For the Nation of Islam, this year saw milestones and progress in many areas amid trying times and difficult circumstances just like the rest of the county. But as the Holy Qur’an, the book of scripture of Muslims states, “Hard trials are necessary to establish truth” and the believers rely and depend on Allah (God).

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, summarized 2021 as a year of great trial for the believer in Allah (God) and particularly for the believers of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the leadership and direction of Minister Farrakhan.

“Our faith was tried by the distress and the affliction that Allah has brought into America and upon the world. Many of us suffered the loss of loved ones. Many of us suffered and suffer from various health challenges. Many of us suffered the loss of a job, the loss of income. Some of us suffered the loss of property,” he said.

“So the Holy Qur’an tells us that we will be tried with something of fear, hunger, loss of property and lives and diminution of fruit. But give good news to the patient who are under trial.”


Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad listed fear as one of the many trials of 2021, as the U.S. government has been pushing Covid-19 vaccine mandates. Meanwhile, the Nation of Islam under the divine guidance of Min. Farrakhan’s words: “do not take their vaccine,” maintains a firm stance on the Covid-19 so-called vaccines. 

Though it has been a year of trial, it has also been “a year of great progress,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad said.

Brothers and sisters in the Nation of Islam were more prayerful, fasted more and donated to charity more, and the FOI (Fruit of Islam), the men of the Nation, continued distributing The Final Call newspaper in cities across the country,

“When we are obedient to Allah, when we practice the pillars of our faith, we are ensured success,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad stated.

Divine Comfort and Guidance

Minister Farrakhan did not speak much publicly in 2021 but when he did his words were profound and pregnant with knowledge, wisdom, and guidance.

He delivered words of comfort following the deaths of his cousin, actress Cicely Tyson, hip-hop artist Earl “DMX” Simmons and President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, a hero in the struggle for African liberation and self-determination.

As a Ramadan gift in May, the Minister presented to Muslims and the world a video performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto he performed in February 2002.

On Sept. 18, Minister Farrakhan spoke at the installation ceremony for the Rev. Reginald W. Sharpe at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago. During the message, he labeled three things his teacher the Honorable Elijah Muhammad warned to watch for to become a great minister: the enticing beauty of women, the lust for filthy lucre or riches received and poverty.

Covid Plenary 2021 presenters (l-r) Rizza Islam, Ava Muhammad and Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad. Photo: Haroon Rajaee

Minister Farrakhan spoke to the Nubian Leadership Circle twice in 2021. Starting in Dec. 2020, under the leadership of Sadiki Kambon, the organization has held four virtual gatherings. Min. Farrakhan has expressed his support and backing of the efforts of the Nubian Leadership Circle and encourages Black groups, organizations and individuals to join on to the efforts. In the April gathering, the Minister shared words on the importance of unity and organization. In the last one held Dec. 4, he talked about the vision for a nation and the type of nation Black people want.

“I heard the deep and loving concern of us for one another and for Black people wherever we are found on this planet as part of our family and the connection has to be made between what is going on in the West, what is going on in the East and what is going on in Africa and the Caribbean and wherever Black people are now scattered,” Min. Farrakhan stated in his Dec. 4 remarks to the summit in his message titled, “We Want to Build A Nation That Will Live Forever.”

Min. Ishmael Muhammad said the words coming from the mouth of the Minister is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago or five years ago, because Black people are not healed. He described Minister Farrakhan as God’s physician.

“Look at the madness in the society. Look at the self-hatred of us. Look at the killings that are going on in all of the cities across America, the fratricidal conflict. Look at the condition of Black people. So, the Minister is relevant today. He’s a man on time for the time and for the condition under which we suffer,” he said.

History was made

February 26-28, the Nation of Islam held its first virtual Saviours’ Day convention. Under the theme “How Strong is the Foundation? Can We Survive,” the Nation commemorated the birth date of its founder, Master Fard Muhammad, Allah (God) in person. 

