|Islam. He made a science of black nationalism, requesting black separation from white, "blue eyed" devils
(white people). In 1959, the movement received an extra boost with the conversion of Malcolm X.
Malcolm emerged as a dynamic spokesman for Muhammad. By 1965, the year of Malcolm's death, the
movement consisted of 70 temples throughout the United States.
After Wallace Muhammad took over leadership of the movement, he made drastic changes in an effort to
move closer in belief and practice to orthodox Islam. Whites are no longer attacked (they are encouraged
to join) and Christianity is no longer attacked to the extent that it once was. The movement was
influenced from its beginning by black nationalist movements (e.g., Moorish Science Temple and the
Marcus Garvey Movement). In 1985, with the approval of the Council of Imams (ministers), Wallace
Muhammad resigned his post as leader of the American Muslim Mission and disbanded the movement's
Muslims are taught to hold fast to the creed of Islam, which encourages the fervent belief in Allah as the
One true and Supreme God, and belief in Muhammad as his Holy Prophet and Servant. The movement
teaches complete obedience and submission to Allah, and respect for His divine Prophet, Muhammad. It
also teaches that all the prophets Moses, Abraham, Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, etc.were sent from God.
The basic duties of worship should be observed; namely, to perform the five daily prayers, to fast during
the month of Ramadan, pay or give alms to the poor, and make a pilgrimage to Mecca. It also stresses
the brotherhood of all men as part of its basic teachings.
The religion of the Muslim Mission is based on the Holy Koran (Qur'an), the Sacred Book of Islam.
PRACTICES AND BEHAVIORAL STANDARDS:
The American Muslim Mission emphasizes proper ethical practices such as cleanliness, good conduct,
chastity, charity, honesty, courtesy, proper appearance, etc. It also stresses brotherhood, equality, justice,
The disbanding of the national organizational structure in 1985 represented the establishment of a fully
congregational polity (a polity more in line with mainstream Islam) by the Muslims whose local centers
are now under the guidance of the Imams rather than the control of the Chicago headquarters. News of
the centers is carried in the Muslim Journal, the newspaper formerly known as Muhammad Speaks in the
ROLE OF MINISTERS:
There is no "priesthood" or "ordination. Muslim ministers are teachers who exemplify the greatest degree
of knowledge, assume religious responsibilities, deliver messages from the Holy Koran, lead in prayers,
render counsel, officiate at conversions and marriages, and are chosen and approved by the great body of
the movement. Any Muslim may conduct worship services, however services are usually conducted by
ministers of the various Temples or Mosques.
Group worship is required for noon prayers on Fridays. Group worship is highly recommended for each
of the five daily prayers. Members are also encouraged to attend and support Sunday services.
Before worship, the body must be cleaned (face, mouth, nostrils, arms, etc.), and so must the member's
clothing and the place of worship (Temple or Mosque). Each member must have a prayer mat or rug for
prayer on Fridays and Sundays. A podium or platform is also desirable for the prayer leader and the
minister who gives the message.
DIETARY LAWS OR RESTRICTIONS:
Pork and its derivatives are prohibited. Alcoholic beverages and drug abuse are forbidden.
FUNERAL AND BURIAL REQUIREMENTS:
At the time of death, members pray for the soul of the deceased. The body is washed, two pieces of cotton
placed in the mouth, one in each ear, and one in the anus. The eyes and sexual organs are covered. The
body is then wrapped in a cotton sheet and a simple prayer is said for the soul of the deceased member.
While a minister is not required to be present at the time of death, the presence of another Muslim is
desired. Autopsy is allowed if necessary and/or required by law. Cremation is not allowed; the body
should return to the earth in natural form.
Members of the American Muslim Mission will go to war to defend the Muslim people, or the country in
which Muslim people reside.
Because all religions and prophets are respected, tolerance of other religions is encouraged.
GENERAL SOURCE BOOKS:
Muhammad, Warith D. As a Light Shineth from the East. Chicago: WDM Publishing Co., 1980.
_____,Lectures on Elam Muhammad. Chicago: Zakat Propagation Fund Publications, 1978.
_____,Prayer and AI Islam. Chicago: Muhammad Islamic Foundation, 1982. 297pp,
_____,Religion on the Line. Chicago: W. D. Muhammad Publications. 1983.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
7801 Cottage Grove
Chicago, IL 60619
1519 Fourth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
|Black Rose Spiritual Center, Inc : Belief Systems
|American Muslim Mission
Masjid Hon. Elijah Muhammad, 7351 S. Stony Island, Chicago, Illinois
OTHER NAMES BY WHICH KNOWN:
The World Community of Islam in the West; the Nation of Islam;
Wallace D. Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad, was the Chief Iman
(spiritual leader) at the time the Mission disbanded its centralized
national structure in 1985. Wallace Muhammad now operates as an
The American Muslim Mission began as the Black Muslim Movement, or
the Nation of Islam, in the early 1930s. A peddler in Detroit, with the
use of a Qur'an (the Muslim Holy Book), began teaching the about the
origins of blacks, nutritional guides, and about what constituted the
"true" religion of the black man. His teachings included bitter
denouncements against the white race. This peddler, Farad Mohammed
(one of several names), disappeared in 1934 and was succeed by his most
trusted student and follower, Elijah Poole. Poole, later renamed Elijah
Muhammad, continued in the footsteps of the mysterious peddler by
denouncing Christianity and the white race.
Another follower, Abdul Muhammad, withdrew and established a
temple in Detroit. Competition between Elijah Muhammad and Abdul
Muhammad became so fierce that Elijah Muhammad relocated and
established another temple in Chicago. From 1934 to his death, in 1975,
Elijah Muhammad emerged as the undisputed leader of the Nation of