Islam in America by Nabil A. Bayakly, Ph. D. Muslims in Memphis Org

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Islam in America by Nabil A. Bayakly, Ph.D. Muslims in Memphis Org.

  • How Far In History Do We Go Back?

Islam Among Native Americans

  • Evidence that some Mayans were Muslims.
  • From the Seminoles of Florida (Tallahassee: Tallah-Assee).
  • Sequoyah the Cherokee. The last Cherokee chief name was Ramadan bin Watie (also known as (“Stand” Watie) and his son’s was Saladin Watie. Saladin was part of the Cherokee delegation to Washington D.C. to sign a new treaty with the US at the end of the civil war.
  • Sequoyah the Cherokee
  • The Admiral Of the Western Seas – Cheng Ho (Zheng He). The Discoverer of America
  • The emperor sent his admiral on ever-long voyages.
  • Seven times, Zheng He's ships set sail for unknown lands.
  • He traveled to Mecca and visited Muhammad's (PBUH) tomb in Medina.
  • On the fifth voyage, he reached the coast of Africa, landing in Somalia on the
  • east coast.

1421 The Year China Discovered the World. By Gavin Menzies (March 15, 2002) Published by Bantam Press, London

  • Did a daring Chinese Admiral sailing the world's
  • largest wooden armada beat Columbus to America
  • by 71 years? 1421 The Year China Discovered
  • America? is a fascinating two part documentary that
  • investigates this possibility, delving deep into
  • historical archives and exploring the theories of best
  • selling author Gavin Menzies (From the Royal
  • Geographical Society in London).
  • In 1430, Ming Emperor Xuan Zong
  • commissioned Zheng He to deliver a
  • medal to foreign nations that he was
  • enthroned with a new era named
  • Xuan De. The medal was discovered
  • in 2006

So What Islam Has to Do With This?

  • Zheng He was a Muslim. He is from the Hui (Mongols) Muslim tribe he was also known as Hajji Zheng He. He performed pilgrimage to Makah on one of his trips. The Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” is inscribed on his tomb.
  • (1999)
  • Arch Goins and family, Graysville Photo from the 1920's, from a great-nephew in Chattanooga, provided by and used with the permission of Barbara Goins.
  • Who are the MELUNGEON?
  • Funk and Wagnells  1893 ----One of a very dark people living in the Mountains of
  • Tennessee Century Dictionary and Encyclopedia 1906 ---- Melungeons a dark people of
  • eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina with a discernable mix of “white, Indian
  • and black blood”.  Websters Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913 ----Malengine (Ma*len"gine) n.
  • [OF. malengin; L. malus bad, evil + ingenium natural capacity. See Engine.] Evil
  • machination; guile; deceit. [Obs.] Gower. American Heritage Dictionary---- Me.lun.geon (melun'jen) n. One of a small group of
  • dark skinned people of uncertain origin living in the mountains of eastern Tennessee.
  • [Origin uncertain.] \Me*lun"geon\, n. [Cf. F. m['e]langer to mix, m['e]lange a
  • mixture.] One of a mixed white and Indian people living in parts of Tennessee and the
  • Carolinas. They are descendants of early intermixtures of white settlers with natives. In
  • North Carolina the Croatan Indians, regarded as descended from Raleigh's lost colony
  • of Croatan, formerly classed with negroes, are now legally recognized as distinct. MALENGIN----: a favourite word of Sir Thomas Malory: "mischievous intent." "" Malengin ----[guile].  On his back he carried a net “to catch fools.” Being attacked by Sir
  • Artegal and his iron man, he turned himself first into a fox, then to a bush, then to a bird,
  • then to a hedgehog, then to a snake; but Talus was a match for all his deceits, and killed
  • him. (Spenser: Faërie Queene, v. 9 ""
  • Turkic people have been migrating to America for many centuries but this significant influx has been largely unrecognized.
  • In “From Anatolia to Appalachia”, Scolnick and Kennedy initiate a dialogue regarding this neglected area of American history and culture. This volume begins the communication with an essay reviewing existing evidence followed by interviews with knowledgeable persons about selected aspects of the population movements. An introduction and conclusion give focus and unity to the various elements of the dialogue.

