The Nation of Islam

The Nation of Islam
(by  Bob Pulliam)

Although the Nation of Islam is less than 100 years old, it has a great deal of information about it that is deserving of our attention. However, we will not dig into lengthy details. The origins of the Nation of Islam; it's relation to the religion of Islam; it's goals and some of it's doctrine.

Origins of the Nation of Islam...

In the early 1900's, there was a great immigration of black people from the south to the north. 1916-1918 was the peak period during this time. Steel mills and railroads would send special trains to mass transport workers north. While that sounds noble, expenses were actually charged against future pay. Added to the tension of everyday existence were the following factors:

-There were about 18 major interracial disturbances a year between 1915 and 1919.
-WWI raged from 1914-1918, putting a strain on the emotional security of people.
-There was economic distress at the beginning of the 1920's.
-The eventual distress of the depression in the 1930's capped off the climate,
   and gave the essential feel of doom
-for the black people that was needed for the movements we are about to discuss.

The Universal Negro Improvement Association was founded in 1914 (in Jamaica) by a man named Marcus Garvey. A branch was established two years later in Harlem. A hallmark of this organization was it's call for an emigration of it's members to Africa. At about the same time the Moorish Science Temple was begun in Newark New Jersey, in 1913 by a man named Timothy Drew (who changed his name to Noble Drew Ali). Many in the Moorish Science Temple believed that Garvey was a forerunner to Drew, preparing the way for Islam's message, although they did come on the scene about the same time.

Drew went to North Africa, where the king of Morocco sent him back to the US to teach Islam to his people. Personal changes to the actual religion of Islam can be seen in this quote:

"Peace on earth is not possible, according to Ali, until each racial group has its own 'true religion.'" (Clifton Marsh, From Black Muslims to Muslims, (The Scarecrow Press, London, 1996), p31)

Indeed, Drew had a very distinct view of Islam which he published in a 64 page pamphlet he called the Holy Koran. This Koran taught that Drew was ordained by Allah as a prophet to teach people of African descent. One important aspect of what was taught was that members were descendants from a great Islamic nation, and that they reestablished their heritage in the Temple. Whites were not allowed to join the Temple. Timothy Drew died in 1929. Moorish Americans are loyal citizens, and will pledge allegiance to it's flag.

The founder of the Nation of Islam...

Wallace Fard appeared in Detroit in 1930. Fard sold "African" clothing, and by this means made contact with people in the Ghetto. Wallace Fard changed his name to Fard Muhammad, and urged his followers also to change their names to Muslim names. Muslims faithful to Fard believed him to be the reincarnation of Nobel Drew Ali.

Elijah Poole heard Fard Muhammad give a sermon in 1931. After the sermon, Poole said to Fard, "I know who you are, you're God himself." The reply of Fard was a whispered, "That's right, but don't tell it now. It is not yet time for me to be known." Elijah Poole became a student of Fard's brand of Islam, and changed his name to Elijah Muhammad. Fard disappeared in 1933, and Elijah Muhammad took over to bring the organization to prosperity. Here began the Nation of Islam.

Specific Doctrines of Interest...

Elijah Muhammad taught that Fard Muhammad was Allah ("God Himself"). This doctrine is believed by Farrakhan. It is spelled out in their statement of faith, in point 12:

"12. We believe that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited 'Messiah' of the Christians and the 'Mahdi' of the Muslims."

Elijah Muhammad slowly began to promote himself as the black people's Christ, to displace the white man's Christ that had enslaved them. This succession and belief is promoted today by Louis Farrakhan.

"My father, Elijah Muhammad made me. He went away and allowed the nation to be destroyed. I stood up seventeen years ago to rebuild the house of my father. He told me the two of us will be backing you up. That's why you can't get to me. I got some heavy backup. I got the Mahdi and the Messiah. You'll never kill me!" (Louis Farrakhan, Savior's Day speech, Chicago, Feb 26, 1994).

However, the teachings of Farrakhan go beyond that which was taught by Fard and Poole. For example, Farrakhan teaches that Elijah Muhammad had built a space ship, and he was going to return one day to destroy the white man, and reinstate the place of the black man. In his 1991 Saviors Day sermon, he stated that he saw this space craft, and that it had the appearance of the wheels in Ezekiel's vision (Ez 1:15ff). Farrakhan also claimed that 1,500 little ships, from this giant wheel, follow him around wherever he goes, and protects him. The Nation of Islam very clearly is millenarian in doctrine. Such is not new to history. People have often gone to the revelation of God, proposing themselves as the persecuted of that book, and supposing a salvation determined solely for them. For example:

Protestants of the sixteenth century believed the Roman Catholic Church to be the beast of revelation. They found in current events all kinds of fulfillment from the book of Revelation.

The religiously persecuted of the seventeenth century believed the church of England to be that beast.

