Melchisedek Shabazz Allah is a former member of the Nation of Islam who went on to open a legendary store in New York City selling NOI lessons and teachings. The store attracted high patronage from the Five Percent Nation.
The Five Percent Nation, also referred to as the Nation of Gods and Earths or the Five Percenters, is a movement influenced by Islam and was founded in 1964 in Harlem, New York City, for former Nation of Islam member Allah the Father (previously known as Clarence 13X).
Shabazz Allah and his store became a legend among the Five Percenters.
Here are seven things to know about Five Percenter legend Melchisedeck Universal Supreme Shabazz-Allah.
On his website, Shabazz-Allah describes himself as “I am Melchisedek Shabazz Allah, The Universal High Priest of the Nation of Islam on Earth and in the universe, having no mother, no father, no descent, no beginning of days, and no end of life.”
During a 2018 interview with the YouTube channel Allah’s School in Mecca, Shabazz Allah spoke about growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness. In the segment entitled, “Melchisedeck Builds on his early history,” he explains that he moved as a young boy with his family from the South to New York City.
“I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, and at nine years old, I was making public speeches in the Kingdom’s Hall. My mother wanted me to be a minister,” he said. Kingdom’s Halls are places of worship for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“I stayed in the Jehovah’s Witness until I was about 17,” he continued. “Then went to the streets.”
Shabazz Allah went on to reveal he became a drug dealer and street hustler. “I’d come home with a pocket full of money,” he recalled with a laugh. “The streets educated me about the fast life. I got into using drugs when I was about 17, 18. And to support my own use, I started to sell heroin. It was in the 1950s. I would sell $2 heroin tablets.”
He was also lured into gang life. “I joined the street gang, the Pythons.” The Pythons was a gang in East Harlem, New York City.
According to Shabazz Allah, his gang affiliation and drug dealing got him arrested, although he admitted to doing bigger crimes such as murder. But he said he was never “caught on the bodies.”
But it was while in prison that he came in direct contact with the Nation of Islam and the teachings of the Quran. “The joint, Sing Sing (Correctional Facility), the Tombs (Manhattan Detention Complex)–there I got the knowledge, he told Allah’s School in Mecca.
It was at New York’s Green Haven State Prison that Shabazz Allah met fellow prisoner Walter Five X, who was an NOI member. “Malcolm X come to talk with Walter Five X,” he said. “One day, I overheard them, and they were saying that the Black man is God and white people are devils.” This intrigued him, Shabazz Allah admitted.
Walter Five X noticed Shabazz Allah’s interest and began to talk to him and introduced Shabazz-Allah to the teachings of NOI leader Elijah Muhammad.
“He asked me if I had heard of Elijah Muhammad. He said I am going to introduce you to him. So he gave me some paper clips the next day,” Shabazz Allah recalled. “I read them. I was so interested…I became addicted to the teachings.”
This was around 1957-1958, Shabazz Allah noted. He also became impressed with Malcolm X.
“Without Malcolm X coming inside and teaching the supreme wisdom to Walter Five X, Walter Five X would have been gone. There were gunning for him,” said Shabazz Allah. “This is why I have the most respect for Malcolm X; he would come in to teach Walter Five X…Nobody could top Malcolm with the teachings of Elijah Muhammad. Not even Farrakhan.”
Another pivotal moment for Shabazz Allah was meeting Allah the Father after Shabazz Allah joined the NOI. Allah the Father later created the Five Percent nation when she split from the NOI and Shabazz Allah’s connection with him proved to be valuable later on.
In a Feb 16, 2020, interview with Allah’s School in Mecca Shabazz Allah spoke of Allah the Father. Shabazz Allah first met Allah the Father in the temple, explained Shabazz Allah in the interview entitled “Melchisedek builds on the first time meeting Allah.”
“We were all going through the classes. You become a junior FOI at first and then go into the advanced level. Malcolm had a speaking class. It was for community leaders. Clarence 13 X was No 1 in the public speaking class. I know because I was No. 2,” Shabazz Allah recounted.
FOI stands for the Fruit of Islam, the security and disciplinary wing of the Nation of Islam.
While he was once, as he said, “obsessed” with the teachings of the Shabazz Allah, he became disenchanted with the NOI. In a segment entitled “Melchisedeck builds on why he left the temple” from his 2018 Allah’s School in Mecca, he explains that within the NOI there was “jealous, stupidity…and I got sick of it.”
Upon leaving the NOI, Shabazz Allah opened an NYC store selling the teachings of Elijah Muhammad and NOI founder Master Fard Muhammad. The store, which now operates online, offers publications, portraits, guides focused on Islam and the NOI.
The NOI was not happy about Shabazz Allah’s store, he said. In fact, he revealed, “they called for a boycott of the store. No member could come to my store” or they would be punished.
“The Nation of Islam could not control my store. They said it was not sanctioned by the Nation. But they didn’t put any money into it,” he stressed.
The Nation, he told Allah’s School in Mecca in the 2018 interview, went as far as to threaten him, saying they would burn the store down.
“Five percent came from everywhere to patronize the store,” Shabazz Allah told Allah’s School in Mecca in a segment of his 2018 entitled “Melchisedeck builds on the 5 percent Nation keeping him in business.”
“They kept me open. I love and respect them because they understood what I was trying to do,” he said. “They were coming in. I was getting paid! They kept me going for 12 years until I sold the store.”
Photo: Five Percenter Legend Melchisedeck Universal Supreme Shabazz Allah, screenshot from YouTube video, “Allah’s School in Mecca,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p-bNVKeW9k&t=249s