Thursday, April 24, 2008

Famous Converts To Islam

Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in America and around the world, with an estimated 1।2 billion adherents from every race and ethnicity. In the United States, where Muslims number over six million, the Islamic faith is believed to be the second largest religion, after Christianity. Former Presient Clinton has said of Islam, "...there is much that the world can learn from Islam. It is now practiced by one of every four people on Earth." (White House Eid ul-Fitr presentation, Jan. 10, 2000.)

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 from the Latino community.
Famous Converts to IslamKhadija - wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); the first to convert to Islam. El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz - Better known as Malcolm 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 "An American in Mecca", which aired on ABC’s "Nightline", April 18, 1997.
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 he converted from Catholicism 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, he was a six-time MVP and is now one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.
Yusuf Islam - Formerly Cat Stevens, world famous British pop singer. He converted to Islam in 1973 and changed his name.
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 - 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 of the Qur’an