by Brenda D. Muhammad, Wanda Muhammad, Brian E. Muhammad and Charlene Muhammad
It was standing room only at the Nation of Islam mosque in Tampa, Fla., as mosques and study groups physically reopened in November. Tosha McBride was so overjoyed. Tears rolled down her face as she entered the newly chartered Muhammad Mosque No. 47.
Asked if she was alright, she replied, “The spirit is so filled with love, I’m crying tears of joy!”
The day was extra special as Nov. 14 marked not just the reopening of the NOI in Tampa, but working hard through a pandemic, the Believers met requirements for a charter as Muhammad Mosque No. 47. It is no longer a study group. “We are joyful and grateful to Allah for allowing his Messiah, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, to give us his blessings to re-open Mosques and study groups all over the planet earth.
She enjoyed Chad Muhammad’s lecture on “The Power of Obedience.” She was struck by the importance of being obedient to Allah (God), regardless of circumstance. Not only did the student minister talk about obedience, but he gave examples of how inner thoughts and outside forces can be like a slinking devil working to take you off the straight path.
Here at Muhammad Mosque No. 47, Tampa, Florida, we humbly say thank you to all the Believers for your seen and unseen acts of love and sacrifice. … Additionally, we want to thank our Executive Council for giving us timely and lifesaving instructions on preparing, protecting, and serving our people and the Believers during this time of uncertainty and enemy-induced fear,” said the Laborers of Mosque No. 47.
The Laborers include Student Minister Chad Muhammad (co-host of the weekly webcast “Closing the Gap”), Student Secretary Michael Shabazz, Student FOI Captain Daniel X, Student MGT Captain Shante X and Student Protocol Director Wanda Muhammad.
During the Covid-19 shutdown, supporters of the Nation of Islam and some Believers felt isolated and hopeless.
Alesia Powell of Woodbridge, Va., however, felt differently as things began to return to normal. “Today is a new day and I feel so inspired. Thank you, Min. Farrakhan, for your wisdom and your call to reopen the mosque,” she said. She was attending the physical reopening of nearby Muhammad Mosque No. 4 in Washington, D.C.
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Protocol Department created a 60-second promotional trailer, “Welcome Back Believers, Family and Friends” featuring Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi; the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam; Minister Farrakhan, the divine guide in our midst, and Muslims in the region. Posted on Facebook, Instagram, print and electronic media, the short video received rave reviews.
The Muhammad Mosque No. 4 meeting was held at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center.
“It was a very high-spirited meeting,” said Student Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
The MGT-GCC was very enthusiastic and excited to be with the sisterhood and among Muslims and guests. Each was beautifully dressed in white, looking comfortable and safe as seating was socially distanced. The sharp FOI were dapper in blue uniforms.
“We were feeling energetic and exuberant and very blessed to return in person to Sunday mosque meeting. I truly felt fantastic being in the company of the Believers,” said Min. Khadir Muhammad, who delivered the keynote address. Student Mid-Atlantic Regional FOI Captain Aaron Muhammad said, “Once again, it felt good to be physically serving the Believers and our people.”
“I thank Allah (God) for the Believers and the MGT-GCC who all looked like angels. It felt so good to see us together again and we were so happy to be back! Long Live Muhammad,” commented Saadiqa Muhammad, who leads NOI women in the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Among new FOI officially joining the ranks at Mosque 4 were Moses 4X, Anthony 28X, Juan X, and Irving X.
“Brother Student Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad’s message on a ‘New Beginning’ was right on time, particularly after a 20-month absence from the mosque,” said Detra X.
Spirits were high at Muhammad Mosque No. 38 in Columbia, S.C., after over a year of sheltering in place, physical meetings suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and communicating via Zoom from remote places.
The refurbished mosque was reflective of a new and different day. Guests and Believers, here and around the country, exercised safety protections that included social distancing, masks, hand sanitizer and temperature checks.
