MMM MLF handraised Haroon Rajaee Oct 16 1995

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad delivers a powerful message commemorating the Holy Day of Atonement 

Contributing Writer @MuhammadAnisah

The Nation of Islam commemorated the 27th anniversary of the Million Man March via its weekly Sunday message. Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, delivered the keynote address on “Atonement and Reconciliation: We Must Settle Our Differences.”

“Knowing the origin of such a call makes us to appreciate the day even more, and it helps us to see the divine hand in that day and the divine hand that is on and guiding the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad stated. “Only God could call for a million men and a million men respond to the call of God in and through a man.”


During his keynote address, Min. Ishmael Muhammad brought up many of the challenges still plaguing Black people in America. Those included racism, sexism, classism, nationalism, and colorism, some of which were caused by the “Willie Lynch Syndrome” of pitting one slave against the other for control purposes.

“Have you not grown up with a complex with your beautiful, dark, Black skin to hate your color, which is the essence out of which all life has come?” Min. Ishmael Muhammad questioned. 

He spoke on the issues within interpersonal relationships that cause hurt and pain. “These are burdens that we carry, and they weigh us down. We learn, at best, to cope, but we have suppressed our pain, and God wants to relieve us of the burden we carry,” he said.

He also noted the control of media by so-called Jews who operate as producers and directors of Hollywood and of the music industry, encouraging filth and immorality through entertainment. 

He quoted Minister Farrakhan stating: “The world of man and mankind is under a curse of death from racism, sexism, materialism and extreme nationalism. These have slain the true spirit of the true man and woman. Death, according to the scriptures, is sin, and the wages of sin is death. Sin is transgression against divine law.”

“Resurrection,” he quoted, “is about bringing back to the human being the mind, the spirit and the heart that has been disconnected from God.”

Atonement, reconciliation and unity

Black men from all walks of life gathered on the National Mall 27 years ago. Min. Ishmael Muhammad named several notable entertainers who were present: Sean “P Didd” Combs, Will Smith, Biggie, Tupac, New Edition, Doug E. Fresh, Stevie Wonder, Chuck D. and Public Enemy. Former President Barack Obama was also in attendance.

“It brought us all together in a unity that the world had never seen before, and it showed us that despite our differences, we can … come together. That’s what’s missing among us,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad stated. “Unity of the nearly 50 million of us, and there’s nothing that we cannot accomplish.”

He noted that the Black community “must unite” or “suffer dire consequences.”

[FCN] Holy Day Atonement Oct.16th 2022 Photos By Haroon Rajaee

“Atonement, reconciliation and responsibility. These are the three great principles that brought us together that day. And if we act on these principles, brothers, and sisters, we can have peace in our lives and peace on our streets,” he said.

Min. Ishmael Muhammad described his experience at the Million Man March as similar to his experience in Mecca during the last 10 days of Ramadan in 2019 where he accompanied Min. Farrakhan and a delegation.

“The focus when you go to the Holy City is God. God is first and foremost, and the willingness of the believer in God to submit and bow down in prostration to Him Who is worthy of honor,” he said. “That’s what we did 27 years ago. God was front and center, and we went in submission to His will. And the result of submission to His will was peace.”

Because there is so much discord today, Min. Ishmael Muhammad explained that “a process has to be introduced that allows for us to be one with God, one with nature, one with one another. So where there is discord, there will be one accord. There will be harmony.”

That process, he said, is called atonement, which includes eight steps: one, point out the wrong; two, acknowledge the wrong; three, confess the fault; four, repentance; five, atonement; six, forgiveness; seven, reconciliation and restoration; eight, perfect union with God and with each other.

Min. Ishmael Muhammad noted, the divinity Minister Farrakhan as the one who lifts the heavy burdens of the people and reconciles the human being with God and with each other. He stated that disobedience and rebellion against God cause human beings to lose sight and hearing, but Jesus restores sight and hearing and raises the dead to life.

“You can’t hear Farrakhan and not be touched. You can’t hear Farrakhan and not be moved. You can’t hear Farrakhan and your eyes don’t become open. You can’t hear Farrakhan and your ears don’t come open!” Min. Ishmael Muhammad expressed. “You can’t go away from hearing Farrakhan and seeing the enemy the same. That’s why they don’t want you listening to Farrakhan, because Farrakhan causes you to see reality properly!” Min. Ishmael Muhammad ended his address the Minister’s words on the principles of the Million Man March.

“Atonement. Reconciliation. Responsibility. There isn’t anyone who is going to do something for us. We’re going to have to do it for ourselves,” he said. “I ask you to accept responsibility for your life: Go home, and atone with your wife, your children, your fathers, your mothers. Sit down and iron.