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Friday, April 09, 2004

Famous Converts to Islam

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


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.

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.)

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