The First Daee of Islam in North America Imam Sati Majid

Yasir Qadhi


Channel: Yasir Qadhi

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Today inshallah this was something light and different Insha Allah, and this was impromptu. So if I make some mistakes, I apologize to the viewers online you can correct me historically is a bit of a history as you all know, I have some passions in academics, one of them is history. And I wanted to, I guess, bring up a topic I was reading about recently. And that is a very important chapter in the history of Islam in America here in America. Who is the first diary, the first preacher that came to this country to preach Islam? Most likely, nobody would know his name. You know his name, what is his name?

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His name is Sati, Majid, Sati, Majid Sati, Mohamed Majid, and he came to this land in 1904. This is from our best knowledge that we have the first person who came specifically to give Dawa Islamic Dawa, to the people of North America. And even though his name is long, forgotten, even many, you know, Muslims involved in activism are not aware of this person. And also, because documents are so difficult to find of that era. And there was no Internet, there was no social media, it's very difficult to piece together. So it's been one of my passions to read about these types of things. And because I feel myself basically following in that line, like I need, this is the first domino we

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are now you know, some of his groundwork that he has done, and he he was what we'll get there. So it's very important to study this understandably, right, the first person to come and preach mainstream Islam. Who was this person, what do we know about him? He was born in Sudan. And as a young man, he was eager. He had trained as a local, local chef, local scholar, memorize the Quran. Then he tried to study at Al Azhar for whatever reason, he didn't get acceptance. He became a sailor. And at that time, Sudan and Egypt are both British protectorates. So he joined the British Navy, and he came to England. And eventually, somehow he made his way to America. And he came to the

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shores in 1904. Right, so 125 years ago, and some of what he did, laid the foundations for what we see to this day, even though he is long gone. We're trying to piece together as I said, He was active in Philadelphia, he was active in New York, he was active in Michigan, and in other cities as well, Chicago as well. And he was the first person to try to form a National Institute or a national umbrella organization. You know, we now have mashallah so many national organizations, who is the first person to really try to link the Muslims together various cities, it was Sati module. And he formed we don't even know the name of it, because we have different names, the Islamic Federation

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and Association, the Islamic Benevolent Society, the Islamic charitable Association, various names were given that we have them in various documents, perhaps sometimes he didn't even officially file. But what he did was he got the Muslims of every community. We know, for example, one of the main things that he did in Michigan, he was the one who first purchased the first Muslim graveyard of all of America that we know of official graveyard, as for unofficial graveyard, as we know, there were many, you know, enslaved people that were brought here as Muslims, no doubt they were buried places around this country. That's an unofficial graveyard. What's the first official graveyard where

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somebody purchased land and said, This is going to be a Muslim graveyard that is in Dearborn or Detroit, or not exactly the city, but basically, in that city in that area of Michigan, and who purchased it? Satie modular was the one who gathered the funds from the people, and he purchased it. And 593 spots I think were assigned at that time. Now, why Michigan was going on in Michigan. And by the way, any of you this been to Michigan, you know, Dearborn, Michigan is the out of capital of the world, right? You find signs in Arabic, actually street signs in Arabic, more than half the population is Arab descent. Why? What happened? Why is Sati Majid in Michigan as well? Well, one of

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the most richest people at the time was Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Corporation, and his factory was in Michigan, and he was the one who hired 10s, of 1000s of Ottoman Arabs, of course, the Ottoman Empire at the time 1890 onwards, he imported and basically he brought in lots of laborers to work in his factory. Why did he bring it out ups? Why did he bring in people from this region because he found them to be honest, and working good hours, and the most important thing not getting drunk.

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So he preferred to hire and he's the one who gave 10s of 1000s of visas back in that day, so that manual laborers workers come now, the out of that region, this is now philosophy in Lebanon, Syria, and particularly Ottoman levant as they called it back then.

