The chairs are gone. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's books are no longer allowed in the Mosque. Imam Warith Deen Muhammad has rolled out his books and Instruction Manuals to His Ministers. Muhammad Speaks is no more. Businesses sold. This is the Back drop.
The Nation of Islam, as it was known, is no more.
Where were all the followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? Where were the Mosques...Study Groups, where were the Believers those two years? Yes, there was Silas Muhammad's group. There were pockets of Believers across the US (Emmanuel Muhammad's, the Muhammad Speaks contingent in Culver City, California, the one in Dothan, Alabama - to name a few), but no movement - no group magnitized the people to unite into a BODY until 1977.
Many people stayed with Imam WD Muhammad. They felt it was the right thing to do. And Imam WD entered in the position with strength and a determined idea. He had an objective and he moved on it. First, he gave directives to all the Ministers on what to lecture about and what not to lecture about (His Minister's guides were books unto themselves). He also spoke heavily against his Father's teachings. This ran a large group away. But enough stayed. They stayed through the removal of the chairs, the elimination of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's books, the introduction of the Imam's books, Arabic classes, shifting of Ministers, embracing of all people - even the US government - they stayed.
But a whole lot fell out. Some fell out and back into the life that they lived before they found Islam. Others, having a staunch belief that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would never die, found their way into the Insane Asylum. Yes, there were even some others who felt it was there responsibility to Rebuild the Nation - coming upon that decision either through the study of scripture or just pure necessity. None of them really garnered a large following though so by the time 1977 rolled around, there was no longer any remnants of the once mighty Nation of Islam.
(There was an even smaller group who NEVER Believed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad dead - a small number, indeed.)
September 1977, all that would change. Having been on a tour of the world and seeing that the evils of white supremacy still dominated the globe, Minister Farrakhan was at a crossroads - enter into a life of entertainment or take up the work of Rebuilding His Father's Work. Enter in Brother Jabril Muhammad with two books (one of which we read, the other we have not) in California with the specific purpose of delivering said writings - a few days later, Minister Farrakhan had decided which road He would take - and two months later, November, He made the Announcement of what He would do.
The reality of the time was this - opposition to the Imam could get you a death threat. Rebuilding the Nation of Islam wasn't a mere talking and studying type movement - it was life or death. Minister Farrakhan travelled the Nation, city to city, with no security - there was no FOI, and those who believed in the Truth of what He said, stood in defense of Him. He had no money. He left His family at home in a city where the Imam's stronghold was. His Faith was in Allah.
From Nov 1977 until Feb 1981, Minister Farrakhan criss-crossed the Nation - speaking w/Believers who had left the teachings, were in asylums, were former Laborers, etc. He went to churches, formed alliances with Black organizations from coast to coast - giving lectures -building study groups - the structure of the Mosque was one of the last things set up.
It would be YEARS before there was any form of Nation of Islam as we know it. And while some people took some convincing, a large group of those who had left the Imam joined on to Aid in the Rebuild. It was an electrifying time.
to be cont'd