Articles and Outlines - World Religions - The Nation of Islam


The Nation of Islam

Author: Christian Information Ministries
Date: 6/6/2003 11:07:04 AM


C.I.M. Outline #53

I. Introduction

A. On Jan. 26, 1996, Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation
of Islam, announced that Moammar Gadhafi, Libyan leader
and financier of international terrorism, had pledged to
support the Black Muslim movement in America at the sum
of $1 billion dollars. (Imagine what Christian missions
could do with a billion dollars!) WASHINGTON POST
(1/26/96). (Note: In 1985 Gadhafi also gave Farrakhan a
five million, interest-free loan.)

B. In Oct. of '95, Farrakhan and his organization staged a
"Million Man" march of black men on Washington, D.C.
Many black Christian ministers and leaders claimed they
endorsed what he was trying to do (in the march) but were
not endorsing the man. The purpose of the march was
billed as a "day of atonement," for black men with
support for economic and social justice, individual
responsibility, and political empowerment.

C. The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a growing phenomenon in
America and is currently sending missionaries to Africa.

Who is Louis Farrakhan? and What is the Nation of Islam,
or the Black Muslim Movement as it is sometimes called?
With few exceptions (the CHICAGO TRIBUNE is one) the
mainstream media, fearing charges of racism, rarely
investigate this strange movement.

II. The Origins of the Nation of Islam

A. The NOI came into being in the 1930's. Its acknowledged
early leaders were an enigmatic man by the name of
Wallace Fard, and Elijah Poole, the son of a Baptist
preacher. Fard, possibly a white man (records are
sketchy), was a merchant who claimed to have Turkish or
Arabian origins, supported himself by importing and
selling African clothing. He notwithstanding tried to
convince African Americans that they ought to wear
African clothing and take muslim names. Elijah Poole,
an early convert of Fard's was soon convinced to
renounce his Christian faith and later was given the
name Elijah Muhammad.

B. Not much is known about Fard's early life nor why he
loathed the traditional Christian church. At some point
he embraced the teachings of the Watchtower Society
(Jehovah's Witnesses), a Christian cult that departs
from most of the cardinal doctrines of historic
Christianity. Going from house to house in black
neighborhoods, Fard knocked on doors, handed out tracts
and tried to convince blacks to leave the church. As he
gained a following he took his new converts from the
Watchtower to Islam and from the Bible to the Quran.

C. When Fard mysteriously disappeared in 1934, Elijah
Muhammad, his early convert, quickly gave evidence of
his leadership skills by taking over the movement.

D. Malcolm X, one of Elijah's M's brightest and most
charismatic converts rose quickly in the ranks of
leadership. He was responsible for many converts and
the subsequent growth of the Black Muslim movement.
However, he dared defy the authority of Elijah M. and a
rift developed that resulted in his assassination in
1965. Malcolm had become disillusioned by the high
living and immorality of Elijah M. When he made his
pilgrimage to Mecca in 1959 he was shocked to find
little resemblance between the teachings of Elijah M and
orthodox Islam. Following Elijah M's death in 1975, the
mantle of leadership fell on his son, Wallace D.
Muhammad who tried to take the movement into the
mainstream of Islam. Enter one Louis Gene Walcott
Farrakhan, one of the up and coming leaders who
organized a rebellion and splintered the movement.
Farrakhan eventually gained control of the Elijah
Muhammad faction, reorganized the movement, and moved it
back to its original roots in the teachings of Fard and
Elijah M.

III. The Teachings of the Nation of Islam

A. Though the leaders of the NOI often allude to muslim
beliefs they adhere to very little of historic Islam.
Official agencies of Islam have issued many disclaimers
about the teachings of NOI. One such source says:
"...there is no ideology on the face of this earth
which could be farther from Islam than that of Louis
Farrakhan. NONE! (Emphasis theirs)."

B. As we noted earlier the movement began with a mixture
of the teachings of the Watchtower Society mixed with
some Islam and a lot of originality from Elijah M. who
is believed to be Allah's modern-day prophet. He is
called the "Messenger." and sometimes "the Savior."
The core beliefs of NOI are therefore, in large part
based on those taught by its greatest leader, Elijah M.
and more recently on a variety of visions and mystical
musings of its current leader, Louis Farrakhan. Some
of these beliefs are:

1. Classic Islam believes that Allah (God)was
uncreated, is entirely spirit and has never been
seen by man. In contrast, the NOI teaches that
Allah created himself out of dark matter called
"electricity." He is a black man of flesh and
blood. In their own creed they say: "We believe
that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master
W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited
"Messiah" of the Christians and `Mahdi' of the
Muslims." After Fard died Allah was manifested in
Elijah Muhammad. On Feb. 26, 1991 (Savior"s Day,
the day NOI celebrates the coming of Wallace Fard),
Louis Farrakhan was proclaimed as "The child who
would be born, the Son who would be given." It was
said that he was "Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty
God, the Prince of Peace...," a fulfillment of Isa.
9:6-8. (Note: Farrakhan has since changed the
celebration of Saviour's Day to Oct 7, to
commemorate the birth of Elijah M.)

