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SoFlo Muslims Celebrate ‘Black History Month’

Research and Compilation by Maha Elkolalli

The South Florida Muslim Federation celebrates Black History Month by recognizing African American Muslims who helped to lay the foundation of this nation.   America was built on the backs of enslaved Africans, a large percentage who were of the Muslim faith.  Between 1701 and 1800, some 500,000 Africans were forced into the United States through the Trans-Atlantic slavetrade.  While an estimated 30 percent of those enslaved arrived as Muslims, Islam was stringently suppressed on Plantations.  Prior to the 19th century, most documented non-enslaved Muslims in North America were merchants, travelers, and sailors.  Many enslaved Muslims built the White House, the United States Capitol Building, and other Government Buildings.  African American Muslims took part in the Revolutionary War and in every war thereafter. 

Each day this month, we will highlight a historic African American Muslim figure.  Throughout the month we will also recognize many local African American Muslim men and women of impact. The African American Muslim community continues to heavily contribute to the community in every aspect from political involvement, civil rights work, healthcare, sport, music, to art, education, law, etc. We look forward to honoring them for their sacrifices and for their commitments!! 

FEBRUARY 1, 2021

Honoring Ayub Bin Sulaiman Diallo

1701-1773

Ayub came from a prominent family of Muslim Religious Leaders in West Africa.  In fact, his grandfather founded the town of Bundu. While in captivity, Ayub would go into the woods to pray until a child humiliated him while he was praying.  He ultimately ran away in 1731 and was captured and imprisoned in the Kent County Courthouse. While being held, they discovered that Ayub could write in Arabic and that he was from a prominent family.  Ayub is said to have transcribed the Quran three times by hand during his years of enslavement and his time in England. He never compromised his religious beliefs throughout his enslavement and thereafter.

Ayub Suleiman Diallo (1701-1773) was also known as Job Ben Solomon.  He was a prominent Muslim who was a victim of the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1730.  Ayub was born in Bundu, Senegal (West Africa).  His memoirs were published as one of the earliest slave narratives and is a first person account of the slave trade.  His story was published in Thomas Bluett’s Some Memories of the Life of Job, the Son of the Solomon High Priest in Boonda Africa. Ayub was enslaved about two years in Maryland; and therafter brought to England, was set free, and sent to his native land in the year 1734.

The first hand account of Ayub’s capture by Mandinkas and eventual return home can be found in Francis Moore’s Travels Into the Interior Parts of Africa

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 2, 2021

Honoring Nicholas Said

(Born Muhammad Ali Said)

1836-1882

From 1863–1865, Said served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. Unlike most of the African Americans who served in the United States Army during the war, neither Said nor any of his ancestors had ever been enslaved in the United States.

Rather, Said elected to immigrate to the United States and then volunteered to fight.

Nicholas Said (born Muhammad Ali Said) was a traveler, soldier, and author.  He was born in Kukawa, Bornu Empire.  Although he was NOT enslaved in the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, he did fall victim to the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade.  His father’s fame as a general and his ability to learn languages led to the elevation of his social position.  Having learned Arabic in his youth in Central Africa, he quickly learned Ottoman Turkish, the language of his enslavers.  He then became proficient in Russian and ultimately was the servant of a Russian Prince who provided him with a French tutor after recognizing his exceptional linguistic abilities.  By the time he wrote his 1872 memoirs, he was familiar or fluent in Kanuri, Mandara, Arabic, Turkish, Russian, German, Italian, Armenian, and French.  He traveled throughout the world.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 3, 2021

Honoring Omar Ibn Said

(1770-1864)

Omar Ibn Said is known for fourteen manuscripts he wrote in Arabic which are now being held in the Library of Congress. He is best known for his autobiography written in 1831. He begins this writing with Surat Al Mulk from the Holy Quran which states that only Allah has sovereignty over human beings.  Because his autobiography was preserved in Arabic rather than a translation, it is thought to be an accurate depiction of his story. It is the only known Arabic autobiography by an African forced into bondage in America. 

More information and images of Omar Ibn Said’s writings can be found at https://www.loc.gov/collections/omar-ibn-said-collection/about-this-collection/

Omar Ibn Said was born in Senegal (Futo Toro), West Africa in 1770.  He was enslaved and forced to bondage in the United States in 1807 where he remained enslaved for the remainder of his life. He wrote an autobiography and a series of history and work in theology.  Omar Ibn Said was born to a wealthy family and was an Islamic Scholar.  In fact, while in Senegal, he spent 25 years of his life studying with prominent Muslim Scholars learning everything from arithmetic to theology.  Initially, he was enslaved by a cruel slave owner in Charleston, South Carolina.  He escaped and journeyed to North Carolina where he was recaptured and again enslaved by James Owen. It was thought that he converted to Christianity; however, his Bible had hand written dedications to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his autobiographer references Jesus (pbuh) with a Quranic description.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

Honoring Yarrow Mamout

(1738-1823)

Yarrow Mamout is well known for his success in purchasing land (specifically, 3324 Dent Place NW in Washington in the early 1800s) and building a legacy post enslavement.  He owned stock in the Columbia Bank of Georgetown.  He is described as a brickmaker, a charcoal maker, a ship loader, and a basket weaver.

From Slave Ship to Harvard outlines this story of an African American family over six generations and traces this family from the colonial period and the American Revolution through the Civil War to Harvard and finally today. Yarrow Mamout was an educated Muslim from Guinea.  Yarrowsburg, Maryland is named after this family.

