In ways simlar to Algiers and North Africa in general did. Lucien Herault, writing about the white slave-trade into North Africa in the the 17th century, observes:
"In the first half of the sevententh century, the number of (white) captives held itself around a fluctuating population figure of around 20, 000, that, joined to the 20, 000 renegades (i.e. European converts to Islam) and to the numerous contingents of Albanians and Bulgarians serving in the militia, made of Algiers a white city, approaching closer [in terms of] blood and of race to the various European ports on the other bank [of the Mediterranean] than to all the other Moorish or Turkish cities."
"Les Troubles d'Alger et la Redemtion des Esclaves en 1645 (d'apres manuscript marseillas)," in J. Billioud (ed.), Memoires de l'Institut historique de Provence 10 (1933): 87-8.
This is no doubt the significance of the Prophet's words:
Zayd b. Aslam related that the Prophet (s) saw a vision and told his companions about it. He said: “I saw a group of black sheep and a group of white sheep then mixed with them [until the white sheep became so numerous that the black sheep could no longer be seen in the herd of sheep.] I (or Abu Bakr with angelic approval) interpreted it to mean that [the black sheep are the Arabs. They will accept Islam and become many. As for the white sheep, they are the non-Arabs (i.e. Persians, Turks, Byzantines, ect.)] They will enter Islam and then share with you your wealth and your genealogy [and become so numerous that the Arabs will not be noticed amongst them.]”
Just to be clear, the Black Arab shown above is a Mahra Arab. The Mahra are indigenous Arabs of southern Arabia who are believed to be the living remnant of the Banu Ad Arabians who likely built the fabled but recently discovered Imran civilization in south-east Arabia some five thousand years ago. The white Arab is King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. The Saudi family is from the Banu Murad, from the Anaza b. Wa’il, which in pre-Islamic and early Islamic days was a tribe of black-skinned Arabs like the Mahra.
The indigenous peoples of Arabia, including the Arabs, are African peoples. The Encyclopedia Britannica (9th Edition) correctly points out:
“(Regarding) [t]he origin of the Arab race…the first certain fact on which to base our investigations is the ancient and undoubted division of the Arab race into two branches, the ‘Arab’ or pure; and the ‘Mostareb’ or adscititions…A second fact is, that everything in pro-Islamitic literature and record…concurs in representing the first settlement of the ‘pure’ Arabs as made on the extreme south-western point of the peninsula, near Aden, and then spreading northward and eastward…A third is the name Himyar, or ‘dusky’…a circumstance pointing, like the former, to African origin. A fourth is the Himyaritic language language…(The preserved words) are African in character, often in identity. Indeed, the dialect commonly used along the south-eastern coast hardly differs from that used by the (Somali) Africans on the opposite shore…Fifthly, it is remarkable that where the grammar of the Arabic, now spoken by the ‘pure’ Arabs, differs from that of the north, it approaches to or coincides with the Abyssinian…Sixthly, the pre-Islamitic institutions of Yemen and its allied provinces-its monarchies, courts, armies, and serfs-bear a marked resemblance to the historical Africao-Egyptian type, even to modern Abyssinian. Seventhly, the physical conformation of the pure-blooded Arab inhabitants of Yemen, Hadramaut, Oman, and the adjoining districts-the shape and size of head, the slenderness of the lower limbs, the comparative scantiness of hair, and other particulars-point in an African rather than an Asiatic direction. Eighthly, the general habits of the people,-given to sedentary rather than nomade occupations, fond of village life, of society, of dance and music; good cultivators of the soil, tolerable traders, moderate artisans, but averse to pastoral pursuits-have much more in common with those of the inhabitants of the African than with those of the western Asiatic continent. Lastly, the extreme facility of marriage which exists in all classes of the southern Arabs with the African races; the fecundity of such unions; and the slightness or even absence of any caste feeling between the dusky ‘pure’ Arab and the still darker native of modern Africa…may be regarded as pointing in the direction of a community of origin.”
The Pure Arabs and the East Africans are indeed kith and kin. Bertram Thomas, historian and former Prime Minister of Muscat and Oman, reported in his work ‘The Arabs’:
“The original inhabitants of Arabia…were not the familiar Arabs of our time but a very much darker people. A proto-negroid belt of mankind stretched across the ancient world from Africa to Malaya. This belt…(gave) rise to the Hamitic peoples of Africa, to the Dravidian peoples of India, and to an intermediate dark people inhabiting the Arabian peninsula. In the course of time two big migrations of fair-skinned peoples came from the north…to break through and transform the dark belt of man beyond India (and) to drive a wedge between India and Africa…The more virile invaders overcame the dark-skinned peoples, absorbing most of them, driving others southwards…The cultural condition of the newcomers is unknown. It is unlikely that they were more than wild hordes of adventurous hunters.”
The Mahra Arabs, like the other northern and southern Black Arabs, are descendents of the aboriginal Africoid Arabians or Afrabians. They are not, as some would like to believe, descendents of “slaves and concubines.”
For further documentation see:
Wesley Muhammad, “Anyone who says that the Prophet is black should be killed”: The De-Arabization of Islam and the Transfiguration of Muhammad in Islamic Tradition @ http://drwesleywilliams.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Muhammad_Article.170121832.pdf
Wesley Muhammad, “Prophet Muhammad and the Black Arabs: The Witness of Pre-Modern Chinese Sources,” @ http://drwesleywilliams.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/Muhammad_Black_Arabs_China_Site.187112134.pdf
An my Note: “The African-Arabian Origin of Islam: A Brief Bibliography”
Wesley Muhammad. PhD