Joyous, happy, wonderful Eid! Around the globe Muslims celebrated the end of the special month commemorating the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to Prophet Muham-mad (peace be upon him). Regardless of where a Muslim is from, the happy greeting of “Eid Mubarak!” remains the same. The Islamic greeting means “blessed” or “happy” Eid.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave uplifting words during the Ramadan PrayerLine as the month of fasting closed, just as he did on the first day of Ramadan. The prayer line, spearheaded by Nisa Islam Muhammad and others, began every day at 5 a.m. EST throughout the holy month.
“If we forget or make a mistake, but Eid is a time for joy and happiness for this season and for all of those who are fasting under terrible conditions. I thank Allah for you and Allah is with you today. You and your children after the Eid prayer, go and enjoy your company with your fellow Believer,” Minister Farrakhan said.
“He (God) created the sun, the moon, the stars and all creation and He laid it at the foot of the human being and said, ‘You can master this, you are my vicegerent, you stand in my place over the earth in my absence. Don’t tell me what you can’t do. Get up and do it!’ And you know, when you make up your mind to do what Allah has given you the desire to do, and you ask Him for His help, His help is nigh.”
The same day, many Muslims gathered with high spirits to enjoy Eid Al-Fitr, which is the festival of breaking the fast for Muslims participating in Ramadan. It was held on the grounds of the National Center May 13 where food and music mixed with anticipation of the Believers, some of whom were seeing each other for the first time in nearly a year due to the Covid-19 shelter in place reality that gripped the nation. The celebration began with a morning khutbah, or sermon delivered by Sultan Rahman Muhammad, National Student Imam of the Nation of Islam.
During his address, the Imam Muhammad stressed that, Allah (God) is forgiving and merciful. The first 10 days of Ramadan are mercy; the second 10 days are forgiveness; and the last 10 days are salvation.
Further along in his message, the imam stated, “We have gained a new habit and purification of self throughout the year. For Ramadan should be perpetual. Ramadan, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated, is that we fast Ramadan until evil is vanquished from the planet. So we begin with self, but if we do not move beyond self, we are representing a self-righteousness, we are representing a selfishness, keeping the word that is purifying our own heart and we become mosque dwellers, while the people that are not in the temple are suffering.”
He continued, “So if we do not rise, brothers and sisters, above emotion in our heedless habits into the thinking of God, we will be deceived by the enemy to give up our true power and the throne we are destined to inherit.”
Masked and socially distanced, Believers offered virtual hugs to one another during the Eid celebration in which food was donated by Bro. Abdul Akbar “Kurt” Muhammad.
“I was told they wanted to do dinners for the Believers and the community, so we planned it. It definitely was a team effort,” said Gina Muhammad, one of the lead organizers for the food tents and distribution of meals that included salmon, lamb, chicken and eggplant.
“It’s beautiful when the Believers can share with each other,” added server Wanda Muhammad. “I take my headpiece off to the sisters. They worked hard to get this logistically right and did a beautiful job.”
Surveying the grounds and expressing gratitude for the completion of another Ramadan, Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan said, “This is home. We have our own so we can do what is necessary to make sure the Believers have an enjoyable time. God bless the child that’s got his own.”
Kelli 7X of Chicago wasn’t expecting the tents and outdoor service where Believers could socialize.
“I thought it was going to be grab-and-go,” she said. “The ambiance is great. We’re blessed to see everybody here.”
“This is one of the most successful Ramadans I’ve had since 1989,” agreed Final Call General Manager Abdul Rasul Muhammad. “Every day we were taking the medicine of Ramadan—reading the Qur’an, fasting, saying our prayers, getting to know rabbi-al-amin (the lord of the worlds) and ourselves.”
Regarding the meals, he said, “This is not food they’re serving; this is cuisine prepared by the beautiful MGT.”
In compliance with Covid-19 restrictions, the Night of Power (Al-Qadr) which marks the last 10 days of Ramadan was observed at Mosque Maryam in Chicago May 8. It was broadcast live for those who could not physically be present and prayers were performed with social distance protocols observed. The Night of Power also refers to when the Holy Qur’an was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be unto him).
