The Nation of Gods and Earths

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The Nation of Gods and Earths, commonly known as the Five Percent Nation or the Five Percenters are an African-American social/religious movement founded in Harlem in the late 1960s by Clarence 13X. Spawned from a combination of teachings of Malcolm X and The Nation of Islam, the 5 Percent Nation was organized for the African-American youth seeking freedom, justice, and equality from economic, political, social, and religious injustices in the United States and the world. See black nationalism.

Contents

History

The group was founded by Clarence 13X (Clarence Smith), who is referred to by Five Percenters as "Father Allah". He is given this term because he originated the teachings which form the foundations of the Five Percenter movement. Clarence 13X was originally a member in the Nation of Islam, attending the NOI Temple in Harlem where Malcolm X was a minister. Following his questioning about the divinity of Wallace Fard Muhammad, Clarence was disciplined by the group, and eventually detached himself from affiliation. This schism led to Clarence teaching his own interpretation of NOI beliefs. He found great success in the streets of Harlem, and won many people to his movement.

The schism between Clarence and the NOI led to numerous violent confrontations. The murder of Clarence in 1969 remains unsolved, but has been blamed on a number of different culprits ranging from the FBI to the New York Police Department to the Nation of Islam. The murder was a blow to the movement, but Clarence’s earliest disciples, a group of 9 disciples who were called the “First 9 Born”, carried on the teachings in which a leading role was assumed by an individual named “Justice”.

In the years to follow, the Five Percenters gained a reputation of being an unruly group of Black teenage thugs, renowned for direct actions, such as muggings and bank robberies. Known to many the Five Percent Nation of Islam was said to be a mysterious group who were prepared to die, fighting white supremacy. The Five Percent Nation of Islam also built a headquarters located in Harlem which is known as “Allah School in Mecca.”

From the late 1980s till today, Five Percenters are found big among the East Coast/West Coast/Midwest cities of New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Los Angeles, especially among the Hip Hop scene. Hip Hop artists such as Rakim, Wu Tang Clan, Brand Nubian, Nas, AZ, Nine, etc sparked a revolution in the inner cities of New York City with the theology of the “Gods & Earths”, using the language of Supreme Mathematics, and the Supreme Alphabet to reconstruct the inner city youth of the projects, teaching them that the original Black Man is god and through the inner esoteric powers of the “Gods & Earths”, the youth can transform and possess their true potential.

The Five Percent Nation of the Gods and the Earths is a social movement, often classified as a religious sect. The Nation believes that the black man (this includes all individuals on Earth classified racially as "black", not just in the United States) is God, that black people, and theoretically the entire world population, are divided into three groups:

  • The 85%, which are the humble masses, deaf, dumb, and blind to all truth about the world. These people need guidance.
  • The 10%. This group understands much of the truth but uses it to their advantage to keep the 85% under their control through religion, politics, entertainment, economics and other forms of human activities.
  • The 5% are those who have complete knowledge of the truth about the foundations of mankind and seek to liberate the 85%.

Teachings

Doctrinally, the difference between the Nation of Islam and the Five Percenters is more of a matter of degree than principle, plunging deeper into the “black knowledge” than the average Nation of Islam member. Due to the mastery of language exhibited by many Five Percenters, they are often referred to as "wizards" or "scientists" by Nation of Islam members.

The academic advancement of a Five Percent member is based on his/her knowledge and mastery of various “lessons” as well as the Supreme Alphabet, and the Supreme Mathematics, teachings that in turn influenced the evolution of the Nation of Islam creed. Nation of Islam members view the Five Percenters as philosophy oriented, although many Nation of Islam members look down upon the Five Percenters as immature. Five Percenters would tend to view themselves as scientists and claim no interest in religion.

The basic teachings of the Nation of Islam are as follows:

  • That black people are the original people of the planet Earth.
  • That black people are the fathers and mothers of civilization.
  • That the science of Supreme Mathematics is the key to understanding man's relationship to the universe.
  • That mathematics is our true culture and that it is the science of every thing in life.
  • That education should be fashioned to enable us to be self sufficient as a people.
  • That each individual should teach another individual according to their knowledge.
  • That the black man is god and his proper name is Allah.
  • That our children are our link to the future and they must be nurtured, respected, loved, protected and educated.
  • That the unified black family is the vital building block of the nation.

Five Percent Nation philosophies versus Mainstream Islam

While the Five Percent Nation of the Gods and Earths use many terms similar to that used by Orthodox Muslims (such as Allahu Akbar, etc), and have individuals among them who refer to themselves as Muslims, the Five Percent and Orthodox Muslims have very little in common. While Five Percent members do not eat pork, they do not necessarily follow traditional Islamic teachings based on the laws written in the Holy Qur'an or Muhammad’s Sunnah, such as prescribed clothing, prayer rituals, not smoking, not drinking and other requirements. The Five Percent rebuttal to this has been that they are not a religious movement and that as God (themselves) the only one they must submit to is "Self," which in Islam would be considered a blasphemous concept and a violation of the most basic Islamic tenets, as it is considered a grave sin to associate any human being or object with God. As such, the Five Percent Nation, like the Nation of Islam, should not be understood as an orthodox Islamic movement.

The main beliefs of the Five Percent Nation are similar to that of the Nation of Islam, and for that reason, they are not viewed as Muslims by Orthodox Muslims.

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