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In Dr. Barry Fell’s book Saga America, he reports that the southwest Pima people possessed a vocabulary which contained words of Arabic origin. Dr. Fell also reports that in Inyo County, California, there exits an early rock carving which stated in Arabic:"Yasus ben Maria" ("Jesus, Son of Mary"). Dr. Fell discovered the existence of Muslim schools in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Indiana dating back to 700-800 CE.
By 1312, Mansa Musa’s brother Sultan Abu Bakri II of Mali made his second expedition on the Atlantic ocean. In 1324 on his famous journey to Hajj, Mansa Musa reported in Cairo that his brother had left him in charge of Mali. Anthropologists have proven that the Mandinkas under Abu Bakri explored many parts of North America via the Mississippi and other river systems. At Four Corners, Arizona writings show that they even brought elephants from Africa to the area.
In 1492, Columbus had two captains of Muslim origin during his first voyage, one named Martin Alonso Pinzon the captain of the Pinta, and his brother Vicente Yanex Pinzon the captain of the Nina. They were wealthy expert ship outfitters who helped organize Columbus’ expedition and repaired the flagship Santa Maria. The Pinzon family was related to Abuzayan Muhammad III, the Moroccan Sultan of the Marinid Dynasty (1196-1465).
October 21, 1492, Columbus admitted in his papers that while his ship was sailing near Gibara on the northeast coast of Cuba, he saw a Mosque on the top of a beautiful mountain. Ruins of Mosques and minarets with inscriptions of Qur’anic verses have been discovered in Cuba, Mexico, Texas, and Nevada.
In 1527, the Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narva’ez left Spain for the Americas. In his fleet he had five ships and six hundred people in his company. The expedition met with many hardships. Several ships were destroyed by a West Indies, hurricane and a group of Indians killed a large number of the remaining members of the party. Afterward, when only a few members of the expedition were left, Cabeza de Vaca, the former treasurer of Narva’ez took up the leadership of the remaining members of the party with Estevanico being among them.
Estevanico was called an Arab Negro, a Muslim who came from Azamore on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. He was among the first two persons to reach the west coast of Mexico in an exploring overland expedition from Florida to the Pacific Coast. It’s reported that Estevanico acted as a guide and it took them nine years to reach Mexico City where they told stories of their travels.
In 1538, Estevanico lead an expedition from Mexico with Friar Marco, in search of the fabled Seven Cities of Cibolia, in which time he discovered Arizona and New Mexico. He was the first member of a different race reported to have visited the North Mexican Pueblos. He was killed in the city of Cibolia, one of the Seven Cities of the Zuni Indians, which is now New Mexico. Friar Marco, while following Estevanico’s trail to Cibolia, learned of his murder from an Indian messenger.
In the 1550s Nassereddine, the Egyptian, settled near the Hudson River in the Catskills region of upstate New York. He was called Prince Nassereddine. He fell in love with a Native American princess named Lotwana, who married someone else of her choice and tribe. The report has it that he poisoned Lotwana on her wedding night by giving a gift with a poison snake inside. The warriors of the Mohawk tribe captured him and burned Nassereddine at the stake.
In Puerto Rico, found in the 1500 era ‘Fort of the Moors’ Arabic writings are found on one of the walls of the fort. Even in downtown old San Juan we found a restaurant storefront decorated in Arabic tiles, centuries old.
From 1566-1587 Spain kept and maintained a military outpost and settlement called Santa Elena on the southern tip of Parris Island, SC. Portuguese were known to be among the Spaniards at Santa Elena. In Spain 1568 the Alpujarra uprising of the Moriscos (Muslims’ who were forcibly converted to Catholicism) gave cause to another wave of Portuguese Moriscos to leave Spain.
In 1586 the English pirate Sir Francis Drake proceeded to raid his Spanish and Portuguese enemies on the coast of Brazil. During the raid Drake liberated or captured 400 Portuguese and Spanish held prisoners, including an estimated 300 Moorish and Turkish galley slaves who were captured in Mediterranean Sea battles, as well as several dozen South American Indians, a smaller group of West African Muslims, and a few Portuguese soldiers. Drake had planned to arm and release the Turks and Africans on Cuba, but heavy storms forced them to continue up the coast of North Carolina. Drake finally landed on Roanoke Island, North Carolina where he met some stranded English settlers pleading for a ride home. Reports have it that he left at least 200 of the Moors, Turks, West Africans, Portuguese soldiers, and South American Indians there on the Island.
The word Melungeon has both Arabic and Turkish roots, meaning ‘cursed soul.’ In Portuguese ‘Melungo’ means shipmate. In Arabic ‘Mudajjan’ ‘Melun’ means one that carries bad luck and ill omen, and “Can” in the Turkish language means soul. In the Turkish language “Melun-can,” means one whose soul is a born loser. The Melungeons lived in Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky. In William Harlen’s report “Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States: Annual Report Smithsonian Institution,”he states that the principal family names of the Melungeons of Virginia and Tennessee are Adams, Adkins, Bell, Bolen, Collins, Denham, Fields, Freeman, Gann, Gibson, Goins, Gorvens, Graham, Lawson, Maloney, Mullins, Melons, Noel, Piniore, Sexton, and Wright. The Melungeons operated rich silver mines in the Straight Creek area in the Cumberland Plateau near Pineville, Kentucky. They minted silver coins in the area for their own use. By the time Kentucky joined the Union the independent and secretive life of the Melungeons came to an end.
In 1600, the first Melungeons were reported in the southern Appalachian valleys. As English and Scotch-Irish settlers moved in, they pushed the Melungeons into the mountains of North Carolina, and into Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia. The Melungeons were the first people, aside from Native Americans to penetrate so deeply into the Appalachian region. Many of the Melungeons were of primarily Portuguese ancestry, with North African and Indian traits. Among the early Portuguese were the Moriscos of Spain who were escaping persecution. Today there are still some Melungeons living secretively and many have assimilated into the American culture.
The Melungeons had operated rich silver mines in the area of Straight Creek in the Cumberland Plateau, near Pineville, Kentucky. They minted silver coins in the area for their own use. By the time Kentucky joined the Union and became a Commonwealth, the independent secretive life of the Melungeons came to an end.
In 1600, The Indians told Jamestown residents that with only a six-day walk to the west, there were"people like you," who wore their hair short and built log houses.
In 1638 Anthony Janszoon van Salee(1607-1676) was an original settler of and prominent, ealthy landholder, merchant, and creditor in the New Netherlands colony. Anthony was Jan Janszoon's fourth child, born in 1607 in Cartagena, Spain, from his second wife. In 1624 Anthony was in Salè with his father, and by the 1630s had immigrated to New Netherlands, purchasing a farm on the island of Manhattan in 1638, and becoming one of the original settlers.
Following numerous legal disputes, including with the church (he was a Muslim), Anthony was ordered to leave New Netherlands, but on appeal to the Dutch West India Company, allowed him to settle on 200 acres in what would become New Utrecht and Gravesend. In 1643 he purchased a house on Bridge Street in New Amsterdam, in defiance of the court order restricting him. He would go onto become a successful merchant and creditor in New Amsterdam, while owning several properties throughout the region. He married Grietse Reyniers Grietse died in 1669, and Anthony married Metje Grevenraet, before dying in 1676. He had four daughters with Reyniers.
Anthony's appearance and race was always the subject of much debate. He was of a mixed-ethnic background, and he was incredibly tall with superior strength. Other descriptions of him was that he was a "former black slave who was a "mulatto”; others said he was "half-Moroccan", "Turk", or a "Berber."
Anthony was considered "European" enough to be credited, in 1862 for building the first "European" settlement in New Utrecht. He had four daughters who married into respectable, colonial New Amsterdam families of European origin.
Anthony’s father Jan Janszoon van Haarlem (1570-1641) was the first President and Grand Admiral of the CorsairRepublic of Salè, from 1619-1627, Governor of Oualidia, from 1640-1641 when he died. He was once a Dutchpiratewho was considered one of the most notorious of the Barbary pirates from the 17th century; the most famous of the "Salè Rovers".
Jan Janszoon van Haarlem was born in Haarlem, North Holland, Netherlands in 1575. Little is known of his early life, except that he married young and had a child, Lysbeth Janszoon van Haarlem. His surname was toponymic, indicating his family was from the upper class.
Janszoon was captured in 1618 at Lanzarote (one of the Canary Islands) by Barbary corsairs and taken to Algiers as a captive. There he turned "Turk", or Muslim, after Janszoon's conversion to Islam and the ways of his captors, he sailed with the famous corsair Sulayman Rais, also known as Slemen Reis (originally a Dutchman named De Veenboer). After Sulayman Rais was killed by a cannonball in 1619, Janszoon moved to the ancient port of Salé and began operating from it as a Barbary corsair himself.
In 1639, The First black recorded by name on the Delmar va Peninsula was called Anthony. He was delivered near present day Wilmington. He was often described as"an Angoler or Moor," and called"Blackamoor." From the"Delaware’s Forgotten Folk" The Story of the Moors & Nanticokes by C.A. Weslager
In 1654, English explorers from Jamestown reported finding a colony of bearded people"Moors" wearing European clothing, living in cabins engaging in mining, smelting silver and dropping to their knees to pray many times daily in the mountains of what is now, North Carolina.
In 1670, Virginia General Assembly 1670 Act declared who will be slaves, excluding Turks & Moors, whose countries were in amity with the King of England. Page 491 of Virginia General Assembly 1733 and 1752 records.
In 1684, Moors are reported to have arrived in Delaware near Dover, and in Southern New Jersey near Bridgeton.
The descendants of many of the Muslim visitors of North America are members in many of our present day Indian tribes. Some of the tribes are the Alibamu tribe of Alabama, the Apaches, Anasazi, Arawak, Arikana, the Black Indians of the Schuylkill River area in New York, the Cherokees, Creeks, the Makkahs, Mahigans, Mohanets, the Nanticokes, the Seminoles, the Zulus, and the Zuni.
