Nation of Islam

by Luke Wayne

Founder:  Wallace D. Fard (aka Wallace Fard Muhammad) and Elijah Poole (aka Elijah Muhammad)

Headquarters: Mosque Maryam in Chicago, IL

Membership: Approximately 30,000

Origins:  Detroit Michigan, 1930

A Brief History:  Allegedly on July 4th, 1930, Wallace D Fard (or Wallace Fard Muhammad) began declaring his message to African American communities in Detroit, Michigan. By 1931, he had acquired a protégé' in Elijah Poole (who changed his name to Elijah Muhammad). Together they founded the organization they would call the Nation of Islam. In 1934, Fard disappeared. Nothing is concretely known about the man before or after his brief "ministry" in Detroit. Elijah Muhammad became the leader of the fledgling movement and advanced it until his death in 1975. Elijah's most famous pupils were Malcolm Little (later known as Malcolm X) and Cassious Clay, Jr. (later known as Muhammad Ali) though both later converted to Sunni Islam. After Elijah Muhammad's death, his son Wallace (later changed to Warith) Deen Muhammad took over as leader of the Nation of Islam. He denied many of the unique teachings of his father and attempted to steer the organization toward mainstream Islam. He changed the name to "The World Community of Muslims in the West," and later to "the American Society of Muslims". One of Elijah Muhammad's pupils, Louis Farrakhan, was dissatisfied with the changes. He broke with W. Deen Muhammad and led a group to return to the teachings of Elijah Muhammad under the original name of "Nation of Islam". While W. Deen Muhammad's "American Muslim Society" is now defunct, Farrakhan's "Nation of Islam" persists to this day.

Teachings:  The teachings of the Nation of Islam are elaborate and often convoluted. The essential core, however, is as follows:

  1. God: While the Nation of Islam claims, as its name would suggest, to advance Islam as the true religion, their beliefs can hardly be called Islamic. It is true that they put forward as the first tenant of their faith that: "We believe in the One God whose proper Name is Allah,"1 They reject, however, that Allah is a transcendent, eternal, spiritual being. They argue that God is instead a man.2 Elijah Muhammad wrote that "The Christians and most of the old world Muslims are alike; not having a true knowledge of the Supreme One, referred to as Allah" and indicted them for believing that, "God is something other than a man."3 He further states, "The Muslims worship one God - Allah. 'Say; He, Allah, is One God.' Yet 99% of the old world Muslims think that Allah is only a 'Spirit' and is not a man. Then they too need to be taught today the reality of Allah."4 The Nation of Islam claims that God is a black man who is the biological father of the black race on earth.5 They believe that the "Son of Man" is another name for Allah and that this proves he is just a man.6 God used a flying aircraft to put the mountains in place and will use this same aircraft to destroy evil from the world.7 Earthquakes are caused by God (or the Son of Man) experimenting with high explosives.8
  2. Man: Nation of Islam teaches that the original man is "the Asiatic Black man; the Maker; the Owner; the Cream of the planet Earth - Father of Civilization, God of the Universe."9 and that, "the Earth belongs to the original Black man."10 The white man is "the devil", the true "colored man" and the "skunk of the planet."11 The white race (or "the devil") was created by a black scientist from Mecca named Yacob for the purpose of ruling over the Original man for 6,000 years. He did so through a careful breeding (or "grafting") program.12 The white devil is, therefore, an inferior and degenerate race of beings13 The white race introduced all forms of deceit and evil into society and were therefore driven out of the black man's land to live as primitives in the caves and forests of Europe.1415 The white race cannot be redeemed and must ultimately be removed from the earth.16 A few white people who believe the Nation of Islam message will be blessed to enter into the hereafter. Even these, however, will not experience the new birth and so will not live forever because they are inferior to the black man and are made by Yacob and not by God.17
  3. Wallace Fard Muhammad: The Nation of Islam puts forward as a tenant of their faith: "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."18 Elijah Muhammad wrote, "Allah came to us from the Holy City Mecca, Arabia, in 1930. He used the name Wallace D. Fard, often signing it W. D. Fard, in the third year (1933). He signed his name W. F. Muhammad which stands for Wallace Fard Muhammad. He came alone. He began teaching us the knowledge of ourselves, of God and the devil, of the measurement of the earth, of other planet (sic), and of the civilization of some of the planets other than earth."19 They believe that the coming of Wallace Fard Muhammad was a literal appearing of God. This is not to be understood as an incarnation. It is not a matter of God becoming flesh or taking on a human nature. The Nation of Islam's God is already nothing more than a man. The coming of Wallace Fard Muhammad is merely that man appearing.
  4. Salvation: A tenant of the Nation of Islam faith is that "We believe we are the people of God’s choice, as it has been written, that God would choose the rejected and the despised. We can find no other persons fitting this description in these last days more than the so-called Negroes in America. We believe in the resurrection of the righteous."20 The hope of the nation of Islam is for Allah to come and eliminate the devil from earth, judge the wicked, and to restore the righteous original man to his proper place.21 "On that Day of the Resurrection and Judgment of this world, our people will not find a friend to help them besides Allah (God) Who Came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad to Whom praises are due forever. It also warns us that if we do not accept Him, if we are in an error, He will leave us in that error and we cannot benefit with right guidance from ourselves.22 "Everything is being changed from the old to a new thing. We Must Qualify For The New."23

