Contributions of Enslaved African Muslims
African Muslims brought their culture with them to the shores of America, and they influenced many aspects of American and African American culture, including the technology, music, folklore, religion and many other aspects. The racist notion that Africans brought nothing to America has been rejected and the theory that the brutality of American chattel slavery did not allow the survival of African culture among African Americans has also been largely rejected. Both these theories lead to the conclusion that African American culture was totally re-made by the unique American experience. Today it is accepted that aspects of African culture did survive the middle passage and the crucible of slavery but the questions remain: to what extent did African culture survive and in what ways did it contribute to and influence American and African American culture? African Muslims, along with their African compatriots, retained elements of their culture despite the destructive brutality of American chattel slavery and in so doing they contributed to the formation of a new hybrid African American culture.
Rice and Related Technologies
Recent scholarship has established that enslaved Africans made important technological contributions in the development of rice cultivation. European settlers did not have experience in rice cultivation but many Africans, primarily Senegambians, did. In 1648 an observer in Virginia wrote, “We perceive the ground and climate is [sic] very proper for it [rice cultivation] as our Negroes affirme which in their Country is most of their food.” Most scholars today would agree with the French historian in his saying, “In effect, a whole material civilization, including nutritional practices, was implanted in tropical America….It was an imported African material civilization.”
Rice was cultivated by many African peoples in the Senegambia, Sierra Leone and the middle Niger region, the same areas that are the main sources of African Muslims. Rice cultivation, which used a native type of rice (oryza) as opposed to the Asian variety (glabervima) was cultivated first in African in the middle Niger regions possibly as early as 2000 years ago. Muslim travelers in the 15th and 16th century mention the abundant presence of rice and the cultivation and trade of rice in the Mali and Songhay empires.
The Mali Empire was the primary instrument in the spread of rice in Senegambia and Sierra Leone. Mandingo traders exposed new peoples to rice through their trade, and possibly more importantly rice cultivation followed the migration of Mandingos and other Mande-speaking peoples in the period of the Mali Empire and its breakup. The expansion of rice cultivation in West Africa, therefore, followed the same pattern as the expansion of Islam. African peoples who are rice cultivators include the Mandingo, Fula, Songhay, Soninke and Serer, all Islamized or partially Islamized peoples. The Fula, Salih Bilali, who was from the middle Niger, mentions rice as a main staple. The daughter of Bilali, who was also Fula, and other African Muslims on the Georgia coast were remembered to make a special sweet rice cake, called saraka, for special occasions. The same rice balls are made by Mandingos in West Africa. In Turner’s Africanisms in the Gullah Dialect, seven African words are listed in reference to rice, and five of these words come from the languages of African Muslims.
Daf—rice flour, rice cake (Hausa, Vai)
Kafu (gafa)—rice (Hausa)
Malo—rice (Mandingo, Wolof, Bambara)
Sari—boiled rice (Mandingo, Songhay, Bambara)
Sarika—boiled rice pounded and served in
leaves (Bambara; but Turner acknowledges
that this probably the same as saraka,
the rice ball made the Muslims in Georgia)
Other words for rice were
Kala—uncooked rice (Vai)
Since there seemed to be few Hausa in the Georgia coast area, the many Hausa words mentioned by Turner are most likely Fula and Mandingo words that had their origin in Hausa or visa versa.
Senegambian peoples, many of whom were Muslims, were some of the first enslaved Africans brought to America. Many of these Senegambians were familiar with rice cultivation and as European settlers experimented with rice in the 17th century, these Senegambians passed on their knowledge, thus shaping the development of rice cultivation in America. Thereafter, planters in South Carolina, Georgia and Louisiana preferred enslaved Africans from Senegambia because of their experience in rice cultivation. This would explain in part why Americans imported a relatively large proportion of Senegambians. In French Louisiana, a captain was instructed “to try to purchase several blacks who know how to cultivate rice.”
The African imprint on rice cultivation is manifest in virtually all aspects of the way fields were used and rice was sowed, weeded, processed and cooked. Some of the practices that have been identified as Senegambian are pressing a hole with the heel and covering the seeds with the front; hoeing in unison to work songs, using women for the sowing of rice, the early use of cattle along with rice cultivation (the Fula brought their cattle into harvested rice fields and thus helped fertilize the fields (Black Rice ???), the original system of floodgates, processing rice by use of mortar and pestle, winnowing of rice by means of special baskets, cooking techniques such as the method of cooling rice, which reduces the clumping of rice, and the cooking of rice without animal fat, which is typical of rice preparation only in Africa. All of these techniques are of Senegambian origin.
