W.D. Mohammed’s Spiritual Maturity

Like other great religious leaders, W.D. Mohammed, the American Muslim leader who died Tuesday at age 74, showed us how … Continued

Like other great religious leaders, W.D. Mohammed, the American Muslim leader who died Tuesday at age 74, showed us how to mature spiritually and more gracefully.

Imam Mohammed, who briefly followed his father, Elijah Muhammad, as leader of the black supremacist Nation of Islam, later rejected the radical and messianic teachings of his father and adopted a more traditional, humble and inclusive Islam.

“I had common sense, and my common sense told me this was ridiculous, the idea that God is a God that wants one people to dominate others,” W.D. Mohammed said in 1997. Mohammed said he knew that Master W.D. Fard Muhammad, the mysterious founder of the Nation of Islam, “was not God, and I knew he was not God, Elijah Mohammed was not a prophet.”

W.D. Mohammed, who dissolved the Nation of Islam in the 1970s and encouraged his followers (including Muhammad Ali) to become more orthodox Muslims, was less well known but much more influential than Louis Farrakhan, who broke from Mohammad and revived the Nation of Islam in the late 1970s.

Mohammed’s mainstream American Muslim Society is by far the country’s largest community of African-American Muslims. In 1992, he became the first Muslim to deliver an invocation to the U.S. Senate. In 1993 and 1997, he recited from the Holy Qu’ran at President Bill Clinton’s two inaugural interfaith prayer services.

“His intrinsic intelligence and high academic acumen made him wise, but his kind heart and charitable character is what made him so beloved,” Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.), who is Muslim, said in a statement Tuesday.

Mohammed began to question his father’s teachings in the early 1960s, while he was serving time a federal prison for refusing induction into the U.S. Army. He studied the Qu’ran and found its teachings didn’t match his father’s. After his father died in 1975, W.D. Mohammed disbanded the Nation’s militaristic security force, then dissolved the Nation entirely. He told his followers to become orthodox Muslims — to kneel in prayer five times a day, to read the Qu’ran in Arabic, to be more tolerant and generous, less dogmatic and political.

“We should realize that the first identity is not an African or a European or a Saudi,” Mohammed told PBS in 2003. “The first identity is a human being.”

Aug. 29, in his last Friday sermon, Mohammed addressed his followers in Detroit’s Cobo Hall. According to the , “he repeatedly praised Jesus and stressed the importance of living a moral life. 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.”

We all should age so gracefully.

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  • jowayriah

    the u 4 a reporting a well balanced & comforting article.

  • Shaahid Mustafa

    Imam W.D.Mohammed a brilliant intellectual mind whose message was clearly thought provoking. He will be missed. May Allah have mercy on his soul and grant him the paradise.

  • Apostate

    Mr. Waters said:

  • Mr. V.E DeBose

    I thank GOD for raising such a human being. This man followed GOD’s words to the best of his ability and I hope GOD is pleased to let him take his rest in Paradise. I yearned for the reconciliation of both he and his brother Min. Louis Farrakhan. Both of these men have made mistakes and had differences but the love they shared allowed thim to embrace each other and speak highly of each other like “Human beings”. Go on Brother your work is!!Farewell

  • Dr. John Daniels II

    Imam W. D. Muhammed was a humble scholar of Islam and a true humanitarian. He was willing to be open in his understanding of Islam and in the proper application of the teachings of the faith. He was open-minded enough to see the universality of man and his need for God. My prayers are for his memory and for the comfort of his venerable family.

  • young face

    ALLAH bless

  • MaLiiik Moor

    What a Blessing that our Beloved Brother Imam W.D. Mohammed was taken by the Angel of Death during Ramadan! Indeed a Blessing to the Believing Muslim. May Allah, above all exalted, forgive your sins and grant you the highest level of Heaven, Jannah-al-firdaus. AMEEN!We’ll be making Du’a (supplication) for you, Imam. Peace, Love, and Blessings,

  • Garland Shaheed and Family

    May Allah open pardise for one of histories greatest human beings Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, May ALLAH bless his family and followers with great strength.

  • Garland Shaheed and Family

    May Allah open pardise for one of histories greatest human beings Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, May ALLAH bless his family and followers with great strength.

  • Garland Shaheed & family

    May Allah open pardise to Iman Warth Deen Muhammad, strength his family and followers in these trying times. Allah is the Greatest.

