A progressive Muslim leader, theologian, philosopher, Muslim revivalist, and Islamic thinker, Imam W. Deen Mohammed was the son of the Honorable Elijah Mohammed, the first leader of the Nation of Islam. His service for the promotion of universal human excellence is well documented as he has established genuine dialogue between the national and international leaders of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and other faiths. In 1975 (after being elected to succeed his father), he led perhaps the largest conversion of a religious group in American history, when he invited the members of the Nation of Islam to turn away from the “proto-Islamic” movement of his father and to embrace the classical path of Islam, established by the Prophet of Islam, Muhammed Ibn Abdullah (the prayers and the peace be on him). His clear presentation of the religion of Islam merited him countless awards and acknowledgments and garnered respect from Presidents of the U.S. and leaders from around the world. Imam W. Deen Mohammed passed away in September 2008. A sampling of his work and accomplishments are listed below:
Contributions to Understanding and Cooperation between Faiths, Communities and Individuals
- In 1988 he represented American Muslims at the World Parliament of Religious Leaders’ meeting for “Survival of the Earth and Its Environment” in Oxford, England. Later that year, he was selected to represent American Muslims in the symbolic signing of the First Amendment Charter for Religious Freedom in Williamsburg, Virginia.
- In 1995 Imam Mohammed was selected as an International President for Religions for Peace, the largest international coalition of representatives from the world’s religions dedicated to promoting peace, founded in 1970. In March he addressed its governing board meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a message on social development and the aspirations and responsibilities of the common person in society.
- On March 25, 1995, in Glencoe, Illinois, he delivered a keynote address at an historic Muslim-Jewish Convocation, along with Rabbi Alexander M. Schindler, President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and head of the synagogue movement of Reform Judaism in the U.S. and Canada. This represented the first public dialogue between the top U.S. leaders of Islam and Reform Judaism.
- In 1997 Imam W. Deen Mohammed, was presented with the “Luminosa Award”, from the Worldwide Focolare Movement, headed by Ms. Chiara Lubich, for his work in promoting dialogue and peace between worldwide religious groups.
Contributions to Community Improvement
- In May 1995, the Forbes Forum officials invited Imam W. Deen Mohammed to address their prestigious annual conference in Naples, Florida, on the topic, “How to Save Our Youth”.
- In 1996, Imam W. Deen Mohammed established the Collective Purchasing Conference (CPC), a limited liability company designed to allow small business people the opportunity to compete in the larger business market by using the power of collective purchasing.
Projection of an Accurate Image of Islam, Nationally and Internationally
- In 1990 following the invasion of Kuwait and at the invitation of the ruler of Saudi Arabia, King Fahd Bin Abdulaziz Imam W. Deen Mohammed led a delegation of Muslim leaders, scholars, and educators to Saudi Arabia where he addressed the Islamic Conference on the Persian Gulf Conflict, as the leader of Muslims in America. Imam Mohammed also served in a consultative role in the discussion of the concerns of Muslims over the Gulf War situation.
- On February 6, 1992, Imam W. Deen Mohammed became the first Islamic representative to deliver an invocation on the floor of the United States Senate.
- On September 10, 1992, Imam Mohammed was cited for exemplary work in the religion of Islam by Egypt’s President and was presented with the country’s highest and most distinguished religious honor, “The Gold Medal of Recognition.”
- On January 20, 1997, Imam Mohammed read from the Muslim holy book, the Qur’an, at the Presidential Inauguration Day National Prayer Service.
- Over a period of 33 years Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave public lectures on Islam and its value for improving human society, at large, in virtually every major city in the United States. He lectured at colleges and universities throughout the America.
- Imam W. Deen Mohammed produced a national syndicated television program, “W. D. Mohammed and Guests”, a nationwide, weekly, radio broadcast (including Canada and the Caribbean) and a weekly column that appeared in The Muslim Journal Newspaper.