Mamout was taken from his homeland of Guinea in 1752 at the age of sixteen. Yarrow Mamout was forced into bondage and transported to Annapolis.  He was a devout Muslim who could read and write in Arabic and could write his name in English. He remained enslaved by Samuel Beall, who owned a plantation in Takoma Park, and later Beall’s son, Brooke, who lived in Georgetown. At the age of 60, after 44 years of enslavement, Mamout gained his freedom but he never left Georgetown.  He used his brick making skills to earn money, and four years after he was freed, he saved enough to purchase a lot on what is now known as Dent Place.  Equally compelling is the fact that in 1927, almost 175 years to the day that Yarrow stepped off the slave ship (1752), a decendant of his daughter in law’s family, Robert Turner Ford, graduated from Harvanrd University.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 5, 2021

Honoring Abdulrahman Ibrahim Bin Sori

(1762-1829)

Before leaving the United States, Abdulrahman and his wife, Isabella, went to various states and Washington D.C.  He solicited donations, through the press, personal appearances, the American Colonization Society and politicians, to free his family back in Mississippi.  Word got back to his former slave master, Foster, who considered this a breach of terms of the Agreement freeing him. Abdulrahman’s actions and freedom were used against President John Quincy Adams by future President Andrew Jackson during the presidential election. 

After ten months, Abdulrahman and Isabella had only raised half the funds to free their ten children, and instead left for Monrovia, Liberia, without their children. 

Abdulrahman Ibrahim Bin Sori was a West African nobleman and Amir who was captured in the Futa Jallon region of Guinea, West Africa. He was sold to slave traders in the United States in 1788.  Upon discovering his noble lineage, his slave master, Thomas Foster, began referring to him as “Prince”, a title by which Abdulrahman would remain synonymous until his final days.  After spending 40 years in slavery, he was freed in 1828 by order of President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of State Henry Clay after the Sultan of Morocco requested his release.

By using his knowledge of growing cotton in Futa Jallon, Abdulrahman rose to a position of authority on the plantation and became the de facto foreman.  This granted him the opportunity to grow his own vegetable garden and sell at the local market.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 5, 2021

Recognizing Local African
American Muslims of Impact

Malika Abdurrahman

Malika Abdurrahman is the Co-Chair and Director of the Masjid Al-Ansar Food Pantry. The pantry was initially serving about 50 families biweekly, but with the advent of the coronavirus, it has exponentially grown over the past year to serve over 300 families biweekly. Under her leadership, the Food Pantry began the process of building the facilities into something more sustainable, with the hopes of becoming a partner with Feed America to better serve the community. The Food Pantry partners with several other agencies from Islamic Relief to the Jessie Trice Community Center that offer health services and COVID testing. 

The end goal of the food pantry is for it to become a food market where community members and those in need can come and obtain fresh produce, meats, and dry goods in a Farmers Market style, in order to not only provides needs to the people, but in a way where their dignity is held in high regard. 

Malika Abdurrahman was born and raised in Los Angeles, California to Josefina Bell and Shahid Abdurrahman. She is currently an active member of the South Florida Muslim Community and is an asset to the community at large. Malika is an educator at heart and a Clinical Research Associate by profession. Much of her adult life has been involved with community development and education. For over ten years, Malika was a teacher and principal in Islamic Schools. She has served on the Board of the Muslim Educators Association, and the Council of Islamic Schools in South Florida. Malika also served as the chapter admin, USRA lead, and youth advisor in the Muslim American Society (MAS). This year, Malika is the Chapter Lead in MAS.

THIS BLACK HISTORY MONTH, WE HONOR SISTER MALIKA AND THANK HER FOR HER COMMITMENT TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE!

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 6, 2021

Honoring El Hajj Malik El Shabazz Malcolm X

(1925-1965)

The Autobiography of Malcolm X has resulted in many Americans embracing Islam.  He was a pillar of the Civil Rights Movement and committed his life to the empowerment of the African American Community.  Malcolm was an example of change and commitment to advocating for self-love and preservation of the dignity and life of the African American community.  El Hajj Malik El Shabazz sacrificed his life and gave the example of being fearless when speaking truth to power.  He was committed to Justice and empowering people!

“There is no better than adversity. Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.” – El Hajj Malik El Shabazz

Born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, he later joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Malcolm X.  Malcolm served as the public face of the NOI for 12 years where he advocated for black empowerment and human/civil rights. 

In the 1960s, Malcolm began to separate from the Nation of Islam. By 1964, Malcolm embraced Orthodox Islam and changed his name to Malik El Shabazz. By March 8, 1964, Malcolm broke publicly from the Nation of Islam and founded the Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Pan African Organization of Afro Ameican Unity (OAAU).

In April 1964, Malcolm preformed his pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam. This pilgrimage gave Malcolm the image of brotherhood that surpassed racial boundaries. 

El Hajj Malik El Shabazz was assassinated on February 21, 1965 in New York City.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 7, 2021

Honoring Mohammad Ali

(1942-2016)

Muhammad Ali was a high-profile figure of racial pride for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement.  Muhammad Ali first embraced the teachings of the Nation of Islam, but later became a Sunni Muslim and supported racial integration like his former mentor Malcolm X. Few people realize that Ali also attained success as a musician where he received two Grammy nominations.  During his time of inactivity in boxing, Ali spoke at colleges across the nation criticizing the Vietnam War and advocating African American pride and and racial justice. In 1984, Muhammad Ali announced his diagnosis of Parkinson’s.

Find below the video of a special event organized by Masjid Al-Ansar to honor Muhammad Ali last year.

