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Nation of Islam in America
Nation of Islam in America
The movement “Nation of Islam” was founded in 1930 in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad with goals of improving the spiritual, mental, social and economic conditions of African Americans specifically in the United States. This was a time when people of color, especially the African Americans were discriminated against in every sphere of life and this movement was started to teach the oppressed and unprotected to acquire comprehensive knowledge of God and their religion which would teach them about human rights and self-independence through the Muslim Culture which the Nation of Islam emphasized was superior and much better than their existing culture.
Wallace Fard Muhammad arrived in Detroit in 1930 with a little-known background. He founded the Nation of Islam and preached an idiosyncratic type of Islam to the Black population of the city. Initially, Wallace used the Bible for his preaching because it was the only religious book that most of his audience recognized. With the increase in his popularity, he became more adventurous in his condemnation of the whites and began to criticize the Bible in a manner that shocked his audience and made them emotionally vulnerable. Because of his shock tactics, more people started attending the meetings at his house until they increased so much in numbers that they had to be accommodated in shifts
His followers were so impressed by him that eventually, they collected enough money to rent a hall which served as the first time where their meetings were held. After his popularity grew, he eventually introduced the Quran to his audience and declared that this was the most reliable and trustworthy religious text. He also wrote texts himself which became manuals for his followers to memorize word for word. Fard preached and emphasized the fact that the blacks were not Negros because they belonged to the lost tribe of Shabaz and were enslaved by the traders of Mecca some 379 years ago.
He preached that he was the savior, who had come to America to reclaim his long lost brothers because the whites had deprived them of their language, their religion, and their homeland. He also preached that all blacks were righteous and that the whites are the colored people because they the blacks had retained their original color. He emphasized that the blacks revert back to their original religion; Islam, the original language, Arabic, and that they must spend their lives according to the law of Allah which was the highest and noblest form of life.