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Elijah Muhammad and Islam$
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Herbert Berg

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814791134

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814791134.001.0001

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The Legacy of Elijah Muhammad

The Legacy of Elijah Muhammad

(p.127) 6 The Legacy of Elijah Muhammad
Elijah Muhammad and Islam

Herbert Berg

NYU Press

This chapter evaluates the Muslim legacy of Elijah Muhammad by examining his two main successors, Warith Deen Mohammed (originally named Wallace D. Muhammad) and Louis Farrakhan. The tension between orthodoxy and heterodoxy embedded within the Nation of Islam by Elijah Muhammad himself led to the rupture between these two successors. However, regardless of whether Elijah Muhammad is viewed as a “true” Muslim or not, it was his genuine personal attachment and dedication to the religion of Islam that spurred him to engage in the mythmaking that not only led tens of thousands of African Americans directly to Islam and several million more indirectly but also made Islam part of the religious landscape of America.

Keywords:   Elijah Muhammad, Islam, Muslim legacy, Warith Deen Mohammed, Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam

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