The NOI was founded in Detroit on July 4, 1930, by Wallace Fard Muhammad, also known as W. D. Fard Muhammad, in order to, as the Nation of Islam states, “teach the downtrodden and defenseless Black people a thorough Knowledge of God and of themselves, and to put them on the road to Self-Independence with a superior culture and higher civilization than they had previously experienced.” The NOI teaches that W. Fard Muhammad was both the “Messiah” of Judaism and the Mahdi of Islam. Fard chose his assistant minister, Elijah Muhammad, in 1931 to succeed him as head of the movement, calling Muhammad “His Divine Representative”. Fard trained Muhammad night and day for 3½ years before he took over NOI in 1934.
Muhammad and the movement were widely rejected during his 44 years as the NOI leader. Muhammad