Many other Muslims and their descendants came to America’s shores after being marooned, such as the Moors of Delaware near Dover, and of Southern New Jersey near Bridgeton, and in parts of Southern Maryland; the Melungeons of Tennessee and Virginia; the Guineas of West Virginia; the Clappers of New York; the Turks of South Carolina; and the Laster Tribe near Hertford, NC. in Perquimans County. It is reported that the Laster Tribe was descendants from a Moorish captain who married a white woman and settled in the area. They are known to be a mixed tribe who has a tradition and heritage from a Moorish sea captain who married a white woman and settled in the area. The Laster’s principal family names are the Coe Clan, Pools, Slaughters, Van Guilders, Goins, and Maleys.
According to William Harlen in “Surviving Indian Groups of the Eastern United States: Annual Report Smithsonian Institution”other known groups were the Arab’s of Summit, in Schoharie County, New York, The Mecca Indians, the Hassanamisco Nipmug of Massachusetts, the Turks of South Carolina, the Brass Ankles of South Carolina, and the Seminoles of Florida, who were among the many different groups found here in America.
History shows that some of the descendants of the early Muslims married and lived among Native American Indians like the Alibamu of Alabama, Apaches, Anasazi, Arawak, Arikana, Blackfoot, the Black Indians of the Schuylkill River area in New York, Cherokees, Creeks, Kickapoo, Lenapi, Makkahs, Meccans, Mahigans, Mohanets, Mohegan’s, Nanticoke’s, Seminoles, Zulus, and the Zuni Indians.
The early Moors were inhabitants of Dover, Delaware; Bridgeton in Southern New Jersey; Sumter, South Carolina, and in parts of the Delmarva area of Maryland. The Melungeons lived in parts of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia, the Guineas lived in West Virginia, the Arab Clappers lived in upstate New York, the Laster Tribe lived near Hertford, North Carolina, and the Ben Ishmael Tribe lived in Kentucky, parts of Illinois and Indiana.
In the book Pirate Utopias’ Moorish Corsairs & European Renegadoes, by Peter Lamborn Wilson, he sites that in 1627 Muslim pirates from as-Sali, Morocco in the Barbary Coast attacked Baltimore, Ireland and held it for 68 days. At the time the southern and western parts of Ireland were infested with pirates just as the Barbary Coast. A poem was also written about it called “The Sack of Baltimore.” There was also a famous woman pirate named Grace O’Malley who ruled her own little kingdom in Mayo. In B. Quinn’s book he points out that pre-Celtic tribes of Munster were called the Hibernii. They were assumed to be a branch of the Iberii from Spain.
The reason why I mentioned the Muslims in Ireland is because of three things; The Muslims from As-Sali Morocco, as well as the one’s found living in South Carolina, the fact that many African-Americans during slavery and right after slavery who married Irish indentured servants, including my own African enslaved ancestor. Lastly, we found more than a dozen people in the US 1850 census that came from Ireland with Islamic last names such as Islam and Mohamed.
There are more than 500 names of places, villages, streets, towns, cities, lakes, rivers, etc . . . in the United States in which there name are derived from African, Islamic, and Arabic words. Places like Mecca, Indiana; Morocco, Indiana; Medina, NY; Medina, OH; Medina, TX; Toledo, OH; Mahomet, IL; Mahomet, Texas; Yarrowsburg, MD; Islamorada, FL, and Tallahassee, FL are found throughout America. There are at least two cities in Illinois named after Nubian Cities Argo and Dongola, Illinois.
Other cities with possible Islamic and African root names are Allakaket, Alakanuk, and Soloman, Alaska; Ali Chuk, Ali Molina, Ali Oidak, Arizona; Cushman, Arkansas; Alameda, and Malcolm X Square, California; Abeyta, and Medina Plaza, Colorado; Liberia Historical, Connecticut; Medulla, and Sallee Heights, Florida; Mecca Historical, Tallulah Falls, and Zaidee, Georgia; Aliamanu, and Maili Hawaii; Hagerstown, Samaria, and Syria, Indiana; Cairo Junction, Egypt Shores, Egyptian Hills, Egyptian Acres, Hagarstown, Media, Medinah, and Shabbona, Illinois; Mingo, Ollie, Palestine Historical, Sabula, Salem, Tama, Makee, and Malak, Iowa; Assaria, Kansas; Gamaliel, Kentucky; Jordan Hill, and Tallulah, Louisiana; Hagerstown, and Yarrowburg, Maryland; Egypt Beach, Massachusetts; Almira, Hagar Township, and Zilwaukee, Michigan; Amiret, Amor, Isanti, Mesaba, Kanaranzi, Quamba, and Suomi, Minnesota; Egypt Hill, and Itta Bena, Mississippi; Ameera Historical, Ebo, Egypt Grove, Egypt Mills, Sabula, and Yarrow, Missouri; Madrid, Nebraska; Alhambra Historical, New Mexico; Cairo Junction, Hague, Nunda, Salem, Salamanc, and Unadilla, New York; Babylon Historical, Nevada, Amenia, North Dakota; Ashtabula, Damascus Historical, Kalida, Sabina, and Toledo, Ohio; Damascus Heights, Jordan Creek, Jordan Valley, and South Lebanon, Oregon; Aliquippa, Egypt Corners, Egypt Mills, Jordan Valley, and Media, Pennsylvania; Jordan Village, Utah; Bagdad Historical, Cairo Bend, Isham, Palestine Historical, and Zu Zu, Texas; Ahmedabad, Egypt Bend Estates, and Jordan Springs, Virginia; Bagdad Junction, Illahee, Shuwah, and Yarrow Point, Washington; Algeria Historical, Egypt Historical, Jordan Run, and Jumbo, West Virginia; Medina Junction, and Mecan, Wisconsin, and Holy Islamville, South Carolina.
In 1713, the Reverend John Sharpe reported from New York the existence of what he called "Negro marriages" he described a situation familiar to New Englanders. The marriages of the blacks, he explained, "are performed by mutual consent without the blessing of the Church," Some slaves, he went on, were kept from Christian marriage "because of polygamy contracted before baptism where none or neither of the wives will accept a divorce. From Black Kings and Governors of New England.
In 1719 The Reverend Peter Thatcher of Milton, Massachusetts complained about his slave woman Hagar sexual life. She was a slave that was married to Sambo, a slave of Mr. Brightman of Boston, in 1716. She apparently had another child after Sambo’s death or departure from the area by 1719. Hagar had three children Sambo, Jimmie, and Hagar. From Black Kings and Governors of New England.
In 1730Ayuba (Job) Suleiman Diallo, a well educated Muslim merchant was kidnaped and enslaved from 1730-1733. Job ibn Solomon Dgiallo (Jallo) came from Bundu, Senegal. He was captured in 1730 in Gambia and brought to Annapolis, MD in 1731, where he was delivered to Mr. V. Denton, factor to Mr Hunt. Mr Denton sold Job to Mr. Alexander Tolsey in Kent Island in Maryland. He was a Fulani who lived near the banks of the Gambia river in Senegal. Job was one of the first Muslims written about in America. While in Maryland Job wrote a letter to his father, which came to the attention of James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, who helped purchase his freedom and sent him to London where he was finally set free and sent back home to work for the Royal African Company of London in his homeland. While in London Job wrote down three copies of the Quran from memory.
In 1730 Lamine Jay came from Futa-Toro, Senegal. He was captured along with Job ibn Soliman ibn Dgiallo (Jallo) trading on the lower part of the Gambia river. Lamine was also brought to Annapolis, Maryland where he became known as a Linguist. In less than five years Jay was able to win his freedom and return home with the help of his friend Job.
In 1737 a Muslim child named Bakir Turro 1729-1805 spelled in America as Broteer Furro came from Dubreka spelled (Dukandarra) Futa Torro, in present-day Guinea. He was born around 1729. He was born with the name Bakir Torro (Broteer Furro). In his narrative of his life he recalled being from Dukandarra, which is today called Dubreka named after the famous ABubakar Sire of the 1716. Venture (Bakir) tells in his narrative that his father had three wives and his name was “Saungum Furro” which is Sambegu Torro the Prince of Dubreka, Guinea, meaning his father was the son of the King. This area was part of the great Mali Empire of the Muslims in Futo Jalon and Futo Torro areas. This is the same area where Ibrahima Sory Sambegu came from.
Bakir (Broteer) was captured and enslaved at the age of 8 in 1737; he was given the named Venture by Robert Mumford because the youngman was a business venture to him. Venture in his narrative tells of being brought Rhode, Island then to Fishers Island in Connecticut by Mr. Mumford for 13 years and at the age of 22 he married a woman name Meg within 1752 they had a daughter named Hannah about a month later Venture and his master had a disagreement and Venture tried to run away. The Irish indentured servant Heddy and Venture ran away together when Heddy rob some food in Long Island because of Venture moral character he turned Heddy in and was returned to his master.
Venture was then sold to a Thomas Statonan who leave in Stonington, Connecticut about year and a half later Mr. Stanton brought Venture’s wife and daughter Hannah. In 1756 they had a son named Solomon and one named Cuff in 1758.
In 1760 Venture (Bakir) had another problem with his slave master and was sold twice. He finally ended up with a man named Colonel Oliver Smith who had agreed that Venture could buy his freedom and in 1765 at the age of 36 Venture brought his freedom and became known as Venture Smith. In 1769 he purchase the freedom of his sons Solomon and Cuff. Venture also brought a slave for sixty pounds, but the man ran away before off his debt. In 1773 Venture purchase his wife Meg who was pregnant by Thomas Stanton and in 1775, he purchase his daughter Hannah freedom. Venture was known as a good businessman he would cut wood, hire out to fish, farm, and selling items from his garden. Venture was known for shunning alls material vises and not drinking. In 1776 Venture brought some land in Haddam Neck, Connecticut. Near the ending of his life in 1798 he stated that he owned more than 100 acres of land, three houses, and that his freedom is a privilege which nothing else can equal, and that he was thankful for having a good character.
