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Yet another essay assignment
Published on March 22, 2006 By Dynosoar In Religion
This was my latest assignment ( I gotta an A )

Write a five-page biographical essay (approximately 1,250 words) on the African American Muslim leaders Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Wallace Muhammad, describing in detail their doctrinal lineage and their personal relationship with one another. Evaluate their roles in the rise and evolution of the Nation of Islam. You need not limit your reading to what has been assigned; you may visit relevant Web sites or locate outside sources, though this is optional. If you do include outside information, however, document it appropriately.

Wow. That explains my new found understanding of The Nation of Islam. That’s wow, in the context of disbelief and bewilderment, and how otherwise intelligent people can place faith in this deviation of Islam.
I combed the internet for as many references I could find, and there is a myriad of sources related to “Prophet Elijah Mohammed”; glorious tributes from the official NOI site ( NOI.org), are countered by equally balanced biographic material from sources as varied as the Anti-defamation League ( adf.org ) Stanford University ( Stanford.edu/group/thinker/v2/v2n2/Glenn.html) and wikipedia ( wikipedia.com/nationofislam).
Finding information about Malcolm X was just as easy, or at least the positive sources were easy to find (it seems the negative sources were limited to W. Farad and Elijah Mohammed). The major sources I found were; noi.org, the NOI official website, the official Malcolm X website (cmgww.com/historic/malcolm/about/bio.html).
The difficult research was for Wallace Mohammed, very little was to be found or referenced concerning Warith Deen Mohammed, until I ran across a PBS documentary titled” This far by Faith” pbs.org/thisfarbyfaith/people/warith_deen_mohammed.html#).
Now, within the compilation and review of my resources, I have also discovered the existence of Wallace D. Fard, founder of the Nation of Islam, and in my opinion, no discussion of the Nation is complete without at least a cursory overview of this dynamic soothsayer, not to mention his eventual disciple Louis Farrakhan.
So we begin with a traveling salesman, plying his wares of imported cloth and trinkets, mesmerizing socially and economically oppressed black families with his tales of black superiority and extolling the virtues of a strict diet and his version of Islam. Such is the general introduction to W.D.Fard, thought by some to be either of Arabic decent, possibly racially mixed, or a white man from New Zealand. He is also thought to be either God in the flesh, or an ex-con preying on ignorance and emotion.
Which version is accepted determines your position on his Lost – Found religion, now known as the Nation of Islam. The story continues that the son of a lay Baptist Preacher, originally from Georgia, was befriended by W D Fard, he taught this young man all about his version of Islam, replete with tales of how the Black race was superior to all other races, that white people were an evil aberration created by a black scientist, how there was a space ship orbiting earth with the power to create mountains and destroy cities, and how Islam was the true religion of the Black race. This young man changed his “slave name” to Elijah Mohammed.
In the early ‘30’s, Elijah Muhammed helped spread the teachings of W.D.Fard from a rented hall in Detroit, a school was started, and so was the first controversy for the NOI. Fard was arrested on truancy violations, as the school was not recognized and the curriculum unapproved. The NOI subsequently migrated to Chicago, flourished in its expansion, and W.D.Fard “disappeared”.
As the designated successor to Fard, Elijah Muhammed took the reins of the NOI, and expanded the ministry. Temples were opened in Detroit and Harlem. A paramilitary unit, The Fruit of Islam, was formed for security and enforcement, collective farms, bakeries, and schools were created to nurture the faithful, and the ranks of the faithful grew.
A young black man in prison heard the message of Elijah Muhammed, and within those words he found his redemption. This young man was Malcolm Little, soon to be known as Malcolm X.
Malcolm X was born in 1925, into the family of another Baptist Preacher, some say his father was killed by a white supremacy group in 1935, and his mother was committed to an insane asylum shortly after his father’s death. After shuffling through several foster homes, Malcolm quit school and took up the life of a street hustler. He was jailed in Boston for breaking and entry, serving 8 years. His brother introduced him to the NOI, and while in prison he studied and determined the teachings of Elijah to be his “calling”. He wrote to the prophet daily during his last year in jail, and upon his release set out to join the NOI in Chicago.
In Chicago he was taught by the Prophet, and received his “X”, replacing his slave name, and became the leader of the temple in Harlem. Malcolm is credited with growing the ranks of the NOI from a low of 500 in 1951 to over 30,000 in 1963. He became an outspoken advocate for the Nation, eclipsing the Prophet Elijah in popularity. This is where Malcolm’s troubles begin, soon after discovering the extramarital affairs of Elijah, and exposing them to the public, Malcolm began to question the tenets of the Nation of Islam. He started his own church, The Muslim Mosque, Inc. extolling virtually the same rhetoric as the NOI, until he was convinced to take the Hajj.
During the Hajj, Malcolm discovered the falsehood of Elijah’s doctrine, realizing that Islam favors no race. He returned to the USA a Sunni Muslim, and adopted orthodox Islam. When he broke from the Nation of Islam he faced daily death threats. His home was firebombed, and in late 1965, he was killed, allegedly by NOI gunmen.
Wallace Muhammad is the 7th son of Elijah Muhammad, and was named successor to the Prophet at his death. Wallace had previously been excommunicated from the NOI on several occasions, and his ascension was disputed by many within the Nation’s leadership.
Wallace was jailed for failing to comply with the draft in 1960; during his incarceration his studies led him to question his father’s divinity, and the message of the NOI. He is quoted in the PBS documentary” “I believe much of the Nation of Islam’s theology was intentionally made ridiculous so that we would one day be too smart for it, and would look for something better, and would search for our own way to freedom. That’s what I think my father wanted.”
His adoption of traditional Islam is what led to his initial excommunication and to the eventual transition of the NOI into the World Community of Al-Islam in the West in 1976. This did not happen without a fight. He, like Malcolm X received death threats, but he quietly began to teach his congregation in Philadelphia how to pray and read the Koran before converting the whole of the NOI.
Upon the conversion to Sunni Islam, Wallace disbanded the Fruit of Islam, repealed the strict dress code for men and women, and taught that his father was not divine. He also changed his name to Warith Deen Mohammed.
Louis Farrakhan was another convert in the 50’s, and an NOI leader that disagreed with the conversion of the NOI, he reclaimed the name, and along with a group known as” The Ten Percenters” they continued the theology espoused by Fard and Elijah Muhammed , and represent today what is considered by many to be a Black Supremist cult..

Comments
on Mar 22, 2006
Bump to the forum
on Mar 22, 2006
Fascinating read!  Thanks for the leg work.
on Mar 22, 2006
terrific dyno, I have long admired Malcolm for his stand against racist thinking and behavior from elijah poole and the likes of king louis farrakan.
on Mar 23, 2006
Thanks for the comments.
It truly amazes me that "Black America" allows someone like King Louie to represent himself as a spokesman for them, it compares with "White America" allowing David Duke to be their spokesman................

Then again, Jesse, Al, et al, ain't much better either..........
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