Wednesday, September 10, 2008

imam w. deen mohammed passes

it came to my attention that imam w. deen mohammed passed away yesderday in his home  at 74.  imam mohammed was the son of nation of islam founder elijah muhammad and was groomed to be his successor but spoke out against his fathers misdeeds and was initally banished from the nation before reconciling with this father months before his death and succeeding him as the leader of the nation of islam briefly in 1974.   he instead chose the path of orthodox islam along with the late malcolm x and began to educate african american muslims about living the deen of islam the best they could.  as the leader of the amerian society of muslims he gave many lectures about life, not sermons on religion but messages to help us understand the world we live in, and always directed us to al-qu'ran or al-hadith for further guidance.

the news hit me deeply, but my father even moreso because my father admired the man and saw him as an example of what a man should be to his family and his community when my father had no one else to look towards.  i remember as a child spending hours listening to his lectures with him and i was surprised because id actually sit and listen even with this adhd it was hard for me to focus for moments much less several minutes, but his lectures always used examples and stories so that even my juvenile mind of 8 could understand the message he was conveying.  it is in part because of him i uses so many analogies when trying to explain things.  

in islam we say that man (and when we say man we mean mankind) should be a mirror both for his brethren and himself.  looking at the legacy of imam mohammed we see an example of a humble man who led through his service to his community not through his exploits in the public eye.  although he has never been acknowledged by media outlets as one of the most influential black leaders in this country, he was recognized as the leader of the african american muslim community and served tirelessly

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an announcement about his passing read:

he was a public servant who stood against racial oppression 
and worked continuously for peace, unity and reconciliation.  
he maintained his fathers legacy of economic 
and political empowerment for the muslim community

through a dear friend of mine i had the opportunity to meet imam and hear him deliver a lecture in person while i was in chicago and though i tried not to put the man on a pedestal because idol worship is blasphemy, i had to acknowledge the blessing that allowed me to be in his presence.  now that i am in texas it saddens me that i am unable to attend the memorial services for a man that has been so influential in my life.  in islam we are taught to be our own leaders so i am convinced that his legacy will continue through all of us who strive to be good muslims.   we say may allah for give him of his sins and grant him paradise

for any of you who may be interested in attending the services here is the information:

A Muslim prayer service for Imam W. Deen Mohammed is planned for this Thursday at 1:45 p.m. at the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park, 300 W Highridge Rd., Villa Park, IL 60181, followed by internment to Mt. Glennwood Cemetary, 18301 E Glenwood and Thornton Rd., Glenwood, IL 60425.

This Friday at 1 p.m. the Muslim community will hold a unity Jumah, Friday Muslim congregational prayer service, on the community's property across from 2979 W. 167th St. Markham, IL at 1 p.m.

The community memorial service is planned for this Saturday also on the community's property across from 2979 W. 167th St., Markham, IL at 1 p.m.

WHAT: Public Memorial Service for Imam W. Deen Mohammed

WHEN: Saturday September 13th beginning at 2 p.m. following afternoon prayer service

WHERE: Community property across from 2979 W. 167th St. Markham, IL

CONTACT: Ayesha K. Mustafaa, Muslim Journal or Sultan Muhammad, family member at (773) 540-6001 or sultan@mpdstudios. com sultan@mpdstudios. com


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