Born Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942 in Louisville, Kentucky, Muhammad Ali was much more than a professional boxer.  He was an activist, an entertainer, and a philanthropist.  He is one of the most significant and celebrated figures of the 20th century and one of the greatest boxers of all time. On February 25, 1964 he won the World Heavyweight Championship.  Shortly thereafter, he announced that he would be known as Muhammad Ali.  In 1966, Ali refused to be drafted into the military, citing his religious beliefs and opposition to the Vietnam War.  He was found guilty of draft evasion and faced five years in prison.  Ali was stripped of his boxing titles.  The Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 1971.  This four year legal fight was a period of peak performance as an athlete and was therefore a huge loss for Ali.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 8, 2021

Honoring Ibtihaj Muhammad

Ibtihaj Muhammad released her debut memoir, PROUD: My Fight for an Unlikely American Dream, in 2018.  In September 2019, Ibtihaj released her first children’s book, The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family, which instantly became a New York Times Best Seller.

Ibtihaj is a sports ambassador with the U.S. Department of State’s Empowering Women and Girls through Sport Initiative and was nominated by President Obama as a member of the President’s Council on Fitness, Health, and Nutrition. She works closely with organizations like Athletes for Impact, the Special Olympics, and Laureus Sports for Good.  Named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential List, Ibtihaj is an important figure in a larger global discussion on equality and the importance of sport.  Her voice continues to unite both the sports and non-sports world. 

Bio from her website at https://www.ibtihajmuhammad.com/bio

Ibtihaj Muhammad is an entrepreneur, activist, speaker, and Olympic medalist in fencing.  A 2016 bronze medalist, 5 time senior world medalist and World Champion, in 2016 Ibtihaj became the first American woman to compete in the Olympics in hijab.  Ibtihaj was a 3 time All American at Duke University where she graduated with a dual major in International Relations and African Studies. 

In 2014, Ibtihaj launched her own clothing company, Louella, which aims to bring modest, fashionable, and affordable clothing to the United States market.  In 2017, Mattel announced their first hijabi Barbie, modeled in Ibtihaj’s likeness, as Barbie’s Shero line of dolls.

 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 9, 2021

Honoring Sister Clara Muhammad

November 2, 1899-August 12, 1972

Clara Muhammad died on August 12, 1972 after a long bout with stomach cancer. Her son, Warithudeen Muhammad, who assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam in 1975, renamed the University of Islam schools the Sister Clara Muhammad Schools in her honor. There are now roughly 15 Clara Muhammad Schools open across the country.  These schools have continuously assisted students in developing critical thinking, sober, positive mindsets by using a “creation inspired curriculum.”

Sister Clara Muhammad was the Wife of Elijah Muhammad.  She founded the Sister Clara Muhammad Schools.  Early on, the schools educated the children with an emphasis on assisting them in developing a positive mindset for African Americans during the period of segregation and Jim Crow laws.  The schools did use certain tenants of Islam to develop the necessary skills in this process.  Until 1975, this was the focus and it was time wherein Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, Andre Carson joined the Nation of Islam.  After the passing of Elijah Muhammad in 1975, Imam Warithudeen Mohammed brought many of the Nation of Islam Community into orthodox Islam.  In that process, the name of Sister Clara Mohammad’s schools were changed from University of Islam School to the Clara Muhammad Schools. 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 10, 2021

Honoring Betty Shabazz

May 28, 1934-June 23, 1997

In January 1976, Shabazz became associate professor of health sciences with a concentration in nursing at New York’s Medgar Evers College. The student body at Medgar Evers was 90 percent black and predominantly working-class, with an average age of 26. Black women made up most of the faculty, and 75 percent of the students were female, two-thirds of them mothers. These were all qualities that made Medgar Evers College attractive to Shabazz.

By 1980, Shabazz was promoted to Director of Institutional Advancement. In her new position, she became a booster and fund-raiser for the college. A year later, she was given tenure. In 1984, Shabazz was given the title of Director of Institutional Advancement and Public Affairs. She held that position at the college until her death.

Betty Shabazz was an American educator and civil rights advocate.  She was married to Malcolm X/El Hajj Malik El Shabazz. Shabazz grew up in Detroit, Michigan where her foster parents sheltered her from racism.  It wasn’t until she attended Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama where she had her first encounters with racism.  She moved to New York City and became a nurse.  She married Malcolm X in 1958 after joining the Nation of Islam.  She left the Nation of Islam in 1964 and she witnessed her husband’s assassination.  Left with the responsibility of raising six daughters as a widow, she pursued higher education, and went to work at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 11, 2021

Honoring

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar is one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress.  Following Omar’s election, the ban on head coverings in the U.S. House was modified and she became the first woman to wear Hijab on the House floor.  She has been subjected to death threats, conspiracy theories, and harassment by political opponents. On January 7, 2021 Omar led a group of 13 House members introducing articles of impeachment against Trump on charges of high crimes and misdemeanors.  

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar is an American Politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019.  Before her election to Congress, Omar served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2017-2019, representing part of Minneapolis. She is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and advocates for living wage, affordable housing, student debt loan forgiveness, DACA Protections, Abolishing I.C.E.  She strongly opposed the Trump Travel Ban.  Omar is the first Somali American, the first naturalized citizen of African birth, and the first woman of color to represent Minnesota in the United States Congress.   

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 12, 2021

Honoring Amina McCloud

Dr. Aminah McCloud is the author of African American Islam (1994), Questions of Faith (1999): The Textures of American Muslim Women’s Lives, Transnational Muslims in American Society (2006). She is currently working on Owning Islam: African American Islam in the 21st Century. Dr. McCloud is also a board member of Radio Islam, the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, and the Feminist Sexual Ethics Project.

