Imam Daayiee Abdullah

Imam Daayiee Abdullah

Imam Daayiee Abdullah is the Executive Director of MECCA Institute and the author of “Progressive Islam,” introducing Progressive Islam.

Short Biography

Imam Daayiee Abdullah was born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan. He was born into an African American family in the Christian faith. Despite his parents’ Baptist beliefs, they encouraged him to explore religion. At 8, he visited various places of worship but found no fit.

Graduating high school at 15, he traveled North America with his family. Coming out at a young age, his parents supported him. Abdullah recalls realizing his attraction to boys at five, finding inspiration in his now-deceased parents. He even had a boyfriend in junior high school.

As a young adult, he lived in San Francisco, Chicago, and eventually ended up in Washington, D.C. It was in D.C. that he really started to think outside of the box.

In the early 1980s, he went to China, where he accepted Islam as his personal faith at the age of 30.

Human Rights Activism

Around 2000, Abdullah joined the Yahoo! group Muslim Gay Men, advocating for following the Qur’an over Hadith. This gained him popularity in the LGBTQ+ community.

It was during this period that he earned the title “Imam” for performing ceremonies for marginalized individuals, including same-sex marriages and counseling.

He officiated over 75 marriages for Muslims from diverse backgrounds, including women marrying non-Muslims.

Imam Daayiee held leadership roles in organizations promoting human rights in Islam. He also started Masjid al-Nur, which welcomed all types of Muslims in Washington D.C.

MECCA Institute

Salah - 5 Pillars of Islam

MECCA Institute is a non-profit organization expanding Progressive Islam through education and research.

The organization is led by Imam Daayiee Abdullah. Its central project is a progressive theological program that focuses on inclusivity and social justice.

MECCA Institute addresses distortions within Islam and works to modernize Islamic education. It emphasizes the balance between book knowledge and spiritual understanding, welcoming Muslims and non-Muslims alike to deepen their understanding of Islam.

Along with the school, the organization has a thriving community program. The community provides courses, and has several programs of its own.

Meanwhile, there is also a historic publisher associated with MECCA Institute. Its first book is authored by Imam Daayiee and has broken several new grounds.

Scroll to Top