Biblical Analysis

The Bible is clear that "God is Spirit" (John 4:24), that He is "not a man" (Numbers 23:19), and that He "possesses immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see," (1 Timothy 6:16). "We understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible," (Hebrews 11:2). God is frequently praised as a true creator of all things in words like, "You alone are the Lord. You have made the heavens, The heaven of heavens with all their host, The earth and all that is on it, The seas and all that is in them. You give life to all of them And the heavenly host bows down before You," (Nehemiah 9.6). The one true God of the Bible is far above and beyond anything that He has made, and He brought all things into existence. The so-called "god" of the Nation of Islam is a mere man, and therefore by definition is a physical being that requires a universe of matter, time, and space even to exist. He, therefore, is not a "creator" in any true sense. He flies about in his plane shaping things here and there but is an utterly dependent being in a world not his own. That is what it means for your god to be a man. There is no getting around it. This is nothing at all like the God described in the Bible. It doesn't even live up to the false gods of the pagan nations the Bible describes. From a biblical perspective, Nation of Islam is practically atheistic.

The Bible further teaches of God that, "He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us," (Acts 17:26-27). We do not know what the first man looked like, nor does it matter! God Himself brought all peoples into existence, and He has said that "From the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations," (Malachi 1:11) This is why Jesus ended His ministry by commissioning His disciples, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age," (Matthew 28:18-20). The Gospel is God's gracious truth to all peoples, not merely to one race. Indeed, in the gospel "there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all, (Colossians 3:11) and again, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor freeman, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus," (Galatians 3:28). The picture of the redeemed worshiping before the throne of God is one of "a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb," (Revelation 7:9). To Christ it is gloriously proclaimed, "You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation," (Revelation 5:9). This is the gospel. Christ purchased a people of every nation by His own blood. Redemption is not found in our birth to a certain race or ethnicity, nor is it found in our ability to "qualify" for the new age. "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God," (John 1:12-13).

"Remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross," (Ephesians 2:12-16)

It, therefore, goes without saying that Wallace Fard Muhammad is not God, nor did he reveal a new truth from heaven, but rather an old lie from hell dressed in the racial divisions of mid 20th century America. There is not a nation or people that God did not create, nor is there a nation or people from whom He will not save all who repent and believe on Jesus Christ. Satan is not a human ethnic group, but Satan is the author of man's desire to conceive of himself as God's equal (Genesis 3:4-5). The Nation of Islam is a dangerous cult of racial animosity and blasphemous heresy, and its members are lost and in desperate need of the grace of God in Jesus Christ, which He extends to every race and people.

  • 1. (Accessed 7/19/16)
  • 2. Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman, Chapter 3 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 3. Elijah Muhammad, Our Savior Has Arrived, Chapter 12 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 4. ibid, Chapter 12 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 5. ibid, Chapter 20 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 6. Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman, Chapter 7 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 7. Elijah Muhammad, The Fall of America, Chapter 58 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 8. Fard Muhammad, The Supreme Wisdom Lessons, pg. 13 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 9. ibid, pg. 7 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 10. ibid, pg. 8 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 11. ibid, pg. 7 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 12. ibid, pg. 15-16 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 13. ibid, pg. 17 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 14. ibid, pg. 9 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 15. Elijah Muhammad, Our Savior Has Arrived, Chapter 16 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 16. Fard Muhammad, The Supreme Wisdom Lessons, pg. 17 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 17. Elijah Muhammad, Our Savior Has Arrived, Chapter 17 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 18. (Accessed 7/19/16)
  • 19. Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman, Chapter 8 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 20. (Accessed 7/19/16)
  • 21. Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman, Chapter 7 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 22. Elijah Muhammad, Our Savior Has Arrived, Chapter 45 (accessed 7/19/16)
  • 23. ibid, Chapter 44 (accessed 7/19/16)