When a 22-year-old Louis Eugene Walcott addressed the class of the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.)—the men who belong to Islam in North America—as Brother Louis X, he spoke visionary words that began a journey of a lifetime. That day in New York City, with tears of joy running from his eyes, he declared that he would take the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to “every nook and cranny” of America.
“My first day in the F.O.I., when I had a chance to speak, I broke down as I was talking, and I told my brothers in the F.O.I.—it was about 60 of them at that time—‘I’m going to take the word of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to every nook and cranny of the United States of America,’” recalled Minister Farrakhan, in February 2023 remarks to the youth of the Nation of Islam during the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day Convention. “I just woke up, but I gave my word,” he said.
That special F.O.I. class was in October 1955, and now 68 years later as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, not only has he spread his teacher’s message throughout North America, but he also spread it around the world. He has made his word bond and then some.
Over the course of his nearly seven decades of delivering the truth, warning, and guidance to the nations as the National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan has embarked on peace missions, World Friendship Tours, and significant travels near and far. He delivered the “Teachings” to the Caribbean, Central and South America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Euro-Asia, and the Asia-Pacific.
The Minister has described his mission as “universal” in scope which includes reaching the whole human family. To say Minister Farrakhan is respected, honored, and loved globally is not an overstatement. His impact on the world stage is indicative of his personal integrity, character, and credibility. His actions have proved he is a rightly motivated, unbought, unbossed fighter for justice who works for goodness sake, and the sake of his Lord.
This speaks to the heart of the man and are the qualities that attracts Minister Farrakhan to leaders and people who seek his guidance and input, said Abdul Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam, and a longtime companion of Minister Farrakhan.
“It’s amazing to see the love and respect for the Minister’s voice from those struggling and fighting to bring justice and peace to their societies,” said Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad. “They desire his voice,” he added.
Blessed are the peacemakers
He has met with such luminaries as Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, Comandante Fidel Castro of Cuba, Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, former Mali President Alpha Konaré, and President Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua, to name a few.
Minister Farrakhan has been invited as a trusted peacemaker and his global efforts among troubled nations were in the spirit of atonement and reconciliation. His travels to help find pathways to peace have taken him to Palestine, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya.
In peace negotiations between the government of Sudan, led by Omar El-Bashir, and its southern region—led by John Garang, he worked with presidents and former statesmen, including Jerry Rawlings, Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Daniel Arap Moi of Kenya, independence hero and former Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda, and Abdou Diouf of Senegal.
The Muslim leader has responded to the calls out of a sense of goodwill, brotherhood, and peace. Those blessed to have traveled and witnessed Minister Farrakhan’s walk in the international arena agree it is grounded on principles best described in the Holy Qur’an’s Chapter 74 verses 2-6: “Arise and warn, And thy Lord do magnify, And thy garments do purify, And uncleanness do shun, And do no favor seeking gain.”
The work of Minister Farrakhan is a worldwide assignment, said Minister Jabril Muhammad, in his “Farrakhan the Traveler” column published in The Final Call Newspaper on May 7, 2002.
“In the 1960s, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Minister Farrakhan that Allah had made friends for him all around the earth and at a certain time, he would meet them. He was preparing Minister Farrakhan for his future world assignment,” wrote Minister Jabril Muhammad.
That time is in effect and Minister Farrakhan represents a critical phase of a new dispensation of time and the emerging dawn of a new world of righteousness, freedom, justice, and equality coming in and an old world of oppression, tyranny and injustice going out.
In a 2006 Open Line interview on New York’s KISS-FM, Minister Farrakhan discussed how the Million Man March propelled some of his travels.
“All the news media was there, so it was an event that was seen around the world. When the world saw these Black men in peace and unity, demonstrating love for one another, the outside world saw Black America as hope for them,” the Minister said.
“They knew that, if we unite, we could form a political base of power that could change not only domestic policy but also influence foreign policy,” he added.
On a World Friendship Tour afterward, he was received by leaders who praised Blacks in America for the peaceful demonstration. People lined the streets and cheered from the airports into the cities. There was no head of state who did not receive him with honor, and the doors to the world opened.
“But we must be prepared for when these doors open, to go in and take advantage of the fact that we are an international people, a global people,” Minister Farrakhan cautioned. “We are not a minority. We are the majority on the planet and the whole world is looking to Black America because we grew up in the world leader,” the Minister said.
Black folks get nearly a trillion dollars out of America’s economy and are the best-educated Blacks worldwide, he noted. “What we need is a knowledge of self … self-love, self-determination … a desire to do for self. Then, the whole world is not our playground, but our garden,” explained the Minister.
An exemplar of cultivation
For Jadayah Muhammad, the executive director and United Nations representative of the New York-based International Youth Leadership Institute, Minister Farrakhan is the prime example for a generation of young people interested in global affairs.
