“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”

—Ephesians 6:11

The above verse is the theme for the Nation of Islam’s 2023 Saviours’ Day convention taking place in Chicago, February 24-26.

“Every presentation is to arm the believer with the impenetrable armor of God, that we can make it through the final chapter of the end of the world of Satan,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, to The Final Call.

Honorable Elijah Muhammad

Saviours’ Day is a commemoration of the birth anniversary of Master Fard Muhammad, Allah (God) in Person born on February 26, 1877, in the Holy City of Mecca. Master Fard Muhammad traveled 9,000 miles to North America, where He found the downtrodden Black man and woman. He raised and taught the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who convened the first Saviours’ Day convention. The tradition of Saviours’ Day has been carried on through the work of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

This year’s Saviours’ Day convention is the first full convention since February 2020, before COVID-19 shut the world down. It will take place at McCormick Place Convention Center with the highlight being Minister Farrakhan’s keynote address at Wintrust Arena, titled, “The War of Armageddon Has Begun.”

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said believers can expect their faith to be strengthened. Unlike past conventions, there will be no workshops at the upcoming convention. Instead, Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam’s Executive Council wanted to hone in on arming the believer.

“Our focus is on the two essentials of faith that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said to us we must have if we want to make it through the dark hour. And those two articles of faith deal with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad being alive and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s ascension going to The Wheel,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said, referencing the objects in the sky revealed in the Bible’s book of Ezekiel which have been misidentified by the public and American government as “unidentified flying objects” (UFOs) or “unidentified aerial phenomena” (UAP).

Master Fard Muhammad

Convention schedule

The Saviours’ Day weekend kicks off Friday, Feb. 24, with an opening plenary session on “The Reality of God: Point #12.”

Point. No. 12 of  “What The Muslims Believe,” printed in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s book “Message to the Blackman in America” and on the inside back page of every Final Call newspaper, is the cardinal principle of faith for believers in the Nation of Islam. 

It reads: “WE BELIEVE that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited ‘Messiah’ of the Christians and the ‘Mahdi’ of the Muslims.

“We believe further and lastly that Allah is God and besides HIM there is no god and He will bring about a universal government of peace wherein we all can live in peace together.”

“Knowing and believing in Allah is the cardinal principle of faith for all Muslims, but when it comes to the believing followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that belief that Allah came and appeared in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad in fulfillment of the scriptures and prophecies of God’s coming, God’s appearance, is critical,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said. “The reality of God is at the root of the faith and foundation of the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.”

The Salat-al Jumu’ah (Friday congressional) prayer service will follow the opening plenary.

A “We are at War” Youth Summit for young adults ages 16-35 will take place at 2:30 p.m. that February 24. The session will include an interactive panel discussion and culminate in a special address from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. There will be an overflow room for adults outside of the age range.

“Many young adult registered members of the Nation of Islam and those born in the Nation of Islam are struggling with many challenges in their life,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said. Some are dealing with peer pressure, while others are navigating their Islamic life on college campuses and struggling to live the life of a Muslim without being pulled by Satanic forces and influences, he stated.

“Many of our young people, of course, have decisions and choices to make. And it’s critical that we have guidance so that we can make good decisions, proper choices, when it comes to choosing a mate, marriage,” he said. “And then we have those who struggle with mental health. Those who struggle with depression. Those who are struggling with trauma and things that have been done to us and where we have been victimized and made victims of circumstances and conditions that we did not create.”

“The Minister’s address is going to go a long way in helping not only young adults but older adults as well, as we fight to sustain and preserve ourselves in a world that is unraveling with every moment and every second of the hour that we have entered,” he added.

Day one of the convention will end with several social events and activities, including a talent showcase, a National Speed Chess Tournament, “The Master” National Contest, and a Believer’s Social Extravaganza. 

Registration for the chess tournament is available on noi.org. The tournament will occur 7-9 p.m. on Feb. 24. There will be five total rounds, with each game lasting 10 minutes, five minutes per competitor. An official U.S. chess arbiter and an official U.S. chess director will be on scene. Winners will receive cash prizes.

“The Master” is a game based on the Supreme Wisdom of the Nation of Islam. It was developed by Sister Shaheerah Farrakhan and her husband, Brother Musharraf Farrakhan-Muhammad. They are calling for two contestants, one brother and one sister, from each of the Nation’s regions. Those interested in competing can take a timed quiz at noi.org. The highest scorers will be selected to represent their region at Saviours’ Day to have the opportunity to win a grand prize of $2,000.

“We’re going to enjoy each other’s company, for this is the first (full) Saviours’ Day (convention) since Detroit in 2020,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad said.

Saturday, Feb. 25, opens with private F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam) and M.G.T. (Muslim Girls’ Training) classes, for the registered men and women of the Nation, followed by a private graduation and believer’s meeting. Newly registered believers from the years 2020, 2021 and 2022 will be graduating.

A three-hour plenary on “The Christ, The Messiah and The Wheel” is scheduled in the afternoon.