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There were many Xiang many pseudonym and you do ruse, and that's the people that came. But at that time, they didn't care about the sectarian differences. They did not build a masjid at that time. They were laborers. They're not hula ma they're not Misha, if they're people coming for this for money, right, so Sati Majid comes and he brings them together and he forms a nadion Association and he starts you know, campaigning, he starts to create some safe space for them. Same thing in New York, same thing in Chicago, and he took charge he actually and he, he perhaps felt ambitious Inshallah, and he has good intention. He started calling himself don't laugh, guys. It's true. Che

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hood Islam feed America. Okay. He caught himself shareholders Now, America. So this is the first childhood Islam that we had in America. And and inshallah he's sincere. I mean, the point is, you have to realize a different time in place, right? I mean, he's trying to do something for the Ummah and any, whatever he's doing, perhaps these titles helped at the time, you know, people are going to trust Him, whatever it might be. Also, of the things that he did is that he began preaching and teaching Islam to many of the Muslims who had left practicing Islam, you know, you have to realize that the first batch that came here voluntarily, generally speaking, they weren't the religious

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types, right? Knowing they're going to leave Muslim lands going to a strange land where there are no mosques, no Muslims, right? You understand these were people in circumstances difficult they did the priority is not the dean. So in fact, surveys, I read a PhD that was done back in the 50s. They count they they had a survey of how many Arabs in Chicago because at that time, there were no Pakistani This is the 50s right now Chicago was mashallah Chicago, Sharif. back then. It wasn't Chicago should if you guys didn't get the joke that Adams here, so it was headed about these days. But anyway, back then it was majority any Arab population in that region, and a survey was done.

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What percentage are actually fasting Ramadan? I forgot this statistic, but it was like 10%. Right? You have to understand there were no moves. Mashallah, there were no, there were no massages. It's just an informal survey that they did in that time. So this is a different era. People like Sati, Majid come and they are giving basic street Dawa, we call it okay. And they're just trying to help the Muslims in whatever way they can. One of the things that we have recorded as well as that he would actually take on the social problems of the Muslim community. So for example, again, England at that time was still a colonial power, England controlled so many different lands, India and

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Yemen. And it so happened that there were a large group of sailors who had been hired by the British to work in their navies from Yemen and from India. And when the ship came to America, they were left stranded without pay, maybe dozens of sailors and they were literally starving, no pay, they're brown skinned, they cannot work. You know how it was back then. Right? Very different. So Sati, Majid wrote a letter we have the letter preserved, he wrote to to the high Consulate of England, right. And he is saying that these are your servants, you know, they came on your paycheck, it is your obligation to take charge. And he wrote a very, you know, very well, well, perfect grammar,

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everything. And he's taking on he goes, and I am there, the Reverend Sati Majid, the Reverend is the chef. I'm the Reverend of Sati, Majid. So he's taking charge of this community, also of the things that he did. He is the first day or preacher to challenge the non mainstream movements that became common at that time. Now this is a chapter of history that perhaps some of you are not aware of, but you should be aware of this. During this time frame, we're talking about 1900 1910 1920.

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A number of we call them pseudo Islamic movements had sprung forth, specifically two very bizarre movements. The first of them was founded by somebody who called himself Noble Drew ally, Noble Drew it and this movement was called the Moorish Science Temple. More means Muslim, more with the more science temple. And this noble dryly said he is the prophet of Allah. And this morning, noble dryly wrote a book called The Holy Quran of noble dryly it's available on Amazon, you can buy it there you can available libraries. Obviously, there's nothing to do with Islam. You will see the term Mecca you will see the term Quran you will see the term Muhammad but ideas theology it that nothing. So

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Sati Majid was the first person to start saying, hey, this person and this movement has nothing to do with real Islam.

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And after this, another movement came that became much more popular, and that is the Nation of Islam. And the Nation of Islam was had its own trajectory, but this was right after Saudi budget. So Saudi Majid began preaching against the version of quote unquote Islam that noble dryly is preaching has nothing to do with Islam. And along with this, ironically, and this is something of interest to many of you from a particular region.

