Imam W. D. Mohammad
A Short Biography
below is an excerpt of an observation taken from the exhibit on display:
(October 30, 1933 – September 9, 2008), also known as "W. Deen Mohammed" or "Imam W. Deen Muhammad", was a progressive African American Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher, Muslim revivalist, and Islamic thinker (1975–2008) who disbanded the original Nation of Islam (NOI) in 1976 and transformed it into an orthodox mainstream Islamic movement, the World Community of Al-Islam in the West which later became the American Society of Muslims. He was a son of Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam from 1933 to 1975. Upon the death of his father on February 25, 1975, Mohammed was unanimously chosen as the leader of the Nation of Islam and introduced to the NOI membership as such at the annual Saviours' Day convention on February 26, 1975.
He became the national leader (Supreme Minister) of the Nation of Islam in 1975 after his father's death. As a result of his personal studies and thinking, he had led the vast majority of the members of the original NOI to mainstream, traditional Sunni Islam by 1978. With this merger, he oversaw the largest mass conversion to Islam in the history of the United States. He rejected the previous deification of Wallace Fard Muhammad, accepted whites as fellow-worshippers, forged closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities, and introduced the Five Pillars of Islam into his group's theology.
He called himself Muslim American Spokesman for Human Salvation and encouraged the common people and leaders of all religious traditions to return to the purity of their faith. Others called him “America’s Imam”; leader of the Muslim American Experience. He defined it gave direction to it and devoted his life to it. Imam W. Deen Mohammed worked for the establishment of Muslim life in America and for freedom, justice and equality for Muslims, African Americans and all people. He both taught and demonstrated that Al-Islam is not only compatible with democracy but in fact gave birth to the same principles. His followers have proven that there is no contradiction between living a Muslim life and that of an American citizen. From 1975 to 2008 Imam W. Deen Mohammed traveled America and the world promoting interfaith cooperation and the common good for all so that humanity might achieve human excellence.
This made him singularly responsible for what many observers consider a “modern day miracle” – the largest conversion to Al-Islam in the world in the twentieth-century. In 1977, he was responsible for leading the largest delegation of Muslim Americans in history to Hajj, the Pilgrimage to Mecca.
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