In the winter of 1741 in New York City, three Moorish crewmembers of a captured Spanish ship were sold into bondage and protested their condition, swearing revenge. After several fires flared across town during March and April of 1742, hysterical residents feared that a slave revolt was imminent and suspected that the Spanish Negroes "Moors" were deeply concerned and active in the protest. The episode ended with the public executions of twenty-three people and the exile of seventy-one others. From the Seaport New York’s History Magazine.
In 1750, true to legend, the Melungeons were already in the area of Knoxville, TN; Camden, SC; and Marion, NC when the first Europeans arrived.
In 1750 in the royal burial ground of the Mohegans Indians in Norwich, CT one of the memorial state’s "In memory of Elizabeth Joquib, the daughter ofMahomet, great-grandchild to the first Uncas, great sachem of Mohegan, who died July 5th, 1740 at 38 years old. Mamohet was the rightful heir of Qwenoco but Ben, the youngest son of Uncas, of illegitimate birth, succeeded Caesar, the successor as sachem after Owenoco.
From Indian Races of America / The New England Coast.
March 3, 1753 Muslims from North Africa, appear in the records of South Carolina. In the South Carolina Council Journal, No. 21, Pt. 1, pp. 298-299. Two men by the name Abel Conder and Mahamut (Mahomet) petitioned the South Carolina royal authorities in Arabic for their freedom. They came from Asilah (Sali) on the Barbary Coast of Morroco. Their story is that they were in a battle in 1736, with the Portuguese when they lost the battle and was captured. An officer named Captain Henry Daubrib, asked them would they be willing to serve him for five years in Carolina. When they arrived in South Carolina they were transferred to Daniel LaRoche, who then enslaved them for fifteen years until 1753.
From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.
Chicken George, Kunta's Grandson
In 1767, Kunta Kinte was captured and enslaved. Kunta Kinte was a Muslim born in 1750, in the village of Juffure in Gambia. He was shipped to Annapolis, Maryland on the ship Lord Ligonier and sold to a Virginia planter. Kunta Kinte fought hard to hold on to his Islamic heritage. Having learned the Qur’an as a boy Kunta scratched Arabic phrases in the dirt and tried to pray every day after he arrived in America. Kunta Kinte was Alex’s Haley Mandingo forbearer, who he talks about in his book Roots.
In 1768 a Muslim named Charno, living in South Carolina, wrote four Surahs from the Quran. He was the slave of Captain David Anderson. There are at least nine different people reported to have written Arabic text during this period.
In 1769 Savannah Georgia Gazette advertises for three runaway Muslim women from Guinea by the names of Jamina, Belinda, and Hagar.
From 1769 –1790s more than a dozen Muslim names appear in runaway slave advertisement ads like Jamina, Hagar, Mahomet, Armer, Osman, four Sambo’s, Quamie, Ishmael, Mingo, Mustafa, and others who were described as of the Moorish breed or from a Moorish country.
In 1770 the Wahhab brothers were shipwrecked on the coast of North Carolina. Once there they settled, married, and started a farm. Their descendents had owned one of the largest private hotel chains in Ocracoke Island, off the North Carolina coast. In the late 1770s Salim the Algerian was a Muslim from a royal family of Algiers. He was captured by Spanish men of war and later sold into slavery to the French in New Orleans. He eventually got his freedom after running away from slavery. He lived a while among the Native American Indian tribes and settled in Virginia. Salim eventually met Thomas Jefferson, attended the 1st Continental Congress, and died an insane man after having given-up his family and religion for America.
From 1774-1775 many runaway slave advertisements were of Muslim runaway slaves. Like the one in the Savannah Georgia Gazette, in September 7, 1774 for a runaway Negro fellow named Mahomet.
On June 17, 1775, Peter Salem (Saleem) born (1750?-1816) a former slave who fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. The battle was fought at Breed’s Hill according to one story, the colonial troops were near defeat, and British Major John Pitcairn ordered them to surrender. Salem then stepped forward and shot Pitcairn. Pitcairn later died of the wound. Peter Salem got awarded for fighting in the Revolutionary War, and he also fought at Lexington. Peter Salem and Salem (Saleem) Poor were honored for their bravery.
Peter Salem was born a slave in Framingham, Massachusetts. He had at least two owners in his lifetime. The first owner was Jeremiah Belknap. Belknap sold him to Lawson Buckminister of Framingham. Buckminister allowed Salem to enlist in the colonial army. In exchange for enlisting in the army, Salem received his freedom.
After receiving his freedom "Peter Buckminister" changed his name to Salem. He was also known as "Salem Prince." Local legend has it that the name Salem came from a Massachusetts privateering port where all of the sailors went during the Revolutionary War when people were fighting on their boats. History reports that an old Jewish man told the people that the word was like "shalom" which means peace. The name for peace in Arabic is Salaam and Saleem in Arabic means one who is peaceful.
Salem (Saleem) remained in the army for several years, long enough to fight in the battles of Saratoga and Stony Point. After the war he settled in Leicester, Massachusetts where he barely earned a living weaving cane seats for chairs. He died in the poor house in Framingham in 1816. Postage stamps have been made of Peter Salem and Salem Poor as American Revolutionary war heros.
From 1774–1783 there were at least six people with Islamic names who fought in the Revolutionary War as colonial soldiers. One of them was Yusuf Ben Ali, also known as Joseph (Benenhali) Benhaley, who fought with General Sumter in South Carolina. After the war, General Sumter took Joseph Benhaley with him inland to Stateburg where they settled down. Joseph Benhaley’s name appeared in the 1790 census of Sumter County. Revolutionary records also show that there was a Bampett Muhamed who was a Corporal in the Revolutionary Army, from 1775-1783 in Virginia. Francis Saba was listed as a sergeant with the ContinentalTroops in roll 132, 1775-1783, andJoseph Sabawas listed as a Fifer in the Continental Troops roll 132, 1775-1783.
In 1777 Morocco becomes the first country to acknowledge America’s independence as a new country.
In 1784 Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and John Adams was commissioned to negotiate a treaty with the Emperor of Morocco.
In 1786 Morocco became the sixth and the first Muslim country to sign a Peace Treaty with the United States in 1786. Algeria in 1795, Tripoli in 1796, Tunis in 1797, and Muscat (Oman) in 1833 followed.
In 1786 two Muslim men appeared in Charleston, SC "dressed in the Moorish habit" and aroused a great deal of suspicion by their strange ways. An officer of the law attempted to question them and found they were Moors who did not speak English. They were taken to an interpreter who found out they came from Algeria and sailed to Virginia were they had been arrested. Then they traveled overland to South Carolina. From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.
In 1788Abrahim Abdul Rahman ibn Sori (1762-1829) born in Timbo, West Africa (In present day Guinea) was captured. He was known as the "Prince of Slaves." He was a Fulbe from the land of Futa Jallon. Abrahim was captured by warring tribes and sold to slave traders in 1788 at the age of 26. He was bought by a Natchez, Mississippi cotton and tobacco farmer, where he eventually became the overseer of the plantation.
In 1788-1789 The Sultan Mohammed III and President George Washington exchanging letters about peace and asking the Sultan to intercede with authorities in Tunis and Tripoli to obtain the right of free navigation for American ships in the Mediterranean.
August 20, 1789 the Savannah Georgia Gazette, runs an advertisment for a Muslim women runaway describing her as "A Young Negro Wench, named Hagar, has on oznabrig clothes, and wears a handkerchief on hear head. She has been seen a day or two ago selling watermelons near town."
In 1790 in South Carolina a group of "Moors" by the names of Francis, Daniel, Hammond, and Samuel, along with their wives four Muslim women named Fatima, Flora, Sarah, and Clarinda, asked the South Carolina House of Representatives to treat them as free whites. They stated that while they had been fighting for the emperor of Morocco against an African King they had been taken prisoners. A Captain Clark had the Moors delivered to him on the promise he would take them to England where the Ambassador from Morocco would purchase their freedom. Instead, Clark brought them to South Carolina where he sold them as slaves. The Journals of the House of Representatives, 1789-1790.
In 1790 Joseph Benenhaly or Yusef Ben Ali from North Africa appears in the 1790 census in Sumter, county. General Thomas Sumter recruited Benenhaly, of Arab descent, and another man known as John Scott to fight with him in the American Revolution. Originally, it is believed that they were pirates. After the war, Sumter took them inland with him to near Stateburg where they settled down and many of their descendents have remained. His dark-skinned descendants, became known as the Turks of Sumter County because of their Moorish background.
In 1791 Thomas Jefferson led the fight for religious freedom and separation of church and state in his native Virginia. This brought him into conflict with the Anglican Church, the established church in Virginia. After a long and bitter debate, Jefferson's statute for religious freedom passed the state legislature. In Jefferson's words, there was now "freedom for the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and the Mohammedan, the Hindu and infidel of every denomination." The bill guaranteed, in Jefferson's own words, "that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place or ministry whatsoever." It guaranteed, too, that no one should suffer in any way for his "religious opinions or belief." Introduced in 1779, the bill did not become law until 1786, when, through the leadership of Legislator James Madison, it was enacted by the General Assembly. When the First Amendment to the Constitution went into effect in 1791, Jefferson's principle of separation of church and state became part of the supreme law of the land.
In 1792 the South Carolina legislature passed a law, which stopped the importation of slaves in the state. One provision stated that Moors could not be brought into South Carolina from other states in the Union either by land or sea.
In the 1790 census there were 59,000 free blacks in the United States. There were slightly more than 27,000 in the Northern states and 32,000 in the Southern States.
In the closing of the 1700s two groups of people are found, the Guineas and Males of West Virginia. Some of them lived in northern Barbour and southern Taylor counties. Many of them have the last names of Adams, Collins, Croston, Dalton, Kennedy, Mayle, Newman, Norris, and Prichard. Prior to 1800s the names Male, Norris, Dorton, Harris, Canaday, Newman, and Croton were the most common. Some reports say the name Males comes from the infusion of Mali blood into the area. By 1810 the degree of non-white mixture was so great that the census records record the Males and Guineas as Mulattos or mixed race.
