COLUMBIA, S.C.—It was epic, to say the least, when thousands of believers and supporters convened in Chicago for the annual Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day Convention held Feb. 24-26.
However, celebratory events began nationwide weeks ahead of the highly anticipated convention. At one celebration, the women of the Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class (M.G.T. and G.C.C., the women of the Nation of Islam) of Muhammad Mosque No. 38 in Columbia, South Carolina, and other Black women were honored Feb. 19 by the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.), who are the men of the Nation of Islam.
What began after a Sunday mosque meeting with the brothers ranging in ranks and giving an “Original Salute” to the sisters, ended with roses and a dinner at a popular banquet hall in the city.
“It was really a very, very special day for us,” said Sister Jennifer Muhammad, the Student First-Officer of the M.G.T. and G.C.C., expressing the gratitude of the sisterhood. “The sisters’ energy was through the roof,” she told The Final Call. The unexpected gesture, she said, was above and beyond. “You can tell the Brothers they got an A-plus,” said Sister Jennifer.
In past years, the mosque held a pre-Saviours’ Day Gala but decided this year to use the occasion to show gratitude to the women. Customarily, Muslims participate in a gift exchange and give gifts to the children during Saviours’ Day, explained Brother Bryan X, the local Student F.O.I. Captain. “This would be our gift to the women of God,” he added.
The brothers wanted to recognize the hard work, sacrifice, and effort the M.G.T. and G.C.C. make in the mosque and their consistent representation of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the standard of Islam to the world as Muslim women.
“That was pretty much the heartbeat of it,” said Bro. Bryan X. “We wanted to honor Allah’s Black woman.”
In the cultured manner of the Nation of Islam, high civilization was on display when the sisters walked into the Brookland Banquet and Conference Center. Their grace and discipline gave life to the axiom that, “Islam dignifies.”
The outward dignity of the sisters gave enhanced ambiance to the banquet hall frequented by Blacks in Columbia. “It was high vibration, high energy, and nothing but love,” stated Sister Jennifer, describing the response by people to the presence in the banquet hall of the followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the leadership and guidance of Minister Farrakhan.
The room went silent in awe as the believers arrived and moved in one unified motion to their reserved tables. Admiring the grace of the sisters, some diners literally asked, “who are they?” and “where are they from?”
At one point Reverend Charles Jackson, the senior pastor of Brookland Baptist Church, which owns the facility, came out to greet and share words with the group. Rev. Jackson expressed admiration and personal gratitude towards Minister Farrakhan. Brookland Baptist is one of the largest churches in Columbia.
For Columbia, considered part of America’s Bible Belt, the public display of Islamic culture through the M.G.T. and G.C.C. and the respect afforded to the Muslims was significant, said Sister Kimberllyn Muhammad. “It made me think of ‘Closing the Gap,’” she said, referring to the book of interview questions and answers of Minister Farrakhan on various topics, including faith.
To be received so well at a Christian-owned establishment by our people as Muslims was a demonstration of harmony that Minister Farrakhan often speaks about. “We’re believers … that’s the common denominator, monotheism—there is but one (God),” added Sister Kimberllyn.