Islam in the United States

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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



The History of Islam in America can be categorised into five waves of immigration, and is intertwined with American immigration laws and its colonisation period

  • The First wave - African American Muslim slaves and Turkish and Moorish immigration as part of the early settlements.
  • The Second wave which occured between the end of the American Civil War, and the start of World War I.
  • The Third wave between the first and second World War.
  • The Fourth wave between the end of World War II and the early 1960's
  • The Fifth wave commencing from the abolishon of the national quotas system of Immigration

African American Slaves and Turic\Moorish colonies

There is strong evidence of Muslim presence in America before Columbus, this includes accounts of Medieval Islamic historians, corroborated by maps, and archeological finds. Even at the time of Columbus Muslims where present as they accompanied him in his journeys as navigators etc. Muslims had dominated the sea routes prior to the Spanish ending the 800 year reign of Al Andalus. And it was the knowledge from Muslims in Al Andalus that presented the spring board for Columbus's mission

Between the 1500's and 1900' some 30% of all african american slaves where Muslim, representing over 10 million Muslims. Primary evidence of the scale of the muslim presence is being increasingly uncovered, in church records, plantation records , etc ...

Second Wave

Third Wave

Fourth Wave

Fifth Wave


America is home to a large variety of Muslims, coming from very different cultures and backgrounds.

African American Community

Latin Community

South Asian Communities

  • Pakistanis
  • Indians


There is a growing number of reverts to Islam in America, which includes Latinos, African Americans, and also people of European descent.

Largest Communities


  • The MSA - The Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada is the oldest of the national Islamic organisations
  • ICNA -The Islamic Circle of North America traces its history to the formation of an Urdu speaking , Muslim organisation known as Halaqa e-Islami in 1968 CE (1387 AH).
  • IIIT -The International Institute of Islamic Thought was established in 1981 CE (1401 AH) and is a academic and cultural institution that is concerned with general issues of Islamic thought.
  • ISNA - The Islamic Society of North America was founded in 1982 CE (1402 AH) by former members of MSA.
  • MPAC -The Muslim Public Affairs Council was established in 1988 CE (1408 AH). It is a public service agency that works for the civil rights of Muslim Americans.
  • MAS- The Muslim American Society was founded in 1992 CE (1412 AH).
  • IANA - The Islamic Assembly of North America was founded in 1993 CE (1413 AH) is a Salafi organisation.
  • CAIR - The Council on American Islamic Relations was established in 1994 CE (1414 AH). It's mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam.
  • The Mosque Cares - is an Islamic Organisation under the leader sheep of W. Deen Mohammed.
  • Islamic Publications in North America.


There have been various surveys conducted in America to determine size of the Muslim population. These surveys can be categorised into two camps

  • The Telephone Polls conducted by Non Muslims
  • The Mosque related Muslim Surveys

With the Telephone polling mechanism, the factor of suspicion plays a large part especially post 911 in the USA. Many of the Muslim Immigrants who arrived in the United States are political refugees, where they recognised that the least information held about a person the better. In addition many don't have command of the English language, and some particularly conservative women would not answer the phone. Thus according to Jerald F.Dirks demographic information gleemed in this way is highly innacurate.

Telephone Polls

  • In 1991 CE (1411 AH) Goldman estimated the number of Muslims in America was 1.4 million.
  • In 2001 CE (1421 AH) Kosmin and Mayer put the figure at 1.1 million adults. This was based on telephone interviews with 50,281 Americans.
  • In 2001 CE (1421 AH) Tom W Smith commissioned by the American Jewish Committee put the figure at 2.8 million Muslims [1]
  • In 2001 CE (1421 AH) The World Christian Encylopedia estimated there where 4.1 million Muslims.

Mosques Surveys

There are more than 1,200 (nearly 2000?) mosques nationwide as well as numerous Islamic day schools and Sunday and weekend schools (for year 2000 - 2001). [2] [3]

American Muslims

There are quite a number of both historical and modern day famous American Muslims. They come from all walks of life, and are particularly prominant in the Sports and Entertainment fields, as well as political movements.

They include such notables as Jermaine Jackson, Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Malcom X, Hamza Yusuf,

External links


  1. Niebuhr G 2001
  2. Islam In America: The Official Facts.
  3. Muslims American, Demographic Facts.
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