As a young woman in the Nation of Islam’s Muslim Girl Training and General Civilization Class (M.G.T. and G.C.C.) Vanguard, Sister Jadayah Muhammad was greatly influenced by Minister Farrakhan’s global work. She was also influenced by Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who widely traveled to remote areas of the world learning about cultures and peoples.
“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Mother Tynnetta Muhammad have been for me, just like such chief inspirations in my work, seeing the way that he has traveled the whole world to bring the message of truth and unity,” said Sister Jadayah Muhammad.
She reflects how the Minister was born to Caribbean parents in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Boston, is a student of the Holy Qur’an and Bible and whatever country or culture he has traveled on his world tours, reflects the highest parts of civilization present and resonates with it.
“By doing so, everywhere he goes, he’s made friends for us … as the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad traveled and the Saviour (Master Fard Muhammad) traveled and made friends for him,” she observed.
A decade ago, Sister Jadayah Muhammad, who was born in the Nation of Islam, went to live in Shanghai China. The day before she was due to leave, Minister Farrakhan was in New York where she asked him, how can she be helpful, although being afar.
“He said, you learn as much as you can and bring it back so you can help our people—and I took that personally,” she said. “The reason I chose this way of life for myself is because everywhere I’ve gone in the world from Europe to Africa, to Asia, to Latin America, all I’ve seen is confirmation of our Teachings,” Sister Jadayah Muhammad shared.
She described experiences of meeting people in her travels who were positively affected by Minister Farrakhan’s global prominence, like a man who journeyed from Senegal to the historic Million Man March in 1995, out of love for the Minister. “We see echoes of that all over the world, but it’s because he stayed the course … it’s because he reflects a universal truth,” she said.
Minister Farrakhan has been a perfect representation of freedom and justice and equality, she stated. Like her, there are others deeply influenced by the Minister’s universal mission.
There are registered members of the Nation of Islam from various segments of the Original Black Nation who were and are impacted by the Minister’s representation of the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, including brothers and sisters from Mexico, Puerto Rico, countries in Central and South America and Asia.
Gratitude on his 90th birth anniversary
Some people that Minister Farrakhan influenced expressed gratitude for his contributions to the world and treasure him.
“I would like to thank God for bringing him up to this age,” said Kojo Yankah, founder of the Pan African Museum in Ghana. “In Africa, we only wish long life to people like him because he has made so much impact on the minds and lives of people everywhere,” said Mr. Yankah, a former parliamentarian and Cabinet minister.
He told The Final Call that Minister Farrakhan speaks for Africans and feels the pain and anguish of what Africans go through. He feels Africans’ loss of heritage and knows very well the impact that colonialism, slavery, and racism have all had on the Africans.
“So, he’s somebody that comes to mind anytime one is looking for leaders to resort to, to read, to get inspired by,” said Mr. Yankah. “He has given us courage and given so much knowledge to a people who are still finding our way to restore the pride, the civilization of our ancestors,” he added.
For Dr. Erieka Bennett, founder and Head of Mission at the Diaspora African Forum, in Accra Ghana, the Minister deserves to be treasured. “On the 90th birthday of the Minister, I’m just so happy that he’s healthy and happy and whole, and he has done so much for Black people around the world,” said Dr. Bennett.
“It’s so important to treasure our icons, and we do view him as an icon and the world should view him as an icon,” she said. “I love him. I thank God that he’s part of my life … I’ve learned so much from him in terms of how to really serve Black people,” she told The Final Call.
“We praise Allah for you being alive in our lifetime! You have built a legacy that cannot be extinguished! Happy birthday Minister Louis Farrakhan,” said Faisal Youssif Gomda of the Center for Social Equality and Peace-building Initiative in Accra, Ghana.
Mr. Gomda said the Minister is “Africa and the world” particularly for Black people, because it is overwhelming the kind of awareness he has fostered on the continent. Minister Farrakhan has opened the eyes of Africans. “Who you are, as a human being … a Black person … a Muslim … a Black African Muslim, in particular,” he said.
Minister Farrakhan elevated the reality that Islam is not only for a segment of people in the world and that Black people are important in Islam as their natural religion. “We got all of this from Minister Louis Farrakhan,” added Mr. Gomda.
He said the Minister’s contribution to Islam in the world cannot be measured. The truth of Mr. Gomda’s words is demonstrated in Minister Farrakhan’s unbending representation of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam in the Muslim world.
Leonard F. Muhammad, a member of the Nation of Islam’s Executive Shura Council, recalled the Minister’s unwavering representation of the identity of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad before scholars at the Rabata (Muslim World League) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
“They wanted to discuss with the Minister, the wisdom of his representation of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” said Brother Leonard F. Muhammad. “The Minister had a series of meetings with them in the Rabata and it was one of the first times I’ve ever seen the Minister take notes as they made their points,” he observed.
“The Minister was studiously taking notes and when they finished, he would shed a brighter light on their religious positions than the light they had shined,” observed Brother Leonard F. Muhammad.