  • harold

    Which book are you recorded in? Which book of life? Who do you stand before? Are you numbered or named.And he took the BOOK OF THE COVENANT, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient.Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?“Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?”And the Lord spake unto MOSES and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,“and the mouth taste his meat?”This is the thing which the Lord hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.“and the mouth taste his meat?”And the Lord spake unto MOSES, saying,“When thou takest the sum of the children of Israel after their NUMBER”And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him.“Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me.”Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.“so stand fast in the Lord”BROUGHT THEM UNTO ADAMAnd the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.“Lord God formed every beast of the field”This is THE BOOK OF THE GENERATIONS OF ADAM. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;THE BOOK OF THE GENERATION OF JESUS CHRIST, the son of David, the son of Abraham.Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord.And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the BOOK OF LIFE OF THE LAMB slain from the foundation of the world.And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

  • harold

    Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:“Seeing ye have PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH through the spirit”Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said,“For thou hast said”“But oh that God would speak”Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.MY DOCTRINE SHALL DROP AS THE RAINFor the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left.“But oh that God would speak”“I make alive”THE LORD SHALL SET HIS HAND AGAIN THE SECOND TIME

  • Athena

    The Ark of the Covenant? Indiana Jones brought that back to the U.S. in the 1930’s! It’s in a warehouse at Area 51! 😀

  • Austin Dorell Jackson

    Alhamdulillah, I took shahadah (declaration of faith into Islam) when I was 15-years-old — the firs Muslim in my mostly Catholic family. From then to now, 20 years later, I considered Imam W.D. Muhammad my spiritual guide. He taught Islam in a language that spoke to traditional African American social and cultural concerns. But more significantly, Imam W.D. Muhammad served as a critical nexus for moving “indigenous” Muslims in America away from NOI racial chauvinism and towards Qur’an and the Sunna of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). American Muslims of all backgrounds would do well to study his vast body of academic scholarship on Islam and what this means for the African American Muslim community. May Allah have mercy on Imam W.D. Muhammad, bless his soul, and comfort his family, Insha’Allah.


    Imam W.D. Mohammed was a great Muslim. He was a very kind community leader and a soft spoken scholar of lslamic teachings. Death of a scholar is death of humanity ! I will never forget my meeting with him with our friend Jhon Ali. May Allah bless his soul and rest in peace in Jennah ( Amen ).

  • Concerned The Christian Now Liberated

    Harold, Harold, Harold,Fools are those who have read only the bible. God cannot be proud of such lazy creations!!!!

  • Abdul Rahman (Ricardo Anderson)

    In the Name of GOD, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful.I have the pleasure of meeting his father, Elijah Muhammad and W D Muhammad and I believe that GOD is pleased with them. I truly believe that his mission was to put African-American Muslims communities on the path to mainstream Islam, which includes our struggles in America and our kinship to Christianity and Judaism. He did that and more. May GOD be pleased with him and bless his family and the Muslim community. As-Salaam-Alaikum, wa rahmatullah

  • harold

    I am amazed that in the thousands of years of the Torah there is none that knows the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy seat. It all has to do with the Ten Commandants. I am amiss that nobody knows them. How be it that nobody knows the LORD is the Father and the Mother. Many claim to know God, but I have proven that be not the case. How can there be peace on earth when the God the world worships knows nothing but evil. How can there be peace on earth when the world rejects the LORD. If anyone has a sane opinion to offer, please enlighten me.

  • Kwelii

    May Allah be pleased with Imam Mohammed forgive him his sins and grant him The Paradise. Masalaams.

  • Marsha Christ

    Presently before the American people are two presidential candidates who both claim they are Christians. One is a well known White Republican man ,John Mccain and the other is a Black Democratic man by the name of Barack Obama. It seems people dont understand the Power of the Press or Golden Rules which is those who are in charge i.e., conservative republicans. Here are some questions question I would like asked of the candidates 1.Does Sen. Obama and Sen. Mc Cain really believe in the King James Version of the Holy Bible? 2. Is it a form of Subliminal Religion Fraud of We the People who have seen all Public Officals take their Oaths of office upon a King James Version of the Holy Bible. 3) Do we in America have a GOD’s name to claim; or do our Public official just use the name of GOD in Vain? 4) What is the name of the GOD America Trust: Jesus Christ, the Almighty Buck, Uncle Sam, or God Damn? 5) How come Sen. McCain has not told us the name of his God; did he ever claim or actually say its Jesus Christ? 6) If the Bible could be proved as True; but grossly Miss Understood; i.e., would that be Bad News or Good News aka the Gospel for we the people? 7) According to Rev. 6:5-8 Is Sen. Obama; the Stallion or Black Horse with Balances in Hand;. Are Sen. McCain and Sara Palin the Paleface Horse or Mavericks that followed and bible calls Hell and Death 8) If Satan His/Herself is Risen and Comes before the US Supreme Court with the Bible in Hand; could s/he claim that due to the 1st AMENdment “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion” they are in Breach of Contract, Honor, Oaths and Promises that our forefathers all sworn on the Bible? 9) If Satan is in the Flesh of a Sioux Native American Indian; would she be entitled to Return of all Land and 1/3 credit for every penny that has “In GOD We Trust” depicted upon it. 10) If it can be proved using the Bible; that GOD Almighty is actually a Female Spirit or Goddess, thats Black and Fat as Aunt Jemima grinning at us on the pancake box (Job 42:14-15) and God’s daughter is Kizzy from the mini series Root mean GOD or our Momma is So Fat that even Jesus Christ himself calls Her our Fat Her who Art in Heaven? Peace out