Clarence Smith, also known as Allah and Clarence 13X, was the founder of the “Five Percent Nation of Islam.” Smith was born on February 22, 1928. As a young teenager moved from Danville, Virginia, to Harlem, where he joined the Nation of Islam. He dropped his “slave name,” Smith, because it represented the white men who owned his ancestors. He became known as “Clarence 13X” because he was the 13th man named Clarence to adopt X as his name.
Back when he was Clarence 13X, he learned about the Nation’s catechism, the Supreme Wisdom Lessons. The lessons taught him that there was no god, at least not in the traditional Judeo-Christian-Islamic sense, as an unseen Creator somewhere in the clouds. God was only a “mystery god,” a prop used to keep the masses from rising up against their kings and slavemasters.
He began to study the Nation’s Lessons, which led him to question the Nation itself. Even if he was a god, according to the Nation, he was not yet “Allah.” The title belonged only to the “best knower,” the self-perfected scientist, Master Fard, whose picture hung on the mosque wall. In the Nation’s theology, each Allah was a mortal man who experienced birth and death like all men. After one Allah died, he was replaced by another.
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.: For indoor use