Tuesday, April 4, 2017



By Fahim A. Knight-El

Image result for images of elijah muhammad

In 1996, I was contacted by a professor of history named Dr. Claude Clegg from North Carolina Agriculture and Technology State University in Greensboro, North Carolina (one of best Historical Black Colleges and Universities in America); Clegg was writing a scholarly biography on the Honorable Elijah Muhammad titled, An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad,  which he contacted me and requested my assistance in writing this book in which I agreed to assist my brother (lets be clear, I take no credit or responsibility for Dr. Cleggs’ work). I had authored and published a book in 1995 titled, In Defense of the Defender: The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Dr. Clegg whom I liked very much as a person had come across a copy of my book and he thought that I had made some interesting points in my research (and he wanted to further expand his research and as an academician they have the responsibility to sort out an empirical investigative approach, that allows for the researcher to quantify the evidence and establish factual objective and credible scholarly outcomes). Although, Clegg acknowledged me on page xvi, but on pages of 348 and 349 my brother raked me over the coal; he accused me of being partial and that I had demonstrated little to no objectivity in my research (twenty years ago I must admit my big ego was inflated and his criticism of my work placed me in an emotional space of not receiving constructive criticism, as well as I should have, how dare this Negro disrespect me like that after I had giving him unconditional help.[1]

Thus, I pulled out a copy of my publication after embarking on this article and I also pulled out Dr. Clegg’s book as well, and twenty years later, I had to admit to myself that Dr. Clegg was right. There was a lot that I could have done better with structuring the work and I could have learned a lot from Dr. Clegg. Yet, I do not claim to be an authority on Elijah Muhammad nor the Nation of Islam (I intentionally wrote the thesis in the spirit of truth and was not concern with impartiality).[2] I wrote my book after Spike Lee did that botched up representation of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the epic film, “Malcolm X”. I felt compelled to defend the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s image and legacy (I think the Messenger’s domestic life and the circumstances surrounding those events as shaped and defined by Lee’s Malcolm X movie further drew a wedge in-between black people and the perception of the Nation of Islam’s leader—in particular whether not his domestic life rendered him a hypocrite, which the enemy has attempted to use to discredit Muhammad’s historical legacy and image. Someone had to answer Spike Lee’s allegations and mischaracterizations of our leader, teacher and guide.[3]

This article is not an exhaustive analysis of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s life nor is it an attempt to serve as an official biographical sketch of the last messenger of Allah; I have felt that may be I had bit off to much to even attempt to writing on such complex Muslim leader in this brief essay and in which the man, message and mission were misunderstood and yet his influence still resonates amongst black people in America some eighty-seven years later. This alone serves as proof positive of how rooted the Nation of Islam was/is in the social, political, economic and the culture of the 20th and 21st century of black America’s life, as an organization and movement, it is here to stay. The evidence of its longevity and influence is the testament of its  presences seen in the existence of approximately twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) Nation of Islam splinter groups and sects who all claim to be representing Elijah Muhammad’s original teachings (some have taking titles such as: the prophet like Moses, Mahdi, Imam, Sheikh, the Son of Man, national representative, one even claim he is greater than Master Fard Muhammad, and some have set up independent temples and are ministers over these various Nation of Islam splinter groups).

I have had many of them make pitches at me and I have turned all of them down. I do not need for them to tell or teach me about Elijah, I have found him for myself and as a curator and historian, I have all of Elijah’s books Message to the Blackman in America, How to Eat to Live: Book # 1& #2, The Fall of America, Our Savior Has Arrived, Flag of Islam, ‘Supreme Wisdom” lessons, copies of original “Muhammad Speaks” new paper and many of his audio tapes, etc. I think the Nation of Islam Historical Research Department would be in the best position to have written the official biography on the Life and Times of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of the Nation of Islam had promised over 30 years ago that he was going to write the official history of the Nation of Islam and this has never occurred.[4] However, there are now so many smart well trained intellectuals and scholars who have acquired advance degrees in the social sciences who are now members of our organization and are followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This is not to imply that Minister Jabril Muhammad who authored the book titled, This is the One: We Need Not Look for Another and the late sister scholar Tynetta Muhammad, perhaps forty years ago in collaboration could not have written the official biography on Elijah Muhammad. Minister Silis Muhammad, the leader of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the West and his staff had the resources to do so as well. There is another brother named Minister Nasir Makr Hakim who is a serious teacher, curator, historian, archivist, etc., who own and operates Messenger Elijah Muhammad Propagation Society; he has edited and gathered many of Messenger Elijah Muhammad's writings and has put them into book publication form. But if you want a good outline of how a scholar should write just get a copy of Hakim's book titled, The True History of Master Fard Muhammad and just start reading the 'Forward' and it will give you a clear indication of the intellectual seriousness of this man as Nation of Islam scholar or 'Black Muslim' scholar. He stands heads and shoulders above many of them whom claim to be scholars on the history of the Nation of Islam. I am a student of his writings and publications. 

