By Charlene Muhammad CHARLENEM
People across the country–from those barely familiar with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to his followers in the Nation of Islam–continue enthusiastically responding to the beloved leader’s clarion call for acts of kindness in the holiday season and beyond.
Reconciliations at family gatherings, food donations in lieu of frivolous shopping and speaking kind and uplifting words to one another were just a fraction of the acts people were inspired to engage in as a result of the Minister’s directive. Many people shared with Minister Farrakhan some of the activities they participated in, reported Jesse Muhammad, his social media director.
After Minister Farrakhan declared his wishes for the recent holiday rooted in Chapter 107 of the Holy Qur’an titled “Al-Ma’un (Acts of Kindness), the Farrakhan Twitter Army was live tweeting his message. The responses were already overwhelming to the Minister’s words and the display of his heart, when he commanded, “Let love break out in the ghetto,” explained Jesse Muhammad.
Minister Farrakhan’s issuance of a call to order, being guided by Allah (God) to say put the principles of Jesus back at the center, to practice and not just talk about the Christ, encouraged many to spread peace and joy and that resonated with people outside of the Nation of Islam, Jesse Muhammad stated.
“It doesn’t cost money to be kind,” Min. Farrakhan explained during a Nov. 18 address. “A smile and kind word to one’s neighbor would be the best gift,” he said. Just some of the feedback via social media during and since Minister Farrakhan’s address at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Illinois, included:
“If Elijah Muhammad is alive as you say he is, I am sure he’s smiling down on you like, “You tell’em son!” lol … seriously, your love for him in such a passionate way has made me want to know more of him. I thought Elijah Muhammad was a fraud. Now I see he’s the realest. Thank you Minister Farrakhan for keeping the videos coming that caused me to stop, humble myself and learn. Now I got to read up on Fard.”
“Who knew how much joy we could have by not spending money but just spending quality time talking about Jesus, working out our differences and going to our neighbors to speak a kind word. See, Satan doesn’t like you sir because you truly present the principles of Jesus.”
“I thank my Heavenly Father for Mr. Elijah Muhammad making you into such a wonderful human being. I always hear you give him credit so I too have to give credit where credit is due. … and speaking of credit, my credit card was not used for Xmas for the first time in years. Up with Jesus, down with Satan … oops I mean Santa 😉 (smile).”
“My high school classmates and I went and cut the grass of all of the elders on our streets. I got the idea after seeing the revolution of kindness on your instagram. We decided to keep it going in 2019. Thx sir.”
“I hadn’t talked to my neighbor in years. And when I said a kind word, she was shocked. We ended up having Xmas dinner together. A friendship is building. Happy holidays to you and your family from mine. Love of Jesus is reigning.”
“I thought you were a hateful man but this call for kindness made me see you differently. Great Nov 18 message.”
““You are the reason that Jesus is back being the reason for the season in my household. All of my family members didn’t spend any money. We just ate and had a good time. Then went over to our neighbors home to play board games. The best, least expensive, Christmas ever! â˜º”
“According to Jesse Muhammad, social media flyers and posts containing excerpts of the Minister’s words about participating in acts of kindness have been heavily shared on social media across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. “The response has not stopped,” he added.
Additional responses and feedback included:
“The Nation of Islam is truly a guiding light. I hope to see y’all doing more acts of kindness in the community in the coming years because y’all are our only hope. The people on my block respect y’all more than you may know.”
“My sentiments Exactly!! It doesn’t cost a thing to speak a kind word or put a smile on your face. Random acts of kindness. I’m going to do this for every elder on my block.”
“Instead of buying gifts, my family members settle our beefs on Xmas. the revolution of kindness is real in our lives now. Thank you for encouraging this on instagram.”
“Simple kindness and respect is easy. I too decided not to buy gifts. We sat around the table, ate dinner and talked about Jesus, watched a video of you and then a little basketball. Best Xmas ever”
“Because of you, my family is bringing Jesus back to the center. No gift buying, only acts of kindness that are free of charge. lol … seriously thank you for spreading the revolution of kindness on social media. It was/is needed.”““Every since I stood with the Minister to boycott Christmas and Thanksgiving in 2015 … I have no desire to participate in any of the traditions nor the economics of any ‘holiday’. Instead, I’ve adopted a mindset to be thankful and enjoy my family, friends, and community. Mind you, in 2015, my only child was just 7 months and my husband couldn’t wrap his head around me boycotting, … but he stood with me and the Minister for that first year – and I am grateful. Since then, we have compromise. We buy the bare minimum, that’s significant to the development of our family, … and when the opportunity presents itself WE BUY BLACK! I am fearlessly still standing with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan all the way.”
‘A quintessential revolutionary’
“People are saying that this is not just a revolution just for the holiday season, but this is something that has to be lived and practiced every single day that will transform our households, transform our relationships, transform our community, the Nation, and eventually it represents the new world that’s coming in,” stated Jesse Muhammad.
“I think that the Minister has always been ahead of his time,” said Roc Newman, sports promoter, boxing great and host of “The Roc Newman Show,” which airs on PBS.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard him call himself a revolutionary, but he is the quintessential revolutionary. In the midst of this darkness, this pall that is over the country and to some extent over the world today and being under such personal siege by those who have no clue of who he is, his focus is talking about love,” Mr. Newman told The Final Call.
“That’s extraordinarily revolutionary and those who have no interest in the upliftment of Black people, they hate that kind of message of love,” he added.
