AMERICAN MUSLIM HISTORY
A chronological summary of some of the major events
I found in relation of the Muslims' personal and political life
in American history.
1178 A Chinese document known as the Sung Document
records the voyage of Muslim sailors to a land known as Mu-Lan-pi
1310 Abu Bakri (Abu Bakar), a Muslim king of the
Malian Empire, spearheads a series of sea voyages to the New World.
1312 Mandinga, African Muslims, from Mali and other
parts of West Africa arrive in the Gulf of Mexico for exploration
of America's interior using the Mississippi River as their access
1527 A Muslim from Morocco by the name of Estevanico
of Azamor lands in Florida with the expedition of Panfilo de Narveaz
and remains in America to become the first of three Americans to
cross the continent in 1539.
1530 More than 30% of the estimated 10 million African
slaves, uprooted from the areas of Fulas, "Fula Jallon",
"Fula Toro", and "Massina" as well as other
areas of "West Africa" governed from their capital "Timbuktu",
that arrived in America during the slave trade of that time and
sent to Mexico, Cuba, and South America were Muslims, they and became
part of the backbone of the American economy of that period.
1732 A Muslim slave by the name of "Ayyub Bin
Sulaiman Jallon" from "Boonda, Galumbo" is set free
by James Oglethrope, the founder of Georgia, and provided transportation
to England. In 1735, three years later, he arrived home.
1790 Moors from Spain are reported to be living
in South Carolina and Florida
1807 An African Muslim by the name of Yarrow Mamout
is set free in Washington DC, after the United States Congress prohibits
the importation of slaves into America after January 1st, 1808,
and later becomes one of the first shareholders of the Columbia
Bank, the second charted bank in America. It is implemented that
Yarrow may have lived to be more than 128 years old, the oldest
person in American history.
1809 A Muslim by the name of "Omar ibn Said"
is enslaved in Charleston, South Carolina, and imprisoned after
running away. Later in prison he was visited by John Owen, who became
later a Governor of North Carolina, and taken to Bladen County to
be placed on the Owen plantation and it is reported that he lived
to be 100 years old
1828 A slave by the name of "Abdulrahman Ibraheem
Bin Sori", known to many "The Prince of the Slaves"
because he was a former prince from West Africa, on a Georgia plantation
is freed by the order of Secretary of State Henery Clay and President
John Quincy Adams. A drawing of him by Henery Inman is displayed
in the Library of Congress.
1839 Sayyid Sa'id", ruler of Oman orders
his ship "The Sultana" to set sail to America on a trade
mission, reaching New York, April 30, 1840. And although the voyage
was not a commercial success, it marks the point of Muslims successful
friendly relations with America, which still continues to exist
between many of the Islamic nations and the United States of today.
1856 The United States cavalry hire a Muslim by
the name of "Hajji Ali" to experiment with raising camels
1865 During the American Civil War, the "scorched
earth" policy of the North destroyed churches, farms schools,
libraries, colleges and a great deal of other property. On the morning
of April 4, when the Federal troops reached the campus of the University
of Alabama with orders to destroy the university, "Andre
Deloffre", a modern language professor and custodian of the
"Rotunda library" at the university, appealed to the commanding
officer, to spare one of the finest libraries in the south. The
officer, being sympathetic, sent a courier to General Croxton at
his headquarters in "Tuscaloosa" asking permission to
save the library, but the general's reply was negative, so the officer
reportedly said "I will save one volume as a memento of this
occasion" and the volume selected was a rare copy of the Qur'an"
1889 A noted scholar and social activist by the
name of Edward W. Blyden travels throughout the Eastern and Southern
parts of the United States lecturing about Islam and in one of his
speeches before the Colonization Society of Chicago he told his
audience that the reasons Africans choose Islam over Christianity
is that, "the Qur'an protected the black man from self-depreciation
in the presence of Arabs or Europeans."
1893 "Mohammad Alexander Russel Webb",
one of the earliest "White American Converts", founds
the "American Islamic Propaganda Movement". And on September
20th and 21st, he appeared at the First World Congress of Religions
and delivered two lectures: "The spirit of Islam," and
"The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions."
1908 Muslim immigrants from the provinces of the
Ottoman Empire, who are mainly Turks, Kurds, Albanians, and Arabs
arrive in North America.
1913 "Timothy Drew" (Noble Drew Ali) establishes
an organization in Newark, NJ, known as the "Moorish Science
Temple of America" (MSTA), responsible for many of today's
African-American converts to Islam, and who was reportedly commissioned
by the Sultan of Morocco at that time to teach "Negroes"
in the United States
1915 Albanian Muslims build a Masjid (Mosque) in
Maine and establish one of the first associations for Muslims in
the United States, and in 1919 they build another Masjid in Connecticut.
1920 The Red Crescent, a Muslim charity modeled
after the International Red Cross, is established in Detroit.
1926 "Dues Muhammad Ali," mentor of "Marcus
Gravey" and the person who had considerable impact on Gravey's
movement, establishes an organization in Detroit known as the Universal
Islamic Society. Its motto was "One God, One Imam, One Destiny."
