by Daleel Jabir Muhammad
NEW YORK—A spirit of encouragement, joy, and revitalization of relationships filled a recent weekend in New York with Student Minister Nuri Muhammad’s visit to the heart of the Nation. Brother Nuri Muhammad, Student Minister of Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis, shared words of inspiration during stops in Harlem and in Brooklyn to speak to two CURE violence groups, Street Corner Resources in Harlem, and Man-Up Inc. in Brooklyn. Brother Nuri was in the city Jan. 6-9.
His message brought resounding applause and appreciation from the men and women of Man-Up Inc, a community-based violence interrupter group that deals with many of the plights of Black and Brown youth and adults in the area of East New York, Brooklyn. Held at the Prince Joshua Community Center, Brother Nuri shared with the audience how vitally important their work is as spiritual first responders as opposed to physical first responders NYPD, EMT, Fire Dept, and ambulances.
“We salute you for standing on the battlefield to make the neighborhood safe,” the fiery student minister said as he addressed the men and women of the group. “We know you are being blessed for regulating affairs in our community because God said blessed are peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God,” he said referencing the Bible. Brother Nuri, a master wordsmith, laid out why Black neighborhoods are called ‘hoods in most Black communities and not neighborhoods. “We call ourselves a ‘hood because the concept and functions of neighbor are missing. We have to get back to showing concern for one another in our neighborhood where everybody’s children are everybody’s responsibility,” he added.
Brother Nuri also applauded the group for using the terms “brother” and “sister” when speaking to each other, calling it a “language of success” to build our community. “There is a vocabulary for failure that blames, complains, and (is) excuse-making. Then there is a vocabulary for success where people building a community make plans, have goals, purpose, and aspirations, and are mission-minded,” he said.
Man-Up was commended for working in that manner to reach one and to teach one as a “village.” “It takes a Village to raise a child, but technically it’s more than that. It takes brotherhood, sisterhood, motherhood, and fatherhood to produce that reality because in the beginning was the word then it became flesh. When these little brothers and sisters know that you love them, that you care and are interested in them becoming the best version of themselves then you are reaching them and we can turn the projects into paradise,” he eloquently expressed about the impact of the work of the group.
Brother Nuri’s tour included a Friday evening at Mosque No. 7C where he spent quality time in a question-and-answer session with the Believers and the guests who expressed a myriad of concerns plaguing the Black community. He cheerfully answered questions ranging from the effects of social media influence, social engineering, finding a purpose before finding a mate, the benefits of prayer at dawn (Fajr), and the comparisons between the human body and the planet Earth.
The well-known student minister is a well-sought-after motivational speaker and author of several enlightening books. He encouraged the audience to become successful by interviewing someone who is doing what they want to do and by avoiding their pitfalls where they can accomplish their goals in a lesser time than it took them.
Visiting Iesha Sekou, founder of Street Corner Resources, Brother Nuri inspired the young men and women of the group to continue to help make our communities decent and safe places to live. Ms. Sekou has been on the front lines for many years fighting the scourges of gun violence, police brutality, drug abuse, and unemployment in Harlem.
Brother Nuri praised her efforts. “As you bring peace to others, God will bless you and bring you peace. Every time you go in the streets to squash a beef, help others, clean up the streets, settle a difference, or shake a hand, you are becoming a peacemaker and that makes you more blessed, as it is written in the Bible.”
His tour continued and was well attended at Muhammad Mosque No. 7, the Eastern Regional Headquarters of the Nation of Islam in historic Harlem on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, to the delight of a filled-to-capacity sanctuary and overflow rooms throughout the newly renovated edifice.
A Saturday, Jan. 7, relationships seminar was presented to married and single attendees and included Muslims, Christians, clergy, activists, and many who wanted to hear words to reinvigorate their marriages or to know what to look for in the pursuit of a proper mate.
Brother Nuri dispersed nuggets of jewels from the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. “Always keep Allah (God) at the center of all of your relationships” he advised.
His profound understanding and answers to the pressing questions were entwined with humor, and dramatization and pointed out hard truths.
Brother Nuri’s Sunday’s lecture on Jan. 8 encapsulated spirited truths to “God’s Secrets” in the scriptures of the Bible, the Holy Qur’an, and in the woman. Visitors were given a treat after the lecture and heard from conscious rapper Messiah Ramkissoon, who shared poetry about toxic foods titled “Food for thought,” and nine-year-old poet laureate Kayden Hern, who is known for the poetry he spoke at the inauguration of New York Governor Kathleen Hochul in January.
In keeping with the fast pace of New York City, Minister Nuri covered many principles of manhood in an address to the men who attended the first open-to-the-public Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) class for the New Year. Brother Nuri Muhammad shared what he learned from Minister Farrakhan when he stated, “Every time we come together in the love of the brotherhood it adds years to our life.” He went on to say, “real men are men of courage, real men regulate affairs, real men are fruitful where they come together to build.”