Closing out Saturday will be the highly anticipated and always popular drill competition with teams from all over the Nation. Finalists in the Jr. M.G.T. category are Mosque Maryam in Chicago and Muhammad Mosque No. 15 in Atlanta; the Jr. F.O.I. category: Atlanta, Chicago and Muhammad Mosque No. 29 in Miami; the M.G.T. Vanguard category: Chicago (defending champions), Atlanta, Muhammad Mosque No. 45 in Houston, Muhammad Mosque No. 25 in Newark, New Jersey and Miami; the M.G.T. category:

Atlanta (defending champions), Muhammad Mosque No. 27 in Los Angeles, Chicago, Muhammad Mosque No. 26B in Oakland, California, and Houston; and lastly, the F.O.I. category: Chicago (defending champions), Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in New York, Muhammad Mosque No. 2 in Detroit, Atlanta, Newark and Los Angeles.

Mother Khadijah Farrakhan’s Children’s Village will take place at an off-site location. It will occur Saturday, Feb. 25, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. According to the website, participants will enjoy arcade games, zip lining, bumper cars, go-karts, laser tag and rock climbing. There will also be a play area for toddlers as well as the “Mother Khadijah Farrakhan’s Gift Center.” Register at www.childrensvillageonline.org.

Lastly, the culminating event of the Saviours’ Day weekend, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address, will occur on Sunday, Feb. 26, the birth date of the Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad, at the Wintrust Arena. The title of the Minister’s message is, “The War of Armageddon Has Begun.” The address will be streamed live at noi.org. The program begins at 2 p.m. CST.

“It’s very significant because war is the last major event that is mentioned in the scriptures and in prophecy. When Jesus talked about the signs of the end, he began with the sign of pestilence followed by famine and earthquakes in various places. Then he says these are just the beginning of sorrows.

Nation will rise up against nation, kingdom against kingdom. Wars and rumors of wars,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad explained. “His (Minister Farrakhan’s) title reflects the time period that we have entered and that war that is prophesied.”

“It’s a very significant subject matter because it’s informing us of where we are and it’s letting us know what we will face after the Minister delivers that lecture or message on the 26th of February,” he added.

Saviours’ Day Then and Now

Burnetta Muhammad, an 84-year-old Muslim pioneer from Muhammad Mosque No. 15 in Atlanta, joined the Nation 55 years ago, when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was physically present. Saviours’ Day has always been great, she said. She can no longer make the in-person Saviours’ Day convention due to health challenges, but she will be viewing Minister Farrakhan’s keynote from the comfort of her home. Her favorite part of Saviours’ Day is seeing all of the people.

“The anxiousness to get there to Saviours’ Day, it starts at home, preparing. And then you hear everybody talk about, ‘are you going to Saviours’ Day?’” she expressed. “You stay in awe the whole time you’re there. There’s never a dull moment.”

Samiyyah Muhammad, another pioneer out of Atlanta, experienced her first Saviours’ Day in February 1971. “When I came in, he (the Honorable Elijah Muhammad) was already talking. And I’m looking up at him and I’m just seeing all of this light. And I’m stunned,” she said.

She described that back then, believers would attend for one day to hear the keynote address by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad then go back home. The last Saviours’ Day convention she attended was in 2020. She recalled the joy at seeing believers from all over the country.

“Saviours’ Day is a thank you to Master Fard Muhammad for coming and showing us a way to live and giving us an opportunity to live that way, where we are free to be innocent little girls … and women who are protected at all times,” she said on what Saviours’ Day means to her as an M.G.T.

Over 3,000 people are registered for the Saviours’ Day 2023 convention, and over 6,000 tickets for Wintrust Arena seats have been sold at Final Call press time. Vending room S-105 at the McCormick Place will hold 50 vending booths. Vendors will have the opportunity to set up on February 23  of the weekend and to sell on February 24 from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and February 25 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information can be found on the Nation’s website.

Food options for believers and guests include the Salaam Restaurant, The Foodie’s Spot and Let’s Eat to Live. The Executive Council, mosque officials, staff and volunteers have been working diligently around the clock in preparation to welcome Believers, visitors and guests to the city to celebrate and commemorate, “The Crowning Event of Black History Month.”

“We are happy that we have opened up our Salaam Restaurant for dining, and thanks to Sister Captain Naeemah Muhammad, Sister Aminah Muhammad, Brother Sa’ad Muhammad, on behalf of the Council, we have completely renovated our restaurant,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad expressed. “It’s bright, it’s beautiful and ready to serve the believers and our guests.”

Fine dining at the Salaam Restaurant is almost entirely sold out, save for a few available seats on Monday, Feb. 27. Reservations for the restaurant’s Crescent Cafe are still available throughout the weekend.

The Final Call will be hosting an Open House at the Final Call Administration Building on Monday, February 28 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The address is 734 W. 79th Street, right next door to the Salaam.

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad’s parting words on the Saviours’ Day 2023 convention were: “Don’t miss it.”