A beautiful demonstration of service and brotherhood by the F.O.I. was once again on display in the streets of New York.

NEW YORK—A beautiful demonstration of service and brotherhood by the F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam, the men of the Nation of Islam), was once again on display in the streets of New York. The men converged on the busy streets, parks, housing projects, and avenues of Harlem in New York City in a strong show of unity, respect and love for community residents.

It was also a day in which the brothers shared what and who made them the men they are striving to become based on the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad under the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

The F.O.I. traveled from various states in the Eastern and Mid-Atlantic Region including Maryland and North Carolina to be with their counterparts in New York for a day of soldiering and service on May 25.

Activities and services the F.O.I. provided people that day included free C.P.R training, haircuts, free meals, boxing lessons, physical training, self-defense, military drilling, and basketball fun with the young and the not-so-young! 

The Fruit of Islam helped distribute foods and services to the community.

The trek through Harlem started in East Harlem on Lexington and East 112 Street, going door-to-door on every floor in the James Weldon Johnson housing projects sharing information in The Final Call newspaper with periodic engagement with residents in the parks within the spacious complex.

The brothers showed great respect to the families that gathered outdoors and engaged in dialogue with them, making other groups of Black men from the complex stop what they were doing to talk to the brothers. 

The journey continued with a brief stop on West 116 Street where the historic Muhammad’s Temple No. 7 was established from 1956 to 1976. As the men ventured through Central Harlem, vendors, passersby, and friendly drivers acknowledged the F.O.I. with ecstatic “salaams” or “peace.” The people were happy to see the brothers marching through the streets.

 “I am happy that the brothers came through the community and demonstrated strength, unity and  showed every Black man what it is to be a man,” Harlem native Winston Darnell, 49, told The Final Call. Brother Winston attended the Sunday mosque meeting as a first-time guest the next day. 

Physical and military training was offered to the young and not-so-young on this day of service.

One of the young men that the F.O.I. dialogued with at the Weldon Johnson complex named Tonny Frazier also came to the mosque on Sunday because of “the positive energy and a good experience speaking and being with the brothers yesterday.”

“I decided to come out today,” stated the 26-year-old.

“What I noticed was the companionship of the brothers and every brother had a strong look of life in their faces. I felt the original Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is coming back through the strength of Minister Farrakhan and these brothers. I had an amazing time walking with these brothers from the beginning in East Harlem to this park,” said Douglas Reid, 35.

For the F.O.I. the day of soldiering and community engagement also had an impact.

Activities and services the F.O.I. provided people that day included free C.P.R training.

“It was an honor to soldier in the same streets, to walk the same streets as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan walked as well.

I’m so grateful and honored for the privilege just to come up and share fellowship with brothers from all across the Nation, brothers from New York, brothers from New Jersey, brothers from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore,” said Brother Isaiah Muhammad of Mosque No. 6 in Baltimore.

“It is just an honor to strive to go amongst our people and strive to share the life-giving, life-saving Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, but not just the words, but by these examples.

Activities and services the F.O.I. provided people that day included free C.P.R training.

All because the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave us instructions and that directive was to make our communities a safe and decent place to live.

The only way we can make our community a safe and decent place to live is to go out to our communities, put boots on the ground and strive to teach, train and to save our people,” Brother Isaiah added.

Five months ago, Brother Gary 4X became a registered member of the Nation of Islam. “This was so impactful for me personally, seeing and feeling this unity amongst each other. We moved around with the right thoughts and right actions. This changed my life to be around our people in our neighborhood,” he said. 

“Some [people] looked hopeless when I saw them. But when they saw us, I saw hope and life in their faces when we came around. It’s a beautiful feeling and I want others to feel what I’m feeling,” added Brother Gary 4X. “It felt like a family gathering and I saw that this is what a true community looks like.”

Participants enjoyed free haircuts provided by the Fruit of Islam.

“The Minister says that self-improvement is the basis for community development. So yesterday we took a community-based approach on how we went to our people in Harlem with the men who are ‘saviours,’” stated Student F.O.I. First Officer Robert Muhammad of Mosque No. 7.

He also spoke about bringing out weights, exercise ropes, boxing gloves and other equipment for residents. It showed the community another side of the brotherhood, Brother Robert explained.

“Sometimes we have to meet our people where they’re at and focus on what they like to do, like playing basketball, working out on the pull-up bars, and exercising in the park.

We have to bridge those gaps with righteous skill sets. We are soldiers, scholars, and ‘saviours’ to our people. And on this tour, we brought the spiritual word, and the physical proof in our persons as living proof that we are being saved by these Teachings.”

—Daleel Jabir Muhammad