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Author Topic: Inna lillah... Imam Warith Deen Muhammad passes on.  (Read 3318 times)
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« on: Sep 09, 2008 09:23 PM »


Just heard this news. He was someone who brought a great number of the Nation of Islam into mainstream Islam. He was really the bridge.  May Allah have mercy on him and enter him into Jannah.

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As Salaam Alaikum-Make dua-Imam Warith Deen Muhammad just died.

This was the son of Elijah Muhammad and the leader of the Mosque cares community.
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 09, 2008 11:18 PM »

W.D. Mohammed dies; son of Nation of Islam founder

1 hour ago

CHICAGO (AP) — A nephew says Imam W.D. Mohammed, the son of Nation of Islam founder Elijah Muhammad, has died.

Sultan Muhammad says his uncle died Tuesday. He didn't immediately give further details but says the family will issue a statement.

W.D. Mohammed moved thousands of blacks into mainstream Islam after breaking with the group his father founded. He went by both Warith Deen Mohammed and Wallace Muhammad.

The Cook County Medical Examiner confirmed receiving the body of a 74-year-old Wallace Mohammed.
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 09, 2008 11:42 PM »

salam

This is very sad news...may Allah have mercy on him. His impact on the American Muslim landscape was unparalleled; it is difficult to put into words how important a role he played. The sheer number of people who embraced Islam through his efforts, it is immense...And his own personal story, just amazing...

One of the greatest honors in my life was to meet him many years ago and what I remember most was how gentle, humble and unassuming he was. May Allah accept all his deeds, and reward him for all the good deeds of the people whom he helped guide...fitting that he, rahimullah, died in the month of Ramadan...

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« Reply #3 on: Sep 10, 2008 03:45 AM »

Muslim leader Warith Deen Mohammed dies
By Niraj Warikoo • Free Press Staff Writer • September 9, 2008

UPDATED AT 9:46 PM -- Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, a major Islamic leader in the U.S. who led thousands of African-American Muslims to orthodox Islam, died today at his Illinois home, his family said in a statement confirming earlier reports. He was 74.


Born and raised in Hamtramck, Mohammed, also known as Imam W.D. Mohammed, was the son of Nation of Islam leader and Michigan native Elijah Muhammad. After his father’s death, Mohammed transformed the Nation from a black nationalist organization into a group that embraced a more mainstream Islam that rejected racial and ethnic divisions.

He was considered to be the biggest Muslim leader in the U.S. among African-Americans and probably had more followers than any other Muslim leader in the U.S., say Muslims.

In metro Detroit, Muslims were stunned to hear of his death. He had spoken 10 days ago at a Detroit convention of his followers. During his Friday sermon, he repeatedly praised Jesus and stressed the importance of living a moral life.

“To us, he was more than just an imam and a teacher. He was a father figure for us,” said Dawud Walid, an assistant imam at Masjid Wali Muhammad, which was named by Mohammed after he left the Nation of Islam. “History will show that he has been thus far the greatest Muslim leader in the history of America.”

Walid was a student of Mohammed and was shocked to hear of his death.

“From God we come, and to him we return,” said Mohammed’s nephew, Sultan Muhammad. “Imam W.D. Mohammed’s passing is a great loss not only to Muslims in America and around the world, but in particular to his family. We would ask for prayers for him.”

“He was a reviver of the religion,” said Imam Abdullah El-Amin, head of the Muslim Center in Detroit. “He saved a lot of lives, including mine…He brought a whole lot of people to the correct worship of Islam, almost with just a wave of his hand.”

Kyle Ismail, 35, a Muslim leader from Chicago, said he spoke today with Mohammed’s daughter, Laila Mohammed, who told him that her father had died.

“He gave us everything,” said Ismail, who just saw Mohammed on Saturday.

After Mohammed broke from the racial teachings of the Nation of Islam, Minister Louis Farrakhan then later broke away from Mohammed and formed his own separate group. While Farrakhan often got more media attention, Mohammed attracted a greater number followers, according to his supporters.

On Aug. 29, Mohammed spoke to thousands inside a hall in Cobo Center.

“He's a superb leader," said Nadir Ahmad, 58, of Detroit, before his lecture. "He has a sober message of good morals, but also a commonsense approach to life and religion."

