He’s worn it on his wedding-ring finger since before he met Michelle

by Jerome R. Corsi

Barack Obama’s gold band

NEW YORK – As a student at Harvard Law School, then-bachelor Barack Obama’s practice of wearing a gold band on his wedding-ring finger puzzled his colleagues.

Now, newly published photographs of Obama from the 1980s show that the ring Obama wore on his wedding-ring finger as an unmarried student is the same ring Michelle Robinson put on his finger at the couple’s wedding ceremony in 1992.

Moreover, according to Arabic-language and Islamic experts, the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no God except Allah.”

Inscription on Obama’s ring

The Shahada is the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.

Sincere recitation of the Shahada is the sole requirement for becoming a Muslim, as it expresses a person’s rejection of all other gods

Egyptian-born Islamic scholar Mark A. Gabriel, Ph.D., examined photographs of Obama’s ring at WND’s request and concluded that the first half of the Shahada is inscribed on it.

“There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah’ has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs, the Islamic religion and Islamic society to which this statement is so strongly attached,” Gabriel told WND.

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“Dreams from My Real Father” producer Joel Gilbert, an Arabic speaker and an expert on the Middle East, was the first to conclude that Obama’s ring, reportedly from Indonesia, bore an Islamic inscription.

Photographs published last week by the New Yorker from Obama’s time at Occidental College, taken by fellows students, indicate that the ring Obama wore three decades ago is the one he is wearing in the White House.

Barack Obama

As WND reported in July, previously published photos have shown Obama wearing a gold band on his wedding-ring finger continuously from 1981 at Occidental, through graduation at Columbia in 1983, in a visit to Africa in 1988 and during his time at Harvard from 1988 to 1991. But none, until now, have displayed the ring with enough detail to identify it as the one he currently is wearing.

WND reported a satirical edition of the Harvard Law Review published by students in 1990 contains a mock Dewers Scotch profile advertisement poking fun at Obama. Among a list of Obama’s “Latest Accomplishments” is: “Deflecting Persistent Questioning About Ring On Left Hand.”

The comment suggests the ring was a subject of student curiosity at the time and that Obama was not forthcoming with an explanation.

He still has not explained why he wore the band on his wedding-ring finger before he married Michelle.


Gabriel, born to Muslim parents in Upper Egypt, grew up immersed in Islamic culture. He memorized the Quran at age of 12 and graduated in 1990 with a Masters degree from the prestigious Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the preeminent Sunni Muslim institution of learning.

He explained that on Obama’s ring, the declaration “There is no god except Allah” (La Ilaha Illallah) is inscribed in two sections, one above the other.

On the upper section, “There is no god” is written in Arabic letters, from right to left: Lam, Alif, Alif, Lam, Ha.

On the lower section is “except god,” written in Arabic letters from right to left: Alif, Lam, Alif, Alif, Lam, Lam, Ha.

In the lower section, the word “Allah” is written partially on top of the word “except,” noted Gabriel, the author of “Islam and Terrorism” and “Journey Inside the Mind of an Islamic Terrorist.”

It is common in Islamic art and Arabic calligraphy, especially when expressing Quranic messages on jewelry, to artfully place letters on top of each other to fit them into the allotted space.

The exhibit below shows how the Arabic inscription fits over the two parts of the Obama ring.

“There is no God except Allah” overlaid on Obama ring

‘First-rate accent’

In an interview during the 2008 presidential campaign, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof questioned Obama about his Islamic education in Indonesia, where he lived from 1967 to 1971.

After acknowledging that he once got in trouble for making faces during Quran study classes in his elementary school, Obama recited for Kristoff the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, the Adhan.

The prayer incorporates the Shahada, the expression of Islamic faith, with each line repeated twice:

Allah is supreme! Allah is supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet

Kristof noted Obama recited the prayer in Arabic “with a first-rate accent.”

“In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it’ll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as ‘one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset,’” Kristoff wrote.

Gabriel told WND that a person wearing a ring with “There is no God except Allah” demonstrates the significance of Islam in his life.