I think Dr. Wesley Muhammad author of the books Black Arabia & The African Origin of Islam, The Book of God: An Encyclopedia of Proof that the Black Man is God, The Religion of the Black God: Indic Sacred Science & Islam, Understanding the Assault on the Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity, etc., is also more than capable of taking on this assignment and I would be willing to assist him and offer my historical expertise. Ashahed Muhammad who authored the book titled, The Synagogue of Satan has the skills and capabilities. The Nation of Islam has allowed so many of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s siblings and children to have died off (old followers that could have offered firsthand accounts of their experiences—credible oral history testimonies, which could have offered valuable primary source materials to recreating the early history of Elijah Muhammad and the establishment of the Nation of Islam (I do not know how many of Elijah Muhammad’s children by sister Clara Muhammad are still alive; I do know Elijah Muhammad's youngest son Dr. Akbar Muhammad just recently transitioned in 2016). We have allowed white scholars and reactionary bourgeoisie Negro scholars to become the authorities on our leader, teacher and guide. Dr. C. Eric Lincoln in 1961, wrote the first scholarly dissertation on the Nation of Islam titled, The Black Muslim in America, it was Dr. Lincoln’s sociological/historical work that brought the Nation of Islam into the academic classroom (although Mike Wallace of CBS news produced the negative documentary in 1959 titled, ‘The Hate that Hate Produced’.[5]

However, most Nation of Islam believers and followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was very critical of the book, The Black Muslim in America and depicted it as not being totally objective nor an accurate assessment of the theology or the historical accounts of the movement relative to those intricate persons, events, dates, etc., that helped shape and mold the Nation of Islam into becoming one of the most powerful and influential organizations in America. Elijah Muhammad gave Dr. Lincoln access to the Temple meetings and allowed him to interview himself and followers of Nation of Islam for the book. But in 1965, Honorable Elijah Muhammad published the Nation of Islam theological treatise titled, Message to the Blackman in America, this book changed my life.[6] We witnessed the affect that the life giving teachings had on the likes of Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Louis Farrakhan (National Representative of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad), John Muhammad (the brother of Elijah Muhammad) and Minister  Hurlon Shah (Yahweh Ben Yahweh), Jeremiah Shabazz (minister over Temple #12), James Shabazz (minister over Temple # 25 Newark, New Jersey), Dr. Khallid Abdul Muhammad (aka Malik Rashuddin—Harold Moore Vann—former Supreme Captain and Minister of Temple # 27 Los Angles, California), Silis Muhammad (founder of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in the West out of Atlanta, Georgia), Father Allah (Clarence 13 X Smith founder of the Nation of Gods and Earths--the Five Percenters), Warithudeen Mohammed (founder of the Muslim American Mission), Solomon Royall (founder of the United Nations of Islam), Marvin Muhammad, (Leland, Mississippi—the son of man), (Eric Muhammad—minister over Temple #15 Atlanta, Georgia).

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad once stated:  "of all our studies, history is the most attractive and best qualified to reward our research, as it develops the springs and motives of human actions and displays the consequences of circumstances which operates most powerfully on the destinies of human beings.” Elijah Muhammad was born Elijah Poole on October 7, 1897, in Sandersville, Georgia; he was the seventh of thirteen children (eight (8) boys and five (5) girls born to Willie, Sr. and Marie Poole. The family was poor sharecroppers living in rural racist Georgia who experienced on a daily basis the evil effects of Jim Crow, a period in U.S. history where segregation was made legal due to the1896 Supreme Court Decision of Plessy versus Ferguson—separate, but equal became constitutional and the law of the land.[7]

Elijah Poole (Elijah Muhammad) as stated above was ironically born in 1897 only one year after the United States Supreme Court decision (Plessy versus Ferguson 1896). Poole at a young age, witnessed one of his closest friends being lynched and hung from a tree in Georgia and this left an indelible and haunting impact on the mental psyche of the man who would later become the teacher of freedom, Justice, and equality for the so-called American Negro (and would become the last messenger of Allah) and would be giving the task to confront white supremacy. When viewing the history of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as much as, it was important to view him within the collective historical black experience, it was equally important to place him within the context of the religious-ethos of black Islamic religious nationalism. Thus, the witnessing of the racist lynching event would forever change Elijah Muhammad's life growing up as a young boy in the deep south in which the incident would be perpetually etched in his mind. Elijah Muhammad’s father was a Baptist minister who preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ by instilling Christian principles and values into his children and home. Elijah Muhammad also had a perceptive grandfather who understood aspects of biblical history and theology and would often refer to the young Elijah as the Biblical Prophet, Elijah, spoken of in the Book of 'Malachi'. It was reported that young Elijah Poole demonstrated leadership
ability at a very young age; moreover, settling family disputes and possessing wisdom far beyond his young age. Elijah Poole (Elijah Muhammad) would witness the social contradictions existing in America, the so-called home of the free with their empty chants of democracy when it came to the plight of Black people in America, as far as racism and social injustice—this would later become his motivation to becoming a race leader.[8]

