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      Early African American Muslim Movements and the Qur'an

      Journal of Qur'anic Studies
      Edinburgh University Press

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          Abstract

          Although the majority of African American Muslims are now orthodox Sunnī Muslims, they (or perhaps their parents) were first introduced to the Qur'an (or some conception of it) by the Moorish Science Temple or the Nation of Islam. It is ironic that the leaders of these movements, Noble Drew Ali and Elijah Muhammad, knew very little of the Qur'an. This article examines what exactly the word ‘Qur'an’ and the text of the Qur'an meant for these two early African American ‘Muslims’ by examining their use of both the word and the text. Drew Ali, having produced his own Qur'an, used just the name, for it validated his prophethood. Elijah Muhammad had a somewhat less heretical approach. On the one hand, he accepted the Qur'an as scripture and often cited its verses. On the other hand, he was not bound by its traditional interpretation and he believed that a new Qur'an was soon to be revealed. For both Drew Ali and Elijah Muhammad, however, the Qur'an's key importance lay in (a) its ability to confer ‘Islamic’ legitimacy on their movements and authority on themselves, and (b) its independence from Christianity, which was seen as the religion of the white race.

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          Respectability and Representation: The Moorish Science Temple, Morocco, and Black Public Culture in 1920s Chicago

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            Elijah Muhammad: an African American MuslimMufassir?

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              Author and article information

              Journal
              Journal of Qur'anic Studies
              J Qur'anic Studies
              Edinburgh University Press
              1465-3591
              1755-1730
              April 2006
              April 2006
              : 8
              : 1
              : 22-37
              Article
              10.3366/jqs.2006.8.1.22
              4489d3c8-ad4f-457c-a23a-f799fa82cd33
              © 2006

              https://www.euppublishing.com/customer-services/librarians/text-and-data-mining-tdm

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