“Christians never use the statement,” he pointed out. “By wearing the Shahada on jewelry, a person communicates that Allah is in control of all circumstances. Allah controls you; Allah is the one and only one.”

Obama, who attended Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for two decades, has repeatedly insisted he is a Christian.

Obama’s hand in a White House photo

‘Blessed statement in Islam’

Gabriel emphasized the importance of the Shahada in the profession of faith in Islam.

“Muslims recite the Shahada when they wake up in the morning and before they go to sleep at night,” he said. “It is repeated five times every day in the call to prayer in every mosque. A single honest recitation of the Shahada in Arabic is all that is required for a person to convert to Islam.”

Gabriel believes it would be impossible for Obama not to be aware of what is written on the ring, calling it a “blessed statement in Islam.”

“By wearing this religious statement on one’s hand, it connects the person to Islam,” he said. “It is worn in hopes that Allah’s protections would be with the person, in hopes of gaining favor with Allah.”

He affirmed that Muslim men do wear gold rings, despite prohibitions in Islamic law.

“Though Islamic law prohibits the wearing of gold jewelry by men, it is a widely accepted custom, even in strictly Muslim countries,” he said. “The wearing of gold rings is even more acceptable when it contains a religious message, such as ‘There is no god except Allah.’”

He noted there is also widespread acceptance of men wearing gold jewelry in non-Arab Islamic societies such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Pakistan, where Muslims generally understand that Muslims are subject to strong influences of local non-Arab cultures.

“Therefore, even though technically prohibited, a Muslim man wearing a gold ring is not looked down upon, especially if the jewelry reflects a love of Islam and a connection to Islamic society,” he said. “An even greater level of acceptance is for businessmen who deal with infidels, because such a person would be regarded as a person of influence.”

Obama signing legislation (White House photo)

‘I have known Islam on three continents’

Filmmaker Joel Gilbert, an expert on Islamic history, noted Obama wore the ring during his high-profile speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009, in the first months of his presidency.

“Now we have a new context for what Obama meant when he told the Islamic audience in Cairo that he has ‘known Islam on three continents,” Gilbert said. “He also told the Cairo audience that he considered it part of his responsibility as president of the United States ‘to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear.’ All religious Muslims are by definition required to defend Islam.”

Gilbert’s most recent documentary films on the Middle East are “Farewell Israel: Bush, Iran and The Revolt of Islam” and “Atomic Jihad: Ahmadinejad’s Coming War and Obama’s Politics of Defeat”

Obama in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009

Obama in Cairo, Egypt, June 4, 2009, close-up

The Occidental ring

The photographs published last week by New Yorker magazine indicate Obama was wearing the ring at Occidental College.

One photo shows Obama sitting alongside Occidental roommate Hasan Chandoo in 1981, apparently waiting for a meal to be served.

Barack Obama and roommate Hasan Chandoo at Occidental College in 1981

Obama’s extended left hand clearly shows the ring, as seen below.

The second of the recently released photos shows Obama reaching for a book from an Occidental College library shelf.

Barack Obama in Occidental College library in 1981

A close-up of the library photo can be seen below.

Detail of Barack Obama ring in Occidental College library in 1981

In the above photo, the ring’s design can be seen, including a series of parallel bars that distinguish its outer circumference.

The Obama wedding ring

The ring was mentioned in a New York Times article in 2009 recounting the Obamas’ wedding.

In the story, Jodi Kantor described its “intricate gold design,” noting it came from Barack Obama’s boyhood home of Indonesia and was not traditional, like Michelle’s.

Kantor wrote:

Just before the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. pronounced Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson man and wife on the evening of Oct. 3, 1992, he held their wedding rings – signifying their new, enduring bonds – before the guests at Trinity United Church of Christ. Michelle’s was traditional, but Barack’s was an intricate gold design from Indonesia, where he had lived as a boy.

There was no mention in the article that Obama already had been wearing the ring for more than a decade.