The 1700s saw the arrival and appearance of at least nine Muslims Ayub (Job) Ibn Djallo 1730, Lamine Jay 1730, Venture Smith (Bakir) 1737, Kinta Kinte 1767, Charno in 1768, Yusuf Ben Ali and Bampett Muhamed 1774, and Abel Conder and Mahmout 1753.
In 1792 the South Carolina legislature passed a law which stopped the importation of slaves in the state. One provision stated that Moors could not be bound for terms of years of service and could not be brought into South Carolina from other states in the Union either by land or sea. From Carologue a publication of the South Carolina Historical Society 93 Muslim Slaves, Abducted Moors, African Jews, Misnamed Turks by James Hagy.
In 1796 Brooke Beall’s inventory listed Yarrow’s age at about 60 years old. Yarrow (Mamout) Marmood 1736-1844 was enslaved and brought from Guinea, Africa before the Revolutionary War.
In 1797 the Treaty of Tripole in Article 11 reads:
Article 11. As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.
The 1800s ushered in at least six Muslim personalities who transformed themselves into people known for practicing their faith, business skills, freedom, leadership, and knowledge.
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.
Bilali was known for regularly wearing his fez, a long coat, praying five times a day facing the east, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and celebrating the two holidays when they came. Bilali was buried with his Qur’an and prayer rug. In 1829 Bilali wrote a 13 page hand written Arabic text book called a "Risala"about some of the laws of Islam and Islamic living. The book is known as Ben Alis"Diary, housed today at the University of Georgia in Athens.
Bilali "Ben Ali" was the leader of one of America’s earliest known Muslim communities. It’s documented that in 1812 there were at least eighty Muslims living on a plantation controlled by Ben Ali from 1806 to the late 1830s. Bilali was known for regularly wearing his fez, a long coat, praying five times a day facing the east, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and celebrating the two holidays when they came. Bilali was buried with his Qur’an and prayer rug.
Some of the descendents of the other Muslims interviewed were Ed Thorpe, Rosa Grant, and Lawrence Baker (Bakir). Rosa Grant reported that her grandmother Ryan would attend Jumah prayer on Friday she stated that ‘Friday was the day she called the praying day.’
During this period Muslims from Senegambia and Sierra Leone were generally, viewed by slave owners as a more intelligent, more reasonable, and more dignified people. They were valued for their expert knowledge of rice, tobacco, indigo cultivation, cattle, horses, and domestic service.
Harriet Hall Grovner, Bilali Mohammed’s great granddaughter, the grand daughter of Bilali’s daughter Bint (Bentoo) was known for practing Islam and praying until her death in 1922. She was known to have attended the First African Baptist Church on Sapelo Island. The Church was built facing the east, the members still pray towards the east, they bury their members facing the east, and within the Church the males and females sit separate.
In 1803, Salih Bilali (Old Tom) came from a powerful family of Massina in the Temourah district in West Africa. He was captured around 1782, sold in the Bahamas at first and then in the US around 1803. He lived from 1770-1846. He was sold to John Couper in the Bahamas and brought to St. Simon Island, Ga. From 1816-1840 Salih Bilali was the trusted head slave manager of more than 450 slaves of John and Hamilton Couper. It was reported by his master’s son, that while Salih was on his death bed that his last words were "Allah is God and Mohammed his Prophet."
One of Salih’s descendants was Robert Abbott, founder of the "Chicago Defender, "one of the nation’s first black newspapers. Another one of Salih’s descendants was named after him Bilali Sullivan who was known as (Ben Sullivan). Bilali (Ben) Sullivan purchased some of the original property from the plantation in 1914. He was interviewed about his life in the 1930s.
There are two well known Muslim communities of the Gullah Islands of St. Simon and Sapelo off the coast of Georgia. Bilali (Ben Ali) Mahomet and Salih Bilali ruled as plantation mangers and Muslim leaders. In America’s history there were Gullah Wars. Some of them are known as the Seminole Indians wars. The African-American language Gullah was initially developed by the enslaved African Muslims and non-Muslims in Senegal to help communicate among the various African tribes.
In 1805, a slave named Sambo who knew Arabic had escaped from a plantation on the Ashley River, in South Carolina. The announcement in the Courier on February 9, 1805 offered a reward of $5 for his recovery. It stated that he was about 5' 5", slender body and writes the Arabic language.
In 1807, Yarrow (Mamout) Marmood was given his freedom. Yarrow was enslaved and brought from Guinea, Africa before the American Revolution. Yarrow was given his freedom by Upton Beall of Montgomery County in the Washington, DC area. On April 13, 1807, Upton Beall’s deed was recorded that the Negro Yarrow was given his freedom because he was more than forty-five years old and that he would not become a bother to the County of Washington.
Two pictures of Yarrow exsits today, one painted by James Simpson in 1822 which hangs in the Peabody Room at Georgetown public library, and the other picture painted by Charles Wilson Peale in 1819 which hangs at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.
Yarrow Marmood was a property owner in Georgetown in Washington, DC. In the 1800 and 1810 census Yarrow’s name was listed as Negro Yarrow with a wife or elderly woman living with him. In the 1810 census Yarrow’s name was listed as Yarrow Marmood with one woman living with him. Yarrow had established a hauling business, owned real estate on what is now 3330-3332 Dent Place NW, and he had invested some of his savings in the stock of the Bank of Columbia. One of Yarrow’s neighbors and friend was another manumitted slave named Joseph Moor who became a respectable grocer in Georgetown.
In Washington, DC the 1820 census identifies Yarrow Marmood and Joseph Moore, both with families and free men. The census identifies Yarrow and a female family member and two other free people of color (blacks), Grace Almonds a family of four and Yarrow’s neighbor Charley Brown a family of three, and one slave. The 1820 census also has three other free blacks Obed Diner a family of five, Free Catty a family of three, and Nelly a family of two.
On April 12, 1844, Yarrow’s estate was administered by probate court in Washington, DC, under the name Negro Yarrow. Yarrow lived to be more than 100 years old. The dates of his birth and death have been record as 1736-1844.
In 1807,Hajj Omar Ibn Sayyid was captured at the age of 37. Omar was a Fula born in Fur Tur in present day Senegal. He was born from a Serahule family. Omar lived from 1770-1864. He had studied in Bundu, Senegal where he learned how to read, write, arabic, Islamic studies, and made Hajj in Mecca before his capture. Omar was enslaved in Charleston, SC where he labored for a short period of time before he escaped in 1810 to Fayetteville, NC where was caught and imprisoned. While in prison Omar persuaded James Owen, a general in the state militia and brother of John Owen (who later became Governor of North Carolina), to purchase him, which he did for $900.00. Omar was also known as Uncle Moreau.
Omar ibn Seia (Sayyid) wrote many items in Arabic while enslaved. He wrote his own autobiography in 1831, the Lords Prayer, the Bismillah, this is How You Pray, Quranic phases, and the 23rd Psalm. Omar’s latest known writing was in 1857, in which was the Surah 110 of the Holy Qur’an. In 1836 Omar’s ibn Seid wrote his manuscript in Arabic in 1831 to Sheikh Hunter. Omar’s manuscript had his autobiography and a summary of Quranic verses done in an admonishing way or as reminders from a Muslim man expressing a heart of faith in God’s power and mercy in all of lifes changes. This manuscript was sent to Lamine “Old Paul’ in 1836. Below is the translation of the Quranic verses or Omar’s Kutbah in how he viewed his life’s journal and enslavement.
”In the name of God, the merciful the gracious. --God grant his blessing upon our Prophet Mohammed. Blessed be He in whose hands is the kingdom and who is Almighty; who created death and life that he might test You; for he is exalted; he is the forgiver (of sins), who created seven heavens one above the other. Do you discern anything trifling in creation? Bring back your thoughts. Do you see anything worthless? Recall your vision in earnest. Turn your eye inward for it is diseased. God has adorned the heavens and the world with lamps, and has made us missiles for the devils, and given us for them a grievous punishment, and to those who have disbelieved they’re Lord, the punishment of hell and pains of body. Whoever associates with them shall hear a boiling caldron, and what is cast therein may fitly represent those who suffer under the anger of God.--Ask them if a prophet has not been sent unto them. They say, "Yes; a prophet has come to us, but we have lied to him." We said, "God has not sent us down anything, and you are in grievous error." They say, "If we had listened and been wise we should not now have been suffering the punishment of the Omniscient." So they confess they have sinned in destroying the followers of the Omniscient. Those who fear their Lord and profess his name, they receive pardon and great honor. Guard your words, (ye wicked), make it known that God is all-wise in all his manifestations. Do you not know from the creation that God is full of skill? that He has made for you the way of error, and you have walked therein, and have chosen to live upon what your god Nasûr has furnished you? Believe on Him who dwells in heaven, who has fitted the earth to be your support and it shall give you food. Believe on Him who dwells in Heaven, who has sent you a prophet, and you shall understand what a teacher (He has sent you). Those that were before them deceived them (in regard to their prophet). And how came they to reject him? Did they not see in the heavens above them, how the fowls of the air receives with pleasure that which is sent them? God looks after all.
Believe ye: it is He who supplies your wants, that you may take his gifts and enjoy them, and take great pleasure in them. And now will you go on in error, or walk in the path of righteousness. Say to them, "He who regards you with care, and who has made for you the heavens and the earth and gives you prosperity, Him you think little of. This is He that planted you in the earth, and to whom you are soon to be gathered." But they say, "If you are men of truth, tell us when shall this promise be fulfilled?" Say to them, " Does not God know? and am not I an evident Prophet? " When those who disbelieve shall see the things draw near before their faces, it shall then be told them, "These are the things about which you made inquiry." Have you seen that God has destroyed me or those with me? or rather that He has shown us mercy? And who will defend the unbeliever from a miserable punishment? Say, "Knowledge is from God." Say, "Have you not seen that your water has become impure? Who will bring you fresh water from the fountain?”