Student Minister Carl Muhammad’s message, “The Divine Judgment of America,” gave context to changes people are going through in Columbia and in the country. Those in attendance said they had been waiting for in-person gatherings after weekly national webcasts. Some waited for the mosque to reopen by keeping in contact with NOI members.
For Christian Jackson, 21, coming to the mosque fulfilled a strong desire to be in the Nation of Islam. It was his first meeting after being introduced to the teachings by a coworker. The pandemic shutdown had prevented him from attending in-person. “I want to be an FOI,” Mr. Jackson told The Final Call.
Many grew comfortable watching webcasts from convenient virtual spaces, but they said nothing compared to being among people you love. “I thank Allah for this day where we can all come together,” said Angela D. Muhammad.
Seeing Believers was “spiritual upliftment,” she added. “I felt good because I can see other people that respect the law and are here to hear,” said nine-year-old Sieymia Muhammad. Donna A. Muhammad, who is in the medical field, said returning to the mosque was like a family reunion. “You could feel the Believers’ joy, unity. The mosque was beautiful,” she said.
Working on the West Coast
Abdul Waliullah Muhammad, NOI Student Minister in San Diego, chose “Guidance In A Time of Trouble” as his subject. Ministry staff members Charles E. Muhammad and Marcia X opened the program. “Today was like a high spirited family reunion.
I’m looking forward to continuing the spirit and working in the mission of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” said Charles E. Muhammad.
Ansar El Muhammad, student coordinator of the Lancaster Study Group, about an hour and 15 minutes or 72 miles north of Los Angeles, spoke about why Jesus is the key for salvation, once he is properly identified. He lifted words delivered by Min. Farrakhan, in the lecture, “The 4 Jesuses.”
Johnathan Huntee enjoyed the meeting and wanted to learn more about the Nation. Doratta Thompson, however, was ready to join. She talked about making changes in her life, joining the study group, processing class and coming back next week—with a friend in tow.
Dyamen Bey attended Muhammad Mosque No. 26B in Oakland where Student Minister Abdul Sabur Muhammad talked about a new government different from the U.S. capitalist system—a government of peace.
“I believe that we are well on our way, as long as we can continue on fighting in the name of the Nation of Islam, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” stated Mr. Bey. “I felt the spirit was very alive today in the meeting. I was very surprised to see so many beautiful faces.
“It was a packed house; barely any seating room. I really appreciate the message as it is down to the modern time, taking in not only the consideration of the time, but giving us action plans and how to institute some of these lessons that we’ve learned throughout this time of separation. Everybody fell right back into step. It was very good to see the brothers in the blue and the sisters in the white.”
“It was such a beautiful feeling coming back into my original family, seeing all the brothers and sisters. It was so uplifting. It reminded me of when I got a chance to see the Messenger and they were saying, ‘All praise is due to Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad!’ ” added Shamoun Bey, a Nation of Islam pioneer, who began following the Hon. Elijah Muhammad prior to his 1975 departure.
“Everybody was just so happy to see each other, but I remember it being said one day, we may not be in the building as such. And, this was definitely a sign of the times. I’m just grateful that God has kept me in my right mind and has kept me strong within my belief,” she said.
At Muhammad Mosque No. 54 in Compton, Calif., Student Minister Mustaqim Muhammad delivered a lecture linked to Min. Farrakhan’s warning that Covid-19 was a pestilence from heaven. He talked about challenges Believers faced, government pressure to force vaccinations and hypocrisy and lies about vaccine effectiveness, booster shots, and now a pill.
One guest enjoyed getting information about Covid-19 and how to protect himself as well as the government’s deceptions. The chance to learn more about the Nation, gather with people who shared the same views on the U.S. government, the coronavirus and Covid-19 vaccines made the meeting the right place, said another guest.
(Mary Muhammad of San Diego, Student Coordinator Ansar El Muhammad of Lancaster, Daniel Muhammad of Oakland, and Tommy Muhammad of Compton contributed to this report.)