(FinalCall.com) – Most people receive more flowers at their funeral than they ever received in life. Some live a lifetime without ever getting a floral arrangement, potted plant or fragrant spray. In addition to never having received flowers while they live, many deceased rarely hear in life the fancy words and emotional testimonies painfully delivered at wakes. What a shame!

Some of the most enduring staples of humor in Western society have to do with the absurdity found in the cultural tradition of giving extravagant praises and expressive demonstrations to people at their funerals. American humorists from Mark Twain to Richard Pryor have made light of it. They and others have poked fun at the silliness of speaking large of the dead in ways that were never done in life. Many have sat in funerals wondering where the information came from and why were those lies being told in the House of God.

The Nation of Islam would like to offer a new cultural tradition, which received rave reviews on January 31 in Atlanta, Ga. “Flowers While You Live” is a new concept and organizational thrust within the Nation to give credit to those who serve our community tirelessly.


The Flowers While You Live committee was established in Atlanta to pay tribute to the legendary Min. Abdul Rahman during a special program on January 31, where he received numerous accolades and citations. The idea has become so refreshing and important that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has asked that tributes be held for numerous pioneers of the Nation of Islam all around the country.

“Many have made magnificent contributions to the rise of Islam in America and have never received honor. They suffered because of the misunderstanding of our people. We spoke things that many thought but were afraid to say,” said Min. Farrakhan during the tribute to Min. Rahman.

“We honor the best in ourselves when we honor those among us who serve the best. Too many times we wait too late. We are slow in saying thank you. When they pass, there’s weeping and wailing. There are things said that should have been said while they were living.”

Honoring people while they live is a work of Allah (God). It is easy to love the Master, yet difficult to love one another. Now is the time to say what you feel about the ones you love and care about. Now is the time to encourage and inspire the ones that serve our community the best with our flowery words and extravagant praises.

We are striving to create a cultural shift in the way we treat one another. We are striving to create a culture that recognizes the good and excellent in all that serve and work to live a life pleasing to Allah (God). We need well wishes on this side of the grave rather than on the other.

The Final Call salutes the brothers and sisters in Atlanta who originated this concept and we join Min. Farrakhan in encouraging similar tributes throughout the Nation of Islam and Black America, at large.

Let us recognize giants among us while they live and prevent outside forces from diluting, distorting and damaging their images after they depart this life.

Thank you Minister Farrakhan for your guidance and exhortation to us to do the right thing.