Understanding the Islamic conversion experience of two African American males: a case study approach to decision making toward transformational change

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Virginia Tech


Islamic conversion among African Americans is a unique 20th-Century phenomenon. African Americans represent 42% of the total Muslim population in America. This research study describes the life experience and decision process of two African American male converts to Islam. It examines Islamic conversion from an adult education perspective, addresses a gap in religious conversion literature, and provides insights into understanding how two persons broke previous socialization, accepted new beliefs and values, and made a major life change.

The research questions primarily focused on the conversion process as a decision, its corresponding learning processes, and the social, cultural and historical conditions impacting this phenomenon. Differences and similarities between Islamic conversion among these two African American males and general theories of religious conversion were examined. A model of Islamic conversion among these two African American males was developed.

Data collection and analysis followed qualitative research methodology. Participant interviews were conducted utilizing a focused life history in-depth phenomenological structure.

This study is significant for the practice of adult education because it describes learning processes involved in how individuals make the decision to change their core beliefs, values, behaviors, and lifestyles.



Islamic conversion, African American males