Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

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portrait of abdul ar-rahman


Abdur-Rahman was born in Timbo, he was a captain in the military of the Fulbe tribe, commanding over 2,000 men. He was then captured and thrown into a ship bound for New Orleans via Dominica. His fate placed him in the path of a white man who had been nursed back to health by his father in Timbo. This eventually led to his fanfare journey back to Africa, accompanied by his wife Isabella. Much to Abdur-Rahmans distress he was unable to secure the release of his many children. They eventually made it to Africa after their father had passed away. see also List of Early African Muslims in the USA

History of Islam In America
The Beginnings 13121600
Native Americans and Islam 13001900
Muslims First Journey To America 1312 CE (711 AH)
Christopher Columbus 1492 CE (897 AH)
Estevanico 1538 CE (944 AH)
Slavery in the Americas 1538 CE (944 AH)
Melungeons 1600 CE (1008 AH)
Blackamoor 1639 CE (1048 AH)
Islam In America 18th Century 17001799
Mahomet Weyonomon 1708 CE (1119 AH)
Lamine Jay 1730 CE (1142 AH)
Job Ben Solomon Jallo 1730 CE (1142 AH)
Abel Conder 1753 CE (1166 AH)
Kunta Kinte 1767 CE (1180 AH)
Runaway Slaves 17691790
Peter Saleem 1775 CE (1188 AH)
Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman 1788 CE (1202 AH)
Yusef Ben Ali 1790 CE (1204 AH)
Islam In America 19th Century 18001899
Salih Bilali 1803 CE (1217 AH)
Yarrow Mamout 1807 CE (1221 AH)
Abraham of the Micanopy Indian Tribe 1812 CE (1226 AH)
Umar ibn Said 17701864
Lamine Kebe 1835 CE (1250 AH)
Islam In America 20th Century 19001999
Islam In America 21st Century 2000–Present


Early life in Timbo

Abdur-Rahman was born around 1762 CE (1175 AH), and received a classical Islamic education in various areas; Timbo see Bilali, Timbuktu, Jenne of Masina seeSalih Bilali, until he became literate in Arabic and able to speak Bambara, Mandingo and Jallonke.

Traditionally the first son went into advanced intellectual pursuits, however Abdur-Rahman was second in line and so choose a military career. And he was very sucessful, rising to the level of Captain and leading an army of over 2,000 men

Journey to America

The journey to America for Abdur-Rahman was long and ardeous. He sailed from the Gambian River, crossed the Atlantic to Dominica and then travelled to the Mississippi River, before finally setting down in New Orleans. In total he spent nearly 6 months ship bound. On arrival he was sold to Thomas Foster. It was not long before he ran away, only to return disheartened a few weeks later.

Chance Encounter

Around 1807 Abdul ar-Rahman was selling vegetables his family had grown in Natchez when he caught sight of John Coates Cox. John some time back in the 1780's wandered away from his ship, which left without him. He eventually came to Timbo where Abdul ar-Rahmans father took him in, nursed him back to health and took care of him for 6 months before sending a guard, at Johns request, to help him find a ship to return him to America. John embraced Abdul ar-Rahman and approached his owner in order to purchase his freedom from Thomas Foster. Thomas refused to sell Abdul ar-Rahman, but from that moment onwards he was given much more free time, and he aroused the interest of people who would eventually help him return to Timbo

Journey back Home


Abdul-ar-Rahman married Isabella , a baptist in 1794 CE (1208 AH), and they had five sons and four daughters.

Literary Works

In 1826 wrote to his father in Arabic via a Mr Marchalk. He also wrote the AL-FATIHA see images below. One of the images is mislabelled and is not the Fatihah. It actually is a brief autobiography that reads, in part, "His name is Abdul Rahman Ibrahim Sori from Futa Jalloon. May Allah bless the Prophet and his descendants and give him abundant blssing. He (Abdul Rahman) was born on a good Friday...".

Abdul ar-Rahmans and Islam

Abdul compared the Western slavery with the Islamic slavery

Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

I tell you, man owns slaves - he joins the religion - be very good- he makes he slaves work till noon - go to church - then till he sung go down they work for themselves - they raise cotton, sheep, cattle, plenty, plenty

Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

This was confirmed by a French visitor to Futa Jallon in 1817 who said that the Fulbe slave towns were "establishments truly honourable to humanity".


Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

I tell you the Testemant very good law;you no follow it; you no pray often enough; you greedy after money. You good man; you join the religion". "See, you want more land, more neegurs; you make neegur work hard, make more cotton.... Where you find dat in your law?

Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

Abdul ar-Rahmans History in his own Words

Al Fatihah 1828
Al Fatihah 1828
Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman

I was born in the city of Tombuctoo. My Father had been living in Tombuctoo, but removed to be King in Teembo, in Foota Jallo. his name was Almam Abrahim. I was five years old when my father carried me from Tombuctoo. I lived in Teembo, mostly, until I was twenty one and followed the horesen. I was made Captain when I wasn twenty-one - after they put me to that , and found that I have a vergy good head, at twenty-four they made me Colonel. At the age of twenty six, they sent me to fight the Hebohs, because they destroyed the vessels taht came to the coast, and prevented our trade. When we fought, I defeated them. But they wen tback one hundred miles into the country, and hid themselves in the mountain. We coud not see them, and didn not expect there was any enemy. When we got there we, dismounted and led our hourses, until we were half way up the mountain. Theyn they fired upon us. We saw the smoke, we heard the guns, wes saw the people drop down. I told every one to run until we reached the top of the hill, then to wait for each other until all came there, and we would fight them. After I had arrived as the summit, i could see no one excpet my guard. they followed us, and we ran and fought. I saw this would not do. i told every one to run who wished to do so. Every one who wished to run , fled. I said I will not run for a Kufr. I got down from my horse and sat down. .........They sold me directly, with fity others, to an English ship. They took me to the Islamd of Dominica. After that I was taken to New Orleans. they the took me to Natchez and Colonel Foster brought me. I hae lived with Colonel Foster 40 years. thirty years I laboured hard. the last ten years I have been indulged a good deal. I have left five children behind and eight grand children. I feel sad, to think of leaving my children behind me. I desire to go back to my own country again; but when I think of my childre, it hurts my feelings. If I go to my own country, I cannot fell happy, if my children are left. I hope by God's assistance, to recover them.

Ibrahim Abd ar-Rahman
Part of a Category:Slavery of articles on


Slavery in the Americaas

History of Slavery in The Americaas

Slave Revolts and Slave Cooperation


Job Ben Solomon JalloIbrahim Abd ar-RahmanLamine KebeYarrow MamoutKunta Kinte

Areas where African Slaves came from

SenigambiaGhanaMaliGuineac defgh

Coloninal Legislation on Slavery

abcde fghij

African American Heritage


African American Journeys

The Middle Passage
African American Returns

African Muslim Tribes


See Also


  • Muhammed A. al-Ahari Five Classic Muslim Slave Narratives Magribine Press Chicago 2006. ISBN 978146359327.


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