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Famous converts to Islam

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    Famous converts to Islam

    Famous Converts To Islam

    Author: Anayat Durrani
    Published on: February 11, 2000

    Related Subject(s): Muslim converts -- United States

    Islam is currently the fasting growing religion in America whose adherents hail from every race and ethnicity. In the United States, where Muslims number over six million, the Islamic faith has in many estimates surpassed Judaism and is believed to be the second largest religion in America after Christianity. According to one report, the Muslim population in America is said to be larger than that of the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Methodists, and the Mormons. American Muslims outnumber Christian Scientists, Unitarians, Seventh-day Adventists, Quakers, Mennonites, and Jehovah’s Witnesses combined. The conversion rate among Americans is estimated to be at 135,000 per year, with African-Americans making up the largest group of converts followed by American women, as well as a significant number coming from the Latino community. During the Gulf War alone, it was reported that approximately 3,000 Americans converted to Islam.

    Islam is also the fastest growing religion in the world and has an estimated 1.2 billion adherents throughout the globe. But who are the faces and personalities behind these converts to Islam? Khadija, wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was the first to convert to Islam. Some of the more well-known converts to Islam from more recent times are the following:

    El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz -- More popularly known as Malcom X; black-rights activist and religious leader. In 1964, after a pilgrimage to Mecca, he announced his conversion to orthodox Islam and his belief in the possibility of brotherhood between blacks and whites.

    Michael Wolfe – Author of The Hajj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca, and One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing About the Muslim Pilgrimage. Born of a Christian mother and Jewish father, he is most well known for his documentary on ABC’s Nightline which aired on April 18, 1997 called An American in Mecca.

    Muhammad Ali – Formerly Cassius Clay; three-time Heavy Weight Champion of the World. He converted to orthodox Islam in 1965.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – Formerly Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor. Before the 1971-72 season Alcindor converted from Catholicism to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He played 20 seasons in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. By the time the 7 foot 2 basketball player retired in 1989, Abdul-Jabbar was a six-time Most Valuable Player and is now one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.

    [bYusuf Islam[/b] – Formerly Cat Stevens, world famous British pop singer. He converted to Islam in 1973 and changed his name to Yusuf Islam.

    Haiqa Khan – Formerly Jemimah Goldsmith, Jewish daughter of billionaire Sir James. At the age of 21 she married famous Pakistani cricket player Imran Khan and converted to Islam.

    Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall – He was born William Pickthall in 1875 in London. He converted to Islam in 1917 and by 1930 Pickthall published The Meaning of the Glorious Koran; which was an English language translation (meaning) of the Qur’an.

    Maryam Jameelah - Formerly Margaret Marcus; Jewish American essayist, poet, journalist and author of several books. She converted from Judaism to Islam in 1962. An Open Letter To Her Parents

    Art Blakey, Abdullah Ibn Buhaina - American drummer and jazz musician. His contribution to jazz from 1954 to 1990 as leader of the Jazz Messengers established the sound Hard Bop, greatly influencing later generations of musicians and entertainers.

    Hamdan Chris Eubank -- In March 1997, after former super middleweight world champion Chris Eubank defeated Camilo Alocon of Columbia at the Dubai Tennis Stadium in a light heavyweight contest, Eubank embraced Islam and took the name Hamdan.

    Queen Noor of Jordan -- Born Lisa Najeeb Halaby to a prominent Arab-American family. Raised by Christian parents, she converted to Islam when she married the late King Hussein, a Hashemite and descendant of the prophet’s line, on 15 June 1978. When she converted, she changed her name to Noor al-Hussein -- the light of Hussein.


    Some quotes about Islam from the President and First Lady:

    "Islam is the fastest-growing religion in America, a guide and pillar of stability for many of our people..." First Lady Hillary Rodman Clinton, Los Angeles Times, May 31, 1996, p.3

    "...there is much that the world can learn from Islam. It is now practiced by one of every four people on Earth." President Clinton, White House Eid ul-Fitr presentation, Jan. 10, 2000.


    [This message has been edited by Nefsy (edited April 20, 2001).]

    Alhamdulillah! I like to use the word 'revert' myself based on our belief that all people are born as muslims from their mother's wombs. !!!


      Alhamdulillah! thanx 4 sharing, may Allah bless u.


        lets add to that the name of
        'Hasim Rahman'

        the newly crowned undisputed Heavy Weight Champion of the World.
        Masha allah


          Anglo-Saxon king Offa (AD 757-796) was also a convert to Islam


            Cat stevens--aka Yusuf Islam.


              Here is another similar list.

              Famous Converts to Islam
              Khadijah - wife of Muhammad. First convert to Islam.

              Shabbetai Tzevi - seventeenth-century Turkish Jew who had claimed to be Messiah and attracted a large following. His conversion to Islam largely dissolved this mass messianic Jewish movement, but also resulted in the development of the ongoing Donmeh religious movement.

              Malcom X - early leader of American "Black Muslim"/Nation of Islam movement; later a convert to Sunni Islam

              Cat Stevens - British rock musician; changed name to Yusuf Islam

              Art Blakey - American Jazz musician

              Muhammad Ali - boxer

              Mike Tyson - boxer

              Hamdan Chris Eubank - boxer (super middleweight boxing champion)

              Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - basketball player

              Queen Noor - American-born queen of Jordan

              Maryam Jameelah - Jewish American essayist and poet. Formerly Margaret Marcus.

              Daniel Moore - Anglo-American poet

              Muhammad Marmaduke (William) Pickthall - author and Quran translator

              Michael Wolfe - author, journalist (The Hadj: An American's Pilgrimage to Mecca; One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing About the Muslim Pilgrimage; ABC Nightline documentary "An American in Mecca")

              Aminah Assilmi - Denver area broadcast journalist; now director of the International Union of Muslim Women

              Jemima Goldsmith - daughter of British billionaire Sir James, who married Imran Khan. Changed name to Haiqa Khan.

              Famous People who are NOT Converts to Islam
              The following famous individuals have been the subject of widely circulated but completely fabricated "conversion to Islam" rumors:
              Neil Armstrong
              Jacques Cousteau
              Michael Jackson


                BTW most of these are famous people who converted from christianity to Islam.
                Does any one know about famous people who converted to Islam from other religions e.g. from Hinduisam, Buddhism, Shinto etc.

                Also does anybody know of famous people who converted to other religions from Islam??



                  Alhumdulillah that was a good posting.

                  Keep up the Good work!




                    hmm....MIKE TYSON ? Is he still an muslim ? Was he ever an muslim ?


                      Also, Everlast.
                      He was a member of the music group House of Pain. A popular musician, had that spat with Eminem last year.