Nation of Islam: Difference between revisions

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
(Beliefs and theology)
(The Divide between NOI and Islam: Removing paragraph irrelevant to Muslim-NOI divide + unsourced (possibly plagarized) graph again, per talk page.)
Line 137: Line 137:
===The Divide between NOI and Islam===
===The Divide between NOI and Islam===
While the Nation of Islam postures itself as a part of the Universal Brotherhood of Islam, Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from NOI. On March 7, 1998 the Board of Ulema of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) issued a [[fatwa]] against the Nation of Islam. According to the AMI, the obligatory daily five prayers of Islam are not imposed upon the members of the Nation, and the ritual bowings and prostrations have been removed from prayers. Friday service consists of a sermon by a minister with an invocation, but the congregational prayer of two [[Raka'ah|Raka'ahs]] is not held. The Islamic fast in [[Ramadan]] has been made optional and [[Hajj]] is not required of the followers. <ref></ref>
While the Nation of Islam postures itself as a part of the Universal Brotherhood of Islam, Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from NOI. On March 7, 1998 the Board of Ulema of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) issued a [[fatwa]] against the Nation of Islam. According to the AMI, the obligatory daily five prayers of Islam are not imposed upon the members of the Nation, and the ritual bowings and prostrations have been removed from prayers. Friday service consists of a sermon by a minister with an invocation, but the congregational prayer of two [[Raka'ah|Raka'ahs]] is not held. The Islamic fast in [[Ramadan]] has been made optional and [[Hajj]] is not required of the followers. <ref></ref>
NOI founder Farad Muhammad (W.D. Fard) taught that the white race was produced thousands of years ago in a failed laboratory experiment by an evil wizard named Yacub. <ref>“The Nation of Islam: The Relentless Record of Hate.” Anti-Defamation League (New York):1995. p.3</ref> They state that it is impossible for blacks and whites to co-exist. <ref>“The Nation of Islam: The Relentless Record of Hate.” Anti-Defamation League (New York):1995. p.22</ref>
'''Table of comparison of Traditional Islam and Nation of Islam''':<ref name="Abraham Sarker 2004 pp. 90">Abraham Sarker (2004). ''Understand My Muslim People'', London: Barclay Press. p. 90</ref>
{| border="0" cellpadding="4" cellspacing="2" class="unsortable"
|- bgcolor="#CD1E1A"; color:white
!Traditional Islam
!Nation of Islam
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''God'''
|align=left |God is one, who has no partners
|align=left |God is one, whom came in the personage of Master Fard Muhammad the long awaited Mahdi of the Muslims
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''Muhammad'''
|align=left |The final prophet of Islam, no one comes after him
|align=left |The final Messenger of Islam, and the long awaited Messiah and Christ of the Human Family, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''Race'''
|align=left |All are equal regardless of color of skin, judged on behavior
|align=left |All are equal, judged on behavior but the Black Man was first
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''Creation'''
|align=left |God created the universe, first humans were Adam and Eve
|align=left |God created the universe, Black people are pre Adam and Eve
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''Qur'an'''
|align=left |Revealed to Muhammad from God through the Angel Gabriel
|align=left |Revealed to Muhammad from God through the Angel Gabriel, one part of a master book
|- bgcolor="#EBB5C2"
|align=left |'''Sharia law'''
|align=left |Sacred rules and laws of Islamic life, based on Qur'an and Sunnah
|align=left |Followed, with additional rules; no smoking, no selling of pork, no weapons, etc.
==Foreign Affiliations==
==Foreign Affiliations==

Revision as of 06:19, 1 February 2012

The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States.[1] The movement teaches black pride and principles of Islam. They teach that their founder Wallace Fard Muhammad is a Mahdi.[2]

After Fard's departure in June 1934, the Nation of Islam was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established mosques called Temples, Schools named Muhammad University of Islam, businesses and large real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. The Nation of Islam has grown into one of the wealthiest and best-known organizations in black America, offering numerous programs and events designed to uplift African Americans.[3]

The Nation of Islam produced notable leaders, such as Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan and Warith Deen Mohammed. The Nation of Islam's headquarter mosque, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2) is located in Chicago, IL and its leader is Minister Louis Farrakhan. Its newspaper The Final Call is the last of the national African-American newspapers. The Nation of Islam does not publish its membership numbers. The core membership of the Nation of Islam is believed to number between 20,000 and 50,000, but their following is believed to be larger. Most of the members are in the United States, but there are communities in other countries, including Canada, United Kingdom, France and Trinidad and Tobago.


