Muhammed al-Ahari

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Muhammed Abdullah al-Ahari
Born Ray Allen Rudder
(1965-01-06) January 6, 1965 (age 53)
Nationality American
Occupation essayist, Private School Teacher

Muhammed Abdullah al-Ahari (born January 6, 1965, as Ray Allen Rudder) is an American essayist, scholar and writer on the topics of American Islam, Black Nationalist groups, heterodox Islamic groups and modern occultism. Al-Ahari has been published in American, Nigerian, Bosnian, and Turkish Islamic periodicals. He has also studied at the American Islamic College in Chicago for three years and with Bektashi, Naqshibandi, Muridi, Tijani, the Chistiyyah (under Shaykh Rafi Sharif) and Nimatillahi Sufi Orders. These studies and his travels to mosques and Islamic schools around the country led to Muhammed al-Ahari to focus on the preservation of rare pieces of American Islamic Literature and the documenting of the presence of Muslims in the United States and Canada.

Periodical publications[edit]

Muhammad al-Ahari is a widely published writer. He has published more than sixty articles in Muslim American magazines and journals including the Message, the Minaret,[1] Islamsko Misao,[2] Islamic Horizons, Indian Times, Fountain Magazine,[3] al-Basheer, New Era, Svijest,[4] Muslim Journal, Muslim Prison Brotherhood Newsletter, al-Talib, The Light, Moorish Science Monitor, and Amexem Times and Seasons.[5] Muhammed served as the editor for the following publications: Meditations from the Bilali Muhammad Research Society (Charleston, S.C., 1988), the Moorish Science Monitor from the Moorish Orthodox Church (two issues -- the Poetry Issue 2004 and the Circle Seven Commentary issue 2005), and the ICCGC Newsletter at the Islamic Cultural Center in Northbrook, Illinois (two issues in 2011 and still editor).[6]

University press publications[edit]

Al-Ahari was also published by University Presses and these can be found in Islam Outside the Arab World, by David Westerlund; Ingvar Svanberg Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN 0-312-22691-8 OCLC: 41355839, where he has a chapter on Islam in Latin America; a Symposium paper presented in Sarajevo, Bosnia on the life and teaching of Imam Kamil Avdich in the book Život i djelo Ćamila Avdića;[7] and a paper in the Symposium papers from the Alevi-Bektashi Conference in Isparta, Turkey. During September 2005 he attended the First Alevi-Bektashi Conference in Isparta, Turkey, where he presented a paper on links between Freemasonry and the Bektashi community. The proceedings have been published as a scholarly volume and contains a biographic sketch of Muhammed al-Ahari.[8]

With the Bosnian community in America Muhammed has served as a principal for the Islamic weekend school, librarian, museum director, editor of the community newsleter, and a contributor to an edited volume of articles on the history of Bosnians in Canada and the United States. Muhammed wrote ten of the articles in the coffee table book "A Hundred Years of Bosnians in America"("100 Godina Bošnjaka u Americi"). Chicago: Bosnian American Cultural Association, ©2006. The Bosnians were the first Muslims in the United States to incorporate an Islamic Association in 1906 in Chicago, Illinois.[9]

Other publications[edit]

Al-Ahari has published more than twenty books on Islam and American Muslim history through the Chicago-based Magribine Press. Most of these texts are reprints of early American Muslim texts rather than his original writings. His work through Magribine press is important due to the preservation of scholarly editions of early American Mslim texts. His works on Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb and Five Classic Muslim Slave Narratives have been used in Muslim book clubs (at the Light of Islam Bookstore in Houston, Texas, and other places), and as supplementary texts and textbooks in several university-level classes on Islam in America. DePaul University's archives in Chicago house his papers. His original writings have been translated into Arabic, Bosnian, Albanian, and Turkish.