2. Although the NOI teaches that there is one god,
they also teach that the 24 elders of Revelation 5
are also gods. Twelve of these elders were "major"
scientists! One of these gods is the supreme god
who is over this particular time period. Another
of these gods created the moon by blowing up the
earth (we are not making this up!).

3. The Bible is "pure poison" because it was corrupted
by white man. Elijah M. believed that the Quran
was far superior. Louis Farrakhan, however, quotes
from the Bible in his sermons far more that the
Quran. Indeed, his speeches are filled with
biblical imagery.

4. According to Elijah M. Jesus was a black African
and only a mortal man like the Prophet Muhammad of
Islam. He also taught that Jesus was the product
of sexual intercourse between Mary and Allah (who
is a black man). Louis Farrakhan said:

"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I am here to
declare, is risen. The Jesus you have been
seeking and waiting for His return has been in
your midst for 40 years, but you knew not who He
was. A Holy One was working among us, and it is
only now, after He is gone, that we realize who
He was."

5. The NOI teaches that the black race is actually
God's chosen race and that the original black man
was created during the Big Bang 66 trillion years
ago. On the other hand, the white race was created
by an evil black scientist (a god, and one of the
24 elders) by the name of "Yakub" who created white
man out of his evil side. This creation process
took 600 years!

6. In apparent agreement with the Jehovah's Witnesses
and in contradiction to the belief of orthodox
Islam, Black Muslims deny the existence of hell or
any kind of physical existence after death. Elijah
M. believed the teaching of hell was originated by
whites to enslave blacks. The reasoning being that
they could endure slavery knowing that they would
be free in the life hereafter.

7. Just as the Jehovah Witnesses taught that the world
would end in 1914, Black Muslims believe that 1914
was the beginning of the end for the white race.
Whites have reigned for 6000 years but 1914 was the
beginning of the end. Elijah M. prophesied that
Allah would intervene in the 1970's and destroy the
white race in the battle of Armageddon and put
blacks in control. Louis Farrakhan currently
teaches that armageddon is near for the white race
and that a UFO in the shape of a wheel is waiting
in space to destroy white man. In his discourse on
numerology in Washington (Oct.'95) he may have been
indicating that this event could be in '96.
Farrakhan is known for his rather quaint
conclusions drawn from numerology (the mystical use
of numbers).

8. Louis Farrakhan spoke of his UFO encounter in a
sermon on Saviour's Day, 1991. He stated that he
was taken on board and spoke with Elijah Muhammad
who had built the space ship. This wheel-shaped
craft is currently in orbit 40 miles above the
earth. He also claimed that there are 1500 little
space ships that issue out from this mother ship
which follow him every where.

9. The Nation of Islam does not teach equality of the
races or integration as other Black civil rights
groups, but rather endorses policies of racism,
even militarism toward non-black races. The
leadership of the NOI believes that white America
owes reparation to the blacks for slavery, and that
this reparation should be in the form of their own
state which they envision becoming an independent
country with its own black army and justice system.


IV. The Message and Appeal of The Nation of Islam

A. Louis Lomax, a prominent black journalist seemed to sum
up the core message of the black muslims:

"The Black Muslims have but one message: The white man
is by nature evil, a snake who is soon to be
destroyed. Therefore, the black man, who is by nature
divine and good, must separate from the white man as
soon as possible, lest he share the white man's hour
of total destruction."

B. The main appeal seems to be its socio-economic message.
The NOI stresses pride, self-esteem, independence, self-
help, and entrepreneurship. No one of conservative
political values can argue against this message.

C. The reason for the growth and success of the NOI does
not appear to based on the rather arcane religious views
of Elijah M. or Louis F., but rather to their appeal to
the hurt and despair of the black man. They follow
these charismatic leaders despite their craziness
because they are not afraid to say what many of them
think should be said.

V. Conclusion

A. There is every reason to believe that the leadership of
the NOI is one of demagoguery in that it preys on the
legitimate needs of black men. It teaches racism, hatred
and violence, all of which can be documented. (Farrakhan
once said "I am tried of hearing that people will die for
Islam; I am looking for people who will kill for Islam."
1991 Saviour's Day speech)

B. There are reasons to be concerned about a movement that
can attract one million black men (even if it was only
500,000) to march in Washington and raise one billion
dollars if its followers succumb to the negative message
of the leaders of NOI.

C. The Christian Church can rightly be blamed for not
filling this vacuum by applying the Gospel to all areas
of life. When John 3:16 says "For God so loved the
world..." we believe this means all races and peoples.
The church in the U.S. must become missionaries to a
large segment of its own people.

FOR FURTHER READING:

Lincoln, C. Eric. THE BLACK MUSLIMS IN AMERICA. Third Edition.
It's old but good for early history of the movement. See
especially the Postscript which was added in 1994.
Morey, Robert. ISLAMIC INVASION: CONFRONTING THE WORLD'S
FASTEST GROWING RELIGION. See Chapter 11.
See also C.I.M. Outline #21 "THE RELIGION OF ISLAM" for a review
of the beliefs of classic Islam.



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