“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” —Ephesians 6:11
For the believers of the Nation of Islam, 2023 was a year of service, sacrifice and equipping themselves with the spiritual armor needed to survive the darkness overshadowing the Earth. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day 2023 lecture titled, “The War of Armageddon Has Begun,” delivered in February, set the tone for the year and foretold events to come during the next 10 months.
“We calculate time according to the 24-hour day and the 365-day year, and the calendar year starts in the month of January, with the first day that brings in the new year.
But February, really when you look at it, that’s when we start the new year because it begins with a message from Allah through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that really forecasts what the year will bring,” Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and a member of the Nation’s Shura Executive Council, said to The Final Call.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, frequently taught about the War of Armageddon as prophesied in scripture. During His time amongst the people, the Messenger would present a blackboard.
The flag of the United States with the word, “Christianity,” would be on one side of the board, and the flag of the Nation of Islam would be on the other side. The question, “Which one will survive the War of Armageddon,” would be written in the middle.
Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad explained that the Minister’s announcement it “has begun” represents the start of the “final war that determines who is going to live, who is going to die,” involving the nations and militaries of the Earth.
Shortly after Minister Farrakhan’s announcement, natural disasters increased all over the planet, with many areas experiencing record heat. Just a few months shy of 2024, war broke out between Israel and Hamas, the militant resistance Palestinian group, sparking what many argued is genocide against the Palestinian people.
“Jerusalem is the focus in the scriptures of Armageddon and the prophecies of God, bringing the nation down into the valley of Jehoshaphat and Jerusalem being surrounded with armies,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad continued. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad defined “the War of Armageddon,” as “armies gathered together for the Doom.”
“It is the Great War that will end all wars, and it will break the power of the enemy,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad added.
Divine guidance in a time of war
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, is a divinely guided man who does not speak idle words.
Just as his Saviours’ Day 2023 message set the tone for the year, the Saviours’ Day 2023 “We Are At War” Youth Summit set the mood and spirit for the young people of the Nation of Islam. In his address to the youth, Minister Farrakhan spoke on the meaning of love and young people finding their place in God’s Kingdom. He advised the youth of the Nation to level up their conversations.
“Be kind and loving to each other. And the best way to live is with the word all in your head, governing your speech; governing how you talk, how you walk, how you live!” he said.
“I feel like specifically in the age group that I’m in, me and my peer group have been starting to come into our own, picking up positions and leadership in our Nation.
So it really has been a moving into positions that are awaiting us over the course of this year,” Sister Ilyasah Muhammad, a 21-year-old M.G.T. Vanguard—the warrior unit comprised of young women of the Nation of Islam—from Memphis, Tennessee, said to The Final Call.
“We’re striving to be back in our communities. We’re striving to actually work as a Nation, going to get our people, because the War of Armageddon has begun,” she said. “Saviours’ Day really set the tone for this year as a Nation. The War of Armageddon has begun, and now we’re working on how do we as individuals—what’s our role in that fight? And a big part of that is getting our people, arming them with knowledge.”
Shortly after Saviours’ Day, following tradition, the Minister opened the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan with a message on “The Ummah Reflects” podcast, livestreamed via the Podbean app. He delivered another message during the close of the Islamic month of prayer, fasting and service, where he shared that “the War of Armageddon has begun, and Almighty Allah Who intervened in our affairs in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad has declared holy war.”
Minister Farrakhan spoke on the importance of always keeping on the alert and protecting houses of worship by being watchful of potential harm or danger, even while praying.
The Minister closed Ramadan by feeding 2,000 people with meals prepared by The Foodie’s Spot and Let’s Eat to Live, restaurants owned by Sister Nahlah Carmella Muhammad in Chicago.
Less than a month later, on May 11, Minister Farrakhan turned 90 years old. The Nation of Islam and the Nation’s Shura Executive Council commemorated his birth anniversary with an early morning prayer call.