The photos of the ring from the 1980s can be compared with more recent photos, such as the ones published by the Huffington Post in 2010 in an article by Anya Strzemien, “Obama’s ‘Intricate’ Indonesian Wedding Band: A CLOSE-UP,” seen here.

Obama wedding ring, Huffington Post, March 18, 2010

Obama wedding ring, Huffington Post, March 18, 2010


by Bob Unruh

Obama ‘thinks rule of Islamic law good thing’

Reaction to ring revelation suggests president’s ‘affection’

The director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, said that should the ring on Barack Obama’s finger prove to include an inscription of an Islamic prayer, it could explain his foreign policy attitudes and actions regarding freedom in the Middle East.

The comment comes from Robert Spencer, who has authored 12 books, including “The Truth About Muhammad,” “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades)” and “Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins.”

He’s a recognized expert on Islam and has written hundreds of articles about jihad and Islamic terrorism. He’s investigated stealth jihad, how jihadist groups are advancing their agenda in the U.S. with and without terror attacks and his works have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Finnish, Korean and Bahas Indonesia, among other languages.

He was reacting to today’s report that the ring Obama has been wearing for more than 30 years is adorned with the first part of the Islamic declaration of faith, the Shahada: “There is no god except Allah.”

Inscription on Obama’s ring

It’s the first of the Five Pillars of Islam, expressing the two fundamental beliefs that make a person a Muslim: There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah’s prophet.

A sincere recitation of the Shahada is the only requirement for becoming a Muslim, as experts say it expresses a person’s rejection of all other gods.

That the ring carries the inscription was affirmed by Egyptian-born Islamic scholar Mark A. Gabriel, Ph,D., who said, “There can be no doubt that someone wearing the inscription ‘There is no god except Allah’ has a very close connection to Islamic beliefs.”

“If the ring is what it appears to be, it only underscores the clear affection and high regard that Obama has for Islam, whether or not he is currently a practicing Muslim,” Spencer told WND.

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“This regard has manifested itself in his energetic support for Islamic supremacist, pro-Shariah revolutionaries in Egypt, Libya, and Syria, and his indifference toward demonstrators who were trying to topple an Islamic state in Iran in 2009.”

Spencer continued, “Clearly, he thinks the rule of Islamic law is a good thing for societies, and has done all he can to foster it.”

Spencer’s expertise on Islam has been utilized by the New York Post, the Washington Times, the Dallas Morning News, the UK’s Guardian, Canada’s National Post, National Review Online and many more national outlets. He’s appeared to discuss such topics on the BBC, ABC, CNN, Fox, PBS, MSNBC, CNBC, C-Span, France24 and Croatia National Television.

His seminars have taken him to Dartmouth, Stanford, Brown, William and Mary and other colleges, and as an adjunct fellow with the Free Congress Foundation a decade ago he wrote monographs on Islam.

He tells his readers up front that they should believe his perspectives on Islam because his books “are made up largely of quotations from Islamic jihadists and the traditional Islamic sources to which they appeal to justify violence and terrorism.”

Andrew Bostom, who explained in his book, “The Legacy of Jihad” that there really is only one definition for jihad, and that means, “he fought, warred or waged war against unbelievers,” said, “Assuming Jerome Corsi’s chain of evidence about Obama’s ring, and Mark Gabriel’s analysis of the calligraphy it features being an abbreviated version of the Shahada, are sound — as they appear to be — the report raises new doubts about Obama’s declared Christian faith.”

He continued, “The Shahada is an exclusively Muslim profession of faith. This testimony, furthermore, expresses a pious Muslim’s willingness to wage jihad for Islam, and die a martyr for the creed. That Obama would wear as an adult (perhaps continuously since the 1980s, till now) such a profound symbol of commitment to Islam adds another perspective to this observation from Daniel Pipes’ five-part series … on Obama’s Islamic background.

“Pipes adduced evidence of Obama’s Muslim upbringing as a child, and his recitation of the adhan [i.e., the call to prayer usually chanted from minarets, which includes the Shahada], as both a child, and an adult, and the understanding of this behavior by other Muslims: ‘[R]eciting (the adhan) in class in 1970 made Obama a Muslim then – and doing so again for a journalist in 2007 once again made Obama a Muslim,’” he said.

