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Nation of Islam

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Famous leaders
Wallace Fard Muhammad · Elijah Muhammad · Malcolm X · Warith Deen Mohammed · Louis Farrakhan

History and beliefs
Saviours' Day · Nation of Islam and antisemitism · Tribe of Shabazz · Yakub · Million Man March

The Final Call · How to Eat to Live · Message to the Blackman in America · Muhammad Speaks

Subsidiaries and offshoots
American Society of Muslims · Fruit of Islam · The Nation of Gods and Earths · New Black Panther Party · United Nation of Islam · Your Black Muslim Bakery

The American Society of Muslims is a predominantly African-American association of Muslims which is the direct descendent of the original Nation of Islam. The group largely accepted beliefs and practices based on mainstream Islam, which was created by Warith Deen Mohammed after he took control of the Nation of Islam in 1975.



After the 1975 death of Elijah Muhammad, his son Warith Deen Mohammed took over leadership of the Nation of Islam. He quickly rejected many of his father's views, including black separatism and belief in the divinity of Wallace Fard Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam. He was "determined to bring it into conformity with mainstream Sunni Islam".[1] In 1976 he changed the name of the organization to World Community of Islam in the West. In 1981 it changed again to American Muslim Mission, a name that was retained until 1985. Finally it settled on the American Society of Muslims.[2]

In 1978, Louis Farrakhan resigned from Warith Deen's reformed organization, and with a number of supporters decided to rebuild the original Nation of Islam upon the foundation established by Wallace Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad.

Warith Deen Mohammed and Farakhan retained control of their rival groups before a phase of rapprochement in the 1990s.

In the July 7, 1999 issue of the Wall Street Journal an article cited the growing number of Muslims in the American Society Of Muslims under the leadership of Imam Mohammed. In 2002 its numbers were estimated at near 2.5 million persons with a percentage of immigrant and naturalized American citizens from various Muslim ethnic peoples, European Americans, and a majority of African Americans representing five generations since the earliest history of Elijah Mohammed's leadership (1933) and in some cases before.[3]

Warith Deen resigned from the leadership of the American Society of Muslims on August 31, 2003, citing as his reason that the imams within the organization continued to resist his reforms.[2][4][5]


The aim of the American Society of Muslims (Community of Imam W. Deen Mohammad) is the establishment of Islamic community life in America and the promotion of a positive image of Islam in America and the world. It organizes school accreditation, publications and business ventures related to Islamic communal life in America, including the sale and circulation of Halal food.

The organization's newspaper was changed from Muhammad Speaks to Bilalian News (after Bilal ibn Rabah) in 1975. In 1981 it became The Muslim Journal. It is edited by Ayesha K. Mustapha.[6]

After his father's death Warith Deen created the Clara Muhammad Schools[7], replacing the "University of Islam" founded by his father. The American Society of Muslims also operates a school system, which is "an association of 27 elementary, secondary, and high schools throughout the United States." The schools have been described by Zakiyyah Muhammad of the American Educational Research Association as "models of Islamic education that are achieving commendable results".[8]

External links


  1. ^ Geneive Abdo, Mecca and Main Street: Muslim Life in America After 9/11, Oxford University Press US, 2006, pp. 8-9
  2. ^ a b Chicago Tribune, Wednesday, Sept 10, 2008
  3. ^
  4. ^ Imam W.D. Muhammad, Leader of the Amercian Society of Muslims Resigns, Jet, Johnson Publishing Company, Sep 22, 2003, Vol. 104, No. 13
  5. ^ The Most Important Muslim You've Never Heard of
  6. ^ Rosemary Skinner Keller et al., Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America, Indiana University Press, 2006, p.752
  7. ^ 20th Anniversary of Mohammed Schools in Atlanta, Jan 20, 2000, Religious Diversity News The Atlanta Journal and Constitution
  8. ^ Zakiyyah Muhammad, "Faith and Courage to Educate our Own", in Joyce Elaine King, Black Education: A Transformative Research and Action Agenda for the New Century, American Educational Research Association. Commission on Research in Black Education, Routledge, 2005, p. 264.


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