By Imam Darnell Karim, Muslim American Pioneer

With G-d’s Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.

“Say, ‘God is ONE. He begets NOT nor is He begotten, and there is NOTHING like unto Him!’” (The Unity, Qur’an 112: 1-4)

CHICAGO, Ill. – “Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him, but He forgiveth anything  else to whom He pleaseth. To set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin most heinous indeed.” (The Holy Qur’an final revelation from Allah, Surah (Chapter) 4:116 and 

We seek His assistance, we seek Him for forgiveness and we believe in Him and we witness that there is none Divine, none to be worshiped except Allah (G-d) alone. There is no partner with Him in the rule of the heavens and earth.

We witness that Muhammad is The Last Prophet of Allah (G-d) to whom The Qur’an was revealed.

Our Lord, surely we have heard a caller calling us to faith, that we believe in our Lord and we have believed, O Allah (G-d) guide us , forgive us our faults and grant us the blessing of faith. Today we are a New People.

Remembering those who paved the way for us that we are here today to continue on their sacrifices, even though they are no longer with us, but we will live in their spirit following the ultimate goal of W. D. Fard, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his son Imam W. Deen Mohammed to come into our true identity that was lost during slavery.

Imam W. Deen Mohammed accomplished the ultimate goal of giving the community a clear perception of the revealed book, The Qur’an and the right perception of G-d The Creator of all that exists.


Our history of the Original Nation of Islam founded by W. D Fard, who had chosen the Hon. Elijah Muhammad as the leader (builder) of this community and who quickly disappeared as Imam Mohammed told us in the history of his Mission.

Fard was leaving the leadership with his father, Elijah Muhammad, our late honorable benefactor in so many ways. And it appeared that the language of black supremacy and defiance of the black people was a provision for transformation that created the Nation of Islam, which was skillfully worked on.

Mr. W. D. Fard Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam who left it to his student the Hon. Elijah Muhammad as the Builder of the Nation of Islam. There is NO ACCOUNTING where Mr. Fard told anyone that he was “God in the Flesh.”

Let history show that we are NOT in the belief of a “human being”  being  G-d in any human form. THIS IS STRICTLY  NOT US who were assisted in our Islamic growth and development by the son of Elijah – Imam W. Deen Mohammed, who was predicted by Mr. Fard before his birth that “Wallace would transition” the NOI into a mission not seen before by the NOI followers.

After the passing of his father, and Imam Mohammed becoming the leader for his father’s community, one of the first things he began to clarify, to work and  labor hard within his lifetime was to first establish the right concept of G-d in Al- Islam and the life example of Muhammad, The Last (Seal)  Prophet (pbuh).

W.D. Fard in his whole Mission never told his followers he was G-d. As a child growing up in the close knit Nation of Islam with my pioneering father Carl, I remember the words like “The Son of Man,” but never G-d Who created the heavens and earth.

Gloria, my wife, the daughter of a great Pioneer Viola Karriem who was the Hon. Elijah Muhammad ‘s personal secretary, my father Carl was incarcerated with the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and was his personal barber. I only mentioned their names to verify that we were around the earliest pioneers of the NOI, and we knew the language of Elijah and W D Fard.

 (L-R) Imam Darnell Karim and his wife Gloria Karim were both students of Prof. Jamil Diab as children in the early years of the Nation of Islam. The Hon. Elijah employed Dr. Diab, a Palestinian refugee, to teach Arabic and Qur’an to the children of the NOI, along with his son Wallace D. Mohammed.

Certainly, the esoteric mystic language was used only to awaken the minds of the African American people to begin thinking for themselves  and not be hung up on what was done to their ancestors during slavery.

I, Darnell Karim, for all of my 83 years grew up with the children of Elijah and Sis. Clara, and we were in classes together throughout our childhoods. There was never any teaching of W.D. Fard being G_d  in our school learning.

Referring back to Imam Mohammed’s teachings, W.D Fard teachings had obvious contradictions which served as a means to arouse our curiosity.  But he worked hard to get the members to question everything. Fard, in spite of his myths and fictional language, was trying to reform the social habits and thinking of the discarded black man of America.

Most of our people were uneducated and worldly naïve. And many of them were brilliant but never had the  opportunity to receive formal education.

One such person was, in fact, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, who as a child received no more than three years of elementary school education. He came to the North from Georgia (the deep south) with no more education than that. But he was able (brilliant) with that little education to contain his “volatile” circumstances around his followers, and lead them to better moral behavior and more respectable lifestyles and away from White Supremacy thinking.

This tells us that this man must have had a great mind, although he just didn’t get the opportunity to be formally educated as was the case for many of his followers. I believe they were of the same situation or circumstances. 

We turn to our Islamic beliefs, practices and what we stand for. We believe that there is One Creator for all people Who has created every single thing as most religious people believe, that includes Muslims, Christians and Jews. They may express it differently, but that is the belief in most: One G-d, One Creator

We believe that Allah (G-d) has missioned Prophets and His Messengers to the people with the same revelation of Peace. We believe that revelation is better than science; it is eternal truth, and it will hold up under all tests. This is what we believe as Muslims, that Muhammad to whom the Qur’an was revealed is His Last Prophet (pbuh).