Proponents of the New World Order believe that oppressive government is the beast that John saw.

In all of these cases, the feeling of oppression creates a bond between the presently oppressed, and those seen in prophecy. There is an overwhelming desire to be the ones spoken of in prophecy, because the prophecy declares imminent deliverance. And so it is easy for such movements to begin the date setting process. Many do not realize that the Nation of Islam predicted a specific time frame for the end of white people. But here it is:

"The day of decision between the dark races or nations was begun by God Himself in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad... as is prophesied in the Bible: 'Multitudes in the valley of decision, for the day (before or by 1970) of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.' Joel 3:16" (Muhammad Speaks, Feb 12, 1965).

The Nation of Islam teaches that white men are devils. White people were created by a genius exiled to the isle of Patmos from Mecca. This scientist was called YaKub, and he experimented with genetics. Through genetics, he created the brown man, red man, yellow man, and eventually the white man. The white man turned out to be given over fully to evil, and when it escaped from the island, it filled the earth with it's evil. That first white man was Adam. Moses was sent to clean up the mess, but he failed. (As you can see, the Nation of Islam does not believe the Bible)

The following excerpts appeared in Muhammad Speaks, April 1, 1966, pp 1-2...

"3. Allah has taught Muhammad that the white race is the devil."

"8. IT IS TRUE that the white race (the devils) had its beginning 6,000 years ago and its time was limited to that period of time (6,000 years)."

"14. IT IS TRUE, According to the religious scientists of both Christianity and Islam, as both agree that this year 1966... is the fateful year of America and her people, and the so-called Negroes should fly to Allah and follow Messenger Muhammad, for refuge from the dreadful judgments that Allah has said that He will bring, and which have already begun upon America."

Notice point eight. White man began 6,000 years ago, and would only exist for that period of time. The Nation of Islam would destroy all white people.

Before the End of Malcolm X...

Now we back up a little, and cover some history sow we can include Malcolm X. In 1963, many rumors began to surface regarding Elijah Muhammad's sexual conduct. Two former secretaries came forward to state that Elijah Muhammad had fathered children by them. Malcolm X could not stand by and ignore the rumors. He launched his own investigation, and found the matters to be true. Confronted by Malcolm X on these charges, Elijah Muhammad did not deny them. He responded:

"I'm David, when you read about how David took another man's wife, I'm that David. You read about Noah, who got drunk - that's me. You read about Lot, who went and laid up with his own daughter. I have fulfilled all those things." (Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, (Grove Press, NY), 1964, p299.)

In March of 1964, Malcolm X announced his break with the Nation of Islam to form a separate organization based on orthodox Islamic principles. In April of 1964, he made a pilgrimage to Mecca. There he learned just how far off of Islam the Nation of Islam actually was. Malcolm changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. At this point Malcolm was very out-spoken in his disdain for the Nation of Islam, and the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. The following Contact program was broadcast on WINS Radio, New York, on February 18th, 1965:

Aubry Barnette: "I think the entire Black Muslim movement is a fraud..."

Malcolm X: "What he's saying is true, especially about the first, especially about the religion. The religion of Islam itself is a religion that is based upon the brotherhood and a religion in which the persons who believe in it in no way judge a man by the color of his skin. The yardstick of measurement in Islam is one's deeds, one's conscious behavior. And the yardstick of measurement that was used by Elijah Muhammad was based upon the color of the skin."

Later in interview, Malcolm X: "You must understand that the Black Muslim movement, although it claimed to be a religious movement, based upon Islam, it was never acceptable to the orthodox Muslim world."

Malcolm X had found out how bad of a counterfeit the Nation of Islam really was. Louis Farrakhan himself admitted that the black Muslim movement in America is condemned by orthodox Muslims in the Middle East. This he learned in his visit to Mecca (Speech delivered at the 1991 Savior's Day celebration).

The Goals of the Nation of Islam...

Many of the desires of the Nation of Islam are right, and would be expected by anyone. Freedom, justice, equality of opportunity... With these no one could find fault.

Other aspects of their goals are troubling: (These items can be found in any current edition of The Final Call)

"4. We want our people in America, whose parents or grandparents were descendants from slaves, to be allowed to establish a separate territory of their own..."

"5. We want freedom for all Believers of Islam now held in federal prisons...."

"10. We believe that intermarriage or race mixing should be prohibited...."


The Nation of Islam is not based on the religion allegedly revealed to Muhammad about 1,500 years ago. The Nation of Islam is based on the teachings of Master Fard Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad, and Louis Farrakhan. It is based on the peculiar prejudices of men, and derives it's power by stirring up those prejudices in others. It is the flip side of the Ku Klux Klan, and both sides of that coin are a disgusting, shameful display of hate.

The Bible message is much different. God's plan for mankind's redemption has always been making all one in Christ Jesus.