“Islam comes after everything else fails,” writes the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, in his monumental book, “Message to the Blackman in America.”
Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, recapped to The Final Call some of the events of 2022 that speak to biblical prophecies, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased calamities in America and throughout the world.
“We are looking at the continuing unraveling of a great nation and the unfolding of prophecy, in the many events that are taking place around the world,” explained Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, a son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
As confusion and chaos continue to plague America and the nations of the earth, the little Nation of Islam in the West continues to survive, like Noah’s humble ark.
2022 was the first full year the Nation reopened its in-person meetings since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The physical mosque and study group doors were closed for 18 months and reopened in November 2021. Local, regional and national in-person gatherings have reinvigorated the spirits of those who believe in Allah (God) in Person and Great Mahdi Master Fard Muhammad and follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the guidance of Minister Farrakhan.
“With the pandemic and our in-person restrictions, that time away from the believers really built a deeper appreciation for the brotherhood, the sisterhood and our community life as a Nation. It allowed for me, personally, and I believe many others to have deep reflection around not only our individual self-expectations but expectations and mission of our Nation as a whole,” said Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, Student National Imam of the Nation, to The Final Call. “Coming back together through our various events really has invigorated and energized my mind, spirit and heart to exponentially move forward around the goals of our Nation.”
Footsteps of Jesus
Minister Farrakhan guided the Nation, the country and the world throughout 2022. On February 27, during the Nation’s Saviours’ Day weekend commemorating the birth of Master Fard Muhammad, the Minister delivered his message, “The Swan Song.” The lecture set the tone for the year, as the Minister’s words called for listeners to do a personal reflection.
The entirety of Minister Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day 2022 message was translated into several different languages—Haitian Creole, Spanish, Serbian, Dutch, French and Arabic—with the help of 10 translators.
Following an annual tradition, in April, Minister Farrakhan delivered an opening Ramadan message, kicking off the Muslim Holy Month, via the Ramadan Prayer Line. In Mid-April, he expressed his joy at hearing the youth recite parts of the Holy Qur’an in Arabic on the Tauheed Youth Group Prayer Line. The Minister ended the month by sponsoring 1,000 meals, which were prepared at The Foodie’s Spot owned by Sister Carmella Muhammad and were distributed throughout the South Side of Chicago by members of the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.).
In May, the Nation of Islam’s Shura-Executive Council organized a national prayer call to commemorate the 89th birth anniversary of Minister Farrakhan. 2022 was a historical year for the Executive Council, as for the first time, the then 13 members were publicly introduced to the world. On May 16, Minister Farrakhan introduced the council on WVON 1690AM Morning Show with host Eddie Reed.
“That was very significant because the public as well as those in the Nation of Islam could be made secure by the establishment of a council, and it definitely cleared up any confusion that is among us as to who, in terms of an individual, is to succeed the Minister,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad stated. “He has no successor. There is no successor of the Messiah. But he established what the Qur’an directs us, in the establishment and regulating all of the affairs by council.”
Mid-to-late 2022, the Minister visited and laid wreaths at the gravesites of longtime friends and fellow activists and freedom fighters in the struggle for Black liberation: civil rights pioneer Dr. Dorothy Height; activist, humanitarian and comedian Dick Gregory and former D.C. Mayor Marion S. Barry Sr. He also spoke at the homegoing service of Nasik (Prince) Asiel Ben-Israel of the African Hebrew Israelite Nation of Jerusalem and released a statement on the passing of Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, a senior pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church.
Minister Farrakhan ended the year by addressing the “controversy surrounding the false charges of anti-Semitism against hip-hop artist, producer and businessman Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and NBA star Kyrie Irving” on November 10, a message that has amassed over 50,000 views on the Nation’s media website and over 200,000 views on Rumble.
Final Call Radio also celebrated two years since launching. The platform has carried the voice of Min. Farrakhan to the nearest and furthest corners of the world, the multitudes to be exposed to the Life-Giving Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad 24/7.
Holy days and national events
For the first time since COVID-19, believers in the Nation of Islam were able to gather on the most important days and months of the year: Saviours’ Day, Ramadan’s Night of Power, Independence Day, the birth anniversary of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Holy Day of Atonement.
Saviours’ Day 2022 was limited to one day, but was impactful. Believers, friends and guests packed into the Nation’s headquarters of Mosque Maryam, Chicago’s Muhammad University of Islam and a large, insulated tent on property grounds and Muhammad University of Islam to hear Minister Farrakhan’s message, “The Swan Song.”
Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad shared words on what it was like to once again experience the events of Ramadan with believers. He described that during 2022’s Night of Power, he saw a level of spiritual engagement that he had not seen on previous Nights of Power.
“That night was really, really the first opportunity in many years to come back together at Mosque Maryam in the musalla to have prayer, where we were shoulder to shoulder, where the believers were able to greet one another, shake hands, hug,” he expressed. “And I saw more tears that night than I had on previous Night of Power celebrations and gatherings.”