Mr. Newman said those who truly know Minister Farrakhan understand where he’s coming from and what he’s trying to do. “He sees the problem in the community. He sees the violence. He sees the self-hatred. He understands the institutional killers that keep that self-hatred and violence alive and well, and he’s trying to step in the gap and say to those who might perpetrate those kinds of acts of harm against each other, lay down your weapons and pick up love. What greater message could there be for the start of this new year!”
He appealed to Minister Farrakhan’s detractors: “Just listen. Just listen with an objective ear, not with a predetermined sense of who you think you’re listening to, but just listen.
“They make a caricature out of someone of whom they know not. It’s long past the time for those who have been vilifying and fighting them–I speak to his enemies–don’t you know? Haven’t you realized that this is a man of God and the more you try to slay him the more he grows? Don’t you know that the more you try to hurt him, the stronger he gets? Don’t you know the more poison you try to pour onto him the sweeter he is to the people that he loves so dearly?” emphasized Mr. Newman.
Sharing light in the Valley of the Sun
In Phoenix, the Justice or Else! Local Organizing Committee (LOC) responded to Min. Farrakhan’s call by escalating their consistent response to the community’s needs, whether it’s help with rent, food, clothing, or shelter, according to its chair, Tremikus Muhammad.
“I think that a lot of our people suffer so much, that when the Minister asked for the acts of kindness, it struck us from an angle that we didn’t expect,” he said.
The call and the sentiment go way beyond just what people generally think of kindness such as just being nice to one another, Tremikus Muhammad explained.
“What it has done is make people feel like they’re not alone, that they actually have someone in the community that cares. We have brothers and sisters that come to tears, because they feel like they’re out here by themselves, especially when you’re in a city like Phoenix which is a transplant city. A lot of people don’t have family here, so we create and build an environment of family around each other,” Tremikus Muhammad added.
Ali Nervis has been on the giving and receiving end of that love. Approximately three weeks after Minister Farrakhan’s guidance to let love break out in the ghetto, the husband and father of two girls learned he had a brain pituitary tumor that had been there for 25 years.
“We just found it on a whim. I had it taken out on December 14. All the symptoms came out of nowhere, I just blacked out, but love brought me back,” Mr. Nervis said through a hearty chuckle. His medical insurance covered the bulk of the $40,000 cost for surgery, but his recovery meant restricted activity.
“I couldn’t leave. I couldn’t drive for a while. I was having really bad headaches, so that threw off my family’s finances,” Mr. Nervis told The Final Call.
The Phoenix LOC raised money for Mr. Nervis and his family to fill in the gap while he healed, which renewed his dedication to the work and commitment to the community, he stated.
“This is a type of work that it’s easy to get burn out from, and I was starting to sense that and this has been a time of rest, a time of refreshing and reawakening for me, and just a time of listening and trying to gain greater understanding. I said jokingly but it’s the truth that love brought me back– the love of my family, the love of the community, the love of those in organizations that just surrounded me and continue to send positive thoughts and energy and prayers and then this blessing was just the icing on the cake, to me, a message from even higher above that I’m doing the right things,” Mr. Nervis stated.
On Christmas Day December 25, Muhammad Mosque No. 32, Blue Seas Restaurant, and Xango Fitness, Inc. teamed up to shut down the restaurant and made it only available to those in need of food, particularly the city’s homeless population.
Kenny Muhammad, owner of Blue Seas, told The Final Call that Minister Farrakhan ignited his idea to close the restaurant to the public and allow the MGT and GCC (the women of the Nation of Islam) to take control of the entire kitchen.
They cooked a delicious meal of baked chicken, salad, navy bean soup, muffins, and pound cake and awaited the underserved who were being picked up and brought to the restaurant on shuttle busses by the FOI (Fruit of Islam, the male members of the Nation of Islam.)
Every seat was filled in the restaurant. People placed their orders, and food was delivered to their tables with dignity as if they were regular customers, according to Hilario Muhammad, student protocol director for Mosque No. 32.
He said sponsor Xango Fitness, Inc., owned by Student Minister Khallid Muhammad, provided guests with hygiene products like deodorant, shampoo and hair care products, and lotion. Guests received as much food as they wanted, including plates to go until food ran out.
“He’s (the Minister) given us so much and we love him with a passion that when we hear him say things we know he does not speak idle words and that we are obligated to demonstrate our love for him by taking that as an instruction and moving out,” stated Zanitra Muhammad, student MGT Captain at Mosque No. 32.
The MGT donated all of the food and supplies, dressed in their uniforms, and worked diligently in the restaurant. A local family of volunteers from the community responded to the Facebook announcement about the effort and helped the Muslims serve approximately 55 homeless residents, Zanitra Muhammad added.
The MGT prepared healthy food and prepared it according to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s dietary law and books “How to Eat to Live”, she explained.
“What I saw from the people and what they told me was how touched they were that we took this day and we decided to serve them on that day. They wanted to come and hug us. They wanted to grab our hands and touch us, and they thanked us.”
Even though Muslims don’t believe in Christmas–the holiday itself–it’s about the spirit of family and unity in that family, said Kenny Muhammad. A one day shutdown wasn’t much to do in order to give homeless men and women a place to just sit down, he said.
Recently, Kenny Muhammad said he was sitting in front of the restaurant when a woman approached him.
“She came up and she said, ‘Brother, you don’t remember me, I’m sure, but I’m one of the sisters that you picked up,’–because we shuttled the brothers and sisters from the streets to the restaurant. And she said, ‘You don’t remember me, but I was one of the sisters that got in your van and came to the restaurant. Well, now, I got money, and I wanna buy some fish! I wanna support the restaurant!’” recalled Kenny Muhammad.