Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, a major Islamic leader in the United States who led thousands of African-American Muslims to orthodox Islam, died Tuesday in Illinois. He was 74.
Born and raised in Hamtramck, Mohammed, also known as W.D. or Wallace Mohammed, was the son of Nation of Islam leader and Michigan native Elijah Muhammad.
After his father’s death, Mohammed transformed the Nation of Islam from a black nationalist organization into a group that embraced a more mainstream Islam and rejected racial and ethnic divisions.
He was considered to be the biggest Muslim leader in the United States among African Americans and may have had more followers than any other Muslim leader in the country, supporters said. Mohammed became known as a national leader who worked with other faiths and was the first Muslim to lead prayers in the U.S. Senate.
In metro Detroit, Muslims were stunned to hear of his death. He had just spoken two weeks ago at a Detroit convention of his followers and was planning to speak in Detroit again later this month…