The Nation of Islam was founded in Detroit, Michigan in July, 1930 by Wallace Fard Muhammad, also known as W. D. Fard Muhammad (1877–1934). The N.O.I. teaches that W. Fard Muhammad is both the "Messiah" of Christianity and the Mahdi of Islam. Within one year, he had approximately 25,000 followers who knew him as Prophet W.D. Fard, at Mosque of Islam #1.

Fard's assistant minister Elijah Muhammad succeeded him as head of the movement in 1934. Because of dissension within the Detroit temple, he moved to Chicago where he established Mosque No. 2. During World War II, he advised followers to avoid the draft, as he said the US did nothing for blacks. He was charged and convicted of violating the Selective Service Act and was jailed (1942–46).

Muhammad slowly built up the membership of the Black Muslims through recruitment in the postwar decades. His program called for the establishment of a separate nation for black Americans and the adoption of a religion based on the worship of Allah and on the belief that blacks are his chosen people. [4]

During this time the Nation of Islam attracted Malcolm Little. While in prison for robbery from 1946 to 1952, Little joined the Nation of Islam. He was influenced by his brother, Reginald, who had become a member in Detroit. Little quit smoking, gambling and eating pork, in keeping with the Nation's practices and dietary restrictions. He spent long hours reading books in the prison library, even memorizing a dictionary. He also sharpened his oratory skills by participating in debate classes. Following Nation tradition, he replaced his surname, “Little,” with an “X,” a custom among Nation of Islam followers who considered their surnames to have been imposed by white slaveholders after their African names were taken from them.

Malcolm X rose rapidly to become the minister of Boston Temple No. 11, which he founded; he was later rewarded with the post of minister of Temple No. 7. Elijah Muhammad named Malcolm X the National Representative of the Nation of Islam, his second in rank. Under Malcolm X's lieutenancy, the Nation claimed a membership of 500,000. Malcolm X left the Nation in March 1964 and in the next month founded Muslim Mosque, Inc., claiming, "I never left the Nation of Islam of my own free will. It was they who conspired with Captain Joseph here in New York to pressure me out of the Nation." [5]

In 1955, Louis Walcott joined the Nation of Islam. Following the custom of the Nation, he replaced his surname with an “X”. Louis X first proved himself at Temple No. 7 in Harlem, where he emerged as the protege of Malcolm X. Louis X was appointed head minister of Boston Temple No. 11, which Malcolm X had established earlier. He was given his Muslim name, Farrakhan, by Elijah Muhammad.

After Malcolm X's break with the Nation in 1964, Farrakhan replaced him as head minister of Harlem's Temple No. 7 and as the National Representative of the Nation, the second in command of the organization. Like his predecessor, Farrakhan was a dynamic, charismatic leader and a powerful speaker with the ability to appeal to the African-American masses. [6]

That year the young boxer Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr. knocked out Sonny Liston to become the heavyweight champion of the world. After winning the heavyweight championship, Clay announced that he had joined the Nation of Islam. After replacing his surname with an “X,” Clay was given his Muslim name, Muhammad Ali, by Elijah Muhammad. Based on the teachings of the Nation of Islam, Ali refused to acknowledge his military service after being drafted. He said that his religious beliefs prevented him from fighting in the Vietnam War.

In 1967, Ali put his personal values ahead of his career. The U.S. Department of Justice pursued a legal case against Ali, denying his claim for conscientious objector status. Although found guilty of refusing to be inducted into the military, Ali later cleared his name after a lengthy court battle. [7]

By the time Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, there were 75 NOI centers across America.[8] The Nation's leadership chose Wallace Muhammad, the fifth of Elijah's sons, not Louis Farrakhan, as the new Supreme Minister. He renamed the organization as "The World Community of Al-Islam in the West;" it later became the American Society of Muslims. He shunned his father's theology and black pride views, accepting whites as fellow worshipers and forging closer ties with mainstream Muslim communities in an attempt to bring the Nation of Islam closer into Sunni Islam.[9] W.D. Mohammed's organization would disband, change names and reorganize many times. It finally dissolved in August 31, 2003, after he resigned from the leadership.