The winnowing baskets produced by African Americans since the slave era until today have as their likely ancestor basket making in Senegambia. In an exhaustive comparative study of South Carolina baskets and African baskets, Dale Rosengarten concluded: “There is a reasonable candidate for the single-source theory, and that is Senegambia—not Sierra Leone or the Ivory Coast or other rice-growing areas, but Senegambia, where rice and millet are winnowed in baskets that look just like low country [South Carolina] fanners.”
Examples of Senegambian baskets include baskets made by the Wolof, Serer, Mandingo and Fula. In fact she cites the example of a Fula basket maker, “using a tool, a nail with the point flattened—like the one Mt. Pleasant basket makers give their children who are learning to sew.”
AMULETS AND CONJURE CULTURE
Throughout West Africa Muslim marabouts and mu’allams (teachers) were well-known and respected as producers of amulets or gris-gris, which usually consisted of verses of Quran placed within a pouch and worn on various parts of the body in order to protect the wearer from harm. According to Hall, gris gris is a Mande word gerregerys. In his travel among the Mandingos in the 17th century, Richard Jobson calls the amulets “gregories” which are made by “Mary-bucks,” Jobson’s word for marabouts. The power of the amulet was located in the sanctity of the holy work written by a spiritually adept. The traveler Mungo Park wrote, “I did not meet with a man, whether a Bushreen [Muslim] or kafir [non-Muslim], who was not fully persuaded of the powerful efficacy of these amulets.”
Marabouts were in demand throughout West Africa for these amulets.
In the nineteenth century functions of the literate Muslims at the Asante court [Ghana] included the writing of charms for the King and his courtiers and the making of talismans to protect his soldiers in combat. The superiority of Islamic magic and the awe in which Arabic characters were—and are—held made Muslims much in demand at the courts of the chiefs in Akanland.
In the biography of Mahammad Gardo Baquaqua, his brother was a Muslim scholar and a producer of amulets in non-Muslim Benin.
In South America, Mandingos were associated with amulets. In Brazil the word for amulet means Mandingo purse and in Argentina, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico, mandingo means sorcery. In Bahia, Brazil Muslim amulets were very popular, and one observer remarked that Bahian blacks considered Muslims to be “wizards familiar with high magical processes.”
References to amulets abound in the eyewitness accounts of Africans in America. A French colonial official in Louisiana wrote that “they [slaves] are very superstitious and attracted to their prejudices and to charms which they call ‘gris-gris.’” “Old Friday” in South Carolina in 1843 remembered as a youth praying to Allah, but “several of the missionaries noted that ‘Old Friday’ and other Africans of the Beaufort area were affected by ‘Gree Gree’ worship.’”
A Southern writer in 1937, commenting on “how a Mohammedan influence had touched the lives of our darkies” told of Mama Julia who “always wore tied about her neck, with a string, a small cloth bag in which reposed a small copper plate on which were untranslatable letters. It was her most prized, most carefully guarded possession, because she knew that it protected her and her family from evil.” Cornelius Bailey, a descendent of Bilali and a current resident of Sapelo Island, recounted how her grandfather wore a pouch around his waist, containing verses from the Bible.
Undoubtedly African Muslims in America engaged in writing amulets. The many small pieces of Arabic written by Omar bin Said are decorated with designs that remind one of an amulet. During his stay on the North Carolina plantation, Omar would write Qur’anic passages on paper and place them about the farm in order to ward off evil. Some of the African slaves in one report called Omar a “pray God to the King” which meant “a priest or learned man, who offered up prayers for the King.” In other words Omar was viewed as a marabout whose prayers and amulets were welcomed in royal courts.
The Muslim presence in magical practices can be seen in the description of the making of a charm in the testimony of a maroon leader in Louisiana in 1758, who planned to use the charms in a plot to take over the colony. The charm consisted of various substances but after the substances were mixed the maker was supposed to pronounce the words “Allah Allah” and then invoke the Christian God and Lord Jesus Christ. The name of the charm, wanga, suggested a central African origin but the invocation of the God of Islam demonstrated the important presence of Muslims, possibly in the revolt.
