The Nation Of Islam
Islam: Truth or Myth?start page
The Nation Of Islam
The Nation Of Islam
In the summer of 1930, a peddler made his appearance in the black ghetto of Detroit. He gave the name of Wallace D. Fard. He is believed to have been of Arab descent, but this has not been documented. He went from door to door selling clothing and accessories, as well as artifacts. These, he claimed, were like those the ancestors of the blacks wore and used. As he peddled his goods, he told tales about the blacks of Africa that entranced his customers. This led to informal gatherings in homes in which he told the blacks about their land of origin.
At first, his talks focused on black history, culture and diet. He did not say much about politics or religion, but as time progressed, his focus became more and more politically and religiously oriented. Eventually, his disciples were introduced to the Qur'an. Later, his talks became bitter denunciations of the white race. His audiences became so large that they could no longer meet in homes. A hall was rented and named "The Temple of Islam." This is how the movement which calls itself "The Nation of Islam" and is called by detractors, "Black Muslims," came into being.
Fard soon built his following into a tightly knit cult that looked to him as "Ruler of the Universe." He established a university that was in reality a secondary school which emphasized the teaching of math and astronomy. It also focused on his teaching about the ending of the spook civilization.
Fard began a Muslim Girls Training Class that continues to today and still teaches the principles of home economics and how to be proper wives and mothers. He instituted a para-military unit called "Fruit of Islam" (FOI) to teach military tactics and the handling of firearms against the predicted day that whites would not tolerate their growth and prosperity.
He also set up the office of The Minister of Islam which, with the aid of a well trained staff, ultimately ran the whole organization. In three short years Fard has acquired some 8,000 followers. Under the direction of The Minister of Islam and his staff, the Nation of Islam continued to prosper. Fard retired from an openly active role in the direction of The Nation of Islam.
One of Fard's early disciples, Elijah Poole, was given the Muslim name Elijah Muhammad. He became one of Fard's favorites, and was ultimately named as the chief Minister of Islam. In June of 1934, only four years after he made his first appearance in Detroit, and shortly after Elijah Muhammad was named Minister of Islam, W. D. Fard completely and mysteriously disappeared.
With the disappearance of Fard, and under the leadership of Elijah Muhammad, the Nation of Islam lost some of its extreme hostile aggressiveness toward whites. Its focus became centered upon black social and economic advancement. The Nation of Islam still maintained its black supremacy theology; however, implementing black supremacy as a political reality was not part of their program. That was to be left in the hands of Allah. In a power struggle with those who were still more moderate, Elijah Muhammad was ousted from Detroit, and went to Temple #2 in Chicago. There, he regained most of his influence and implemented many major social programs that were designed to enhance the situation of the black man. One commentator writes, "The Black Muslims have come far under Muhammad. He has given them temples and schools, apartment houses and grocery stores, restaurants and farms. Most important of all, he has given them a new sense of dignity, a conviction that they are more than the equals of the white man whose tricknology is a constant threat to their well-being."
After a time, Elijah Muhammad's theology elevated Fard to the role of Allah incarnate, and himself to the role of the Prophet of Allah. This puts him firmly in the seat of power, and he will never be shaken from it.
One of Elijah Muhammad's most favored and influential disciples was born Malcolm Little, and renamed Malcolm X upon his conversion. New converts to the Nation of Islam were told to stop using their slave master name and apply to have an ethnically appropriate name given to them. Until it was given, they were referred to as "X." The X had a double meaning. It first indicated that their original name was still unknown. There was also the idea of "ex" incorporated in the name as well.
In November of 1963, after Malcolm X made his famous "chickens come home to roost" statement in regard to the assassination of JFK, Elijah Muhammad suspended him from all duties for a period of 90 days. This was the beginning of a rift that ended in the defection of Malcolm X in March of 1964. Malcolm X formed his own organization called The Muslim Mosque, Inc. and a secular counterpart, Afro-American Unity. He was assassinated February 21, 1964.
One of the obvious successors to Elijah Muhammad was his son, Warith Dean Muhammad. While they had been estranged for several years, they were reconciled prior to Elijah's death. W. D. Muhammad had visited Mecca and learned Arabic. He became a student of the Qur'an and genuine Islam. Upon his father's death, Warith Dean Muhammad made some significant changes in the Nation of Islam. In 1985, he disbanded the Nation of Islam, and led them into authentic Islam.
The majority followed his lead and abandoned the nationalistic goals of the Nation of Islam, replacing it with the community of Islam. However, a minority of about ten percent maintained their original doctrines and became known as "Ten-Percenters." The Ten-Percenters still call themselves The Nation of Islam and still hold to the teaching of W. D. Fard and Elijah Muhammad. They are basically a militant black supremacy movement.
The Nation of Islam professes to be Muslim and to adhere to the Qur'an. Those of the traditional sects of Islam do not consider the Nation of Islam to be genuinely Islamic. The Nation of Islam has to many spurious doctrines and teachings that conflict with the traditional perspective. They claim that they follow the Qur'an, but their interpretations again differ greatly from traditional Islam.
According to the Nation of Islam, Allah, (God) created man, and the man he created was black. They believe that Allah himself is the original and supreme black man. He is the supreme being among a mighty and powerful race of black men. In this The Nation of Islam differs strongly with the monotheism of traditional Islam.
