Fard had a shady past and a shadier legacy: He left his creation to Elijah Poole, re-named Elijah Muhammad, a diminutive man born to Georgia sharecroppers in 1897. But it was under Malcolm X, who was introduced to the Nation of Islam while in prison in 1952, that the Nation grew into a political force and movement that played a considerable role in the civil rights era.
While a member of the Nation, however, Malcolm espoused the Nation's racist teachings that reduced the white man to the status of a devil while projecting the black race as the once and future master of the world.
The differences between Nation of Islam teachings and traditional Sunni, Shiia or any other kind of mainstream Islam are greater than the commonalities. Those differences led Malcolm X to abandon the Nation in 1963, but remain a Muslim. Malcolm was assassinated in 1965, most likely by members of the Nation, which was taken over, after Elijah Muhammad's death in 1975, by Louis Farrakhan.