In his talk, Mohammed urged personal responsibility and praised Jesus and Muhammad, Islam's founder, saying both were great teachers.

He stood on the podium slightly hunched over, a compact man with glasses and a modest brown suit who spoke in measured tones.

"We all ... should be trying to be Christlike," he said.

Ahmad said Mohammed "has always called for cooperation between faiths."

Contact NIRAJ WARIKOO at warikoo@freepress.com
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 10, 2008 07:14 AM »

By SOPHIA TAREEN, Associated Press Writer
Tue Sep 9, 9:41 PM ET

CHICAGO - Imam W.D. Mohammed, who succeeded his father as leader of the Nation of Islam but abandoned its teachings of black supremacy and moved thousands of its followers into mainstream Islam, died Tuesday. He was 74.

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 Mohammed died at his home in Markham, Ill., according to a family statement issued late Tuesday by his nephew, Sultan Muhammad. Details of his death were not immediately released.

"We ask that you pray for our father and leader," the statement said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner said 74-year-old Wallace Mohammed was pronounced dead Tuesday. Mohammed went by both Warith Deen Mohammed and Wallace Muhammad. An autopsy was planned for Wednesday.

"Obviously, it's a great loss for the entire Muslim community," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Michigan, where Mohammed led a convention last month. "He was encouraging his followers to accept the best of their humanity and to extend the moral and ethical values of Islam to the general American public."

When Mohammed's father, Elijah Muhammad, died in 1975, his son was named leader of the Chicago-based Nation of Islam, which promoted self-reliance and black supremacy, a belief that mainstream Muslims consider heretical.

Mohammed quickly abandoned that teaching and led the Nation toward orthodox Islam, emphasizing the faith's message of racial tolerance. He had been a friend of Malcolm X, who abandoned the Nation to embrace mainstream Islam before he was assassinated in 1965.

Minister Louis Farrakhan, who broke with Mohammed over the move to orthodox Islam, separately revived the old Nation of Islam.

Farrakhan and Mohammed reconciled in 2000 through meetings and a joint public appearance at a Friday prayer in Chicago. Still, Mohammed remained critical of many Nation of Islam leaders.

"The time for those leaders who had that hate rhetoric has come and passed — and they know it," Mohammed said in an interview last year in Little Rock, Ark. "For the last 10 years or more, they've just been selling wolf tickets to the white race and having fun while they collect money and have fancy lifestyles."

The Nation of Islam didn't immediately return telephone messages seeking comment.

Born in 1933 in the Detroit area, Mohammed was the seventh of eight children. He was interested in Islam from an early age, said Lawrence Mamiya, a religion professor at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

"He was a great African-American Muslim leader who opened up Islam to the wider American public," Mamiya said.

In 1990, Mohammed was the first Muslim to open the U.S. Senate with prayer.

"His intrinsic intelligence and high academic acumen made him wise, but his kind heart and charitable character is what made him so beloved," Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., who is Muslim, said in a statement Tuesday. "I extend my sympathies to his family and friends as they mourn his passing."

No one knows the size of Mohammed's movement, which was decentralized with many leaders and many entities, including The Mosque Cares. However, the number of his followers is believed to be in the tens of thousands.

The movement included not only mosques nationwide, but many business projects, which reflected the continued emphasis on black economic self-reliance that had been part of the Nation of Islam's mission.

The movement's decentralization makes it unclear who will succeed Mohammed.

Jimmy Jones, a Muslim chaplain and religion professor at Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y., joined Mohammed's movement in 1979, during the transition toward orthodox Islam.

"He asked the believers to stop reading and learning what his father had taught and start listening to him," Jones said after learning of Mohammed's death from a movement leader.

Mohammed changed his name several times from his birth name, Wallace Muhammad, to Warith Deen Muhammad and W.D. Mohammed. Jones said the renaming partly reflected the imam's struggle to maintain a triple identity: Muslim, African-American and American.

"He was trying to move a community that called itself an Islamic community closer to Islam without losing its roots and trying to situate itself in the context of American culture," Jones said.

Mohammed's businesses included importing clothing, developing skin care products and real estate development. Among the social service work he championed was promoting education, improving access to health care and supporting convicts after they were released from prison.

___

Associated Press writers Rachel Zoll in New York and Jeff Karoub in Detroit contributed to this report.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Quote
In 1990, Mohammed was the first Muslim to open the U.S. Senate with prayer.

