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Famous Converts to Islam

Related pages:
- Famous Muslims
- Muslim Science Fiction Writers
- Authors Who are Religious Converts
- Largest Muslim Communities
  • 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.

  • Michael Jackson - the "King of Pop," one of the century's most popular entertainers, formally joined the Nation of Islam on 17 Dec. 2003
  • Malcolm 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

  • John Coltrane - prominent jazz saxophonist and composer
  • Art Blakey - American Jazz musician

  • Muhammad Ali - boxer
  • Matthew Saad Muhammad - world champion boxer (formerly Matt Franklin)
  • Dwight Muhammad Qawi - world champion boxer (formerly Dwight Braxton)
  • Eddie Mustapha Muhammad - world champion lightweight boxer (formerly Eddie Gregory)
  • Mustafa Hamsho - boxer
  • Akbar Muhammad - boxer
  • Mike Tyson - boxer
  • Hamdan Chris Eubank - boxer (super middleweight boxing champion)

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar - basketball player

  • Queen Noor - American-born queen of Jordan during reign of the late King Hussein I

  • 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 (former Baptist)

  • Pamela Taylor - science fiction author; Publications Officer of the Islamic Writers Alliance and co-chair of the Progressive Muslim Union

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

  • Mumia Abu-Jamal - journalist, Black Panther, political activist, known for his 1982 conviction and death sentence on charges of a police officer, and for a nationally popular counter-culture campaign to free him

  • John Muhammad and John Malvo - infamous "Beltway Sniper" serial killers who terrorized Washington, D.C. area residents

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
  • Will Smith

Note: Prior to Michael Jackson's actual conversion to the Nation of Islam in Dec. 2003, there were false rumors about him converting to Islam.

Related Links

  • Suite101: Famous Converts to Islam - Anayat Durrani has an excellent and useful list of famous converts to Islam. It has more information about each person. It was from here that we were able to learn about and add four additional names to our list: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Muhammad Marmaduke (William) Pickthall, Hamdan Chris Eubank, and Michael Wolfe. (We also recommend the entire Suite101 Islam site as an excellent resource.)

  • Woking's Converts to Islam page
  • Embracing Islam


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Web page created 10 December 1999. Last modified 2 November 2005.

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