Shaikh Daoud was born in Grenada and came to America as a music student around the time of WW I. He was a contemporary of people like Noble Drew Ali and Fard Muhammad. Shaikh Daoud was influenced by a Sudanese scholar, Satti Majid, who came to New York City in 1904 at the age of 21. Satti Majid’s efforts were aimed to nurture Sunni Islam in North America.
In the 1920’s, Islam, and African American communities were heavily influenced by the Ahmadiyya movement, Black American jazz musicians, and the Black Arts Movement. In New York City, the oldest Sunni Muslim houses of worship, Brooklyn’s Islamic Mission of America, founded by the Shaikh in 1939, attracted many of the musicians that made up Brooklyn’s legendary jazz scene. The mosque was attended by a growing community of skilled musicians including the bassist and oud player Ahmed Abdul Malik, the trombonist Hajj Daoud Haroon, and the trumpeter Rajab Abdul-Wahab.
Shaikh Daoud worked to bring immigrant Muslims, including Indians and Arabs, as well as new American converts to the faith together in one mosque under The Islamic Mission.
Shaikh Daoud was also a Muqadim (representative) of the Algerian Sufi Shaikh Ahmad al-Alawi. He was a frequent participant in United Nation’s events and was, until the 1960s, considered to be the representative of America’s Muslims at the United Nations.
- Shaikh Daoud may have brought well over 10,000 Americans to Islam before 1959.
- The Islamic Mission in America was a source of Sunni Islam throughout the 1920s and 1930s and remained so for the rest of the century.
Over time "the fraternal atmosphere" at the State Street Mosque "degenerated into two thinly disguised factions, the new Americans (Arab Muslim immigrants) and the new Muslims (African-American converts)." Darul-Islam was the result of this degeneration and was founded by the members of the Mission for the African-American Muslims.
Broad tolerance and acceptance of multiculturalism may keep Muslims together. Its failure may result into disunity and degeneration.