Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Deviant Sect: Ansaru Allah

A few weeks back I went shoe shopping (no luck, everything was open toed, and I don't do those...) Anyway, my son was running wild up and down the aisles and my husband was keeping an eye on him while I browsed around. A woman, looking like the average American, came in and was looking in the same area as I was. I said "Hi" to her and she smiled at me and said, "As salaamu alaikum." I responded back to her.

Just minutes later my husband went outside the store with my son and the sister said to me, "Lemme ask you something now that your husband's gone.."


"How do you live in that thing? Like don't you ever just wanna rip it off your face? Do you ever tell him you don't want to wear it?"

Of course she was talking about my niqaab. I laughed. "I've been wearing this before I even married him! He has nothing to do with this, this is between myself and my Lord."

"Oh... okay... so he didn't make you?"

"No, not at all."

"Aight, cuz he look like that reallllll strict religious type... like hardcore religious..."

I laughed again. My husband looks so stern in person, but in reality I'm the one who tells him what to do ;) haha. "No, he's good alhamdulillah, not strict at all."

"Okay, thats good. I took my shahadah back when I was 17, I was part of the Bushwick movement, you heard of them?"

"Yeah, but I don't know too much about them..."
I could recall the term, but that was really it. I couldn't remember anything that set them apart from other Muslims.

"Yeah I even moved out to Georgia with them. But then they started getting into all this Hebrew type stuff... myself and my then spouse weren't feelin it, so we came back here. Maybe you've seen me before, I used to sell scented oils and hand out da'wah information by the monument in the early 90's.." I didn't want to tell her I was just a toddler at that time haha. I didn't want to get into a whole conversation about age, and I didn't want her to feel old either.

We spoke for a couple more minutes and then I left the store. I came back to the car and mentioned to my husband that she said she was part of the Bushwick community. It wasn't until he mentioned the Arabic term the group used to refer to themselves as that I wished I could have ran back inside to talk to her.

The Bushwick community goes by a number of names, and so does their founder, Dwight (Malachi) York. But they're most commonly known as Ansaru Allah, or the Nubian Islamic Hebrews. I'd never heard of this group until a couple years ago, when I got my hands on a book about them a couple years back. My grandfather had passed away and my dad went to clean through his apartment and found a book about Ansaru Allah which I delved into in awe.

Their practices were just so bizarre, and so was their founder.

In short, this group was founded in NY in the 80s by York, a self proclaimed Prophet. who believed he was 76 trillion years old and came from some unknown planet onto Earth in the form of a comet. His sect followed a distorted mix of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism -with a strong emphasis on black nationalism as well. He yielded hundreds of followers, who soon moved out to other parts of NY and later to Georgia where they built their own communities. In Georgia they even built some pyramids and temples in their own community (known as the Tama-Re coumpound). As many cult leaders, he was eventually convicted in 2004 with at least 100 counts of child molestation. Though with him in prison, he probably has more supporters now than when he was a free man! SubhanAllah, and Allah knows best. May these people be guided to the true Islam, ameen.

I wish she'd said ANSARU ALLAH rather than Bushwick, or I wish I knew some people refered to them as the Bushwick community because I would have been all over her with questions!!

The book I have is focused on women who cover in niqaab, but it sheds light on some of Yorks teachings. It's written by York himself, he's written more than 450 books. Here are some excerpts from the one I have:

"These mortals can't teach you anything you can't look up or find yourself. But I am 76 trillion years old. I have seen many kingdoms fall and rise, nations fall and raise and galaxies fall and rise. Don't turn away from me. You have prayed for me for many years while in slavery and now I am with you again. Don't reject me. I am the way, the truth, the light, the doorway to our father - Allah most glorified and exhalted."

"Through radio, television, and newspapers he, the devil (CH), has promoted products such as Cover Girl, Revlon, Jerri Curl, and Jordache. Such diversions are designed to keep you, the Nubian (Black), in total darkness..."