It is the teaching of Elijah Muhammad that all black men today are a part of this God-race. The black race is thus divine and superior to all other races. Modern day blacks came into existence some 66 trillion years ago when a great explosion ripped the moon from the earth. These people were black and called the tribe of Shabazz. They explored the earth and settled the better places to live, two of which are the Nile Valley and Mecca. Again, neither the Qur'an nor the Bible support such a concept.
W. D. Fard taught that the white man is the result of genetic manipulation by an evil black scientist named "Yakub." Through a special method of birth control, Yakub bred the black out of his experimental creatures until they were white. This took about 600 years to accomplish. According to the theology of Elijah Muhammad, black really is the symbolic color of good and white symbolic color of evil. His reasoning is that all colors are present in black, and all colors are taken out of white. His conclusion is that the whiter Yakub's creatures became, the less good there was in them and the more evil there was in them. The final product was so evil, they became devils. Black Muslims call the white man Blue Eyed Devils and blame all of the suffering in the world upon them. The creation of the white man occurred some 6,600+ years ago. Again, this teaching is foreign to both the Qur'an and the Bible.
There is also a rather unique space man mythology associated with the Nation of Islam's teachings. Elijah Muhammad contended that it had been revealed to him by W. D. Fard, (Allah) that there was a great mother plane (aircraft/spaceship) which is really a small maneuverable planet that orbits as much as forty miles above the earth. Black scientists originally used the mother plane to raise the mountain ranges of the earth by dropping bombs. This great mother plane is equated with the wheel in the vision of Ezekiel. At some time in the future, Allah will bring this mother plane back into the earth's atmosphere and bomb the cities of the world. The bombs will burrow one mile beneath the cities, and then all explode at a given time. When this happens, the evil that is the unconverted white race will be purged from the world. This aspect of Elijah Muhammad's doctrine tends to be confusing, because, in the same speech, it starts off being a plane that must return to the atmosphere of the earth every six months of so and ends up being a small self-sustaining world. This doctrine, again, is foreign to both the Bible and the Qur'an.
One of the traditional Islamic convictions that the Nation of Islam adheres to is the unclean nature of pork. They are very scrupulous about abstaining from pork or any of its by-products. They refuse to knowingly use any product that has a pork or lard base. Soaps, cosmetics, or any other product that is made with a lard base is proscribed. A regularly published list of items that have pork in them is made available. While this is consistent with both the Qur'an and the Old Testament, it is not in harmony with the teachings of the New Testament.
One of the most consistent concepts that flows through the teachings of the Nation of Islam is its racial focus. Everything negative and bad that has happened to the black man is attributed to the white man. It is even claimed that Christianity is a white man's religion, and is not an appropriate religion for any black person. The natural and true religion of the black man is Islam as defined by the Nation of Islam. The sad social and economic plight of the black man can be blamed on the white man. The white man is said to have robbed the black of his true heritage by forcing the teachings of Christianity upon them while they were slaves. By forsaking the slave master's religion and turning to Islam, they are reclaiming their true religion. Thus, Christianity becomes the religion of slavery for the black. The racial focus of the Nation of Islam, the elevation of the black race above all others, and the disparagement of the white race, are serious conflicts with traditional Islam. Traditional Islam claims to be the true religion for all mankind, regardless of race. The Nation of Islam is not accepted or recognized as Islamic by any of the Islamic organizations.
How does one deal with the followers of the Nation of Islam? Many of their doctrines and positions are difficult to answer because they have little to do with reality. It is impossible to deal with these arguments. For these, perhaps the Proverbs give good instructions. In Proverbs 26:4-5 we read:
Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
When dealing with those who are followers of the Nation of Islam, realize that from their perspective, a grave injustice has been done in the name of Christ, and that their charges are, in many aspects, just charges. The key is to defuse the racial issue and focus on Jesus. Defuse the racial issue by agreeing that great injustices were done. Even agree that there may not be much hope of great social change and improvement for the black man in the near future. This is a natural intensification of the need for Jesus.
You might also point out that Jesus was not a blue-eyed, white man with long hair, but a Jew, probably dark and swarthy of complexion. But other than the necessity to establish that he was a descendant of Abraham, it makes absolutely no difference what color Jesus was. What is important is what he did and why. Jesus, the creator of this world, lived a sinless life and died on the cross to pay for the sins of all men. He took my place. He died for my sin ... and he did this for all men regardless of color. Galatians 3:28 tells us: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." You can be sure that includes neither black nor white.
Nation of Islam also known as the World Community of Al-Islam in the West, American Muslim Mission, The Nation of Peace, the Black Muslim Movement, and NOI.
Differences Between the Nation of Islam and the Orthodox Muslim Church:
Followers of the Nation of Islam spiritually believe that:
Louis Farrakhan is the current head.
To continue the legacy of African Nationalist thought, Minister Louis Farrakhan broke from the group to reestablish the legacy of the NOI. "Farrakhan has picked up the baton from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and continues his legacy as his spiritual son." On October 16,1995 approximately a million black men came together for a day of unity, atonement, and reconciliation in Washington D.C. It was a march to strengthen the black community. This movement was envisioned by the controversial Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan organized the march to help dispel the negative image the public has of black males
The official membership of the Nation of Islam has been estimated to be an insignificant 19,000 - 30,000.
By Ney Rieber
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