Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad proudly looks on as Barry Muhammad gives honorary pins to the elite team church members.

by Azizah Muhammad and Anisah Muhammad
The Final Call @TheFinalCall

ATLANTA—As America descends into chaos and confusion, there are those who seek to attack religious houses of worship desiring to harm believers in God, by whichever name He is called. During the past few years, Black churches have been vandalized and parishioners have been attacked, and synagogues, and mosques and their members have also been targeted or victimized by violence.

Just a few days into the new year, Imam Hassan Sharif of Masjid Muhammad Newark, succumbed to injuries resulting from gunshots while standing outside the masjid after leading morning prayers.

Activists and concerned community residents point out that it is imperative that houses of worship have a defense system in place.

From left, Bishop Jack L. Bomar and Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad

Recently, the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women of the South embarked on a nine-week security training course with members of Hillside International Truth Center. The training, which began in late 2023, highlighted vital aspects of security, such as: the proper handling of people, the importance of situational awareness, how to take preventative measures, and the significance of having a check procedure in places of worship. 

Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi of the Muslims and the Messiah of the Christians, set up such a system as early as 1930. When He established the Nation of Islam, Master Fard Muhammad implemented a search, or “check procedure” in all Temples of Islam.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad carried on the work of Master Fard Muhammad, as He molded the men and women of the Nation of Islam into a militant, security-minded people. They did not nor do not carry weapons, but they were and are backed by the Power of God, and they train in self-defense and security.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s chief student and helper, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, has since warned those who believe in God to protect their houses of worship. 

During an address delivered on “The Ummah Reflects” podcast at the conclusion of the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan 2023, Minister Farrakhan referenced Surah 4, verse 102, of the Holy Qur’an, which states: “And when thou art among them and leadest the prayer for them, let a party of them stand up with thee, and let them take their arms.

Then when they have performed their prostration, let them go to your rear, and let another party who have not prayed come forward and pray with thee, and let them take their precautions and their arms. Those who disbelieve long that you may neglect your arms and your baggage, that they may attack you with a sudden united attack.”

“So every mosque, every masjid, every church, every synagogue, everywhere where God’s Name is honored must have a group that will protect the elderly and the young with their lives!” Minister Farrakhan said. “You don’t know how to search? Al-Mahdi taught us how to search,” he added.

Hillside International Truth Center church members, Leon Lott, left and Arthur Cole, right, enjoying a security training exercise.

“And even police, when they come, they say, ‘My God, these people sure know how to search.’ We hide things on some of us and then see if we can find it, in our drills. And if you want us to show you how Al-Mahdi showed us how to protect the house of worship, we will be glad to show you.” 

Carrying out the Minister’s instructions to “make our own communities safe and decent places to live,” the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women of the South have been training the Black community and religious people on security in Atlanta.  

“I want to make the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s word bond,” said Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, the Southern Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam and the Interim National Director of the 10,000 Fearless. “The Minister said we will train the masjid, we will train the churches, and we would train the synagogues to help their house of worship,” he continued.

“We are doing what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan told us to do.”  

Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad collaborated with Bishop Dr. Jack L. Bomar of Hillside International Truth Center, founded by the late Dr. Barbara Lewis King, a trailblazer and well-respected minister. Student Minister Sharrieff explained that he and Bishop Bomar met and started talking.

“I told bishop that we would be glad to come to his church and train his congregation.”

When Bishop Bomar heard that it was Minister Farrakhan who offered to share the security training of the Nation of Islam to different houses of worship, he gladly accepted the offer. “We started the training, and it has been a beautiful relationship on both sides,” Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad told The Final Call. 

“We had other security members here (at the church) and they carried weapons,” Bishop Bomar stated. “I always felt some kind of way about that and just didn’t know there was another way,” he added. “We have been introduced to how the mosque handles safety and security.”  

Members of Hillside International Truth Center were very receptive to the security training and continue to implement what they have learned. Greer Powell, 64, is one of the head ushers of the church. The training has made her more intentional in her role as both an usher and a committed member of the congregation.

Deacon Detric Jenkins proudly holds his 10,000 Fearless Security Training Certificate.

“There was a lot of information that I didn’t know, but it was given to us in a very organized fashion that was easy to understand,” Ms. Powell stated.  “As an usher, I’ve always kind of paved the area to see if people need anything, and see how I can assist,” she continued. 

Ms. Powell sees herself as a planner, but the security training made her more aware of how to turn plans into intentional actions. “The training allowed me to be more focused and intentional about things I can do for prevention in my role as an usher,” she told The Final Call.

