By Bashir Muhammad Akinyele
As Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmantuallahi wa Barakaatahu!!!
Dear Muslim brothers and sisters, particularly my Black Muslim brothers and sisters and my Black people:
I am clear why the Honorable Minister Lous Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are being labeled dangerous to the world by Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. They represent real Al-Islam, real progressive change in oppressed communities, and real Black Liberation!!!
Last Friday, during my lunch break, I proceeded to fulfill my duty to Allah (SWT) by going to Masjid Ibrahim for Salaatul Jum’uah (Arabic for Congregational prayer) in Newark, NJ. As usual, resident Imam Mustafa El Amin gave a powerful Khutbah (Arabic for Sermon). After the Salaat (Arabic for prayer), Imam El Amin announced to all Muslims that there was going be a Janazah ( an Arabic for Islamic Funeral ) for a Muslim brother. Now, this Muslim Brother was killed a few days ago on Maple and Chancellor Ave in Newark, NJ. Anyway, we performed the obligatory Janazah service for our Muslim brother. As I looked around the Masjid, there had to be over 500 Muslims at the Masjid. Even a young Brother took his shahaadah ( declared that there is no God worthy of worship, but Allah. And Muhammad Ibn Abdullah is the Messenger of Allah). On one end, I was happy to see so many Muslims. But on the other hand, I became upset. I knew that many of these Muslims were trapped under the oppression and behaviors of the dunya’s (an Arabic word for this world’s life) world (i.e wife beaters, deadbeat dads, womanizers, gang members, drug dealers, drug addicts, alcoholics, thugs, felons, ex-felons, weed heads, cigarette smokers, poor people, miseducated people, people suffering from mental issues, dysfunctional fathers, dysfunctional mothers, dysfunctional men, dysfunctional women, misguided youth, misguided spirits, loose woman, etc). Then, I could not help but to get angry about the consistency of these conditions plaguing Muslims particularly Black Muslins, at every Masaajid ( Arabic word for Mosques ) I visit around Black communities in the inner cities. I said to some of the brothers and sisters there that Alhamdulillah rabbil al’aameen ( Praise be to Allah, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds) many of these brothers and sisters came to Al-Islam. The Holy Qu’ran says to us that if we keep our duties to Allah (SWT), we will have our reward in the next life. But at the same time, the Holy Qu’ran teaches us that if we keep our duties to Allah (SWT), we will have our rewards in this life. However, because we Muslims, particularly Black Muslims, have not found a way to apply the Holy Qu’ran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah (s.’a.s) to make Al-Islam relevant to our lives and to create liberation programs for Muslims, specifically for Black Muslims, the Blackman, the Blackwoman, and Black youth; Black Muslins, and Black people, are continuously being engulfed in oppressive conditions on earth preventing us from having our reward with Allah (SWT) in this life. This is why many our Black Muslim brothers and sisters, and Black people, will continue to be oppressed in the streets. Many of us will continue to have one foot in the wilderness of North America of the dunya ( an Arabic word for this world’s life) and one foot in Al-Islam. And many times, the Black Muslim will get totally lost in the dunya and forget about Al-Islam. I then said to my brothers and sister there at the Masjid, I know why Allah (SWT) has called me to stand again with Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. They, the Honorable Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, represent Al-Islam walking and living.
According to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, a man came to the Western Hemisphere to save a people lost in the world due to slavery. He said, with the permission of Allah (SWT), Master Fard Muhammad, the founder of the Nation of Islam, came from Makkah, Saudia Arabia to North America to liberate oppressed Black people and people of color in 1930 with Islam. He said he stayed until Allah (SWT) blessed him with his greatest student. The Honorable Louis Farrakhan said that the brother’s name was the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He said that Master Fard Muhammad taught the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad many things, such as European history, American history, Native American history, racism, White supremacy, Black self hatred, oppression, agriculture, health, food science, women’s history, Black history, fatherhood, motherhood, politics, economics, Military Sciences, politics, government, and theology. But the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that he required the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to read and study 104 books on Al-Islam.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said that when Master Fard Muhammad left North America in 1933, the Honorable Most Elijah Muhammad was made the leader of the Nation of Islam. In turn, he taught his Ministers the lessons Master Fard Muhammad taught him in the early days of the Nation of Islam. But the most important lesson the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught his Ministers was that Master Fard Muhammad made him read and study 104 books of Al-Islam, but he said that the best book was the Holy Qu’ran.
According to the history of the Nation of Islam, one of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s greatest Ministers studied these lessons intensely in the 1950s and the 1960s. His name is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Al-Islam inspired the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam to fight for the unity and the empowerment of Muslims, Black Muslims, oppressed people, and oppressed Black people. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went to work liberating Black Muslims and Black People from the oppression of the dunya by cleaning us up from drugs, drug dealing, gangs life, thug life, alcoholism, dysfunctional families, miseducation, Black self-hatred, broken marriages, broken manhoods, broken womanhoods, broken homes, and promiscuous sex.
I came to Al-Islam through the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He and the Nation of Islam inspired me, and many other Black people, to become community activists, educators, and devout Muslims. I, in turn, for 30 years of life, I am 50 years old now, I have been organizing oppressed Black people to come to Al-Islam and to fight for Black liberation. This all came about actually following the example of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
However, after all these years, It pains my heart to see Black Muslims brothers and sisters soooo divided and steeped in fitna ( an Arabic word for temptation, trial, sedition, civil strife, affliction, or distress). This is why our Muslim brothers and sisters from other cultures are flourishing in America except for Black Muslims. Many of us Black Muslims are too divided to unite to establish real Al-Islam for Black Liberation in Black Muslim life and for oppressed Black communities.
