Click on their names for more info.
He was a freed African-American Muslim slave who later became one of the first shareholders of the second chartered bank in America, the Columbia Bank Yarrow Mamout was a freed African-American Muslim slave who later became one of the first shareholders of the second chartered bank in America, the Columbia Bank. Enslaved at 16, Mamout spent 44 years as a slave before he was freed at 60, living in Georgetown. He was described as “a jack of all trades”, making money by making charcoal, loading ships, and weaving baskets. As he rose in financial standing, he acquired property of his own, and became a financier who lent money to merchants.
Lisa Vogl is award winning international fashion photographer and founder of Verona Collection modest fashion brand. Lisa began her career as a fashion photographer working with modest fashion brands across the globe, with work featured in the Daily Beast, Marie Claire and landing the cover of Aquila Style Magazine. Verona Collection was simply an idea, that was conceptualized by a single mom who had converted to Islam in 2011. After embracing Islam, she had a stark realization: modest and fashionable clothing were both hard to acquire and difficult to afford. After doing a bit of research, she realized that many other women, both Muslim and non-Muslim, felt the same way.
Fazlur Rahman Khan
He designed the Sears tower and the John Hancock center. He was born to a high school mathematics teacher in a small rural town in Bangladesh. He became a Fulbright Scholar as recognition of his academic excellence, and used the funding from the scholarship to travel to the US in 1952 and work in architecture. Khan challenged the current concept of how skyscrapers are structured, and developed the tube concept, which allowed for towers to possess a greater capacity to withstand high winds and vibrations from earthquakes. He is most known for his design of the Sears Tower and John Hancock Center.
Ahmed Hassan Zewail
Ahmed Hassan Zewail was a scientist, known as the “father of femtochemistry”. He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on femtochemistry . He was the Linus Pauling Chair Professor of Chemistry, Professor of Physics, and the director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at the California Institute of Technology.
Dr. Farouk El-Baz is Director for Remote Sensing and a Research Professor at the Departments of Archaeology and Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boston University in Massachusetts. After receiving a B.S. degree in chemistry and geology from Ain Shams University, Dr. El-Baz went on to receive a PhD in geology from the University of Missouri-Columbia after conducting research at MIT. He was the Secretary of the Landing Site Selection Committee for the Apollo missions and chairman of the astronaut training group of the Apollo photo team, and therefore instrumental in helping NASA identify the landing sites on the Moon for the Apollo program.
Intisar A. Rabb
Dr. Intisar A. Rabb is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and a director of its Islamic Legal Studies Program. She also is a Professor of History at Harvard, and has previously served as an Associate Professor at NYU and at Boston College Law School. She teaches courses in criminal law, legislation and theories of statutory interpretation, and Islamic law. In 2015, she received awards from the Luce Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation for SHARIAsource, an online portal for content and context in Islamic law.
Sulayman S. Nyang
Dr. Sulayman S. Nyang is a professor and former chairman of the African Studies Department at Howard University. He joined the faculty shortly after obtaining his PhD in Government in 1974 from the University of Virginia. At Howard University, he has been responsible for designing, developing and teaching courses on various topics in African and Diaspora Studies, focusing on Islam, politics and philosophy. Throughout his career, he has published numerous works on Islamic thought, African Islam, African American Islam, and has published 11 books and more than 70 articles and monographs.
Ayub K. Ommaya
Dr. Ayub K. Ommaya was a French-Pakistani-American neurosurgeon and the inventor of the Ommaya reservoir. The reservoir is used to provide chemotherapy directly to the tumor site for brain tumors. Ommaya was also a leading expert in traumatic brain injuries. He published over 150 articles, chapters, and books. His research focused on cancer treatment, traumatic brain injury, a CSF artificial organ, and philosophy of mind.
Dalia Mogahed is the Director of Research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she conducts much-needed research on American Muslims. In 2009, Mogahed was appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. She is a frequent expert commentator in global media outlets and international forums, and was invited to testify before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations about US engagement with Muslim communities.
Ibtihaj Muhammad is an Olympic medalist in fencing who began her career as a fencer at the age of 13. She attended Duke University on a scholarship, and graduated in 2007 with a double major in international relations and African-American studies with a minor in Arabic. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Muhammad won her first qualifying round in the individual saber event, and went on to become the first female Muslim-American athlete to win an Olympic medal when she earned a bronze medal in the team sabre event. She has traveled the world for her profession, but also as a speaker at public engagements and conventions pertaining to sports and education. As an entrepreneur, Muhammad founded an online shop called Louella that offers affordable fashion alternatives for the Muslim market. Her success led to Mattel announcing that it was honoring Muhammad with the unveiling of a new Barbie doll in her likeness, the first doll in Barbie’s history to come with a hijab.
