Editor’s note: With regards to the author’s wishes, only the first letter of his name is used here.
Farrakhan’s organization, the so-called ‘Nation of Islam,’ has existed in the United States for more than eighty years. Founded by an ex-convict, Wallace Dodd Ford (also known as ‘W.D. Fard’ and ‘W.Fard Muhammad’)–whom members believe is ‘Allah in person’–and that co-founder, Elijah Muhammad, who died in 1975, is ‘the Messenger of Allah’, followers claim that the Resurrection is ‘mental’ not physical, that the white man is the devil, and that Paradise and Hell are states in this life. Because of their efforts, the majority of urban Americans remain confused about real Islam, since Farrakhan’s members continuously refer to themselves as ‘Muslims.’
In 1985, the Muslim World League, under the leadership of Dr. Abdullah O. Naseef, invited Louis Farrakhan and his entourage, including his wife, Betty Farrakhan, Jibril Muhammad (Bernard Cushmeer), and Tynetta Muhammad, the ex-mistress of Elijah Muhammad; to participate in the Hajj. Rumors abounded at that time that Farrakhan had declared his shahaadah in Mecca and was to be accepted thereafter as a Muslim.
Four years later, Farrakhan traveled to Saudi Arabia where he met with various officials, and was given a gift of $300,000 by Mohammed Abdu Yamani, director of Iqra Charitable Foundation. The following interview with Louis Farrakhan was conducted on the night of Jamada al-Awal, 26, 1410 (24 December,1989), in the office of Dr. Farid Al-Quraishi, the General Secretary of the IIRO (International Islamic Relief Organization).
I initially met and greeted Mr. Farrakhan and company before they entered the IIRO headquarters in Jeddah. He was accompanied by three other African-Americans who were apparently a part of his entourage as they wore the bow tie and suit in conformity with the style of clothing his organization is known for in the United States; they were also accompanied by an Arab in a blue suit whose name I did not catch.
We went upstairs to Dr. Farid Al-Qurashi’s office, accompanied by Dr. Al-Qurashi. Shortly after we arrived upstairs, Isha prayer was called and after prayer was made, Dr. Farid told Mr. Farrakhan that I had some questions for him. Mr. Farrakhan said he didn’t mind answering them and we proceeded.
Q: When did you accept Islam?
Farrakhan: In 1955.
Q: That was under the teachings of Elijah Muhammad?
Q: Do you still believe in what Elijah Muhammad taught?
Q: In other words, you still believe that the white man is the devil?
Farrakhan: Yes (pause)…of course I don’t mean you (i.e., the questioner, who is a European-American Muslim), I mean those whites who perpetuate the oppression of black people in the United States are devils. (A lengthy monologue ensues, after a pause, I ask the next question).
Q: In other words, you still believe–as is stated in your organizations’ newspaper, The Final Call–that Allah descended to the earth in the form of a man by the name of Fard Muhammad in July of 1930?
Farrakhan: Yes. (After affirming his belief in ‘Wallace Fard Muhammad’ as God in the form of a man, Mr. Farrakhan seems to realize the Islamic unacceptability of his statement and after a brief pause, he began a lengthy monologue explaining), “…Naturally I don’t mean that Wallace Fard Muhammad created the Heavens and the Earth, I would be a fool if I believed something like that.”
Note: He continues to elaborate on his belief by explaining that Fard Muhammad was, “…a means through which Allah presented himself to Muhammad (peace be upon him) in the form of a man and gave him guidance, in other words, just as the medium through which Allah presented the guidance to Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the Angel Gabriel–sometimes appearing before him in the form of a man–so too did Allah’s guidance appear before Elijah Muhammad in the form of Wallace Fard Muhammad.”
Q: Do you still believe then, that Elijah Muhammad was a Messenger of Allah?
Farrakhan: Yes. (Mr. Farrakhan elaborated on his belief by stating that Allah had sent a messenger to every nation except the people of America; in particular, the oppressed black man in America, who had no messenger before the coming of Elijah Muhammad).
Q: After you return to the United States, are you willing to follow the example of Malcolm X and renounce the teachings of Elijah Muhammad?
Farrakhan: No! I don’t understand why I should have to. When Egyptians come here (i.e., the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), they are not asked to renounce the great Arab “Zieem” Gamal Abdul Nasser, nor are the Iranians asked to renounce the teachings of Khomeini. As Muslims we are to respect our fathers, and not disrespect them by renouncing their efforts and teachings. If I as an American black man should be expected to renounce the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, why then shouldn’t the Arab be expected to renounce the teachings of Muhammad?
Note: I explained to Farrakhan that Muhammad (ﷺ) was a teacher of truth and therefore, there was no need to renounce his teachings, while Elijah Muhammad did not teach truth and therefore his teachings had to be renounced. As for Mr. Khomeini, the majority of scholars have concurred that he was a kafir, nor is there anyone currently extolling Gamal Abdul Nasser in public.
Upon the last statement, the Arab in the blue suit lost control of his emotions and screamed that I had “no right to say this about Nasser” he then screamed at Dr. Quraishi, “is this what you are teaching him?” As if to say that I, or any convert Muslim hasn’t the insight to understand the Book of Allah. After the Arab regained control of himself, I continued:
Q: Then you feel it was wrong of Malcolm X to have renounced the teachings of Elijah Muhammad, and that it was right for him to have been killed?
Farrakhan: Yes! (At the same time that Mr. Farrakhan said “Yes!” his African-American companions said, “No!” in unison; after which a long pause ensued, and I was called out of the room in reference to a personal matter. May I state that for reasons of my immediate families’ safety, I not tell him the true place of my stateside residence. After all, members of his organization have been known to kill Muslims and their immediate families.
 Farrakhan is here referring to the hadeeth of angel Gabriel appearing to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in the form of a desert traveler. However, Farrakhan has major doctrinal errors in his argument. His allegation that a creature (in this case, an angel) appearing in human form is a ‘proof’ that the Creator can do the same (i.e. indwell in a man). Such a concept is the belief of Christians, Hindus and other non-Muslim groups. Islam defines the idea of Indwelling or incarnate deism as hulool, that is that Allah appeared on earth in physical form.
Islam holds such concepts heretical, polytheistic and the antithesis of Allah’s message and Prophetic guidance. Any Muslim who believes or claims such a concept, by default ceases to be a Muslim since it is a rejection of Islam’s very essence. Finally, Allah clearly states in the Quran that He is above His creation, and that He does not indwell, manifest, appear or incarnate in any of His creatures.
 Here Farrakhan displays his ignorance of well-known Quranic verses that affirm Muhammad ibn Abdullah as being sent not only to all people and races of the earth, but also to all Jinn. See http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/prophet_muhammad_sent_to_mankind.htm
 Farrakhan’s inability to understand why he has to abandon Elijah, shows Farrakhan has no understanding of the shahada itself. Moreover, his insistence on adhering to Elijah’s false teachings with the excuse, “As Muslims we are to respect our fathers, and not disrespect them by renouncing their efforts and teachings”, shows a misunderstanding of basic Islamic principles.