In  doing my historical background reading and my preliminary assessment; it quickly reminded me that a crime against humanity had taken place under Chattel Slavery (1555-1865) in which no other people on the planet had experienced what the so-called American Negro had experience in their over 450 years sojourn in the United States of America (which is equalvent to a war crime). We lost our land, God, names, culture, folkways and lost our memory of who we were as the original people of civilization (no other people experienced that type of dehumanization being totally stripped of their humanity). America was/is a hostile society towards Africans and indigenous people (this includes the so-called Native Americans) what Andrew Hacker describes in his monumental book titled, Two Nations: Black and White Separate, Hostile, Unequal stated, “race has been an American obsession since the first Europeans sighted "savages" on these shores. In time, those original inhabitants would be subdued or slaughtered, and finally sequestered out of view. But race in America took on a deeper and more disturbing meaning with the importation of Africans as slaves. Bondage would later be condemned as an awful injustice and the nation's shame, even as we have come to acknowledge the stamina and skill it took to survive in a system where humans could be bought and sold and punished like animals. Nor are these antecedents buried away in the past. That Americans of African origin once wore the chains of chattels remains alive in the memory of both races and continues to separate them”.[9] 

In approximately 1919, at age twenty-two (22) Muhammad migrated to Macon, Georgia, seeking employment and a few years later in 1923, he migrated north to Detroit, Michigan where he married Clara Evans. Muhammad reportedly worked in the automobile industry in which some Nation of Islam historians maintained that Muhammad was laid off from work and things got so bad that he started consuming alcohol and even joined the welfare lines. In 1931, someone invited Elijah Muhammad to hear this strange man preaching a strange doctrine in Detroit, Michigan. Elijah Muhammad was reported to have said that he recognized right away that the man doing the teaching was God himself. After one of W.F. Muhammad speeches, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad whispered to W.F. Muhammad, "I know who you are, you are God Himself." W.F. Muhammad whispered back to Elijah and said: "that's right, but is not time for my identity to be revealed."[10] Having recognized who he was, W.F. Muhammad drew the Honorable Elijah Muhammad closer to him for three and one-half years; Master Fard Muhammad personally taught him how to affectively use the Bible and Qur’an and gave him the “Supreme Wisdom Lessons” in which he was instructed to commit them to memory. He was giving an examination on the lessons by Master Fard Muhammad and in a question and answer catechism format the answers had to be answered in return 100% correctly (according to the Department of Supreme Wisdom and the Rules of Islam). Early on in the Nation of Islam these lessons were only to be giving to authorized and registered Nation of Islam members (the local Temple/mosque ministers, captains and secretary played an official role in a believer becoming a registered Muslim. Registered Muslims were Muslims who had written a Savior's letter, which was approved by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and this qualified them to receiving an X or holy name (the giving of the X stood in mathematical language as the unknown; slavery stripped us of our original tribal surnames in which Muhammad gave us the X) after going through the student enrollment process and reciting the lessons one hundred percent correctly in order to officially join the temple (mosque).

Many southern blacks migrated from the south (there were a number of great migration movement periods in the history of African-Americans) to northern metropolis in the early 1900s in which blacks were seeking economic and social reprieve and upward mobility—blacks in droves migrated from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc., and went west and north to Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, New Jersey, New York, Boston, Chicago, Cary, East Saint Louis, Detroit, St. Louis, Los Angles, etc. However, many blacks did not know, that the so-called northern “promise lands” had similar racial politics disguised as being different, but were more covert in its racist practices (the north was equally discriminatory, segregated and racial injustices towards blacks were no different than what they had experienced in the old south). The affects of racism and white supremacy were systemic and there were no escaping these social contradiction and institutionalized practices even in the north, which were no different than the racist southern life they had left behind, as I have stated above—northern racism no doubt was meant to be more passive and subtly covert.  But it had the same strategy and tactic (segregation and a social stratum built on the same racial politics model of the old south); Historian C. Van Woodard maintained in his book titled, The Strange Career of Jim Crow that Jim Crow was more of a northern institutional phenomenon in which made its way south and not visa versa.[11]

In 1929, during President Herbert Hoover's tenure the United States went into an economic depression, which destabilized the economic and social fiber of the American society. Historians referred to it as the Great Depression. The United States financial markets were made to collapse, which devastated the social, political, economic structures of the United States (poverty was far reaching during this period in American history, which led to a restructuring of public policy and created agencies that are still in existence today). The international bankers and the central banking cartel called-in the United States debt in which the Depression of 1929 was induced and created economic instability that sent the United States into the abysmal and led to the election of the democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the 1932 New Deal Movement.[12]      