In 1977, Louis Farrakhan resigned from Wallace Muhammed's reformed organization. He worked to rebuild the original Nation of Islam upon the foundation established by Wallace Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad. In 1981 he publicly displayed the revived Nation of Islam at Saviours' Day. Louis Farrakhan traveled the nation speaking in city after city, gaining followers. Many were young black college students. Over time, Minister Farrakhan regained many of the Nation of Islam's original properties, including the National Headquarters Mosque #2 in Chicago, IL. Currently, there are over 130 NOI mosques throughout the world.

In 1995, the Nation sponsored the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., to promote African-American unity and family values. Estimates of the number of marchers, most of whom were men, ranged from 400,000 to nearly 1.1 million, making it the largest gathering of its kind in United States history. Under Farrakhan's leadership, the Nation of Islam established a clinic for AIDS patients in Washington, D.C., and helped to force drug dealers out of public housing projects and private apartment buildings in the city. It also worked with gang members in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the Nation continued to promote social reform in African-American communities according to its traditional goals of self-reliance and economic independence.

In the early 21st century, the core membership of Farrakhan's Nation of Islam was estimated at between 10,000 and 50,000—though in the same period Farrakhan was delivering speeches that regularly attracted crowds of more than 30,000 in large cities across the United States. Under Farrakhan's leadership, the Nation was one of the fastest growing of the various Muslim movements in the country. Foreign branches of the Nation were formed in Ghana, London, Paris, and the Caribbean islands. In order to strengthen the international influence of the Nation, Farrakhan established relations with Muslim countries and, in the late 1980s, he cultivated a relationship with the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. After a near-death experience in 2000 resulting from complications from prostate cancer (he was diagnosed with cancer in 1991), Farrakhan toned down his racial rhetoric and attempted to strengthen relations with other minority communities, including Native Americans, Hispanics, and Asians. Farrakhan also moved his group closer to orthodox Sunni Islam in 2000, when he and Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, the leading American orthodox Muslim, recognized each other as fellow Muslims. [10]

Beliefs and theology

Nation of Islam leader (1981-Present) Louis Farrakhan.

The Nation of Islam (NOI) preaches adherence to the Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith. The NOI also teaches morality and personal decorum, emphasizing modesty, mutual respect, and discipline in dress and comportment. NOI adherents stress a healthy diet and physical fitness, do not consume pork or alcohol, and do not use drugs or tobacco. However, the Nation of Islam argues that because of the unique experience of the oppression and degradation of slavery, Elijah Muhammad used unique methods for introducing Islam to his people.

The main belief of The Nation of Islam and its followers is that there is no other God but Allah. They teach that their founder, Master Fard Muhammad was the Mahdi.[11] and that "Allah, came in the person of W. D. Fard."

The official beliefs of the Nation of Islam have been outlined in books, documents, and articles published by the organization, as well as speeches by Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan, and other ministers. Many of Elijah Muhammad's teachings may be found in Message to the Blackman in America and The True History of Jesus as Taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.[12]

Written lessons from 1930–1934 were passed from W. Fard Muhammad to his student, Elijah Muhammad. These were collected and entitled The Supreme Wisdom. The Nation of Islam continues to teach its followers that the present world society is segmented into three distinct categories. They teach that from a general perspective, 85% of the population are the "deaf, dumb and blind" masses of the people who "are easily led in the wrong direction and hard to lead in the right direction". Those 85% of the masses are said to be manipulated by 10% of the people. Those 10% rich "slave-makers" are said to manipulate the 85% masses of the people through ignorance, the skillful use of religious doctrine, and the mass media.

