In the early 20th Century something was happening in the United States. In addition to the struggles of the Depression and two world wars – Islam in America was changing. At least among one population.
In the early 1930’s a form of Islam was being born centered on the African American experience. Wallace D. Fard Muhammad drew from both the Qur’an and the Bible when he took his message of black spiritual liberation to the streets of Detroit. Muhammad preached of black withdrawal from white society. After his disappearance Elijah Muhammad took over and took the “Nation of Islam” national.
In the beginning this early form of Black Islam differed quite a bit from mainstream Islam. The Nation of Islam did not recognize the Five Pillars or major Muslim Holidays and Ward D. Muhammad was declared to be Allah.
Since those early days the beliefs of the Nation of Islam have come more in line with those of Sunni Islam.The group has even changed its name to the “American Muslim Mission.”
A branch of the “Nation of Islam” does still exist that retains its black separatist theology– lead by Louis Farrakhan. Although even this branch has begun a slow move toward more orthodox Muslim belief.