'1913' - '1964'
On September 24, 622 AD, the Prophet Muhammad completes his Hegira, or "flight," from Mecca to Medina to escape persecution. In Medina, Muhammad set about building the followers of his creed Islam into an organized community. The Hegira would later mark the beginning (year 1) of the Muslim calendar. Muhammad, the Prophet is one of the most influential religious and political leaders in history, born in Mecca around 570. His father died before he was born, and Muhammad was put under the care of his grandfather, head of the prestigious Hashim clan.
His mother died when he was six, and his grandfather when he was eight, leaving him under the care of his uncle Abu Talib, the new head of the clan. When he was 25, Muhammad married a wealthy widow 15 years his senior. He lived the next 15 years as a merchant, and his wife gave birth to six children: two sons, (who died in childhood), and four daughters.
Elijah Muhammad was born on or about Oct. 7, 1897 in Sandersville, Georgia. Elijah Poole married Clara Evans, of Georgia. They had eight children, Emmanuel, Ethel, Lottie, Nathaniel, Herbert, Elijah, Jr., Wallace and Akbar. In April 1923, Elijah Poole moved his young family from Macon, Georgia, where he worked for the Southern Railroad Company and the Cherokee Brick Company to Detroit, Mich. Detroit was a bustling upwardly mobile city with a booming auto industry.
On July 4, 1930, the long awaited 'Saviour' of the so-called Black man and woman, Master Fard Muhammad, appeared in the city. He announced and preached that God is one, and it is now time for Blacks to return to the Religion of their Ancestors, Islam. News spread all over the city of Detroit of the preaching of this great man from the East. Elijah Poole's wife first learned of the Temple of Islam and wanted to attend to see what the commotion was all about, but instead, her husband advised her that he would go and see for himself. In 1931, while preaching WD Fard met Elijah Poole, He asked him to be His Divine Representative in continuing this most difficult task of bringing truth and light to His lost and found people. For 3 1/2 years, He taught and trained Elijah Muhammad night and day into the profound Secret Wisdom of the Reality of God. This included the hidden knowledge of the original people who were the first founders of civilization of our Planet and who had a full knowledge of the Universal Order of Things from the beginning of the Divine Creation. Upon the Master's departure in 1934, Elijah Muhammad labored tirelessly to bring life to his mentally and spiritually dead people until his return to the Great Master in 1975.
Elijah taught that, Fard had said, "My name is Mahdi; I am God." According to other source, Fard, when asked who he was by the Detroit police, He responded as such: "I am the Supreme Ruler of the Universe.
Prophet Noble Drew Ali
In 1916 AD, a so-called Blackman wearing a red fez worn by Moroccans appeared on street corners of Chicago's South Side to proclaim who the original man is and what is his real name. He was Noble Drew Ali, born Timothy Drew in North Carolina, Prophet of Islamism and founder of the Moorish Temple of Science. Newark, New Jersey, is where he founded the first Moorish Temple of Science in 1913. He also established Temples in Pittsburgh and Detroit before he went on to Chicago where the Moorish Science Temple of America is incorporated. (Under a religious organization)
Noble Drew Ali’s main contention was that the people known in America as the so-called Black man woman and child are in reality Moors and Asiatics. Act six of the 'Divine Constitution and By Laws' of the Moorish Science Temple of America reads: "With us all members must proclaim their nationality and their Divine Creed that they may know that they are a part and partial of this said government and that they are not Negroes, Colored Folks, Black People or Ethiopians. Because these names were given by slaveholders in 1779 and lasted until 1865 during the time of slavery but this is a new era of time now. And all men must proclaim their free national name to be recognized by the government in which they live and the nations of the earth, this is the reason Allah the Great God of the Universe ordained Noble Drew Ali, the Prophet to redeem his people from their sinful ways. The Moorish Americans are the descendants of the Ancient Moabites whom inhabited the North Western and South Western shores of Africa also the NE and SE shores of the Americas.
Prophet Noble Drew Ali immediately rallied many Moors to his Temples; with the green 5-pointed star on a red back round as the Moorish Flag, nothing could stop the movement except the Moors. Taught in the Far East and possessing powerful speeches, with a persuasive manner, and a Native American shrewdness that enabled him to teach the poor, rich, learned and unlettered people, and all who would listen. Most of them remembered the race riots of 1919; all of them had experienced discrimination, segregation and other wrongs. Drew Ali offered them pride and dignity with knowledge of self and God. In 1928, a successful convention provided Noble Drew Ali with an expansion of his Temple activities to other cities. It is not difficult to ascertain just how many Temples resulted, (because of the record keeping by the Moors) in cities like Pittsburgh, Detroit, Charleston, West Virginia, Lansing, Michigan, and Youngstown Ohio.
Drew Ali had divinely prepared and published his 'Circle 7 Koran', a book consisting of the life of Jesus, and the science of life in degrees to follow. The Prophet did business in various oils and teas he had divinely prepared, among them Moorish Blood Purifier, Bath Compounds and other Moorish remedies that work and that are still in use in Temples of Moorish Science today. Asiatics flocked to the star and crescent; they wore their fezzes on the street and the European stopped treating them with contempt. The Prophet announced that each devoted Moorish American must carry a Nationality card bearing his or her real name with title, signed by the Prophet with a Moorish Seal. Today Slave names are Amended and "real" ones added with the use of the ninth Amendment of the US Constitution.
