American Muslims; The Early History (Part4)

American Muslims; The Early History (Part4)
usamuslimsFrom 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 1939, The Islamic Mission Society is founded in New York by Sheikh Dawud.

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, Internationally known Muslim leader El Hajj Malik al-Shabazz (Malcolm X) is assassinated in New York.

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, Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is established, a leading Islamic Human and Civil rights organization.

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.

Compiled By Amir Muhammad


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