Dr. Aminah McCloud was born in 1948.  She is a retired  professor of Religious Studies and Director of the Islamic World Studies program at DePaul University.  She is an expert in the areas of Islam in America, Muslim Women, Islamic Studies and history, geography, politics, religion and philosophy of Islam.  She is the author and co-author of several books.  Dr. Aminah is also the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Islamic Law and Culture and a member of the board of advisors of the Instutute for Social Policy and Understanding.  Professor Aminah has been described as one of the most eminent scholars of African American Islam. 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 13, 2021

Honoring Ieasha Prime

In addition to her full-time work, Ieasha Prime is the co-founder and Executive Director of Barakah INC, an organization committed to training Muslim women in traditional Islamic sciences with a focus on modern application. Sister Ieasha is recently known for her participation in the National Women’s March, and the courses she teaches on traditional knowledge, the challenges of race and gender in the Muslim community and Spirituality. Ieasha Prime is a proud wife and mother of three children.

Bio from https://yaqeeninstitute.org/team/ieasha-prime

Ieasha Prime is the Director of Women’s Programming at Dar al Hijrah Islamic Center in Virginia and the founder of the DC Muslim Women’s Conference.  She converted to Islam more than 20 years ago after being a Youth Ambassador to Morocco and Senegal.  There she developed a thirst for knowledge that would cause her to sit at the feet and learn from some of the top Islamic Scholars of our time.  Ieasha pursued religious studies abroad, studying Arabic, and Quran at the Fajr Institute in Cairo, Egypt. Later, she moved to Hadramaut, Yemen and enrolled in Dar el Zahra, an Islamic University for Women.  There she studied Aqeedah, Quran, Hadith, Arabic, Fiqh, Islamic Law, Purification of the Heart and other religious related learning.  She has received several scholarly licenses (ijaza).  The majority of Ieasha’s life is spent as an educator and activist. 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 14, 2021

Honoring Halima Aden

Halima Aden was clear that keeping her hijab on for every shoot was non-negotiable. It was so important to her that in 2017 when she signed with IMG, one of the biggest modelling agencies in the world, she added a clause to her contract making IMG agree that she would never have to remove it. Her hijab meant the world to her.  In November 2020, during the Coronavirus Pandemic, Halima decided to make the decision to give up modelling and her role with Unicef.   In a series of Instagram stories that she had quit runway modelling as it compromised her religious beliefs, though since then, she has indicated that she would do modelling work as long as she could set the conditions.  Aden received support for her decision from Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, and Bella Hadid.  Aden later announced that she had planned to become the first Somalian woman to compete in Miss Universe.

Info from https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-55653029

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halima_Aden

 

Halima’s Mother walked twelve days from Somalia to Kenya for a better life.  Halima Aden was born in a refugee camp in Kenya.  She moved to Minnesota when she was seven years old.  She was her high school’s first hijabi wearing homecoming queen.  By 2016, Halima took part in Miss Minnesota USA as the first hijab wearing contestant and became a semi-finalist.  By 2018, Halima became a Unicef ambassador with a focus on children’s rights.  Her goal was to raise awareness about displaced children, and to give refugee children hope that they too can make it out of a refugee camp. 

In the past, she was described as a trailblazing hijab-wearing supermodel or as the first hijabi model to feature on the cover of Vogue magazine.

 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 15, 2021

Honoring Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf

(Chris Jackson)

In 1991, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf accepted Islam. There was controversy surrounding his refusal to stand for the National Anthem before games stating that the United States had a long history of oppression and tyranny. In 1996, the NBA suspended Mahmoud for refusing to stand and fined him $31,707 per missed game. Two days later, they reached a compromise that he would stand but could recite a prayer during the anthem. The attacks and threats to Mahmoud and his family ultimately resulted in the KKK setting his home on fire. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf took a stand and sacrificed his NBA career to speak out against the injustices in this country long before it became popular to do so.

Mahmoud continues to train NBA players, to take part in speaking engagements throughout the United States, and to engage in humanitarian work through agencies such as the Amoud Foundation and Islamic Relief. Mahmoud fearlessly speaks out on controversial issues including advocating to free Imam Jamil Al-Amin. He speaks openly about his struggles with Tourette Syndrome and educates people on the importance of mental health treatment. Mahmoud is currently finalizing his autobiography. Mahmoud is an extremely involved father of five wonderful children. He commits time to training his youngest son, Amir, who is now excelling as a freshman playing for his high school varsity basketball team. Mahmoud is currently playing in the BIG3 Basketball League as a co-captain on the Three Headed Monsters.

Info from By the Dawn’s Early Light: Chris Jackson’s Journey to Islam. Full film can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/-ISc8DJFOMg 

Mahmoud’s clothing line Resist 1996 can be found at www.resist1996.com

Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf (Chris Jackson) was born in 1969 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He and his two brothers were raised by their mother, Jacqueline Jackson. As a child, he struggled in school and it wasn’t until he was seventeen years that he was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Despite his difficulties, he became a high school basketball prodigy for Gulfport High School averaging 29.9 points and 5.7 assists per game. Mahmoud went on to play for LSU setting the freshman scoring record of 53 points in a game against UF. Appearing in 32 games as a freshman, he set the NCAA points by a freshman record scoring a total of 965 points with an average of 30.2 points per game. LSU finally retired Mahmoud’s Jersey in 2020.