The titles are 'El' or 'Bey', signifying Moorish Nobility, the Nationality Card, star and crescent, when displayed to Europeans; some how convince the European that the bearer was an enlightened Moorish American. The Prophet found independence for the Moors ethical and theoretically. Reports from newspapers wrote about street brawls, threats, insults, and minor violence centering on the Moorish Americas. Moors were approaching Europeans on the streets, showing their Nationality Cards and Flags, and proclaiming in the name of their Prophet, Noble Drew Ali, and Allah that they “had been freed of European slave names and mindset.
After all of this was done by the Moors, Drew Ali issued the following law in the book called Humanities, 'I hereby warn all Moors that they must cease from all radical or agitating speeches while on their jobs, or in their homes, or on the streets. Stop flashing your cards before Europeans as this only causes confusion. We did not come to cause confusion; our work is to uplift the nation' etc…
Drew Ali's leadership is contested in 1929 by Claude Greene, politician and former butler of Julius Rosenwald, who had previously joined the Moorish Nation. One day Drew Ali arrived at his office to find that Greene had moved all the furniture outside and had declared himself Grand Sheik. A civil war ensued, each faction enlisting support from temples in other cities. Greene was shot and stabbed to death in his office at the Unity Club on the night of March 15, 1929.
Drew Ali, was arrested as he sat with his wife and a group of Moors, he was defended by Attorneys Aaron Payne and William L. Dawson, and Moorish Americans who had gained political prominence. Sister Nana said that; “The Prophet, from prison, issued a message to the Moorish Americans, To the Heads of All Temples, Islam, I your Prophet, do hereby and now write you a letter as a warning and appeal to your good judgment for the present and the future. Though I am now in custody for you and the movement, it is all right and it is well for all who still believe in my Father God Allah. I have redeemed all of you, and you are saved all of you, the teaching of Allah can save even those who are not with me. I go to bat Monday, May 20, before the Grand Jury. If you are with me, be there. Hold on and keep the faith, and great shall be your reward. Remember my laws and love ye one another. Prefer not a stranger to your brother, Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Justice I leave all Moors.
Peace from Your Prophet, Noble Drew Ali
This was Drew Ali's final proclamation, released on bond; he died under mysterious circumstances a few weeks later. One Moor stated that he had succumbed to injuries inflicted by the police during his imprisonment; another Moor stated that, 'he was set upon by Greene and beaten so severely that he never really recovered'. After Drew Ali's death, C. Kirkman Bey held the Moors together. Several of the Prophet's disciples announced that they alone were the rightful inheritor of Drew Ali's leadership. John Givens El (formerly the Prophet's chauffer) and Johnson Bey (who had been imported from Pittsburgh to assist in quelling the Greene revolt) each conceived the idea that the dead Prophet’s spirit entered Givens El’s body.
Johnson, a man of action, invaded the office of Mealy El, another leader of the Moors, and demanded recognition as Grand Sheik. Mealy El demurred and received a terrific mauling. Johnson then dispatched his men to kidnap C. Kirkman Bey, who had possession of Drew Ali's last will and testament.
C. Kirkman Bey’s wife surmised that her husband was detained in Johnson's apartment, directed the police thither. A gun battle ensued in which two police officers and one Moor was killed. Sixty-three Moors were arrested, and Johnson was committed to the State Hospital for the criminally insane where he subsequently died. John Givens El also was apprehended after he forced his way into Attorney Payne's home in search of Drew Ali's papers.
Givens is sent to the insane asylum, but was released several years later. In 1941, he was heading a Chicago Temple on East 40th St. and still asserting his claim to the title of Grand Sheik of all Moorish American Science Temples. Givens was one of six contestants, each one a Temple leader and each one designating his own Temple as Temple Number one (1).
Services in each Moorish Science Temple are observed somewhat by the pattern established by Noble Drew Ali. First, a minor Sheik, a Sheikhs and/or the chairperson reads and explains Drew Ali's Circle 7 Koran.
Then follows a more elaborate discourse by the Grand Sheik of the Moorish Science Temple of America, the whole ceremony punctuated by Christian hymns (The Hymn book was written in 1933) with the words Allah, Drew Ali, and Moslem substituted for God, Christ, and Christian.
Friday is observed as a holy day of rest, ‘because on a Friday the first man was formed in flesh and on a Friday the first man departed out of the flesh and ascended unto his Father God Allah, for that cause Friday is the Holy Day for Moslems all over the world’. (Divine Constitution and By Laws) Drew Ali considered Marcus Garvey his forerunner (in a relationship to John the Baptist and Jesus); paid tribute to him both in the Circle 7 Koran and in Moorish Literature, Moorish Americans often honor, and quotes the Jamaican Harbinger 'Marcus Garvey'.
January the 8th, is Prophet Drew Ali’s birthday, a special occasion in all Moorish Science Temples of America, those Moors who can wear full Moorish regalia do, and there is a feasting and distribution of gifts in celebrations of the Prophet Drew Ali. Guests are invited; speeches take on a scientific and historical tone. The teachings and principals of the Prophet are offered in form of a Nationality Card, for the benefit of those still under the influence of a slave name without a title.
The leaders of each of the Temples has striven to build up an organization as powerful as the parent body disrupted by internal warfare also the death of Drew Ali the movement has manage to teach the Prophet’s word unchanged.