Chauncey Bailey Project

Abdul Raab Muhammad

Abdul Raab Muhammad, 71, is the brother of the late Yusuf Ali Bey. He lives in Oakland, after spending some time in Las Vegas.

Born Billy Stephens in Colorado, he and his brother, known then as Joseph Stephens, made their way to California. When they converted to Islam in the mid-1960s, under the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, they began Muhammad’s Mosque in Santa Barbara.

Police have reopened their investigation into the unsolved 1968 murders of mosque members Wendell and Birdie Mae Scott. Two weeks after Wendell Scott complained to Nation of Islam leaders about an alleged car insurance scam by the Stephens brothers, he and his wife were shot in their bed with their two children in the next room. The initial probe focused on Billy Stephens, the mosque’s top minister, but he denied any involvement and no one was ever arrested. He lived directly below the Scotts’ apartment, was home the night of the killings and called police, though he did not report hearing gunshots. Also at the time, he was divorced from Birdie Mae’s sister, whom he remarried five weeks after the murders; they divorced again in 1976.

The Stephens brothers were sent to Oakland by Muhammad in 1970 and they started Shabazz Bakery during that time. With new names and titles, Billy X as minister, and Joseph X, as captain, opened Mosque 26B in Oakland across the bay from Mosque 26 in San Francisco, but tensions grew between the mosques. The brothers themselves split a year later, Joseph X becoming Yusuf Ali Bey, breaking from the Nation of Islam and starting the rival Your Bakery, which later was renamed Your Black Muslim Bakery.

Billy X became Abdul Raab Muhammad and stayed with the Nation of Islam for 44 years.

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