The Hon. Elijah Muhammad demonstrated his beliefs by teaching and showing that he and his sons made the Holy trip to Mecca and performed the Umrah and kissed the Black Stone and made prayer (Dua). He said, “When I kissed this black stone, it’s like I kissed myself, and I pray to Allah that my followers will be among the leaders in the world.

We used to always say this prayer at the beginning of all our meetings in the NOI; it was called the  prayer of Abraham and a verse in Qur’an 6:162: 

“Surely I have turned myself to Thee , oh Allah Who originated the heavens and earth (trying to be upright), and I am not of the polytheists. Surely, my prayers and my sacrifices, my life and my death are all for Allah, The Lord of all the worlds. No associates has He, and this am I commanded, and I am of those who submit.” (Translation by Imam W Deen Mohammed)

We prayed in the NOI: “Oh Allah, Thou art the King, Thou art my Lord, and I am Thy servant. I have wronged myself and I confess my faults. So grant me protection against all my faults, and forgive me all my faults, for none can grant protection against faults but Thou. Guide me to the bets of morals, for none can guide to the best of morals but Thou. And turn AWAY from  me THE EVIL and INDECENT MORALS, FOR NONE CAN TURN AWAY THE EVIL AND INDECENT MORALS BUT THOU.”

We used to say that prayer at every meeting without fail. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad also published a Five Daily Prayers book  for our daily prayers, an you will not see W. D. Fard in that book.

Lastly, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad had a vision in 1948 that he wanted his follower to learn Qur’anic Arabic, so that they would be able to understand the religion (Al-Islam) and the language in the Qur’an. I was one of those first students along with my wife Gloria, my sister Zahirah, Wallace (Imam W Deen) Mohammed, his brother who was sent to study at AL Azhar University and becoming Dr. Akbar Muhammad, my brother Leroy, and others. 

We were taught for nearly 10 years. Imam W. Deen Mohammed said once that there was a sign of W. D. Fard that he left with us of him holding the Qur’an, that “if you keep reading it you will find the Real G-d Creator.”

We thank Allah The Almighty for these great leaders: W.D. Fard, Elijah Muhammad , Imam W. Deen Mohammed and especially the Faithful Pioneers  who prayed to see today that we are now a new People, with our own Minds, our own Focus, our own Independence and have been placed among the Leaders in the world.

We follow and believe in the International Community of Muslims under the Qur’an and life example of Muhammad the  Last Prophet (pbuh).

Alllah says, “… but I am The One Who exists alone”; needing no forces to aid Him. He is The Lord, Cherisher, Caregiver and Sustainer of the worlds, the systematic order that G-d Is One. He is The Lord of The Systems of Knowledge, and we pray to Allah to Unite our hearts.

ABOUT IMAM DARNELL KARIM: Assistant to Imam W. Deen Mohammed in Islamic Studies and childhood friend, Darnell  (Karriem) Karim has been a practicing member of the Muslim  community for over 74 years. His entire education was attained under the  directions of The University  of Islam/Clara  Muhammad School system of the Nation of Islam.

Imam Darnell Karim began his studies in the Arabic Language and Islamic studies at the age of 11.  His instructors of the Arabic Language were several, however, the most effective teacher was Professor Jamil  Diab who was his instructor for 10 years. 

Professor Diab was a Palestinian Muslim and an Al Azhar University graduate, located in Cairo, Egypt. 

Imam Darnell’s childhood friend and classmate was Imam W. Deen  (Wallace) Mohammed, who became the world wide respected  Muslim Leader to millions. Among other  classmates include his wife, Gloria, his sister Zahira and the younger brother of Imam Mohammed  who became known as Dr. Akbar Muhammad, becoming an Associate Professor at Binghamton University.

Imam Darnell Karim and Imam W. Deen Mohammed

Imam Darnell Karim continued his studies under the Leadership of Imam W. Deen Mohammed and became an Instructor of Islamic Studies and Arabic language at the Clara Muhammad School from 1976 to 1987. He frequently traveled to many Masajid (Islamic Centers) throughout the United States to instruct Muslim adults in Islamic Studies and the Arabic Language.

He is an advocate and supporter of the leadership and association of Imam W. Deen Mohammed, may G-d give him the highest place in paradise.

Imam Darnell Karim has penned a book, titled “The First National Independent Islamic School System In America.”

Imam Karim‘s recitation of the Holy Qur’an is considered equal to native-born Arabic speakers with the highest spiritual quality.  His first recitation publicly at the age of 13 was at the Muslim annual convention in Chicago, Illinois Feb. 26, 1950, which brought tears to the eyes of the late Hon. Elijah Muhammad. Presently he is Staff Imam Chaplain and Director of Islamic Affairs at Rush University Medical Center, Department of Religion. Imam Darnell Karim has penned a book, titled “The First National Independent Islamic School System In America.”  He can be reached via email:

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