Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was new name when I received news of his death, the name I knew of him was Wallace D. Muhammad. Even that name had no meaning few days ago before I read the some chapters of Malcom X ‘s biography.
Malcom X rated Wallace as being spitualy more superior (can’t get the exact word here) than other children of Elijah Muhammad. Being son of the man who was one of the main founders of Nation of Islam and who proclaimed himself as the Prophet of Muslims, Imam W.D Muhammad had the courage to return to true Islam, Islam of Muhammad of Madina (S.A.W).
Where Elijah favored full separation from Whites declaring them devils, W.D Muhammad understood that Islam is not color coded. He worked hard to convert Nation of Islam to the actual Islamic path where people are not devils because they are white.
It is very important to recognize what Elijah did. He was not just another lutanic proclaiming prophethood. He strengthened Blacks in America during the time when they were treated no better than slaves. Nation of Islam worked in slums, ghetos, prisons, everwhere, where others were hesitant to go. (It was in prison where Malcolm X member of Nation of Islam, which later became one of the most influential African American Leader. ) Nation of Islam provided not only provided a platform to many black americans it helped them to get out of cycle of poverty. It had schools teaching mathematics, it had program to people get out of addiction, it’s message was economic self reliance for the Black people. This all made it a very attractive organisation so when Elijah died, NOI had a large membership that believed in Elijah to be prophet, W.D Fard to be Messiha or Mehdi.
Imam W.D Mohammed routed it form there to the Universal faith of Islam.
Yvonne Haddad was a graduate student in the audience on the day in 1976 when Mohammed renounced his father’s teachings. The scholar seated next to her whispered, “We just witnessed a revolution.”http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-090908-mohammed-islam-obit,0,1523688.story
He refuted the concept of black suppermacy and worked hard to rally existing Imams of NOI mosques towards actual Islamic teachins. That lead to breaking of the NOI and Farrakhan established NOI on the basis of teaching of Elijah. However I believe that Farrakhan’ NOI only survives today just because W.D Mohammed washed away the stains of hate from the NOI’s past.
In 1993 Imam W.D Mohammed lead prayer on the floor of US senate (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/obituaries/article4726358.ece).
At the end, I must say that my knowledge of him is limited to what is present on the Internet and what I read about him in the Malcom X biography. If anything above has any error, mistake or you think misrepresent anything, please correct me.
References and Interesting Links