CHICAGO—With high energy, laughs and strong embraces, Believers, family, supporters and friends gathered on March 7 to salute and honor a great warrior and soldier in the Cause of Allah, Brother Bennie Joseph “Moe” Mahdi Muhammad, a revered and loved brother known for his dedication to the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam.

A pioneer in the Nation of Islam, having joined in 1966 at the age of 20, his commitment to the Nation of Islam was unwavering. A powerful quote from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was included in the obituary: “The bloodline of (the Mahdi Muhammad) family has been the strength of our Nation from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to this moment of time.”

Benny Moe Muhammad

Under the leadership of Minister Farrakhan, Bro. Bennie, known affectionately as “Uncle Bennie” and “Bennie Moe,” served in various roles, including chief of security, lieutenant and Final Call newspaper distributor.

Bro. Bennie was present in the early stages of Minister Farrakhan’s rebuilding efforts. “When the Minister first started to rebuild the Nation of Islam, it was built on the faith of one man, but as we started building, we were surrounded by enemies in and out of the Mosque. And the steadfastness and the rock that brother Theron (Bennie’s older brother) brought to the Nation of Islam,”


Said Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan to the packed room of estimated 250 attendees—many women in white garments and men in blue F.O.I. uniforms. “His presence alone, along with his younger brother, Bennie Mahdi, kept enemies up off the Minister. Period! They were willing to do anything and suffer the consequences of any action if anything came against the Minister.”

Over the years, Bro. Bennie’s dedication extended to safeguarding the Nation of Islam’s National Center campus at 7351 S. Stony Island Ave., which includes the Muhammad University of Islam’s students and staff. He also took great pride in securing the Farrakhan family.

“Brother Bennie was loved by the entire Farrakhan family,” said Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan. “My mother was comforted to know that Bro. Bennie was on post watching to make sure that everything was alright,” he said, referring to the early rebuilding years.

His unwavering faith in Allah and dedication to his community left a lasting mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. Emphasizing that point, Supreme Captain Mustapha announced that the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan told him before the janazah (Muslim funeral service) that Bro. Bennie will be the first recipient of the Nation of Islam’s Posthumous Award.

Omitted from the janazah, held at Leak and Son’s Funeral Home in Chicago, were the flowers, songs and remarks from attendees usually involved at a traditional funeral. “The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan teaches us that we should give flowers while we still live,” said Student Minister Jeffrey Muhammad. During the janazah, words of comfort, prayers and the obituary were read.

Bennie Washington was born on August 27, 1946, to Bennie and Margaret Lewis Washington, and he transitioned to Allah at home with family members on March 3, 2024, in Chicago, Ill.

Brother Bennie, the fifth child among seven siblings, was remembered as a man of immense generosity and compassion. From an early age, he demonstrated a strong sense of duty towards his family, earning him the nickname “the provider.” Throughout his life, he selflessly supported his relatives, offering financial assistance, groceries, and clothing without hesitation.

Despite his early involvement in gang activities as a teen, Brother Bennie’s life took a transformative turn after embracing the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad while in prison. “Every time he prayed on his knees in his cell, the Muslim followers of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad would kick his cell door and say, ‘Brother, get off your knees and stop praying to that mystery God. You not getting nothing being on your knees but sore knees,’” reads his obituary.

His brother Theron had joined the Nation years earlier. Between the brothers in prison, whom he began studying with, and inspired by his brother Theron’s dedication to Islam, Brother Bennie found solace and purpose in Islam.

In addition to his contributions within the Nation of Islam, Brother Bennie was a pillar of strength and influence all over Chicago, earning him the moniker “Blackman of Chicago.” His impact transcended religious boundaries, touching the lives of entrepreneurs, politicians, pastors, and community leaders alike. Brother Bennie’s legacy is further exemplified by his loving family, including his children and grandchildren, who continue to cherish his memory.

“We are truly blessed to have a father who brought his entire family into the Nation of Islam. As Muslims, followers of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, through His Messiah, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we have a duty to serve our Nation to the highest degree. We thank Allah for allowing us the time to experience our dearest Brother, one of Allah’s Angels, in his Truth and in his Love,” said his daughter Sis. Margaret.

“He was an FOI, a soldier in the ranks of Islam. A fierce helper to his teacher, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, in the rebuilding efforts of the Nation of Islam. A warrior and a man of heart; Brother Bennie’s legacy is one of greatness, nobility, strength and honor.”

“There are soldiers and then there is Bennie Moe. You didn’t have to question from your lips or in your mind whether this man loved the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan; he loved the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, loved his nation, loved the brotherhood. Brave soldier willing to give his life at any time for Allah’s sake and righteousness,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant to Min. Farrakhan.

“Bro. Bennie was somewhat at times embarrassed because he could not read proficiently … but what he did have, he could read people’s thoughts. He could read a man or woman’s sincerity and he hated people being fake around the Minister,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, adding that it was Bro. Bennie who years ago recommended several young men to serve as his security detail, some of whom are still with his security team today.

Brother Bennie leaves behind a loving and devoted family, including a first-born daughter, Christine Reed, and five children with his former wife Avis: Margaret Lewis Mahdi, Bennie Joseph Mahdi (Lyda), Elijah Muhammad (Chantel), Fard Muhammad and Wali Fard Muhammad (Swiyyah).

His legacy also extends to his eight beautiful grandchildren, JuyKwon, Juykyla, Kaylee, Fard, Fajr, Sabirah, Naasira and Elijah. He leaves behind his sister Beadie Darnell Lloyd, brothers Herbert and Mark Washington, and a host of loving nieces and nephews.