Allahu Akbar!  Imagine that!  May Allah reward his efforts in Janna-tul-Firdows, Ameen.


The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 12, 2008 07:40 AM »

Thousands gather in Villa Park for funeral of Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Thousands who attended funeral for W. Deen Mohammed are example of his teachings, they say

By Margaret Ramirez and Noreen Ahmed-Ullah

Chicago Tribune reporters

11:29 PM CDT, September 11, 2008
 

As they raised the silver coffin holding the body of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, about 8,000 Muslims who gathered Thursday for the outdoor funeral service prayed in one voice, "Allahu Akbar, God is great!"

The momentous event to pay final respects to one of the nation's most prominent Muslim leaders began with mourning. But by the time their leader's body had been laid to rest, the diverse crowd of Muslims said longtime divisions felt healed and they had been united, at least for one day, by the man who spent his life trying to connect them.

"I'm compelled by his legacy to be here today . . . . He personally brought me to where I am today," said Imam Siraj Wahhaj, spiritual leader of the Al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y. "He means so much to Islam in America. No doubt about it. He represents the bridge from the old Nation of Islam to orthodox Islam."

Mohammed, 74, was the son of the late Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad. In 1975, he boldly denounced his father's black nationalist teachings and converted thousands of African-Americans to mainstream Islam. He became known as a pioneer for his outspokenness on integrating the Muslim religion with the American identity. One of his major concerns was uniting the African-American and immigrant Muslim communities.

He was pronounced dead Tuesday of heart disease and complications from diabetes.

His religious reformation pushed Minister Louis Farrakhan to split from Mohammed's community in 1977 and revive the Nation of Islam under its original teachings of black superiority. The two men were bitter rivals for nearly 25 years, but reconciled in 1999.

At the Thursday burial, Farrakhan bowed his head and prayed as the casket was lowered to the ground. He spoke briefly, enjoining Mohammed's followers to continue his work.

"Hold fast to the rope of Allah and be not disunited," he said, adding that Mohammed "gave us a lot."

Community leaders estimated that thousands of Muslims of all ages and ethnicities traveled to the Islamic Foundation of Villa Park for the service. As the buses and cars packed into the parking lots and sidewalks, organizers decided to hold the service outdoors on a lawn the size of a football field.

Samia van Hattum, 30, of New Mexico, said she counted license plates from at least 18 states in the parking lot of the mosque, a sign of the national reach Mohammed held in the Islamic community.

"It just makes me happy, no overjoyed, to see everyone come together," van Hattum said.

Sherman Jackson, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, said the mass crowd reflected Mohammed's influence.

"That's the measure of the man and the level of recognition that he enjoys across the spectrum," he said.

Another attendee, Kishla Porter-Lang, 34, said she drove all night from Maryland with her husband, Tariq Lang, 44, to attend the service. Tariq Lang said he was 11 when his family moved to traditional Islam and away from Nation of Islam teachings.

Altogether, there were about 100,000 people who came into mainstream Islam with Mohammed, Tariq Lang said.

Since 2001, Sept. 11 has become a day "for [Muslims] to feel bad," Lang said. As he looked out at the congregation praying on the lawn outside the mosque, he said, "Now this is a day for us to be proud."

"People are here today and are not hiding . . . [we're] not even thinking what others are thinking," he said.

In 1975, Mohammed succeeded his father as head of the Nation of Islam, a religious movement that blends black nationalism with the Islamic faith. He immediately made reforms to move its followers to more orthodox Islam, prompting a mix of praise, dissent and death threats.

As leader, he transformed the organization, taught members about the Quran, and how to prostrate themselves in prayer on the floor like Muslims all over the world. He ended racial exclusion and even said whites could join.

In the last decade of his life, Mohammed focused more on his non-profit ministry, The Mosque Cares, which is based in south suburban Hazel Crest. He also worked on building interfaith relations, meeting with Christians and Jews.

Mohammed was buried at the Mt. Glenwood Cemetery in Glenwood, a few steps from the grave of his father, Elijah Muhammad. After prayers were said and people paid their respects by putting dirt over the casket, many stopped by to pray at the grave of Elijah Muhammad.

Many like Yusuf Muwwakkil, 64, who drove from Atlanta, said Farrakhan's attendance at the service symbolized a historic moment of reconciliation for the two groups that splintered from Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam.

