Who was Noble Dru Ali and where can I find information on him?

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The story of Noble Dru Ali wonderfully illustrates the possibilities of fiction and fantasy. Real situations initiated by white supremacy mixed with dreams of a better life are what make for an incredible recipe that soothes authentic pain.

    During the Great Migration, 1910-1930, approximately two million black people ran from the so-called curse of the South to the promise of the North without looking back. Unfortunately, an insufficient number of jobs, poor race relations and bad living conditions confronted them on their arrival. Blacks, again, needed a psychological guide. Timothy Drew's Moorish Science Temple did just that.

    Speculation suggest that Drew's knowledge of Islam is rooted in his sea travels and/or his childhood in the south. He took parts of several religious platforms and claimed to be the last prophet. He took his message to the new black migrants of New Jersey and the message caught fire. These people grabbed hold of it because it gave them something they never had before: affirmation for life experiences and most important- a history.� The message served as a cane for a people struggling to walk.

    The religion grew on an account of its ability to grab people seeking something they could hold on to. The newly self-ordained Noble Dru Ali expanded his growing congregation in 1925. Believers even had something physical to embrace: a dress code, a strict diet and ritualistic traditions.

    Internal strife began to cause self-destruction within the organization. The rift eventually turned violent, Ali went to jail and died mysteriously sometime

    later. The problems did not end there, but only increased at the death of its founding leader. People disagreed on who should gain control. Time passed and the organization split into its individual temples.

    Although the movement ended in the death of its leader, it spoke volumes about the immeasurable potential and the infinite power and presence of a black man.

    Contact Kimberly Brown at famuanlifestyles@hotmail.com

    Moorish Science Temple of America

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    The Moorish Science Temple of America is a religious organization founded in the early 20th century claiming to be a sect of Islam, but having equal influences in Buddhism, Christianity, Freemasonry, Gnosticism and Taoism. Its main tenet was that African Americans were descended from the Moors and thus were originally Islamic. Its founder was Noble Drew Ali, the Prophet né Timothy Drew (1886-1929), whose disciples included Wallace Fard Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, and Elijah Muhammad, who was Fard's successor and who later employed Malcolm X as the mouthpiece of the Nation.



    * 1 Timothy Drew's beginnings

    * 2 The church's teachings

    * 3 The church's practices

    * 4 The Science Temple after the death of Drew Ali

    * 5 External links

    [edit] Timothy Drew's beginnings

    Timothy Drew was born in 1886 in North Carolina. The accounts of Timothy Drew's childhood are varied, from him being the son of two former slaves who was adopted by a tribe of Cherokee Indians, to him being the son of a Moroccan Muslim father and a Cherokee mother. He is recorded, perhaps apocryphally, as saying, “When I was born, it turned black dark in the daytime. The people put their hoes down and came out of the fields.” Allegedly, at the age of 16, he joined a circus and became a stage magician, befriending a band of Roma, with whom he traveled the world. Supposedly during these travels, he met the high priest of an Egyptian cult of magic. In one version of Drew's biography, the cult leader saw him as a reincarnation of the founder of the cult, while in others he considered him a reincarnation of Jesus Christ.

    They trained him in mysticism, and bestowed upon him a lost version of the Qur'an. This text came to be known as the Holy Koran of the Moorish Science Temple of America, and is referred to as the “uniting of the Holy Koran of Mecca.” Sometimes the title is shorthanded as the Circle Seven Koran, because of the design on its cover, namely a red numeral seven surrounded by a blue circle broken into four segments. Drew changed his name to "Noble Drew Ali, the Prophet" and returned to the United States where he founded the religion in 1913 in Newark, New Jersey.

    [edit] The church's teachings

    The Koran is held to be a collection of knowledge kept secret by the peoples of the East, now brought back to light by the Prophet. As such, Noble Drew Ali did not claim to be the author of the work, per se, although the final section of the Koran, Chapters 45-48, are in his proverbial hand. The Koran is in three major sections. Chapters 2-19 contain the lost history of Jesus as a child and young man, His travels and teachings in Palestine, Egypt, Europe, and India. The ministry of John the Baptist also figures heavily in this section. The most probable source for this material is the Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, although the man credited with this work, Levi H. Dowling, as in the case of Noble Drew Ali, did not claim authorship, but rather suggests that it is a revealed, pre-existing text. The second major section of the Koran, Chapters 20-44, seems to be derived from the Rosicrucian text Unto Thee I Grant, and consists largely of discussions of various aspects of the human condition. The third and final section, apparently penned by Noble Drew Ali, himself, contains a collection of non-traditional histories of Asiatic peoples and the founding of Christianity, as well as an overview of the mission and intent of the Science Temple. In addition to these three sections, Chapter 1 serves as a sort of Creation story, a discussion of the fundamental nature of humans, how they came into being, and what their relationship to God is. This chapter is a slightly revised section from the introduction to Levi H. Dowling's text rather than from the "Aquarian Gospel." There is also a quick epilogue between Chapters 19 and 20, summing up the events portrayed in the first section as the story of the lives of Jesus and John the Baptist.

    A major theme of the Moorish Science Temple is teaching or returning nationality to members of the Asiatic Nation of North America. The Science Temple was an early proponent of the Black Power movement in America, although Marcus Garvey is celebrated by the Science Temple as the Forerunner of the Prophet. The temple's doctrine was that of racial tolerance and equality, and the structure of the religion theoretically embraced all races. Drew taught that Moors were "Asiatic", that there are only two races on the planet, Europeans and Asiatics. The peoples of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific, as well as Latin Americans, and indigenous peoples of the Americas are all considered Asiatic in Science Temple teachings. Drew taught that Europeans represent the "Lower Self" (Satan), and were driven out of Mecca by the Asiatic Moslems. Drew said that the empowerment of the Moorish people could only be found through an acceptance of Islam, although the Moorish Science Temple's definition of Islam was very different from the conventional one, and was more of a theosophistic combination of many religions, including Buddhism and indigenous religions. The theology of the church was lenient and inconsistent, if not non-existent, although there were consistent themes of universal love and pride.

