Explain why Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X was an African American Muslim minister and a popular human rights activist who took part in the civil rights movement. He was most popular because of his action as a vocal spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

Joining the National of Islam

He joined the Nation of Islam in a prison where he was captured due to his involvement in some illegal activities. His original name was El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz. After joining the Nation of Islam, he adopted the name, Malcolm X. Later he became a popular public figure and joined the civil rights movement.


During 1962 and 1963, due to some reason, the relationship between Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam was degraded. Elijah Muhammad, a leader of the Nation of Islam played a significant role in the relationship break up.

  • The violent confrontations between the Nation of Islam members and police in 1961 created severe chaos.
  • Elijah Muhammad blocked Malcolm X when he spoke of the Nation of Islam starting to work with civil rights organizations and other local bodies.
  • Extramarital affairs of Elijah Muhammad with young Nation secretaries‍ again bitter the relation.
  • Malcolm X was not allowed to deliver his speech for 90 days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
  • Muhammad’s leadership was affected by the media attention of Malcolm X.

Finally, in 1964, Malcolm X announced his disassociation from the Nation of Islam. He accused Elijah Muhammad of not allowing him to perform the civil rights movement. He also declared his intention to continue his work with other civil rights leaders.


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