"That's a beautiful thing," he said.
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 12, 2008 07:20 PM »

Thoughts After Attending The Janazah of Imam W. D. Mohammed
http://muslimmatters.org/2008/09/12/thoughts-after-attending-the-janazah-of-imam-w-d-mohammed/

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« Reply #7 on: Sep 14, 2008 07:58 AM »

the truth hurts. -- J.


--------------------------------------
An Apology
Heartfelt reflections on the passing of a legendary Blackamerican Muslim leader


by Azhar Usman


On September 11th, 2008, while countless American flags whipped in the wind and the television and radio waves were dominated by remembrances, recordings, and stories about the terror attacks of seven years ago, I attended the funeral of Imam W.D. Mohammed (may God be pleased with him). For me, it was a somber day, but I found myself mostly lost in thought: about African-American Muslim communities, about the challenges ahead in American Muslim institution- building, and about the future of Islam in America. If you don't know who Imam WDM was, you should look him up. The Sufis say: "The true sage belongs to his era." And of the many gifts given to Imam WDM by God, perhaps the most obvious and beneficial one was the Imam's profound understanding of the principles of religion, and his adeptness at intelligently applying those Islamic principles in a socially and culturally appropriate manner befitting the everyday lives of his North American followers. While carefully respecting sound, traditional jurisprudential methodologies of the Islamic religion, and the collective religious history and time-honored scholarship of classical Islam, he promulgated creative ideas and dynamic teachings across many domains of human endeavor, including theology, law, spirituality and even ethics and aesthetics, that together articulated a vision for a quintessentially "American Muslim" cultural identity. And he did all of this before anyone else, with quiet strength and unending humility—a true sage indeed.
 
So I stood before his final resting place, brokenhearted. And I suddenly began to feel the weight of the moment, realizing that when God takes back one of his dearly beloved friends, those who are left behind should cry not for the deceased, but rather for themselves. For the fact that they are now without one of God's friends in their midst, and, in a sense, the y are orphaned. And the tears began to well up, for I became acutely aware that I was standing in front of the grave of my spiritual grandfather, who was himself a spiritual descendant of Bilal al-Habashi (may God be pleased with him), the mighty and beloved companion of the Prophet himself. Bilal was the first Black African to convert to al-Islam at the hands of the Prophet Muhammad (may God bless him and keep him) in the sands of Arabia nearly a thousand and a half years ago. Undoubtedly, some measure of that love, mercy, compassion, and spiritual stature that inhabited the heart of Bilal has found its way down through the ages, and I found myself begging God to transfer to my own heart some glimpse of these realities now laying before me.
 
Almost five years ago, my business partner, Preacher Moss (who is a member of the WDM community) founded the standup comedy tour "Allah Made Me Funny," and he invited me to be his co-founder. Needless to say, it has been nothing less than an honor to work with him on the project. But to many, it was an unusual pairing: a Black comic and an Indian comic? Both Muslims? Working together? And before we ever even announced our partnership publicly, we met privately and swore an allegiance to one another—a blood oath of sorts—which was this: No matter what happens, in good times and i n bad, we have to be the brothers no one expects us to be. And built on this promise (and premise), we brought on our first collaborator, Brother Azeem (who is a member of Minister Farrakhan's NOI), with whom we toured for over two years (2004-2006) before parting ways amicably. Then we brought Mohammed Amer onto the team in the fall of 2006 (a Kuwaiti-born Palestinian refugee who grew up in a Sunni Muslim family in Houston, Texas). Mo, Preach, and I are still going strong together, and we are grateful for the unqualified support, love, and blessings that Imam WDM and the entire community have always given us.
 
But today, as I observed the funeral proceedings, I felt sad and heavy-hearted. Something wasn't sitting right. Something was physically paining my heart, and it felt like remorse, shame perhaps, maybe even guilt. I began to realize that the tears flowing from my eyes were as much a function of these feelings as they were any lofty spiritual aspirations of mine.
 
You see, I attended an interfaith event a couple of years ago on 9/11. A group had assembled to commemorate the tragic event, to honor those who perished that day, and to pledge ongoing inter-community support and bridge-build ing to fight ignorance, hate, and intolerance. At that event, there was this short, middle-aged, sweet, extremely kindhearted, White Christian woman. When she took the microphone to speak, she was already teary-eyed, and I assumed that she was going to make some comments about the victims of 9/11, as so many others already had that night.
 
