Islam and the NOI- Is there a difference?

All praise is due to Allah and may prayers and peace be upon His final Prophet and Messenger to all the worlds- Muhammad ibn Abdullah. To proceed: Many people are unclear regarding the differences in faith and doctrine between Islam and the faith and  doctrines of the branches and offshoots of the Nation of Islam (NOI) and other contemporary American Batini (heterodox esoteric) groups.

Some maintain that the beliefs and practices of say, Louis Farrakhan, is no different from Muslims elsewhere in the world. The NOI custom of referring to themselves as ‘Muslims’, and adopting Muslim practices such as fasting, etc. has added to the confusion.

To settle this question, I have produced a unique chart covering fourteen different areas of Islamic belief and doctrine, contrasting them with the beliefs and doctrines of (1) the Nation of Islam under Elijah Muhammad, (2) the Nation of Islam under Louis Farrakhan, Silis Muhammad and John Muhammad (3) the 5% Nation (4) W. D. Mohammed, (5) the Qadianis (Ahmadiyya). The chart is extensively footnoted and referenced for each group and doctrine, thus facilitating future research. (see link below)

Some may find it controversial that I’ve included and contrasted the beliefs and doctrines of the late W.D. Mohammed with those of Islam. Many maintain that after 1975 W.D. abandoned the doctrines of his father Elijah Muhammad, and steered his followers toward orthodoxy.

However, W.D’s documented record tells a very different story. From the time of Elijah Muhammad’s death in February 1975, rather than abandoning Elijah’s doctrines, W.D. promoted an esoteric reinterpretation of NOI doctrines and maintained those doctrines until his death in 2008.

Indeed, in the same way as many of Elijah Muhammad’s doctrines were no more than Watchtower Society (Jehovah Witness) adaptations, the bulk of W.D’s personal doctrines are directly gleaned from the heretical Qadianis.

I’ve provided examples and references to primary sources proving W.D. as an esoteric Batini up until his demise. This is not to say that the W.D.’s followers maintain the bulk of W.D.’s ideas. However, those who claim W.D. himself entirely rejected NOI heretical esoteric concepts and thus embraced orthodox Islam will discover the record paints a different picture.

May Allah accept this minor effort to purify the faith of Islam from those groups that claim Islam as their way, and may prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah, his family, his Companions and all those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Resurrection, ameen.

A brief outline of the differences

Ten Virtues of maintaining Salatul Fajr in congregation

البشائر العشر لمن حافظ على صلاة الفجر في جماعه


I don’t think one can read these Prophetic benefits and then sleep through Fajr, except one who is spiritually bereft.


The First Virtue:

عَنْ بُرَيْدَةَ الأَسْلَمِيِّ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ بَشِّرِ الْمَشَّائِينَ فِي الظُّلَمِ إِلَى الْمَسَاجِدِ بِالنُّورِ التَّامِّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ ‏”‏

Buraidah Al-Aslami narrated that:

The Prophet ﷺ said: “Give glad tidings to those who walk to the Masajid in the dark; of a complete light on the Day of Resurrection.”

[Authentically narrated by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi]


The Second Virtue:

Two rakats of Sunnah prayer before Salatul Fajr, is better than the world and everything in it:

عَنْ عَائِشَةَ رضي الله عنها ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ﷺ قَالَ : ” رَكْعَتَا الْفَجْرِ خَيْرٌ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَا فِيهَا ”

‘A’isha reported Allah’s Messenger ﷺ as saying:

The two rak’ahs at dawn are better than this world and what it contains.

[Sahih Muslim]


The Third Virtue:

An increase in blessings for every step toward the Masjid at Fajr

عَنْ عُقْبَةَ بْنِ عَامِرٍ قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ : ” مَنْ خَرَجَ مِنْ بَيْتِهِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ كُتِبَ لَهُ بِكُلِّ خُطْوَةٍ يَخْطُوهَا عَشْرُ حَسَنَاتٍ، وَالْقَاعِدُ فِي الْمَسْجِد يَنْتَظِرُ الصَّلاَةَ كَالْقَانِتِ، وَيُكْتَبُ مِنَ الْمُصَلِّينَ، حَتَّى يَرْجِعَ إِلَى بَيْتِهِ

‘Uqbah ibn Amaar reported the Messenger ﷺ said, Whoever leaves his home for Salatul Fajr, ten blessings are recorded for him for each step he takes. And sitting in the masjid awaiting the salat is like one who has profound knowledge, he is recorded among the worshipers until he returns to his home.

[Narrated by Ahmed]


The Fourth Virtue:

The Angels bear witness:

Allah the Glorious and Most High says,

أَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ لِدُلُوكِ الشَّمْسِ إِلَى غَسَقِ الَّيْلِ وَقُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ إِنَّ قُرْءَانَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

“Perform the Salah from midday till the darkness of the night, and recite the Qur’an in the early dawn. Verily, the recitation of the Qur’an in the early dawn is ever witnessed.” [Al-Isra, 17:78]


The Fifth Virtue:

Protection from Hell:

قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ : ” لَنْ يَلِجَ النَّارَ أَحَدٌ صَلَّى قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا “. -يَعْنِى الْفَجْرَ وَالْعَصْرَ-

Abu Zuhair ‘Umarah Ruwaibah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying: “He who performs Salat (prayers) before the rising of the sun and before its setting (i.e. fajr and asr), will not enter the Hell.” [Sahih Muslim]


The Sixth Virtue:

