Warith Deen Mohammed was born Wallace D. Muhammad on October 30, 1933. He was the seventh child of The Most Honorable Elijah and Mother Clara Muhammad. He attended Muhammad University of Islam on the South Side of Chicago and learned Arabic in order to read the Qu'ran in the original Arabic. As a boy, Mohammed received religious training in the Nation. In 1958 he was appointed minister of Temple No. 12 in Philadelphia.
In 1960, Wallace Muhammad, was convicted of draft evasion and
in 1961 he was sentenced to prison.
It was February 1963, when Mohammed was 35 that he was released from prison. He found the NOI in a sensitive state with the COINTELPRO intervening, sending spies in the Nation to try to disrupt and create factions in it, and the National Spokesperson, Malcolm X, on the verge of leaving.
Though in 1975, after the departure of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad told his followers to listen to Minister Farrakhan, Wallace assumed leadership of the Nation of Islam. He soon brought drastic changes to the Nation which
resulted in the splintering of the
NOI. Within a year he changed the
name to World Community of al-Islam in the West and his name to Warith Deen Mohammed. He reconstructed the then Nation of Islam to a more mainstream Islamic view, Sunni Islam.
Minister Farrakhan and Imam Mohammed at a tribute dinner in honor of The Muhammad Family at Saviours’ Day 2000.
In February of the year 2000 marking 70 years since the Nation of Islam
was founded, and 25 years after the departure of the Hon. Elijah
Muhammad, Imam Mohammed and Minister Farrakhan again publicly embraced
declaring unity before thousands in Chicago, Illinois to participate in
“An Islamic Family Reunion” to mark Saviours’ Day 2000.
Together they worked to
spread Islam in North America and abroad in fulfillment of the vision and stated desire of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.