But in Paradise Valley, a black ghetto section of Detroit, a voice of change appeared on the scene, preaching from the Bible and the Holy Qur’an. He called himself W.F. Muhammad (he looked Caucasian in appearance and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that he came looking like the enemy and appearing as a thief in the night).  But prior to his departure he gave us his true name of W.F. Muhammad: he was known by W.D. Fard, Professor Fard, Mr. Ford, Wali Fard, Wallace Fard Muhammad and various other names.[13] He stated that he come to North America by himself, seeking his long lost Uncle— the so-called American 'Negro' who was brought to the shores of North America as slaves 379 years ago. W.F. Muhammad was born on February 26, 1877, in the Holy City of Mecca, Saudi Arabia from the Quarysh bloodline of Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (570 AD-632 A D.).[14]    

This is what W.F. Muhammad taught Elijah Muhammad about his origin and family lineage: “Alphonoso Muhammad was supposed come to the shores of North America with his life giving teachings, bound to the lost and found. In 1870 Alphonoso Muhammad told his Asiatic brothers, the I-men {Imam} that he himself could not carry out such a mission in the western hemisphere because of the fact that he was a cold black seed and white America did not allow a black man to come freely to its shores without official business with its government. So the I-men {Imam} told him how to produce a child who would be original in capacity of the brain, but show off a complexion that would make appear, to the naked eye, as white; but to the lost and found, as high yellow person, in order that he may get through the lines and reach the lost tribe. Alphonoso knew what he must do! He took a white woman for a wife, by the name Mimmie, who’s family was Muslim, also they attended school together outside of Mecca . She born unto Alphonoso two children, the first one, a female named Saleema, the second a male…our prophet Wallace Fard Muhammad”.[15]

W.F. Muhammad declared that he had one mission, and that was to find one from amongst the so-called American Negro that slept—Elijah Muhammad and raise him up as a Messenger unto himself. The Holy Qur'an in Chapter 2, refers to Allah (God) sending a Warner to a people to whom no Warner had ever come before. The Arabs nor any people of the so-called Middle Eastern region can claim this prophecy, because prior to Muhammad Ibn Abdullah Messengership 1,400 years ago, Allah (God) sent Abraham and Ishmael as Warners to the Arabs and all the prophets of old toiled in that geographical region of the world Tigris Euphrates region, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Israel, Abyssinia, etc.,--Abraham, Moses, Noah, Lut, David, Solomon, Jesus, Muhammad, etc., according to the three major faith traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam all of God’s prophets appeared in that region of the world. But the Holy Qur'an speaks of a Warner coming to a virgin people that have never had a prophet or messenger sent to them and the Muslims of the Nation of Islam believed this was none other than the Black man and woman of America. This is well documented in Minister Nasir Makr Hakim (Editor) of the Autobiographical Authoritative vol. titled: The True Mission of Elijah Muhammad: Messenger of Allah; cited on pp. 206-207.  

There has been a long standing debate between the Moors and the black Muslims on whether or not the Nation of Islam founders had any connections to Prophet Noble Drew Ali and the Moorish Science Temple of America (MSTA). This writer, believes that it was definitely possible that Master Fard Muhammad could have been part of the Moorish Science Temple of America. But here is my contention; we are going to take both men at their word. Master Fard Muhammad said according to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that he was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 1877, and he proclaimed that he was a direct descendent of Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah who lived over 1,400 years ago and the Quraish Tribe.

This ethnic ancestral bloodline would serve as a genealogical testimony, which tied Master Fard Muhammad (the Mahdi) directly to the most prominent figure in the religion of Islam; this declaration would give him present and future credibility as a legitimate Muslim leader (the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who taught that this man was God in person upset the orthodox Muslim world). Master Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad in theory understood the theological necessity of interweaving and rooting the Nation of Islam’s history and theological philosophy into so-called ‘legitimate’ Islamic history (this was not coincidental it was strategic and tactical). Although, the Nation of Islam’s theology would be tempered with an unorthodox mixture of Islamic allegory and religious mysticism uniquely orchestrated for an organization with an objective and motive of presenting a doctrine that would be able touch and reach black people based on their historical experiences under Chattel Slavery and the affect the 310 year dehumanization process had on them as a subjugated people would need a special type of teachings.[16] Now, according to 'mainstream Islam' all the above would be perceived as the teachings of heretics (and un-Islamic) of course I would disagree with that assessment. This defines the religious and theological dynamics of the mindset of how Nation of Islam evolved as an Islamic group and organization, certain aspects of the Nation of Islam’s sociological structure as it pertains to organizational inner workings must never be viewed outside of the collective context of the black historical experience in which both Master Fard Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad understood.[17] But historically the organization’s cohesive thread has been charismatic and authoritarian leadership personalities such as W.D. Fard Muhammad, Abdul Muhammad (an early rivalry to Elijah Muhammad), Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, Wallace Deen Muhammad, Clarence 13 X, Louis Farrakhan, Khallid Abdul Muhammad, etc.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali said, he was born on January 8, 1886, I believe in a little Indian town known as Cherokee, North Carolina (some believed that he had Native American indigenous blood flowing through his veins and his oriental mystical teachings of a Moorish doctrine he learned from studying from the Islamic scholars in Egypt). Master Fard Muhammad according to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was in and out of America for some 20 years prior to make his self known to the so-called Lost-Found American Negro on July 4, 1930; so doing the math Master Fard Muhammad was in America in approximately 1910 and according historians, Prophet Noble Drew Ali set-up his first Moorish Science Temple (the first Temple was named Canaanite Temple) in Newark, New Jersey in 1913, but eventually making his mark in Chicago.[18]