The nine words that Turner listed as Gullah words referring to conjure, four are from African Muslim languages. Among these words are hoodoo, juju, and mojo which are common words referring to conjuring.
Hudu—to cause bad luck (Hausa)
Juju—magic (Hausa) [Mandingo also]
Moco—witchcraft (Fula) Moco becomes mojo.
The African marabouts who made gris-gris were also engaged in fortune telling and herbalogy—they were the conjurers and root doctors of Africa. Enslaved African Muslims undoubtedly were part of the development of conjure culture in America. The echo of African Muslim conjure can easily be heard in DuBois’s explanation of the black preacher as a link between Africa and the new black Christian church:
He early appeared on the plantation and found his function as the healer of the sick, the interpreter of the Unknown, the comforter of the sorrowing, the supernatural avenger of wrong…thus, as bard, physician, judge and priest rose the black preacher. (Souls Black Folk, in Roberts, Black Music p. 67)
The word hoodoo has been used to refer to “a system of magic, divination and herbalism” which is somewhat distinct from voodoo which is more associated with polytheism. Turner states that hoodoo is a Hausa word which was most probably used by the many Fula and Mandingos on the Georgia coast.
It is interesting to speculate that the difference between hoodoo and voodoo is the influence of the traditionalist African Muslim conjuring which would not admit a role for gods and possession by gods. Voodoo did not take hold in African American culture for a variety of reasons, such as strong Protestant influences which discounted saint worship, the main vehicle for voodoo expression in other parts of the Americas, and the fact that African Americans did not live as isolated from their white masters as they did in Caribbean and Brazilian culture. Another possible reason for the absence of voodoo was the presence of African Muslims who practiced a more Islamized conjuring. A more monotheistic-based view of the African spiritual world would also be pre-adapted to the Protestant objections to voodoo. Most researchers argue that voodoo cults in Louisiana grew as a result of the influence of Africans from Saint-Domingo, and did not emerge earlier among the largely Senegambian slave community in Louisiana. If voodoo were to take root in America, then the slave communities along the Carolina and Georgia coast would be the logical candidates, but it did not happen, possibly in part because African Muslims were a significant presence in the area.
Tracing the lineage of African American folk stories is difficult and fraught with different theories, as witness the various opinions about the origins of the tar baby story—claims include that it is from India, Gold Coast, Angola, Native Americans, Spain or the Hausa. Nevertheless some scholars point to the significant contribution of the various African Muslim peoples to the wealth of African American folklore. Of the 185 Uncle Remus stories, 14 were identified by Florence Baer as being of Hausa origins and two stories were identified as Wolof. In two of the Uncle Remus stories, an origin in the Muslim world is hypothesized: “this tale entered the African tradition and was probably brought to this country by slaves from Africa.”
A.S. Johnston, who studied Hausa folk stories, has argued for the Hausa origin of many of the Uncle Remus stories as collected by Joel Chandler Harris. In particular he points to strikingly similar character of the Hausa trickster hare, Zano, and Brer Rabbit. He contrasts the other African tricksters. “Whereas the spider is malevolently cunning and the jackal sagaciously cunning, the hare is simply mischievously cunning. Zano, the Hausa hare, is unquestionably one of Brer Rabbit’s grandfathers.” Supporting his argument is the fact that the Gold Coast trickster, Anansi, the spider, is not as prominent in African American folk stories as compared to the Caribbean where Anansi is the main character in folk stories. Brer Rabbit takes the place of Anansi in the United States. Possibly early Senegambians established Brer Rabbit as the main trickster and as other African peoples arrived, Anansi stories were transformed into Brer Rabbit stories.
