American Muslim Leader Imam W.D. Muhammad dies

Category: Americas, Life & Society Topics: American Muslims Views: 21961
21961

Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, a major Islamic leader in the U.S. who led thousands of African-American Muslims to orthodox Islam, died today in Illinois, according to local Muslims and his nephew. He was 74.

Born and raised in Hamtramck, Mohammed, also known as Imam W.D. Mohammed, was the son of Nation of Islam leader and Michigan native Elijah Muhammad. After his father's death, Mohammed transformed the Nation from a black nationalist organization into a group that embraced a more mainstream Islam that rejected racial and ethnic divisions. 

He was considered to be the biggest Muslim leader in the U.S. among African-Americans and probably had more followers than any other Muslim leader in the U.S., say Muslims. 

In metro Detroit, Muslims were stunned to hear of his death. He had just spoken ten days ago at a Detroit convention of his followers. During his Friday sermon, he repeatedly praised Jesus and stressed the importance of living a moral life. 

"To us, he was more than just an imam and a teacher. He was a father figure for us," said Dawud Walid, an assistant imam at Masjid Wali Muhammad, which was named by Mohammed after he left the Nation of Islam. "History will show that he has been thus far the greatest Muslim leader in the history of America."

Walid was a student of Mohammed and was shocked to hear of his death. 

"From God we come, and to him we return," said Mohammed's nephew, Sultan Muhammad. "Imam W.D. Mohammed's passing is a great loss not only to Muslims in America and around the world, but in particular to his family. We would ask for prayers for him."

"He was a reviver of the religion," said Imam Abdullah El-Amin, head of the Muslim Center in Detroit. "He saved a lot of lives, including mine...He brought a whole lot of people to the correct worship of Islam, almost with just a wave of his hand."

Kyle Ismail, 35, a Muslim leader from Chicago, said he spoke today with Mohammed's daughter, Laila Mohammed, who told him that her father had died. 

"He gave us everything," said Ismail, who just saw Mohammed on Saturday. 

After Mohammed broke from the racial teachings of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan then later broke away from Mohammed and formed his own separate group. While Farrakhan often got more media attention, Mohammed attracted a greater number followers, according to his supporters. 

On Aug. 29, Mohammed spoke to thousands inside a hall in Cobo Center.

"He's a superb leader," said Nadir Ahmad, 58, of Detroit, before his lecture. "He has a sober message of good morals, but also a commonsense approach to life and religion."

In his talk, Mohammed urged personal responsibility and praised Jesus and Muhammad, Islam's founder, saying both were great teachers.

He stood on the podium slightly hunched over, a compact man with glasses and a modest brown suit who spoke in measured tones.

"We all ... should be trying to be Christlike," he said.

Ahmad said Mohammed "has always called for cooperation between faiths."

Niraj Warikoo writes for the Detroit Free Press. He can be reached at [email protected]


  Category: Americas, Life & Society
  Topics: American Muslims
Views: 21961

Related Suggestions

 
COMMENTS DISCLAIMER & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Older Comments:
DR DENNIS WALKER FROM AUSTRALIA said:







"Images of the Middle East, Foreign Countries and International Relations Among U.S. Black Muslims (Warith Faction)"

by Dr Dennis Walker, Monash Asia Istitute, Monash University, Australia 3162



__Warith and Israel's 1978 Entry into Lebanon__

Chief Imam Wallace's solidarity with the Palestinians in 1978 showed the contradictory aspects of the transformation he had wrought in the Nation of Islam. On one hand, his religious changes had given Islam's Arab heartlands unprecedented centrality in the minds of his followers, who were increasingly learning to read some Arabic. Checking this, the increased accommodation Warith required with the American political system would limit how far his adherents could adopt stances of political hostility to the lsraeli state that was an inherent part of America's network in international relations.