1926 Polish-speaking Tatars build a mosque in Brooklyn
1930 African-American Muslims build the "First
Muslim Mosque" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1933 The organization of the Nation of Islam (NOI)
is founded by "Fard Muhammad" or (Wallace Ford), a Muslim
mystic who introduced its philosophy to the United States and disappeared
in 1933. The late "Eli-jah Mohammed, succeeded Frad in 1933
and built the organization into a strong ethnic movement advocating
Islam as a way of life. The NOI is one of the most well known organizations
that had its prints on the history of United States, as well as
the American Muslim history; it holds itself responsible for converting
a high percentage of African-Americans to Islam and highlighting
American Christians' difficulties combating the effects of slavery
and racism among African-Americans. Two of the most famous African-Americans,
"Muhammad Ali" and "Alhajj Malik al-Shabazz"
(Malcolm X), were early adherents of this movement, but both later
embraced the broader multiethnic concepts of orthodox Islam or mainstream
1934 The Lebanese community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
opens its Masjid.
1939 "Sheik Dawood" founds the "Islamic
Mission Society" in New York, which publishes a magazine entitled,
1952 Muslims in the Armed Services sue the Federal
Government to be allowed to identify themselves as Muslims. Until
then Islam was not recognized as a legitimate religion.
1955 Sheik Dawood Ahmed Faisal" establishes
the "State Street Masjid" in New York City, which is still
in use today and represents a special point in the development of
the American Muslim community. And it is from this Masjid the "Dar-ul-Islam
movement" was later born in 1962.
1960 The NOI's University of Islam schools flourishes
drawing the attention of the American media, but the coverage focuses
upon the "Black Muslims' self-help programs for Blacks"
yet considers them a "threat" to the white establishment.
1962 The newspaper "Muhammad Speaks" is
published by the Nation of Islam, which later on becomes the largest
minority weekly publication in the United States reaching 800,000
readers at its peak. But it eventually underwent some name changes
over the years, following the various transformations its publishers
(NOI) underwent as well, such as "Bilalian News" (named
after a famous black Muslim hero and scholar), the "A.M. Journal",
and currently The Muslim Journal.
1963 Establishment of the "Muslim Students
Association" (MSA), an organization to aid foreign Muslim students
attending schools in the United States.
1965 The assassination of "Al-Haj Malik al-Shabazz"
(Malcolm X), one of the most outstanding Muslims in American history
as well as a dedicated fighter for justice and equality for African-Americans
and other oppressed people, takes place in New York.
1968 "Hamas Abdul Khaalis" founds the
"Hanfi Movement" in New York and builds the "Hanafi-Hab
Center" there, but latter on moves to Washington DC His movement
had a membership of more than 1000 and one of the first Muslims
who first came into contact with Islam through this movement is
"Kareem AbdulJabbar" the famous Lakers basketball player.
But in 1977, Khaalis and some of his followers seized control of
3 buildings in D. C., holding hostages for more than 30 hours, one
man was killed. Khaalis is now incarcerated in Washington DC and
is serving a sentence of 41 to 120 years, marking a challenging
period in American Muslim history.
1975 "Elijah Muhammad", the late leader
of the Nation of Islam (NOI) dies and is succeeded by his son "Warith
Deen Mohammed," who is regarded as one of the leading Muslim
spokesmen in the United States of today and is credited disputing
many of his father's ethnic beliefs and statements and for moving
the organization toward the broader universal concepts of Islam.
1982 The "Islamic Society of North America"
(ISNA) is established in Plainfield, Indiana, which is now the umbrella
1986 "Dr. Isma'il R. al-Faruqi," the founder
of the "American Muslim Social Scientists" organization
and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, and his wife
are murdered in their home outside Philadelphia. Dr. Faruqi and
his wife are the authors of the Cultural Atlas of Islam and many
other books. His murder was predicated without name by the president
of Jewish Defence League one week before his death in the Village
Voice, New York by claiming that within a week an outspoken Palestinian
professor will be eliminated.
1987 Muslim Alert Network was established in Chicago
to mobilize Muslim response to media and discrimination against
Muslims. Later on the same concept was used to establish CAIR.
1990 Muslims hold the first solidarity conference
called "Muslims Against Apartheid." This was the first
conference of its kind in support of Muslims for the struggle against
Apartheid in South Africa. The conference was organized by the American
1991 Imam Siraj Wahhaj offers an invocation (opening
prayer) to the United States House of Representatives. He was the
first Muslims to do so.
1992 Imam Warith Deen Mohammed gives the invocation
in the Senate.
1992 Bosnia Task Force, USA was established as an
allience of ten national Muslim organizations in support of Bosnia.
1993 Bosnia Task Force, USA and National Organization
of Women (NOW) organized joint demonstration in 100 cities in America
against the rape of women in Bosnia.
1993 Bosnia Task Force, USA organized the largest
rally to date by Muslim in favor of Bosnia in Washington DC attended
by 50,000 Muslims
1994 Islamic Shura Council of North America was
established choosing four of the largest participents of the Bosnia
Task Force, USA
1995 Oaklahoma Bombing took place which launched
a hate campaign agains Muslims in America
1996 Iftar-Dinner on Capitol Hill sponsored by American
Muslim Council February 13 hosted by Senator Joseph I. Lieberman
(D CT), Congressmen Nick J. Rahall (D W. VA), Dana Rohrabacher (R
CA), Thomas M. Davis III (R VA), James P. Moran (D VA) and attended
by ambassadors and representatives from most of the Muslim countries.
1996 The White house celebration of Eid Al-Fitr, February 20, 1996
by First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton the first Eid celebration ever
at the White House.
2000 Muslims endorsed Governer Bush for bloc vote
who won in one the most narrow election in the history of the US.