An activist whose book, “Stop the Islamization of America,” warns against the encroaching influence of Muslim religious law, says an Arabic design on Barack Obama’s “wedding ring” that apparently reveals an Islamic declaration of faith would not be a surprise.

“I’d like to see one member of the press corps ask Obama about this,” said Pamela Geller, of Atlas Shrugs.

“It certainly gibes with Obama’s Islamophilia and his pro-Shariah foreign policies, and with his extensive Muslim background, as detailed in my book, ‘The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America.’ Obama’s anti-freedom, pro-jihad foreign policy has given the global jihad a new lease on death, and clearly he is happy about that, as this ring indicates,” she continued.

Obama’s policies have been pro-Muslim through his administration, including apologizing to Muslim nations, telling them that America “no longer is a Christian nation,” and the U.S. by numbers actually is one of the biggest Muslim nations.

He’s also observed Muslim holidays in the White House, and has ignored Christian traditions.

Movie director Joel Gilbert, whose recent project, “Dreams From My Real Father,” investigates Obama’s history and antecedents, saw the markings on Obama’s ring through photographs of the president and determined they were an Islamic inscription.

Gilbert, an expert on Islamic history, said the evidence of the ring’s image and message provides “context for what Obama meant when he told the Islamic audience in Cairo that he has ‘known Islam on three continents.’”

He told WND the use of Arabic script in art is not unusual, and it’s also fairly common that images of the characters sometimes are overlaid, such as would appeared to be the case with the ring.

His video captures the essence of the report:

There also were those to didn’t believe the image represented anything other that the markings of a ring, and those who simply didn’t care whether it did.

At the IrregularTimes blog, J Clifford wrote,

“Let’s suppose that Jerome Corsi is right, and the squiggles on a ring that Barack Obama sometimes wears do actually represent a part of the Shahadah. So what?” he wrote. “Let’s allow for the sake of argument the further supposition that Barack Obama actually knows that part of the Shahadah is on that ring. So what?

“Let’s accept, just to be generous, the idea that wearing a ring with a very abstract representation of a portion of a Shahadah script proves that Barack Obama is himself a Muslim. Even if this is the case, the conclusion I arrive at remains: So what?”

“There is no God except Allah” overlaid on Obama ring

Clifford also said the gold ring worn by Obama is vastly different than common “Shahada” rings he found available.

Red Kingman writing at WHTC’s website, noted the dispute, and publicly wondered, “How would your view of our president change if this turns out to be true?”

The original story reached upward of a million people is less than a day, and attracted literally thousands of comments with a wide range of perspectives, including:

  • We need to pray for this great nation otherwise God will turn it over to [our] enemies, from Gary Germain
  • Hidden in plain sight for all to see. Just corroborating evidence for what many have already suspected, from Kit Jefferson
  • It’s this kind of distraction from real issues that keeps real solutions coming at such a painfully slow pace, from Greg McNamara
  • The man is a closet Muslim. ‘By their fruits you shall know them!’ Enough said, from Markus Reborn
  • I am not an Obama fan (at all), but this is purely wishful thinking, from “MmmCoffee”
  • The usurper could turn his crazy logo and this demonic ring into a swastika and the neo-comms would still vote for him, from TKevinTKevin
  • Ever heard of photoshop? from Elmo
  • Idiots, observant Muslim men don’t wear gold rings. They are permitted only one silver ring, from “popotater”
  • Just more evidence that Obama is the ultimate ‘sleeper cell’ that has been groomed all of his life to try and destroy Western civilization, from Ellsworth Wingnut.

YouTube has a video that shows Obama during the 2008 campaign referring to “my Muslim faith,” and he then is corrected by the reporter interviewing him:

A blog that has been critical of Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office also highlighted its discussion of the story with a photo of Obama bowing down before Saudi Arabian officials at a meeting in Europe.