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Johari Abdul-Malik: Howard University’s First Muslim Chaplain

NEW YORK – Johari Abdul-Malik is a convert to Islam, and has been the Director of Outreach for the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center in Northern Virginia since June 2002

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Abdul-Malik grew up as an Episcopal choir boy who visited the deep southern Pentecostal holiness church during his summer vacations.

The African American native kept searching for a spiritual haven. In high school he searched for spirituality in Taoism. In his native Anglican Christian community, his mother involved him with charity and activism.

In 1974 at college, he became a Black activist, musician, practiced transcendental meditation (TM) and vegetarianism. Abdul-Malik graduated with a BS Chemistry and an MS Genetics and Human Genetics from Howard University.

He completed Clinical Post Graduate Training Program in Bioethics at Georgetown University Kennedy Center for Ethics. He further enriched his expertise with doctoral work in Bioethics/Genetics.

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In addition, he studied at Hartford Seminary and took his CPE certification from the Jewish Theological Seminary, NYC. In Graduate school, Allah showed him the light of Islam and he performed Hajj in 1994.

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Four years later, Abdul-Malik served as the President of MSA at Howard University and later the Director of Outreach at the Dar Al Hijrah Islamic Center.

Known nationally for his fundraising efforts for masjids, schools and relief and support organizations. Imam Abdul-Malik and along with Rev. Graylan Hagler started the Ramadan Feed-the-Needy Program in Washington, DC feeding over 100 hundred homeless women of all faiths nightly during the holy month of fasting.

Moreover, he became the first Muslim Chaplain at Howard University. He also was the Head of the National Association of Muslim Chaplains in Higher Education.

The imam has also served as the chair of government relations for the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA) and was the founding President of the Muslim Advocacy Commission of Washington, DC.

He Lectures on a variety of subjects to motivate the Muslim community and the community at large to better themselves and their world.

He continues to serve on the board of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, one of the nation’s first organizations of its kind with over 11 faith traditions.