Thursday, September 11, 2008

America's Imam Passes on!

Al Imam Warith Deen Muhammed has passed on joining the ancestors waiting for the first resurrection on the last day. He was born, Wallace Muhammed, the seventh child of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammed.

According to the Autobiography of Malcolm X it was Wallace who first tutored Malcolm in Orthodox Islam. Wallace was sentenced to three years in prison for refusing the draft and in that time studied Al-Islam and his Islam as his father taught it. After comparing the two Wallace ceased teaching the official NOI doctrine and instead taught Al-Islam. Wallace was suspended many times from the nation for not teaching the doctrines and theology prescribed by the Nation of Islam.

He was reinstated as a Minister of the Nation of Islam and would succeed his father as leader upon Mr. Muhammed's passing in 1975. He changed the name of the Nation of Islam to the World Community of Al-Islam in the West opening the mosque to all races and adopting Al-Islam. He denounced the original NOI teachings, closed the restaurants and bakeries and began to concentrate on teaching and bringing the people to the light of Al-Islam.

Several ministers chafed under his leadership most notably Louis Farrakhan who broke with Warith in 1977 and reformed the Nation of Islam. It is the largest of all the dissident organizations.

Imam Warith Muhammed became the first Imam to offer prayers at the United States Senate. In his lifetime he often spoke of truth and reconciliation between all members of the human family. He and Louis Farrakhan embraced and reconciled publicly in 1997. Minister Farrakhan in recent years has moved the Nation of Islam closer to the orthodox teachings of Al-Islam.

I am personally saddened by his death. He passed on September 9th and in a way this is the closing of one of our greatest opportunities. Warith Deen knew what extremism was and wasn't. He was an orthodox Iman and could have explained Islam to Americans and he could have explained Westerners to the Islamic World but strangely enough we are still just as ignorant about Islam and other world religions and cultures as we always were. He did not immigrate here, he was from here. He was very well known and respected and he was a non immigrant. His people didn't immigrate here they were imported and he was from the homegrown stock. He could have battled the likes of the Osama Ben Ladens with the beauty of Al Islam that Americans are so unfamiliar with. Now he's gone, We've lost that chance. He will be missed.

Allah U Akbar Warith Deen, rest in peace see you on the last day. May the God (IAM) of Peace be with your family in their time of grief.

BE Careful! BE Mindful! BE Prayer!

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