Wallace D. Fard aka Wallace Fard Muhammad /f ə . ˈ r ɑː d/ (born February 26, 1877) was a co-founder of the Nation of Islam. He arrived in Detroit in 1930 with an obscure background and several aliases, and taught a distinctive form of Islam to members of the city"s African-American population. He was also known as being a seller of silk, incense, and perfume and was described as a white Arab man, but remembered as being a "light-skinned" black man by leaders of the Nation of Islam. Fard was last seen in 1933 by Elijah Muhammad, when Fard took off in an airplane from the Detroit airport.
In 1938, an article by sociologist Erdmann Doane Beynon was published in the American Journal of Sociology, giving Beynon"s first-hand account of several interviews that he conducted with followers of Fard in Michigan. From those interviews, Beynon wrote that Fard lived and taught in Detroit from 1930–34. He came to the homes of black families who had recently migrated to Detroit from the rural south. He began by selling silks door to door, telling his listeners that the silks came from their home country. At his suggestion, he came back to teach the residents, along with guests.
In the early stage of his ministry, Fard "used the Bible as his textbook, since it was the only religious book with which the majority of his hearers were familiar. With growing prestige over a constantly increasing group, [Fard] became bolder in his denunciation of the Caucasians and began to attack the teachings of the Bible in such a way as to shock his hearers and bring them to an emotional crisis."
Those interviewed by Beynon told him that reports of Fard"s message spread throughout the black community. Attendance at the house meetings grew until the listeners were divided into groups and taught in shifts. Finally, the community contributed money and rented a hall to serve as a Temple where meetings were conducted. The Quran was soon introduced as the most authoritative of all texts for the study of the faith according