(FinalCall.com) – Recently, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Two prominent Omegas, author, entertainer, and radio host Steve Harvey and NBA great Shaquille O’Neal both sent words of congratulations.
“There are no words great enough to capture the spirit nor depict the greatness of the legacy of Minister Louis Farrakhan. Minister Farrakhan is a man of courage and conviction; a man of integrity and strength; a man who is fully committed to serving God through the service of mankind. He knows that his life is not his own but that (it) has been shaped, molded, and determined by The Creator.
We have had the privilege and honor of being taught by this great man, Minister Farrakhan. He has so graciously shared with us the ways in which we can live a life of integrity and valor. Minister Farrakhan has assisted in preparing us for the complex and complicated path to manhood. He has shown us how we can learn from our errors and still stay on course, gain through selfless giving, forgive when wronged, and persevere despite unfavorable circumstances. Minister Farrakhan has given us the pattern for unconditional love,” said Mr. O’Neal and his assistant Mark E. Stevens, also an Omega.
“There is no man that’s more deserving the honor that is being bestowed today. Yet despite all his great accomplishments, Minister Farrakhan is a man of humility and modesty. In those qualities lie his greatness. We are so proud today to congratulate Minister Louis Farrakhan, spiritual leader, husband, father and friend,” they added.
Their message was signed, “Lovingly submitted by your ‘sons.’ ”
Steve Harvey said, “The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been my friend and mentor for many years now. … His advice and wisdom has guided me through some dark and confusing times…If we as Omega men are honoring him, it is because he embodies the principles of our fraternity as well as anyone living today… His courage is second to none,” said Mr. Harvey. “He is MANHOOD, SCHOLARSHIP, PERSEVERANCE, AND UPLIFT. He is my friend. HE IS ONE OF US!”
“I love you, sir!” Mr. Harvey added.
There are many members of the Nation of Islam who are also members of Omega Psi Phi, all of whom shared their happiness at hearing that the Minister would be honored in such a manner. Several spoke with The Final Call Nov. 19 following the banquet.
“He put what Omega means in perspective,” said Brother James Muhammad, former Editor-in-Chief of The Final Call. Bro. James pledged in 1973 at the Delta Epsilon chapter located on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “He looks at things from a higher spiritual level while we may look at things from a lower level and he put into perspective what manhood was really about for me personally,” he added.
Brother Jimmy Muhammad pledged in the Spring of 2000 at Pi Kappa chapter on the campus of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He gave away highly coveted tickets to the Arkansas football game as well as an entire table he had purchased for his home chapter’s Omega centennial celebration just to be present to see and hear the Minister on this special evening.
“I used to always get on my fraternity for not honoring Minister Farrakhan for the stances he takes,” said Bro. Jimmy. “I said if they ever recognized him for it, I had to be there and tonight, I had to be here.”
Atty. Athill Muhammad, who pledged at Lincoln University’s Beta chapter in 1983 agreed saying, “One of the most beautiful things that I’ve ever done in my life was join a fraternity. That was only second because obviously the first thing was joining the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” said Bro. Athill. “To have both of my worlds come together so to speak with the fraternity honoring the Minister, it was very humbling to me because he means so much. He is the most important person in my life.”
Brother Dennis Muhammad joined the fraternity in 1971 at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale’s Omicron Theta chapter.
“He summed up in his speech to the brothers what we need to do as a people, and the only thing that keeps us from being successful is our lack of unity,” said Bro. Dennis. “I think he gave marching orders to the brothers in the fraternity to stop standing on principles and actually put those principles into action by doing what it is we profess and say we believe,” he added.
Khalil Muhammad joined the fraternity in the Spring of 1989 while a student in Arkansas and now, is now with the Mu Xi chapter in Illinois. He said the Minister is “always on time, all the time and for any occasion.”
“I think it shows the growth and maturity that our fraternity has,” said Bro. Khalil. “To see Minister Farrakhan coming to a diverse crowd that may have been majority Christian but deliver a message that is universal, means a whole lot to me.”
“I’m glad that my brothers got a chance to hear that life-giving message,” said Brother Jesse Muhammad, who joined the fraternity in 1977 at the Epsilon Beta chapter on the campus of Western Illinois University.