The third group is referred to as the 5% "poor righteous teachers" of the people of the world, who know the truth of the manipulation of the 85% masses of the people by the 10%. The 5% "righteous teachers" are at constant struggle and war with the 10% to reach and "free the minds" of the masses of the people.[13]

Official platform

An official Nation of Islam platform referred to as "The Muslim Program" was written by Elijah Muhammad in his book Message to the Blackman in America (1965). The itemized platform contains two sections; "What The Muslims Want", consisting of 10 points; and "What The Muslims Believe", consisting of 12 points.[14]


The NOI teaches that the Earth and Moon were once the same, and that the Earth is over 76 trillion years old.[15] The entire land mass on the Earth was called "Asia". This was, Elijah Muhammad claims, long before Adam.[16]

Black experience of slavery was Bible prophecy

The NOI teaches that black people constitute a nation and that through the institution of the Atlantic slave trade they were systematically denied knowledge of their past history, language, culture, and religion and, in effect, lost control of their lives. Central to this doctrine, NOI theology asserts that black people’s experience of slavery was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and therefore, black people are the seed of Abraham referred to in the Bible, in Genesis 15:13–14:

And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

— King James Version


In a 13 April 1997 interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Tim Russert asked Louis Farrakhan to explain the Nation of Islam's view on separation:

Tim Russert: "Once a week, on the back page [of your newspaper] is The Muslim Program, 'What the Muslims Want' [written in 1965]. The first is in terms of territory, 'Since we cannot get along with them in peace and equality, we believe our contributions to this land and the suffering forced upon us by white America justifies our demand for complete separation in a state or territory of our own.' Is that your view in 1997, a separate state for Black Americans?"

Minister Louis Farrakhan: "First, the program starts with number one. That is number four. The first part of that program is that we want freedom, a full and complete freedom. The second is, we want justice. We want equal justice under the law, and we want justice applied equally to all, regardless of race or class or color. And the third is that we want equality. We want equal membership in society with the best in civilized society. If we can get that within the political, economic, social system of America, there's no need for point number four. But if we cannot get along in peace after giving America 400 years of our service and sweat and labor, then, of course, separation would be the solution to our race problem."[17]

Teachings on race

The Nation of Islam teaches that Black people are the aboriginal people, and that all other people come from them. Louis Farrakhan has stated "If you look at the human family — now, I'm talking about black, brown, red, yellow and white — we all seem to be frozen on a subhuman level of existence. In Islam and, I believe, in Christian theology and Jewish theology as well, there are three stages of human development. The first stage is called the animalistic stage of development. But when we submit to animal passions, then we can do evil things to one another in that animalistic stage of development. But when moral consciousness comes and we have a self-accusing spirit, it is then that we become human beings. Right now, we have the potential for humanity, but we have not reached that potential, because we are functioning on the animalistic plane of existence." [18]

"The Blackman is the original man. From him came all brown, yellow, red, and white people. By using a special method of birth control law, the Blackman was able to produce the white race. This method of birth control was developed by a Black scientist known as Yakub, who envisioned making and teaching a nation of people who would be diametrically opposed to the Original People. A Race of people who would one day rule the original people and the earth for a period of 6,000 years. Yakub promised his followers that he would graft a nation from his own people, and he would teach them how to rule his people, through a system of tricks and lies whereby they use deceit to divide and conquer, and break the unity of the darker people, put one brother against another, and then act as mediators and rule both sides." -Elijah Muhammad[19]

In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, Louis Farrakhan said the following in response to host Tim Russert's question on the Nation of Islam's teachings on race:

"You know, it’s not unreal to believe that white people — who genetically cannot produce yellow, brown or black — had a Black origin. The scholars and scientists of this world agree that the origin of man and humankind started in Africa and that the first parent of the world was black. The Qur'an says that God created Adam out of black mud and fashioned him into shape. So if white people came from the original people, the Black people, what is the process by which you came to life? That is not a silly question. That is a scientific question with a scientific answer. It doesn't suggest that we are superior or that you are inferior. It suggests, however, that your birth or your origin is from the black people of this earth: superiority and inferiority is determined by our righteousness and not by our color."[17]

Elijah Muhammad addressing followers

Pressed by Russert on whether he agreed with Elijah Muhammad's preaching that whites are "blue-eyed devils", Farrakhan responded:

"Well, you have not been saints in the way you have acted toward the darker peoples of the world and toward even your own people. But, in truth, Mr. Russert, any human being who gives themself over to the doing of evil could be considered a devil. In the Bible, in the "Book of Revelation", it talks about the fall of Babylon. It says Babylon is fallen because she has become the habitation of devils. We believe that that ancient Babylon is a symbol of a modern Babylon, which is America."

