abd Allah, amza, Muqūm, al-‘Abbās, Hijl, and Zarrar. All ten were black Arabs of the Banū Hāshim, including ‘Abd Allah, the Prophet’s father.  Yes, the Holy Prophet’s father was a jet black Arab! So too were the Prophet’s uncles and cousins.

Uncles and Cousins

1. Hamza b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib. The Prophet’s famous paternal uncle, Hamza (d. 625), famously called “The Lion of God,” was black-skinned. Abū Dā’ūd (d. 819), in his text Musnad al-Tayālisī, reports: “(The Ethiopian slave) Wahsi (b. Harb) said: ‘…I saw Hamza as if he were an awraq (colored) camel…” According to Ibn Manūr (s.v.) awraq, from wurqa, means an asmar or (dark) brown complexion.      

2. ‘Abd al-‘Uzzā b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib and Descendants. More popularly known as Abū Lahab or “Father of the Flame” (d. 624), this was the uncle infamously hostile to the Prophet. He too was dalham “jet black” according to al-Jai and others. According to a report found in the Musnad of Imam Amad b. anbal (d. 855), Abū Lahab’s appearance was “luminous, with two braids; the most abya and the most handsome of the people (#16020).” Abya used here to describe Abū Lahab’s complexion does not mean white or fair-skinned. According to the Classical Arabic linguistic phenomenon called al-addad (“Opposites”), it means “black (aswad) but free of blemish (al-kalaf) and giving off a luminous glow (a-hintī al-lawn).”[8]

This is demonstrated further by the example of Abū Lahab’s great grandson, the seventh century CE Qurayshī poet, al-Fal b. al-‘Abbās (d. 714). Al-Fal himself and his mother, Amīna, were cousins of the Prophet.  Called al-Akhar al-Lahabī “The Flaming Black,” Al-Fal is well-known for both his blackness and his genealogical purity. He recited these famous words:

I am the black-skinned one (al-Akhar). I am well-known.
My complexion is black. I am from the noble house of the Arabs.[9]

This black-skinnedness of al-Fal is due to his Arab genealogy, not to some ‘negro admixture’ as some deniers would have us think. Ibn Manūr notes the opinion that al-Fal is al-Akhar or aswad al-jilda, ‘Black-skinned’, because he is from khāli al-‘arab, the pure Arabs, “because the color of most of the Arabs is dark (al-udma).”[10] Similarly Ibn Barrī (d. 1193) said: “He (al- Fal) means by this that his genealogy is pure and that he is a pure Arab (‘arabī maḥḍ) because Arabs describe their color as black (al-aswad).”[11] Thus, according to these Classical Arabic/Islamic scholars, al-Fal’s blackness (akhar) is the visual mark of his pure, Qurayshī background. This is the cousin to the Qurayshī prophet, Muhammad.

3. Al-‘Abbās b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib and Descendants.  Al-‘Abbās (d. 652) is the patronym and root of the Banū ‘Abbās, after which the ‘Abbāsid dynasty was named. He was a dalham uncle of the Prophet and fathered an important first cousin of the Prophet also noted for his deep blackness: ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Abbās (d. 687), famed for being Tarjuman al-Qur’an, “THE Interpreter of the Qur’an.” Al-Jāi describes him as “very black and tall.” The Syrian scholar and historian al-Dhahabī (d. 1348) too reported that ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Abbās and his son, ‘Alī b. ‘Abd Allāh, were “very dark-skinned.”[12] When al-Dhahabī reports also that ‘Abd Allāh b. ‘Abbās “was abya, imbued with sufra (yellowish black), tall and bulky, handsome,”[13] we know there is no contradiction here. Abya as a human complexion means “black (aswad) but free of blemish (al-kalaf) and giving off a luminous glow (a-hintī al-lawn).”

4. Abū ālib b. ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib and Descendants. Abū ālib (d. 619), brother of the Prophet’s father ‘Abd Allāh and stalwart of the Prophet until his death in 619, was dalham or jet black like his brother.  Al-Jāi confirms further that “those of Abū ālib’s family, who are the most noble (genealogically pure) of men, are black (sūd).” This fact is further confirmed for Abū ālib’s famous son, ‘Alī b. Abū ālib (d. 661), the first cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet, and also the father of the Prophet’s only grandsons al-Hasan and al-Husayn.  ‘Alī, the fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (Khulafā’ Rāshidūn) is the central figure of Shiite Islam. For the latter, ‘Alī is considered the first Imam and he and his descendants are considered the legitimate successors of the Prophet. That ‘Alī b. Abū ālib was a black-skinned Arab is pointed out by al-Suyūī, who describes him as “husky, bald…pot-bellied, large-bearded…and jet-black (ādam shadīd al-udma).”[14] ‘Alī’s own son, Abū Ja’far Muhammad, according to Ibn Sa’d (d. 845), described ‘Alī thusly: “He was a black-skinned man with big, heavy eyes, pot-bellied, bald, and kind of short.”[15] ‘Alī’s descendents, the sharīfs/sayyids, were similarly described as black-skinned.[16] This ‘family blackness’ of Abū ālib is very significant for our discussion of the appearance of the Prophet because Abū ālib’s son Ja‘far, who is the elder brother of ‘Alī and is known as al-Hāshimī, “The Hāshimite.” Ja’far is “one of Muhammad’s kinsmen who most closely resembled him.”[17] Indeed, Muhammad himself is reported to have said to his black-skinned cousin: “You resemble me both in appearance and character (ashbahta khalqī wa khuluqī).”[18]      