Allah Most High revealed,

وَحَدَّثَنَا زُهَيْرُ بْنُ حَرْبٍ، حَدَّثَنَا مَرْوَانُ بْنُ مُعَاوِيَةَ الْفَزَارِيُّ، أَخْبَرَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ أَبِي خَالِدٍ، حَدَّثَنَا قَيْسُ بْنُ أَبِي حَازِمٍ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ جَرِيرَ بْنَ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، وَهُوَ يَقُولُ كُنَّا جُلُوسًا عِنْدَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم إِذْ نَظَرَ إِلَى الْقَمَرِ لَيْلَةَ الْبَدْرِ فَقَالَ ‏”‏ أَمَا إِنَّكُمْ سَتَرَوْنَ رَبَّكُمْ كَمَا تَرَوْنَ هَذَا الْقَمَرَ لاَ تُضَامُّونَ فِي رُؤْيَتِهِ فَإِنِ اسْتَطَعْتُمْ أَنْ لاَ تُغْلَبُوا عَلَى صَلاَةٍ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ يَعْنِي الْعَصْرَ وَالْفَجْرَ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ جَرِيرٌ

‏{‏ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ قَبْلَ طُلُوعِ الشَّمْسِ وَقَبْلَ غُرُوبِهَا‏}‏ ‏.‏


Jarir b. Abdullah is reported to have said:

We were sitting with the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) that he looked at the full moon and observed: You shall see your Lord as you are seeing this moon, and you will not be harmed by seeing Him. So if you can, do not let -yourselves be overpowered in case of prayer observed before the rising of the sun and its setting, i. e. the ‘Asr prayer and the morning prayer. Jarir then recited it:” Celebrate the praise of thy Lord before the rising of the sun and before Its setting” (Taha 20:130)

[Bukhari & Muslim]


The Seventh Virtue

The Blessings of the Night Prayer

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْحَاقُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ، أَخْبَرَنَا الْمُغِيرَةُ بْنُ سَلَمَةَ الْمَخْزُومِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الْوَاحِدِ، – وَهُوَ ابْنُ زِيَادٍ – حَدَّثَنَا عُثْمَانُ بْنُ حَكِيمٍ، حَدَّثَنَا عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنُ أَبِي عَمْرَةَ، قَالَ دَخَلَ عُثْمَانُ بْنُ عَفَّانَ الْمَسْجِدَ بَعْدَ صَلاَةِ الْمَغْرِبِ فَقَعَدَ وَحْدَهُ فَقَعَدْتُ إِلَيْهِ فَقَالَ يَا ابْنَ أَخِي سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَلَّى الْعِشَاءَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّمَا قَامَ نِصْفَ اللَّيْلِ وَمَنْ صَلَّى الصُّبْحَ فِي جَمَاعَةٍ فَكَأَنَّمَا صَلَّى اللَّيْلَ كُلَّهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏


‘Abd al-Rahman b. Abd ‘Amr reported:

‘Uthman b. ‘Affan (narrated the mosque after evening prayer and sat alone. I also sat alone with him, so he said: 0, son of my brother, I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: He who observed the ‘Isha’ prayer in congregation, it was as if he prayed up to midnight, and he who prayed the morning prayer in congregation, it was as if he prayed the whole night. [Sahih Muslim]


The Eighth Virtue

The Supplication of the Angels

سَمِعْتُ عَلِيًّا رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ ، يَقُولُ : سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ يَقُولُ : ” مَنْ صَلَّى الْفَجْرَ ثُمَّ جَلَسَ فِي مُصَلَّاهُ ، صَلَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الْمَلَائِكَةُ ، وَصَلَاتُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ : اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لَهُ ، اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْهُ

Ali Ibn Abi Talib narrated that ‘I heard the Messenger say, “Whoever prays Salatul Fajr, and afterwards sits in the place where he prayed, the angels then pray for him, saying, Oh Allah forgive him, Oh Allah, have mercy on him.” [Narrated by Ahmed]


The Ninth Virtue

The benefit equaling Hajj and Umrah

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ رضي الله عنه قَالَ : قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ﷺ  : ” مَنْ صَلَّى الْغَدَاةَ  -الفجر- فِي جَمَاعَةٍ، ثُمَّ قَعَدَ يَذْكُرُ اللَّهَ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ، ثُمَّ صَلَّى رَكْعَتَيْنِ، كَانَتْ لَهُ كَأَجْرِ حَجَّةٍ وَعُمْرَةٍ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ تَامَّةٍ “.


Anas bin Malik narrated that :

the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever prays Fajr in congregation, then sits remembering Allah until the sun has risen, then he prays two Rak’ah, then for him is the reward like that of a Hajj and Umrah.” He said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Complete, complete, complete.'” [Sahih At-Tirmidhi]


The Tenth Virtue

Allah’s Safeguard and Protection

وَحَدَّثَنِيهِ يَعْقُوبُ بْنُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ الدَّوْرَقِيُّ، حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ، عَنْ خَالِدٍ، عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ سِيرِينَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ جُنْدَبًا الْقَسْرِيَّ، يَقُولُ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَنْ صَلَّى صَلاَةَ الصُّبْحِ فَهْوَ فِي ذِمَّةِ اللَّهِ فَلاَ يَطْلُبَنَّكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ ذِمَّتِهِ بِشَىْءٍ فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَطْلُبْهُ مِنْ ذِمَّتِهِ بِشَىْءٍ يُدْرِكْهُ ثُمَّ يَكُبَّهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فِي نَارِ جَهَنَّمَ ‏”‏ ‏

Anas b. Sirin reported:

I heard Jundab b. Qasri saying that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: He who observed the morning prayer (in congregation), he is in fact under the protection of Allah and it never happens that Allah should make a demand in connection with the protection (that He guarantees and should not get it) for when he asks for anything in relation to His protection, he definitely secures it. He (would not) then throw him flatly in the Hell-fire. [Sahih Muslim]


اللهمَّ إنا نعوذ بك من الشقاء والحرمان، آمين

Oh Allah, I seek refuge in You from misery and deprivation, ameen