Another statement Omar made in his writings that showed his heart and righteousness was his opening statement. ‘In the name of God, the Gracious, the Merciful. --Thanks be to God, supreme in goodness and kindness and grace, and who is worthy of all honor, who created all things for his service, even man's power of action and of speech.” The last point I want to make is that there was another Muslim who Omar knew, he was a scholar or Imam his name was Sheikh Hunter.
In 1808, Mathias Sawyer of Edenton N.C. owned an enslaved man named Mustapha. A white man named Arthur Howe convinced Mustapha to runaway. Their plan was to sell and resale Mustapha on their journey northward. Mustapha would escape each time and team backup with Howe. When they reached Richmond, Virginia they would depart company and Mustapha would head north. In The War of 1812, Abraham joined the British Colonial Marines who had occupied Spanish Pensacola. Abraham lived from 1787-1870. He was well known as a very gifted individual, soft spoken, and intelligent. Abraham came to Pensacola, Florida sometime in the early 1800s. During his years in Pensacola, Abraham had been a slave of Dr. Eugenio Antonio Sierra, a prominent Spanish physician and surgeon. He was held in high esteem and worked as an interpreter, for he spoke several different languages.
Soon after the Fort Negro construction Abraham left out on his own. He soon gained a reputation as a businessman or a man after profit. Abraham became involved in trade with the Maroons and the Seminole Indians of the lower Suwannee River area. Gradually, he was accepted by the Maroons and became their foremost leader. The Seminoles had a high regard for Abraham.
Chief Micanopy, the top hereditary chief in the Seminole Nation, appointed Abraham as the "sense-bearer" or legal counsel. As the military leader of the Maroons, he was known by the name "Sounoffee Tustenuggee" which means "Suwannee Warrior." Abraham was married to a woman named Hagar. Abraham and Hagar had two sons named Renty and Washington. Abraham lived peacefully with his family and people in the villa of Pilaklikaha, raising horses, cattle, and growing crops.
After the first Seminole war Abraham and a delegation of Indian Chiefs went to Oklahoma in 1832 to inspect the land being offered to them in the treaty that was to move them out of Florida. The United States officials would not allow Abraham and the others to leave until they signed the treaty, which they did on March 28, 1833. Abraham opposed the move, therefore spending almost eight months at Fort Gibson. Abraham and several other leaders were opposed to the treaty after learning of its deception, thus the second Seminole war began 1835 to 1842. Abraham had fought in almost every battle of the Seminole Indians wars until 1837. However, in February of 1839 he moved to Oklahoma with his family and became a successful cattle rancher.
Abraham returned to Florida in 1852, ten years after the government officially declared an end to the Seminole war. The government had hired Abraham to take chief Billy Bowlegs, his father in-law, and some other chiefs to Washington, DC., in order to convince them to leave Florida. They met with Millard Fillmore who became President after Zachary Taylor died. The chiefs still refused to move to Oklahoma. They went back to Florida and disappeared in the everglades. Abraham went back to his ranch in Oklahoma where he died years later, sometime after the Civil War in 1870. He was buried in an unmarked grave in today’s Seminole county.
In 1818 Medina, Ohio was organized. It was originally called Mecca, later the name changed to Medina making it the seventh place on the globe at the time called Medina.Twelve other cities in America bear the name Medina such as- Medina, New York; Medina, Michigan; Medina, Wisconsin, Medina, Washington, Medina, Tennessee, and Medina, Texas are among them.
In 1828,Abrahim Abdul Rahman ibn Sori (1762-1829) was set free by the order of the Secretary of State Henry Clay and President John Quincy Adams. He was born in Timbo, West Africa (in present day Guinea). He was known as the "Prince of Slaves." He was a Fulbe from the land of Futa Jallon. Abrahim left Futa in 1774 to study in Mali at Timbuktu.
Abrahim was captured by warring tribes and sold to slave traders in 1788 at the age of 26. He was bought by a Natchez, Mississippi cotton and tobacco farmer, where he eventually became the overseer of the plantation of Thomas Foster. In 1794 he married Isabella, another slave of Foster’s, and eventually fathered a large family. In 1826 he wrote a letter to his relatives in Africa. A local newspaperman sent a copy to Senator Thomas Reed in Washington, who forwarded it to the U.S. Consulate in Morocco. After the Sultan of Morocco read the letter, he asked President Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay to release Abrahim Abdul Rahman.
In 1807, a coincidental meeting took place. John Cox, an Irish ship’s surgeon, whose life had been saved by Abrahim’s father many years earlier. John Cox recognized the Prince in the market, learned of his story, and began petitioning for his freedom. Twenty five years later in 1828 at the age of 66 Abrahim gained his freedom. Rahman had been a slave in America for forty years before he got his freedom. Rahman and his wife sailed for Africa in February 1829. The following September his former owner died. Foster’s heirs sold two of Rahman’s children and five of his grandchildren to the American Colonization Society (A.C.S), and they were reunited with his wife in Liberia.
In 1828, a Muslim named Sterling living in Hartford, CT met Abdul Rahman during his visit to the New England States.
In 1832, The Village of Mahomet, IL was laid out. Mahomet, IL was originally named Middletown. Sometime during the 1840s it was changed to Mahomet, IL.
In 1834, A Muslim woman named Sylvia appears in "Knights of the Golden Horseshoe,"by William A. Carruthers.
In 1834, in Tennessee, a Muslim by the name of Hamet Abdul is reported to have sought money to return to Africa.
In 1834, two Muslims by the names of Jupiter (Dawud) Dowda and Big Jack were reported by the American Colonization Society’s "The African Repository"to be well-known slaves in New Orleans. Big Jack was a plantation manager.
In 1835, Lamen Kebe known as (Old Paul) was liberated after having been in servitude in South Carolina and Alabama. Lamen Kebe was captured in battle and arrived in America in the early 1800s. He was from an elite class of Serahule who were trained to rule, advise, teach, protect, trade, translate, collect taxes, and travel. His family were the founders of ancient Ghana, and they were among the earliest converts to Islam south of the Sahara. His mother was a Mandinga. In Senegambia, he was a schoolmaster in the land of the Fulah before his capture. Lamen and Omar Sayyid corresponded with each other in 1835 in Arabic. Lamen (Old Paul) through Omar, provided Theodore Dwight, a member of the American Ethnological Society, with information of his native land and school system. Lamen returned back to Africa at the age of sixty in 1835.
In 1839, Oman’s ruler, Sayyid Sa’id, ordered his ship "The Sultana"to set sail for America on a trade mission. The ship touched port in New York on April 30, 1840. The voyage was not a commercial success. The ship’s commander, Ahmed bin Nauman bin Muhsin Al-k’abi Al-Bahraini came from Zanzibar. Ahmed bin Nauman bin Muhsin Al-k’abi Al-Bahraini’s photo hangs today on the third floor of City Hall in New York, NY.
In 1845, Osman Rockman died. His tombstone was found in Connecticut.
From 1845-1847 records of James Hamilton from the Hopeton and Hamilton Plantations in Georgia list many families with Muslim names, like the family of Billy (Bilal) age 50, wife Fatima age 41, and their children Mahomed age 17, and Hester age 15. Another family that was recorded was Bacchus age 51, his wife Kitty age 36, and their children Fatima age 5, and Adam age 3. Listed also was Jeffery a carpenter age 41, his wife Peggy age 36, and their children Quash age 15, Sarah age 13, Pender age 6, Ishmael age 5, Margaret age 3, and Belale age 1. There was another family that was lead by a man named Mahomet age 25, his wife Memba age 21, and one child named Jettafa age 1. There were people with the name Fatima, Solomon, Michael, Binah, Ishmael, Taywah, Balaam, Cuffy, Bella, Quamina, Amey, London, Baraca, Hannah, Cato, Abraham, Jemima, Tenah, Sambo, Billy, and Mingo appear more than three times in the list.
In 1846 Elkader, Iowa at the time a village in the Missouri territory was named after the Emir of Algeria Abd el-Kader. The Suez Canal may not have been built in 1869 if it was not for the help and influence that Abd el-Kadir had among the Arabs. President Abraham Lincoln also honored Abd el-Kader as a great humanitarian for saving thousands of Christians in 1860.
In 1848 Bridgeport, Connecticut was the home to the first house built in the US with an Islamic architect style. It was called “The Iranistan.” In 1848 P.T. Barnum, the famous circus entertainer had the house built after the ‘Royal Pavilion’ in Brighton, England in which P.T. Barnum had visited. The Royal Pavilion got it design style from the Muslims of British Islamic India. Today there is still a street dedicated to the Iranistan house called “Iranistan Avenue.”
In the early 1850s Mahomet, Texas was founded and by 1857 to 1916 they had a post office. In 1879 August Mahomet was the Postmaster. An historical marker state’s that some reports have it that the town was named after an Arabian Egyptian camel driver who came with 75 camels in 1856 and 1857 for use as pack animals for the US Government. While others suggest that the town belonged to an “Arabian Footpad” or Peddler who was an early settler and merchant.
In 1852, Osman known as "General Osman" became the leader of the North Carolina Dismal Swamp community from 1852-1862. Osman was a runaway slave from Virginia and lived in the dismal swamp. At one time the dismal swamp was partly owned by George Washington, the first President of the United States. The swamp was drudged out by slave labor in the mid 1700s.
In 1856, The United States cavalry hired a Muslim by the name of Hajj Ali to experiment with raising camels in Arizona. He experimented with breeding camels in the desert. He became a local folk hero in Quartzsite, AZ, where he died in 1903. He was known as "Hi Jolly", his tombstone is a stone built pyramid with a camel on top of it. Hadji "Hi Jolly" Ali (1828-December 16, 1902)was a Greek-Syrian specialist who was one of the first camel drivers ever hired by theUS Army in 1856 to lead the camel driver experiment in the Southwest. Hi Jolly became a living legend until his death in Arizona.
