Native Deen has emerged into a leading Islamic Hip-Hop group based out of Washington, DC. Their music, which calls to the remembrance of Allah (God), has resonated with Muslims and non-Muslims alike, throughout the world. Native Deen has spread the uplifting message of Islam by performing throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Africa. Together, they have filled some of the world's most distinguished auditoriums and performed alongside artists such as Yusuf Islam, Sami Yusuf, Zain Bhika, Raihan, Dawud Wharnsby, and 786.
When they are not working on Native Deen related projects, Joshua is a community activist. He coaches local youth in Basketball, practices martial arts, but most of all enjoys playing with his two sons Musa and Harun. Abdul-Malik enjoys working with youth in the community and volunteers at his daughter's school. He is an instructor of Pencak Silat, an Indonesian martial arts. Naeem, who enjoys snowboarding when not on tour, quickly fills up his day working on relief and development projects. He has helped to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina and tsunami ravaged Indonesia.
Abdul-Malik was born in Connecticut in 1975 but spent most of his life in the Washington, DC area. He was home-schooled by his parents until 12th grade. After finishing high school, he attended Georgetown University. During this period, Abdul-Malik was able to visit the Middle East and become fluent in the Arabic language. Abdul-Malik now resides in Virginia with his wife Rahima and daughter Sakina. He owns his own web development company, Kufic Graphics. Abdul-Malik has produced numerous songs and raps for the MYNA Raps as well as songs for Astrolabe video productions.
Joshua Salaam was born in Camden, New Jersey in 1973. Raised by a single mother in Kansas City, MO - Lombard, IL – and Indianapolis, IN. He studied Martial Arts from 6 years old and entered the Air Force as a police officer where he served for 4 years. Joshua served as Imam on the Air Force Base. In the military he was able to serve as a D.A.R.E. Officer (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) for local elementary schools. He also was part of an elite training team for Cops. After the military he worked for the county in NC to provide drug resistance education to youth from low-income families. Joshua also worked as a private investigator and started his own Private Investigation Company. He later earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice.
As a result of getting married and moving to VA he started working at CAIR investigating cases of religious discrimination. Josh worked there for 4 years. Around that time he met his father for the first time at the age of 30. His father lives in SC and since meeting him he now feels like he has a better understanding of himself. He also found out that he has another sister. Josh left CAIR to work in a local Baltimore community where they are trying to establish Islam by moving together, praying together and working together. He started by becoming a campaign manager for a Muslim brother running for city council. Now he manages a Muslim construction company. His main focus is working with the general community to reduce crime and drugs in Baltimore by patrolling the streets and working with the police department. Josh also serves on the board of the community association working to develop the neighborhood with new businesses.
Josh began performing rap songs at the age of 10 and by the age of 12, he was performing at youth camps as a member of MSU (Muslims Steppin Up) to entertain members of the Muslim Youth of North America (MYNA)-a national Muslim youth group. Later, he co-founded a group called Sonz of the Crescent in 1993 with their debut album ” What's the Word.” In college he won several rap competitions. After joining Native Deen and working with Abdul-Malik and Naeem, he became more focused on giving dawa through his music.
Naeem Muhammad, born on June 25, 1975, grew up in the inner city of Baltimore, Maryland where he currently lives with his lovely wife and 3 daughters. Born and raised in Baltimore city, the 3rd of seven children, Naeem was his mother’s first child born and raised Muslim. Naeem’s artistic interests may have come from his father who was a painter or from his mother who attended art classes with baby Naeem in a carrier. He has many fond memories of attending countless art festivals, live music performances, and African cultural events as a child. Naeem’s mother wanted to nurture more than just his cultural and artistic development, so she enrolled Naeem into the Islamic Community School of Baltimore.
From fifth grade until graduation, Naeem spent these formative years in Islamic education and youth activism. He graduated from the Islamic Community School of Baltimore, a private Muslim parochial school, and went on to attend Towson University in Towson, Maryland. He has been involved with Muslim youth work since the age of 13, working with various organizations such as Muslim Youth Council of D.C. and Muslim Kids Club of Baltimore and MYNA. This is where he eventually met the future members of Native Deen. Naeem has written and performed a number of songs for the MYNA Raps album series and had songs featured in the soundtrack by Astrolabe Pictures for their animated movie entitled The Boy and the King.
Naeem also had a love for IT most of his life, so it was only natural after college he’d work in network administration for the state of Maryland and soon after move into private sector. Around 2003, Naeem was offered the opportunity of a lifetime to leave IT and work for the international relief and development organization, Islamic Relief. Through Islamic Relief Naeem has assisted earthquake victims in Bam, Iran, joined first response teams in tsunami ravaged Indonesia, and delivered much needed food aid to the Timbuktu region of Mali.