Muhammad b. ‘Abd Allāh (d. 762), known also as al-Nafs al-Zakiyya (“The Pure Soul”), was a pure descendant of the Prophet himself through the latter’s daughter Fāimah, wife of ‘Alī b. Abū ālib.  Al-Nafs al-Zakiyya “prided himself on being a Qurayshi of pure lineage…[with] a pure descent from the Prophet,”[19]and could boast: “I am at the very center of the Banū Hāshim’s (genealogical) lines. My paternity is purest among them, undiluted with non-Arab blood, and no concubines dispute over me.”[20] What did this pure Arab descendent of the pure Arab Prophet look like? “Muhammad (Al-Nafs al-Zakiyya) is described as tall and strong with very dark skin”.[21]  Indeed, al-Dhahabī describes him as “black-skinned and huge.”[22] But it is al-abarī’s description that is most informative:

“Muhammad (Al-Nafs al-Zakiyya) was black, exceedingly black, jet black (ādam shadīd al-udma adlam) and huge. He was nicknamed “Tar Face” (al-qārī) because of his black complexion (udmatihi), such that Abū Ja’far used to call him “Charcoal Face” (al-muammam).”[23]

Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya was a Qurayshī Arab whose pure lineage on both his father’s and his mother’s side put him “at the center” of the genealogical lines of the Banū Hāshim, the Prophet’s kinsfolk; indeed he was famously of pure descent from the Prophet himself. The fact that he was so black he was called ‘Tar face’ and ‘Charcoal face’ is of significance for our discussion of the ethnicity of the Prophet himself.

II.                 Maternal Blackness

Amīna bt. Wahb, the mother of the Prophet Muhammad, hailed from the Banū Zuhra, a black sub-clan of the black Quraysh tribe.[24]  Amīna is the daughter of Wahb b. ‘Abd Manāf b. Zuhra whose mother (Amīna’s grandmother) is said to be ‘Ātika bt. al-Awqa from the exceptionally black Banū Sulaym.[25] The black Sulaym are thus considered the maternal uncles of the prophet and he is therefore reported to have said: “I am the son of the many ‘Ātikas of Sulaym.”[26] In other words, Amīna’s paternal grandmother is from the black Sulaym tribe, and her grandfather ‘Abd Manāf was from the Zuhra tribe. Banū Zuhra tribesmen were frequently noted for their blackness, especially the maternal relatives of the Prophet Muhammad. See for example the famous Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās (d. 646), cousin of Amīna and uncle of the prophet Muhammad. He is described as very dark or black (ādam), tall and flat-nosed.[27] Muhammad, it should be noted, was quite proud of his uncle Sa’d. We are told that once Muhammad was sitting with some of his companions and Sa’d walked by. The prophet stopped and taunted: “That’s my uncle. Let any man show me his uncle.”[28] Relevant too is al-Aswad b. ‘Abd Yaghūth of the Banū Zuhra, Amīna’s nephew and thus the Prophet’s maternal cousin. He is called in later literature al-Aswad, “The Black,” because he was black-skinned (aswad al-lawn).[29]  

III.               Pan-Arab Blackness

Muhammad had more than just Qurayshī blackness running through his paternal veins as well. His great, great grandfather was ‘Abd Manāf who bore with ‘Ātika bt. Murra al-Sulaymī the prophet’s great grandfather āshim. That is to say that the prophet’s great, great grandmother was from the jet-black Banū Sulaym. āshim, the great grandfather, bore with Salmā bt. ‘Amrū ’l-Khazrajī the prophet’s grandfather, ‘Abd al-Muṭṭalib. This means that his paternal great grandmother was from the black Medinese tribe Banū Khazraj.[30]

I will leave it to persons much smarter than I to tell us how a black-skinned Arab clan from a black-skinned Arab tribe can produce a family of black-skinned Arab uncles, cousins, father and mother, who in turn gave birth to a Caucasian or white skinned non-albino boy. 