Plenary sessions on separation and the Covid-19 virus and vaccine were held. Workshops included topics such as “The Reality of God,” “How to Eat to Live,” “Education for Life,” “Disaster Preparedness,” “Prison Reform,” “International Affairs,” “Real Estate Acquisition,” “Agriculture,” “Marriage and Family” and “Preparation for Hajj.” Youth of the Nation held a series of workshops under the theme “The Foundation of a Brand New World: The Generation of Fulfillment.”

Saviours’ Day 2021 was unique not only because it was virtual, but also because for the first time in the history of the Nation since Min. Farrakhan’s rebuilding, the Minister did not deliver the Sunday keynote address. Instead, he handed the reigns to his National Assistant Ishmael Muhammad.

He delivered the Saviours’ Day 2021 message. During the message, he quoted scripture that speaks to the reality of God as a human being and explained that the Originator of the heavens and the earth set up a law of procreation. “The crowning jewel of the Originator was to reproduce Himself,” he said in the lecture.

He told The Final Call that Allah allowed him to make a mistake in his address in order to make firm and clear on the reality of God, “that we are not praying to a spook. We are praying to Allah in the person of Master Fard Muhammad.”

After the Saviours’ Day keynote, Min. Farrakhan made a surprise appearance. Entering through two golden gates on the stage of Mosque Maryam in Chicago and dressed in a blue suit, shirt and tie, the then 87-year-old Muslim leader sat at a table and praised Min. Ishmael Muhammad’s preparation and delivery of the word.

“I feel so honored and happy to hear the wonderful representation of Brother Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad. I thank Allah so much for what we have experienced in a virtual Saviours’ Day,” he said.

Prayer, atonement and resuming in-person meetings

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad

The Nation of Islam also held a virtual prayer service in commemoration of the birth anniversary of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad on Oct. 7.

Later that month on Oct. 16, the Nation held a virtual Holy Day of Atonement experience which commemorated the anniversary of the Million Man March. A panel discussion was held, bringing the principles of atonement, reconciliation, and responsibility to the forefront.

In April of 2020, Min. Farrakhan made the decision to close the doors to in-person Nation of Islam mosque and study group meetings due to the pandemic and the lack of science at that time on the nature of Covid-19 and its transmissibility. He officially reopened the doors on Nov. 14.

“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has said to us, we see that the enemy and the world, they are continuing their way of life in the pandemic,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad said. 

He noted there has been great excitement and joy, as those who want to join the Nation feel the spirit and love.

Believers and guests began attending in-person Sunday meetings, Wednesday night study groups, Friday study circles, the all-women class on Saturdays and the all-men class on Mondays. Mosques and study groups have been maintaining safety protocols such as physically distanced seating, temperature checks and ensuring the availability of hand sanitizer and single-use masks.

A few Nation of Islam study groups grew and regained mosque status in 2021. Monroe, La. Study Group became Mosque No. 99 and Jacksonville, Fla. became Mosque No. 66.

During the sheltering in place due to the pandemic, as the believers renewed themselves, the Southwest regional headquarters of the Nation of Islam headquartered in Houston renewed their mosque. Beside the renovation work on the property, the service of the community was in full swing.

For those who could not come to the Nation of Islam’s mosque free food was taken directly to people on Chicago’s streets. Photo: Haroon Rajaee

“During the pandemic we maintained our Final Call distribution and reached our goal for the annual Saviours’ Day Gift,” said Abdul Haleem Muhammad, the Student Regional Minister. The Saviours’ Day Gift is an annual voluntary gift to Minister Farrakhan from believers, sympathizers and supporters in love and gratitude for his service to the world.

“We continued our work in the community of holding community roundtables to try to stem the tide of violence,” he added. The mosque also held food and cleaning supply giveaways to aid the condition of distress people experienced with the pandemic.