During the time when Malcolm X was a member and leader of the Nation of Islam, he preached that black people were genetically superior to white people but were dominated by a system of white supremacy:

Thoughtful white people know they are inferior to Black people. Even [Senator James] Eastland knows it. Anyone who has studied the genetic phase of biology knows that white is considered recessive and black is considered dominant. The entire American economy is based on white supremacy. Even the religious philosophies, in essence, white supremacy. A white Jesus. A white Virgin. White angels. White everything. But a black Devil, of course. The "Uncle Sam" political foundation is based on white supremacy, relegating nonwhites to second−class citizenship. It goes without saying that the social philosophy is strictly white supremacist. And the educational system perpetuates white supremacy.[20]

The Nation of Islam teaches that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited. This is point 10 of the official platform, "What the Muslims Want", published 1965.[21] Louis Farrakhan nevertheless stated in the Tim Russert interview:

"The mother of the Leader who came to North America to teach us, Fard Muhammad, His mother was a white woman. His father was a black man. So where there is love, love transcends our racial denomination or ethnicity. Love is the great power of transformation. I don't think that we can say when two people are in love that they shouldn't marry one another. But I would prefer that the black man and the black woman marry into their own kind."[22]

The Mother Plane and Ezekiel's Wheel

Elijah Muhammad taught his followers about a Mother Plane or Wheel, a UFO that was seen and described in the visions of the prophet Ezekiel in the "Book of Ezekiel", in the Hebrew Bible.

"Now as I looked at the living creatures, I saw a wheel on the earth beside the living creatures, one for each of the four of them. As for the appearance of the wheels and their construction: their appearance was like the gleaming of beryl. And the four had the same likeness, their appearance and construction being as it were a wheel within a wheel. When they went, they went in any of their four directions without turning as they went. And their rims were tall and awesome, and the rims of all four were full of eyes all around."Book of Ezekiel, Chapter 1:15–18

— Bible, English Standard Version

Louis Farrakhan, commenting on his teacher's description said the following:

"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us of a giant Mother Plane that is made like the universe, spheres within spheres. White people call them unidentified flying objects (UFOs). Ezekiel, in the Old Testament, saw a wheel that looked like a cloud by day but a pillar of fire by night. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that that wheel was built on the island of Nippon, which is now called Japan, by some of the Original scientists. It took $15 billion in gold at that time to build it. It is made of the toughest steel. America does not yet know the composition of the steel used to make an instrument like it. It is a circular plane, and the Bible says that it never makes turns. Because of its circular nature it can stop and travel in all directions at speeds of thousands of miles per hour. He said there are 1,500 small wheels in this Mother Wheel, which is a half mile by a half mile [800 m by 800 m]. This Mother Wheel is like a small human-built planet. Each one of these small planes carry three bombs.

"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said these planes were used to set up mountains on the earth. The Qur'an says it like this: We have raised mountains on the earth lest it convulse with you. How do you raise a mountain, and what is the purpose of a mountain? Have you ever tried to balance a tire? You use weights to keep the tire balanced. That's how the earth is balanced, with mountain ranges. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we have a type of bomb that, when it strikes the earth a drill on it is timed to go into the earth and explode at the height that you wish the mountain to be. If you wish to take the mountain up a mile [1.6 km], you time the drill to go a mile in and then explode. The bombs these planes have are timed to go one mile down and bring up a mountain one mile high, but it will destroy everything within a 50-square-mile [130 km²] radius. The white man writes in his above top secret memos of the UFOs. He sees them around his military installations like they are spying.

"That Mother Wheel is a dreadful-looking thing. White folks are making movies now to make these planes look like fiction, but it is based on something real. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Mother Plane is so powerful that with sound reverberating in the atmosphere, just with a sound, she can crumble buildings."

— Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Divine Destruction of America: Can She Avert It?[23]


The first book analyzing the Nation of Islam was The Black Muslims in America (1961) by C. Eric Lincoln. Lincoln describes the use of doctrines during religious services.

