WEB POSTED 03-10-2000
Commemorative of The Nation of Islam in North America
Imam W. Deen Mohammed:
Son of Hon. Elijah Muhammad
spreads message of Islam
by Askia Muhammad and Donald Muhammad
The birth of Imam
W. Deen Mohammed, Muslim American Spokesman, on Oct. 30, 1933 was a
special event in suburban Detroit in the home of Elijah and Clara
(Evans) Muhammad. He was the seventh child of eight children and fifth
of six sons in the family. He was the first child who was born a Muslim.
At a young age his parents gave him the Holy
Quran, the Islamic Holy Scripture. “The book that the so-called
American Negroes should own and read, the book that the slave-masters
have, but have not represented it to their slaves, is a book that will
heal their sin-sick souls,” the Hon. Elijah Muhammad taught his son
and all of his followers about the “Glorious Quran.”
Mohammed’s lifelong study and mastery of the Holy Quran and the
Arabic language in which it is written have earned him recognition and
respect among Muslim scholars and authorities around the world.
his father’s leadership Imam Mohammed served as an assistant minister
in Chicago and was sent to Philadelphia’s Mosque No. 12 in 1959 to
serve as the minister. The Imam was a contemporary of the late Min.
Malcolm X, and the two were key helpers of Mr. Muhammad in the late
1950s and early 1960s.
the Hon. Elijah Muhammad departed from the scene in 1975, Imam Mohammed
assumed the position of “Chief Minister” on Feb. 26, 1975 and
proceeded to lead the Islamic religious community “in a progression
toward satisfying the essentials of Muslim life and identity,”
according to his official Internet site.
world travels on behalf of human salvation and spreading the message of
the Holy Quran as well as the tradition of Muhammad the Holy
Prophet of Islam (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) have
taken him to remote regions as well as to world capitals, including
China, Denmark, Palestine, Malaysia, Mexico, Italy, Poland, and Iran.
his recent notable achievements, Imam Mohammed met with Pope John Paul
II at the Vatican in 1996. In 1997 he recited from the Holy Quran at the
National Prayer Service celebrating the second inauguration of U.S.
President Bill Clinton. In February 1992 he became the first Muslim to
deliver an invocation on the Floor of the U.S. Senate. Later that year
he delivered the first address by a Muslim on the floor of the Georgia
State Legislature, the state of his father’s birth.
message of Islam, delivered by him for (more than) 20 years to persons
of every race, sex, and class,” commentators have written, “has been
a quiet yet resolute factor for increased tolerance, understanding, and
cooperation between Americans of different ethnic and religious
author of several books, the host of a television program—“W. Deen
Mohammed and Guest”—and the host of a nationally syndicated radio
program, he is a member of the prestigious World Supreme Council of
Mosques, the Peace Council, and he serves as the international president
of the World Conference of Religion and Peace.
February1992 Imam Mohammed participated in an event that as yet is not
fully understood among Muslims in America and in other parts of the
world: he toured the Pentagon and addressed Muslim personnel in the U.S.
military. The number of Muslims serving in the military services as well
as the number of Muslim chaplains administering to their spiritual needs
has grown precipitously in both the Army and Navy. Their presence adds a
new spiritual force to American military history.
the invitation of various government and spiritual leaders, Imam
Mohammed has participated in a number of peace delegations discussing
the concerns of Muslims in this country and abroad. Those delegations
have been concerned with the Gulf War and the Middle East. He has even
gone on a peace mission to San Cristobal de las Casas (Chiapas), Mexico
at the invitation of Bishop Samuel Ruiz Garcia.
the heads of state with whom he has met include Palestinian President
Yasser Arafat, U.S. President Bill Clinton, Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak,
Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd Abdulaziz, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein,
Jordan’s King Hussein, and King Hassan II of Morocco.
Mohammed is leader of an estimated 2.5 million American Muslims, and is
the pre-eminent Islamic figure participating in inter-religious
conferences on religion and peace. In 1998 at Auschwitz, Poland, he was
a guest of the Center for Christian Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart
In a recent interview, (Muslim Journal,
Jan.. 28, 2000) Imam Mohammed expressed his hopes and optimism for the
two communities coming together again. “The situation has developed
now for us to embrace each other and sit down together and support each
other in all good works.”
He emphasized his strong support for the Million Family March. “We
need more awareness of our obligation as adults in our communities, to
support our neighborhoods and to support our families, even if we are
single,” he explained in the same interview with Nathaniel Omar.
Minister Farrakhan, the Imam continued, “emphasized (to me) that
the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s family has been a real value to the
association of followers whom we both respect.” The Hon. Elijah
Muhammad, he said “has been very valuable to the African American people
Imam Mohammed stated that he also hopes to explore further areas of
cooperation with Minister Farrakhan in the fields of education and
economic development between the two communities.
caption: Imam W. D. Mohammed and Pope John Paul II (at left).
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