That experience for Muslims from America-people whose lives have been reclaimed from among the “living dead” by the teaching of Islam-going from 47th Street and Nowhere Drive, to touching the Kabah itself, is profound. In times of great joy, or even when there is tribulation, the exclamation heard among Muslims is sublime: “Allah-u-akbar (God is great)” “Alham-du lillah (All Praise is due to Allah).”
Thanks to Allah, Minister Louis Farrakhan returned to Mecca to perform “Umrah” (which is Pilgrimage to Mecca at a time other than the “Hajj season”) on the 20th day of Zilramadan, 1418 A.H. (January 18, 1998), one of the last 10 days of the Islamic holy month, leading a delegation of 24 believers.
He and his wife, Mother Khadijah; Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, the wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; Mustapha Farrakhan, the Minister’s son; Alif Muhammad, the grandson of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad; and several other members of the Minister’s party were able to touch the huge, black-veiled house which is called “Kabah.”
As the small delegation completed its seventh “Tawaf,” (circuit around the Kabah with it on the left side), chanting in Arabic the words which translate in English to say: “Here I am at Thy service. O Allah! Here I am at Thy service ….” the group, moving as if it was one person pressed through the sea of pilgrims until Min. Farrakhan was able to not only touch the Black Stone in the corner where the Tawaf begins, he was able to kiss the stone.
Later, reflecting on the occasion, Min. Farrakhan told his “family” gathered around him, “When I kissed the stone, I remembered the words of Omar who said: ‘I kissed the stone, not because it was (written to do so), but because the Prophet (Muhammad-PBUH) kissed it.” During his Umrah at Mecca in 1959, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad also kissed the stone.
Two years ago, the Nation of Islam leader led a similar delegation to Mecca which received a warm welcome. On that occasion the worshipers from the Nation of Islam walked and ran just a few paces behind Saudi Crown Prince Abdallah as the two groups of pilgrims retraced the steps of Hagar between the hills of Safa and Marwa. Prince Abdallah and his delegation were escorted then by Royal Police.
This year, for the first time in Nation of Islam history, Min. Farrakhan and those worshipping with him, were given a police escort inside the Grand Mosque during their performance of Umrah, after having been driven in a police motorcade from the Jeddah Conference Palace, where they were guests of His Royal Highness King Fahd bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who is Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (at Mecca and Medina).
“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told me that Allah would go before me and make friends for me all over the world,” Min. Farrakhan told the members of his group, pointing out that Mr. Muhammad laid the foundation for his current success. It is because Min. Farrakhan has worked to magnify Mr. Muhammad’s teaching, and to restore the Nation of Islam, that he is so highly regarded as one of the world’s most important leaders, and especially so, in the Muslim world and Africa.
In the lobby of the Inter-Continental Hotel in Mecca following the Umrah, the Muslim leader recalled a previous visit to the Grand Mosque. “Brother Akbar,” he said to Minister Akbar Muhammad, his international representative, “I remember we were in this same lobby, 20 years ago, and I pledged to bring 10,000 back to Mecca with me.”
Minister Farrakhan has called for 10,000 Muslims to join him in making Hajj-one of the five fundamental principles of Islam-in the year 2000, insha-Allah (God willing).