July 21, 2016 1 Comment
By Mr. Westbrooks
I had no prior knowledge of The Immortal Birth by Allah Jihad. I’ve never heard anyone mention it or suggest reading it during a lecture. I was just happening to be perusing the shelves of the Source of Knowledge bookstore in Newark, NJ when the book cover caught my eye. The Universal Flag of the Nation of Gods and Earths (NGE) was prominently situated in the center surrounded by symbols for the square and compass of Freemasonry, the Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners), the Christian cross, the Masonic grip, the Moorish Science Temple flag, the Moorish Science Temple Circle Seven, the Nation of Islam, and the Ansar Pure Sufi. Mdu ntr better known as Egyptian hieroglyphs filled up the backdrop. I deemed the placement of the hieroglyphs to be deliberate as I recognized that all of the groups and organizations represented on the cover are fragments of ancient Egyptian culture.
Mesmerized by the cover design, I picked up The Immortal Birth and flipped through the table of contents. I had no idea if this book would be worth reading, but the subject matter was of particular interest of mine, and I was sold on the positive reviews printed on the back cover. I took a chance and went against my philosophy of not judging a book by its cover and made the purchase. I’m glad I did.
In The Immortal Birth, author and NGE representative Allah Jihad takes his readers through five schools of thought related to Islam in Black America. Each chapter is dedicated to one group or organization. He starts off with Freemasonry by first delineating the differences between the speculative craft and the operative craft of Masonry. Along with historical points about its origins, Jihad ties everything together with an analysis of how Freemasonry relates to Black conscious organizations, which he further reveals in the proceeding chapters.
Again avoiding anticipated confusion, Jihad breaks down the differences between the ancient Moors and Noble Drew Ali’s Moorish Science Temple of America (MST). He offers a biography of the organization’s founder and a history of the MST in chapter two and does the same for Master Fard Muhammad and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam (NOI) in chapter three. These chapters become even more interesting as Jihad details his experiences as a member of both the MST and NOI chapters in Chicago. He reveals his disappointment with the lack of high science in the MST, even after gaining access to the esoteric knowledge contained within the Adept Chambers. This and the corruption and hypocrisy he witnessed within the NOI would ultimately lead to his departure from the two respective organizations. Although Jihad expresses an overall negative analysis of these groups, he makes it a point to remain respectful to the MST, NOI, its leadership, and members. And, at no point does he advise readers to join or not join any organizations, but he merely advises readers to do the knowledge before moving forward.
Although Jihad’s primary focus is on Islam, he provides a wholistic outlook on all of the groups, and he writes critically at length of Dr. Malachi Z. York and the Nuwabian Nation of Moors. Following the same pattern, he attempts to deliver an accurate biography of York (in the midst of speculations and disagreements over York’s birthplace) and the history of his movement through each of its name changes starting with the Ansaar Allah community and ending with Nuwabian Nation. He addresses the economics of the movement, the conditions of its members, the contradictions in York’s teachings, and York’s sex abuse allegations and pending court case. Jihad cites media reports, books written about York, and he conducts his own investigation by interviewing former members of the Ansaar Allah community including one of the mothers of Dr. York’s children.
Lastly, Jihad thoroughly builds on the NGE, describing the history of the Gods in New York and telling the story of its founder, Father Allah. Although Jihad is critical of NGE, he clearly sheds the Nation in a more positive light than the other organizations, which is understandable considering this is the way of life and path that chose him. He shares his experience, corrects misconceptions, and furthers his analysis and history of NGE by including the insights of other members via essays, newspaper articles, and interviews.
The final chapter dedicated to the NGE is also a 101 course of the Nation’s teachings from their core values to the meaning of the Supreme Mathematics and Supreme Alphabets. Despite my unfamiliarity with The Immortal Birth, the book seems to be widely read, especially amongst NGE members as denoted by the numerous feedback messages from its readers at the end of the book. But, make no mistake about it. Anyone who has the desire to heighten their consciousness levels will appreciate what Allah Jihad has to offer in TIB.