The Honorable Elijah Muhammad
LAST MESSENGER OF ALLAH
We Thank Allah, Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad For Raising Up His Last and Greatest Messenger, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad!!
“My mission is to give life to the dead. What I teach brings them out of death and into life. My mission, as the Messenger, is to bring the truth to the world before the world is destroyed. There will be no other Messenger. I am the last and after me will come God Himself. I do not say I will live so long as that, but when God comes, if it pleases Him, I may be with Him. However, if I am not with Him, this is the final. The truth I bring will give you the knowledge of yourself and of God.”
-Message To The Blackman in America, Chapter 133
Before any Black person in America can intelligently talk about “accomplishments,” by, of, and for Black people, that
person — be he Muslim or not — must look at the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, The Messenger of Allah.
Those of us who are blessed to be registered followers of Messenger Muhammad are doubly blessed, but those other Black people who have not yet recognized the wisdom in His Divine leadership are blessed just the same, because whether we like to admit it or not, we are following His great example, program, or some parts of it — that is if we are having any success at all.
And while we, the Muslims give credit first to Almighty God, Allah, Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, to Whom Praises are Due Forever, Who is personally responsible for any success we have, We forever give praises and thanks to Almighty God, Allah, for such a wonderful gift and accomplisher, as His own Messenger, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who gave more than 44 years of his life to raise Black men and women in America up to be respected by civilized societies as a Nation of people.
Why did we need Elijah Muhammad?
Because of slavery in America, separations occurred; fathers from families, mothers from daughters and sons — Beatings, killings, tortures. Life for the Black man in America was suffering, shame and death.
The Emancipation Proclamation, after the Civil War brought about the Black man becoming a WILLING servant or slave for his former slavemaster, NOT a return to his name, language, country or God.
The Black man in America truly fitted the people described in Genesis Chapter 15:13:
“And He said unto Abraham, know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs. And they shall serve them and they shall afflict them 400 years. And also that Nation whom they shall serve will I judge and afterwards shall they come out with great substance.”
After the Civil War, the Black began calling himself in the names of his slave master. Practicing the religion of the slavemaster, speaking the language of the slavemaster. He was given nothing by the slavemaster to go for self.
Slavery, suffering and death was, now, the lifestyle for the Blackman of America, now called; Negro, nigger, coon, pickininny, shine, boy, uncle, etc…
There was work from sun up to sun up. No pay! or very little pay. More suffering, more misery, and more death!
Those in the KKK and those out of the KKK kill the Black man for nothing other than the color of his skin being Black. Torturing and killing the Black man was a pleasurable thing –A SPORT–for the white man.
The Black man called our for relief. The Black man prayed to the mystery God for relief from his pain, misery, suffering, shame and death, but no relief came.
The NAACP was organized in the early 1900′s by a group of whites and blacks but still no relief for the Black man.
The Black man took up arms to fight for America in World War I, as he did in the Spanish-American War and the Civil War but, still, no relief for the Black man.
More lynchings and burnings. More work and no pay — still no relief for the Black man.
In the 1920′s, Marcus Garvey organized the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), which attempted to instill Black pride and to return Blacks to Africa. Garvey was jailed and deported. No relief for the Black man.
Now the Black man hated himself. He hated his color. He hated being Black or even being called Black. He joked:
He began calling himself anything but Black; names such as: olive-colored, creole, bronze, chocolate, tan, Indian. He had no money, no clothing, nor even a home.
The Great Depression of 1929 arrived. Blacks lived, mainly in the South doing sharecropping, land-renting or even in bonded slavery. Some migrated to the North to seek improvement as janitors, porters, maids, cooks, mammies, mail carriers, street cleaners and to face even more slavery, suffering and death, as the brothers in the South.
No relief to their cries or prayers for justice until about 1930, when a man –A Saviour-Master W.D. Fard, began teaching and searching among Blacks in Detroit, Michigan for a man of the Black condition and experience to LEAD and TEACH the Black man in America and put him on the road to Freedom, Justice, and Equality.
Elijah’s Coming Foretold in the Bible!