Often the minister reads passages from well-known historical, sociological, or anthropological works, and finds in them inconspicuous references to the Blackman’s true history in the world.... Occasionally the minister chides the audience for its skepticism: “I know you don't believe me because I happen to be a Black man. Well, you can look it up in a book I’m going to tell you about that was written by a white man.” He then reads off references that his hearers are challenged to check.


The Nation of Islam has repeatedly denied charges of anti-Semitism.[24] NOI leader Minister Louis Farrakhan has stated, "The ADL … uses the term 'anti-Semitism' to stifle all criticism of Zionism and the Zionist policies of the State of Israel and also to stifle all legitimate criticism of the errant behavior of some Jewish people toward the non-Jewish population of the earth."[25]

Some Jewish and Christian organizations, consider the Nation of Islam to be antisemitic. Professor David W. Leinweber, Ph.D. of Emory University asserts that the Nation of Islam has engaged in revisionist and antisemitic interpretations of the Holocaust and that they exaggerate the role of Jews in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Leinweber and others use the original statements of Farrakhan and others as the basis for their evaluation.[26] The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) alleges that NOI Health Minister, Abdul Alim Muhammad, has accused Jewish doctors of injecting Blacks with the AIDS virus,[27] an allegation which Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad has denied.

Jude Wanniski, late associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, wrote, "I've met dozens of men and women who belong to the Nation of Islam, attended many of their conferences, and prayed with them in their Chicago mosque to the God of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammed. I've concluded beyond any reasonable doubt that there is not an ounce of anti-Semitism or bigotry in Farrakhan."[28]

Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich defended Minister Louis Farrakhan in 2004. “I’m honored to join this distinguished leader who gives hope and understanding to people all over the world, of every color, of every religion, and of every political belief,” Conyers said of Farrakhan during the 2004 “Saviours Day” celebration. [29]

Rabbi David Weiss of the Neturei Karta Orthodox Jewish community defended Minister Farrakhan, stating "The media widely reported that the Minister had referred to Judaism as a ‘gutter religion.’ This error (or distortion) was deeply troubling to the Nation of Islam." [30]

A mosque of Nation of Islam in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States, 2005.

Comparison with traditional Islam

The Nation of Islam preaches adherence to the Five Pillars of the Islamic Faith. 1 Belief in one God (Allah) 2 Prayer 3 Fasting 4 Charity 5 Pilgrimage (Hajj) – a Spiritual Journey

The NOI mosques have a lecture rooms that contains seats for the worshipers during sermons (males on one side and females on the other) with the prayer hall, also known as the musalla in another room for the 5 daily muslim prayers prostration.

Other doctrines of the Nation of Islam are disputed, specifically:

  • God's incarnation:
    • NOI teaches that their founder, Master W. Fard Muhammad, is the long-awaited Messiah of the Christians and the Mahdi of the Muslims."[31]
    • Traditional Sunni and Shi'a Muslim are still awaiting the coming of the Mahdi
  • Status of the Islamic prophet Muhammad vs. other prophets:
    • The Nation of Islam believes that Muhammad was the last prophet of Allah, and that Elijah Muhammad was a messenger, taught by God in the person of the Mahdi, who the NOI claim as "Master" Fard Muhammad (W. D. Fard).[32]
    • The Nation of Islam points to the Quran: "And for every nation there is a messenger. So when their messenger comes, the matter is decided between them with justice, and they are not wronged." -- Quran 10:47
    • Traditional Islam teaches that Muhammad was the last of the prophet and messengers of Allah sent to mankind; there would be no more and all Muslims are to follow the teachings of the Qur'an and accept monotheism.

The Divide between NOI and Islam

While the Nation of Islam postures itself as a part of the Universal Brotherhood of Islam, Islamic organizations have distanced themselves from NOI. On March 7, 1998 the Board of Ulema of the Italian Muslim Association (AMI) issued a fatwa against the Nation of Islam. According to the AMI, the obligatory daily five prayers of Islam are not imposed upon the members of the Nation, and the ritual bowings and prostrations have been removed from prayers. Friday service consists of a sermon by a minister with an invocation, but the congregational prayer of two Raka'ahs is not held. The Islamic fast in Ramadan has been made optional and Hajj is not required of the followers. [33]