But she didn't do that. Instead, she explained that she had become utterly grief-stricken by the constant barrage of news stories she witnessed about Muslims and Arabs being harassed, profiled, and mistreated after 9/11. She explained that she felt powerless to do anything about it, and that it made her sick to her stomach to hear of hate crimes against Muslims and Arabs, and especially to hear of Christian preachers denigrating Islam and its Prophet. She started to cry, and so did many others in the room, humbled by the magnanimity of this simple woman.
 
And then she did what I thought was a strange thing: she apologized. She prefaced her apology with all the logical disclaimers, such as "I know this may mean nothing to you," and "I know that I am not the one who did these horrible things," and "I know that you may dismiss this as empty rhetoric until20you see some follow-up action on my part, but anyway," she continued, "I want to apologize on behalf of all the Christians and all non-Muslims and non-Arabs who have been attacking your communities, harassing your people, and accusing your religion of all these horrible things. I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry." I was stunned. Speechless, in fact. Though all of her disclaimers were true, and my skeptical mind knew it, her apology melted our hearts. Here was this powerless servant of God sharing some of her most deeply felt emotional vulnerabilities, and she was apologizing to Muslims for something she didn't even do? Jesus (may God bless him and keep him) once famously remarked: "Make the world your teacher," and so I immediately took this woman as a lesson in humility. Admitting her powerlessness made her incredibly powerful.
 
And this brings me to the point (and title) of this essay. I would like to unburden myself of something that has been sitting like a ton of bricks on my heart for my entire life. I want to apologize to my Blackamerican brothers and sisters in Islam. I know that this apology may not mean very much; and I know that our American Muslim communities have a LONG way to go before we can have truly healthy political conciliation and de-racialized religious cooperation; and I know that I am not the one who is responsible for so much of the historical wrongdoing of so-called "immigrant Muslims"—wrongdoings that have been so hurtful, and insulting, and degrading, and disrespectful, and dismissive, and marginalizing, and often downright dehumanizing.
 
But anyway, for every "Tablighi" brother who may have had "good intentions" in his own subjective mind, but behaved in an utterly insensitive and outrageous manner toward you when he suggested that you need to learn how to urinate correctly, I'm sorry.
 
And for every Pakistani doctor who can find money in his budget to drive a Lexus and live in a million-dollar house in suburbia, and who has the audacity to give Friday sermons about the virtues of "Brotherhood in Islam," while the "Black mosque" can't pay the heating bills or provide enough money to feed starving Muslim families just twenty miles away, I'm sorry.
 
And for every Arab speaker in America who makes it his business to raise millions and millions of dollars to provide "relief" for Muslim refugees around the world, but turns a blind eye to the plight of our very own20Muslim sisters and brothers right here in our American inner cities just because, in his mind, the color black might as well be considered invisible, I'm sorry.
 
And for every liquor store in the "hood" with a plaque that says Maashaa' Allah hanging on the wall behind the counter, I'm sorry.
 
And for every news media item or Hollywood portrayal that constantly reinforces the notion that "Muslim=foreigner" so that the consciousness of Blackamerican Muslims begins even to doubt itself (asking "Can I ever be Muslim enough?"), I'm sorry.
 
And for every Salafi Muslim brother (even the ones who used to be Black themselves before converting to Arab) who has rattled off a hadith or a verse from Koran in Arabic as his "daleel" to Kafirize you and make you feel defensive about even claiming this deen as your own, I'm sorry.
 
And for every time you've been asked "So when did you c onvert to Islam?" even though that question should more properly have been put to your grandparents, since they became Muslims by the grace of God Almighty back in the 1950s, and raised your parents as believers, and Islam is now as much your own inheritance as it is the one's posing that presumptuous, condescending question, I'm sorry.
 
And for every time some Muslim has self-righteously told you that your hijab is not quite "Shariah" enough, or your beard is not quite "Sunnah" enough, or your outfit is not quite "Islamic" enough, or your Koranic recitation is not quite "Arabic" enough, or your family customs are not quite "traditional" enough, or your worldview is not quite "classical" enough, or your ideas are not "authentic" enough, or your manner of making wudu is not quite "Hanafi," "Shafi," "Maliki," or "Hanbali" enough, or your religious services are not quite "Masjid" enough, or your chicken is not quite "Halal" enough, I'm sorry.
 