He worked for the Ottoman armed forces and was a breeder and trainer of camels. There is no record of what his parents named him. Some sources allege his father was of Greek origins and mother was Syrian, reporting that he was born Philip Tedro and he took the name Hadji Ali after making the pilgrimage to Mecca. While other sources report his mother was of Greek origins and his father was Syrian. Hi Jolly's membership in the Army's Camel Experiment was not his first quasi-military adventure. Hi Jolly served with the French Army in Algiers before signing on as a camel driver for the US Army in 1856. Ali was one of several men brought over by the American Government who were to drive the camels as beasts of burden in transportation across what was then known as the "Great American Desert. " In Go West Greek George by Steven Dean Pastis, he reports that eight of the men, including Ali, arrived at thePort of Indianola in Lavaca County, Texas aboard the USS Supply.
After the Camel Corps, Ali attempted to run a freight business between the Colorado River and mining establishments to the east using a few camels he kept. Unfortunately, the business failed and Ali released his camels into the Arizonadesert near Gila Bend. In 1880 Ali became an American citizen and used the name Philip Tedro (sometimes spelledTeadrow) when he married Gertrudis Serna in Tucson, Arizona. The couple had two children. In his final years Ali moved to Quartzsite where he mined and occasionally scouted for the US government. He died in 1902 and was buried in the Quartzsite Cemetery.
In 1859, in Savannah, Ga, many slaves were sold from the Butler plantation in Darien, Ga. Some of the slaves sold were Muslims. It was reported that some of the women wore gorgeous turbans and one of them had a string of beads. At the auction a Muslim named Abel age 19 was sold for $1,295, and one named Hagar, age 50, was sold for $300.
In 1860, a Muslim lady known as "Old Lizzy Gray" died in Edge field County. Her obituary, appeared on the front page of the Edgefield Advertiser, on September 12, 1860. Her physician and owner Dr. E.J. Mims wrote that according to the best computations she was 127 years of age. She had four children in Africa before being taken prisoner. During the revolution she was a prisoner on board an English ship. Before her capture she was educated as a Muslim. As a slave she seems to have combined both faiths and became a member of the Methodist Church. She was known to have always said "Christ built the first Church in Mecca."
In 1860, Muhammad Ali ibn Said (1833 - 1882), known as (Nicholas Said) arrived in America as a free man. Muhammad was born in the Kingdom of Bornoo, West Africa near Lake Chad to a well-educated merchant family. Said was kidnaped and enslaved when he was 16. His first slave master was an Arab named Abdel Kader who took him to Tripoli and Fezzan. Muhammad was then sold to Alexander Menshikov, an aide to the Russian Czar, then to Nicholas Trubetzkoy with whom he traveled to many places during his years of slavery from Russia, Rome, Persia to France. In 1860 he left Liverpool, England with a man from Holland to travel to Boston, New York, Kingston, New Providence, Toronto, Quebec, and other places in North America as a freed man.
In 1861 he arrived in Detroit. Shortly afterward he found a teaching job and in 1863 Muhammad enlisted in the 55th Massachusetts colored regiment and became a Civil War hero. He served faithfully and bravely with his regiment as Corporal and then Sergeant in the South. Near the close of the war he was assigned, at his own request, to the hospital department, to learn some knowledge of medicine. His Army records show that he died in Brownsville, Tennessee in 1882.
1861-1865 During the Civil War the Union troops was burning down the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama when the librarian asked could he save some books. The librarian was told he could only save one book and that book was a George Sale 1853 English translation of the Holy Koran.
1864-1865 Max Hassan was another Muslim from Africa who fought in the Civil War. His war record shows he came from Africa and worked as a porter in the service. After Max Hassan’s service days he moved to New York where he worked as a White Washer and lived with his wife Emma (Lena) Hassan who was born in Germany. Together they had at least four children, two girls named France born in 1857 and Carrie born in 1859, and two boys Max born 1862 and Chas Hassan born in 1877. His son Max Hassan was living in New York in during the 1930s census as a white man.
In 1864, a monument was erected in New England for a Mr. Smith and it is crowned with three slain Muslim’s heads who were slain by Mr. Smith. From the Isles of Shoals.
In 1864, Captain Harry Dean was born. He was the son of Susan Cuffe Dean whose brother was Paul Cuffe. Captain Dean’s family came from Quata, Morocco. For three generations the family were wealthy merchants in Philadelphia. Captain Dean found the first black nautical training school in America. Dean maintained his family’s Islamic tradition during his seafaring days on the ship "Pedro Gorino" and in southern Africa where he tried to build an African empire. He was also associated with the Muslim Mosque of London. In the United States he distributed Islamic literature in Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Washington state.
In 1866, The Cherokee chief had a Muslim name, Chief Ramadan ibn Wati. Muslims were known to live among many of the different Indian tribes. They lived among the Seminole Indians, The Delawares, The Nanticokes, The Cherokees, and many others.
In 1869, a number of Muslims from Yemen arrived in the United States after the opening of the Suez Canal. Most Yemenis came through New York to Buffalo, and Detroit. Many Yemenis jumped shipped in San Francisco and settled on the West Coast.
In 1875, The first small wave of Muslim immigrants arrived, mainly from Greater Syria (Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine). Some of the Syrian-Lebanese Arabs settled on Manhattan’s lower Washington Street and in Brooklyn across the East River around Atlantic Avenue and South Brooklyn. A smaller number came from the Punjab area of India.
In 1876, The Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, attracted Arab merchants and peddlers, where they sold an assortment of merchandise, and some set up centers to import goods.
In 1877, Seven Algerian escapees from French Guyana were admitted by the Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware, and held as exiles.
In 1884, Sambo Swift died. He was born in 1811, and lived in Darien, GA. He was buried with his tombstone facing northeast. Engraved on his tombstone is a hand pointing with one finger up as the Islamic symbol of God’s oneness. This symbol was used by Muslims dating back more than 1400 years. It is believed that Sambo was one of the slaves left on the Butler plantation at the time of the great slave sale of 1859 in Georgia. Sambo was a carpenter and had at least three children named Abraham, Mollie, and Alonzo.
The Ben Ishmael Tribe was another group of people with Islamic roots. Reports state that around 1785 a number of freed and runaway Africans, along with poor white indentured servants fled Noble County, now “Bourbon” County, Kentucky and settled near what is today Indianapolis. They intermingled with the Pawnee and Kickapoo tribes and setup a nomadic life style. Their leaders were Ben and Jennie Ishmael, known as fine artisans and musicians. They taught polygamy, a nomadic existence, and racial mixing. The Tribe of Ishmael, called the Ishmaelites, was a tightly knit nomadic community of Africans, Native Americans, and white descent. They were estimated to number about 10,000. By 1810 they had developed three villages Mahomet, Illinois, Morocco, and Mecca, Indiana. In James F. Cooper’s 1827 book, Prairie he speaks of Ishmael and other members of their community like Abraham, Asa, Abiram, Esther, Mahtoree and others. He writes, Ishmael said “Peace!” stretching his heavy hand towards his kinsman, in a manner that instantly silenced the speaker. In Hugo P. Leaming’s book, The Ben Ishmael Tribe: a Fugitive ‘Nation’ of the Old Northwest, he points out that Cooper’s fictional Ishmaelites and the historic Tribe of Ishmael coincide in most particulars. Cooper calls his tribal chief Ishmael Bush as the name in reference to the wilderness he rules. He also said the tribe has been called by various names “the sons of skirting Ishmael,” (meaning skirting the settlements), “the sons of Ishmael,” “the tribe of wandering Ishmael,” (referring to their nomadic way of life), and “Grasshopper Gypsies.” Their annual migratory route was northwest from Indianapolis to the Kankakee River south of Lake Michigan, from their south through eastern Illinois to the area of Champaign-Urbana and Decatur, and due east, back to Indianapolis. The migration was repeated for years until the forced Indian removal in the 1830s.
In 1880 a Minister named O.C. McCulloch wrote, “The Tribe of Ishmael: A Study in Social Degradation in favor of castrating the men and separating the children and women.” In 1905 a bill was introduced in the Indiana Legislature, and in 1907 the first compulsory sterilization law in the world, a draconian eugenics law, in which was enacted in Indiana against the Ishmaels and forced many Ishmaels to flee Indianapolis for Chicago, Detroit and other cities.
From 1897-98 there was a monthly magazine called the “Ishmaelite,” from members of the Ben Ishmael tribe in Cincinnati, Ohio.
In Leaming’s book it sites following the Indiana plan and the community dispersal, that some members of the Tribe of Ishmael had an impact on the development of Black Nationalism and Self-Determination in communities of the cities of the Great Lakes region. He records many different testimonies; one was about a Moorish Science Temple member Mrs. Gallivant, who had joined in Detroit around 1920, when it was first introduced into the Midwest. She stated that she was an Ishmaelite who came from downstate Indian and Illinois, and that it was the Tribe of Ishmael after moving north who were among the first to assist in the establishment of Moorish Science in the Midwest in the 1920s. Hugo Leaming also points out one of the sayings of Noble Drew Ali, the founder of the Moorish Science Temple. That he was moving his National Temple from New Jersey to the Midwest because Islam is closer to the region. He also asked one to ponder about and re-look at the early name and phrase of the Nation of Islam, that we are members of “The Lost Found Nation of Islam in the Wilderness of North America.” The Nation of Islam even had its’ headquarters first in Detroit then Chicago.
Leaming sites curious aspects of the old Midwest communities located on the Ishmaelite annual migration route. At the northern end is Morocco, Indiana, at the southern end Mahomet, Illinois, and at the end stage of their journey before going to Indianapolis was Mecca, Indiana.
In Morocco, a few miles south of the Kankakee River near the Illinois border, the area is distinguished by small, long round-roofed cabins shaped like Quonset huts (or Hobbit houses), or dome shape roofs, which most of them today stand in the yards of newer houses and residences. Two other points he brings out is that a few miles northwest into Illinois is a small rural isolated village in the town called Pembroke, which has a Moorish Science Temple, and that a few miles northwest of Pembroke in Kankakee, is the smallest town in America to have a Temple of the Nation of Islam.