Warith's pan-Islamic solidarity with the Palestinians in March 1978 was much more tightly bonded to Middle Easterners and events there than the sect's leaders had ever been in the much more parochial era of his father, Elijah. Nonetheless, he was still identifying with victimized Arabs as an American Negro from within an advanced industrial life, and from a surrounding white Anglo-Judaic popular culture, far removed from the Middle East. There was in 1978 still a substantial gap, both economic and cultural, between the Western World and the Arab peoples --- one, though, that Warith, as a Westerner, exaggerated. Wallace/Warith in 1978 integrated (a) motifs of substantial Palestinian nomadism parallel to racism-tinted American and also Zionist themes with (b) his sympathy for the Palestinians and Southern Lebanese as a traditional Muslim people uncorrupted by the modernity of the West. The boasts of the Zionists that they had achieved a victory in Southern Lebanon were, he told his Chicago mosque congregation, fraudulent. Israel's overwhelming, mod
2010-02-08

FATIMA ISA IBRAHIM FROM NIGERIA said:
Innalilahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun. May his soul rest in perfect peace. Amin. May Allah comfort his family, the muslims in America and the world in gereral and also reward him with Aljanna Fiddus. Amin.
2008-09-16

ABDUL MAHID FROM USA said:
May Allah (SWT) have mercy on the soul of Imam W.D. Muhammad and grant him paradise.
2008-09-15

TALUT EL-AMIN FROM U.S.A. said:
Imam Mohammed is now the embodiment of his own community; he like Prophet Adam (saw) to Prophet Mohammed (saw) is his community. We are simply members of Imam W.D. Mohammed. He was and is relentless in his duty to Allah (swt). He never gave up or slowed in his hard work to help his people. He loved his community so much so that he left himself poor like his beloved Prophet Mohammed (saw). Imam Mohammed is our Master of Sincerity.

2008-09-15

MUSTAFA AL-KANEMI FROM UNITED STATES said:
As-salaamu-alaikum,
Imam WD Mohammed was a trailblazer. He was ahead of his time in the stances that he took. He was right when he raised the US flag a encouraged his following to get involved with American society especially politics. Many of us who were still in the Black Nationalist mode did not understand but as time would tell the Imam was as we used to say in the "Nation" right and exact. After leaving Farrakhan's leadership then Imam Jamil's, I ended up following Imam WD Mohammed (for the past 13 years). I appreciate the work he did for Islam, America and the entire planet. He would be hard to replace. May Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him paradise.
2008-09-15

RAMADHAN FROM UGANDA said:
To this news i say: a'adhwama Allahu Aj'raka wa'ahsana azhahaka waghafarah limayyitika. However, i wish to disagree with the writer when he says Mohammad (SAW)was the founder of Islam. Islam is the deen of Allah, Muhammad (SAW) only built on something he found in place; he was the Messenger who brought the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle, as it where. May Allah bless Us all.
2008-09-15

RAHMAN SANNI FROM NIGERIA said:
May almighty ALLAH be with his family and grant him paradise and forgive his sin.It is said in the only book from God we come and to him we return.
From Dublin
2008-09-15

ADEL FROM USA said:
From Allah we come and to Allah is our return. i only wish I could have met Imam Muhammed in this life. I pray that Allah ta'aala grants me his companionship and that of the saliheen and mu'mineen in the afterlife and that I can meet him and the many other real super heroes; prophets, Sahaba in the afterlife to which we shall all return.
2008-09-15

HANNA FROM UK said:
May the peace and blessing of allah be with him
Ameen.
Salam..
2008-09-14

AKRAM ABDULLAH FROM USA said:
May Allah have mercy on Imam Mohammed, forgive him his sins and grant him paradise. Reading articles about Imam Mohammed does not do justice to his worth and accomplishments here in America. Allah allowed Imam Mohammed's light to shine from the West. He is missed (Already). We as Muslims know that Allah lives forever. Ramadan Mubarak
2008-09-14

HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN FROM BRUNEI DARUSSALAM said:
May Allah bless him and be his soul among the best of Allah servants for he brought real Islam to people. Al-Fatihah.
2008-09-14

