Almost four decades after his death Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) remains by far the most influential African American Muslim. Leader of the Nation of Islam movement for over thirty years and a mentor to Malcolm X, Muhammad was responsible for introducing hundreds of thousands of African Americans to Islam. In this fascinating biography Herbert Berg assesses the impact of Muhammad’s unique and intriguing perspective on Islam, and seeks to understand why he formulated it. Careful to consider Muhammad’s career within the context of the significant racial tensions of his time, this volume investigates a figure whose formulation of Islam, however divisive, forced Muslims and scholars alike to evaluate their often normative definitions of this religious tradition.
Herbert Berg trained at the University of Toronto's Centre for the Study of Religion. He is currently a professor in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and is the Director of the International Studies program.