The Undisputed American Muslim History

Slavery and the Slave Trade

  • Yarrow
  • Mamout was born in Africa
  • around 1736 and was a
  • teenager when enslaved
  • and brought to America.
  • He was known as a devout
  • Muslim and hard worker, and
  • was able to accumulate some
  • property. He lived the rest of
  • his life in Georgetown, where
  • he died in 1824 at the age of
  • about 88.
  • Omar Said was captured in warfare
  • and shipped to Charleston, S.C. in
  • 1806/07, just before the abolition
  • of the slave trade. He spent about
  • 24 years enslaved in South and
  • North Carolina. He originally wrote
  • his account in Arabic in 1831, at
  • around the age of 61; an English
  • translation appeared after his
  • death in 1864.

The Prince of Slaves

  • Abdulrahman Ibrahim Ibn Sori
  • was a former prince from West
  • Africa who was made a slave in
  • the United States.
  • In 1828 he was freed
  • after spending 40 years
  • in slavery by the order
  • of President John
  • Quincy Adams and
  • Secretary of State
  • Henry Clay.
  • In 1803, Bilali (Ben Ali) Muhammad and his family arrived in Georgia on
  • Sapelo Island. Bilali Muhammad was a Fula from Timbo Futa-Jallon in present
  • day Guinea-Conakry. By 1806 he became the plantation manager for Thomas
  • Spalding, a prominent Georgian master. Bilali and his wife Phoebe had 12 sons
  • and 7 daughters. One of his sons is reported as being Aaron of Joel Chandler
  • Harris’ work, author of Uncle Remus and Br’er Rabbit stories. His daughters
  • " names were Margaret, Hester, Charlotte, Fatima, Yoruba, Medina, and Bint.
  • All his daughters but Bint could speak English, French, Fula, Gullah, and Arabic.
  • Bilali was well educated in Islamic law. While enslaved Bilali became the
  • community leader and Imam of at least 80 men. During the War of 1812 Bilali
  • told his slave master that he had 80 men of the true faith to help defend the land
  • against the British.
  • Ben Alis "Diary, housed today at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Recent History

  • In 1903, Mohammed Asa Abu-Howar arrives in New York. Moves to Washington, DC. He becomes a successful builder as A. Joseph Howar, who backed the construction of the Islamic Center.
  • In 1907, The Polish Tartars establish "The American Mohammed Society" in Brooklyn, NY.
  • In 1908, Muslim immigrants from the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan arrive in North America. They are mainly Turks, Kurds, Albanians, and Arabs.
  • In 1915, Albanian Muslims in Biddeford, Maine established the first effective Mosque in North America. Most were bachelors working at the Peppermell Mills. Muslim Albanian families still reside in Biddeford and nearby Saco.
  • In 1920, The Red Crescent, a Muslim charity modeled after the International Red Cross, is established in Detroit.
  • In 1922, an Islamic association was established in Detroit, Michigan.
  • In 1925, a Muslim group in Michigan City, Indiana purchased land designated as their cemetery. In the thirties, these Muslims added a Mosque/Community Center. The building is still in use.
  • By 1923, Hassen Mohamed became a successful businessman in Downtown Belzoni, Mississippi. He had a general merchandise store. Hassen settled in the Belzoni area in 1911 he came from the Lebanese village of Sir’een. Hassen was married to Ethel Wright together they had eight children one of their sons Ollie Mohamed became a State Senator. Hassen Mohamed past away in 1965.

Immigration Laws

  • In 1929, Muslim farmers built one of America’s first Mosques (Masjid) in Ross, North Dakota. The homesteader Hassen Juma had settled there with 160 free acres in 1899. By 1902, twenty families had followed his path from Birey, Syria. The U.S. objected to their naturalization until 1909 when it withdrew the ban and the Syrians began claiming citizenship. Many fought and died in the two world wars. In 1929 the community built a Mosque, and performed Jumuah prayers service.  The farmhouse/mosque was destroyed in 1978. The cemetery on its grounds remains and there is an arched gate with a crescent and star on it.

