Bilali Muhammad

Background

Bilali Muhammad was born in West Africa to a highly educated family in 1770. He was captured when he was a teenager and brought as a slave to America. He lived on the rice plantations of Sapello Island in Georgia. Due to his leadership skills he managed the black slaves on the plantation. When there was a British attack on the island, he along with his fellow Muslim slaves fought back and resisted the attack. He lived to a ripe age of 87 years.

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SapeloIsland

Bilali Muhammad Document (Ben Ali Diary)

Bilali wrote a ‘diary’ that was later discovered to be a treatise based on an Islamic text taught in West African at that time. The thirteen page text contains the basic laws of ablution, prayer, etc. It is considered the ‘Mother Text’ of American Islamic literature as it is the first known original Islamic text written in USA. It remained with him till his death in 1857.