Mahomet, Illinois is the oldest settlement of Champaign County. According to Leaming in 1870 ten percent of the settlers of Mahomet township and the adjoining townships had unusual family names like Babb, Basore, Boormer, Chadden, Dalama, Gamel, Hamella, Hayar, Hissany, Lumen, Manser, Menealla, Nebeker, Osman, Pankar, Pusha, Tobaka, and Turk. He sites Islamic similarities in some of the names like Basorah for Barsa; Manser for Mansour; Osman for Usman, Babb is Arabic meaning gate; Lumen for Luqman; Hayar for Hagar; Aimen for Amin; Nebeker for Abu Baker; Booromer for Omar; and Hamella and Menealla with the compounded name ending with ‘alla’ for ‘Allah’.
A few years ago I had the blessing to travel to Mecca, Indiana and most recently I had the blessing to travel to Mahomet, IL before visiting the University of Illinois Urbana. Mahomet today is a small scenic little town 10-12 miles outside of Urbana, on the banks of the Sangamon River at the intersection of US 150 and Illinois 47. The Native American Kickapoo’s and Potawatomie Indians and members of the Ben Ishmael tribe were the first settlers of Mahomet. Mahomet is the oldest community in Champaign County. In 1830 Mahomet began being settled by Europeans. In 1832 the original plat was surveyed and drawn by Daniel Porter, which was not recorded until March 1836. He named the town Middletown because the town was between Danville and Bloomington. The town name was changed from Middletown around 1840 and went back to its original name Mahomet, because there was another town named Middletown in Illinois. Some say that the town was named after Mahomet an Indian Chief. In 1836 Amasa Crozier erected a small mill in Mohamet. In 1855 the Urbana Union news May edition expressed that Middletown, which Mohamet was called at the time, “excels all other towns in the county in the number and character of its public buildings.” They had two mills, two very good churches (the best in the county are there), and a large building occupied below as a schoolhouse and above as a hall for the use of the various orders that are in a flourishing condition. There was a person named Abdullah Miller and his family also lived in District #21 in Champaign County, Illinois. In the 1850 census there is listed one black person named James H. Dazey and one mulatto named James Rowe living in Champaign County in district 21. Many of the people living in the area in the 1850 Census were listed as people of color.
Mecca, Indiana was another township where the tribe of Ben Ishmael settled and migrated to. Mecca, Indiana was also called Mecca Mills which is three miles west of State Road 41and about five miles southwest of Rockville, which is on the Big Raccoon Creek not far from Wabash.
In the Federal Writer’s 1936 project report it states that the church that is spoken of, as Leatherwood is upon a dry and sandy hill, for this reason it was called the Arabian Church. It goes further and says that the people of the vicinity of the church came early each spring after the roads became passable to the store of Alexander McCune. Mr McCune would often make smart remarks about the Arabians who were coming on the annual visit to Mecca one of the requirements of the Mohammads’ religion is to visit Mecca the birth place of Mohammad (SWT), once a year.
The Federal Writer’s report also states that in 1832 Alexander McCune and Samuel Lowery built a sawmill on Big Raccoon Creek in Wabash Township. They were some of the early settlers into the area after the force removal of the Native American Indians and the tribe of Ishmael from the area. In 1855 McCune and Lowery built a flourmill near their other mills soon after the village was started. The Mecca Bridge is a covered bridge built in 1873 and in 1896 Edward Goff plotted the first lots for deeds of conveyance for which provided that “no intoxicating liquors should ever be sold thereon.” The purchaser who disregarded this provision forfeited his title to the lot. According to the Writer’s report there were at least 284 people between the two clay plants owned by the Dee Company and the Indiana Sewer Pipe Co. By 1900 the gristmill equipment was sold and the mill was converted into a store. The plants started closing around the 1940-41s during the depression. W. E Dee was the president of the bank of Mecca, which operated for twenty-five years and closed at the beginning of the depression. The report also speaks about two distinguished people in the person of William E. Dee and the Hickson ‘Hixon’ Family. Many of the families in Mecca had named one of their sons Aquilla. In the 1860 Census there was an Azanah Brown and his family and Saluda Hayth and her family were listed living in the area.
Another town named Mahomet is in Texas about twenty-five miles south of Lampasas, Texas. Mahomet, Texas was founded in the 1850’s and had a post office from 1857-1913. August Mahomet was the postmaster in 1879. Some say the town was named after a man named Mahomet who came to the United States with some other camel herders and seventy-five camels that were imported by the Government in 1856 and 1857 to be used as pack animals. While others say it was named after an Arabian peddler who was an early settler and merchant. The Mahomet, Texas name has been associated with two sites in eastern Burnet County. A George Ater settled in the area in 1853, and named it Mahomet, Illinois. In 1855 a stage route was established from Austin to Lampasas and in 1857 George Ater was granted permission to open a post office location in his house. The post office remained in his house for twenty-five years. In 1882 the railroad had bypassed Mahomet by at least two miles. The post office was then moved to the house of Alex M. Ramsey in the Sycamore Springs community, which later became known as Mahomet in 1884. Mahomet had a steam cotton gin and a corn mill. By 1896 the mill had closed and the population had declined. By the 1980s the population has stayed between forty to forty-seven people.
29 towns and cities have the name Lebanon
19 towns and cities have the name Cairo
17 towns and cities have the name Egypt
13 towns and cities have the name Jordan
12 towns and cities have the name Medina12 towns and cities have the name Palestine
12 towns and cities have the name Damascus
8 towns and cities have the name Mecca7 towns and cities have the name Mina
6 towns and cities have the name Alhambra
6 towns and cities have the name Bagdad6 cities and towns have name Arabia 4 towns have the name Andalusia
4 towns and cities have the name Jerusalem4 towns and cities have the name Alger
3 towns and cities have the name Lebanon Historical 2 towns and cities have the name Alida2 towns and cities have the name Algiers2 towns and cities have the name Arabi2 towns and cities have the name Aquilla2 towns and cities have the name Turkey2 towns and cities have the name Mahomet
2 towns and cities have the name Lebanon Heights2 towns and cities have the name Sultan2 towns and cities have the name Soudan2 towns and cities have the name Sudan2 towns and cities have the name Syria2 towns and cities have the name Turkey
1 town has the name Africa1 town has the name Africa Historical1 town has the name Ali Ak Chin1 town has the name Ali Chukson
1 town has the name Allah
1 town has the name Arab1 town has name Arabian Acres1 town has the name Babylon
1 town has the name Dafur1 town has the name Dahomy1 town has the name Elkader
1 town has the name Ishmael
1 town has the name Islamorada1 town has the name Islamberg1 town has the name Mahtomedi1 town has the name Media
1 town has the name Mesopotamia
1 town has the name Morocco1 town has the name New Medina
1 town has the name New Palestine1 town has the name New Lebanon1 town has the name Lebanon Junction1 town has the name Lebanon Lake Estates1 town has the name Lebanon Center1 town has the name Lebanon Independent1 town has the name Lebanon Springs
There are more than 500 names of places, villages, streets, towns, cities, lakes, rivers, etc . . . in the United States in which there name are derived from African, Islamic, and Arabic words. Places like Mecca, Indiana; Morocco, Indiana; Medina, NY; Medina, OH; Medina, TX; Toledo, OH; Mahomet, IL; Mahomet, Texas; Yarrowsburg, MD; Islamorada, FL, and Tallahassee, FL are found throughout America. There are at least two cities in Illinois named after Nubian Cities Argo and Dongola, Illinois.
In 1889, Edward Wilmot Blyden, a noted scholar and activist, traveled throughout the eastern and southern parts of the United States proclaiming the truth of Islam. Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832 - 1912) was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands on August 3rd, 1832. In 1850 he emigrates to Liberia from America and by 1855-56 became the editor of the Liberian Herald. Blyden served for three terms (1864-1871) as Secretary of State of Liberia, and on three postings as Ambassador to the Court of St. James in 1877, 1879, and 1892-94.
In 1858 Blyden was ordained as a Presbyterian clergyman. By 1886 he resigns from the Presbyterian Church and becomes a Muslim, one of the first known freed Africans to revert back to Islam. In 1887 Blyden published his first book Christianity, Islam and the Negro Race.
From 1901-1906 Edward Blyden was the Director of Mohammed Education in Sierra Leone.
In 1893, Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb (1846-1916) appeared at the First World Exposition Conference on World Religions in Chicago, where he delivered two lectures, "The Spirit of Islam" and "The Influence of Islam on Social Conditions." Among the audience was Mark Twain. Webb converted to Islam in 1888 while he was serving as the American Consul to the Philippines. He was also a Journalist. Webb is known as the first white American convert to Islam. In 1893, Mohammed found the first Islamic organization in America called "The American Moslem Brotherhood" in New York.
In 1897, The Federal government allotted free land, consequently Syrians started moving to Rugby and Williston, North Dakota. From 1899-1914 a total of 86,111 Syrians arrived in America.
In 1897, Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) is born in Sandersville, Georgia. He became the leader of The Nation of Islam from 1934 to 1975.
In 1899, Hassen Juma had settled in Ross, North Dakota with 160 acres of free land. By 1902 twenty families had followed his path from Birey, Syria. In the early 1920s they built one of the Nations first Mosque.
In the late 1800s many people and former slaves used the Islamic symbol of God’s oneness on their tombstones.
Compiled By Amir Muhammad
From 1900-1917 Wills are found in Washington, DC Archives beginning with Islamic salutations "With the Name of God Amen" with names like Hannah Henderson, Fontaine Mahmood, James Moore, Mary Newman, Edward Quader, and Anne Yarrow.
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 1904, at the St. Louis Exposition and World Fair, merchants and visitors came from the Arab world at which time an Arab used a waffle to create an ice cream cone.
In 1905, The US General Land Office grants land title to one Mahmod Ali.
