The Nation of Islam (NOI) is a syncretic new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad on July 4, 1930. The Nation of Islam's stated goals are to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African Americans in the United States and all of humanity. Its critics accuse it of being black supremacist and antisemitic.
After Fard disappeared in June 1934, the Nation of Islam was led by Elijah Muhammad, who established places of worship (called Temples or Mosques), a school named Muhammad University of Islam, businesses, farms and real estate holdings in the United States and abroad. There were a number of splits and splinter groups during Elijah Muhammad's leadership, most notably the departure of senior leader Malcolm X to become Sunni Muslim. After Elijah Muhammad's death, his son Warith Deen Mohammed changed the name of the organization several times and brought it into line with Islam.
In 1977, Louis Farrakhan rejected Warith Deen Mohammed's leadership and re-established the Nation of Islam on the original model. He took over the Nation of Islam's headquarter Temple, Mosque Maryam (Mosque #2), which is located in Chicago. Its official newspaper is The Final Call. The Nation of Islam does not publish its membership numbers; in 2007, the core membership was estimated between 20,000 and 50,000, but their following was believed to be larger. Most of the members are in the United States, but there are minority communities in other countries, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.
Since 2010, under Farrakhan, members have been strongly encouraged to study Dianetics, and the Nation currently claims it has trained 1055 Auditors.
There has been much speculation over the years about who will succeed Farrakhan as the national leader of the NOI. Most recently, Farrakhan's selection of Assistant Minister Ishmael Muhammad to deliver the 2013 Holy Day of Atonement key note address in his place may shed some light on that question. Farrakhan was absent from the event due to suffering a heart attack, he later announced in Indianapolis in December 2013.