The mosque facilitated a mass water giveaway early in the year during a weather crisis. Houston was under a boil water notice as one of the hardest hit areas during the “February 2021 freeze” from Winter Storm Uri that wreaked havoc across Texas. Where running water was available, household taps for significant periods of time produced water unsafe to drink.

Student Minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad told The Final Call, a highlight this year was Muhammad Study Group in Monroe, La. attaining mosque status. It is now Muhammad Mosque No. 99 under the leadership of Student Minister Verbon Muhammad.

This is historically significant because Monroe was the infamous city where Nation of Islam Minister Troy X Cade, now known as Abdul Bey Muhammad, survived a lynching, incarceration, and a brutal beating for his teaching Islam in 1960.

Tampa became Muhammad Mosque No. 47 in May, making it the city’s first-time having mosque status since Min. Farrakhan’s rebuilding work. They opened the mosque with balloons and banners, welcoming newly registered believers.

Student Minister Chad Muhammad of Tampa said he wants to increase membership. The believers are also striving to get a building of their own.

Throughout the year, the FOI maintained their consistent efforts of delivering and distributing The Final Call newspaper in cities large and small every week going door-to-door or by visiting businesses or busy intersections.

Nation of Islam members also were invited to participate in virtual and online events as presenters and speakers. Student Min. Nuri Muhammad of Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis, Bro. Rizza Islam, a social media influencer and activist and Sister Akilah Nehanda, a rapper and performance artist, participated in this year’s 6th annual All Black National Convention in Orlando, Fla., organized by the Black Business School, an online course hub focused on building Black wealth and businesses at the invitation of Dr. Boyce Watkins, a social commentator, financial expert and businessman.

Though not covered by mainstream media as a charitable organization, the Nation of Islam has distributed massive amounts of food, water, clothing and household goods to families in need across America during the ongoing pandemic. Photo: Final Call Archives

This year also saw the exoneration of Muhammad Aziz and Kahlil Islam on Nov. 18. Finally, after 55 years, a New York judge vacated the convictions of two of the three men convicted of murdering Malcolm X. Both men had always maintained their innocence and the FBI and New York Police Department knew from the beginning the two were not involved in the 1965 assassination.

The exonerations of these brothers is another step toward the full exoneration of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, Student Minister Wesley Muhammad told The Final Call in a recent interview.

With the Nation of Islam’s mosques opened for in-person meetings, Saviours’ Day 2022 will once again be in person. It was announced the gathering will be held on the grounds of the National Center, the Nation’s headquarters in Chicago. 

Min. Farrakhan will be delivering “a message that Allah has put on his heart since the summer, going into September and October,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad said. “He was going to deliver that message that Allah has put on his heart even as late as November. But Allah, who guides the Minister, has put it on his heart to deliver that message on the occasion of Saviours’ Day.” 

A large structure will be set up to accommodate thousands of people. Min. Ishmael Muhammad said the work and accomplishments of the believers and Nation will be recognized, and believers and pioneers who made their transition in 2021 will be honored.

MGT Efforts

A part of the Saviours’ Day 2021 experience included a “Reflecting Farrakhan” Challenge initiated by the MGT and GCC (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class), the Muslim women of the Nation. Under the hashtag #ReflectingFarrakhan, over 30,000 posts were shared across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok of women wearing their beautiful and modest garments, posting quotes by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Min. Farrakhan and sharing what the Teachings Islam has given to them.

The challenge gave birth to a larger movement, iDeny, which stands for Divine Essence in You. iDeny was formed by the Nation’s MGT Vanguard, young sisters between the ages of 16 and 35, after the Minister expressed his desire for the continuous use of social media to encourage purity, self-respect, self-love and high civilization, said Ameerah Muhammad, one of the organizers.

Other organizers are Nyah Muhammad, Sabbath Muhammad, Madinah Muhammad and AnNura Muhammad. They held two events in 2021: the first one tackling self-love and chastity and the second one delving deeper into how to keep chaste.

