CHICAGO— The spirit of love and war permeated this year’s Nation of Islam Annual Saviours’ Day Convention, Feb. 24-26 at the McCormick Place Convention Center Chicago. This year’s theme, “Put on the Whole Armor of God,” hails from the book of Ephesians in the Bible.

Muslims from around the country and overseas flocked to Chicago for their first full in-person national convention since February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a halt.

Informative and critical plenary sessions and other riveting activities were held at McCormick Place Convention Center and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address, the crowning event of the convention and Black History Month, took place at Wintrust Arena.

Minister Farrakhan set the tone for the weekend, and beyond, with the title of his Message: “The War of Armageddon Has Begun.” It was the most anticipated event of the three-day celebration, and the 10,000-seat Wintrust Arena was sold out weeks before his address, which broadcast to even more online at


“We are meeting again at one of the most troubled times in the history of America and the Nation of Islam,” stated Minister Farrakhan, in his welcome letter to his dear Believers, followers, and friends of the Nation of Islam.

“The ever-increasing madness of the people is the clearest demonstration that the War has begun.  It is truth against lies, the truth teller against the liar, right against wrong, God against Satan, to determine who will survive this War and continue to have a place to live on this planet,” stated Minister Farrakhan.

“Only if we come under the Guidance of Almighty God Allah, and His Christ, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, will we be able to put on the whole armor of Allah (God) that we will be able to stand against the wiles of Satan as his civilization comes to an end,” added Minister Farrakhan, before concluding: 

“Best wishes for our success in the Resurrection of our people here and throughout the Earth.”

The memory and impact of Student Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad, who returned to Allah (God) on August 25, 2022, was ever-present as a live broadcast of her popular show “Elevated Places,” was held Feb. 23 before an enthusiastic audience of Believers and guests.

Under the helm of Darius Muhammad, her devoted husband and now Elevated Places executive producer, a team of volunteer hosts and producers have committed to maintain the long-running two-hour online talk radio show, in honor of her life and legacy as a Star of God.

On Feb. 24, the plenary session, “The Reality of God:  Point #12” opened the high-spirited convention. Panelists included some of the N.O.I.’s top scholars including: Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan’s National Assistant; Nation of Islam Student National Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad; Student Minister Demetric Muhammad, author and a member of the Nation of Islam Research Group, and Student Imam Abdul Salaam Muhammad.

Panelists began the convention with a rousing offense and declaration in defense of their teacher and guide, Minister Farrakhan, and spoke on his work of reestablishing the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He and Minister Farrakhan are the two greatest witness bearers to the reality of Allah (God), said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad.

This July 4, 2023 would make 92 years since Allah (God) made Himself known in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad to the Black man and woman of North America, in Detroit’s Black Bottom in 1930, noted Student Imam Abdul Salaam Muhammad, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew who Master Fard Muhammad was, because his father was a Baptist preacher and he had the scriptures in his head.

“That’s so important, because that was love at first sight! He instantly knew who the man was … That’s love. That is love. And what we are looking at when we share is the greatest story of love ever told,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad. 

Attendees also gathered on Friday, Feb. 24 for Jumu’ah (congressional Friday prayers) lead by Student National Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad.

In addition to the “Reality of God: Point #12,” the three-above-mentioned Nation of Islam scholars were joined by Student Minister and author Ilia Rashad Muhammad, a member of the Nation of Islam Research Group, for another power-packed plenary session: “The Christ, The Messiah and The Wheel.” It was held on Saturday, Feb. 25,

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, though he did not intend to, was compelled to give a heartfelt, pure, uncut and clear testimony about his experience as a helper to Minister Farrakhan during the plenary session. 

Mother Khadijah Farrakhan’s beloved Children’s Village offered fun, excitement and love to the young Muslims at Gizmos Fun Factory in Orland Park, Illinois. Fun, creative and educational activities, face painting and ziplining were just some of the activities offered. 

During the Drill Competition, and throughout the weekend, Muslim men and women worked cheerfully and diligently in their unique military uniforms and garments. The M.G.T. and G.C.C. (Muslim women and girls in the N.O.I.), exuded high civilization with extra-added adornments as many sported new modest sportswear and activewear created by Demodest, Inc. 

Saviours’ Day attendees have become accustomed to staples such as a breadth of educational workshops on subjects focused on Nine Ministries established to solve the problems of Black poverty and want. However, this year, it focused on the two plenary sessions, Salat-al-Jumu’ah, a Youth Summit, themed “We Are At War,” for ages 13-35, the National Graduation ceremony and National Drill Competition. 

There was also evening programming, which included a talent showcase, National Chess Tournament, The Master Game Tournament, and Believers’ Social Extravaganza. For the thousands of members of the NOI who gathered in Chicago, it was a weekend of reconnecting, rejuvenation and spiritual enlightenment. There was physical training as well during a 5:30 a.m Friday workout led by Student Assistant Supreme Captain Azziz Muhammad. 