Mahmoud ultimately was selected with the third pick in the 1990 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets where he remained until 1996. He played for the Sacramento Kings 1996-1998 and for the Vancouver Grizzlies 2000-2001. His NBA career was marked by successes including 1991 All Rookie Second Team; 1993 NBA Most Improved Player; and has the third highest free throw seasonal percentage in NBA history. Mahmoud’s NBA Career was unjustly and abruptly terminated because of the NBA’s response to his refusal to stand for the National Anthem.

Thereafter, Mahmoud played basketball on several international teams including Fenerbahce of the Turkish Basketball League; Ural Great of the Russian Basketball Super League; Italian Serie A clud Sedima Roseto; Udine; Aris Thessaloniki; Al-Ittihad of the Saudi Basketball League; and the Kyoto Hannaryz of the Basketball Japan League.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 16, 2021

Honoring Imam Jamil Al-Amin

fka H. Rap Brown

Imam Jamil Al-Amin’s is currently serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit.  His case is currently under review by the Fulton County Conviction Integrity Unit.  There is no evidence placing Imam Jamil at the scene of the crime: no fingerprints, no gun residue, no DNA.  In fact, Otis Jackson has been consistent in his confession of the crime for which Imam Jamil is serving a life sentence (giving multiple written sworn statements and testifying in another trial under oath), and evidence corroborates Otis Jackson’s confession. 

Despite Imam Jamil serving a life sentence for a Georgia State offense, he is being housed by the United States Penitentiary in Tucson, Arizona away from his family and his attorneys.  Imam Jamil is categorized as needing a level 4 facility due to his extensive medical needs, however, the Federal Prison System has kept him at a level 3 and has completely failed to provide him with necessary medical treatment.  They have essentially intentionally blinded Imam Jamil.  

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals addresses the gross misconduct by the prosecutors in this case, specifically stating “We regret that we cannot provide Mr. Al-Amin relief in the face of the prosecutorial misconduct that occurred at his trial. A prosecutor’s duty in a criminal proceeding is not to secure a conviction by any means, but to ensure that justice will prevail. The prosecutor at Al-Amin’s trial failed to live up to that duty.”

There is currently an undocumented gag order on Imam Jamil wherein historians and the media have been completely denied access him in prison.  He is deliberately being erased from history.

For more information visit www.whathappened2rap.com;

Follow @_freeimamjamil on IG;

For updated action plan steps visit freeimamjamil.com;

To purchase Free Rap Merchandise, visit: https://www.whathappened2rap.com/collections/all;

Imam Jamil’s Book Revolution by the Book is available on Amazon.  

Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin (fka Hubert Gerold Brown) was born on October 4, 1943 in Boutan Rouge, Louisiana.  He became known as H. Rap Brown in the early 1960s.  Imam Jamil was the fifth chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s and in 1967 was the Minister of Justice between the SNCC and the Black Panther Party.  As the chairman of the SNCC, he attended a contentious civil rights meeting at the White House with President Lyndon Johnson during the Selma Crisis of 1965.  In 1966, he organized for black voter registration and enforcement of the Voting Rights Act in Alabama.  Al-Amin continued Stokely Carmichael’s support for Black Power in 1967 wherein he toured the nation calling for the black community to organize.  Imam Jamil was an active participant in the Black Panther Party and is mostly known for his involvement in the Black Power Movement.  He was heavily involved in the fight against Jim Crow Segregation. Imam Jamil is the historic foundation of the Black Lives Matter Movement.

In the 1970s, Imam Jamil reverted to Islam.  His work thereafter focused on advocating for justice irrespective of race or cultural difference.  Imam Jamil went on to create his own Muslim community in the West End of Atlanta, Georgia.  He engaged in neighborhood cleanups which led to the ultimate cease fire between several gangs.  Imam Jamil committed his life to the upliftment of his community.  In the 1990s, he was involved in the Bosnian Taskforce against the Bosnian Genocide and was very outspoken on the liberation of the Palestinian people.      

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 17, 2021

Honoring Warith Deen Muhammad

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad was unanimously chosen as the leader of the Nation of Islam upon his father’s death in 1975.  He converted 400 NOI temples into Islamic Mosques (including Masjid Al Ansar in Miami Dade County). Imam Warith Deen Muhammad guided his community to transition from the Nation of Islam to Orthodox Islam and began to create closer ties to the Muslim Community at large.

Warith Deen Muhammad gained widespread support amongst the international Muslim Community, but his changes to the Nation of Islam were not accepted.  Minister Louis Farakhan broke ranks with Warith Deen Muhammad thereby continuing the Nation of Islam movement and Warith Deen Muhammad created a Muslim Community of his own that remains strong and actively involved in the Muslim Community at large.  

Imam Muhammad put forth extensive effort in interfaith dialogue and was involved in events around the world pertaining to the advancement of Islam, racial unity, and world peace. He was politically involved both internationally and nationally and was elected to serve on the World Supreme Council of Masajid as one of three representatives from the United States. He was elected president of the World Conference of Religions of Peace, and was appointed to President Clinton’s Religious Advisory Council. Imam Muhammad authored several books in his lifetime.