Minister Farrakhan spent his birth anniversary feeding over 2,000 people once again. He shared moments with family, friends, and supporters at The Salaam Restaurant in Chicago. In the evening, he fed the Nation of Islam, family and friends with spiritual food from the rostrum at Mosque Maryam.
“Just to have the Minister now with us and Allah blessing him to see 90 years on this planet, our joy was expressed and how much we love and appreciate him and the sacrifices that he has made for nearly 70 years of his 90 years of life devoted and dedicated to the uplift of our people and the establishment of freedom, justice and equality,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad said.
As a token of love and appreciation, and on behalf of the entire Nation of Islam, the Shura Executive Council presented the Minister with 90 ounces of gold, representing each year of his life.
In another monumental moment this year, Minister Farrakhan and his wife, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in September. Mother Khadijah Farrakhan turned 88 in November.
In October, the Minister delivered closing remarks at the 9th National Black Leadership Summit via Zoom.
On Oct.16, the anniversary of the historic 1995 Million Man March, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam filed a $4.8 billion lawsuit against the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) for 1st Amendment violations and for defamation.
“For nearly 40 years we have withstood the awful charges that have come against me and those who are in the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and myself,” Minister Farrakhan said in a statement delivered on Oct. 28. “We have borne a lot in these last 40 years in the absence of our great leader and teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
And He, Elijah Muhammad, prepared me to receive the insults, the sneers, being evil spoken of, and my and our reputation being scarred and bruised by the false charges of ‘anti-Semitism’ by the Anti-Defamation League. And with their influence over the media, these false charges have been spread throughout the Earth.”
“That lawsuit, in the words of the Minister, was the biggest thing that we have done since the Million Man March, and it’s the biggest thing that we have done, really, in this period of the Minister’s work, because that lawsuit represents us down on one battlefront, taking the fight to the enemy and taking this into the court of public opinion but in the legal courts, to prove that we are not what we have been falsely charged of,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad said.
“This lawsuit not only represents a lawsuit on behalf of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam but all of those who have been falsely charged. So it’s a big, big lawsuit, and the media has been silent on it, quiet, and they are preparing their response.
But we have faith in Allah,” he added. “That action taken a few weeks ago takes us into the new year. So, we already see and know what we can expect in 2024 with that lawsuit on the battlefront of the War of Armageddon.”
Visit https://noi.org/noivadl/ for the statements, complaint and exhibits regarding the lawsuit.
Another significant happening in 2023 was the U.S. government’s admittance of the existence of a Mothership with smaller probes, a phenomenon the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught about since the early 1930s. The Messenger identified those objects, commonly referred to as UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) or UAPs (Unidentified Ariel Phenomena), as “The Wheel” or “Mother Plane” with 1,500 smaller “wheels” or “baby planes.”
“Christ, Messiah and the Wheel” was one of the major plenary sessions at the Saviours’ Day 2023 convention. Student Minister Ilia Rashad Muhammad, a researcher based in Memphis, described to The Final Call that the session reignited how the Nation of Islam is central to the “so-called UFO phenomena.”
“Saviours’ Day 2023 kind of kickstarted some things both in the Nation and certainly in world affairs. Because around that same time, the Pentagon released another report, a UFO report, that was given to Congress, and everything that they were reporting—and in some cases speculating about—does nothing but bear witness that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was right and exact the entire time,” he said.
The Pentagon reports admit that the planes continue to be sighted near military airspaces, that the planes are shaped like orbs or spheres, and that the planes exhibit superior technology.
“They are bearing witness to the truth that the Nation of Islam has been telling the world for over 90 years now,” Student Min. Ilia Rashad Muhammad noted. He is the author of the book, “UFOs And The Nation Of Islam: The Source, Proof, And Reality Of The Wheels.”