The Hausa origins might be better explained as a result of cultural transference across the Savannah stretching from Hausa land westward to the coast following in the same footsteps as the spread of Islam. Thus the tales of the hare and the hyena, who became Brer Wolf in America, are also widespread among the Fula, Mandingo and Wolof. (Holloway XXIII) Hausa stories would move eastward and the stories of the Mandingo, Fula and Wolof would move westward towards the Hausa. According to one scholar, Joseph Holloway, the Mandingo in particular would have been the main conduits of folk stories in Africa as well as America. (Holloway XXIII) An indication of Mandingo influence is the word Brer, which is a translation of elder brother, which is used before animal names in Mandingo stories. (Holloway 138)
Just as African Muslims brought their religion, technology and folk tales, they also brought their music. Jobson in the 17th century and Park in the 18th century remarked on the widespread presence of music in their travels among the Wolof, Mandingo and Fula. African instruments described by Jobson and Park included one-string fiddles, various types of lutes, flutes, harps, a xylophone (the bala), bowstrings (the string is blown on and struck with a stick—this is the American diddly bow), various drums and the clapping of hands, which appeared to constitute a necessary part of the chorus. Virtually every village had a jilli (griot) who sang extempore songs in praise of chiefs and the ancestors as well as songs concerning important historical events. Other musicians were described as a class of devout Muslims who traveled throughout the land singing religious songs and performing religious ceremonies. Some of these traveling musicians were actually Muslim traders who simply brought their music with them wherever they traveled.
Senegambian/sahelian music like their counterpart in the Muslim world was a mixture of an old African tradition and a newly inherited Islamic-Arabic musical tradition, producing a new cultural manifestation that possessed elements of both. Influence went both ways because the Moors adopted many African elements as witnessed in the uniqueness of North African music, Southern Spanish music and traditional Portuguese music like the fado.
In trying to identify African influence in African American music, especially the blues, many scholars have come to agree with Paul Oliver’s early contention that “the blues was a product of acculturation, of the meeting of African (notably Senegambian) musical traditions with Euro-American (notably British) ones.” (Oliver 125, see also Kubah, Coolen) By Senegambia, Oliver and others refer to the shared musical tradition of the Sahel crescent zone that stretches from Senegal/Gambia across Mali to Northern Nigerian and Hausa land. The main elements of their argument that the main African influence on the blues stems from the Senegambia are as follows:
1. The ensemble of musical instrument in the Senegambia and the Sahel crescent, which consists of the long-neck lute, one-string fiddles and bones/rattles/tapping on a calabash, is remarkably similar to the fiddle, banjo and tambourines which dominated African American music from the 17th to 19th century. Various plucked lutes were prominent instruments among the Wolof, Mandingo, Fula, Soninke and Hausa. These instruments whether the five-strong halam of the Wolof, the three-string koonting of the Mandingo or the Hausa komo were most likely the grandfather of the banjo. An early colonial slave song says that “Negro Sambo play fine banger, make his fingers go like handsaw.” (???) This Fula, Mandingo or Wolof Sambo was obviously an early master of the banjo. (Kubah and Oliver, 57) A runaway slave notice mentions a Sambo who is an expert with the fiddle. (?) African fiddles whether the riti of the Wolof, the gogi or the Hausa or the gogeru of the Fula were common instruments in the Sahel crescent. The European fiddle was the most common instrument in the antebellum era and an African American who was familiar with the African fiddle would have been highly motivated in the acquisition of prestige and time-off to pick up the new European fiddle and master it.
The typical early black musical group of the Caribbean and South America included drums and gongs, scraps and voices which would correspond to an ensemble of the West African rain forest. “The early blues bands by contrast consisted very often of fiddle, guitars and sometimes homemade percussion, which would easily accommodate techniques learned in the savannah groups with their bowed goge, lutes and rattles.
2. The blues tradition and much of other black musical forms which revolves around a solo performer accompanied by a plucked-string instrument does not have a parallel in the cultures of the West African rain forest and the Congo, but it does in the Sahel crescent. Griots and other traveling musicians of the Sahel performed like the blues men “in the midst of an active and noisy crowd that constantly comments on and dances to their music.” “Musicologists generally agree that Africa’s black bluesmen have, in essence, reinstituted the high art of the African griot.” (?)
3. African American field hollers (a few melancholy, lonesome lines sung individually by a worker) and work songs are widely considered to be one of the predecessors of the blues. Hollers and work songs are rare among the people of the rain forest but plentiful in the Sahel crescent. A researcher found a match for a Mississippi prison holler performed by a man nick named Tangle Eye with a recording from Senegal. “When we intercut these two pieces on a tape, it sounded as if Tangle Eye and the Senegalese were answering each other, phase by phase. As one listens to this musical union, spawning thousands of miles and hundreds of years, the conviction grows that Tangle Eye’s forebears [sic] must have come from Senegal bringing this song style with them.”
