The Teachings of W. D. Muhammad Book 1, 1976

Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Malcolm Ali

Since its inception, in the spirit of Carter G. Woodson, Sapelo Square has commemorated Black History Month with daily Black Muslim History facts. This year, Sapelo Square is exploring the Muslim collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC). During Black History Month, we will display a different object each day from the collection, showing how the objects help tell the rich histories of Muslims of African descent in the United States. View the entire series at our dedicated Black History Month 2021 page.

In 1976, Imam W. D. Mohammed (then known as W. D. Muhammad) published The Teachings of W. D. Muhammad Book 1. Bound in a green hardcover with gold embossing, the front features a drawing of a person whose index fingers are pointing to the mind. Inside the mind is the phrase “Al Qur’an” written in Arabic on the pages of an open book, with the rising sun behind it. These symbols later evolved into the elements on the flag representing Imam Mohammed’s ministry: an open Qur’an emanating rays of light. Imam Mohammed published several books throughout his career that offered tafsir (Qur’anic interpretation), religious instruction, and community guidance.

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