Earlier in the year, Student Min. Ilia Rashad Muhammad released the prelude episode of a documentary film series titled, “Answered.” He released the trailer for episode two, subtitled, “The Coming of God,” in early December. The runtime of the upcoming episode is almost two hours.
“We’ll deal with the Coming of God, and I would implore every believer and critic alike to watch, view and even critique much of what is being presented in this documentary film,” he said.
A year of service
Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad also described the year 2023 as a great year of service to the community. “It was a tremendous year … in terms of our service to our community, the increase in sales of Final Call newspapers over last year, increased effort to reach our people with the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We went out and served our community, the country, feeding the hungry, clothing those who needed clothes,” he said.
In January, the Nation of Islam’s Southern Region helped with recovery efforts in Selma, Alabama, after a tornado devastated the city. A few months later, the F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam, the men of the Nation) of Muhammad Mosques 28 and 28B, in St. Louis, Mo., and East St. Louis, Ill., teamed up to feed the unhoused and other people in need. They prepared and delivered warm meals on a cold day.
The Southern Region M.G.T. and G.C.C. (Muslim Girls’ Training and General Civilization Class) participated in community outreach efforts in parts of Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.
Believers in Pittsburgh participated in a neighborhood clean-up, to help make their community a safe and decent place to live. In Memphis, the M.G.T. of Muhammad Mosque No. 55 put together bags for the homeless. A group also participated in a men’s health awareness walk. In addition, the mosque held a festival for the community, where believers gave away free food.
The Nation of Islam held two national days of service: one on Oct. 7, on the 126th birth anniversary of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and the other on Oct. 16, in commemoration of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement. During those two days, believers from mosques and study groups across the country provided their communities with much-needed items, including toiletry bags for the homeless and hot meals.
And throughout the year, the F.O.I. in cities around the U.S. and abroad continued soldiering with The Final Call newspaper, taking it door-to-door, to local businesses and to community events for distribution.
The Final Call newspaper was also recognized at the Black Press of America, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), during its 2023 annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The Final Call was awarded the Ida B. Wells Award Certificate of Excellence in 2023 in the category of Social and Criminal Justice.
Contributing writer Michael Z. Muhammad wrote the first-place article titled, “Hell on Earth in Alabama.” NNPA is a trade association of more than 200 Black-owned newspapers from around the United States of which The Final Call is a member publication.
In addition to servicing their communities, believers in the Nation of Islam bonded with one another over the year. Several social events took place during Saviours’ Day 2023: a talent showcase, a chess tournament, “The Master” game contest, and a believers’ social. Believers have also been utilizing at least one Tuesday of every month as a family fun day.
Other national events included a national prayer service and flag-raising ceremony on July 4, commemorating the Coming of God in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, and the annual International Training Conference, where the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, again, spoke on love and life.
The Nation of Islam saw the growth of new mosques in 2023, in particular in the Southern Region with Muhammad Mosque No. 100 in Albany, Ga., and Muhammad Mosque No. 101 in Montgomery, Ala.
Condolences swept across the Nation of Islam with the passing of two great helpers of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: his longtime companion and friend, Minister Jabril Muhammad, and Brother Joshua Farrakhan, the second eldest son of the Minister and Mother Khadijah Farrakhan.
Minister Farrakhan officiated Minister Jabril Muhammad’s janazah in Chicago and shared words at the interment ceremony held in Phoenix. Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad officiated Bro. Joshua Farrakhan’s janazah. Both janazah services were held at Mosque Maryam and live-streamed.
Ansar El Muhammad, a contributing photographer to The Final Call, also made his transition in 2023 as did Nation of Islam pioneer and civil rights activist Hollis Watkins Muhammad.
“We’ve lost some very, very, big giants in our Nation. We’ve seen the passing of great ones like Student Minister Jabril, very recently Brother Joshua (Farrakhan) and many others,” Sis. Ilyasah Muhammad said.