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a particular day came by the name of Mufti Sadiq. Mohammed is his name. And he was sent by midazolam Ahmed's community.

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He was perhaps the second day sent to preach his version of Islam. Obviously, his version of Islam is not our version of Islam. And he landed here in the 1920s. When he landed, by the way, the government stopped him and jailed him for seven weeks. And they said, We're not going to let you into this country. Why? Because you preach a religion that preaches polygamy. So we're not going to let you in. So move this other side. No, no, I don't we our version of Islam doesn't preach this. So he was allowed in. So move to Saudi then also began going and calling people to his version, which is, of course, are the only Islam as you know, so that's not we don't consider them to be within our

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folders, we know. But he began preaching. And again, Sati Majid when he finds out the theology is like, no, no, these people aren't, you know, these people aren't rightly guided. Move decided was one of the people who founded the first Masjid in Chicago, mainstream Masjid until people found out hey, this person is in mainstream. So then they kicked him out, right. So we have all of these things going on. This is 1920 1910. This is 100 years ago, all of this is happening in this country. These you know, issues and debates, people are not aware of what's going on. And in order to solidify his position

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Satyajit said, I need to get fatwas against these weirdos. So in 1929, he left America after having been here for 25 years. And having done all of this that we don't know appearing there, he left America to go back to us hub, and to get fatwas against these groups so that he can now tell the people hey, these people don't represent Islam. Islam is what I am telling you mainstream Islam Quran and Sunnah and whatnot. And he got fatwas from the chief of UN Azhar from another we have an official fatwa, I think is dated 1929 1930. We have the Arabic I read it myself by the chief of the Messiah, and the Grand Mufti of Sudan. And the Grand Mufti of other regions that he visited, all of

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them are saying the same thing that anybody who says they are a prophet, they are not a Muslim, there, you know, there is no Quran other than the Quran, we recite. These are heretical groups. He wanted to get funds to come back to America.

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For whatever reason, he wasn't able to do that, in fact, the majority of us Hirscher morale, he must have a well known. He actually has an internal memo that says that Sati seems to be a good person, but he's not qualified to be a chef. He's not qualified that we can endorse him. He hasn't had formal training. So because of this, he wasn't able to get money, you know, because he wanted to be officially appointed to be shareholders up in America want to be appointed, and I'm the one being sent, he wasn't able to get that he didn't get the money to come back. And so he eventually retired back to Sudan. And he died around 1960. But he still corresponded with the Muslims that were, some

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of the Muslims had converted, and some of the communities have corresponded. We have those letters. One of his main students then took on the banner of Sunni Islam when there was no banner of Sunni Islam. And that student is a name again, most people aren't familiar with that he should be somebody that should be a household name. Anybody who studies American Islamic history, they should know this name. And that issue they would face on of New York show they would face son who died 1980 So look how recent we're getting. Okay. Chef Dawood Feistel, converted at the hands of Sati magic. He was an African American actually was Afro Caribbean. But you know, African American came here and converted

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to Islam, mainstream Sunni Islam, not these Nation of Islam and these noble dryly whatnot no mainstream Islam he converted and that will face her was the only indigenous African American voice that is preaching Quran and Sunnah when the other voices were preaching that Elijah Muhammad is the prophet of God noble dryly is this Quran the only person who was preaching mainstream Islam from within, you know, the indigenous is Imam Dode, faceless Imam they will face and interact with Malcolm X multiple times had an impact on Malcolm X as well. This is that generation imam who then his students are still some of them that know him, they are still alive, but they're very elderly.

