Elijah Muhammad #2253
Muhammad was born Elijah Poole in Sandersville, Georgia, as one of 13 children of Willie Poole (1868–1942) and Mariah Hall (1873–1958) both were tenant farmers (share croppers). At the age of 16 he left home and traveled about America. In 1917 he married Clara Evans, later to be known as Mother Clara Muhammad. In 1923 he finally settled in Detroit, Michigan where he worked at an automobile factory. The young Elijah Poole apparently witnessed three lynchings before the age of twenty, no doubt contributing to his grim evaluation of whites.
In the early 1930s, Muhammad became acquainted with a W.D. Fard also known as Wallace Fard Muhammad, whose followers consider to be Allah “in Person” (Theology of Time Series). This consideration, however, is entirely against the teachings of mainstream Islam, though followers of Elijah Muhammad are quick to support this controversial position using both Bible and Qur’an.
W.Fard Muhammad, then working as a peddler, had already established his Temple of Islam in Detroit, he had approximately twenty-five thousand followers. The beliefs taught by Fard, though similar to orthodox Islam in many essentials, also differed from it in several ways. Scholars who reject the idea that Fard Muhammad is “Allah in Person” have identified a wide range of possible influences on Fard’s theology including Sufi Islam, the teachings of the contemporary Noble Drew Ali of the Moorish Science Temple, Egyptology, Numerology, Eastern mysticism, Black Nationalism, the earlier ideas of economic independence as espoused by Marcus Garvey, and more.
Upon Fard Muhammad’s disappearance in 1934, following his arrest and departure from Detroit, Elijah Poole, renamed Elijah Muhammad, by Fard Muhammad, became the successor to the Nation of Islam and Supreme Minister. In 1942, Muhammad was arrested in Chicago on charges of sedition and violation of the Selective Service Act. He was cleared of the sedition charges, but was convicted of the others, specifically for instructing his followers to avoid the draft. Elijah Muhammad was sent to Federal prison for four years.
Source Wikipedia Elijah Muhammad | This text licensed under GNU Free Documentation License