[1] Robert F. Spencer, “The Arabian Matriarchate: An Old Controversy,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 8 (Winter, 1952) 488. See further Muhammad, Black Arabia, 173-178.
[2] Études sur le siècle des Omayyades (Beirut: Imprimerie Calholique, 1930) 44.
[3] Ibn Manūr, Lisān al-‘arab (Beirut: Dar al-Sadir - Dar al-Bayrut, 1955-1956) s.v. اخضر IV:245f; See also Edward William Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon (London: Williams & Norgate 1863) I: 756 s.v. خضر .
[4] Ibn Manūr, Lisān al-‘arab, s.v. اخضر IV:245.
[5] Al-Jāi, Fakhr al-sūdān ‘alā l-bidan, in Risa’il Al-Jahiz, 4 vols. (Cairo, 1964)  I:207. See also the English translation by T. Khalidi, “The Boast of the Blacks Over the Whites,” Islamic Quarterly 25 (1981): 3-26 (17). See further Ignaz Goldziher, Muslim Studies (Muhammedanische Studien) 2 vols. (London, Allen & Unwin, 1967-), 1:268 who notes that, in contrast to the Persians who are described as red or light-skinned (ahmar) the Arabs call themselves black. 
[6] Apud Ibn Abī al-adīd, Shar nahj al-balāghah, V:56.
[7] Al-Jāi, Fakhr al-sūdān ‘alā l-bidan, I:209. 
[8] See Wesley Muhammad, “Abyad and the Black Arabs: Some Clarifications” @
[9] Ibn Manūr, Lisān al-‘arab, s.v. اخضر IV:245f.
[10] Ibn Manūr, Lisān al-‘arab,, s.v. اخضر IV:245; Lane, Arabic-English, I: 756 s.v. خضر .
[11] Ibn Manūr, Lisān al-‘arab, s.v. اخضر IV:245.
[12] Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a’lām al-nubalā (Beirut, 1992),V:253
[13] Al-Dhahabī, Siyar, III:336.
[14] Al-Suyūī, Tārikh al-khulafā, 134.
[15] Ibn Sa’d, al-abaqāt al-kubrā (Beirut: Dar Sādir) 8:25. On ‘Alī as short and dark brown see I.M.N. al-Jubouri, History of Islamic Philosophy – With View of Greek Philosophy and Early History of Islam (2004), 155; Philip K Hitti, History of the Arabs, 10th edition (London: Macmillan Education Ltd, 1970) 183.  
[16]Tariq Berry, Unknown Arabs; idem, Tariq Berry, “A True Description of the Prophet Mohamed's Family (SAWS),”
[17] EI2 2: 372 s.v. Dja’far b. Abī ālib by L. Veccia Vaglieri. 
[18] The Translation of the Meanings of aī Bukharī, Arabic-English, trans. Dr. Muhammad Muhsin Khan (Medina: Islamic University, 1985) V:47.
[19] Muhammad Qasim Zaman, “The Nature of Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya’s Mahdiship: A Study of Some Reports in Ibahānī’s Maqātil,” Hamdard Islamicus 13 (1990): 60-61.
[20] Quoted from al-abarī, The History of al-abarī, Vol. XXVIII: ‘Abbāsid Authority Affirmed, trans. annot. Jane Dammen McAuliffe (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1985) 167-68.
[21] EI2 7:389 s.v. Muammad b. ‘Abd Allāh by F. Buhl.
[22] Al-‘Ibar fī khabar man ghabar (Kuwait: Turath al-Arabi) 4:198.
[23] Al-abarī, Ta’rīkh al-rusul wa’l-mulūk, 10:203.
[24] See above. On the other hand, Caesar E. Farah suggests that Amīna’s tribal background is the Najjār clan of the Banū Khazraj, a tribe in Medina also noted for its blackness. See Caesar E. Farah, Islam 7th Edition (Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s, 2003) 37; Muhammad, Black Arabia, 178-179; Berry, Unknown, 68.
[25] Michael Lecker, The Banå Sulaym: A Contribution to the Study of Early Islam (Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1989), 114. On the Banū Sulaym see further Muhammad, Black Arabia, 180-181.   
[26] Muhammad b. Yūsuf al-āliī al-Shāmī, Subul al-hudā wa-‘l-rashād fī sīrat khayr al-‘bād (Cairo, 1392/1972) I:384-85; Lecker, Banū Sulaym, 114-115.
[27] Al-Dhahabī, Siyar a’lām al-nubalā (Beirut, 1992), 1:97.
[28] On Sa’d b. Abī Waqqās see ‘Abd al-Ramān Rāfat al-Bāshā, uwar min ayāt al-aābah (Karachi: al-Maktabah al-Ghafūrīya al-‘Āimīyah, 1996 ) 285-292 (287); Berry, Unknown Arabs, 71-72.   
[29] Al-Dhahabī, Siyar, I:385-86.
[30] On the significance of these matrilateral listings in Muhammad’s genealogy see Daniel Martin Varisco, “Metaphors and Sacred History: The Genealogy of Muhammad and the Arab ‘Tribe’,” Anthropological Quarterly 68 (1995): 139-156, esp. 148-150.