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Bilali  

Allan D. Austin

Muslim leader and plantation manager, was born in Africa, sold into slavery, and transported to the Bahamas and then to Sapelo Island, Georgia. His name is also given as Bilali Mahomet and Bul‐Ali. Almost nothing is known about Bilali's life in Africa, but his fellow Fula or Peul (originally Malian) friend, Salih Bilali, who was enslaved on the neighboring island of Saint Simons, said that Bilali came from the village of Timbo, in Futa Jallon (later Guinea). This was an important Muslim educational and political community and the homeland of another Fula, Ibrahima abd al‐Rahman, who was enslaved in Mississippi. Bilali's strict adherence to Muslim ways and the book he wrote in Arabic show that he paid attention to his teachers in Africa. In the Bahamas Bilali married at least one of his four known wives before being brought to Georgia around 1802 He had a ...

Article

Douglas Thomas

founder and leader of a branch of the Tijaniya, one of the Sufi tariqa (religious/spiritual path) in present-day Senegal, was born to a family of marabout farmers in the village of Gaya in the westernmost province of Fouta Tooro north of present-day Senegal. Fouta Tooro was a precolonial state of the Peulh people (also known as Fula or Fulbe). In 1776, an Islamic revolution overthrew the nominal Muslim Denianke rulers and established a theocratic state. Futa Tooro is also the home region of El Hajj Umar Taal, the celebrated nineteenth-century jihadist who propagated the Tijani tariqa throughout the region along with his confrontational conversion style. In the 1850s, Taal recruited for his jihad from Fouta Tooro, further destabilizing the region; in 1861, he would successfully annex Futa Tooro to his Tukuleur Empire. It was into this environment that El Hajj Malik Sy was born.

El Hajj Malik Sy ...