Resources for American Muslims & Converts - updated 7/6/14

Resources for American Muslims and Converts- TAM article collection - updated 5/21/13

by Sheila Musaji

I found a very interesting video “Becoming Muslim in Texas” and added it to the News section of TAM.  I visited the site that had put the video online and was pleased to see that they listed a section on how to perform the prayer step by step.  I have been looking for an excellent resource on this subject to help new Muslims, and at first was excited that this might be what was needed.  When I read through the text of this section I became very much saddened.  The translation of the Qur’an that they have used to explain the prayer is obviously the Hilali-Khan translation about which I have written in the past.  This is a very extreme translation which adds words that are not included in the Arabic giving the impression that they are part of the translation and not commentary.  Surah Fatehah which is recited in every one of the 5 daily prayers is translated in this way on this site.

I also discovered that whoever these people are they are clever, a video that I found on youtube of a CNN program about converts to Islam had been put online by them and across the video appears a printed message that more videos about converts to Islam are available at the TurnTo Islam website.  And, the very first screen of the video carries a warning to brothers that this video contains images of female converts without hijab.  Whether that warning is so that they will lower their gaze or so they can look more intently, who knows.

I then began researching and found that there are many questionable sites, and decided that it might help to begin to put together a resource list for converts/reverts/new Muslims (whatever name you prefer).

There are obviously many sources of information about Islam, some of them excellent,  some of them expressing a very limited point of view, and some of them simply extremist.  Having myself realized that I was a Muslim more than 40 years ago, I know how difficult it can be to wade through all of this.  It is important for new Muslims and those interested in Islam that they have access to mainstream Islamic sources, and therefore we are putting this collection online, and will update as we find out about other resources.

Here are some basic resources, personal stories, information, recommended books, etc. as well as articles about Islam in America/Canada/Europe, American/Canadian/European Muslim identity, etc.

UPDATE 11/15/2012  I have just been informed that many of the articles originally listed here that were published on other sites, e.g. Islam for Today and MuslimWakeup are no longer online because the sites are no longer online.  I will update as soon as possible.  I suggest that you also type converts into the TAM search engine for a good list of articles.  UPDATE 5/21/2013  This list of articles is now updated, and as of today, all of these links are correct.  Many of the articles in the original list are simply no longer in existence because they were taken offline with the sites.


5 Things Every Mosque Should Do for Converts

8 Things You Should Understand About Converts to Islam, Alex Arrick

9/11…The day I became a Muslim, Robert Salaam 

A Constitutional amendment to ban Islam?, Sheila Musaji

A Growing Presence: American Converts to Islam, Uzra Zeya

A Native American Muslims Story, Lois Stands Ali

A Page From Islamic History: the ‘Other’ 1492, Aisha Brown

A Plea for Unity, Sheila Musaji

A Time for Healing, Imam Ghayth Nur (Lonnie) Kashif

Advice for New Muslims or those considering Islam, Saraji Umm Zaid

African-American Islam Reformed: “Black Muslims” and the Universal Ummah

African American Muslims Key to Bridge Building in US, Dr. Aminah Beverly McCloud

Allah Came Knocking At My Heart, Giles Whitell

American female converts to Islam face growing scrutiny, Omar Sacirbey

American/Canadian/European Muslim - Authority, Leadership, Community building - TAM article collection

American Muslim Identity: Race and ethnicity in progressive Islam, Amina Wadud

American Muslims and ‘Integration’, Parvez Ahmed

American Muslims Need Not Be Blind Followers, Sheila Musaji

American Muslims Struggle for the Soul of Islam, Hasan Zillur Rahim

Answering Questions from American Muslims, Grand Mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Ali Gomaa

Apostasy and Freedom of Faith in Islam

ARABIC - Every day Muslim expressions - Longer glossary of Islamic terms

Basics of Islam topic on the TAM site

Becoming Muslim, Nuh Ha Meem Keller

Becoming Muslim, Michael Wolfe

— Daniel Abdal-Hayy Moore
— Benyamin van Hattum, Aman Ali
— Mos Def (Yasin Bey) - You’re Gonna Serve Somebody. Ali Asadullah
— Abdullah Quilliam: Forgotten champion of Islam: One man and his mosque, Michael Savage (with article collection on Quilliam)
— Hamza Yusuf Hanson
— The World of Mohamed Zakariya, Piney Kesting—and VIDEO bio

Blasphemy Before God: the Darkness of Racism in Muslim Culture, Adam Misbah al-Haqq