It was written of and foretold by God in Deuteronomy 18:18:
“I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brotheren, like unto thee and I will put my words in his mouth and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.”
As it was prophesied, now it was fulfilled and true.
In Malachi 4:2
“Behold I will send you ELIJAH – The Prophet – just before the coming of the Great and Dreadful day of the Lord, and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and children’s hearts to their father less I smite the Earth with a curse.”
Our Leader and Teacher, The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, The Last and Greatest Messenger of Allah, Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad was born the second week of October, 1897 to William and Marie, who went in the name of their former slavemaster-Poole. They lived in an area near Sandersville, Georgia and Desoto, Georgia, which is about five miles into the woods, in a community known as Bold Springs, GA. Bold Springs was a 100 militia district of Washington County, Georgia.
The Messenger’s father, at that time, was a Baptist preacher and taught sometimes in his church. He sharecropped to earn money for his family, as a farmer.
The parents loved their children –eight sons and five daughters. But one son –ELIJAH– even as a child was unusually different. He had a yearn for learning. He studied ways of nature. He would study the Bible and would practice on his Brothers and Sisters as a preacher. He was destined for the future.
In the back of the church his father preached in, is a family cemetery.
The family of Messenger Elijah Muhammad moved to Cordell, Georgia about the time when he was about six years old. There, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad worked in the fields, along with his brothers and sisters, planting and plowing behind a mule; reaping and harvesting, picking, planting and chopping crop.
Schooling was not a required thing for Elijah and the other Blacks in the South, only work, day and night — night and day.
The family of our Leader and Teacher, moved to Cordell in the early 1900′s, in an area known as Winona, about five miles south of Cordell.
The Messenger’s family was very poor. They lived across the road from the train depot, where one train a day passed through, which they called: ‘The shoe-fly:.
Messenger Elijah Muhammad would walk down what was called: The Rock House Road: to visit Sister Clara Muhammad.
The Messenger and his family attended Zion Hope Baptist Church, which was located on old Highway 41 below Winona.
Sister Clara Muhammad, the Messenger’s one and only wife, was born in Houston, County just outside of Unadilla, Georgia. Her father always rented land.
Sister Clara Muhammad’s sister, Rose, remembers the Messenger always coming to their house on a Sunday afternoon, just after church; around 6:00 pm; leaving around 9:00 pm because he had to work in the fields the next day. He always visited wearing a blue suit and tie, but never a hat. But he did wear a straw hat when plowing.
After two years of courtship, they were married (eloped) on May 2, 1917. Sister Clara’s father was furious because of their elopement. They lived in a rented room. Their first son, Emanuel was born February 3, 1921 in Sister Clara Muhammad’s parents home, as the Messenger left, going to Macon, GA, seeking better employment and higher wages to support his family.
The Messenger sent for his wife and their 1-1/2 month old son, to join him in Macon, Georgia, where he worked for the Cherokee Brick and Tile Company, as a section hand and for the Southern Railroad and other jobs.
At all of his jobs, his co-workers, themselves, chose him to be their spokesman or his employer chose him to supervise others.
Blacks were poor and suffering with no jobs or jobs with very little pay. The beatings, lynchings and tortures of Black people was a frequent and seemingly legal affair.
Segregation was a way of life. Some Blacks tried to escape by changing their color, using bleaching cream on their skin to lighten it and using lye, other chemicals and hot combs to straighten their hair.
Our Leader, Messenger Elijah Muhammad moved to Detroit, Michigan. There he worked at American Canning Factory, and Chevrolet and other places. Almost always being chosen by his co-workers or employers as a Leader of men — to be foreman or supervisor.
He was always kind and considerate and concerned for his fellow brothers.
Blacks were still suffering all over America.
The Poole family, as our leader did not, yet, have the knowledge of his self, nor God, and was yet going in the slavemaster’s name. They were living at 8474 Manhattan Street in Hamtramck, an area surrounded by Detroit, Michigan with an outside toilet.
The Messenger meets The Saviour
In Detroit one day in the latter part of 1931, our leader met with Master W.D. Fard –THE SAVIOUR–Who was Teaching among Blacks at 3208 Hasting Street.
