Question: Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam have been making big news lately. Is this a genuine Islamic movement or sect that is recognized as such by Arab Muslims?
Response: No. Orthodox Muslims, whether Sunnites or Shi’ites, do not want to be identified with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam (there are several other smaller groups who also call themselves the Nation of Islam) but consider it to be extremely heretical. It is a fanatically racist organization that teaches that blacks are gods and whites are the devil. These teachings first came from “Master” Wallace D. Fard, a salesman of Arabic clothing from the Middle East who made money by convincing blacks that they ought to dress like Arabs. Ironically, Fard, to whom Farrakhan’s followers look as their first God and founder of their religion, was a white man! He vanished from the scene and Elijah Muhammad, who said that Fard was an incarnation of Allah, took over and the movement grew and prospered.
Today’s leader, Farrakhan, has developed further peculiarities. He claims to have been taken aboard a heavenly spaceship where he heard the voice of Elijah Muhammad, the ship’s builder, declare that one day this ship (with its fleet of 15,000 smaller ships) would destroy the white man and establish black power. Before his death (see below) Elijah M. had already made such a prophecy that failed. Farrakhan’s intention is to build a separate and independent “Nation of Islam” with its own government, military and police forces, justice system, etc. When the time comes to set up this separate nation, Farrakhan’s followers will be expected to kill any who stand in its way.
Farrakhan’s “Allah” (in contrast to orthodox Islam) is a flesh-and-blood man who created himself out of a dark substance called “electricity.” He also claims that the 24 elders in Revelation are actually black scientists, 12 of whom are gods. One of these “gods” made the white man out of his evil side. Farrakhan himself is allegedly the fulfillment of Isaiah:9:6-8, i.e., the child born, the Son given, who is “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of peace.”
Some of the doctrines of the Nation of Islam reflect its early origins in Jehovah’s Witness teachings and it has shared in some of the JW false prophecies. For example, when JWs were calling for the end of the world in 1975, Elijah Muhammad declared that Allah would destroy the white man in the 1970s. He died in 1975 and his followers claim that he is still alive and that he is Christ the Savior.
After devotedly following his teachings for 12 years, Malcolm X became disillusioned with Elijah Muhammad’s gross immorality, high living, and obviously false ideas. During a pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X saw how far from the true teachings of Islam the Black Muslim movement was, and began to warn blacks against its errors. He was assassinated by a Black Muslim hit squad.
Blacks imagine that Muslims are their friends but fail to realize that regardless of one’s skin color, Islam demands submission and calls for the death of those who will not submit to Allah. Furthermore, the Arabs were the first slave traders to sell blacks outside Africa. For further information, see Robert Morey’s The Islamic Invasion.