And for every Labor Day weekend when you've felt divided in your heart, wondering "When will we ever do this thing right and figure out how we can pool our collective resources to have ONE, big convention?, " I'm sorry.
 
And for every time a Muslim has tried to bait you with a question about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, trying to force you to condemn him—turning it into some sort of binary litmus test of true iman—with reckless and irresponsible disregard for the historical fact that he was among the first Black men in America to ever do anything meaningful for the upliftment and betterment of Black people, I'm sorry.
 
And for every time you've heard of an African-American brother who tried to bring home a South Asian or Arab sister to meet his parents, only to learn that her parents would rather commit suicide than let their daughter marry a "Black Muslim" (a/k/a "Bilalian brother"), even as they cheer hypocritically at stadium style speeches by Imams Siraj Wahhaj, Zaid Shakir, Johari Abdul Malik, or others—or get in line to bring one of them to speak at their multi-million dollar fundraiser for yet another superfluous suburban mosque, I'm sorry.
 
I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry. From the bottom of my heart, I want every African-American Muslim brother and sister to know that I am ashamed of this treatment that you have received and, in many cases, continue to receive, over the decades. I want you to know that I am aware of it. I am conscious of the problem. (Indeed, I am even conscious that I myself am part of the problem since curing hypocrisy begins by looking in the mirror.) I am not alone in this apology. There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of young American Muslims just like me, born to immigrant parents who originate from all over the Muslim world. We get it, and we too are sick of the putrid stench of racism within our own Muslim communities. Let us pledge to work on this problem together, honestly validating our own and one another's insecurities, emotions, and feelings regarding these realities. Forgiveness is needed to right past wrongs, yet forgiveness is predicated on acknowledging wrongdoing and sincerely apologizing. Let us make a blood oath of sorts.
 
When the bulldozer came to place the final mounds of dirt over the tomb of Imam WDM, I was standing under a nearby tree, under the light drizzle that had just begun (perhaps as a sign of mercy dropping from the heavens as the final moments of the burial were drawing to a close), and I was talking to a dear friend and sister in faith, whose family has been closely aligned with Imam WDM for=2 0decades. She shared with me a story that her father had just related to her about the passing of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975 (the same year I was born, incidentally) . She told me that her father described the scene in the immediate aftermath of Elijah's demise: utter confusion and chaos within the NOI and the communities surrounding it. There was much debate and discord about what direction the NOI would take, and many were still in shock and denial that the founder had actually died. Out of the midst of that confusion arose Imam WDM, and along with his strong leadership came an even more, perhaps surprisingly courageous direction: the path away from the Black nationalism, pan-Africanism, and proto-religious beliefs of his father, and instead the unequivocal charge toward mainstream Islam, the same universal and cosmopolitan faith held and practiced by over a billion adherents worldwide. In this manner, her father explained, the death of Elijah Muhammad became a definitive end to a chapter in our collective history, and the resulting re-direction by Imam WDM marked the beginning of the next, far better, chapter in that unfolding history.
 
Maybe I am just an idealistic fool, or maybe Pharaoh Sanders was right about the Creator's Master Plan, but I sincerely believe that all we have to do—all of us together: Black folks, South Asians (Indian s, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis) , Arabs from every part of the Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asians (Indonesians and Malaysians), Persians, Turks, Latinos, assorted Muslims of all stripes, colors, and backgrounds, and yes, even our White Muslim brothers and sisters—is live up to a simple promise to one another: No matter what happens, in good times and in bad, we have to be the brothers and sisters no one expects us to be.
 
It is hoped that the passing of Imam WDM will also mark the end of a chapter in our collective American Muslim history, and perhaps now, in earnest, we can all look together toward The Third Resurrection.
 
May God mend our broken hearts, lift our spirits, purify our souls, heal the rifts between our communities, unify our aims, remove our obstacles, defeat our enemies, and bless and accept our humble offerings and service.
 
