How strong is the foundation? Can we survive? Those were the questions posed by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the patriarch of the Nation of Islam, before he departed in 1975. That was also the theme for Saviours’ Day 2021. Saviours’ Day, often called the crowning event of Black History Month, is the Nation of Islam’s annual weekend in February dedicated to commemorating the birth date of Master Fard Muhammad, the Nation’s founder.
For the first time in history, because of a Covid-19 world, Saviours’ Day went virtual. The three-day weekend of events included a welcoming and opening session by Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, the National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, an early morning physical training by Grandmaster and Nation of Islam Student Assistant Supreme Captain Abdul Azziz Muhammad and plenary sessions on separation and Covid-19 hosted by Dr. Ava Muhammad, the National Spokesperson for Minister Farrakhan.
“This day, February the 26, marks the birth of Master Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, the great Mahdi and Messiah who was born in the holy city of Mecca in the year 1877,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said during the opening session.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote of Master Fard in Point Number 12 of “What the Muslims Believe,” printed on the inside back page of every Final Call Newspaper: “WE BELIEVE that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July 4, 1930; the long-awaited ‘Messiah’ of the Christians and the ‘Mahdi’ of the Muslims. We believe further and lastly that Allah is God and besides HIM there is no god and He will bring about a universal government of peace wherein we all can live in peace together”.
“It is because of Master Fard Muhammad that the Nation of Islam exists,” Ishmael Muhammad said.
He said the weekend’s workshops were designed to address the Nation of Islam’s spiritual health, moral condition and physical condition in order to help get through the dark hour. The workshops included the Reality of God, How to Eat to Live, Education for Life, Disaster Preparedness, Prison Reform Ministry: We Are the Overcomers, International Affairs, the Wise Use of Social Media, Real Estate Acquisition, Farming, Marriage and Family and Preparation for Hajj. The Nation of Islam’s Youth Retreat also hosted a series of workshops: Expressing Your Musicality, Finding Your Purpose, Healthy Relationships and Defending Farrakhan.
“How strong is the foundation? Can we survive? The foundation of anything, brothers and sisters, is that which gives support to a structure. The foundation is the base of something,” explained Ishmael Muhammad.
For 131 people, Saviours’ Day started with a workout on Friday morning, Feb. 26, where Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad walked viewers through warmups and self-defense techniques. Several people who viewed gave the greetings of “As-Salaam Alaikum” and “Happy Saviours’ Day” in the YouTube chat. Toward the end, a special message was presented of Minister Farrakhan’s words in 2019 at the Nation of Islam’s annual National Training Seminar.
After the events of the first day, Shareefah Qiyamah Muhammad from Houston, Texas tweeted, “The first day of our Annual Saviours’ Day Convention has been so Amazing! Even though we are not physically together, the Spirit and Energy transmitted across these media outlets is so Highly Charged!!! Happy Saviours’ Day!!!”
The weekend’s events included two days of Mother Khadijah Farrakhan’s Children’s Village and a Saturday drill exhibition, which showed behind-the-scenes footage of Saviours’ Day 2020 drill competition winners.
It also included a Believers’ social and a youth social hosted by organizers of the Nation of Islam’s Youth Retreat. As youth were guessing movie trivia, talking about growing up in the Nation and playing NOI trivia, those in the Believers’ social jammed to curated music by the DJ’s Afuw, Christophlex, Rockwell and MYT DJ CJ.
Amirah Muhammad from Columbus, Ga., was one of over 200 people who attended the Believers’ social. “I think it was needed for relaxation, has a little bit of music, a little bit of fun and then we go back to the study,” she said.
She said one of her highlights overall was the Covid-19 plenary session with Minister Farrakhan speaking via internet connection. Aminah Muhammad, 24, from College Park, Ga., said the Defending Farrakhan workshop organized by the Youth Retreat was probably the most enjoyable panel she had been to.
“It was very interactive and educational, and the energy and wisdom that the Minister blessed us with at the end was absolutely unforgettable,” she said.
There was also a Saturday free coat and free food giveaway at the mosque organized by Eugene Khaan of Mosque Maryam. Five hundred coats and 1,000 meals were distributed Feb. 27 along with The Final Call newspaper and information on staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic.
A large part of Saviours’ Day historically has been attending the convention in person, usually in Chicago, where the headquarters of the Nation of Islam resides, or Detroit, where Master Fard Muhammad appeared and made himself known.
Amirah Muhammad, 25 from Birmingham, Ala., told The Final Call via Instagram that virtual Saviours’ Day meant she didn’t have to have a detailed plan on how to get to events or choose workshops she wants to attend, because now she can log on instantaneously and watch the playbacks. Media influencer Ben X from Waxahachie, Texas, also talked about having better access to workshops.
“In person, we may be at one workshop and we’re not aware of another workshop, or another workshop may be a 10 to 20 minute walk down the arena, but now you can have two screens up or you can click off one screen and click on another one,” he said. “And you can just see how vast the Nation is when it comes to health, when it comes to farming, when it comes to real estate, when it comes to marriage.”
He also said Allah (God) is forcing the Nation to use modern technology, and he said youth and the elders have to work together for the betterment of the Nation.
“I feel like Allah is forcing us to really get down to the modern times and learn this, because if we want to be effective in getting all of our people, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told the Minister he would do, then we have to get down to the modern times,” Ben X said.
He said coming out of Saviours’ Day, the Believers should be going back over the workshops, going back over the Sunday keynote address and study to reflect Minister Farrakhan.
Seventeen-year-old Khalidah Muhammad from Macon, Ga., told The Final Call via Instagram that amidst the sheltering in place, the Nation can take the time to truly reflect on Saviours’ Day.
“Because what were we in it for? The admittedly alluring glamor of it all? The opportunity to see friends we only ever interacted with online if just for a short weekend? A virtual Saviours’ Day tests the faith by forcing us to ask ourselves those questions,” she said.
“Or did we also realize the depth of the fact that one man loved and cared for the despised and rejected so much, he traveled thousands of miles just to help resurrect us from our mentally dead state? And that man, more than anything, is worth celebrating, with or without the hotels, and glamor, and glass Chick-fil-A’s that exists in the North for some reason.”
Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad out of Houston, Texas, said the Believers must deepen their studies, belief and knowledge of God in the person of Master Fard Muhammad. He also said they must be prepared to defend the false charges of anti-semitism against the Nation of Islam, the domestic life of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the false narrative that the Nation killed Malcolm X.
Kenya Muhammad, a young student minister of the Nation out of Chicago, said Saviours’ Day 2021 has been one of the best Saviours’ Days she has experienced because of actually being able to drink in words being shared throughout the weekend.
One of her highlights was the Reality of God workshop, because as a young Believer, she wants to be equipped to defend Minister Farrakhan and the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. She said virtual Saviours’ Day is a testament that the Nation will never fall again and that she felt the Believers were more connected than ever.
“It just strengthened my faith in knowing that we have what it takes to be self-sufficient and to really help Allah create the new world, bring in a new world,” she said.
She urged the believers to find more ways to help Minister Farrakhan, to study him and to fall deeper in love with him.
“My spirit is on a 1,000 right now just knowing that Allah came for us and knowing that I had another opportunity to serve my Nation in whatever capacity that Allah sees fit for me,” she said. “And so, I just want to encourage, especially my peers, to accept our own and be ourselves. The Minister said that the Nation is our inheritance, and so just believing that and moving out on everything of good we have in our minds so that we can just be better helpers.”