"The Devil (CH, pale man) would like you to believe that Sarah was fair or as they'd say light skinned so they can justify their claims of being the descendents of the Prophets (PBUT). But that is why I am here to clean up the lies made by these lying devils (CH). No, the Prophets (PBUT) were not pale, they were all of Nubian stock as their father, the Prophet Adam (PBUH), was and as you are. Don't let the Devil (CH) trick you as he tricked your father, the Prophet Adam (PBUH)."

And one of my favorites: "In certain cartoons for instance, the term 'Salami Bologna' is used. This phrase is an outright mockery of the Muslim salutation - as salaamu alaykum!!!"

How he says Muslim men and women MUST dress

What the...?


Stacy aka Fahiima said...

How strange. I have never heard of this group before, but the quote where he says he is 76 trillion years old should be an indicator of some major problems with his views.

Ayan said...

200 fallen angels lol!? The idea of a fallen angel is of a Christian theology. Shaytan was never an angel. He was always a jinn that just happen to be amongst angels. So the concept of a fallen angel(s) is foreign to our deen.

No wonder she asked you about them, she must of thought you were one of them since you wear a niqab. SubhanAllah it's scary how one person can mislead a group of people so easily. Alhamdulillah God has guided us!!

Haleemah said...

At first the pic from the book confused me but I read on them a little and he told his followers niqab was fard and the women had to wear all white. It amazes me some of these leaders can reel in so many people!!! This guy is crazy and that quote about the word SALAMI being offensive to Muslims is sooo hilarous! I've been waiting for a post for you for a while!!! So thank a lot for sharing. I would have never thought a group like this wa in the US

Majda said...

I'm shocked anyone would take a man seriously for claiming he's 76 trillion years old.

Anonymous said...

I was asking a friend of mine if she heard of him and she said she almost bought his album. He was revered as some saintly person and he was at the side making a CD and music video? What the hell!!!!

Amal said...

omg is this guy serious? watched kingdoms fall and rise? praising nubians and cursing whites? how are pyramids a part of islam? and fallen angels? this is so strange i have never heard of these people bfore and i live here in ny. maybe some of my older friends know. thanks for sharing. and clearly this group did nothing for islam b'cus the sister u met does not even seem to be practicing anything now. like you said, may allah guide them to the true islam.

Fatima Ansari said...

Allahu Akbar wow, Im sure you never thought you would actually meet someone who used to be one of them,in real life,while we used to stare at this book in Canada. He was definitely on crack.

Mughtiya said...

Salamz Lazeena, lol is this that book we were reading @ skool? by the way this is azraa =)

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

yeah azraa, it's the book fatima and i read like 20 times haha

Nihal Khan said...

"Aight, cuz he look like that reallllll strict religious type... like hardcore religious..."

I actually laughed out loud when I read that :P

Sara said...

omgggg 'the devil came up with revlon and jerricurl to keep you in the dark' lmao i cant stop laughin this man is a joke. salami an insult to him? he is mad. how did people fall for his claims to be a propet. and to him all the prophets were black and the white man is the devil??? this sounds like a spin off of n.o.i.

TheAngryMuslimah said...


Seeing as I have relatives that were apart of that sect. I will say a few things. True indeed they are not " true muslims " or live accordingly but the disdain some of us muslims have for pointing out flaws in other people when muslims cant even get along with each other is beyond me.

I mean honestly I know you have a blog and you have to come up with topics. But sumtimes I think we muslims are entirely to judgmental. I do agree that what they follow is not correct. Those that I know of in that sect or Nation of Islam, 5percenters, or any other African AMerican Muslim group I promote dawah to them.

These blogs are getting outragous in dealing with topics. Its like we discussed everything so we find almost any and everything to discuss. But hey youe words your blog so do as you see fit....

" i became private when my blog started turning in this direction of becoming one of those point the finger this sect, and these people, and so such and so on...not suggesting you do so..."

I am far from a perfect pious soul... just adding my 2cents...that is why you have comments up right? lol

peace and blessings


the angry muslimah

Lazeena Umm Yusuf said...

