Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 15, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971966 | Print ISBN: 9781412940504 | Online ISBN: 9781412971966| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Nation of Islam
Brooks B. Robinson
Since the seventh century, Islamic culture has provided positive contributions to human efforts to expand knowledge. History records Muslims' notable mathematical, literary, and architectural contributions to the Western world. In fact, the West owes its numerical system to the Arabs. It is, therefore, not completely unexpected that an African American religious group, the Nation of Islam (hereinafter, “the Nation”), that was founded upon pseudo-Islamic principles, would have the education of its members as a primary objective. The emphasis on education in the Nation began with the “scientific teachings”—a type of numerology—of the group's founder, W. Fard (Fard Muhammad), which was continued by his chief disciple, Elijah Poole (Elijah Muhammad). The latter codified the teachings of the former into catechisms entitled Actual Facts and Student Enrollment , which contained, among other things, basic mathematical “facts” about the Earth and the universe. As part of their initiation, adult members of the Nation ...