“One of the sisters actually shared how she was inspired to join the Nation of Islam after attending. And many other sisters, they expressed they felt comforted and not alone knowing that we’re all in this fight together,” Ameerah Muhammad said.

Nyah Muhammad said a few principles they want carried into 2022 include applying the principles of righteousness, deepening love for Allah and self and uplifting sisters. Their first event of the new year is about establishing goals and values and will be held virtually on Jan. 1.

Around the country the MGT have been busy this year with various community outreach services. 

The #ReflectingFarrakhan social media challenge filled social media with thousands of posts from the virtual world showing positive, uplifting images. The 30 day social media challenge for women of the Nation of Islam generated plenty of excitement by Muslim women .

“By Allah’s grace, the MGT class under the direction of our hard-working Student National MGT Captain Sister Naeemah Muhammad had us to jump immediately into helping our people survive during this dark time,” said Nusaybah Muhammad, the Southern Regional Student Interim Captain of the MGT based in Atlanta, via email to The Final Call.

Throughout the pandemic, sisters have been sewing quality masks and have been involved in a “how to clean” book donation drive. They also provided gloves, face shields and hand sanitizing wipes to impoverished areas. The FOI helped distribute books and masks to the community. 

“The effort could not have been a complete success without the joined cooperation and dedication of the Mighty FOI! The Brothers were so happy to go into the streets each week to deliver not only the greatest newspaper with The Lifegiving Teachings, The Final Call, but also a mask in hand to offer to our people,” said Vanessa Muhammad, coordinator of MGT outreach efforts in the Nation’s Southern Region.

MGT of the South and other regions participated in food giveaways, school supply giveaways and community baby showers.

“Because of the spirit of Allah that continued to be alive in the sisterhood, personal care items were donated to survivors of breast cancer, coats and socks to those that are of the transitional houses around the city, and the believers provided full food boxes for an entire metropolitan apartment complex during the month of Ramadan,” Vanessa Muhammad said.

Nusaybah Muhammad said the projection for the MGT in 2022 is to start providing additional literature and videos with effective and proven research on the dangers of the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment and prevention methods for the virus, including implementation of “How to Eat to Live” as taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Looking ahead

One of the additional highlights of the year occurred Nov. 19 as excitement quickly spread on social media among members of the Nation of Islam as video was shown of the impressive and grand Star and Crescent being hoisted aloft the dome of Mosque Maryam at The National Center in Chicago.

The Star and Crescent, which represents Justice and Equality on the flag of Islam, was carefully and meticulously remounted on the mosque at NOI headquarters by a huge crane as a sign of divine light and guidance in dark times. It was first mounted in 1988 when the mosque was reacquired by Min. Farrakhan and the NOI. The mosque, which was previously a Greek Orthodox Church, was originally purchased by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It is constructed of 23 karat gold, a 21st Century motor, LED lighting and it turns 360 degrees 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

Min. Ishmael Muhammad projected that 2022 will be a continued year of trial, based on the extreme weather, the calamities hitting America, the confusion of government and the division present in the land. He said America is disintegrating and is on the brink of anarchy, with war on the horizon.

In his July 4, 2020 message, titled “The Criterion,” Min. Farrakhan called on America to repent. But because she has not repented of her evils, Min. Ishmael Muhammad said 2022 will be an intensification of what occurred in 2020 and 2021.

“We are at the end. We are at the end of Satan’s world, so we have to prepare ourselves to survive what is on the horizon that we have been warned of. We are in, now, that intense darkness that the Qur’an says will overspread,” he said. 

But, he said, this is not a time to be afraid. “This is a time to be strengthened in our faith in Allah and His Messenger and to be made secure in our faith,” he said.

He explained that Allah is forcing the separation between Black and White. “We have to separate. That is, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, the only solution to the Black and White problem,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad stated. “We have to be independent, and we must have some of this earth that we can call our own.”

Final Call Staff Writer Brian Muhammad and Final Call staff contributed to this report.