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Now, really small communities. Point being these are very important chapters, very important lessons for us to learn that Subhanallah these small, you know, a seeds that Sati Majid planted 100 years ago 1922 If, if I'm not mistaken, was when he formed the first Federation of Islamic whatever in North America forgot what it was called 1922 the first time he's thinking of forming something national Subhanallah he never imagined that from now to now. How many Muslims are in America and 1920 We don't know for sure, but the

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There are estimates that say perhaps there were around 60,000 Muslims. That's a huge number. If you think about it, 60,000 Muslims across multiple states, primarily concentrated in Michigan, and in New York and in Idaho, and in Philadelphia and Chicago, and the main ethnicities of those Muslims, the number one ethnicity were from the Levant, the Ottoman Empire, what is now below the sham because of a certain financial crisis that took place they needed to find in Brisbane money. So there was mass exodus from that region. Number two, by the way, nobody can you guess who woulda guessed one of the largest ethnicities of Muslims back in 1910 1920. From where Who can guess?

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There was no Bosnia, close, Albania. Albania, that region, the second largest is Albanian for again, because the communists had taken over because there were things happening over there are so there was mass exodus from that region to find safety. So the first Masjid in New York was actually the Albanian Masjid. Can you believe Subhanallah right. And Sati Majid visited that masjid and held that Masjid out as well. So we had a large group of Albanians as well. And then, Buxton is any Pakistanis.

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Now 1910, were there any Pakistanis? Guys? There was no Pakistan in 1910. Were there Indians? Yes, they were Indians here. There were Indian Yanni, what we would call Indian speaking or do Indians from other backgrounds, Indians, and that region is all India boneless speaking Indians. Yes, they were. And there were pockets that we are well aware of that they came here and they, you know, married, generally speaking, you know, outside of the faith and their children kept Islamic names, but lost the identity there. Once in a while you pop up a documentary, you see an interesting fact about some Muslim named 80 years old, but they're not Muslim, or they know that they're Muslim, but

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they don't practice Islam. There was a documentary about someone in Nevada as well, by the way, who had a burger joint, a Muslim who had a burger joint, and now his kids and whatnot. They're all Muslim name, you know. So we have these interesting anecdotes and tidbits what happened to this, we conclude 1917. America shuddered the door for further immigration 1917, they passed what is called the yellow act. And the yellow act banned. Anybody who was yellow, and brown, and black. They call it the yellow act. It was meant to ban Chinese in particular, but they're so racist. They ended up banning everybody, except people from Ireland and Germany, basically Italy, right. So if your skin

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color was literally I'm not making this up, you can look it up in 1917. They banned any immigrants, except if you have a lot of conditions, and you're highly qualified and this and that, until 1963, when Ted Kennedy repealed the ban. So from 1917 to 1963, Muslim immigration trickled to almost nothing. And that's one of the reasons why the indigenous pseudo American Muslim movements flourished, because there wasn't mainstream Islam. You know, there wasn't many people, you know, you had the people who came in their children. But compared to the indigenous movements that were here, the Nation of Islam, at its peak numbered 1 million people, 1 million compared to 50 60,000 of

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mainstream stoners and look at the difference right? And the Nation of Islam had very bizarre beliefs. When finally eventually you know, the sun what a dean Muhammad May Allah azza wa jal forgive him and bless him. He did an amazing thing. Why did the Mohammed he by Allah's blessings and grace brought his community back into mainstream Islam. He's the son of Elijah Muhammad, he's the one who interacted with Malcolm X and secretly was Sunni, and his father appointed him and some say he appointed him knowing that he was Sunni and Allah knows best. And then slowly but surely as soon as his father died, he began the changes to bring his community into mainstream Islam. We thank

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Allah for what he has done and he has inshallah to other earn Jana for that. In any case, this was an interesting episode in American Islamic history. And it is a history that every one of you is connected to. So you should also be aware of this and you can find more about this person. You can Google the name and look up some articles Imam Sati Majid and also Imam Dawood Faysal these are the two people that I want you to be aware of, and with that inshallah we'll continue to another day Xochimilco cinematic when I was in LA Mussolini now almost Lima Do you want to know meaning I will not mean it will quantity now look on it? The more slowly been I was born in Poland the one saw the

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why I leave