Foreign Affiliations

The Nation of Islam's links to Libya are well known. The Muslim group obtained substantial funds from Gaddafi, notably a $5 million loan used to pay back-taxes and costs for the home of the movement’s former leader Elijah Muhammad and a $3 million loan from Libya in the 1970’s to acquire its opulent headquarters on Chicago’s South Side. [34] Libya channeled funds through the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) based in Canada to a Libyan intelligence front in Washington. The money was funneled for the purpose of financing trips to Tripoli by the NOI and American radicals, according to a Canadian parliamentary investigation and a prosecution by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern Virginia. [35] “At least one gathering attended by Farrakhan in Libya - in violation of a travel ban imposed on Americans by President Reagan after Libya was linked to terrorist attacks in Europe - offered training seminars on weapons and explosives.” [36] The Libyans also paid $250,000 in travel and other expenses to stage a pro-Gaddafi demonstration in which NOI played a leading role. [37]

In 1994, the NOI leader visited Khartoum, where he met with Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, the Sudanese head of state and Dr. Hassan Abdullah al-Turabi, who headed Sudan’s ruling party.

Farrakhan’s National Assistant Khalid Abdul Muhammed attended the 1995 PAIC meeting. Upon meeting Sheikh Naim Qassem of Hezbollah after a news conference at a Khartoum hotel, Muhammed found a translator to convey his greetings.

In 1996 Farrakhan traveled to Iran and Iraq, as well as Libya, at which time Gaddafi offered him an additional $1 billion. [38] Farrakhan insisted that the money would not be used to arm his followers, despite a report from Iran that Farrakhan had said there that one day Allah will destroy Americans at the hands of Muslims. The full statement attributed to Farrakhan was,

“God will not give Japan and Europe the honor of bringing down the United States. This is an honor God will bestow upon Muslims.” [39]

As of 2011, Farrakhan continued to portray Gaddafi as a fellow revolutionary who has lent millions of dollars to the Nation of Islam over the years.

“It wasn’t the money, but the principles that made me his brother.” [40]

The Final Call

The Final Call is a newspaper distributed by NOI in Chicago, publishing news stories on a variety of topics, primarily related to Blacks in America.

“The Muslim Program” is published in every issue of the newspaper stating the demands of the Nation of Islam.

NOI journalists have written about everything from conspiracy theories on the murder of JFK to a CIA conspiracy to disrupt rule in Libya. [41] Harold Muhammad, Minister of an NOI New Orleans mosque, used the paper to state that there is enough evidence that AIDS is a man-made disease being used by the US government against Blacks. [42]


The NOI has produced a number of videos promoting anti-American sentiments. NOI video titles include "Conspiracy of the International Bankers," "Conspiracy of the U.S. Government," "Controversy with Jews," and "Which One Will You Choose, the Flag of Islam or the Flag of America?" In one video Farrakhan states, "I hasten to tell you that the precious lives that were lost in the World Trade Center was a cover, a cover for a war that had been planned to bring a pipeline through Afghanistan to bring oil from that region, oil owned by Unocal, of which Dick Cheney is a stock holder." [43]

Farrakhan’s videos also address the US military. During the Millions March in Harlem, Farrakhan discussed the Fort Hood shootings as he addressed the crowd.

“You don’t join the armed forces to become nation builders. You join the armed forces and they train you to kill. They’re killers. So why did Army major Nidal Malik Hassan, a Muslim psychologist at Fort Hood go on a shooting spree after being assigned to debrief soldiers who came back from the theater of war. He couldn’t take it any more so he shot up the soldiers. They want you to think he was a terrorist. But he was debriefing terrorists. And unfortunately, it took his balance.”


Controversy over the availability of NOI videos and writings surfaced on June 15, 2011 when Representative Peter King, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security hosted a hearing titled “The Threat of Muslim-American Radicalization in U.S. Prisons.” During the hearing, former Bureau of Prisons director Harley Lappin testified on the extreme susceptibility of radicalization of inmates through propaganda efforts of groups like NOI. Testimony included discussion of an incident in which two radicalized converts planned a terrorist attack on a military facility in Seattle. The suspects had met in prison and had converted to Islam while there.