Gray Henry-Blakemore Wins Alexander Russell Webb Award
BOOKS: The American Muslim has a recommended book list which is quite extensive, and very useful. Here are a few of particular interest to new Muslims:

- 99 Names of Allah, Shems Friedlander
- 101 Questions and Answers on Islam, John Renard
- A Bad Beginning: the path to Islam, Charles LeGai Eaton
- African American Islam, Aminah McCloud
- American Islam: Growing Up Muslim in America, Richard Wormser
- American Jihad, Steven Barbosa
- Autobiography of Malcolm X, Alex Haley
- Becoming Muslim, Nuh Ha Mim Keller
- Believing as Ourselves, J. Lynn Jones and Jeffrey Lang
- BIOGRAPHIES OF THE PROPHET - the best are by M.H. Haykal, Seyyed Hossein Nasr, and Martin Lings
- Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization, Richard Bulliett
- Daughters of Another Path, Carole Anway
- Essentials of the Islamic Faith, M. Fethullah Gulen
- Even Angels Ask, Jeffrey Lang
- Finding Fran, Lois Banner
- Girl in the Tangerine Scarf, Mohja Kahf
- Hadj: An American’s Pilgrimage to Mecca, Michael Wolfe
- Hajj: Reflections on Its Rituals, Ali Shariati
- Illuminated Prayer : The Five-Times Prayer of the Sufis, Coleman Barks, Michael Green
- Islam: A Search for Meaning, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf
- Islam and the Blackamerican, Sherman Jackson
- Islam: Beliefs and Teachings, Ghulam Sarwar (one of the best introduction to practice, prayer, etc.)
- Islam in Focus, Hammudah Abdalati
- Islam, Our Choice, ed. Debra L. Dirks
- Islam : Religion, History, and Civilization, Seyyed Hossein Nasr
- Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam, Yusuf al Qaradawi (one of the best introductions to Sharia)
- Losing My Religion, Jeffrey Lang
- Mecca to Mainstreet, Genevieve Abdo
- Road to Mecca, Muhammad Asad
- Struggling to Surrender, Jeffrey Lang
- Trialogue of the Abrahamic Faiths, Ismail al-Faruqi

Book Announcement: A Bad Beginning, the Path to Islam (Charles le Gai Eaton)

Book Announcement: Losing My Religion- a call for help (Jeffrey Lang)

Lauren Booth’s Spiritual Journey to Islam, Hasan Zillur Rahim

Born in the USA, Miriam Lambert

Brief Accounting on The Establishment of the Nation of Islam in the U.S., Ayesha K. Mustafaa
British and Muslim, Sheikh Abdal Hakim Murad (Timothy Winter)

Building New Medinas In These Sceptered Isles, Jonathan Birt

Can Muslims Create an American-Muslim Identity?, Imam Luqman Ahmad

Can Muslims Be ‘All-American’?, Krystina Friendlander

The Case for an American Muslim Identity, Muqtedar Khan

Challenge is not to be perfect - it’s to be whole, Aishah Schwartz

Challenges Facing American Muslim Women, Samer Hathout

Chasm Between African Americans and Immigrant Muslims, Hasan Zillur Rahim

Christmas: Cutting Kinship Ties in the Name of Islam?, Sheikh Ali Gomaa

Lady Evelyn Cobbold’s ‘Pilgrimage to Mecca’ (Hajj) republished, Susannah Tarbush

Confessions of an ex-Muslim, Omar Shahid

Confronting racism among American Muslims, Dawud Walid

Convertitis - or the case of the insta-scholar, Saraji Umm Zaid

Converts: Islam Now or Never?, Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa

Converts, fantasies, race and gender

Criticism Strengthens CommUnity, Abdul Malik Mujahid

The cult of the convert

Cultural Identity: the New Religion, Svend White

Dangers of Excess, Extremism among Muslims, Imam Ghayth Nur Kashif

Daring to be European Muslims, H. A. Hellyer

Dismantling the culture of Muslim sectarianism, Imam Luqman Ahmad

The Dynamics of Islamic Identity in North America, Yvonne Yazbeck-Haddad and John L. Esposito

EID - The Fiqh of Eid ul Adha, Shaykh Firaz Rabbani - The Social Message of ‘Id Al-Adha
Imam A. Rashied Omar

FILM ANNOUNCEMENT: A Road to Mecca [Muhammad Asad] 
Finding the Creamy Center: Challenges to Youth, by Karima Omar

Finding the prophet in his people, Ingrid Mattson
From Drury Lane to Mecca: Hedley Churchward, Abdal Hakim Murad