More History

  • In the 1930's, three other Mosques (Masjids) were started in Dearborn, MI., Sacramento, CA., and Michigan City, MI.
  • In 1934, The Muslim community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa built the first Masjid (Mosque) specifically designed and built as a Masjid. The earlier community was predominantly Lebanese under the leadership of Abdullah Ingram. Cedar Rapid’s community has grown and has been able to maintain their Islamic identity.
  • 1947-60, A third wave of Muslim immigrants, coming from Palestine, Yugoslavia, Lebanon and Egypt.
  • In 1949, The Albanian-American Muslim Center of Detroit was founded by Imam Vehbi Ismail.
  • By the late 1940s, a few jazz musicians became Muslims. Art Blakey, Talib Dawoud, Mohammed Sadiq, Sahib Shihab, Ahmad Jamal, Dakota Staton, Yusef Lateef, Idrees Sulieman, and McCoy (Sulieman Saud) Tyner to a name a few.
  • In 1952, Muslim service men sue the federal government and were allowed to identify themselves as Muslims.
  • In 1955, The State Street Masjid in New York City was established by Sheikh Dawud Ahmed Faisal. It is still in use today. From this Masjid came the Dar-ul-Islam movement in 1962.
  • In 1955, A Mosque was established by Yugoslavians in Chicago. These Muslims arrived in the early 1900s and have evolved into an organized ethnic group with several institutions, including the Bosnian-American Cultural Association.
  • In 1963, The Muslim Student Association (MSA) was founded. It’s an organization to aid foreign Muslim students attending schools in the United States. MSA now has more than 100 branches nationwide


  • In 1965, Muhammad Ali the three time world boxing champ makes the name Muhammad Ali and the Islamic faith a household name in America.
  • In 1965, Internationally known Muslim leader El Hajj Malik al-Shabazz was assassinated in New York.

And More History

  • In 1982, The Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) was established in Plainfield, IN. ISNA is now an umbrella organization for many active Islamic groups seeking to further the cause of Al-Islam in the United States.
  • In the 1990s A National Shura developed in North America which comprises Imam W.D. Mohammed, Dr. Abdullah Idris Ali, President of ISNA, Imam Jamil Al-Amin, and Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid, the Amir of ICNA.
  • In 1991, Charles Bilal, of Kountze, Texas, became the nation’s first Muslim mayor in an American city.
  • In 1993, Captain Abdul Rasheed Muhammad became the First Muslim Army Chaplin (Imam) in the U.S. Army was installed. In 1991 according to the United States Department of Defense, there are more than 5,000 Muslims in uniform on active duty in the military.
  • In 1994, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is established, a leading Islamic Human and Civil rights organization.
  • In August 1999, The first Muslim US Ambassador, Osman Siddique was sworn in as the Ambassador to the Fiji Islands
  • In 2006, Keith Ellison was elected congressman. He is the first Muslim to be elected to the House of Representative.
  • Throughout the 80's and 90's we have seen much growth in the Muslim community. Today Islam is the fastest growing Religion in America today and has now become the second largest religion in the United States.

Pseudo-Islamic Cults

  • In 1929, "The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America" in Detroit was founded by W.D.Fard. Fard was known as (Wali D. Fard, Wallace Fard, and W.F. Muhammad) mystery surrounds his origins some identify him as half-Syrian, half-Jamaican some say half-Persian, half-Turkish, and the FBI says he was half-Polynesian, half-Scottish. Fard claimed he was half-European, half-Meccan genealogy. On July the Fourth, he announced the beginning of His mission which was to restore and to resurrect his lost and found people, who were identified as the original nation of Muslims of Asiatic-African descent from the tribe of Shabazz, who were captured, exploited, and dehumanized and enslaved. In 1931, Fard was preaching in Detroit, Michigan where after hearing his first lecture Elijah Poole was overwhelmed by the message and immediately accepted it. The founder of the Nation of Islam gave him the name "Karriem" and made him minister. Later he was promoted to the position of "Supreme Minister" and his name was changed to Muhammad. Mr. Muhammad quickly became an integral part of the Temple of Islam. For the next three and a half years, Mr. Muhammad was personally taught by his teacher Wali D. Fard. Eljiah was taught some Islamic beliefs, a self-independence and empowerment concept, a history, a superior cultural belief, was inspired to read and respect the Holy Qur’an. There where about 8,000 followers at that time.
  • In 1933, Fard told Eljiah Muhammad that he was the Mahdi "The Saviour", the one who had come in the early morning dawn of the New Millennium to lay the base for a New World Order of Peace and Righteousness on the foundation of truth, justice, freedom, and to change the world into a Heaven on Earth.


