13 Sep 2008
The Muslim Council of Britain today offers its condolences to American Muslims and the family of Imam W.D. Mohammed, who passed away on 9 September 2008 in Illinois. A towering figure amongst American Muslims, Imam W. D. Mohammed was a pre-eminent bridge-builder, forging interfaith relations throughout the United States. Imam Mohammed, 74, was the son of Elijah Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam.
After his father’s death in 1975, Imam Mohammed led his community to mainstream Islam and away from Black Nationalism, thus following the path of another American hero, Malcolm X. W. D. Mohammed was the first Muslim to give an invocation in the United States Senate. In 1993, he gave an Islamic prayer during the first Inaugural Interfaith Prayer Service of President Bill Clinton, and again in 1997 at the second Interfaith Prayer Service.
Offering condolences on behalf of the Muslim Council of Britain, Secretary General Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said: “Imam Mohammed was an inspirational personality not only to the people of the United States but also to all those people the world over who feel that Islam can play a dynamic part in bringing together people of all faiths and none. His ability to face modern challenges with humility and grace will be an enduring example for us all.”
“To God we belong and unto Him is our Return.” (Qur’an Ch 2, Verse 156)