Early American Muslims

America’s First Muslims

Early Muslim American roots includes evidence of Muslim settlements and travels through North America. It includes anthropological findings of a Muslim school system dating back to 700 C.E. to forgotten tenth through thirteenth century Muslims explorations of North America via Mississippi River. Arabic script letters found in dating to America early settlements and accounts of slaves with Muslim names breaks ground on the stories of Muslims who were scholars and princes, captured and pulled into the New World as slaves. A timeline into the 1800s ushered in six prominent Muslim slaves who emerged as business and faith leaders. Some earned their freedom but many lost their families, identities and eventually their religion in the dehumanizing machine called the American slave trade.

Modern day contributions by Muslim Americans include involvement in America’s cultural evolution through it’s music scene during the 1940s onward. That legacy moves into sports, film and the theatre of sociopolitical movements including the iconic civil rights movement and the prominent early emergence of Islam through African Americans — a demographic who was in some sense reintroduced to lost Islamic roots through the Ahmadiyya Muslim community. Today, of course, Muslims serve in elected office and are appointed to the judicial bench.


Note: Data sourced from D.C. School of Law’s Muslim Law Symposium, which hosted an exhibition on America’s first Muslims.

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