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 1913, Noble Drew Ali established the Canaanite Temple in Newark, NJ. Noble Drew Ali was born Timothy Drew, January 8, 1886 on a Cherokee reservation in Sampson, North Carolina. There were immediate challenges to Noble Drew Ali’s leadership from within the Moorish community, and by 1916 internal disagreements caused a division of the Moorish-American nation into two groups. One group stayed in Newark, changing its name to the Holy Moabite Temple of the World. Moabite, is the ancient name for Moroccans. Noble Drew Ali and his followers moved to Chicago in 1925 and established the Moorish Science Temple of America. By this time, Drew Ali had established temples in Charleston, WVA; Milwaukee, WI; Lansing and Detroit, MI; Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, PA; Pine Bluff, AR; Newark, NJ; Cleveland and Youngstown, OH; Richmond and Petersburg, VA. Noble Drew Ali was murdered in 1929 in Chicago, IL and buried in Burr Oak Cemetery.
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 1919, The Albanians established another Mosque in Connecticut.
In 1919, an Islamic association established in Highland Park, Michigan. The organization dismantled after 5 years.
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 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.
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 Shiite 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.
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.
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.
In 1926, Polish speaking Tartars opened a Mosque in Brooklyn, NY. In the 1900s Polish Muslims came to Brooklyn, NY. In 1931 they purchase a New England church-style-meeting hall and an adjacent three-story residential building which is still in use today. The community is made up of Asian Tartars whose nomadic ancestors helped Vitautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, in his victory against the Teutonic Order in 1410. They settled in Lithuania and Poland with the status of nobility, while remaining Muslim. They were nearly annihilated during World War II.
In 1928, The Islamic Propagation Center of America opened up on State Street in Brooklyn, New York, under the leadership of Shaikh Al-Haj Daoud Ahmed Faisal. He also started the Islamic Mission Society, which was active from 1934-1942. Shaikh Faisal was granted a charter by Shaikh Khalid of Jordan and King Saud of Saudi Arabia to propagate Islam in America.
In 1928, The early beginnings of the first Mosque of Pittsburgh were rooted in Noble Drew Ali’s teaching. Several years after its foundation, the main teacher of the community, Walter Smith Bey, invited Dr. Yusef Khan an Ahmadi to speak and teach the community. During this time of growth and development by 1935 there emerged a new conflict pertaining to Dr. Khan’s teachings. Most of the community members concluded against Dr. Khan and the community divided for a second time. Today the community follows the sunnah of the Prophet.
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 Jumah (Friday) prayer 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.
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, The Honorable 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 i-ndigenous African American Islamic expression founded by Wali Fard Muhammad and developed by Elijah Muhammad. In 1934, W. Fard Muhammad, departed the scene and left the Honorable 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 Honorable Elijah Muhammad built a mulit-million dollar empire by the time of his passing. The Nation of Islam had develop 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 Muslims leaders like Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X), Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan, and Imam W.D. Mohammed.
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.
In 1934, The Frist Mosque of Cleveland was developed by a major community of Ahmadis headed by Wali Akram from 1934-1937. By the 1940s there were two hundred people in the Masjid. As the twentieth century progressed, the direct personal influence of the Ahmadi missionaries declined. Many of the early members left the movement for a variety of reasons.
In the 1930's, three other Mosques (Masjids) were started in Dearborn, MI., Sacramento, CA., and Michigan City, MI.
In the late 1930s, "The Addeynu Allah Universal Arab Association" a Sunni community was established in Newark, NJ under the leadership of Professor Ezeldeen who was second in command in Noble Drew Ali’s movement and was known as Brother Lomax Bey. As one of the first African-American to master the Arabic language and to go aboard to study Islam in Egypt. When Professor Ezeldeen returned to the States, he rejected the teachings of the Moorish Science Temple and developed orthodox Islamic communities in several cities throughout the United States. A community was developed in upper State New York and in Southern part of New Jersey outside of Camden in a community called Ezaldeen Village. Professor Ezeldeen was responsible for establishing the first National Islamic Organization among the Sunni Muslims called "United Islamic Communities", which included Sheikh Dawud, members of the First Mosque of Cleveland and Pittsburgh along with others.
In 1940, The first official Nation of Islam Temple #4 in Washington, DC was setup by Elijah Muhammad. Three other cities had Temples in Detroit, MN #1, Chicago, IL #2, and Milwaukee, Wn #3.
In 1941, The FBI begins its’ program of harassment on the members of the Nation of Islam.
In 1942, John Ben Ali Haggin was known as Captain Johnny Haggin who became famous for his valor as the pilot of the famous submarine sinking flight, off the coast of New Jersey. John Ben Ali Haggin was born of Irish-Arabian descent on August 19, 1916, in New York City.
In 1942, The Nation of Islam begins preaching in the US prison systems in Petersburg, VA. William X Fagin, Harry X Craighhead, and Benjamin X Mitchell. In Benjamin’s book he states that "Inmates began to ask us questions about our religion. The three of us began to explain to the inmates the teachings of Islam."
In 1946, The Nation of Islam bought their first Temple called Temple #2 in Chicago, Illinois.
In 1946, The first Young Muslim Women’s Association was chartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They had a sub-charter in Missouri that provided services such as aid for dependent children, widows, and the elderly.
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 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.
In 1952, Muslim service men sue the federal government and were allowed to identify themselves as Muslims.
In 1954, The Federation of Islamic Associations (FIA) of the US and Canada was established.
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 1956, Malik Shabzz (Malcolm X) (1925-1965), becomes an active preacher for the Nation of Islam. While in prison, he was introduced to Elijah Muhammad teaching. In the early 1950s he converted and took his X. He started working with the Nation of Islam in 1952 when he was released from jail. He eventually rose to a position of leadership and was assigned to New York City Temple #7. In the late 1970s Temple #7 was renamed Masjid Malcolm Shabazz in honored of him.
In 1957, The Islamic Center of Washington, D.C. opens. The Islamic Center of Washington, DC was open on June 28th 1957. The center was built as a traditional Islamic architect structure. President Dwight Eisenhower gave the opening remarks at the opening of the Islamic Center. In his statement he says, "Under the American Constitution this Center, this place of worship is as welcome as could be any similar edifice of any religion. Americans would fight with all their strength for your right to have your own church and worship according to your own conscience."
In 1960, Masjid Muhammad of Washington, DC was built as the first Mosque built under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad. During its" first ten years the building was used as a Temple. For more than twenty years since 1975 Masjid Muhammad has functioned as a Masjid under the Sunnah or orthodox way of Al-Islam. The community has a rich history that expands more than sixty years since the mid 1930s and was known as Temple #4 in its early beginnings.
In 1962, The first Muslim American Newspaper "Muhammad Speaks" is launched. It later became the largest minority weekly publication in the country and reached more than 800,000 readers at its peak. It has undergone various name changes’ Bilalian News, The A.M. Journal, to its current name Muslim Journal.
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 1968, The Hanafi Movement is founded by Hamas Abdul-Khaalis. The Hanafi Madhab Center was established in New York but later moved to Washington, DC. At it peak the community had a membership of more than 1,000 in the United States. Kareem Abdul-JAbbar, the famous basket player help bring attention to the community.
From 1960's-1980, A fifth wave of Muslim students and immigrants came from all over the Muslim World.
From 1970-1973, Dr. Fazlur Rahman Khan, a Muslim from Bangladesh, designed the Chicago’s John Hancock Center in (1970), the One Shell Plaza in Houston (1971), and the Sears Towers in Chicago in (1973).
In 1972, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad opened a $2 million Mosque and school in Chicago.
In 1973, a unique event took place. A descendant of the Beall’s Family sold some property to Masjid Muhammad, then known as Muhammad’s Holy Temple of Islam # 4. The Beall’s is the same family that had own and freed Yarrow Marmood in the 1800s.
In 1974, The Muslim World League was granted non-governmental organizational status at the United Nations.
In 1975, Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, dies February 25th.
In 1975, Warith Deen Mohammed becomes the leader of the Nation of Islam. He moved the Nation of Islam from nationalism into the Sunnah 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.
In 1981, The first Islamic library was established in Plainfield, Indiana.
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 1985, Warith D. Muhammad decentralizes the old N.O.I community structure.
In the 1990s, A Somalian born Muslim working as an employee for the US Post Office invented the new self-adhesive stamp.
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, Imam Siraj Wahhaj, became the first Muslim in U.S. history to offer the invocation (opening prayer) to the United States House of Representatives.
In 1991, Charles Bilal, of Kountze, Texas, became the nation’s first Muslim mayor in an American city.
In 1992, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, became the first Muslim in U.S. history to offer the invocation (opening prayer) to the United States Senate.
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, Abdul-Hakeem Muhammad, a computer specialist with the IRS, won the Department of the Army’s Commander’s Award for Civilian Service. For his work in the field of Open systems standards and architectural environment.
In 1996, Monje Malak Abd Al-Muta"Ali ibn Noel, Jr. became the First Muslim Naval Chaplin (Imam) in the U.S. Navy.
In 1996, The American Muslim Council sponsored the first Iftar Dinner Celebration on Capitol Hill.
In 1996, The White House and the first lady, Hillary Rodham-Clinton, recognized the completion of Ramadan by hosting a group of Muslim families at a White House reception for Id al-Fitr.
In 1999, The New York City Police Department appoints the first Muslim Chaplain, Imam Izak-El M. Pasha.
In 1999, The U.S. Post-office published a stamp to honor the Muslim leader Malik Shabazz (Malcolm X). There are two other postage stamps honoring achievements of Muslims the revolutionary heroes Peter (Salem) Saleem, and Saleem (Salem) Poor. Malcolm is the first well-known Muslim to be put on the stamp.
In 1999, The U.S. State Department hosted its first Iftar for Muslim Americans at the State Department.
In August 1999, The first Muslim US Ambassador, Osman Siddique was sworn in as the Ambassador to the Fiji Islands.
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. Today there are many Muslims across the country that are holding elected offices as local City Council members, State representatives, a Mayor, and Judges. We find Muslims in every profession today as Doctors, Lawyers, Teachers and others.