Angry Muslimah: I'm sorry you have a problem with my post. I don't really see any 'judgmental' issues here. All I did was lay straight facts about this group and their 'leader'. Also, you say it as though I sat surfing on the net looking for a wayward group to talk smack about in saying that "it's your blog and you have to come up with topics". All I did was share an experience I had.

You say these blogs are becoming "outrageous" in dealing with certain topic; I never said anything like I hated them, looked down on them or felt they were not true Muslims.haha, what is sooo outrageous about this post? If anything I may have seemed to pick on their leader and made du'a for them to find the true Islam.

I don't see anything worth feeling upset at in my post and if you really felt there was a problem I don't see why you couldn't message me privately about it.

I'm just sharing education and clearly just about everyone who commented on this post never heard of the group, and there is nothing wrong with educating people about what's around them. I never pointed out a specific person or told this sisters name who's in my post or asked people to look at them as non Muslims or in a bad way.

So please don't come to my blog and accuse me of not getting along with others or that I'm judgmental based on me merely sharing information about a sect. If you ask me, you're the one being judgmental! Thanks...

Akeela said...

Yo erase Angry Muslimah's comment. She don't even know what she's talking about. She's just looking to pick a fight, you didn't even say anything wrong in this post. People like that piss me off. How she gunna come here and be rude to people like that.

And if someone is making a mockery of the deen of Islaam then you are supposed to expose them. Even this sister did it nicely, she just told what they did and did not go into insulting them. How else will we know? Just smile when someone is destroying our Deen. That is nonsense

TheAngryMuslimah said...


Anon Akeela and Lazeena I am not here to pick a fight or to argue just stating what I observed. Again I am assuming that is the point since you have a comment section.

Everyone is not going to agree and we are entitled that as human beings. ANd sister Lazeena I never said you werent getting along with anyone...I stated that muslims not getting along is a huge problem thats not worried about or a blogged about problem..not you personally.

I am honestly just a little perturbed and perplexed. I mean my comment was not direspectful nor did I blame you for anything. Just stated the obvious. And my comment has seemed to be deemed completley innapropiate because I dont agree.

Maybe I will just stop replying to blogs--with a comment section if I cant agree with the author to help derail this confusion. I apologize if my comments were not to your liking or if it was taken in a manner which you may have feel I attacked you, as this what not my intention...

I am not one for any type of mediocre disgruntlement.

Khlas...I digress...Its really not that serious to take any further.

have a wonderful day..

peace and blessings
The Angry Muslimah

Umm Abdullah said...

Whoa now Angry Muslimah I think you aught to go back and re read your comment! It WAS quite rude and disrespectful an you were blaming the author of having a certain attitude. Maybe in your anger you got too carried away and did not realize what you were saying. But as an outside if someone said this on my blog I would have been really upset. You didn't use curse words or you were not over the top but you weren't friendly at all. Calling yourself the Angry Muslimah doesn't help you much either lolz. Just wanted ot give an outsider's view

MuslimahonaDiet said...

Some people who got out of the sect were featured on Oprah a while back, and yeah obviously the founder is completely off the rocker!!!

Anonymous said...

i didnt see personally anything judgemental in this post. should she say only positive things? If this man claims he is a profet and a muslim, can he show evidence in Quran? Lazeena was only questioning him, not judging him.
i am just happy that lazeena told about this group, cos i have never heard of them. so thanks :)
Nina (finland)

Anonymous said...

As salaamu alaykum , I used to be part of the Ansar community.I lived there in 1979. I had no problem there other than i felt it wasnt for me and my mother made a comment about me being a winter muslim .If sheonly knew how cold the winters were . the sisters i met there were great and still are.Anything else that went on i feel happened because people tend to put so-called religious leaders on pedestals and follow blindly and don't think for themselves. And unfortunately our children end up getting hurt.

Anonymous said...

and by the way I have no clue where that 76 trillion years old came from because he never said anything like that when i lived there.That is definitely something new he was trying b4 he went to jail

Anonymous said...