 
 
------------ --------- --------- --------- ----
 
© 2008 Azhar Usman | 10 Ramadan 1429 | 11 September 2008
 
About the Author
Azhar Usman is a Chicago-based, full-time standup comedian. He is co-founder of "Allah Made Me Funny—The Official Muslim Comedy Tour," which has toured extensively all over the world. He is frequently interviewed, profiled, and quoted in the press, and he is an advisor to the Inner-city Muslim Action Network's Arts and Culture programs. Mr. Usman is also a co-founding board member of The Nawawi Foundation, a non-profit American Muslim research institution. He considers himself a citizen of the world and holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Minnesota Law School. Born and raised in Chicago, his parents originally hail from Bihar, India.
 
DISCLAIMER: The views and emotions expressed in this essay are those of the author and are not necessarily held, advocated, or even endorsed by any of the institutions with which he may be affiliated.
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 14, 2008 09:37 AM »

Allahu Akbar!  Subhannallah!  How true.

Who among our community worldwide - not only in America - is bold enough to say what he has said above? 

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May God mend our broken hearts, lift our spirits, purify our souls, heal the rifts between our communities, unify our aims, remove our obstacles, defeat our enemies, and bless and accept our humble offerings and service.

Ameen, Ameen, Ameen.

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Maybe I am just an idealistic fool, or maybe Pharaoh Sanders was right about the Creator's Master Plan, but I sincerely believe that all we have to do—all of us together: Black folks, South Asians (Indian s, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis) , Arabs from every part of the Middle East and North Africa, Southeast Asians (Indonesians and Malaysians), Persians, Turks, Latinos, assorted Muslims of all stripes, colors, and backgrounds, and yes, even our White Muslim brothers and sisters—is live up to a simple promise to one another: No matter what happens, in good times and in bad, we have to be the brothers and sisters no one expects us to be.

Yes, we can.  If the will is there.

This reminded me of something one of my sisters, my immediate follower - Amina - once said after listening to some people in my house talking of castes within my community.  She said:  "Listen people, when all is said and done, those who will go to Jahanam (hell fire) in the hereafter, are the ones who will truly be worse than the castes you are talking about.  For in Allah SWT's eyes, there is no castes.  Remember that whenever you try to stigmatize people."

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DISCLAIMER: The views and emotions expressed in this essay are those of the author and are not necessarily held, advocated, or even endorsed by any of the institutions with which he may be affiliated.

Ironic, isn't it?

The Almighty Allah says,

"When a servant thinks of Me, I am near.
When he invokes Me, I am with him.
If he reflects on Me in secret, I reply in secret,
And if he acknowledges Me in an assembly,
I acknowledge him in a far superior assembly."

- Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as reptd by Abu Huraira
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 14, 2008 05:25 PM »

salaam

This made me cry like many of the other posts but I never used to say bc I didnt want to put one-liners. Since I am saying this I also wanted to tell you Jannah (when we were on the old board) I did read what you wrote about the man in your community who was tricked and imprisoned. That really made me all heavy heartd Embarrassed

bak to the story:
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I am not alone in this apology. There are literally thousands, if not tens of thousands of young American Muslims just like me, born to immigrant parents who originate from all over the Muslim world. We get it, and we too are sick of the putrid stench of racism within our own Muslim communities.
he couldn t be more right about that.

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May God mend our broken hearts, lift our spirits, purify our souls, heal the rifts between our communities, unify our aims, remove our obstacles, defeat our enemies, and bless and accept our humble offerings and service.
Ameen.
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« Reply #10 on: Sep 14, 2008 08:52 PM »

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Since I am saying this I also wanted to tell you Jannah (when we were on the old board) I did read what you wrote about the man in your community who was tricked and imprisoned.

there were two men. pls make dua for them and their families. and for aafia sididiqui and all the many others.

ws
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« Reply #11 on: Sep 15, 2008 04:38 AM »

As-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji'oon.

I really think there needs to be a documentary/movie about this man's life. I mean, what a life. What a historical figure for American Muslims, subhan'Allah, and I'm honored to have been alive in the same time period as him, and others like him.

Most 1st-generation Muslims and their families will likely never know what an impact he had if there isn't more media play on him (a book, even...unless I missed it). I mean, all of us who have felt any bit of "pride" when hearing recent statistics on the American Muslim population don't think of him, but he's directly related to Islam being #2. Allahu A'lim.

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"My Lord! Increase me in knowledge." (Qur'aan 20.114)
"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (23:109)
"And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves..."(3:10)
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