Mohammed, W. Deen

Imam W. Deen Mohammed was born Wallace Fard Muhammad in 1933, son of Elijah Muhammad, charismatic leader of the Nation of Islam, and his wife Clara. He later changed his name to Warith Deen, meaning “the heir of the religion” in Arabic, and altered the spelling of his last name. Although twice expelled for questioning his father’s teachings, W. Deen was appointed Elijah Muhammad’s successor in 1975. However, he soon led the movement away from Black nationalist separatism to integration with Sunni Muslim belief and practice. Today, the Ministry of W. Deen Mohammed serves a loose federation of hundreds of independent schools and mosques, and publishes The Muslim Journal newspaper.