In the 1980s Muhammed started to write about the history of Islam in America, with several articles in the California-based Muslim periodical Minaret. In the late 1980s while in South Carolina he started Magribine Press, which published a catalogue of Arabic Slave Narratives written in America and the single-issue periodical Meditations from the Bilali Muhammad Research Society. When Muhammed returned to Chicago in 1990, he attended the American Islamic College for two additional years and restarted his Magribine Press with an edited edition of Muhammed Alexander Rusell Webb's Islam in America (1993), an edited edition of Shaykh Daoud's al-Islam, the True Faith of Humanity (2003), and his translation of the Fiqh text called the Ben Ali Diary or the Bilali Document, written by Bilali Muhammad of Sapelo Island, Georgia.[10]

In 2005 Muhammed continued his work of reprinting edited, annotated editions of early American Muslim texts with the 100 Seeds of Beirut — The Neglected Poetic Utterances of Warren Tartaglia (Walid al-Taha), and the collected writings of Shaykh Kamil Avdich -- A Heritage of East and West (2006). Since then Muhammed has reprinted over 20 texts of early America Muslim writers and has published his own original works that includes a study of Bosnian American and other Ottoman Diaspora newspapers, a study of Freemasonry and Islam, and a forthcoming history of Islam in America.


Muhammed al-Ahari (1993). Bilali Muhammad: Muslim Juriprudist in Antebellum Georgia, translated by Muhammad Abdullah al-Ahari, Magribine Press. ISBN 0-415-91270-9. Reprinted by Magribine Press, January 2010; expanded illustrated edition with Arabic text, 2012. [1]

Muhammed al-Ahari (1992). African Muslim in Antebellum America and Their Education Theories. Magribine Press.

Muhammed al-Ahari (2006). Five Classic Muslim Slave Narratives. Magribine Press, Chicago. This is a collection of five slave narratives that are either out of print or difficult to find. The presentation of Africa, Islam and slavery in the American slave Narratives of Muslim slaves in the Americas is a topic that is often overlooked in discussing the genre of slave narratives and the birth of African-American literature. In fact the first biography was that of a former Maryland slave, Job Ben Solomon, published in 1730 in Britain. By reexamining these often overlooked narratives we can get insight into African Islam, the turmoil of integration into a foreign culture, life in Africa, and life as a slave in the Americas. The primary sources include: the narrative of Job ben Solomon, the two autobiographical pieces of Muhammad Said of Bornu, the Arabic autobiography of 'Umar ibn Said, the Jamaican narrative of Abu Bakr Said, a discussion of coverage on Bilali Muhammad's excerpts from the Risalah of Abi Zaid, Theodore Dwight's articles on the teaching methods of the Serachule teacher slave Lamen Kebe, and a letter describing Salih Bilali.

Senad Agic, Muhammed al-Ahari, et al.(2006). A Hundred Years of Bosnians in America "("100 Godina Bošnjaka u Americi"). Chicago: Bosnian American Cultural Association, ©2006. The Bosnians were the first Muslims in the United States to incorporate an Islamic Association in 1906 in Chicago, Illinois.

Muhammed A. al-Ahari (2006). A Heritage of East and West: the writings of Shaykh Kamil Yusuf Avdich. Magribine Press, Chicago. Edited and forward by Muhammed Abdullah Al-Ahari. This is a collection 37 of Imam Kamil Avdić's English language articles. Avdich (1914–1979) was one of the first Bosnians to graduate of Al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt. He wrote the first textbook for Islamic weekend schools in America entitled The Outline of Islam, was the first Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago (ICCGC), and founded the Council of Imams. This text was sponsored by the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago and promoted at the Centennial of Bosnian immigration to the United States.

Muhammed al-Ahari, Imam Adnan Balihodzic, and Shaykh Kamil Avdich (2012). The Outline of Islam. Northbrook, Illinois: Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago. The 1959 text had no Arabic text, so all hadith and verses from the Qur'an were translated and given in transliteration. The 2012 edition has Arabic added for Hadith and Qur'anic ayats by Muhammed Al-Ahari and Imam Balihodzic. Imam Balihodzic also did source grading (sahih, hasan, etc.) for the Hadith. Additional tests, teacher aids, an updated bibliography and a foreword were added by Muhammed Al-Ahari.[11] This work was sponsored by the Bosnian American Cultural Association Women's Auxiliary and the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago.[12]

Muhammed al-Ahari (2006). The Islam Papers: The 1893 World Parliament of Religion. Magribine Press, Chicago. This is a collection of ten speeches on Islam given at the 1893 World Parliament of Religions held in Chicago in 1893. Two of the speeches are by Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb.

Muhammed A. al-Ahari (2006). Taking Islam to the Street: The Da'wah of the Islamic Party of North America. Magribine Press, Chicago. This is an annotated edition of five pamphlets published by the Chicago-based Islam Party of North America.