He observed that prayer had surpassed being “simply ritual” and had become, instead, “an aspect of building relationships” and “demonstrating our submission” and service to Allah and that believers were reading and studying their Holy Qur’an more, in both English and Arabic.
His department released an Arabic and Quranic phonics course in 2022. Another historic moment for the Nation during the year was the appointment of Abdul Salaam Muhammad (formerly Student Minister Carlos Muhammad) of Muhammad Mosque No. 6 in Baltimore as the Nation’s second imam.
On July 4, commemorating the day Master Fard Muhammad made Himself known in Detroit, Michigan, in 1930, a flag-raising ceremony was held on the grounds of The National Center, the headquarters of the Nation.
In July, the Nation also hosted its 27th Annual International Training Conference at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Attendees participated in a weekend of spiritual, mental and physical training. Minister Farrakhan delivered a message at the close of the conference, where he emphasized the importance of training and developing one’s gifts.
The Executive Council also held special programs on October 7 and October 15, commemorating the birth anniversary of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the 27th anniversary of the historic 1995 Million Man March, respectively. The programs went in-depth on those two significant events in the history of the Nation, America and the world.
Panelists on the October 7 program discussed the coming of Allah (God) in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad. October 15 panelists spoke on the organizing and execution of the Million Man March, including the environment that led up to the March and the role women played in making it a success.
Remembering ‘A Star of God’ and the M.G.T. Vanguard Retreat
Though 2022 was filled with a renewed sense of spirit for the believer, the year was not without trial, as many hardworking Muslims returned to Allah. Those who transitioned included Brother Askia Muhammad, dean of The Final Call editorial staff, Brother Naji Muhammad of Philadelphia’s Mosque No. 12, F.O.I.
Captain Emeritus Shaheed Muhammad of Los Angeles, and Grammy-award-winning singer and songwriter William Hart-Muhammad, of The Delfonics, Sister Qahharah Muhammad, the daughter of Student Minister Nuri Muhammad and his wife Sister Terri Muhammad of Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis, among other brothers and sisters.
A wave of sorrow swept across the Nation of Islam at the news of the passing of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s National Spokesperson, Sister Student Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad. Minister Farrakhan officiated her janazah service and delivered words of healing and comfort to the Muslim community and abroad.
To build on the legacy of Sister Ava Muhammad and others who transitioned, Imam Sultan Muhammad stated that the believers must “actualize them in our own character as Muslims and Muslim followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”
“We must see the little saviours in every one of us, particularly those giants like our sister, Student Minister Ava Muhammad. What aspect of her representation of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, resonated with us most, and what can we do to cultivate within ourselves an ability that we may have thought is out of reach?” he questioned.
“If we don’t begin to push ourselves to represent more in our lives of that which has touched us, we demonstrate a spirit of ingratitude. So, we’re grateful for those gifts that were wrapped in the person of our Sister Ava whom we lost this year,” he added. “Let’s challenge ourselves to feel gratitude by picking up aspects of what she has demonstrated and do the best we can to represent the greatness that she represents.”
As young sisters, Naajia and Amirah Muhammad were both affected by the passing of Sister Ava Muhammad. “My first thought was, we have to go harder. We have to represent. We have to make sure that that legacy continues,” Amirah Muhammad, 21 from Chicago, said.
“Everything that she did, I feel like it was for the development of the new woman that’s coming into fruition,” Naajia Muhammad, 19, from Brooklyn, New York, expressed.
Sister Ava Muhammad transitioned less than a month before she was slated to speak at the Nation of Islam’s M.G.T. Vanguard Retreat, a weekend of events attended by Muslim women and girls between the ages of 12-35. The September retreat was historic in that the last one was held 11 years prior, in 2011. The Vanguard, the warrior class of the Nation, participated in a weekend of workouts, martial arts, close-order drill, workshops and sisterhood.
The weekend closed with a special tribute to Sister Ava Muhammad with a keynote lecture delivered by Sister Nneka Muhammad of Chicago. Minister Farrakhan also addressed the women and girls on topics such as the resurrection of the Black woman, the importance of women being themselves and the value of the Black woman in the sight of God.
Naajia Muhammad expressed to The Final Call how high her emotions were at hearing from Minister Farrakhan during the retreat. His words to the sisters on Allah’s forgiveness touched her. “That retreat really did save my life,” Amirah Muhammad shared.
Following on the heels of the Vanguard Retreat, in November, the Minister called on the F.O.I., the men of the Nation, to travel to Chicago for a special message. Thousands flocked to the city for a weekend of brotherhood, camaraderie and divine guidance from Minister Farrakhan.
Around the Nation
Overall, 2022 has been a year of growth for the Nation of Islam. Regional and local mosques saw a flurry of activity, as they planned banquets, mosque dedications and renovations.