If we accept that Master Fard Muhammad was born in Mecca (the citadel of the Islamic religion); he probably had already come in contact with some aspects of Islam, perhaps long before he would have met Prophet Noble Ali; if they ever met at all. So, then would you agree that Master Fard Muhammad was a Muslim and follower of Islam before he would have met Prophet Ali and perhaps did not become a Muslim nor accepted Islam under the Prophet Noble Drew Ali’s leadership as some overzealous Moors have maintained. Some black nationalist writers and scholars argue that both men, W.F. Muhammad and Elijah Muhammad were heavily influenced by Gullam Ahmed and the Ahmadiyya movement (this contention might have merit and validity based on Master Fard Muhammad introducing the Nation of Islam to the Pakistani version of the Holy Qur’an as translated by Mualana Muhammad Ali). Gullam Ahmed and Ahmadiyya were one of the first immigrant Muslim sects that made a formalized attempt to introduce the religion of Islam to African Americans in the early 1900s and many became Ahmadiyya Muslims.[19] I also believe that Prophet Noble Drew Ali at some point was involved in Freemasonry and accepted part of the Masonic worldview; there was a lot of historical and organizational evidence that validates this very point, but none of it had been fully historically substantiated.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad arrived in Detroit, Michigan in approximately 1923 and there is a highly likely-hood that he may have come in contact with the teachings of Prophet Noble Drew Ali (Abdul Sharrieff Ali) more so than Master Fard Muhammad. There is no doubt that you can see the infusion and the interdependency of the two Islamic schools of religious thought and the similarities are strikingly between the two organizations Moorish Science Temple and the Nation of Islam (Moors would argue that Elijah Muhammad was known in the Moorish Science movement as Elijah Muhammad-Bey and was once a Moor).[20] Perhaps W.F. Muhammad understood that Noble Drew Ali being a native born African in America had a better understanding of the social, political, economic and spiritual plight of the Black man and woman of America and his brand of Islam was more attractive to the African American—the blind, deaf and dumb at that time in our historical development (incidental or coincidental the MSTA without sounding contradictory was the organizational forerunner to the Nation of Islam and I think that the Garvey Movement, Moorish Science Temple of America and the Nation of Islam share similar threads in organizational symbolism and black nationalism ideology). I do not think this confession or admittance take away from these groups identities of authenticity. 

I think Master Fard Muhammad was perhaps taught under the theological system of Sunni Islam (it was evident that he had knowledge of eastern-based Islam based on the Islamic religious lexicon that he used), but quickly learnt that this approach would be ineffective based on our condition as a people. Muhammad may have even borrowed some of the teachings from the Moorish Science Temple of America and the Prophet Drew Ali and perhaps some of this introduction to the teachings of the Moors were shared with him from the mouth of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who I believe possible had more than just a casual contact with Prophet Drew Ali, but not necessarily as a member (I think it is more to this story but both groups refuse to allow objective and non-bias research to determine the truthful outcome). Moreover, after reviewing and studying the Moors religious theoretical doctrine (I think Elijah Muhammad), he had come to the conclusion and understanding that in order to bring the teaching of Islam to the African American or ex-slaves, it had to be tactfully and strategically done in which the template was already established by the Prophet). Prophet Drew Ali raised one of the most essential questions relative to the so-called American Negro and that was the question of nationality (which still remains unresolved in 2017, because this declaration of sovereignty is tied to land rights and reparation and must be revisited as Moorish indigenous people of Canaanites and Moabite descendents). Ali declared African Americans nationality to be Moorish American (this proclamation and declaration alone will always allow me to give Prophet Noble Drew Ali tremendous respect).[21]

We have to move beyond these type arguments and become proactive in moving us towards claiming our rightful nationality (beyond the rhetoric) Prophet Noble Drew Ali laid the roadmap. So how do you all suggest in a legal and practical way that we create a collective national sovereignty? Thus, are we prepared to petition the United Nations (which will entail charging the United States Government and other European powers with war crimes against humanity) and wage the legal defense from the jurisprudence side and work to acquire the monetary resources to wage this monumental legal battle. This will entail a defense that will tear at the very core and root of the United States Constitution and cause for having some of the best legal minds to frame this argument, which will involve reinterpreting the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendment (this will lead to relinquishing the 'American' nationality and debunking the citizenship classification status) and overturning the Dred Scott decision.

