Mr. W. D. Fard taught Elijah on subjects that were mostly a mixture of Islamic, meta-physical and black-nationalist concepts. By ‘meta-physical’, we mean that he used physical objects and events to signify mental, moral and spiritual ideas. It is also important to note that most of his narratives were interspersed with Islamic phrases and terminology although they were not the teachings of Al-Islam per se. In fact, much of it was diametrically opposed to what Al-Islam espouses.
During this time, African Americans were called ‘Colored” and “Negro” by European American racist society. According to Mr. Fard, his teachings were designed to awaken the so-called Negro to the “truth” of himself and others. If it did nothing else, it got Elijah “Poole” off of alcohol dependency and got his family off of the soup and welfare lines. Next, we will examine the process by which this occurred.
Mr. Fard considered blacks to be “Original People” who, as in past history according to his eschatology, would again rule the world with justice–after the “destruction of the white man’s civilization”. Whites of America and Europe, according to Mr. Fard, were considered to be “grafted devils” that were genetically cloned by a “black scientist named Yakub approximately 6,000 years ago on the Greek island of Patmos”. Mr. Fard developed a slew of such myths and presented them as literal facts. These myths would later be interpreted by Imam W. D. Mohammed as “picture language” which spoke great wisdom through its symbolism.
After establishing “temples” (later known as “mosques”) with Mr. Muhammad in Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee, Mr. Fard chose Elijah Muhammad to be his “Supreme Minister” and leader by proxy to the 25,000 followers Mr. Fard had garnered in 3 ½ years of his hands-on leadership. The threat of deportation loomed heavily over Mr. Fard’s head after having been arrested and imprisoned on several occasions. Then in April 1934 he left the United States for Mexico, as far as could be determined. Clara would receive several postcards from that country in his name; especially after Wallace D. was born.
Wallace D. Mohammed was born on October 30th, 1933, in Hamtramck, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Wallace D. was the seventh child born to Elijah and Clara Muhammad. As mentioned earlier, W. D. Fard and the younger Mohammed shared the same first name and middle initial. This is because Mr. Fard predicted that the child Clara was carrying at the time would be a boy and should be named after him. Mr. Fard instructed the family to write the name “Wallace D” on the wall behind a door in one of the bedrooms–in chalk. They were told to never let the name fade from the wall. As the chalk began to fade, they would remind each other to re-trace the name over and over again. Furthermore, Mr. Fard predicted that “When Wallace D. turns 40 he will help his father in his work.”
Elijah Muhammad was astute enough to read into the innuendos left within the Lessons and, after Mr. Fard’s sudden disappearance in 1934, Mr. Muhammad deemed himself to be the “messenger” of that one who taught him and took him off of the soup and welfare lines. W. D. Fard (aka Master Fard Muhammad) became known as “Allah in person” and Elijah Muhammad was his “messenger”. This idea would permeate the minds and hearts of the followers within the Nation of Islam and would become the most predominant feature of their propagation efforts until February of 1975.
Mr. Fard had saw fit to prepare others for leadership also, however, his personal choice was Elijah. Following Mr. Fard’s departure, serious rivalry developed, forcing Elijah to flee the Midwest region for his life. His journeying would land him in the area of Washington, D.C. where he would establish Temple # 4 – an institution which was actually built from the ground up under Mr. Muhammad’s directives. Unfortunately, the racist and anti-Muslim climate which prevailed during that time kept Elijah Muhammad and his fledgling organization (which had dwindled down to less than 300 people) smack-dab within the radar of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headed by the late and infamous J. Edgar Hoover.