The MGT who are the Muslim women of the Nation of Islam wore beautiful, different colored garments alongside the Fruit of Islam (FOI) who were dressed sharply in suits and were social distanced for this special evening. Prayer and recitations of the Holy Qur’an were spearheaded by the Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, Student National Assistant to Minister Farrakhan; Student National Imam of the Nation of Islam Sultan Rahman Muhammad; Student Minister Jeffrey Muhammad and Student Minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad of Mosque No. 45 in Houston, Texas. Participants were happy to be a part of one of the most precious moments in the month of fasting for Muslims around the world.
They were also able to be a part of those moments in the Ramadan Prayerline.
“I bear witness to the oneness of God. I bear witness to the oneness of His community,” Minister Farrakhan said on the first day of the Ramadan Prayerline. “We in the Nation of Islam love Muslims, wherever they are on the earth. We cry out for the whole of humanity because the Holy prophet, peace be upon him, was not just interested in the Ummah. He was interested in every human being that walks the earth, that breathes the air belonging to Allah and feeds from the earth that belongs to Allah.”
Every day, Muslims from around the globe gathered before daybreak to start Ramadan one way and end “being a better Believer” as Nisa Islam Muhammad, co-creator of the prayer line said. The prayer line also included Islamic speakers from different schools of thought.
Author and Imam Amin Nathari said the focus for this year’s Ramadan should be on gratitude and maintaining discipline. “This Ramadan brings with it yet another opportunity to continue strengthening our personal connection with the Lord of All the Worlds, even if it’s without the social gathering and interaction we’re accustomed to,” Imam Nathari stated.
Imam Rahman Sultan Muhammad made the point that Ramadan should be used as a means of self-reflection. “We should find in this hour an urgency to fortify, to build, to strengthen our relationships as Believers,” he said. “We are in the practice right now of separation. All things that were once for some of us distractions of the world are not cut off.”
1,000 meals served
But it wasn’t just Muslims enjoying the Eid celebration. Minister Farrakhan donated 1,000 meals to be freely given to Chicago residents throughout the city. Helping the Minister in his mission to feed those in need was the owner and operator of The Foodies Spot restaurant, Carmella Muhammad, along with numerous Muslims from the Nation of Islam’s Mosque Maryam.
The meals were distributed May 9 by directly placing the quality food in the hands of people and by delivering food to a women’s shelter to feed residents.
Carmella Muhammad explained that the meals were to be distributed over two weeks at 500 meals per weekend.
Armed with The Final Call newspaper, bottled water, and meals consisting of vegetarian and chicken options, volunteers enthusiastically offered the day’s gifts to those living in a homeless shelter, and a kind of tent city near downtown. Other teams distributed the food to different parts of the city.
In light of the special time of year, Minister Farrakhan released a stunning world premiere of his classical violin performance for the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven via YouTube live. The premiere was from a February 2002 recording of Minister Farrakhan playing several compositions, including “Allegro ma non troppo,”
“Larghetto” and “Rondo” by Beethoven. He was accompanied by the New World Orchestra conducted by Maestro David Warble. It was released on May 11, Minister Farrakhan’s 88th birth anniversary. It was also the 29th day of Ramadan.
His grandson, Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad Jr., said in an introduction to the performance that it was difficult to publish the recording due a deliberate attempt to stop the release.
“Six months ago, God blessed me with an idea to have the Minister premiere his performance of the Beethoven violin concerto,” Leonard Farrakhan Muhammad Jr. said. “In 2002, during the live performance at the Cerritos Center, an attempted effort to sabotage the Beethoven violin concerto occurred causing the video of this masterpiece to be hidden in plain sight for 19 years. We are extremely grateful to Mr. Winston [Johnson] … for the wonderful job they have done.”
Minister Farrakhan was dressed beautifully in a black-tie tuxedo as he performed what he described as “my gift to humanity. To read about the Minister’s special gift of music, see story on page 29.
(James G. Muhammad and Shawntell Muhammad contributed to this article.)