Scholars have found unique similarities between American work songs and work songs among the Hausa and cattle herding Fula, so much so that some feel the field holler originated with African cattle herders.
4. The blues and jazz style of bending notes, melisma (ornamental phrasing of several notes in one syllable which is typical of the Muslim call to prayer), slurs, and raspy voices are all characteristics of music in the Sahel zone. These aspects of Sahel music are undoubtedly a direct influence of Arab/Islamic music. Billy Holiday was master of this style.
As sung by her [Billy Holiday] a note may (in the words of Glen Coutler) begin ‘slightly under pitch, absolutely without vibrato, and gradually be forced up to dead center from where the vibrato shakes free, or it may trail off mournfully; or at final cadences, the note is a whole step above the written one and must be pressed slowly down to where it belongs.’ Coincidence or not, all these features are found in Islamic African music and hardly at all in other styles.
5. The absence of polyrhythm and asymmetric time-lines and the presence of emphasis instead of off-beats in blues and early jazz are also characteristic of Sahel music. On the other hand, the music of the rain forest and the Congo with its heavy emphasis on drumming is characterized by polyrhythms and asymmetric time-lines and its influence is reflected in the black music of the Caribbean and South America. Arguments that the drum was prohibited in the U.S. and that enslaved Africans lived in closer proximity to whites are not persuasive because drums are not the only means to express polyrhythms and the cultural impulse for polyrhythm would not have been totally stifled by the influence of white culture. A more plausible answer is the influence of Sahel culture in the development of African American music.
5. Like the blues, Sahel music typically uses pentatonic scales that allows inflections and shadings of notes (the blues notes) as well as the use of a central tone reference, often a drone stroke which renders it “out of turn” around which the melody revolves. The blues tonality is not found in rain forest and Congo music or in Latin American music.
In 1968 he [the Mali musician Ali Farka Toure] heard a recording of John Lee Hooker and was entranced. Initially he thought Hooker was playing music derived from Mali. Several Malian song forms—including musical traditions of the Bambara, Songhay and Fulani ethnic groups—rely on minor pentatonics (five note) scales which are similar to the blues scales.
While discounting the Islamic influence on the blues, musicologists Gunther Schuller does note with interest that three of the six principal modes in Indo-Pakistani music “are nothing but blues scales.” The conclusion that the blues and Indo/Pakistani scales might have a common ancestor, namely classical Islamic/Arab music, seems to elude him.
6. There are also numerous playing techniques that are common to blues and Sahel music including fingering techniques, combined interweaving of melodic-rhythmic lines, and the cupping of the ear while playing the blues harmonica which is prominent in the Sahel and throughout the Muslim world.
7. The repetitive structure of the blues resembles the Senegambian musical structure called the fodet, which is a musical phrase of a fixed number of 6-24 beats, which is repeated in cyclic form.
More important, fodets parallel blues structure in the organization of their tonal character. Like the blues, different phrases of the fodet are marked off through the use of different tonal centers. Normally centering on a tonic path (danne), most fodets contain at least one phrase that centers on a secondary tonal center.
Senegambians and other African Muslims were not the only enslaved Africans so why did their influence predominate over other groups, especially the peoples from the West African rain forest and Central Africa who were in fact numerically larger. A possible answer is that Senegambians arrived early and “they found a musical culture, which, instead of suppressing their own inflected practice, actually sustained and reinforced it” in that European musical instruments better matched the experience of Senegambian, and that British and especially Scottish music had similarities in the tonal sensibilities of Sahel music. Like basket weaving, Senegambians, as early arrivals, established the first forms of blues music and later arrivals simply adopted the practice.
The African musicologist, Grehart Kubik, who actually specializes in music of the rain forest peoples, concludes:
Many traits that have been considered unusual, strange and difficult to interpret by earlier blues researchers can now be better understood as a thoroughly processed and transformed Arabic-Islamic stylistic component. What makes the blues different from African American music in the Caribbean and in South America is, after all, its Arabic-Islamic stylistic ingredients.
