“Every man created is entitled to what G-d has created. No man is to be discriminated against. Entitlement is not to be based upon anything but justice. Go on and build a great life for yourself, as much as any man in the United States of America.”
—Imam W. Deen Mohammed
A world renowned religious scholar and leader for millions of American Muslims, Imam Wallace Deen Mohammed (ra) dedicated his life to building bridges of interfaith respect and racial harmony. The son of Nation of Islam leader the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Imam led the transition of “so-called” Black Muslims and the Nation of Islam to true Islam, dispelling false notions of race and religion to make his community a new world leader for the proper understanding and practice of Al-Islam.
Author, scholar, businessman, and advisor to Presidents, Imam Mohammed founded and presided over The Mosque Cares and Collective Purchasing Conference. He served as an International President for the World Conference on Religion and Peace and on the World Supreme Council of Masajid (Mosques). He was the first Muslim in U.S. history to deliver an invocation on the floor of the U.S. Senate. He inherited the struggle for dignity and economic justice through the African-American saga and Islamic influence woven into the history of blacks both before and after American slavery.
The Imam proclaimed the message of Al-Islam to save his Community and the world. To do so, he had to stand courageously firm against the dogma of the Nation of Islam. Like King or Mandela, he had been able to see over the mountain top of obstacles and difficulties, as he moved strategically to evolve his Community from charismatic leadership and centralized hierarchy to institutional leadership and respect for the group intellect. He removed the trappings of riches and a so-called royal birthright to stand against even members of his family to safeguard his community’s moral and material interests.
His religion was Al-Islam; his faith was in G-d and in the nobility of the common man; upon that foundation he built a new house to replace a fallen temple. The Imam proclaimed One G-d and one humanity, and that the Final Prophet sent by the Lord of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus is Muhammed to whom the Qur’an was revealed over 14 centuries ago (Peace and Blessings be upon them all).
Imam Mohammed’s mission and vision, emphasizing religious scholarship, education, economic development, and the promotion of universal human excellence live on and continue to transpose a legacy of leadership onto the world stage.
“Building a better community, better businesses, a better appreciation for our life, and building on the greatness of our history…that’s the work that must continue.” —Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Adapted with permission from Remaking Our World Calendar, FAMACO Publishers, 2015
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