Asalaamu Alaikuum, I have parents that were followers of the Ansaru Allah community. We left when I was 3 years old. My father left and took his family with him because he felt that the Ansaru Community did do things that weren't of Islam at all. However, all of the Ansaru teachings and books had been found to be true Quran and Sunnah way. So today, we still follow many of the teachings, however we know that we do all that we do with the mercy and blessings of Allah(swt), and we make Dua in asking him that if we are wrong in our teachings and practices, then to please continue to have patience and be merciful in showing us the correct way, InshaAllah.

QueenRaiysa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QueenRaiysa said...

As salaamu alaikum. I am Taliya my mother is Naadira, she was raised and spent most of her life in the Ansaaru Allah community under Isa. I have spent most of my life hearing stories about the "cult" in Bushwick that she grew to despise and eventually broke away from the year I was born (1991). I still have the books she used to have when she was in the community, sections of the Qur'an and a lot of her books. They are very interesting, but I do not find them to be very adverse to the things I have learned about Islam throughout my studies.
I am a sophomore in college in Georgia now and for most of my life she has not made me practice or taught me much about Islam because of the things she experienced while living in the Community. She speaks Arabic fluently, as it is her first language, but at most I know how to pray and say a few phrases. I resent the impact of the Community, as does she, and she finds herself unable to cope socially because until 23 that was all she knew, and for me the impact it left on her left me with little knowledge of the religion itself. There she had an arranged marriage with my father, whom she now detests, and he has gone on to exploit his religious practices (the taking of wives) without submitting to practices (the care of these wives and their children). I say this because I am now of an age where the confusion of my religious background upsets me. I want to take my shahadah but know so little that it is awkward for me to even attend jummah. Still I am trying to learn because this is the religion to which I was born, have known most of my life, and accept as my own.
Isa will die in jail, and I believe that is justice for all the lives he has ruined with his madness and convolution. Generations were altered by his teachings and I hope that one day those affected by his power craze may be rid of him. I stumbled across this blog while I was looking up information on the Ansaaru Allah sect of Islam, only to find that people don't consider it real. I will say that we are all students and servants of Allah, not to judge one another or condemn. The people who were a part of this we either born into it, or merely seeking a way because they were lost. They placed their trust in the wrong person, and a mentally unstable man took advantage of them. My mother got away, as many others did eventually, but please think more deeply into the nature of your comments, because some things are not a choice and some lives will never be the same. Salaam and sorry I was not more concise =)

Bnax said...

I took my Shahida in 1979 The Year of the Child on Bushwich Ave. Ansaru Allah. Read about the Al Mahdi.

Raj Leonard said...

I remember this sect; they were I believe in Brooklyn and as I recall the year was 1973. I had a very good friend who was very devout in that practice (Ansara I spelling that right?)
At the time I was in the Hare Krishna sect and my Muslim friend and I spent many wonderful hours sharing spirituality. What happy memories! Hope this will be helpful to someone. Be very well and The Creator's blessings on you all. Raj

abu sayfullah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Helena James said...

I use to be one of them . 1984 with my 1 year old daughter . I was 18! They taught me the best things I could ever learn! Arabic and Salaam. And how to escape and to learn to put your trust in Allah and not people! If it are onot the Haqq which is the Truth you will be just fine!

Helena James said...


Helena James said...

Freudian slip???? Arabic and Salaam. Yes Islam . To be one of Peace which is Muslim!!! Subpanallah!!!!!

Helena James said...

Fatima who?

Helena James said...

Salaam I'm Yasmina teacher I was in Brooklyn

Helena James said...

Salaam . There is life after the ansaaru allah community. The helpers of Allah! I still am and always will be that! I livedon't as a lost sheep but I kept going. I asked Allah to guide me. Yes I learned Arabic there too ! Everything has pros and cons! He was the con but if you were a Gooder student your are the pro!
He told me I was one of the ones who were woke!
That it was only a dream !
Then to wake up subpanallah it's salat al fajr.
He did what Allah put him to do !
Allah is the Best of Planners.
For those who have been abused raped or anything traumatic yiu may say how can Allah allow such things ?
I say alhamdullillah for all the bad things that seemed bad to me it had khair in it!