  • In 1934, Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) becomes the leader of "The Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America" which later became known as "The Nation of Islam." The Nation of Islam, was an indigenous African American Islamic expression founded by Wali Fard Muhammad and developed by Elijah Muhammad. In 1934, W. Fard Muhammad, departed the scene and left Elijah Muhammad with the mission. By 1935, Mr. Muhammad faced many new challenges and a death plot at the hands of a few disgruntled members. To avoid the plot and to do research at the Library of Congress he moved to Washington, DC. In Washington, Mr. Muhammad studied and started a Muslim community he was known as "Mr Evans", "Ghulam Bogans", Muhammad Rassoull". The Nation of Islam had developed many Temples of Islam, and the University of Islam across the country, they had businesses, farms, property, rental property, transportation fleets and more. He produced many great Muslim and non Muslim leaders like Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and Imam Warith Deen (W.D.) Mohammed

From Chaos Comes Order

  • In 1975, W.D. Mohammed becomes the leader of the Nation of Islam. He moved the Nation of Islam from nationalism into the path of Islam. Under his leadership the community made many positive transitions and name changes from The World Community of Islam in the West, to the American Muslim Mission, Ministry of W.D. Mohammed, and now Muslim American Society.
  • In 1978, Warith Deen Muhammad is named as consultant/trustee by the Gulf States to distribute funds for Islamic missionary activities in the U.S.

Another “Muslim” Sect

  • In 1920, The first Ahmadiyya Muslim missionary to arrive in America was Dr. Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, who arrived in Philadelphia on Sunday, February 15, 1920, on board the Haverford. For religious reasons he was detained on Ellis Island, New York on February 25, 1920. On May 20, 1920 he was released by the order of the Secretary of the State. Dr. Sadiq stayed in New York for some time and continued to preach Islam. Later, he moved to Chicago and in 1921 established the first headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, at 4448 Wabash Avenue, giving it the name "Al Masjid."
  • In 1950, the first mosque in the nation’s capital is established as the "American Fazl Mosque" at 2141 Leroy Place, Washington, DC. It served as the Headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community from 1950-1994.

Yet Some More

  • In 1926, Duse Muhammad Ali (1866-1945), mentor of Marcus Garvey, helped establish an organization in Detroit known as the "Universal Islamic Society." Its motto was "One God, One Aim, One Destiny." He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, the son of a Sudanese mother and an Egyptian army officer. He was brought to London at a young age by one of his fathers" friends. He was known to be a frequently in the company of Muhammad Pickthall, the English Muslim scholar who translated the Holy Qur’an into English. Duse Ali had considerable influence upon Garvey’s when they work together in London when Duse Ali was the Editor African Times and Orient Review.

September 11, 2001

  • A cowardly attack on OUR nation
  • Active campaign against Islam was launched.
  • Attacks on:
  • Deity of Islam
  • The Message
  • The Messenger
  • The Practice
  • The People
  • Present Day Islam in America
  • Somerset, Kentucky, USA
  • L. A.
  • D.C.
  • Tempe, AZ
  • Newark, Delaware
  • Windsor, CT
  • Central Florida
  • Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Teaneck, New Jersey

Are there any Other Contributions?

  • Yes.
  • The US constitution
  • In sciences
  • In economics
  • Many more to come (In Sha’-Allah).

Who Are the American Muslims

  • A mosaic of the whole world
  • The sooner we admit that they are Americans the sooner we come out of our slumberness.

What is Next?

  • Learn about your civil rights
  • We MUST put back into this society.
  • We MUST build bridges with other communities.
  • Our children are ALL AMERICANS (whether we realize it or not)

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