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Masters of navigation on both land and sea.
Tutored in the sciences by the Shaykhs of Mali.

The Sultan of Mali, Abu Bakr the second, to his
subjects he did beckon …they answered his
call by building an armada of twelve hundred ships.

From the town of Niani these ships did slip
from the shores of Senegambia into the Atlantic.

Latitudinal, longitudinal navigation and
observation of the sky did aid the Mandinga
and people of Songhay.

Through use of the stars these Ebony mariners
sailed to shores a far.

The Djembe, Buogarabuo and the talking drum,
With their distinctive rhythmic sounds …
westward bound … new trade routes to be found.
A West African Muslim encounter with America.

Faces and bodies baked brown by the sun.
Perspiration bathes their skin causing it to glisten
like polished mahogany.

Adorned in regal white robes and kingly attire
bronze colored skin kissed by the Sun’s sacred fire.

The Native Americans, to the shore they did come
as they heard the ever increasing deafening sound
of the Malian drum.

Disembarking … upon American soil they are
walking and there is silence because the talking
drum is no longer talking.

As a token … the Americans fell prostrate before
what they thought was the long anticipated return
of the black gods of whom their ancestors had spoken.

From the East … these Malian Muslims explained
that they had come in peace. Through Dawah they
set the record straight … by proclaiming Tawheed
and the fact that only Allah is great.

Seeking adventure, commerce, contributing to and
learning from other civilizations but never losing sight
that their ultimate reward awaits them in heaven, these
African Muslim accomplished this feat in the year 1311.

By,
Abu Lateef

Copyright ©2005



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