Prophet Noble Drew Ali and Messenger Elijah Muhammad were Freemasons (this is strictly my opinion as far as the Prophet, but Elijah Muhammad admitted that he was a Mason) and we still do not know fully the role that the Masonic worldview played in the organizational development of both organizations. Many of my Moorish Science Temple brothers would dispute this contention that I am making about Prophet Noble Drew Ali being a Freemason, but the symbolism, the Islamic lexicon and some of the teachings in the Holy Koran Circle 7 resemble and mirror the degree teachings that relates to the working tools taught in Blue Lodge Masonry. I definitely see the philosophical links to the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (better known as the black Shriners).[22] I admit this overview of Moorish Science Temple and the Prophet Drew Ali is insufficient and does not begin to tell the story of the first black Islamic organization in America.

W.F. Muhammad posed as a silk salesman from the East who went door-to-door throughout Detroit’s Black ghetto (a black section of Detroit known as the bottom) as I have stated previously, selling black people royal silk from the Holy Land of Mecca. Upon gaining entrance into a person's home, W.F. Muhammad would begin teaching them the knowledge of self instructing them on the principles of the Muslim diet in accordance what is written in the Qur'an and Bible. He would also give them history lessons about their divine heritage and royal culture. We are taught that W.F. Muhammad was in and out of America for about twenty years prior to revealing his identity. He made his presence known publicly on July 4, 1930, and declared himself the Mahdi of the Muslim World and the Christ of the Christian world.[23]

W.F. Muhammad gave the Honorable Elijah Muhammad the name Elijah Karriem, the attribute Karriem, was one of the ninety-nine names of Allah, which translate to mean the 'generous one'. Prior to W.F. Muhammad's departure, he told the Believers his true name was Wali Fard Muhammad. He also, renamed Elijah Karriem to Elijah Muhammad. The attribute Muhammad interpreted to mean worthy of praise and is also the name of God. By 1934, he told the Lost­-Found Nation of Islam in the West that they did not need him any longer, because they had Karriem. Some historical records reported that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad escorted Master Fard Muhammad to a Chicago airport where he boarded an airplane bound for Mecca (one thing for sure since 1934 W.F. Muhammad disappeared never to be seen again).[24] The Honorable Elijah slowly begin revealing Master Fard Muhammad's true identity as Allah, who came in the person, to the lost found Nation of Islam, and that he was his appointed Messenger. Some of the early members of the Nation of Islam accepted his divine claim, but others such as Abdul Muhammad and the Elijah Muhammad brother Kalot refused to accept the Messenger's claim. Thus, a counter-sect rose under Abdul Muhammad's leadership and eventually the Messenger had to leave Detroit for fear of his life; The Honorable Elijah Muhammad had to travel using aliases to conceal his identity for safety reasons. He would travel to Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington , DC , Richmond , Pittsburgh, etc., teaching Islam and in 1935 he established Temple No. 2. Chicago.[25]

In 1942, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and charged and convicted him of U.S. military draft evasion, although, the Messenger was 45 years old. The draft mandated according to the Selected Service ordered men between the ages of 18-44 to voluntarily sign up for World War II. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a conscientious objector because of his Islamic religious affiliation and his age placed him outside of the age requirement. However, he was still prosecuted unjustly within United States Federal Courts. Muhammad and was sentenced to almost five years in Federal Prison in Milan, Michigan.[26] The United States Government pursuant to disinformation and propaganda called him a Japanese sympathizer and went as far as calling him a Japanese spy (they were attempting to charge him with sedition and treason). All of these charges were mere false and trumped up designed to justify unjust United States government actions and to assassinate the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's public character and attempt to ruin his credibility amongst black people in America. The United States Government did not desire for any opposition voices who opposed their imperialist attacks against the innocent Japanese people in which later they would charge black leaders such as Paul Robenson and W.E.B. Dubois with un-American activity, they both declared themselves to being affiliated with communism and the communist party. They deemed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad a threat to the United States Government national security just as Minister Louis Farrakhan is viewed today an a threat to the United States national security interest; this is not because he has issued any threats nor is an Enemy Combatant or an militant radical Islamic sympathizer. But they fear that their messages have power to give life to people and possibly move 40-50 million so-called American Negroes forward economically, politically and socially.

Clara Muhammad, wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, led and oversaw the Nation of Islam in the absence of Mr. Muhammad. In 1946, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was released from prison and immediately started working to rebuild the Nation of Islam.[27] In approximately 1947, Malcolm Little who was incarcerated where he became introduced to the Nation of Islam's “Life Giving Teachings” through his brother Reginald X Little. In 1952, Malcolm X was released from prison and eventually became a devout student and follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the city of Detroit as a member of Temple #1. Malcolm X's conversion, hardwork and charisma attracted many young intellectuals because of his ability to articulate the Life­ Giving Teachings and convey Elijah Muhammad’s message unlike any other minister prior to 1960. Minister Malcolm X was a fierce debater and spellbinding orator, no one could rationally defeat. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he taught Minister Malcolm X unlike he taught any other student minister. On March 8, 1964, after Minister Malcolm X’s defection, Elijah Muhammad said he would never again train another minister like he trained Minister Malcolm X.[28]