In late September, Muhammad Mosque No. 99 in Monroe, Louisiana, held a banquet, tribute and mosque dedication to Nation of Islam pioneer Minister Abdul Bey Muhammad, whom Minister Farrakhan described as the Honorable Elijah’s Muhammad’s “greatest minister.”
The Nation of Islam’s Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Houston held a four-day dedication and consecration weekend at the city’s refurbished mosque building. Minister Farrakhan congratulated Southwest Regional Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad and his staff for the work they put in.
On the eastern side of the country, student laborers of Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in New York conducted a months-long renovation project that resulted in a “grand opening” in November.
“It took a lot of work. I think the biggest work, the hardest work, was being honest with ourselves that we needed a facelift,” said Student Minister Arthur Muhammad to The Final Call. “The believers and the visitors and the guests were worthy of the best that we can offer. And so, because we’re in an old building, we knew that we had to do some stock renovations, so we had to drop the ceiling. We put in new walls, new flooring and then we did some very beautiful decorative touches.”
He dubbed 2022 the “year of expansion” and plans to continue in 2023. “We had our Sunday mosque meetings in Queens while the mosque was being renovated. And we saw that in Queens, that there was a demand for the Teachings. And so now for 2023, we plan to have two meetings, one in Harlem at 11:00 a.m., and then one in Queens at 2:00 p.m.,” he said.
Muhammad Mosque No. 57 in Norfolk, Virginia, went from being a study group to achieving mosque status. “I wanted the believers to see the laboring force and the work that we were putting forth for the uplift and the development of our Nation, because our Nation, it’s a world,” said the mosque’s Student M.G.T. (Muslim Girls’ Training) Captain Linda D. Muhammad.
She described some of the activities the M.G.T. and the mosque were involved in, such as partnering with churches to better help the community, dinner sales, COVID relief, a winter clothing giveaway and a community health fair.
She also emphasized the importance of focusing on the youth. “We must be present to pass on the baton to the next generation,” Sister Linda Muhammad said.
The work continues
Naajia Muhammad, a teaching assistant at Muhammad University of Islam in New York City, and Amirah Muhammad, a student at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, spoke to The Final Call on the importance of the work of youth of the Nation of Islam.
Many of the Nation’s young people began working together virtually in 2020 when the Nation’s in-person gatherings were shut down. Events they coordinated in 2022 allowed them to see one another and work and learn side by side.
“We need to recognize who we are and really sit on that for a minute. You are the generation of fulfillment, you are the Joshua Generation. The Minister said in a tweet that this is the generation that finishes it all, and that’s really heavy, coming from the mouthpiece of God,” Amirah Muhammad said.
She noted the importance of young people using their gifts, skills and talents to help further the Nation, going forward into 2023. “Let’s work. We have so much stuff to do as youth. And I think that’s going to help us get through whatever trials may come in 2023 both personally and to the Nation as a whole,” she said.
Naajia Muhammad emphasized the significance of young people connecting to Allah, studying, being in the classes offered by the Nation and being involved in the Nation. “Allah is your Best Friend. You have to establish that relationship,” she added.
Overall, Imam Sultan Muhammad noted that the pestilence from heaven, the COVID-19 pandemic, is “operating in a way to show us that we need to have a deeper expression, love of gratitude for every moment that we have to gather as believers and that we should not take advantage of the time that we have in life.”
“It’s in this time of plague, pestilence, rumors of wars, violence in our neighborhoods, in communities, that we as a Nation should be ready and moving forward to unleash all of that spiritual power that was incubating and developing as we were separated from our communities, separated from our mosques, to not be complacent and to have no fear in going into the world to bring our people out of spiritual darkness,” he said.
“The mosques are open. Let us fill them up. We should show no hesitancy in doing the work of resurrection,” said Imam Sultan Muhammad, a great-grandson of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
“We should be ready to fight the false charges against our Minister,” he added. “We should be ready to fight misperceptions and false charges against the Nation of Islam by establishing through our character what Islam means and spreading the word among our people to show what the truth is about our faith and about who we are as Muslim followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.”
Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad explained that the best way for the believer to prepare for this time of trouble is to continue to do as Allah (God) has directed. He brought up the last two chapters of the Holy Qur’an known as the refuge prayers.
“Our security is in our faith in Allah. So, the many circumstances and events that are manifesting nationally, internationally, in our homes, in our society, in our community, these events try our faith. We have to keep our focus on Master Fard Muhammad, His Christ, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. And as long as we keep our focus on him, then we will stay afloat, and we will not go down with a world that is plummeting,” he said.
Believers in the Nation of Islam are looking forward to a full Saviours’ Day 2023 weekend convention happening in Chicago the weekend of February 24-26.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is slated to give his keynote address on the subject, “The War of Armageddon Has Begun.”
“We are looking forward to Saviours’ Day 2023 and the message of guidance and instructions from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that will guide our steps into 2023 and beyond,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said.