Imam W. Deen Mohammed
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Oct. 30, 1933 – Sept. 11, 2008
About Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Imam W. Deen Mohammed was born Oct. 30, 1933, to Elijah (Poole) and Clara (Evans) Muhammad in Hamtramck (Detroit), Mich. He lead the largest community of Muslims in the United States of America miraculously transitioning them from the black nationalism of his father’s Nation of Islam (NOI) to mainstream Islam and adding thousands more to their ranks. He was a man of astute leadership and profound insight and commentary on major issues of the Qur’an, Bible, and the Torah. His unique ability to apply scriptural interpretation to social issues have brought him numerous awards and high honors. Imam Mohammed was a man of vision who performed many historical “firsts‟ and who established a legacy that continues until today. The following are some of the more significant dates highlighting his leadership:
1975: succeeded his father as the leader of the Nation of Islam, beginning it’s transformation to “Islam proper”.
1988: represented Muslims at the World Parliament of Religious Leaders for the ‘Survival of the Earth’ in Oxford England.
1992: delivered an invocation on the floor of the U.S. Senate (the first given by a Muslim).
1992: delivered the first address by a Muslim on the floor of the Georgia State Legislature (the state of his father’s birth).
1993: participated in the inaugural Interfaith Prayer Service of President Bill Clinton.
1995: selected as president of the World Conference on Religion and Peace.
1995: attended “Acts of Kindness Week” along with Martin Luther King III and Rosa Parks in Dallas.
1995: addressed the Governing Board of the World Conference on Religion and Peace in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1995: delivered the keynote address at the Muslim ¬Jewish Convocation in Glencoe, Ill.; the first serious public dialogue between top leaders of Islam and Reform Judaism.
1996: met Pope John Paul, II, at the Vatican, at the invitation of Archbishop William Cardinal Keeler and the Focolare Movement.
1997: attended the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Teheran, Iran.
1997: was presented by the the Focolare Movement with the “Luminosa Award”, for promoting Interfaith dialogue, peace, and understanding in the U.S.
1997/8: sent a delegation of students for two years for exchange through dialogue and travel to Malaysia to fostering understanding and leadership.
1998: addressed the Indiana House of Representatives and delivered the invocation for the Indiana Senate.
1999: sent a delegation of students with scholarships to study at the Abu Nour University in Damascus under the direction of the Grand Mufti of Syria, Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro.
1999: served on the Advisory Panel for Religious Freedom abroad, formed by Secretary of State Madeline Albright. He assisted in promoting religious freedom in the United States and abroad.
1999: participated in the Conference on Religion and Peace hosted by the Center for Christian and Jewish understanding.
October 28, 1999, He met with the Pope again on the “eve of the New Millennium” in St. Peter’s Basilica with many other world¬ religious leaders to include the Dali Lama.
1999: participated in the World Conference on Religion and Peace¬ Assembly VII in Amman, Jordan. He was elected international president.
2000: held an interfaith program in Washington, D.C. with the Focolare Movement and the American Society of Muslims 2001 — Sept. 11: Imam Mohammed, in the strongest terms denounced the terrorist attacks on the United States as un¬Islamic and evil.
2002: was inducted as a member of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Imam Mohammed was honored with his portrait in the International Chapel of Morehouse University.
2005: sent a delegation of Imams to a Muslim ¬Christian in Dialogue First Symposium given by the Catholic based Focolare Movement. The focus was, “Who is G¬d for us? “ This program occurred after the recent inauguration of Pope Benedict XVI.
Imam Mohammed’s achievements and accomplishments are too numerous to list them all. His honorary doctorates, numerous invites to address audiences at Harvard, Duke, Yale and several mayoral and gubernatorial proclamations, etc., give testament to his leadership for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. He was appointed to the World Supreme Council of Mosques because of the value of his work and leadership in America and was affectionately known as “America’s Imam”. He was one of the foremost leaders of Muslims in America and in many other parts of the world. His perspectives were clearly Qur’anically based with applications that crossed scriptural, religious, political, cultural and ethnic lines. He was at the forefront of interfaith dialogue and cooperation leading the universal call to human excellence.
Article from the Muslim Journal
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