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad (fka Wallace D. Muhammad aka W. D. Muhammad) was born October 30, 1933 in Hamtramck, Michigan to Clara and Elijah Muhammad.  His Father, Elijah Muhammad, led the Nation of Islam from 1934 until his death in 1975.   Imam Warith Deen Muhammad attended the Clara Muhammad Schools (fka Muhammad University of Islam).  By 1958, Warith Deen Muhammad served as a minister in the Nation of Islam under the leadership of his father.  In 1961, Imam Warith Deen was imprisoned for his refusal to be inducted into the United States Military. While incarcerated, from 1961-1963, Imam Warith Deen Muhammad studied the Holy Quran.  Upon his release in 1963, he continued to learn Islam as he no longer believed in the doctrine of the Nation of Islam.  It should be noted that this was the time that Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and was also transitioning into Orthodox Islam.  Warith Deen Muhammad  was excommunicated many times from the Nation until 1974 when he permanently returned.  

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 18, 2021

Honoring Dr Sherman Jackson

aka Abdul Hakim Jackson

Dr. Sherman Jackson is an Islamic Scholar and has been named among the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World. Dr. Jackson is a co-founder, Core Scholar, and member of the Board of Trustees of the American Learning Institute for Muslims (ALIM), an American learning institution where scholars, professionals, activists, artists, writers, and community leaders come together to develop strategies for the future of Islam in the modern world.    

Dr. Jackson is a former member of the Fiqh Council of North America, former President of the Shari’ah Scholars Association of North America (SSANA) and a past trustee of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT).

Dr. Sherman Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture and Professor of Religion and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California.  Dr. Jackson received his Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania and has taught at the University of Texas in Austin, Indiana University, Wayne State University, and the University of Michigan. Dr. Jackson served as Executive Director of the Center of Arabic Study Abroad in Cairo, Egypt from 1987-1989. Dr. Jackson  has authored several books including Islamic Law and the State: The Constitutional Jurisprudence of Shihab al-Din al-Qarafi; On the Boundaries of Theological Tolerance in Islam: Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali’s Faisal al-Tafriqa; Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking Towards the Third Resurrection; Islam and the Problem of Black Suffering; and others. Dr. Jackson has extensively researched Islamic Studies including law, theology, and intellectual history. 

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 19, 2021

Honoring Fatimer and Little  Fatimer

Little is known about FATIMER and LITTLE FATIMER; however, their names further confirm the presence of Islam amongst those who were forced into bondage.  There are few narratives and images pertaining to the Muslim women who were forced into bondage, but this list has given us a glimpse of the reality of their presence and existence.

The enslaved Africans owned by President Washington would find it difficult to practice Islam as they were very closely monitored, making it difficult to perform the five daily prayers.  They worked through Fridays thereby making the Friday prayer also a bit difficult to perform. 

Nonetheless, there is documentation of potentially four Muslim Africans enslaved on President Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate.  (Fatimer, Little Fatimner, Nila, and Sambo Anderson).  It should also be noted that Washington had several Muslims in his army during the Revolutionary War.

https://www.mountvernon.org/library/digitalhistory/digital-encyclopedia/article/slave-religion/

Two women, presumably a mother and daughter, FATIMER and LITTLE FATIMER were included in President George Washington’s 1774 tithables list (a document prepared for local authorities listing the people whom Washington was responsible to pay taxes for).  The names appear to be a corruption of the popular Muslim woman’s name Fatima, meaning “Shining One” in Arabic. 

Note that Fatima is also the name of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) youngest daughter.  Even if those forced into slavery were not actually practicing Islam, this child’s name provides evidence that some knowledge of Islamic traditions or a familiarity with the Arabic language could still be found in the larger African American community at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 20, 2021

Honoring Professor Intisar Rabb

In 2015, in partnership with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, support from the Luce and MacArthur Foundations, and collaborations with myriad scholars and institutions, she launched SHARIAsource – an online portal designed to provide universal access to the world’s information on Islamic law and history, and to facilitate new research with the use of AI tools.   

Professor Intisar Rabb has published on Islamic law in historical and modern contexts, including the monograph, Doubt in Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press 2015), the edited volumes, Justice and Leadership in Early Islamic Courts (with Abigail Balbale, Harvard University Press, 2017) and Law and Tradition in Classical Islamic Thought (with Michael Cook et al., Palgrave 2013), and numerous articles on Islamic constitutionalism, on Islamic legal canons, and on the early history of the Qur’an text. She received a BA from Georgetown University, a JD from Yale Law School, and an MA and PhD from Princeton University. She has conducted research in Egypt, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere.

Bio obtained by following this link: Intisar Rabb | Harvard University | History Department                                                                                

Professor Intisar Rabb obtained her Ph.D. in Islamic Law from Princeton University; her J.D. from Yale Law School; her M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University; and her B.A/B.S. in Government and Arabic from Georgetown University. 

Intisar Rabb is currently a Professor of Law, Professor of History, and the Faculty Director of the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School.  She has held appointments as a Susan S. and Kenneth L. Wallach Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, as an Associate Professor at NYU Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies and at NYU Law School, and as an Assistant Professor at Boston College Law School. She previously served as a law clerk for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, as a Temple Bar Fellow in London with the American Inns of Court, and as a Carnegie Scholar for her work on contemporary Islamic law.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 21, 2021

Honoring Dr Fatima Jackson

Dr. Fatima Jackson specializes in the study of human-plant coevolution and anthropological genetics, especially African human genetics and population biological substructures in peoples of African descent. For example, genetic changes in human evolution due to cultural migrations.  

At the Cobb Research Lab, Jackson conducts studies on African-American biological history with access to the largest collection of African-American skeletal and dental remains in the world. Jackson has published in many scientific and scholastic journals

In 2017, she received the STEM Woman Researcher of the Year from Howard University. That same year, she received the Outstanding Service Award from the Department of Biology at Howard University.

In 2020, Jackson was awarded the Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. She is the first African-American woman to receive this award.

