It is not unusual for participants to attach superlative descriptions to events as they occur. But by the accounts of most who attended Saviours’ Day 2007 in Detroit, Mich. Feb. 23-25, without exaggeration or amplification, this was “The Best Saviours’ Day Ever.”
In the nearly 77 years since the founding of the Nation of Islam on July 4, 1930 in Detroit, this year’s event set attendance records: with 50,000 seated in the Ford Field indoor football stadium to hear the keynote address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan; and more than 10,000 attending Friday prayers–Salatul Jumu’ah.
There were also packed meeting rooms for a variety of workshops on topics including Africa, the Indigenous Nations Alliance; interfaith dialogues; Latino groups; and how to have a successful marriage. The NOI youth had a full schedule of their own, with well-attended activities, and the city’s African American Museum even sponsored an exhibit and series of lectures on the history of the Nation in the city of its birth.
Charity, which is second only to prayer among the Pillars of Islam, was also unprecedented during Saviours’ Day 2007. All over the country Muslims generously doubled and re-doubled their Saviours’ Day gift contributions, while continuing to uphold their other financial obligations, while guests at the Feb. 25 address also gave unselfishly with donations in the five- and six-figure range. There was even a charity auction for the Louis Farrakhan Prostate Cancer Foundation, at which individuals gave generously to purchase items personally donated by the Minister.
When Min. Farrakhan entered the arena to a thunderous nine-minute ovation, Detroit’s most notable dignitaries were there to greet him with Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick; Rep. John Conyers, Dean of the Congressional Black Caucus and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee; and Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus among them. The National Black Anthem–Lift Every Voice and Sing–was sung by Grammy Award-winning vocalist Anita Baker, who made a special request that she be a part of the program.
There was even a live, two-way, interactive press conference with Omar al-Bashir, President of the Sudan. The unrehearsed, uncensored 90-minute press conference was unprecedented as a president of an African nation spoke live to Black people in the United States of America, humbly answering their questions.
Members of the Nation of Islam are not superstitious, so when meteorologists predicted a crippling snow, freezing-rain and ice-storm that was set to blanket Detroit with several inches of precipitation on the day of Minister Farrakhan’s scheduled lecture, Muslims were not deterred, not for one minute.
The Fruit of Islam from Detroit and visiting cities, continued their relentless campaign to distribute leaflets and placards to help turn out a huge crowd to receive the Minister, as it was his first public appearance in six months, after having stepped back from day-to-day leadership of the Nation while he endured a life-threatening 14-hour surgical procedure.
However, God showed forth His power on the weather and only allowed a light coating of precipitation that day, and not the blizzard which had been predicted by forecasters, which was hardly enough to cool the enthusiasm of the tens of thousands determined to see and hear the Minister.
But before five days had even passed, the weather showed its fury, from Minnesota, to Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida. A devastating storm which piled snow in Iowa, sent more than 30 tornadoes which ripped the Deep South, leaving dozens dead in its wake.
“God is not mocked!” Minister Farrakhan warned in his address. “There’s a scripture in the Bible that reads: ‘God is not mocked. But whatsoever a man soweth the same shall he also reap.’ Every evil act that is done by man to his fellowman is always justified by some law that would absolve the guilty party.
“The American people have no idea what their government has done around the world in the name of foreign policy. They have set hatred in the earth and it is now being directed back to America, because God is not mocked.
“So today, America is beginning to reap some of what she has sown, and it is George W. Bush who has brought everything to a head. I warned the president of natural disasters that would afflict America, that the prophets foretold.”
We are not superstitious. We see these things coming to pass right before our eyes.
On every level, those who attended Saviours’ Day 2007 were treated to “thrill after thrill.”
It was, after all, Saviours’ Day, and the Nation of Islam and its guests rejoiced. February 26, 2007 was the 130th birth anniversary of Master Fard Muhammad–the Man Who introduced Himself in Detroit’s “Black Bottom” neighborhood (referred to in some accounts as “Heavenly Valley”) as “The Saviour.” On July 4, 1930, He began teaching Blacks in Detroit the Knowledge of God, ourselves, and the devil.
Virtually on the spot where Detroit’s Ford Field is now located, Master Fard Muhammad, The Saviour, taught us the truth of how we were made slaves and how we were kept in slavery.
He declared that we were without any knowledge of ourselves or of anyone else, that we had been made blind, deaf and dumb by our slave-masters and that we must return to our people, our God and His religion of peace–Islam–the religion of the prophets.
Praise be to Allah that the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad recognized The Saviour, and made His Mission, his own–leading and building the Nation of Islam into one of the most important movements and molders of Black thinking in 20th Century America.
Praise be to Allah, that Those Two Men left in our midst as our Divine Reminder, as our Leader, Teacher and Guide, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
And by the help of Allah, and the hard work and dedication of the Nation of Islam’s members, supporters, and friends, Saviours’ Day 2007 in Detroit was, without fear of contradiction, The Best Saviours’ Day Ever for all who attended.