NADIRAH LOUGHERY FROM USA said:
May Allah (swt) forever be pleased with our beloved Imam, and grant him entrance to paradise. My thoughts and my prayers are with his family. May Allah (swt) give them comfort. I am honored to be one of his followers.
2008-09-14

YASIR HAMMAD RUSHDAN FROM SAUDI ARABIA(USA CITIZEN) said:
As a young member of the Nation of Islam during the early 70's,
I remember hearing of Brother Wallace coming back to the
community. There was much buzz of excitement and
anticipation about his return. I was blessed to be able to be
associated with Imam W.Deen Mohammed's ministry from then
until his recent return to Allah Subhana Wa Ta'aala. This gentle
and most humble servant of G-d, in my estimation, was the
most enlightened servant of G-d in our midst for the last 34
years. His dedication to serving G-d and humanity, by delivering
clear and "inspired" understanding of revealed knowledge was
truly exceptional! His devotion to freeing all people (African-
American in particular) from incorrect worship of G-d perhaps
will never be matched, Allahu-Akbar! May Allah Ta'aala, grant
this great champion of service to G-d and humanity a cherished
play in His presence. It was through the tireless efforts of Imam
W.Deen Mohammed, that members of all the faith communities
began to become much more tolerant of each others' views and
beliefs. May we all as Jews, Christians, and Muslims, continue to
strive for that "human excellence" that our Imam W.D.
Mohammed taught us about. I will always love you brother
Imam, may Allah, G-d, grant to you the Jannah, you have earned
it!
2008-09-13

ZINEDINE FROM MOROCCO said:
Salaamu alaikum wa rahmatul Allah,

This is a sad day for the Muslim Ummah in North America & abroad. May Allah reward this great Imaam faseeha janaatih.

Ameen

"..Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon"

Allah spoke the Truth!!!

2008-09-12

TAWWAB MUBARAK FROM USA said:
salam it is with heavy heart i offer my comments.as previously stated imam mohommed was more than an imam he gave our (american blacks and humanity)soul reformation he was the light of islam here in the west according to the sunnah of prophet mohommed PEACE BE UPON HIM when no one offereded to give us islam
I pray muslims continue hisw mission to reform souls in the deen of islam according to the sunnah of prophet mohommed pbuh

salam
may ALLAH grant Imam Mohommed paradise
2008-09-12

YASIR HAMMAD RUSHDAN FROM SAUDI ARABIA(USA CITIZEN) said:
Ramadan Mubarak to muslims around the world! I remember as
a member of the Nation of Islam hearing of the return to the
community of brother Wallace during the early 70's. For over 30
plus years, Imam W.Deen Mohammed gave to the American-
Muslim community the essence of his life. We who have come to
know and love his unwavering stand for "truth" and right
guidance in religious teaching will surely miss our leader and
teacher! Imam Mohammed never was one to crave the attention
of the media. However, if Allah, G-d, had created anyone in this
day and time to be worthy of the medias attention it was surely
Imam W.Deen Mohammed! For his tireless efforts in search of
religious tolerance between all faiths, for his stalwart stance for
correct understanding of revealed knowledge, and for his efforts
to awaken in the minds of African-American Muslims, our place
int the worlwide Muslim Ummah, may Allah Ta'aala, grant to this
Noble son Adam a cherished place in the Jannah! We will always
love you brother Imam...shukran jazeelan Imam W.D.Mohammed
for the picture you took with my sons Na'im and Tariq in 1994
at a banquet at the Atlanta Hilton. May Allah Ta'aala, G-d, instill
in each of us who has associated with your leadership since
1975, the determination to go forth with the mindset that you
have given to all of us brother Imam. I thank the "Lord of all the
Systems of Knowledge" for blessing me to have been alive and
listening during your time among us brother Imam. I will always
love you, and I will always love Allah Ta'aala and His Messenger
Mohammed (PBUH). Thank you for teaching me about the
religion of Al-Islam brother Imam...As Salaamu Alaikum Akhi
2008-09-12