Being an usher allows Ms. Powell to interact with people on a more personal level, and she appreciates how the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women handle people of different backgrounds, personalities, and religions.

“I love how you all talked about how we should handle people,” she said. “Your approach helps them to receive any kind of encounter or any question. I love that because I feel so strongly about that.”

“I’m 10,000 Fearless,” Ms. Powell stated. “I’m very thankful to God that we have this relationship with the Nation (of Islam). We appreciate Brother Sharrieff for coming, and we appreciate you all’s presence.” 

Ashlei Brown, 37, a preschool educator, agreed with Ms. Powell’s sentiment. “What stood out the most to me of all the training is simply above all things: treating people with respect and making them feel safe and welcome,” she stated.

“We were trained and taught to be more observant,” said 72-year-old church member, Thelma Glenn. “The instructors that were doing the training were very friendly and very knowledgeable.” 

“It gave me information that was helpful,” Arthur Cole, a long-time member of Hillside International Truth Center, said of the security training. He attended the church for several years and recounts fond memories of the late Dr. Barbara King, whom he referred to as a second mother. “One of the things that impressed me the most was that at the very beginning of the training, we did not focus on being suspicious or on-guard; the emphasis was on the proper handling of people,” he stated.

“I thought that was such an enlightening way to emphasize in training for people who want to keep our church sanctuary safe and secure.” Mr. Cole shared he has great respect for the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as taught and exemplified by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

“I’m glad that I got some exposure to the Nation of Islam and the way that they approach security,” he told The Final Call. “There’s so many other things that I already admired about the Nation, so I was happy to be a part of the training.” 

Bishop Jack L. Bomar takes notes as Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, the Nation of Islam Southern Region Representative and former Supreme Captain shares words on the importance of security during recent training in Atlanta.

Eric Majette Jr., 41, an elite member of Hillside International Truth Center, believes that every house of worship should participate in security training. “When it comes to preparing ourselves for protecting our homes and our communities, I think it’s a vital training that everybody should take advantage of with 10,000 Fearless, or their local mosque,” he stated. “I think everybody should seize the opportunity to learn vital things that we take for granted.” 

Mr. Majette was present at 10.10.15, Justice or Else, the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March and he vividly remembers when Minister Farrakhan called for 10,000 Fearless Men and Women to make their communities safe and decent places to live. “I was there when he (Minister Farrakhan) made the mandates,” he said. “Now, I’ve actually participated, not knowing that it would be this way.” 

The congregation showed great appreciation and love for the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women of the South. “Any organization looking to keep their community secure while treating all members with dignity should consider working alongside the 10,000 Fearless,” said elite church member Tempest Charles. She believes that it is especially poignant during this time of discord between religious groups to learn to fellowship with brothers and sisters from all spiritual walks of life.

Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad and Bishop Jack Bomar share words of encouragement to the security training graduates.

“While security training was the tangible benefit, it was the focus on faith and mindfulness (awareness) that spoke to me the most,” Ms. Charles stated. “I walked away with new tools for keeping myself and others safe, and most importantly, how to do so while keeping an atmosphere of joy, respect, and faith present. I look forward to continuing to support the 10,000 Fearless vision while lifting up my own community using the tools they’ve shared.” 

Chris Dearing, a fellow elite church member, was not aware of the many different aspects of security. “I’ve been in different types of security, but I never knew there were that many aspects of security,” he stated. “Not to be funny, but I didn’t know 80 percent of the things that we learned at the training.” Mr. Dearing now understands that training is an everlasting endeavor. “Like Brother Sharrieff said, ‘This training is forever.’ ” 

Over 20 members of the congregation at Hillside International Truth Center graduated from the nine-week security training course, where they received a certificate of completion.

“And now they’re doing their own security at their church with our supervision,” Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad stated.

“We will look at what we heard and see how what we heard will be instituted here (at Hillside),” Bishop Bomar said. 

Barry Muhammad, director of the 10,000 Fearless Men and Women, is pleased to see the progress of the church members as he supervises them with security. “I introduced them to the General Orders to help cultivate prevention into their lives,” Barry Muhammad stated. “The key thing is for us to go out and teach others what we know,” he added.

“What you are doing is setting the stage of history,” Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad said to the graduates. “This is not going to just stay at Hillside; it’s not going to just spread across Atlanta; what’s taking place here is going to spread around the world,” he added. “If there are any other houses of worship that want us to train you, just let us know. Remember: ‘No weapon formed against the righteous shall prosper.’”