The UnIslamic Nation of Islam The mention of the “Nation of Islam” will undoubtedly cause an immense number of responses in any situation. To some, this organization symbolizes blatant racism. To others, it is seen as a savior of the black community. Regardless of ones opinion of the Nation, though, the differences between The first, and most astonishing, difference between the Nation and traditional Islam is the role of race in the churchs philosophy. the Nations philosophy clearly states that, “We believe that intermarriage and race mixing should be prohibitted (www.noi.org/ program.html)”. The traditional wording of the Koran, however, states that diversity in race is one of Allahs greatest creations(Koran, 30.22).
The Nation of Islam restricts its membersip to those who are black. the beliefs of traditional Islam, however, state that all persons are born Muslim, and that “every person is endowed by Allah with the spiritual potential and intellectual inclination that can make him a good Muslim.(4) The Islamic church ignores the issue of race when examining ones spiritual purity. Rather, It is the spirit itself which defines a Muslim. Traditional Muslims and members of the Nation of Islam also differ in their definition of what it means to be Muslim. The belief in Islam is defined by five Pillars: shahada(the belief in only one Allah), salah(prayer), zakuh(obligatory charity), sawm(fasting), and hajj(pilgrimage) (www leland.stanford.edu/group/Thinker/v2/v2n3/Saudi.ht ml). Of these Five Pillars, the Nation of Islam requires none of its members. The shahada is rejected by the Nation because it belives that Wallace D.
Fard Muhammad was Allah incarate. (noi.index) Salah, or the five daily prayers in the direction of Mecca, are also not required of members of the Nation(coolguy). Zakuh is rejected by the nation, as it believes charity is a “way to benefit the dominant classes of the culture.(coolguy). Sawm is also not required of Nation members, nor is the hajj to Mecca(coolguy). (Ironically, it was the hajj of Malcolm X which led him to abandon his separatist beliefs, and to preach unity). The rejection of the five basic requirements of Islam is representative of the distances between the Nation of Islam and traditional Islam. Because of these differences, the Nation cannot be accepted as just another chapter of Islam, but it must be treated as a different and distinct religion.
The third difference between the Nation of Islam and traditional Islam is the manner in which other religions and their members are regarded. Islam accepts the existence of all prophets from Moses to Muhammad. (Koran, 2:91) The Nation, however, believes that Wallace D. Fard Muhammad is the true prophet(Noi.program). Traditional Islam regards members of all religions as holy.
The Koran states that, “those who believe, and those who are Jews, and Christians, and Sabaeans-whoever believeth in Allah, and the Last Day doeth right- surely their reward is with their Lord, and their shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve”(2:62). Farrakhan, on the other hand condemns those of other religions and races. In a speech in January 1994, Farrakhan warned members of the Nation of Islam that “they(the jews) are plotting against us even as we speak (www.strang.com/cm/stories/emmy/96tl.html).” He proposes that other religions are inferior to Islam, as well as proposing that different races are unequal. The Nation of Islam believes that the white race was created by a botched experiment of mad scientist named Yakub, 6,000 years ago(7). It is beliefs such as this which create the image of the Nation which is common to most: a racist organization which preaches Black supremacy. Some may argue that the often outrageous methods and beliefs of the Nation of Islam have done more good than harm.
In 1996, Farrakhan organized the Million-Man March which brought over 400,000 black men to the nations capitol. Those who enter the Nation swear to refrain from the use of drugs and alcohol. Thus, being less likely to become addicts, gang members or victims of violence. But, the hate which Farrakhan preaches outweighs any of the benefits of his Nation.