Works by Dr. Fatima Jackson can be found by following this link: Jackson, Fatimah Linda Collier [WorldCat Identities]

Dr. Fatima Linda Collier Jackson is a Biologist and Anthropologist.  She is a Professor of Biology at Howard University and the Director of its Cobb Research Laboratory.  She lost her father by the time she was six years old.  Dr. Fatima Jackson earned her B.A., M.A., and her Ph.D from Cornell University and spent years performing research in Africa.

In 1981 she became Assistant Professor at University of California, Berkeley in its Department of Anthropology before moving to the University of Florida in 1986 as Associate Professor. She became professor emerita of applied biological anthropology at the University of Maryland after teaching there for 20 years (1990–2011).  In 2009, Jackson held a professorship and director role in biological anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). She became a professor of biology and director of the W. Montague Cobb Research Laboratory at Howard University in 2013.  Jackson served as director of UNC’s Institute of African American Research from 2009 to 2011. 

She serves now as the director/curator of the W. Montague Cobb Research Lab.  Her research on peoples of recent African-descent also led to appearances on the PBS programs African American Lives and Nova and the BBC’s Motherland.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 22, 2021

Honoring Imam Siraj Wahhaj

“Imam Siraj Wahhaj is a globally recognized Islamic Leader.  With over 40 years of experience of sharing riveting messages that have sparked the minds and inspired the soul.  His message is rooted in hope, faith, and the power of redemption.”

He continues to be the Imam of Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brooklyn, New York.  Imam Siraj is the former Vice President of the Islamic Society of North America. 

Imam Siraj focuses on community outreach and is an active public speaker both nationally and internationally.  He bridges the gap between historic African American Muslim figures such as Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, and Warith Deen Muhammad to our current Muslim American community.  He is truly African American Muslim history!  

Visit Imam Siraj’s official website at www.imamsiraj.org for a downloadable collection of Imam Siraj’s lectures over the years.   See also https://muslims.brooklynhistory.org/narrators/siraj-wahhaj/

Imam Siraj Wahhaj (fka Jeffrey Kearse) was born March 11, 1951 and was raised in Brooklyn, New York.  In 1969, Imam Siraj joined the Nation of Islam.  Upon the passing of Elijah Muhammad in 1975, Imam Siraj followed the lead of Imam Warith Deen Muhammad and converted to become a Sunni Muslim. Imam Siraj studied Islam with the Muslim World League in Chicago and in 1978 went on to study at Umm Al-Qura University of Mecca.  In 1981, he established Masjid Al-Taqwa in Brooklyn, New York.

In 1988, Imam Siraj led the Muslim Community in an anti-drug patrol, staking out drug houses in Bedford-Styvesant forcing the closure of fifteen drug houses.  This effort in the transformation of the neighborhood received high praise from the New York Police Department.

In 1991, Imam Siraj became the first Muslim to offer an opening prayer at the United States House of Representatives.

In 2004, Imam Siraj founded the Muslim Alliance of North America (MANA) to advocate for Muslim American needs and civil rights.  Imam Siraj served on the Majlis Ash-Shura Islamic Leadership Council of New York, campaigned for New York Public Schools to formally recognize Eid as a holiday, and represented Masjid Al-Taqwa in the Raza v. City of New York lawsuit against the NYPD for religiously motivated surveillance.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 23, 2021

Honoring Imam Zaid Shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir has been listed as one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World.  Inspired to work with religious groups on sustainable living and climate change, he is a Green Faith partner in action for Earth to inspire people globally for environmental change.  Imam Zaid is a signatory along with religious spiritual leaders from around the world who presented the UN Secretary General with a declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.   In 2007, he was a signatory of the 2007 letter “A Common Word Between Us and You,” an appeal for peace and cooperation between Christians and Muslims, and in 2016, he presided over the public memorial for Muhammad Ali.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has praised him, stating, “Embodying an American story if ever there was one—including proverbial bootstraps, military service, political activism, and deep religious commitment—Zaid Shakir’s message of social justice in the face of poverty and racism he has known first hand makes him endlessly and, it often seems, effortlessly relevant. He is as approachable a man as I’ve ever met.”

For more information:

https://isna.net/zaid-shakir/

https://zaytuna.edu/academics/faculty/zaid-shakir

Imam Zaid Shakir (fka Ricky Daryl Mitchell) was born in 1956 in Berkley, California.  Imam Zaid accepted Islam in 1977 while serving in the United States Air Force.  He received his BA in International Relations at American University in Washington D.C.; earned his MA in Political Science from Rutgers University; then studied Islamic Studies in Syria (and Morocco) with a focus on Arabic, Islamic Law, Quranic Studies, and spirituality earning a BA in Islamic Sciences.

Imam Zaid co-founded Masjid Al-Islam, the Tri-State Muslim Education Initiative in Connecticut, and the Connecticut Muslim Coordinating Committee. As Imam of Masjid Al-Islam from 1988 to 1994 he spear-headed a community renewal and grassroots anti-drug effort, and taught political science and Arabic at Southern Connecticut State University. He served as an interfaith council Chaplain at Yale University and developed the Chaplaincy Sensitivity Training for physicians at Yale New Haven Hospital.

Imam Zaid is a Muslim American Scholar who co-founded Zaytuna College in Berkley, California.  He teaches courses in Arabic, Law, History, and Islamic Spirituality.  Imam Zaid is co-founder and chairman of United for Change with a goal to leverage diversity of the Muslim and interfaith community and to address divisive obstacles. Imam Zaid assumed leadership of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) in 2020.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 24, 2021

Honoring Kenny Gamble

Throughout the 1970s, Gamble and Huff made music that addressed political and social issues faced by the African American community. Many of their songs articulated the theme of black pride and highlighted the Black Power Movement’s struggle for power and self-determination.

