Introduction by Rasul Miller
In order to fully appreciate the rich history of the African American Islamic experience it is important for us to reflect on our history and evaluate ourselves within the context of our historical progress. In the first part of a two part series,
Hajj Daoud A. Haroon discusses one of the most important figures in the history of Islam in America during the first half of the twentieth century. Shaikh Daoud Ahmed Faisal was a pioneer in the struggle to establish Islam in the west.
While working to attain institutional legitimacy for Muslims in the US, Shaikh Daoud remained unapologetic about his faith and did not shy away from critiquing white supremacy. Purported to have brought well over 10,000 Americans to Islam before 1959, we might find the Shaikh’s approach — one characterized by conviction and reliance on Allah — to be instructive in our currently political climate.
The insightful analysis and reflections presented in this piece are offered by Shaikh Daoud’s student and close confidant, the accomplished musician and educator Hajj Daoud A. Haroon. Enjoy!
We will attempt to present as well-rounded a picture as possible via the aid of photographs and anecdotes, – and of these I will use sparingly in hopes that a
larger more complete history of The Shaikh and
The Islamic Mission of America may occur in the very near future. I do hope that this introduction will clarify some misconceptions many may have held about the “reality’ of this legendary figure and also dispel many myths that have built up around him in the past.
To read the complete first part of Hajj Daoud A. Haroon’s tribute to Shaikh Daoud Faisal please click the following link:
Rasul Miller is a PhD student in History and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests include Muslim movements in 20th century America and their relationship to Black internationalist thought and West African intellectual history.