Frustrations of a Muslim Convert, Michael Young

Good News Stories About/By/For North American Muslims in 2012— 2011

The Great Dive, the unusual life of William Williamson, Abdal-Hakim Murad
Growing Number of Germans Embracing Islam

HAJJ - Hajj Experience, Sheila Musaji - Hajj and Umrah, the Cornerstone, Dr. Faiz A. Khan - Hajj Information and Resources - Universal Lessons of Hajj, Faisal Kutty


How Does It Feel, Michael Wolfe

How I Became A Muslim: Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

Hurdling the American Muslim Challenge, Imam Abu Laith Luqman Ahmad

—Muhammad Asad - 1900-1992 – An Intellectual Giant, Yussuf Nazeer
—Aminah Assilmi
— Charles Le Gai Eaton aka Sidi Hasan 1921-2010, Kristiane Backer and by H.A. Hellyer
—Rene Guenon (Sheikh ‘Abd al-Wahid Yahya) 1886-1951
—Tribute to Dr. Thomas Ballantyne Irving – A Canadian Muslim, Muneeb Nasir - and by Abdul Malik Mujahid - and by Ayub Khan
— Prof. Martin Lings aka Abu Bakr Siraj 1909-2005, Ibrahim N. Abusharif
—Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall 1875-1936
— Khadijah Rivera ?-2009 (founder of PIEDAD)
— Frithjof Schuon 1907-1998
— Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb 1846-1916

— Shems Friedlander: “Dust on the Path of Muhammad”, Isla Rosser-Owen
— Professor T.B. Irving, Sheila Musaji
— Michael Muhammad Knight, Richard Marcus
—— Jeffrey Lang on why he became a Muslim - 3 parts VIDEO
— Tariq Nelson on Surviving Salafism
—  Imam Zaid Shakir: A Spiritual and Intellectual Journey to Islam, Asma Nemati
— Dr. Amina Wadud - Confronting Our Ignorance: As Americans, As Muslims, and As Women another interview

Islam and the African American Ethos: Malcolm X/US Muslim Legacy Abused, Imam Ghayth Nur Kashif

Islam in America and the West topic on the TAM site - and Islam in America tam article collection

Islam Is Wonderful But I Can’t Stand Muslims, Michael A. Malik 

Islam Now or Never?, Dr. Hesham A. Hassaballa

Islam: the Real 12 Steps, Karima Omar

Islamic Funeral Practices

Islamic Spirituality: The Forgotten Revolution (the poverty of fanaticism), Abdal Hakim Murad

Latter Day Conversions: Divided Families and Reconciled Relationships, David Howlett

Ingrid Mattson, Muslim Convert takes on leadership of ISNA

Musings on Muslim identity (I)

Musings on Muslim identity (II)

Musings on Muslim identity (III) sacred spaces

Musings on Muslim identity (IV)

Muslim Community Dialogue Issues topic on TAM site

Muslim converts face discrimination, Andrea Elliott

Muslim Names?: A Rose by Any Other Name…, Sheila Musaji

Muslim Voices Against Extremism and Terrorism (fatwas, condemnations, articles, etc.)

My Conversion Was My Most Formative Religious Experience, Imam Zaid Shakir

My First Year As a Muslim, Ten Years Later: The Failure of Muslim-American Leadership , Jeremiah McAuliffe

My Hajj Experience, Sheila Musaji

Narratives of conversions to Islam: Female Perspectives, Sheila Musaji

National Coalition of African American Muslims Formed

New Face of Islam, Nick Compton

No longer a convert, David Coolidge

Not ‘brainwashed’: American women who converted to Islam speak out

Number of Hispanic Converts Growing

On Being An American and a Muslim: Dilemmas of Politics and Culture, Ali Mazrui

On the Passing of an American Muslim Hero - Imam Samuel Ansari , Sheila Musaji

Patterns of Da’wa in America: By the Hand (Why I Am a Muslim), Dr. Robert D. Crane (Faruq Abd al Haqq)

Perfection, Karima Omar

POETRY: Malcolm, No “X” No Mo’ F’ You and Me, Imam Faruq Bilal Rasheed

Politicizing Religion as Ideology: The Case of the 10,000 Chinese Converts, Dr. Robert D. Crane

Portraits Of Men And Women Who Have Converted To Islam Challenge Our Perception Of ‘American’

POW WOW:— The Great Pow-Wow: American Muslims Come of Age, Dr. Robert D. Crane — An Overview of The 1993 First North American Muslim Pow Wow, Sheila Musaji — Poem: The American Muslim Pow Wow, Yahya Monastra  — My Experience of the 1993 North American Muslim Pow Wow, Mumina Kowalski — Glimpses of the 1993 North American Musim Pow Wow — Afterthoughts on the Pow Wow, Hakim Archuletta

