The Nation of Islam doesn’t celebrate the general holidays of American society based on their roots in falsehood and commercialism, but the Nation does use such celebrations as opportunities to teach and share wisdom about the basis of these celebrations and to impart meaning and lessons about the themes connected with these holidays.
Father’s Day 2014 was another opportunity to share a message with Black America about the need and value of fathers, about the responsibility of fatherhood and about God’s choice of Black people as the father of a new reality, a reality being ushered in through the work of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan through the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Father’s Day may also be the least observed and honored of any holiday by Black America. It usually consists of mothers being given Father’s Day greetings, gifts and cards because they raised or are raising children alone; complaints about what absent Black fathers haven’t done, complaints about shiftless baby daddies, denigration of Black men as sperm donors and postings declaring the best way to observe Father’s Day is to send a child support check.
None of that is encouraging and can be a little irritating to those who are good fathers, surrogate fathers, positive influences and responsible males working for the benefit of their children and others.
Amid that backdrop it was greatly humbling and gratifying at the Nation of Islam’s flagship Mosque Maryam on Father’s Day, June 15, as the women of the Nation paid tribute to the men of the Nation, the Fruit of Islam. Led by Sandy Muhammad, the student national M.G.T. & G.C.C. captain and the woman responsible for the training and cultivation of women in the Nation of Islam, boxed sets of 100 percent silk ties were presented to each male who came to the mosque for the Sunday service.
Sister Captain Muhammad spoke beautiful words of appreciation and encouragement to the men who are working to live better lives, build better families, uplift a fallen people, and carve out an independent reality for a people in a dangerously dependent position in America.
She expressed love, support and respect for these Black men who carry the banner of Islam and are committed to the mission of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad through the leadership of Min. Farrakhan–these two great ones who epitomize what true manhood is.
The ties were high quality and complete with matching pocket squares and cufflinks. The boxes that contained the ties, with tops that matched the patterns of ties contained inside, were impressive. Even the gift bags with words of love printed on the sides were first class.
But beyond all of that was fulfillment of an old adage: It is the thought that counts.
For the women of the Nation to think enough of the men in the mission to present gifts was an important statement. It says something about the teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the love, unity and respect it produces between Black women and Black men. That lesson is sorely needed today when so many Black women feel abandoned, so many Black men feel besieged and the enemy seems ever ready to subtlety and overtly tell us we are better off without each other. That is absolutely a lie. This token of love and this gesture was a sign that as we grow into the knowledge of self, we can love, honor and respect one another. That thought is needed not just inside the Nation of Islam but all over Black America. We thank the Mighty M.G.T. & G.C.C. for leading the way.