HARUN AR-RASHEED FROM USA said:
May Allah be pleased with the tireless and long service W D Mohammad provided in cause of Al-Islam in America and the world.
2008-09-11

AMINA HASSAN FROM USA said:
May Allah enter him the greatest gate in Jahan.
2008-09-11

FATIMAH MUHAMMAD FROM CANADA said:
First let me say, I was reading the Holy Quran on Monday. After reading, I was listening to a lecture about death. Monday night, I saw where Warith Deen had passed away. To Allah we all return. I appreciated Warith Deen for standing and saying that he was Muslim, whenever it was not popular to say that we were Muslim. Also, I was a member of his community to get the community feel. Which my daughters and I needed at that time.
As far as the article is concerned, we need to be careful about what we write. Muslims do not worship Jesus (as). We worship only Allah.
As far as death is concerned, we should never be surprised or shocked as far as anyone dying. The holy Quran states that we shall all taste death. We should all pray as though it is our last.
We should always remember Allah in everything we do and in everything we say.
May we all keep on the Mustakeen, and keep striving to make it into the Jenah. I for one want to see Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)and want to drink milk and honey from him.
May Allah have mercy on W.D. and all of our Muslim brothers and sisters who have died in this Holy Month of Ramadan. May Allah keep us all on the Mustakeen.

Fatimah Muhammad
2008-09-11

FAY SALAAM FROM USA said:
May Allah be pleased with our brother Imam WD Muhammad and grant him paradise. He was a great leader and teacher.
2008-09-11

ASAD ABDUR-RASHID FROM USA said:
May Allah Bless him with a beautiful home in paradise. Thank you brother for keeping us balanced and away from extreme behavior in our religion. You worked hard for The Cause of Allah. May we have the courage and the strength to carry on your work.
2008-09-10

JAMEEL ANSARI FROM USA said:
From Allah(swt) we come and to Allah(swt) we return. May Allah have mercy on Bro. Iman and may his life and achievements be a testamont to how we should strive to please Allah(swt). We know that the gates of Hellfire are closed and the gates of Paradise are wide open during this blessed month of Ramadan and Bro. Imam deserved his "free pass" to Jinna. Make du'a for him and his family and for all the Muslims of the earth. Ramadan Mubarak!
2008-09-10

WAZIR &ANEESAH SHAHEED FROM U S A said:
IMAM MUHAHHAD WAS THE BEST LEADER ANY ONE COULD HAVE WE LOVE HIM VERY MUCH MAY HE REST IN PEACE

Wazir & Aneesah Shaheed
2008-09-10

ALFRED RA'OOF FROM USA said:
From G-d we come and unto G-d is our eventual return.

Imam W.D. Mohammed is a world leader. He told me that if I would just stick with him and his teachings; I would understand Islam better than Prophet Mohammed (peace be unto him).
2008-09-10

ELIZABETH MITCHELL ABDUR RAHMAN FROM USA said:
May Allah reward our beloved imam with the best of paradise. He gave his whole life to the cause of Islam and was an excellent leader. He brought us from darkness into the light of truth.Our hearts will always be filled with love for him.
2008-09-10

IMAM SALIM CHISHTI FROM USA said:
inna allahi wa inna allahi rajayun

Imam led so many to Islam. May Allah (swt) be pleased with his work and may we meet again, insha'allah
2008-09-10

NAIM FROM USA said:
May Allah be pleased with this brother. Rather then mourn his death we should celebrate his life and his teachings. He was an inspiration for African Americans during a troubled time. Thanks Brother Muhammad
2008-09-10

YAHYAH ABDUL-JAMII FROM UNITED STATES said:
Allah swt saidthat he sent may prophets to many nations we do not make no disection between one message or the other, but the best of us are those who remeber Allah. May Allah have mercy on him.
2008-09-09