The problem with white converts, Michael Muhammad Knight

PROFILE: Dar al - Islam, Abiquiu NM The Code and the Calling, William Tracy
QUR’AN - Qur’an and hadith topic on the TAM site - QURAN TRANSLATIONS - those most highly recommended are: Qur’an - Message of the Qur’an, Muhammad Asad, Qur’an - Majestic Quran, Abdal hakim Murad, Uthman Hutchinson, Qur’an - Thomas Cleary, Qur’an - Noble Qur’an, Abdal Haqq & Aisha Bewley, Qur’an - Thomas B. Irving, Qur’an - Abdullah Yusuf Ali (original version)

RAMADAN - Ramadan Resources - The Spiritual Essence of Ramadan, Louay Safi

Ramadan a lonely time for Muslim converts

Responses to my calling out the term ‘Abeed’ (racism), Dawud Walid Responses to my calling out the term ‘Abeed’

Resources for dealing with Islamophobes (Clicking on any of the many links provided in this collection will take you to an article that provides a response or analysis of the particular claim or issue.  Many of these articles have extensive collections of articles and reference materials)

Rise and Fall of The Salafi Movement (Salafi Burnout), Umar Lee

Saying goodbye to Brother Imam (Imam W. D. Muhammad), Sheila Musaji

Seeing With Both Eyes, Abdal Hakim Murad

Seven out of every ten converts, leave Islam, Imam Luqman Ahmad
SHARIAH, Fiqh & Islamic Law topic on the TAM site

Robert Spencer: Gov’t Officials Conversion to Islam like “joining the Nazi Party during WW II”, Sheila Musaji
SUNNAH - The Spirit of the Sunnah, Ahmed Baki

Symbolism and Allegory in the Qur’an, Muhammad Asad

The Ta’leef Collective, Svend White

The Tale of The Two Muslim Americas (immigrants, native born), Shaykh Luqman Ahmad

There Is No One Kind of Muslim, Andrea Stone

To be a Black. Convert Muslim. Female

Transformations: Why Are You a Muslim?, Aminah Huntress

“The Trials of Muhammad Ali”, Hasan Zillur Rahim

Understanding Conversion: Bridging the Two Selves, Abdul Lateef Abdullah

- American Muslims
- “Bean Pie My Brother?: A Slice of American Muslim History”
- CNN Report on Converts to Islam in America
- Difference between Sunni and Shia, Abdal Hakim Murad
- History of Islam in Europe
- Inside Edition Report on Converts to Islam in the U.S.
- Interview with Jeffrey Lang on why he became Muslim (3 parts)
- Interview with Hamza Yusuf on Islam in America
- Five pillars of Islam
- Shahada
- Salat
- Hajj
- Love for Humanity, Imam Zaid Shakir
- Muslim influence on America and the West, Abdal Hakim Murad
- Muslim Like Me (converts in U.S.)
- “Sunnah, Shari’ah, Sectarianism and Ijtihad” by Abdal Hakim Murad
- Turning Muslim in Texas
- Why We Converted to Islam - part 1 - part 2 part 3 part 4

(Note: type VIDEO in the internal search engine on The American Muslim site for a long list of videos including music videos, and humor videos)

“What are the Special Issues and Needs of Converts within the Muslim Community?”, Sheila Musaji

Western converts to Islam: finding the inner Muslim prince, Eric Walberg

What Islam is to me, Faruq ‘Abd al Haqq

Where have all the American Muslims gone, Sheila Musaji

Where Is T.B. Irving, Abdul Malik Mujahid

White privilege and white converts, Yusuf Smith

Who Am I and How Did I Get Here? - Reflections From An American Muslim, Mustafa Davis

Why Are You a Muslim?, Amina Huntress

Why UnMosqued The Movie?

Who Am I and How Did I Get Here? - Reflections From An American Muslim, Mustafa Davis

Why the British are flocking to Islam’s call, Abdal Hakim Murad

Women Friendly Mosques brochure, CAIR - Unanswered Questions of Women Friendly Mosques brochure, Shahed Amanullah

Women & Islam: The rise and rise of the convert—islam-the-rise-and-rise-of-the-convert-6258015.html

The “X” Phenomenon: Reflection on the Resurrection and Commercialization of El-Hajj Mali, James Edward Jones

Mohamed Zakariya: New Stamp Celebrates Eid, John Marlowe

first posted 3/23/07