Elijah Muhammed

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uppladdat: 2005-04-10
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Elijah Muhammed was born as Elijah Poole 10th of October, 1897 in Sandersville, Georgia. His father, a Baptist preacher named William, had been a slave. Together with his mother Marie Poole, they had 12 other children apart from Elijah. As a boy, Elijah worked at various jobs involving manual labor. At the age of 16, he left home and began a nomadic life. Elijah married and together with his wife they had eight children in total; Emmanuel, Ethel, Lottie, Nathaniel, Herbert, Elijah Jr., Wallace and Akbar.
The year is 1923. Elijah Poole, working for the Soutehrn Railroad Company and the Cherokee Brick Company in Macon decides to move from the south, in search for better economic and social circumstances. They settle in Detroit, Michigan which at that time was an active rising mobile city with growing car industry. On the other hand Detroit, just like any American state exposed racial discrimination, especially towards Blacks where these inequalities and prejudices continued increasingly. Blacks were underestimated, but there was no rather critical struggle back headed for Whites. At that time, Whites were still seen as more dominant and at times even more worthy than Blacks. This started to change in Detroit having 17% Blacks, with the hope of progress in its social scene.

The long needed “rescuer” of the Black man and woman appeared in this city on July 4, 1930. He was Master W. Fard Muhammad, preaching and proclaiming that God is One and challenged Blacks to return to the religion of their ancestors, the religion of Islam. The news of Fard Muhammad was spread all over Detroit from the far East. The wife of Elijah Poole, who had heard of the Temple of Islam, intended to attend to see what the riot was all about. Though instead, husband Elijah recommended her that he would go and see for himself. This was probably the tremendous immediate change in his life. He immediately accepted the riot of the Temple of Islam and soon convinced his entire family to accept the religion of Islam. For influenced Blacks, this was a way of standing up for their own rights; apart from the racial discrimination, also for social rights. This was when he changed his name to Elijah Muhammad, his first important messages for Blacks being “self help” and “love yourself”, since during this time, Blacks were taught to hate their blackness. His introductory to fall in love with themselves, the “Blacks” lead on to teaching that God was them – they were God.

The increasing Muslim community progressed businesses that focused on trading between and among Black companies. This caused separation mentally and phsyically from rest of the people who weren’t Black. Recruited members started to increase and Blacks now could show their courage for standing up for their own rights and needs. Black newspapers had spare columns for Muhammad’s “Mr. Muhammad Speaks” and membership increased again, this time when Minister Louis Farrakhan and entertainer Louis Walcott in 1955, joined the Nation of Islam, after hearing Mr. Muhammad’s speech in Chicago. Thus apart from the bright side, there was unfortunately also a dark side to this. Whites in different American states continued attacking members and mosques continuously. Since White’s owned the publicity, media began to critisize and spread anti-Nation of Islam propaganda. Eventually, some members of the Nation of Islam were jailed on false charge of contributing to the crime of minors. Even the “long needed rescuer” Master W. Fard was harassed by the police and was forced out of Detroit, moving to Chicago with no better circumstances. On February 26, 1934 he disappeared out of view and Elijah Muhammad took over his role, with the mission of saving Black man and woman. By the 1960’s Elijah Muhammad’s ever-rising movement unlimited itself to more than 60 cities abroad in Ghana, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America. He encouraged worldwide brotherhood and sisterhood.

“The factual voice of history, simply can not find another example in the black community where a group, under the leadership of one, accomplished so much” (paragraph 5: CROE). This organization, which express its judgment towards Elijah Muhammad, is one of the present organizations that hold a remembrance of and honor Mr. Muhammad, “and encourage the rest of Black America to follow him so that they can get back on the right path”. Elijah Muhammad still has an impact and continues to have an impact on many of the Black Americans today.
In the early 1930s, a time of severe economic distress when stock market crashed, Poole met Fard Muhammad, also known as W.D. Fard. When working as a dealer, Fard had already established the first Temple of Islam in Detroit. He found the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, also known as Muslim faith, among Black people in the United States. Elijah Poole soon became Fard’s chief assistant and in 1932 went to Chicago where he established the Nation of Islam’s Temple, Number Two, which soon became the largest.
During World War II, Elijah Muhammad expressed support for Japan, on the basis of its being a non white country, and was jailed for sedition (1942-46). Many other male members of the Nation of Islam at that time were imprisoned as well for being thorough objectors to World War II. After his release from prison, Muhammad returned to Chicago and expanded his membership drive to new heights from the central point of the Nation of Islam. Among many new members included Malcolm X and his family. In the 1950s, Muhammad promoted Minister Malcolm X to the post of National Spokesman. By the early 1960s, several magazines in the United States described Muhammad as the most powerful Black man in America. Elijah Muhammad’s program based on the worship of Allah and on the belief that Blacks are its chosen people and Muhammad became known especially known for his expression directed at white people, whom he called “blue-eyed devils”. However, in his later years, he reasoned his anti-White tone and helped with self-help among Blacks rather than confrontation between the races. Because of the separable views Elijah had, Malcolm X, one of his most loyal members decided in 1964 to separate from the Nation of Islam and formed his own religious and political organization. His very public imperfection from the Nation of Islam was based on his misinterpretation of the domestic life of Elijah Muhammad.
Mr. Muhammad made Hajj (holy pilgrimage) to Mecca more than once and died February 25th in 1975, burried in Thornton, Cook County in Illinois, United States. The legacy of the Nation of Islam continues to make unlimited progress yet today, and was established under the leadership of Louis Farrakhan after Elijah Muhammad’s death.


Sources by:

Nation of Islam Online, 2001 ...

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Inactive member [2005-04-10]   Elijah Muhammed
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=3888 [2020-08-04]

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