In July 2011, Representatives Peter King and Frank Wolf ordered a review of all anti-American materials printed by the Nation of Islam available within the US Board of Prisons. Worried that prisoners were being radicalized by Farrakhan, Reps. Peter King and Frank Wolf asked U.S. Bureau of Prisons Acting Director Thomas Kane to remove Nation of Islam material from prisons and to audit all other Islamic texts and sermons made available to inmates. [45]

Noted current and former members and associates of Nation of Islam

The Nation of Gods and Earths

The Nation of Gods and Earths is an offshoot of the Nation of Islam founded in 1964 in Harlem section of the borough of Manhattan in New York City by Clarence Smith. He was commonly known as Clarence 13X. Gods and Earths hold events known as Universal Parliaments in various cities—usually once a month—to build on their interpretation of the Supreme Mathematics, lessons, and to discuss business concerning the Nation.[50]

See also


  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ "About Beliefs", Nation of Islam website
  3. ^ "Nation of Islam", Southern Poverty Law Center
  4. ^ "Elijah Muhammad", Biography website
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Muhammad's Temple of Islam", Muhammad Speaks, 4 Oct 1974
  9. ^ "Nation of Islam", Oxford Islamic Studies Online
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Chicago: Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah Muhammad, 1992
  13. ^ "Assignment of Mr. Elijah Muhammad, The Supreme Wisdom", February 20, 1934; "Power at Last Forever", Minister Louis Farrakhan, Madison Square Garden, New York, October, 1985
  14. ^ "The Muslim Program". The Nation of Islam. Retrieved 2008-04-22.
  15. ^ Elijah Muhammad's 1961 "Atlanta Speech", quoted in Louis E. Lomax's When The Word Is Given...
  16. ^ Message to the Blackman, Elijah Muhammad, 1965]
  17. ^ a b FCN/NBC, 1997
  18. ^ Million Family March Transcript, 10/16/00
  19. ^ Elijah Muhammad|Message to the Blackman in America, Muhammad's Temple No. 2, 1965 & Dorothy Blake Fardan, Yakub and the Origins of White Supremacy, Lushena Books, 2001
  20. ^ Alex Haley, "The Playboy Interview: Malcolm X", Playboy Magazine, May 1963
  21. ^ "What The Muslims Want". Nation of Islam website.
  22. ^
  23. ^ FCN, 1996 Metric conversions added by Wikipedia.
  24. ^ Farrakhan and the Jewish Rift; A Historic Reference
  25. ^ The Final Call, 16 February 1994
  27. ^ Nation of Islam
  28. ^ Memo, 10-28-98, Fire Abe Foxman!
  29. ^
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ “Nation of Islam leader slams Gaddafi’s ‘assassination,’ says rejoicing will turn to sorrow.” Associated Press: Washington Post. October 25, 2011
  35. ^ Carlyle Murphy, “US Alleges Plot by Libyans; Col. North Said to be Target.” The Washington Post, July 21, 1988
  36. ^ Warren Strobel, “Farrakhan aide threatens to kill whites in the street.” The Washington Times, April 21, 1996.
  37. ^ Carlyle Murphy, “FBI Testifies Suspects are Libyan Spies: Assassination Plot alleged in VA Court,” The Washington Post: July 1988.
  38. ^
  39. ^
  40. ^ “Nation of Islam leader slams Gadhafi’s ‘assassination,’ says rejoicing will turn to sorrow.” Associated Press: Washington Post. October 25, 2011
  41. ^
  42. ^ Harold Muhammad, Minister of New Orleans Mosque Interview with the Times Picayune April 11, 1994:
  43. ^ “Farrakhan's Hate Sermons to Prisoners Slammed,” US News and World Report: July 5, 2011
  44. ^ “Millions March in Harlem” speech: August 13, 2011
  45. ^ “Farrakhan's Hate Sermons to Prisoners Slammed” US News and World Report: July 5, 2011
  46. ^ Muhammad Ali's New Spiritual Quest
  47. ^ MC Ren: RenIncarnated HipHopDX
  48. ^ "BBC News Profile: John Allen Muhammad". London. 11 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-03-24.
  49. ^ [1], Snoop Dogg does not specify a date when he joined.
  50. ^

External links

Template:Link FA