The time is now to move out on the program of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, pool our resources and get some of this earth to call our own. This was not simply a sentiment expressed by presenters during the Saviours’ Day 2021 workshop on land and real estate development but it is a vision many Muslims across the country are making a reality. “Real Estate Acquisition: We Must Have Land To Call Our Own” brought together a unique panel that shared with attendees what stepping out on faith, unity and hard work is producing.
Over the past 10 years, Brother Kamal Muhammad of the Detroit Mecca Project has acquired various properties in the Motor City, rehabbed those properties with the objective of creating a community of Believers in the city where the Nation of Islam was born.
“We first started by me, trying to follow the words of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, when he said that he wanted—actually he told me this, when I first became the national secretary—he told me that he wanted me to try to make a way for Believers to participate with the Nation to participate as the Nation grows, and grow with the Nation,” explained Bro.
Kamal Muhammad, a son of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Min. Farrakhan’s words prompted Bro. Kamal Muhammad to reflect on the words of his Father regarding acquiring land, so he went to work. He thanked Believers who have been investors and helpers in the Detroit Mecca Project and shared a video of Brother Victor Muhammad who purchased a home through the project and moved from New York to Detroit.
“I wanted to show that because I want you to see, because first, when I started doing this people said, well, why do I want to invest in Detroit? There’s nothing but shacks over there. That (in the video) was a neighborhood in Detroit that my brother (Victor) lives in. Detroit is ready and waiting for you and we can make it whatever we want,” said Bro. Kamal Muhammad.
Other presenters included, Sister Virginia Muhammad of Mosque No. 11 in Boston who is executive director of the Neighborhood Development Corporation of Grove Hall; Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad, Nation of Islam Southwest Regional Representative and an urban planner; Sister Letitia Muhammad of Mosque No. 1 in Detroit, a real estate broker; Sister Nina Shabazz Muhammad of Mosque No. 4 in Washington, D.C., an expert in urban and regional planning and Brother Eric Muhammad of Muhammad Ranch and Farms.
“It’s amazing when I look at the strides that our Nation is making, just evolving constantly up to the modern time. I know we have everything in our nation to be successful and to go for self and create our own communities,” said Sis. Nina Shabazz Muhammad who is also lending her expertise to the Detroit Mecca Project. It is important to understand the importance and need for security and fortification in building our own communities, she explained.
Black folks have sought freedom, justice and equality within the social, political and economic system of America throughout our over 400-year sojourn in this country, noted Student Min. Abdul Haleem Muhammad. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that separation is the best and only solution for the Black man and woman, and we must consider separation unless we want to endure and wait another 400 years, he warned. Circumstances are expediting that reality, severe and punishing weather, economic turmoil and the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that ownership of producing land is a prime and necessary part of freedom. People cannot exist freely without land. And the so-called Negro in America is evidence of that fact,” said Student Min. Haleem Muhammad.
Sis. Letitia Muhammad has been a licensed real estate broker since 2006 and works with all levels of investors for those wanting properties in Detroit to generate income. She has clients all over the world. Sis. Letitia encouraged participants to seriously consider Detroit for acquiring property.
Brother Eric Muhammad shared the work he and Believers are doing in acquiring farmland in Georgia. They purchased 80 acres last year and another 110 acres this year. “We currently have cows, sheep, and goats. We are working on putting a slaughterhouse on it now. And we’re just building up the community that we have in Southeast Georgia,” he said.
Owning land in urban centers and in rural areas is necessary and also making our neighborhoods clean and decent places to live is also part of this effort. Sister Virginia Muhammad of Mosque No. 11 in Boston for years has worked diligently in developing the area where the local NOI mosque is located. It takes a collective effort, including making friendships in all walks of life and investing in the community, she explained.
“The Muslims have to forge a relationship with the politicians and with the lending institutions. We have to make our presence known brothers and sisters and Minister Don Muhammad and the leadership were very, very effective at doing that. The CDC was formed in 1979. But officially, we received 501c-3 status in 1984.
And we have been working very hard and the only thing that we do brothers and sisters, is we implement the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” she said. Over the years the CDC has overseen numerous development projects including shopping areas and has facilitated construction training for men and women in the area.
“The goals of the local mosque has been to transform our community, and creating a safe and economically viable, stable environment and that’s what we try to do every single day.”
To view this workshop in its entirety visit noi.org/sd2021
—Starla Muhammad, Managing Editor