The “NOI Youth Retreat” concluded its informative series of virtual Saviours’ Day workshops with the powerful workshop titled “Defending Farrakhan.” Believers in the Nation of Islam who have been prominent defenders of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan through social media and other mediums were on the panel to answer questions, share their knowledge and experience in defending the Muslim leader.
Panelists during the Feb. 27 workshop included Anisah Muhammad, a 23-year-old author and journalist from Macon, Ga.; Nzinga Muhammad, a 21-year-old interdisciplinary studies student on a history track at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.; Kareem Muhammad, the 27-year-old host of the “Kareem Talks” podcast from College Park, Ga. and Student Ministers Ilia Rashad Muhammad and Demetric Muhammad, both authors, scholars and members of Minister
Farrakhan’s research team. Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant to Min. Farrakhan, opened the workshop by sharing inspiring remarks to the young people who listened through Zoom and other platforms during the virtual retreat. He encouraged them to use their gifts to aid Allah (God) in His cause.
“You’re already born as agents of change from the God, and you are His instruments in that change,” he said. Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad also expressed being proud of workshop organizers for their commitment to further developing the Nation of Islam.
“Respect those that are in authority, respect your elders, for the honor of your mother and father is a commandment from God … but it’s time for you to step up,” he said.
Moderated by 17-year-old Madinah Muhammad from Chicago, and 18-year-old Joshua Muhammad from New York City, the discussion kicked off with a question to panelists about challenges they faced while defending Minister Farrakhan.
Sister Nzinga Muhammad shared that she joined the Farrakhan Twitter Army at just 13 years old. She said when she would share certain aspects of the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, such as that God is a man, other users on Twitter would try to frighten her. “This is just a fraction of what the Minister goes through every single day,” she said.
Student Min. Ilia Rashad Muhammad said big groups such as the Anti-Defamation League put himself, along with other helpers of Min. Farrakhan, on an anti-Semitic watch list after they published a book titled, “UFOs And The Nation Of Islam: The Source, Proof, And Reality Of The Wheels.”
“Not everyone is able to take the heat that comes with following a man of God,” he said.
When asked what has been one of the most popular accusations against the Minister, Brother Kareem Muhammad referenced the claim that the Nation of Islam killed Malcolm X. He said even though he brings historical facts and words from Min. Farrakhan, he realized some people just want to believe what they want to believe.
Student Minister Demetric Muhammad said a popular accusation is that Min. Farrakhan teaches hate and is an anti-Semite. But he said, the Bible dispels these claims.
“The Bible says that it is perfect love that casts out fear. In other words when you see someone who is courageous and strong going against the strongest enemies of the world … when you see one man being willing to challenge those powerful enemies, then that’s an indicator that he has a perfect love,” Student Minister Demetric Muhammad said. Love motivates Minister Farrakhan, he added.
The panelists were asked about what sorts of situations don’t necessarily require a response from defenders of Min. Farrakhan and what weak arguments look like.
Sister Anisah Muhammad said, it depends on someone’s level of understanding and the level of conversation. She cited recent instances where conversations she’s been in about the Nation of Islam have become heated.
“We can’t attempt to force belief in Master Fard Muhammad down people’s throats, especially our Muslim family,” she said. “They were brought up a whole separate way than we were. At the same time, we have to bridge one community.”
Sister Nzinga Muhammad encouraged everyone to look at their own ability to defend a topic before tackling it. “Assess your own level of understanding. If you know your understanding of Point No. 12 is not that great, then you probably shouldn’t be in the vanguard position,” she said. “This is not just us talking on Twitter. This is recorded and the enemy sees all these things. If you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re going to look crazy and this translates into future things you may not be prepared for.”
Some attendees also had their questions answered, and panelists gave tips on defending certain topics, including Min. Farrakhan’s vision-like experience. Attendees also got to try their hand at defending Minister Farrakhan against attacks selected via Twitter. The panelists then critiqued their responses and gave feedback. They also shared resources attendees could go to get ammunition in their defense.
“There are resources that the Minister has invested in the production of that are available to all that are motivated to defend the Minister,” Student Min. Demetric Muhammad said.
As a crowning and surprising conclusion to the workshop, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan logged on and shared powerful words. He expressed happiness at seeing everyone’s faces, and said when he was asked to close out the workshop, he rushed to get ready so he could see everyone.
“You may be young, but you’re certainly not stupid,” he said to the workshop attendees. “You’re young and you have insight and some of you are even gifted with foresight and you know that the Nation of Islam is your rightful inheritance. It belongs to you.”
He told them that they came to help the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to bring the Nation to another level. “The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said one day, the youth of our Nation would take a look at the Problem Book and say ‘oh no, I know what he meant. He meant this.’ I think this must be you,” he said.
“So by the help of Allah, we’re gonna make 10,000 books of the Lessons for all of you to have and study and memorize and see if you can unlock the secrets of the 34 problems given by Master Fard Muhammad Himself.”
He encouraged listeners to continue to study. “I know that if you take up the struggle by taking up the study of what you have come to believe so you won’t be an ignorant follower–– that don’t help none,” he said. “For somebody to say I’m a follower but can‘t defend what they follow, that’s bad shape. So, you must become the master of what you are being taught. You have that capacity. You have the innate ability.”
He also shared instances from his childhood and adolescent years and used them as lessons for those growing up today. He also encouraged fasting for three days throughout the month and living the life as taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
“Who are you? The sons and daughters of man. And now you’re becoming the sons and the daughters of God Himself,” he said. “Cherish who you are. You’re gonna make mistakes, don’t worry about that. We all make them. If we were perfect, the Saviour wouldn’t have had to come. If we were clean, he wouldn’t have had to be merciful.”
Min. Farrakhan’s encouraged faith in Allah. “The future is yours. Put your hands in Allah’s hands. Hold His hand tight and know that if others failed you, Allah never will,” he said. “He may not give you what you want when you ask Him for it. Don’t think that He can’t do it, but He’ll test you. He’ll try you.”
At the end of the workshop, attendees took to the comments to express how much they enjoyed it and how much they learned.
Khalifah Muhammad said it was, “Truly Amazing!!!! Thought Provoking!!!!! a lot of GEMS!!”
Ayanna Ali, 18, said she, “thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful workshop, thank you all endlessly for the opportunity!”
“LOVING this spirit!” said Sabbath Muhammad from College Park, Ga. “It shows that Saviours‘ Day is NOT confined to a BUILDING!”
Niaalah Muhammad said, “This workshop is giving me a spiritual high !!”