The history of Islam in the United States dates back to around the 16th century, when Estevánico of Azamor was the first Muslim recorded in North American history.
However, most researchers in studying the arrival of Muslims in the U.S. focused more on the arrival of immigrants who came from the Middle East in the late 19th century.
This Muslim migration to the U.S. took place over different periods, often called “waves”, although experts do not always agree with what caused these waves.
The Muslim population in the U.S. has increased in the last hundred years, with most of this growth driven by immigrants. In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became U.S. residents — nearly 96,000 — each year compared to the previous two decades.
Estevánico dari Azamor mungkin telah menjadi Muslim pertama yang tercatat Estevánico of Azamor may have become the first Muslim recorded in North American history.
Estevanico was a Berber from North Africa who explored Arizona and New Mexico for the Kingdom of Spain. Estevanico came to America as a slave Spanish explorer in the 16th century, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca.
During the 1520s slaves were brought to North America from Africa. It is estimated that about 500 thousand people were sent to this area or 4.4% of the total 11,328,000 slaves.
It is estimated that about 50% of slaves or no less than 200 thousand slaves brought came from areas influenced by Islam.
According to other sources, the earliest arrival of Muslim immigrants was between 1875 and 1912 from the countryside, which is now Syria, Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.
This area was formerly known as Greater Syria which was ruled by the Ottoman Empire.
After the Ottoman Empire collapsed in World War I, there was a second wave of Muslim immigration from the Middle East, during which time Western colonialism began in the Middle East.
In 1924, U.S. immigration rules were passed, which immediately limited this second wave of immigration by imposing a “country of origin quota system”.
The third period of immigration occurred from 1947 to 1960, during which there was an increase in the number of Muslims coming to the U.S., which is now from countries outside the Middle East.
The fourth wave then occurred in 1965 when President Lyndon Johnson supported an immigration bill that abolished the long-standing home country quota system.
The first Muslim community was in the Midwest. In North Dakota, Muslims gathered for congregational prayers in the first years of the 1900s; in Indiana, a center of Islamic activity began in 1914; Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is home to the oldest mosque still in use today.
Daerborn, Michigan, on the outskirts of Detroit, is home to Sunni and Shiite Muslims from many Middle Eastern countries.
Together with Christians from the Middle East, Michigan Muslims form the largest Arab-American community in the country. The shipyard in Quincy, Massachusetts, outside Boston, has provided jobs for Muslim immigrants since the 1800s.
In New England, an Islamic Center has also been created, which is now a large mosque complex for worship for business people, teachers, professionals, as well as traders and laborers. In New York, Islam has been present and emerged for more than a century.
Another first home for Muslim immigrants is Chicago, Illinois, where some say the number of Muslims living here in the early 1900s is the highest among any other U.S. city. More than 40 Muslim groups have been established in the Chicago area.
In Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, it has also become the center of large Muslim communities in the U.S.
The Islamic Center in Southern California is one of the largest Muslim entities in the U.S. The number of mosques in California is also the largest in the U.S., at about 227 mosques in 2001.