03 Oct From Dusk to Dawn His Legacy Lives
From Dusk to Dawn His Legacy Lives:
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, A Social Reformer And Liberator
Join us for a two-day conference at Zaytuna College as we look back in history to explore the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and examine how these teachings—a hybrid Islamic methodology—were instrumental in the development of the African American—then and now.
Our panelists are astute students of the Qur’an. Many held positions of significant rank in the Nation of Islam and worked on the frontline in Black communities during a critical period in America when Black people were struggling to affirm their humanity in the face of brutally oppressive racist culture coupled with extremely disadvantageous economic conditions. Some are 2nd and 3rd generation whose parents or grandparents were members of the Nation of Islam during the time of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s leadership tenure. Our panelists will provide details about the significant contributions of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad as a major leader, social reformer, liberator for Black people, and the relevance of his teachings today.
This conference is FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Registration is required. Registration is for both days, the Jumah on Friday, October 26 and the full conference on Saturday, October 27.
Focus: To examine the historical record and assess the efficacy of the hybrid Islamic methodology used by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad during a critical period in America when black people were struggling to affirm their humanity in the face of a brutally oppressive racist culture coupled with extremely disadvantageous economic conditions.
Historical Background: In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring “all held as enslaved people” in the Confederate States “are” and “shall” be free. Over the next 67 years before the Hon. Elijah Muhammad arrived on the scene, freedom for the formerly enslaved Africans was met with strong resistance and challenges. These challenges included the formation of the KKK, lynching, and Jim Crow Laws – which all terrorized and restricted the rights of the former slaves and their descendants. As a result, in 1865 the 13th amendment was enacted to formally abolish slavery in the United States, yet the injustice conditions continued for the African “American”.
In the early 1930s a student of the mysterious teacher, Fard Muhammad, assumed leadership of the fledgling Nation of Islam (NOI) and began building that organization into an institution which would eventually gain national influence and international stature. A migrant worker with a third-grade education the Honorable Elijah Muhammad defined Islam to the African American people as a reformative force whose teachings were predicated on true freedom, justice and equality. Over time his message resonated with hundreds of thousands of black people who had been stereotyped as worthless, in-human and stripped of their historical languages and cultures. These conditions provided the backdrop for the reformative miracle performed by Mr. Muhammad.
Mr. Muhammad, a soft-spoken man of small stature, introduced and popularized Islamic terminology like “Allah,” “Islam,” “Qur’an”, “Muhammad” and “Mosque” in America. His social and religious teachings required the “dead” negro come to “life” by ceasing the use of drugs, alcohol, smoking and consuming pork. He required his followers to obey the law, work and be committed to their families. Women in his movement were held in the highest esteem. They were taught to dress in a dignified manner, support their families and dedicate themselves to the acculturation and education of their children. His teachings were clearly rooted in Islam. Amongst those who followed his teachings were iconic figures Malcom X, Muhammad Ali, Minster Louis Farrakhan, and his son, Imam W. Deen Mohammed.