According to Robert F. Thompson, many African American quilt makers exhibit an influence of the “Mande country cloth tradition.” (Thompson 207-208) Mandingos, as the largest group of Mande-speaking peoples, would be a vital part of this tradition. The Mande style is to place together narrow strips of textiles but staggering the strips to accentuate and contrast the colors and accents. Comparing this decorative art to music, Thompson observes that the Mande-styled textiles are similar to the “off-beat phrasing of melodic accents” which is typical of African American music.
The narrow-strip weaving originated among Mande-speaking people and spread west to Senegambia, where the Fula adopted it, and east to the Songhay of Niger, and then south by means of the Muslim traders. The Muslim trading centers of Kong and Bonduku in Ivory Coast were important dispersion points for this style of cloth into Ghana, Togo and Benin. (Thompson 208)
The influence of Mande narrow-strip textiles can be seen most strongly in the strip blankets of Luiza Combs who produced her blankets around 1890 in Kentucky. (Thompson 220) Later African American quilt makers exhibit traces of the Mande style in their randomizing the traditional European block design. (Thompson 221)
 See Judith A. Carney, Black Rice: The African Origins of Rice Cultivation in the Americas (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001); Wood, Black Majority Negroes; and Littlefield, Rice and Slaves.
 Drums and Shadows, 162 and 167.
 Dale Rosengarten, Social Origins of the African-American Low Country Basket (Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, May 1997), 226.
 Richard Jobson, The Golden Trade, 1623 (London: Penguin, 1932), 63.
 Austin, African Muslims Transatlantic Stories, 162.
 Joao Jose Reis, Slave Rebellion in Brazil: The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia, translated by Arthur Brakel (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1993), 98-99.
 Lawrence S. Rowland, George C. Rogers, Jr. and Alexander Moore, History of Beauford, S.C. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1966), 355.
 Marion V. Kumar, Negro Folklore (MS of 9 typed pages, dated January 22, 1937), 1-2.
 Cornelius Bailey, Interview July 20, 1996.
 Thomas C. Parramore “Muslim Slave Aristocrats in North Carolina, The North Carolina Historical Review Vol. LXXVII No. 2 (April 2000): 137.
 Albert Rabeteau, Slave Religion: The ‘Invisible Institution’ in the Antebellum South 1978 (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004), 80.
 Florence E. Baer, Sources and Analogues of the Uncle Remus Tales (Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedenkatemia, Academia Scientiarum Fennica, 1980), 29-31.
 Florence E. Baer, 146 and see also 133.
 H.A.S. Johnston, A Selection of Hausa Stories (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), 39.
 Holloway, “Origins of African-American Culture,” XXIII.
 Holloway and Vass (?), 138.
 Gerhard Kubik, Africa and the Blues (Jackson, MS; University Press of Mississippi, 1999), 8.
 Paul Oliver, “Savannah Syncopators: African Retentions in the Blues,” in Yonder Comes the Blues: the Evolution of a Genre, ed. Paul Oliver, Tony Russell, Robert M.W. Dixon, John Godrich, and Howard Rye (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 125; see also Kubik, Coolen
 Kubik, 8; Michael Theodore Coolen, “Senegambian Archtypes for the American Folk Banjo,” Western Folklore Vol. XLIII No. 2 (April 1984), 117.
 John Storm Roberts, Black Music of Two Worlds (New York: Wm Morrow and Co., 1974), 185.
 Alan Lomax, The Land Where the Blues Began (New York: Pantheon Books, 1993), 357.
 Oliver, 144; Lomax, 234.
 Kubik, 70; Oliver, 102.
 Christopher John Farley, “Ali Farka Toure: Sound Travels, in Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: A Musical Journey, ed Peter Guralnick, Robert Santell, Holly George-Warren, and Christopher John Farley (New York: Harper Collins, 2003), 94.
 Gunther Schuller, Early Jazz: Its Roots and Musical Development (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), 61.
 Kubik, 89; Roberts, 185-186; Oliver, 52, 100, 102.
 Michael Theodore Coolen, “The Fodet: A Senegambian Origin for the Blues?” Black Perspective in Music 10:1, 77.
 Kubik, 121 citing William Tallmadge.
Thus, have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves; and We appointed the Qibla to which thou wast used, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels (From the Faith). Indeed it was (A change) momentous, except to those guided by Allah. And never would Allah Make your faith of no effect. For Allah is to all people Most surely full of kindness, Most Merciful.