“He said to them, ‘some may have come here and told you about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Master Fard Muhammad,’ but ‘I believe I’m the first to come who loves them both,’” recalled Brother Leonard F. Muhammad.
The Minister started from that point of view to prove the validity and value of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and that they are whom he represents them to be. At the time many in the Muslim world were at odds with Minster Farrakhan’s refusal to denounce them.
When the encounter was over, in a closing remark, Yemini Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani said, “I came to listen and learn … I have listened, and I have learned.”
Brother Leonard F. Muhammad said, when they departed Saudi Arabia, they left on the “wings of a great victory,” in the Minister’s effort to defend the work the Nation of Islam is doing toward the rise of Islam in the West. “Watching him accomplish this, and being a part of it, is something I would have wanted every Believer to witness,” he told The Final Call.
“Once we left Mecca things opened up for Muslims under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We were able to travel back and forth to Mecca and throughout the Muslim world with great respect,” he said.
On a different occasion Minister Jabril Muhammad, who also witnessed the meeting with the scholars in Mecca, asked Minister Farrakhan: “How would you summarize the response of the Muslim world to you, during your last world tour and since?”
“The response of the Muslim world has been marvelous. I was well received everywhere I went, as a son of Islam, s-o-n—and a sun of Islam, s-u-n—or a star in the jeweled crown of Islam; a hope for our brothers and sisters in the Islamic world,” said Minister Farrakhan.
The Minister explained they see him in a spiritual sense as they saw boxing great Muhammad Ali years ago in a physical sense.
“They take pride in my strong stand and fight for Islam, and for justice in America against the wickedness of the U.S. Government, and against Zionist manipulation of the Government, and they praise Allah (God) for me,” he told Minister Jabril Muhammad.
“I believe as time goes on, their arms will open wide, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us, ‘at a certain point, we will flee out of America into the open arms of the Muslim world.’ He expressed faith that they will come to see the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as one whom Allah (God) has raised up to establish Islam in America, and, to revive the faith of Islam in the hearts of Muslims throughout the world.”
A Light-Giving Sun
Others noted that Minister Farrakhan cannot be properly understood except through the lens of scriptures and the lives of the prophets.
“This is God’s man, and the man who is the quintessence of those who have come before him,” said Abdul Hakeem Muhammad, the European Region Student Minister for the Nation of Islam. “His job is to be afforded that global platform to warn humanity during his lifetime … to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to hear the truth,” he explained.
The London-based student minister compared Minister Farrakhan’s impact on the world and specifically the United Kingdom as a “light-giving sun” whose rays effectively warm and nourish from a distance. “I’ve never listened to anybody say anything at any time and have a transformative experience until I first heard the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in 1986 (via cassette tape),” he said. For 37 years the Nation of Islam in the UK grew by “the word” alone, as Minister Farrakhan is physically barred from the country.
However, Student Minister Abdul Hakeem Muhammad explained, Allah’s (God’s) Word is unstoppable. Like the sun doesn’t physically kiss the earth, the power of her rays affect the earth.
“So, we are the beneficiaries in Europe of the rays that come from principles of truth, and right guidance that comes from the mouth of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, in fulfillment of what is written in the scriptures, that Muhammad is a light-giving sun,” he said.
Minister Farrakhan is a man born at this time to affect humanity as a whole from one place. “That has not happened in the time of any teacher in the annals of history, because technology had not been born during the time of the prophets,” noted Student Minister Abdul Hakeem Muhammad.
A son of the soil
The Eastern Caribbean representative of the Nation of Islam, Dr. David Muhammad, said the Minister impacted the region as a son of the Caribbean. “His global popularity within itself creates a point of pride for the Caribbean region. His father being from Jamaica, his mother being from Saint Kitts,” said the student minister.
His impact is seen in two dimensions. The guiding philosophy he provided in his appearances and speeches and his private meetings, conversations, and interviews. Minister Farrakhan counseled with heads of government, prime ministers, presidents, governors, parliamentarians, and opposition leaders alike.
Minister Farrakhan has interacted with generations of political leaders. From Eric Williams of Trinidad and Michael Manley of Jamaica in the 1970s to contemporary Jamaican premiers like P.J. Patterson and Portia Simpson Miller, and current Prime Minister Andrew Holness and others, he influenced many leaders, thinkers and philosophers and planted many seeds.
He advocates regional unity under one United States of the Caribbean with one government, passport, military, and Caribbean Courts of Justice. The Minister’s life remains a positive influence for the value of wisdom he has shared.
“I think a major factor of the Minister’s value is, it has been inter-generational as well as intra-generational,” reasoned Brother David Muhammad. It will continue to live into the generations to follow because the youth are aware of who the Minister is. They know his voice and ideas in the region.
“We know that his wisdom will live on forever,” said Brother David Muhammad.