“What stood out the most to me was my graduation, being in the M.G.T. Class at Saviours’ Day,” said Sister Jerri X Young, of St. Louis. She stated that she  lives two hours away from her class in Missouri.

She attended Saviours’ Day for her first time this year. Although she expressed excitement to see and hear Minister Farrakhan live in the Wintrust, she told The Final Call she was disappointed because the tickets sold out so quickly. But that was overshadowed by her overall experience and engagement with the Believers, she stated.

“Everything around me is in harmony or on a high note, and that’s everything about Saviours’ Day,” she added. 

Another favorite that sold out was the Saviours’ Day Vending arena, which could accommodate 50 vendors. Despite the reduced number of Muslim and Black entrepreneurs, Saviours’ Day Vending helped to make the event a great success and enjoyable experience for many. The Salaam Restaurant was also open throughout the weekend for the Believers to dine on delicious cuisine. 

“It’s a lot to take in. This is my first Saviours’ Day,” said Brother Devon.

He has been studying to learn more (processing) into the Nation of Islam for the last two months.  “Right now, it’s been beautiful to see all of the good things going on and connecting to your own people, doing great things,” he said.

Bro. Devon shared further about the grace, warmth and love he received from the Believers: “They’ve shown me a lot of love. That’s the only reason I’m here right now. They fronted my ticket. They gave me a place to stay. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone.  They make it easy.”  

He added he was excited to see the Drill Competition and see Minister Farrakhan deliver his address. “I’m happy to be here` and I hope to be here in the future,” said Devon.

This year the Nation of Islam Historical Exhibit, a staple of the Saviours’ Day weekend since the exhibit was first established at the 2007 convention in Detroit, Michigan, took place at the former home of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad at 4847 South Woodlawn Avenue home in Chicago. The home is which is being restored and renovated as “Sajdah House,” was open to Saviours’ Day guided tours from Thursday to Saturday.  

Brent Muhammad, Student Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) Captain for the Nation of Islam in Trinidad has been a registered member of the Nation of Islam and a follower of Minister Farrakhan for 28 years, however, it was his first time attending Saviours’ Day in person. 

“I am very excited. … I am so happy to be here,” said Student Capt. Brent Muhammad. “It’s been 28 years I’ve been registered, and being my first time, it’s blowing my mind to see how us as Black people live together.”

“What comes to mind is heaven. Every day, I’m looking and just saying to myself, this is what heaven will be like—Brothers and Sisters living in peace and harmony and love, respecting one another. That is what really captured this Saviours’ Day. Heaven,” said Student Cpt. Brent Muhammad.

“The significance of this event shows that the Nation of Islam is strong, resilient and ready to move forward in the future; especially after the pandemic when a lot of organizations were weakened. This is a real good sign for the Nation to come back. It reaffirms to the Believers, the community, and the general population, that the Nation isn’t going anywhere,” Hasaun Muhammad from New York told The Final Call.

America shut down soon after Saviours’ Day 2020. The list of Muslims lost to the pandemic is painful to recall. In 2021 as the country was in the grips of the pandemic the Saviours’ Day events went online as many other Muslim programming did. The next year in 2022, the event was a one-day speech titled, “The Swan Song,” by Minister Farrakhan at Chicago’s Mosque Maryam.

One year later, the Muslims are back in full force.

Maria Muhammad from Richmond, Va., has fond memories of attending Saviours’ Day. She told The Final Call, “This is everything to me. I was a child growing up in the Nation of Islam. This is fulfillment for me. It’s to be in heaven, to see heaven on earth at once. Just to know that Minister Farrakhan has been a divine friend, a true friend to all oppressed people is so special. I’m just overwhelmed, and I feel the love.” 

That sentiment was felt by many.  

“The beauty about being here in Chicago is coming here,” Atlanta’s Anthony J. X told The Final Call, “it is to be around the brother and sisterhood and to experience what a glimpse of heaven will look like. It’s always a blessing to come around, break bread, as well as share space and time with your brothers and sisters. This is what it’s all about. In the midst of learning about Islam and growing, especially with the classes that we had, we have to strive to be that example for everybody else.”

“Being back in person feels like a family reunion,” Sister Courtney X from Atlanta told The Final Call. “We made it through the difficult times these last few years. It’s been like a family reunion being here.”

For Demond X from Baltimore, being back in Chicago came at the right time. He told The Final Call, “This is reminiscent of 2020. It kind of reminds us of what was missed over the last two years. The spirit of Believers is high. It’s good seeing everyone. Having the Minister still with us lets us know that we’re still blessed to be able to bring forth what he’s been asking of us.”

Cherelle Muhammad, daughter of Student Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad, summed up the experience, “I just feel like I’m at home and there’s no other love like being around the Believers.” Stay tuned for additional Saviours’ Day coverage in upcoming issues of The Final Call. Final Call Staff Writer Nisa Islam Muhammad contributed to this report.