Messenger Muhammad knew that Nation of Islam would fall, rise and never to fall again but he gave all us an eternal word of taking the Nation of Islam into the hereafter. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he fully understood Minister Malcolm X was going to betray him even before his defection took place. If one does not accept the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's divinity then it is historically or theologically impossible to understand the internal conflicts between Minister Malcolm X and his mentor the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.[29]

On February 21, 1965, Minister Malcolm X was assassinated by Black Muslim agent provocateurs working for the United States Government (for those who do not know the U.S. Government murdered Minister Malcolm X). Malcolm X charged the Honorable Elijah Muhammad with committing adultery with a number of his personal secretaries. These charges angered numerous members of the Nation of Islam. They viewed it as mudslinging and slanderous. Thus, at the internal instigation of the F.B.I and J. Edgar Hoover, the zealots rose from within the ranks in which a conspiracy was hatched to assassinate Minister Malcolm X. Many scholars and layperson due to the Freedom of Information Act have acquired declassified documents, which proves and leaves little doubt that Minister Malcolm X’s assassination was straight out of the playbook of the FBI Cointelpro agenda.[30]

However, some scholars and laypersons have tried to connect Minister Louis Farrakhan to the Malcolm X conspiracy and ultimately being complicit in the assassination of Minister Malcolm X. But in all reality at that time in Minister Farrakhan’s organizational status relative to the pecking order of power and decision-making, it would not have been his decision to make of giving the order to assassinate Minister Malcolm X this was above his pay grade: Elijah Muhammad, Jr., Supreme Captain Raymond Sharrief, Herbert Muhammad, Elijah Muhammad, Jr. Abayass Rasoull, John Ali, etc. could have given a sanction to an inside hit on Minister Malcolm X (but even this notion is mere circumstantial evidence, but we do know this much Newark Temple #25 played a major role in Malcolm X’s assassination). Minister Farrakhan did not have that unilateral authority or support from the Nation of Islam's Fruit of Islam (FOI) or the organizational hierarchy at that time to render such decisive decision.[31] The Nation of Islam soared after Minister Malcolm X's death. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was billed in 1966 as the "most powerful Black man in America ." The New York Times Magazine wrote the following about Elijah Muhammad: "Alone of all Negro leaders Elijah Muhammad has a vivid awareness of the vital need of a new birth in any drastic human transformation, and he alone mastered the technique of staging a new identity .. .It is worth remembering that what Elijah Muhammad is doing to the Negro is in a sense, what America has done to the immigrant from Europe."

In 1959, Elijah Muhammad visited Mecca as a guest of the Sunni Saudi Arabian government where he performed the Hajj ritual (he made minor Hajj Umrah along with his two sons Herbert and Wallace Muhammad); the Messenger stated: we "You and I may go to Howard,  we 'may go to York of England, or go to Al-Ahzar in Cairo and get degrees from all of these great seats of learning ... On visiting with a couple of my sons in what they called the Near East, in 1959, I began in Turkey. We traveled from Turkey down to Africa Ethiopia and the Sudan . We visited Arabia (Mecca and Medinah), and we visited Pakistan . We returned home from Lahore, Pakistan , on about the 6th of January, 1960." The Honorable Elijah Muhammad interpreted the Hajj ritual as follows: "1 visited Mecca in 1959. The whole city was all a sign of being my people here in America. The veil of the Kaaba means that we were veiled from the truth of Allah (God). My mentally dead people will be the rulers."[32]

Muhammad labored for forty-four years seeking to elevate the blind, deaf, and dumb so-called American Negro and teach him the knowledge of self. The corporate control media along with his Uncle Tom ‘Negroes’ now seek to write Elijah Muhammad out of history because of his uncompromising political positions. They systematically propped up Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali, two students of Elijah Muhammad, but will not mention their teacher. Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali eventually compromised with the enemy, but Elijah Muhammad refused to give in. I became so disgusted with how the media was portraying the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that I wrote a book in 1995 titled, In Defense of the Defender: The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.[33]

This writer cited this history to silence the Orthodox Sunni Muslims, who claim that the Nation of Islam is some clandestine Quasi-Islamic organization with no recognition from Mecca (not that the Nation of Islam historically has ever sought recognition from the Arabs). No Orthodox Sunni Islamic leader within the United States commanded the type of respect that Elijah Muhammad received from the imposter Arab rulers of Mecca and from Muslim leadership around the world. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad paved the way for all Nation of Islam members to go to Mecca and make Hajj. But the challenge confronting the Nation of Islam is today; is remaining sovereign of Arab theological dictates.

By 1974, the Nation of Islam was a 70 million dollar empire with the “Muhammad Speaks” newspaper being the most widely circulated journal in black America .The Messenger purchased thousands of acres of farm land in Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan to grow, can, and deliver Nation of Islam’s food products throughout Black America. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad established a bank to have access to carrying out international trade; in particular, to transfer letters of credit relative to his fish and seafood deals with the government of Peru and other trade deals in the Far East. Elijah Muhammad only had a fourth grade education but received 360 degrees of knowledge from Allah, who came in the person of Master Fard Muhammad.

