Muhammad, Elijah(redirected from Elijah Poole)
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Muhammad, Elijah,1897–1975, American black-nationalist and religious leader, b. near Sandersville, Ga. Originally named Elijah Poole, he left home at 16 and worked at various jobs. In 1923 he settled in Detroit and became an automobile assembly-line worker. In 1931 he became a follower of Wali Farad, or W. D. Fard, who had established a Temple of Islam in Detroit. When Farad disappeared in 1934, Poole (now renamed Muhammad) assumed leadership of the movement that was to become known as the Black MuslimsBlack Muslims,
African-American religious movement in the United States, split since the late 1970s into the American Society of Muslims and the Nation of Islam. The original group was founded (1930) in Detroit by Wali Farad (or W. D.
..... Click the link for more information. , officially the Nation of Islam. He was imprisoned during World War II for encouraging resistance to the draft. Muhammad called himself the "Messenger of Allah" and preached that the only salvation for black people in the United States lay in withdrawal into an autonomous state. He retained almost autocratic control over his movement. He greatly influenced Malcolm XMalcolm X,
1925–65, militant black leader in the United States, also known as El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, b. Malcolm Little in Omaha, Neb. A petty criminal in Boston and Harlem, he was convicted of burglary (1946) and sent to prison, where he read widely and was introduced
..... Click the link for more information. , although Malcolm later left the Black Muslims. W. Deen MohammedMohammed, W. Deen
(Warith Deen Mohammed), 1933–2008, American Muslim leader, b. Detroit as Wallace Dean Muhammad. The son of Nation of Islam (Black Muslim) leader Elijah Muhammad, he attended religious schools and junior colleges in Chicago.
..... Click the link for more information. , his son, succeeded him as leader of the Nation of Islam.
See biographies by C. A. Clegg 3d (1997) and K. Evanzz (1999).