- Jan 22, 2001
- Website Consultant
Allah was born Clarence Edward Smith on February 22, 1928 he is known for founding the Five-Percent Nation, a group that split from the Nation of Islam (NOI). He was born in Virginia, and moved to New York City as a young man before serving in the United States Army during the Korean War. After returning to New York, he learned that his wife had joined the NOI and followed her, taking the name Clarence 13X. He served in the group as a security officer, martial arts instructor, and student minister before leaving for an unclear reason in 1963. Some say it was because of his gambling, which was condemned by the NOI, some say it was because he disagreed with the NOI's teachings that Wallace Fard Muhammad was a divine messenger.
After leaving the NOI, Allah formed a new group with other former members. He concluded that all black men were divine. He rejected the belief in an invisible God, teaching that God could be found within each black man. In his view, women were "earths" that complemented and nurtured men; he believed that they should be submissive to men. He and a few assistants retained some NOI teachings and pioneered novel interpretations of them. They devised teachings about the meaning of letters and numerals: understanding the meaning of each letter and number was said to provide deep truths about God and the universe. Allah referred to his new movement as the Five Percenters, referencing a NOI teaching that only five percent of the population knew and promoted the truth about God. One way that he distinguished his group from his previous faith was by rejecting dress codes or strict behavioral guidelines.
Allah was shot by an unknown assailant in 1964 but survived the attack. After an incident several months later in which he and several of his followers vandalized stores and fought with police, he was arrested and placed in psychiatric care. He was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. He referred to himself as Allah, which had become his preferred name. He was released from custody after a 1966 ruling by the Supreme Court placed limits on confinement without trial. He taught to cooperate with white city leaders. They gave him funding for a night school, and in return, he tried to prevent violence in Harlem. Allah was fatally shot in June 1969; the identity of his killer is unknown. The mayor of New York City and several other prominent leaders expressed condolences to his followers. The group took a non-hierarchical approach to leadership, and no single leader replaced Allah. He has been held in high regard by Five Percenters, who celebrate his birthday as a holiday.
Beautiful ... thank you for sharing.
Happy Birthday Allah!