Dalilah is an Olympic medalist in field athletics whose international success commenced while still in high school, when she won the 2007 IAAF World Youth title. She placed first nationally in the 400 Meter Hurdles 3 times, and twice in the world. At the 2016 Olympics, she placed first in the 400 Meter Hurdles, representing the United States. At 28 years old, she continues to represent Muslim Americans as a sports icon.
Muhammad Ali, formerly Cassius Clay Jr., learned and dedicated himself to boxing from a young age, setting himself apart by his determination. When he was 18, he began his journey towards the great title he currently possesses at the 1960 Rome Olympics, after being named Golden Gloves Champion in 1959. When Ali refused to enter the Vietnam War draft, he was stripped of his championship titles, passport, and boxing licenses. After a long battle, the Supreme Court finally ruled in his favor and he returned to boxing. After meeting Malcolm X and converting to the Nation of Islam, Ali became the Heavyweight Champion of the World in 1964. At the end of his career, he had claimed the Heavyweight Champion title a total of 3 times, and he used his mantle as a sports icon to preach for his beliefs and convictions. In 1984, Ali publicly announced he had Parkinson’s disease, and created and raised funds for his namesake Parkinson’s Center.
Kareem Abdul Jabbar
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is retired professional basketball player who played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. During his career as a center, Abdul-Jabbar was a record six-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP), a record 19-time NBA All-Star, a 15-time All-NBA selection, and an 11-time NBA All-Defensive Team member. A member of six NBA championship teams as a player and two as an assistant coach, Abdul-Jabbar twice was voted NBA Finals MVP. In 1996, he was honored as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. NBA coach Pat Riley and players Isiah Thomas and Julius Erving have called him the greatest basketball player of all time. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.
Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal, nicknamed “Shaq” is an American retired professional basketball player currently serving as a sports analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. He is widely considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. At 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA, where he played for six teams throughout his 19-year career.
Hakeem Abdul Olajuwon formerly known as Akeem Olajuwon, is a Nigerian-American former professional basketball player. From 1984 to 2002, he played the center position in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Houston Rockets and the Toronto Raptors. He led the Rockets to back-to-back NBA championships in 1994 and 1995. In 2008, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, and in 2016, he was inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame. Olajuwon is considered one of the greatest centers ever to play the game. He was nicknamed “The Dream” during his basketball career after he dunked so effortlessly that his college coach said it “looked like a dream.”
Husain Ibn Muhammed Abdullah is a former American football free safety. He was signed by the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) as an undrafted free agent in 2008 and also played for the Kansas City Chiefs. He retired from the NFL after seven seasons due to multiple concussions sustained during his career and concern for his future health. Abdullah played college football at Washington State.
Ameer Abdullah is running back for the Detroit Lions of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Nebraska. In 2013, Abdullah rushed for 1,690 yards, fourth most in Nebraska history. He decided not to enter the NFL Draft at the end of his junior year, but instead to return for his senior season. He was considered a contender for the 2014 Heisman Trophy. He is a native of Homewood, Alabama.
Hasim Sharif Rahman
Hasim Sharif Rahman is an American former professional boxer who competed from 1994 to 2014. He is a two-time world heavyweight champion, having held the unified WBC, IBF, IBO, and lineal titles in 2001; and the WBC title again from 2005 to 2006. Rahman first became known on the world stage in 2001 when he scored an upset knockout victory against Lennox Lewis to win the unified heavyweight championship.
Hamdi Ulukaya is a Turkish businessman, entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist. He is the owner, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Chobani, the #1-selling strained yogurt (Greek-style) brand in the United States. On April 26, 2016, Ulukaya announced to his employees that he would be giving them 10% of the shares in Chobani.
Farouk Shami is a businessman and founder of the hair-care and spa products company, Farouk Systems located in Texas. Shami has worked for decades in the field of hair-care product development. He invented the first ammonia- free hair color. His company exports its line of hair and skin care products under the BioSilk, SunGlitz and Cationic Hydration Interlink (CHI) brands to over 106 countries worldwide.
Shahid Khan is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL), the English Premier League team Fulham F.C., and automobile parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate in Urbana, Illinois. Khan was featured on the front cover of Forbes magazine in 2012, associating him as the face of the American Dream. During August 2017, Khan’s net worth was over $8.7 billion. He is ranked 70th in the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, and is overall the 158th wealthiest person in the world. His design for a one-piece truck bumper was the basis for his success; the company now has 62 plants worldwide and over 24,000 employees.
Awarded as Outstanding American by Choice by the US Government, Farooq Kathwari is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive officer of Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. He has been president of the Company since 1985 and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since 1987. In 1989 he formed a group to purchase Ethan Allen and took the Company public in 1993. Under Kathwari’s leadership Ethan Allen has been transformed into a leading manufacturer and retailer of home furnishings in the United States.
Ilhan Omar is the first Muslim Congresswoman. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. She is the Director of Policy and Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network. She is the Assistant Minority Leader, with assignments to three house committees; Civic Law & Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance.