“Every time we prepare to move into another year, we should just take a minute and thank Allah for allowing us to be here and taking a minute and thanking those whose shoulders we’ve stepped on to get to this point.”
“As the Qur’an says, no soul dies except by His permission, and we are not to speak of those who die in the way of Allah as dead. They are alive, but you perceive not,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad shared. “Those that we lost from the ranks serve a cause bigger than themselves.
And Allah says in the Qur’an that He does not waste the work of any worker, male or female, and they have their reward with their Lord. So we thank Allah for our fallen soldiers, the sacrifice and the contributions that they made for their Nation in the establishment of the Kingdom of Allah and the establishment of freedom, justice and equality for all.”
The digital battlefield
The year 2023 also marked the 10th anniversary of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 2013 58-week lecture series, “The Time and What Must be Done.” His son, Bro. Joshua Farrakhan, played a pivotal role in the creation of the series.
“I would like to definitely thank Allah God for the life of our dear brother, Brother Joshua Farrakhan,” who encouraged his father to make a weekly broadcast, “because it is the most historic online series that has ever been done,” Bro. Abdul Qiyam Muhammad, social media strategist for Minister Farrakhan, based in Houston, said to The Final Call.
In 2013, believers in the Nation of Islam, young people in particular, joined the #FarrakhanTwitterArmy (the platform now known as X) in droves to tweet the message of the Minister every week.
“Now, 10 years later, for those of us that are still studying that series, which I am one of those students, we can see every single day that Allah is fulfilling His word to His Messiah, that He will not allow his word to come back void. And we’re seeing everything that the Minister forewarned from Allah God and the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad come into play in real-time,” Bro. Qiyam Muhammad added.
In 2023, he saw the continued use of social media in spreading the truth. “The believers and followers under (the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s) leadership have demonstrated and mirrored his conduct and his way on social media throughout the year, and we have been continuously striving to do as he tells us, to never get down in the gutter with anybody but utilize these platforms for the resurrection of the mentally and spiritually dead, spread truth, knowledge, wisdom, understanding,” he said.
“And we have really seen an increase of believers, particularly the young believers, in utilizing social media to fish people into Islam, unlike any other years I’ve seen before.”
Two new publications, volumes 3A and 3B, of the book series, “The Teachings 2.0,” compiled by Bro. Qiyam Muhammad, were released in 2023. “The excitement since the day it was released, the pictures that I have been sent, the reactions and comments regarding my introduction that the Minister blessed me with the honor to write for both volumes, 3A and 3B, and the responses to his divinely inspired questions and answers, it has been an overwhelming joy,” Bro. Qiyam Muhammad expressed.
He encouraged the believers to continue utilizing social media and referenced a quote shared by the Minister by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “No people oppressed can win their freedom being on the defensive. They must go on the offensive and take the fight directly to the enemy.
“There’s so much on the offensive that we can do that we don’t have to wait for the enemy to do something for us to get excited,” Bro. Qiyam Muhammad said. “There’s one person following us on our platform that has never heard these Life-Giving Teachings, and we should not take these moments for granted.”
Preparing for 2024
Ephesians 6:11 was the theme for Saviours’ Day 2023: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.”
Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad noted how the theme perfectly complemented Minister Farrakhan’s keynote address on the War of Armageddon because when going into war, one should be well-armed.
“All believers in Allah, followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the leadership and guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, should be assured, should be confident that our God is God and all we have to do is continue to walk by faith, not by sight and continue to purify our heart and ready ourselves,” Student Min. Ishmael Muhammad said.
As events intensify, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s 2024 Saviours’ Day address in Detroit is greatly anticipated, he added.
“As we said earlier, the Minister’s message, Saviours’ Day message, really starts the year. And so with everything going on and everything that is happening, Allah is feeding the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and giving to him what He wants to be said to the world in Detroit at Saviours’ Day,” he concluded.
Saviours’ Day 2024 will be held February 23-25 and for more information, visit noi.org.