Our Leader immediately recognized the POWER of THE MESSAGE and THE MAN (MASTER W.D. FARD) Who said that He was God in Person.
Our Leader, right away, accepted the Truth of the Message and the giver of the Message, seeking more insight, more wisdom, knowledge and more understanding.
Our Leader’s family was poor and suffering. The children; Emmanuel, now 10, Ethel, Nathaniel and Lottie, had little clothing, mostly wearing clothes given to Sister Clara by the people she worked for.
Emmanuel, remembering said, “They did not know the original color of the clothes as they had so many patches.”
Their shoes were reinforced with cardboard and their father could not afford shoe repair.
No toys for the children. Only an old tricycle, which their grandfather found and gave to Emmanuel. Ethel had an old rag doll and Emmanuel would wear his mother’s shoes to school, only to take them off at the railroad crossing to hide them before continuing on to school, barefooted.
Meat was on the table about twice a month. Elijah was too poor even to by the poison meat — The Pig–or pork. Their meat purchases were chicken feet, clipping the toenails before cooking. Sometimes they were able to buy and kill chickens and saved the feathers to make pillows and mattresses. Sour spoiled bean soup was sprinkled with vinegar to kill the taste and odor for eating, but never thrown away.
Emmanuel would pick thrown away vegetable leaves to feed the family and picked coals along the railroad tracks to burn in the stove for cooking.
This was the condition then and yet today the Black man in America, to which our Leader and Teacher sought relief had now had a solution.
Immediately upon accepting the Message of our Saviour, MASTER W.D. FARD, the condition of our Leader and Teacher, who was now called Elijah Karriem, began to be improved. He moved into a home at 3050 Yeamen Street in Detroit, which was owned by Mr. & Mrs. Butler, where Master W.D. Fard paid the first months rent.
Later he (Messenger Elijah Muhammad) moved to 283, E Hancock Street, in a 2-family home where his brother Kalat and family lived on the first floor.
The Temple of Islam was located at Chene and Chestnut Street, now a vacant lot. Then 3408 Hastings Street and later at Adams and St. Antione Street.
In 1931, Sister Clara Muhammad wrote and told her mother that they had met A SAVIOUR. Sister Muhammad’s mother did not want to believe her, but Sister Muhammad was very stanch in her belief.
Always interested to reach the, then 17,000,000 of our Black people, in the wilderness of North America, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad started up a weekly newspaper called the Final Call to Islam, to give the message of his mission a larger audience.
On September 5, 1934, Messenger Elijah Muhammad and his family took up residence in Chicago, Illinois at 5830 South Wabash Avenue. Later they moved to 3735 South Giles.
In the late 1930′s they moved to 5308 they moved South Wabash.
In he meantime, as the Messenger was chased by enemies to be killed, his family and followers held fast to the handle of Islam. The men, known as the Fruit of Islam, worked. Their wives an daughters stayed home to cook, sew, and take care of their home and raise their children.
Sister Clara Muhammad, the one and only wife of the Messenger, carried out instructions of her husband, assigning work duties to the children, requiring that they completed their work; keeping a close discipline, loving family at the accepted ridicule for attending the Muslim school classes in homes and for even being clean and self-respecting and wearing long dresses and covering their heads.
During World War II, Messenger Elijah Muhammad was jailed for not registering for the draft, (even though, according to the U.S. law, he was too old to register) from 1942 to 1946, in a penitentiary at Milan, Michigan. There, he continued to Teach what Allah (God), Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, had taught him.
Upon his release, Messenger Elijah Muhammad made double time in building a NATION of Black people out of the down-trodden Black man and woman in America.
For the first time in the history of the Black man and woman in America, we were becoming independent of white people.
At the announcement of the death of Messenger Elijah Muhammad (peace be upon him) — on February 25, 1975, at the age of 78, in a Chicago hospital, reportedly, of congestive heart failure — with no aid from white people, he left behind, an empire, estimated to be worth $60,000,000, which included LAND and cattle holdings in Michigan, Georgia and Alabama, along with grocery stores, restaurants, mosques, schools and newspapers, homes, clothing stores and many other things that a NATION must have to survive.