Sam Rasoul is the only Muslim member of the Virginia General Assembly. He represents the 11th District, which is made up of part of the City of Roanoke. He was elected in a special election held on January 7, 2014. After winning the Democratic primary by 44 votes, Rasoul received nearly 70% of the vote over his Republican opponent Octavia Johnson in the general election. He was inducted into office on January 8, 2014.
Dr. Robert (Farooq) Dickson Crane
Dr. Robert Dickson Crane was Foreign Policy adviser President Richard Nixon and was the Deputy Director of the National Security Council. He has authored or co-authored more than a dozen books and over 50 professional articles on comparative legal systems, global strategy, and information management. He is one of the four co-founders of think-tank Center of Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is also the founding president of the Harvard International Law Society and editor-in-chief of its journal.
André D. Carson
André D. Carson is the Representative for Indiana’s 7th congressional district, in office since a special election in 2008. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Mr. Carson is the second Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress. He is a champion for vulnerable populations and is committed to ensuring everyone is protected equally under the law.
Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Fifth District includes the City of Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs and is one of the most vibrant and ethnically diverse districts in Minnesota. Rep. Ellison’s guiding philosophy is based on generosity and inclusion and his priorities in Congress are building prosperity for working families, promoting peace, pursuing environmental sustainability, and advancing civil and human rights
Warith Deen Muhammad
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was an African American Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher, Muslim revivalist, and Islamic thinker. He disbanded the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1976 and transformed it into an orthodox mainstream Islamic movement, the World Community of Al-Islam in the West which later became the American Society of Muslims. He was a son of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam from 1933 to 1975.
Malcolm X is one of the greatest leaders of the civil rights movement of 20th century. He is also called one of the greatest and most influential African Americans in history. This iconic figure was perhaps the bravest advocate for the rights of African Americans. His legacy is- “Malcolm had the courage to challenge everyone to do better. He challenged white America to reckon with its pathology of racism, and black America to strive for self-empowerment. He challenged Muslims globally to live up to the anti-racism scriptures of Islam, and to practice its doctrine of equality and striving for the oppressed. He challenged every human being to see their fellow man as a full human being. Finally, he showed us what it looks like to constantly challenge one’s own judgments and evolve with revealed truths. This was not only a sign of his integrity, but the mark of his undisputed sincerity.”
Yusuf Ben Ali
Yusuf Ben Ali, also referred to as Joseph Benhaley, was a member of George Washington’s army during the Revolutionary War, who was reported to have fought with General Sumter. He was considered a “free person of color” under the South Caroline Sundry Act of 1790, and, after the war, settle on Sumter’s South Carolina plantation.
Bampett Muhamed was a corporal who fought in the Revolutionary war in 1775, and was among the nation’s earliest Muslim soldiers who fought in Virginia. There is not a lot of data available about the corporal, as the US military did not recognize Islam as a possible religion for a service member. Regardless, the United States honors his service.
Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan
Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan was a captain of the US Army who was stationed in Iraq until June 8, 2004, where he was killed in a suicide car bombing at the age of 27. Captain Khan graduated from Kennedy HIgh School in 1996, and the University of Virginia in 2000. He received full military honors, and was posthumously awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service to his country.
Sheikh Nazim Abdul-Kariem
Sheikh Nazim Abdul-Kariem was a WWII Army Corporal who served in the battle of Normandy and Battle of the Bulge. For a more comprehensive look at his life, watch this video of an interview of him conducted by Lindon Balou, commander of the Muslim-American veteran association.
Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan
Army Corporal Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan was a patriot of his country who, spurred by the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, enlisted in the army immediately after his high school graduation in 2005. He was sent to Iraq in July of 2006, and was killed with four other soldiers in an explosion at the age of 20.
Mohammad Salman Hamdani
Mohammad Salman Hamdani was a New York City Police Department cadet and emergency medical technician who, at the time of his death, was working as a lab analyst at Rockefeller University’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute in the interests of becoming a doctor. Seeing the flames at the World Trade Center on 9/11 on his way to work, Hamdani rushed to help. Although there were allegations drawn in the time between September and March when his body was found that he may have been a perpetrator of the attack, his sacrifice and heroism were confirmed in the end. His funeral was held with full police honors.
Talib M. Shareef
Talib Shareef is a retired Chief Master Sergeant of the US Air Force who achieved an MBA from AIU and a Diploma from the Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University. He has served as an Imam in 5 cities, and also as an Islamic Faith Group Leader at 7 military locations around the world. He signed the Abuja Peace Declaration after participating in the Global Peace Leadership Conference in Nigeria. He has received the Kingdom of Morocco’s highest Royal Medal for his outstanding interfaith leadership, and has been recognized by President Obama at the White House for his service.
Mujahid Mohammed was a Army Sergeant, First class who fought in the Korean war, and was taken as a Prisoner of War during this time. Afterwards, he helped found the Muslim American Veterans Association, with his friends Dr. Chris Bell and Taalib-din Abdul-Wakil.