    Doctrine of the temple was unconventional, including stories about Christ and Apollo battling, and the Greek Gods watching over his tomb before his resurrection, as well as teachings such as that Morocco was in fact the promised land of the Bible and Koran and that descendents of Sub-Saharan Africans should be referred to as "Moors" or "Moorish Americans" instead of Negroes, Blacks, or today, African-Americans.

    [edit] The church's practices

    The Moorish Science temple was founded on a teaching of the Moors as a blueprint of Freemasonry, and included a modified version of the Masonic lodge charter. The church's standards of behaviour was loosely derived from those of Islam, although not rigorously, and critics of the church accused it of antinomianism.

    Members of the Temple wore fezes, (including Drew, who wore a Cherokee feather in his) and often added the suffixes "-Bey" or "-El" to their names to signify their Moorish heritage, and could earn initiate titles such as Deacon, Exilarch, and Papessa. The ushers of the Temple wore black fezzes and were known as "Muftis", and the leader of a particular temple was known as a "Sheik", "Sheikess", or "Governor". Followers of the temple refused to fight in World War I and due to pressure from the inhabitants of New Jersey they moved to Chicago, where Drew began to make more impassioned speeches, urging Moors to reject the European labels such as "black" and "colored" and for Americans of all races to reject hate and embrace love. He believed that Chicago would become a second Mecca, and the temple began selling folk remedies (such as Moorish Tea) and issuing members of the church membership cards authorizing them as "Moslems" and declaring that they are citizens of the United States.

    [edit] The Science Temple after the death of Drew Ali

    The church suffered scrutiny and possibly harassment by Chicago police. A member of the Temple, Claude Green El, splintered off, declaring himself Grand Sheik, taking a number of members of the original temple, but was later stabbed by unknown parties. Drew was arrested and allegedly beaten by police, and released on bond pending an indictment. He died shortly afterward in 1929. It was speculated that his death was due to injuries received at the hands of the police, although the exact circumstances of his death are unknown. He was never brought up on charges for any involvement in the stabbing of Claude Green El.

    The Moorish Science Temple lived on after Drew Ali’s death, but splits among the Temple adherents widened. Three factions eventually formed, all led by close associates of the Prophet. Bro C. Kirkman-Bey, the Prophet’s translator and confidant, became the head of what would eventually be the largest group, and which currently has legal claim to the name “Moorish Science Temple of America, Inc.” Another faction developed into the so-called Reincarnated Temples, led by the Prophet’s former chauffeur Bro. J. Givens El, who thereafter called himself “Noble Drew Ali, Reincarnated.” Givens El, and the brothers Richardson Dingle El and Timothy Dingle El who succeeded him, taught that the Prophethood of Noble Drew Ali remained intact and passed on to them at the death of each before them, similar to the succession of authority from father to son or grandson in Shia Isma’ili Islam. From the work of the Dingle El brothers came the Noble Order of Moorish Sufis in Baltimore. Founded by the former Grand Mufti Rafi Sharif Bey on July 7, 1957, this group later lead to the founding of the Moorish Orthodox Church and the Moorish League. A third faction was begun by Bro. E. Mealy El and is still in existence, but with probably the fewest adherents out of the three.

    During World War II, the Science Temple (specifically the Kirkman-Bey faction) got the attention of the FBI, who falsely suspected the Moors of collaborating with the Japanese. No doubt doctrines and prophecies that the world order would one day invert and put the Asiatics of the world back in charge, as was, the Temple taught, the original order of things, sounded woefully suspicious to the anti-Japanese mindset of the times. The FBI created a file on the organization which grew to 3,117 pages, but produced no evidence of any connection or even much sympathy between the Empire of Japan and the Temple.

    Although it continues to this day, the MST is overshadowed historically by The Nation of Islam, begun by W.D. Fard, as mentioned above. Over time some Science Temple members have converted to either traditional Islam or the Nation of Islam. These MST to NOI converts include one Dr. Rashid, who eventually gained infamy by his links to Al-Qaeda. The number of people who consider themselves to be members of the Science Temple or other, later Moorish groups, has apparently remained steady, if somewhat small, over the decades since the inevitable decline in membership after the death of the Prophet. As with the Nation of Islam, a major source of converts to the Science Temple has been the often disgruntled and uneducated African American populations incarcerated in federal and state penitentiaries. The so-called Kirkman-Bey body of the MST, currently administered by Bro. R. Jones-Bey, Grand Sheik and Moderator, and Sister S. Dunbar-Bey, Assistant Grand Sheikess, has been particularly successful in the prisons.

    Moorish Science has had a heavy influence upon spiritualist anarchism via Hakim Bey, as well as through various subsequent religious movements, such as the Nation of Gods and Earths, Dwight York's Nuwaubian movement, and the Moorish Orthodox Church of America.

    Hakim Bey and the "Moorish orthodox church" has done much to introduce the history of the Temple to the general public. Some Moors have claimed that their writings have done some irreversible damage to scholarship. This has yet to be proven using the original writings of Prophet Noble Drew Ali.


  • hemond
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Noble Drew Ali History

  • wee
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Noble Drew Ali Biography

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