Nation of Islam FAQs

Origins, practices, and more about the controversial faith.

What is the Nation of Islam?

The Nation of Islam is an African-American religious movement that incorporates Islamic elements with race-based theology.

Is the Nation of Islam the same as "regular" Islam, just with an all-black membership?

No. There are

significant differences

between Nation of Islam (NOI) and traditional Islam, including the function of prophets and whether or not Allah has incarnated. Other practices distinguish NOI from traditional Islam; for example, during part of its history, NOI forbade interracial marriage.

What is NOI's race-based theology?

For much of its history, NOI maintained that blacks (and often other non-Caucasians) were superior to whites. The movement asserted that whites were created by a renegade black scientist named Yacub.

Where did NOI come from, and how long has it existed?

NOI was founded in Detroit, Michigan in the early 1930s by Wali Farad (or W. D. Fard). Fard appeared in Detroit in 1930, selling goods door to door and telling his customers in Detroit's African-American ghetto of their ancestral "homeland" across the seas.

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