by Yaminah Muhammad

DETROIT—A righteous spirit of force and power echoed through the Huntington Place hall as the Nation of Islam (N.O.I.) drill teams hit the stage to compete in the 2024 Saviours’ Day Drill Competition.

As one of the most highly anticipated events of the Saviours’ Day weekend, the drill competition attracts hundreds of Believers and guests each year.

“Every year I try to see the drill competition and it’s always nice and they always look so good,” guest D’Andre Dawson said.


This year’s competition was comprised of 20 teams from across the Nation in five categories: Jr. F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam), Jr. M.G.T (Muslim Girls’ Training), M.G.T., M.G.T. Vanguard and F.O.I.

The Jr. F.O.I. category consisted of three teams: Houston’s Mosque No. 45, Chicago’s Mosque No. 2 and Atlanta’s Mosque No. 15. The Jr. M.G.T category also featured three teams: Washington, D.C.’s Mosque No. 4., Chicago’s Mosque No. 2 and Atlanta’s Mosque No. 15.

“At my first Saviours’ Day, I wasn’t registered [in the Nation of Islam] but when I saw the juniors in the drill competition I remember looking over at my husband and being like, ‘Oh my God, when we have children, I want them to do this.’ It was one of the things that got me to join the Nation of Islam,” Mosque No. 98 Student Protocol Director Mariah X told The Final Call.

Representing the women of Allah (God), M.G.T. teams from Houston, Chicago and Atlanta marched on stage modeling beautifully crafted garments with drilling skills to match. To keep their momentum steadfast, the M.G.T. Vanguard had five teams competing: Newark, New Jersey’s Mosque No. 25, Miami’s Mosque No. 29, Atlanta, Chicago and Houston.

Six teams battled for the F.O.I first place trophy: Newark, Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Miami and the returning 2023 first place champions from Mosque No. 27 in Los Angeles. 

Sitting in the seats to judge the drill teams’ ability to properly execute their routines and presentation were: Nation of Islam Student Assistant Supreme Captain Abdul Azziz Muhammad, Western Regional Student F.O.I. Captain Halim Muhammad, Mid-Atlantic Regional Student Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad, championship driller from New York City, Brother Leonard Muhammad, Eastern Regional Student F.O.I. Captain Majied Muhammad, Student M.G.T. Captain Leslie Muhammad, and three-time championship drill instructor (D.I.) for the Chicago M.G.T. Vanguard, Sister Tadara Muhammad.

After the judges finalized their decisions, Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan announced the competition’s winners. Atlanta was crowned as the 2024 Saviours’ Day Drill Competition’s first-place winner in four out of the five categories. This marked the city’s first win in over 20 years.

“It feels amazing that not just one but all three teams that I coached have won first place. It’s such a blessing,” Student Vanguard Lieutenant and creative coach of Atlanta’s Jr. MGT, M.G.T. and M.G.T. Vanguard drill teams, Joy Muhammad told The Final Call.

“We worked so hard for this. Day and night, long days, pressure was out of this world, but Allah blessed us. And I thank Sister [Southern Regional M.G.T.] Captain Nusaybah for everything that she has sacrificed to get us to this position,” she continued.

The only exception to Atlanta’s first place wins was in the F.O.I. category—taken home by the returning second place 2023 winners, Newark, New Jersey’s Mosque No. 25

“I just thank Allah much that we were able to reap the benefits of everything that we invested over the last year. I’m really grateful to Allah to be a part of such a wonderful team of brothers who are committed to displaying our military excellence and being rewarded,” Newark’s F.O.I. Drill Instructor and student secretary told The Final Call.

Newark’s F.O.I. have not won first place since the 1990s—making this win the end of an over 20-year drought for them as well.

The competition was emceed by the husband and wife team of Brother Marquise and Neelam Muhammad from Mosque No. 27 in Los Angeles. To give the audience an additional element of righteous entertainment, the competition also featured live musical performances and martial arts demonstrations.