African American religious movement that mingles elements of Islam and black nationalism. It was founded in 1931 by Wallace D. Fard, who established its first mosque in Detroit, Mich. Fard retired into obscurity and his assistant Elijah Muhammad, who founded a second temple in Chicago, took over in 1934. He asserted the moral and cultural superiority of Africans over whites and urged African Americans to renounce Christianity as a tool of the oppressors. His teachings also included the traditional Islamic tenets of monotheism, submission to God, and strong family life. The Nation of Islam grew quickly after World War II, and in the early 1960s it achieved national prominence through the work of Malcolm X. Leadership disputes led Malcolm to form a separate organization and finally to his assassination in 1965. In the 1970s Elijah Muhammad was succeeded by his son, Wallace D. Muhammad (b. 1933), who renamed the organization the American Muslim Mission. In 1985 he dissolved the Mission, urging its members to become orthodox Muslims. A splinter group headed by Louis Farrakhan retains the movement's original name and principles. In the early 21st century there were approximately 10,000 members of the Nation of Islam.
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Major world religion founded by Muhammad in Arabia in the early 7th century AD. The Arabic word islam means “submission”—specifically, submission to the will of the one God, called Allah in Arabic. Islam is a strictly monotheistic religion, and its adherents, called Muslims, regard the Prophet Muhammad as the last and most perfect of God's messengers, who include Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and others. The sacred scripture of Islam is the
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