Muhammed A. al-Ahari (2006). Islam in America and Other Writings of Muhammad Alexander Russell Webb. Magribine Press, Chicago. Edited and foreword by Muhammed Abdullah Al-Ahari. This work is a collection of three pamphlets and two speeches from Webb.

Muhammed Abdullah Al-Ahari (June 10, 2011). Islam, the True Faith, the Religion of Humanity by Hajj Shaykh Daoud Ahmed Faisal. Edited and foreword by Muhammed Abdullah Al-Ahari. Magribine Press, Chicago. This is the first collection of Shaykh Daoud's writings.

Muhammed Abdullah al-Ahari (March 17, 2010). The Black Man, the Father of the Civilization: and other Biblical Commentary by Rev. James Morris Webb. Editing, foreword, annotations by Muhammed Abdullah al-Ahari. Magribine Press, Chicago. James Morris Webb was a Garveyite minister and was responsible for the spreading of the idea that Jesus was a Black man.

Muhammed Abdullah al-Ahari (2011). The Voice of Islam and the Moslem World. An annotated edition of the newspaper of Muhammed Alexander Russell Webb from the 1880s. Magribine Press, Chicago. This is an annotated edition of Webb's newspaper The Voice of Islam and the Moslem World from 1894-95. This is the only place any of the contents of these newspapers have been reprinted.

Muhammed al-Ahari (2011). THE OSMANLI DIASPORA & The Development of an Ethnic Press by Muhammed al-Ahari (2011). Magribine Press, Chicago. Sponsored by the Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago. A study of Ottoman Diaspora newspapers in the United States. Over half focuses on Bosnian-American newspapers.

Muhammed al-Ahari (2006). Painting Coal Gold. Chicago: Magribine Press. A study of Freemasonry, Bektashism, and the Dawoodi Bektashi Order. Chicago: Magribine Press.

Naim Frasheri, Huseyin Abiva, and Muhammed A. al-Ahari (2006). The Bektashi Pages. Chicago: Babagan Press. The foreword to the translation from the Albanian-language original by Muhammed A. al-Ahari.


  1. ^ Al-Ahari, Muhammad Abdullah. "Muhammad Alexander Russel Webb". The Minaret, January/February 1992:51-2. and a half dozen other articles to be added.
  2. ^ Muhammad Abdullah Al-Ahari Rudder; translated by I. Kasumović to Croatian "Mogućnosti bilingvalnog metoda u nastavi : (historijski razvoj islama u Americi)" Islamska misao, 13, 156, str. 39-44 (1991). Contains a biographic sketch that documents Muhammed al-Ahari's studies of Islam in America.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-22. Retrieved 2012-01-27. 
  4. ^ Svijest contains articles Muhammed al-Ahari wrote on Bosnian cuisine, Bosnian Coffeehouses, and the history of Bosnian immigration to America. One of the issues also contains a two-page interview documenting Muhammed al-Ahari's conversion to Islam and his documenting of the history of Islam in America.
  5. ^
  6. ^ The newsletter is available in both print and online versions.
  7. ^ The conference proceedings were also videotaped and include two interviews of Muhammed al-Ahari that were broadcast on Canton One Television in Sarjevo in 2001.
  8. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-04-04. Retrieved 2006-02-22.  Contains the complete article in English with a summary in Turkish of the article "The Use and Misuse of the Name Bektashism." The article was expanded and published as the text "Coal Painted Gold." This also contains a brief biographic sketch of Muhammed al-Ahari that documents his research on Bektashism and Sufism.
  9. ^ A Bosnian-language review of the text 100 Godina Bošnjaka u Americi. It includes a list of all contributors.
  10. ^ Dr. Ronald Judy (1993). (Dis)forming the American Canon: African-Arabic slave narratives, p. 323, documents Muhammed al-Ahari's translation of Arabic slave narratives and his work on the Bilali Muhammad text. The second edition of Allan Austin's African Muslims in Antebellum America: Ttransatlantic Stories and Spiritual Struggles (1997) includes translations from Muhammed al-Ahari and thanks Muhammed for locating five manuscripts that were not in the first edition.
  11. ^ Muhammed al-Ahari, Imam Adnan Balihodzic, and Shaykh Kamil Avdich (2012). The Outline of Islam. Northbrook, Illinois: Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago. Muhammed al-Ahari's introduction is on pp. 5-11.
  12. ^ This webpage contains information about the book promotion for the text The Outline of Islam.