Kenny Gamble also founded a nonprofit community development corporation, Universal Community Homes, to provide low to moderate income families with freshly built or refurbished homes at affordable prices.  The community revitalization programs that Br. Kenny Gamble launched created hundreds of jobs, renovated or constructed over 120 homes; and developed over 70,000 square feet of commercial space to support local needs.  Br. Kenny Gamble has received many awards and honors for his work and dedication to the community!

Visit Kenny Gamble’s website at www.kennygamble.com

Bio from: https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/kenny-gamble-39 

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_songs_written_by_Kenny_Gamble_and_Leon_Huff

Kenny Gamble was born in Philadelphia on August 11, 1943.  He is a singer, songwriter, and producer.  Kenny Gamble began his career in music in the 1960s as a member of a band called the Romeos.  This eventually led him to begin song writing and producing along Leon Huff.  Gamble and Huff went on to create their own label, Philadelphia International Records which ultimately was known for originating the Philly Soul Sound music genre in the 1970s writing and producing 175 gold and platinum records.  Gamble and Huff produced hits such as Expressway to Your Heart; Only the Strong Survive; Me and Mrs. Jones; If You Don’t Know Me by Now; Back Stabbers; Love Train; and Aint No Stoppin Us Now.  

In the 1970s, Gamble began purchasing run down houses, beginning with his childhood home.  He improved the conditions in blighted areas and by the early 1990s, he had purchased over one hundred abandoned homes and moved from the suburbs back into the inner city neighborhood in South Philadelphia where he grew up in order to rebuild the community. 

Br. Kenny Gamble founded the nonprofit Universal Companies to establish a workforce development center offering adult education and job training to individuals of all skill levels; a construction company to provide training and jobs; a business support center; a charter school; and other entities aimed at empowering the inner city and its residents.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Honoring Keith Ellison

Keith Ellison is serving as the 30th Attorney General of Minnesota.  On May 31, 2020, Ellison accepted Minnesota governor Tim Walz’s request that he take over as special prosecutor in the George Floyd case.  Three days later, Ellison’s office charged Derek Chauvin, the officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, with second-degree murder, a more serious charge than Hennepin County attorney Mike Freeman’s original charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  Ellison also charged the other three officers at the scene, whom Freeman’s office had not originally charged, with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and manslaughter.

Keith Maurice Ellison was born on August 4, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. His father was a psychiatrist and his mother was a social worker. Ellison was influenced by his family’s involvement in the Civil Rights Movement, including his grandfather who was a member of the NAACP in Louisiana.

Keith Ellison was the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District from 2007 to 2019.  He was sworn in using an English Translation of the Quran that once belonged to President Thomas Jefferson.

He also served as the titular Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee from 2017-2018.  In Congress, Ellison was a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a Chief Deputy Whip. He also sat on the House Committee on Financial Services. 

Ellison was the first Muslim to be elected to Congress and the first African American representative from Minnesota. Keith Ellison was also the first African American elected to statewide office in Minnesota, as well as the first Muslim in the United States to win statewide office.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

FEBRUARY 26, 2021

Honoring Mustafa Zemmouri

Upon reaching Mexico City, the Viceroy of Mexico recognized Mustafa’s skills and employed him on another mission. They depended upon Mustafa to go ahead of the party and establish contacts. His abilities as an interpreter and diplomat finally failed him when he reached the Zuni Pueblo of Hawikuh in 1539. Accounts of his death vary widely, some claiming that he was killed by the chief and others claiming that he asked the Zunis to help him fake his death to obtain freedom.

Nonetheless, it is without question that Mustafa possessed a formidable ability to adapt and to communicate, and he ultimately was one of the first Africans to explore much of the territory that is now the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. From his childhood, Mustafa used his ear for languages to survive despite incredible hardship.

Bio from:

Historical Interpreter Profile 

https://nmaahc.si.edu/explore/stories/collection/african-muslims-early-america

Mustafa Zemmouri (aka as Estevanico) was born in the Moroccan port town of Azemmour and was of West African origin. Mustafa was, at the age of 17, sold by the Portuguese into slavery in 1522. While enslaved by Spanish Conquistador Andres Dorantes de Carranza, Mustafa became one of the first Africans to set foot on the North American continent.  He was fluent in Darija, the Moroccan dialect of Arabic, Portuguese, and Spanish when he arrived in North America which made him a valuable member of this expedition.

He explored Florida and the Gulf Coast, eventually travelling as far west as New Mexico in hopes of claiming the area for Spain. The expedition quickly ran into misfortune, and, desperate to escape attacks, illness, and the jungle, the men slaughtered their horses and constructed crude rafts from their melted metals. The 260 (of the original 300) surviving members of the party hoped to cross the gulf and make it to Spanish-controlled Texas. Most of the rafts capsized and Mustafa and Dorantes were among the 80 men who survived the attempt.

Ultimately, Mustafa was taken captive on the Texas coast and spent the next six years enslaved. Only 4 of the original 300 men on the expedition survived this ordeal. His ability to quickly learn new languages resulted in Mustafa becoming fluent in his captors’ language and ultimately becoming fluent in at least six Native American languages.

The South Florida Muslim Federation Salutes those who laid the foundation of this country!

www.soflomuslims.com

Sana Saif
Author: Sana Saif

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