Born October 30, 1933 to the late Clara and Elijah Muhammad, Wallace D. Mohammed's faithful innocence and encouraged study of the Qur'an led him to suspect the view of God and humanity given to his father by the mystic, W.D. Fard. Though "excommunicated" on two separate occasions for challenging the validity of the Nation of Islam's theology, on February 26, 1975 (the day following Elijah Mohammed's passing), he succeeded his father as leader of the Nation of Islam's members.
It is important to note that the Honorable Elijah Mohammed insisted that his people revere the Holy Book of Muslims, the Qur'an. Interestingly, the much adulated Malcom X only called into question the teachings of the Nation of Islam when he came to know the religion of Islam as it is commonly practiced around the world by more than 1 billion adherents. The idea of the Nation of Islam, as it was conceived by W.D. Fard and established by the Honorable Elijah Mohammed, was expected by its membership to change at the conclusion of Elijah Mohammed's life. In fact, the language Elijah Mohammed used had served that change.
Through his vision for the "harvest of followers," his father had attracted it far from the notorious and volatile image of the 'Black Muslims.' W. Deen Mohammed's aim has been strikingly consistent with Elijah Mohammed's noble intent to bring dignity and establishment to the African American people. Since 1975, the change and growth which has characterized Imam W. Deen Mohammed's leadership has been a progression toward satisfying the essentials of Muslim life and identity, and in the measure required by the authentic sources of the religion of Islam - the Holy Qur'an and the life example of Muhammed the Prophet (the prayers and the peace be on him).
Through the arduous steps of evolution from the 'Nation of Islam' (1930-1976) to the 'World Community of Al-Islam in the West' (1976-1981) to the 'American Muslim Mission' (1981-1985) Imam Mohammed has piloted his people to what is today a de-centralized and thriving society of Muslim Americans. With Mosques and schools in every major city in America and in parts of Canada and the Caribbean, he has garnered a respect and acceptance for Islam in the West not known before. The facts and details of his record of transforming a people-- depicted at the extreme of a " proto-Islamic* " idea combining Black nationalism and religion-- into a community of Muslim Americans esteemed in the international following of Muhammad the Prophet stands as testimony to his courage, dedication, wisdom. The message of Islam in its true practice, delivered by him for over twenty years to persons of every race, sex, and class-- leaders and common people alike-- has been a quiet yet resolute factor for increased tolerance, understanding, and cooperation between Americans of different ethnic and religious backgrounds. It is precisely this message that is destined to influence America and other nations across the globe to acknowledge and invest in their greatest single resource: the ability, excellence, and aspirations of common human life.
(* "proto-Islamic" is a term coined by Dr. C.Eric Lincoln in reference, to the theology of the Nation of Islam)