Minor Sects of Islam
The most exotic variant of Islam
proposes to reach
Their emphasis is on union with
While the average Muslim is content in
submitting to the will of Allah, the Sufi wants an immediate, ecstatic
experience of oneness with
Dervishes turn for an hour or more at a time without any sign of fatigue, repeating the name of Allah in prayer to the accompaniment of a musical beat.
Until recently this was reserved for initiates only, but now their beliefs and practices are performed in public. The costume is a white skirt which represents a shroud, and a high felt hat, symbolizing a tombstone.
Among the eight Sufi precepts are: a
concentrated breathing technique, returning to
This group has about 6000 adherents in America.
In 1913, a North Carolina black man named Timothy Drew arrived in Newark, New Jersey, under the name of Noble Drew Ali. He founded the Moorish-American Science Temples on the doctrine that Negroes were of Moroccan (Moorish) origin, and that Jesus was a black man killed by white Romans. Many of his teachings were taken from The Aquarian Gospel, an occult book written by Levi Dowling.
When Ali died, Wallace Ford, a door-to-door salesman from Detroit, suddenly appeared on the scene claiming to be Ali’s reincarnation. He asserted that he was born in Mecca and had been sent to America to redeem the black man from the “Caucasian devil."” One of Ford's spokesmen, Elijah Muhammad (formerly Robert Poole) helped him to found the Nation of Islam. [Elijah] Muhammad insisted that Ford was an incarnation of Allah. By the time Ford mysteriously disappeared from sight in 1935, [Elijah] Muhammad had assumed leadership of the organization.
While incarcerated as a conscientious
objector during World War II, Elijah Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah,
effectively recruited black prisoners for his cause. His message to them
was simple: Wallace Ford was
Malcolm X was the mouthpiece of Elijah Muhammad and was an eloquent evangelist until he was murdered by one of Muhammad’s rivals on February 21, 1965. Membership blossomed in the turbulent, racially tense sixties. Dozens of temples were opened in ghetto neighborhoods, usually by acquiring the abandoned churches of white congregations who fled to the suburbs. A half-million circulation newspaper, Muhammad Speaks, (now called Bilalian News) was hawked by well-dressed militantly organized youth.
Though their racial intolerance
separated them from the world community of Islam, they did practice some
Muslim precepts. Members prayed five times a day facing Mecca. Women were
admonished to respect their husbands and were required to have their heads
covered. The Qur’an was deemed to be the holy scripture of
Though most critics labeled their theology as “racial hatred,” Black Muslims preferred to call their views “social separation.” They wanted no part of integration. Why should they? The white man’s day of destruction was coming, and blacks should avoid sharing in his judgment. Heaven and hell were considered irrelevant concepts because the black man in America had already gone through the hell of slavery.
Upon the death of Elijah Muhammad in 1965, his son Wallace took over the movement. His initial most important accomplishment has been to drop the strident racial invectives that had aroused the fear and dread of whites. This new image has enabled the Black Muslims to gain official recognition as an orthodox Islamic body under the name Community of Islam in the West.
After the death of Malcolm X, militant groups splintered off from the main group, which is now led by Wallace Muhammad. Such is the group led by the “Reverend” Louis Farrakhan. [Who proclaims that Barack Hussein Obama is the messiah! - Ari Levitt-Sawyer]
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