Fahim A. Knight-El Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolism and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power. Fahim A. Knight-El can be reached at fahimknight@yahoo.com

[1]Claude Andrew Clegg lll, An Original Man: The Life and Times of Elijah Muhammad. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1997) 349.
[2]Ibid. 348.
[3]Fahim A. Knight-El, In Defense of the Defender: The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. (Durham: Fahim and Associates, 1994) 282-291.   
[4]Abdul Akbar Muhammad, “A Concise History of the Nation of Islam’, a taped audio lecture series conducted by Minister Akbar Muhammad in which some of the lectures were recorded from Muhammad’s Mosque 7 Harlem, New York, 1980s.
[5]Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X. (New York: Ballentine Books, 1964) 238.
[6]Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Black man in America. (Chicago: Muhammad’s Temple #2, 1965).
[7]Jesus Muhammad-Ali The Evolution of the Nation of Islam the Story of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Chicago: JMA Publishing, 2002) 24-31. 
[8]Ibid, Akbar Muhammad.
[9]Andrew Hacker, Two Nations: Black and White Separate, Hostile, Unequal. (New York: Scribner Publishing, 2003) 2-3.  
[10]Mattias Gardell, In the Name of Elijah Muhammad: Elijah Muhammad: Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. (Durham: Duke University Press, 1996) 50.
[11]C. Van Woodard, The Strange Career of Jim Crow. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1966) 17-19.
[12]William Greider, Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987) 89.
[13]Elijah Muhammad: Message to the Blackman in America. (Chicago: Muhammad’s Temple # 2, 1965). 16  
[14]Ibid. Muhammad, 16.
[15]Elijah Muhammad, carbon copy of Muslin Lessons; not clear if these lessons were part of the “Student Enrollment” lessons that were giving and authorized by Master Fard Muhammad between 1931-1934).
[16]Ibid, Elijah Muhammad, 294.  
[18]Arthur H. Fauset,  Moorish Science Temple of America. (New Jersey: Universal Research Associates,  1944) 1-2.  
[19]Karl Evanzz, The Messenger: The Rise and Fall of Elijah Muhammad
[20]Yvonne Yazbeck and Jane Idleman Smith, Mission to America: Five Islamic Sectarian Communities in North America. (Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 1993), 92.  
[21]Dennis Walker, Islam and the Search for African-American Nationhood; Elijah Muhammad, Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.  (Atlanta: Clarity Press, Inc., 2005) 215-224.
[22]Fahim A. Knight-El, Freemasonry (Moslem Sons) and Islam: What Do They Share? (Durham: Fahim and Associates, 2005) 24-28.
[23]Nasir Muhammad, The True Mission of Elijah Muhammad: Messenger of Allah. (Atlanta: MEMPS Publication, 1997) 36-41.  
[24]Ibid, 39.
[25]Ibid, Gardell. 58.
[26]William H. Banks, The Black Muslim. (New York: Chelsea House, 1997) 45-47.
[27]Ibid, 46.
[28]Ibid, 56-59.   
[29]Ibid,. Alex Haley, 295.
[30]Zak A. Kondo, Conspiracies: Unravelling the Assassination of Malcolm X. (Washington, DC, Nubia Press, 1993) 1999.
[31]Ibid, 191-195.
[32] Ibid, Clegg, 136-145
[33]Ibid, Knight-El.


ZK Green said...

Good morning,

Your article was well-written and informative. Although I do not always leave a comment, I have read many, many of your pieces. I like your writing style. Especially the way the information/subject matter flows and weaves throughout the body of the article. Your words always open my mind and cause me to see life from a new perspective. For example, I never knew the "X" in Malcolm "X" was based on anything mathematical in nature. I just took for granted Malcolm X did not want the white man's last name and that was simply it.

I realize that I am a woman on a journey and walking down a path. I have a long way to go. I also realize and real lies, that my mind has been conditioned in ways that I could never have imagined.

Keep up the good work. I will continue to visit your site. I do learn a great deal and I am inspired after reading your work.


Peace and thank you sister ZK Green for your kind and thoughtful words. I am always humbled when others see and find good in me or my work; I try to remain true to my mission of seeking to enlightened others to the truth and to get people to think outside of the box. The knowledge will only assist us along the journey, if we receive wisdom with an open mind and hopefully it will evoke us towards a spiritual journey by continuously awaken our third eye.

So my writing is both a passion and conviction (I have always been willing to tell and convey the other side of the story). I think we as African Americans/blacks/Moors/Hebrews, etc.,or whatever identity we choose to call ourselves, we have a story and for many years based on white supremacy they denied us to tell our story and they told our story from their lens. So sister once again thank you and I truly appreciate your comments and they inspire me to want to work even harder in the cause of freedom, justice and equality.

Bro. Fahim A. Knight-El