According to the history of Al- Islam in America, when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was physically here in America, Black Muslims were progressing much more than now. Black Muslims had businesses, supermarkets, stores, discipline, respect for Islam, love for their Black selves, and programs geared towards empowering Black Muslims and Black people. In 2019, we Black Muslims have a tendency to be disrespectful to our duties to Allah (SWT) in Al-Islam. But what is equally troubling is the racist attitudes and behaviors by non-Black Muslims brothers and sisters in our Ummah towards us Black Muslims in America. This is happening so consistently that Black Muslims are now holding forums, conferences, and town hall meetings trying to desperately remind the Muslim world that racism must never be tolerated or practice in the Muslim Ummah.
But on top of that, we have very few Black Muslims organizations, businesses, and schools.
This is why the Honorable Louis Farrakhan decided in 1978 to leave Imam Warith Deen Mohammed association of Muslims in the Ummah to reestablished the Nation of Islam organization. He reintroduces the Nation of Islam to a new generation of Black people in the 1980’s and 1990’s left behind by the Civil Rights and Black Power movements.
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was the seventh son of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. While under his father’s leadership, his name was Wallence Muhammad. When his father departed in 1975, the Muhammad family made Imam Warith Deen Mohammed the leader of the Nation of Islam. In three years, he then moved the members of the Nation of Islam to Sunni Al-Islam. He would later change his name to Warth Deen Mohammed. While leading his Sunni Islamic association of Muslims, he was made Imam.
While the Nation of Islam struggles to find its place in Deen Al-Islam, they have not forgotten about helping to uplift Black Muslims and the African American community.
On their pathway to the Muslim Ummah (Community), the Nation of Islam boldly believes that Black people, and people of color, must first have Al-Islam and then Black empowerment programs that center on Black Liberation. This is what makes the Nation of Islam uniquely different from many other Islamic groups within the Muslim Ummah. The Nation of Islam has made the agenda of Black Muslims and Black people a priority. They believe it is absolutely imperative that Black Muslims and Black people must be freed from the shackles of racism and Black self-hatred.
As many of us Black Conscious folk already know, anything that is pro-Black, and strong, the racist power structure will try to discredit it entirely. This has already happened and is still happening, to the Nation of Islam from 1975 to the present day. Alhamdulillah (All Praises Are Due to Allah) that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has re-established Nation of Islam’s Mosques in every major city in America for our people to hear the pro-Black teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad since his departure in 1975. Alhamdulillah, that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reestablished the Fruit of Islam (F.O.I.) The manhood training program for males. Alhamdulillah, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reestablished the Muslims Girls Training – General Civilization Class (MGT-GCC). The women-hood training program for females. Alhamdulillah, that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan reestablished the eat to live dietary program of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to teach people healthy eating practices.
However, looking at the current poor conditions Black Muslins and Black people are in today, we are not free and independent from the White power structure or anyone’s power structure.
We are very dependent on White people for our basic necessities, for our 5O1CEs, for our schools, for hospitals, for our mental health clinics, for our elected officials, for media, for music, for our Rap music, for philosophy, for economics, for ideologies, for our leaders, for theologians, for our technology, and our political affairs.
Then, on top of all that, we still are battling Black self-hatred that stems from American and European slavery. In my humble opinion, I believe that the pro-Black teachings of Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad are needed now than ever before amongst Black Muslims and in the Black community.
Despite our people experiencing gains in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950s and ’60s, and Black Pride during the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and early ’70s, Black Muslims and the Black community have fallen back to sleep. In the 1980s and early 1990s, conditions in the Black community worsened. Unemployment rates in the Black community were at depression levels. There was a huge increase of the incarceration rates of Black men. Police violence was on the rise. High school drop out rates increased for Black youth. Black families headed only by Black women increased substantially. The crack epidemic began destroying Black neighborhoods, Black men, Black women, Black families, Black youth, and Black people. All of these horrible conditions in the Black community created abnormal levels of violence in the Black community from New Jersey to California. In response to these conditions going on unchecked in the Black community, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan called for a Million Black men to come to Washington, DC on October 16, 1995, to fight for themselves, their Black women, their Black children, their Black families, their Black neighborhoods, and their Black community. He called it the Million Man March. Because of the respect and the love Black people had for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, over two million Black men showed up at the National Mall. At that time, the Million Man March became the largest African American demonstration in United States history. However, three years prior to organizing the Million Man March, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went on a speaking tour in every major city in America called the Stop the Killing Tour. He spoke to tens of thousands of Black people, particularly Black men, on a monthly basis. It was out of this tour came the Million Man March. Since the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was successful at convening the Million Man March, he inspired other community leaders and groups to convene massive marches in the Black Community. The Million Women’s March took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1997. In Harlem, NY and in Atlanta, Georgia, Million Youth Marches took place in these Black communities in 1998. Hundreds of thousands of Black people showed up at these major events in America. All of it inspired by the work and leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
He did not just keep our struggle for Black liberation to the confines of America. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan took our struggle for Black liberation to Africa, Asia, Europe, the Arab world, the Middle East, and the international Muslim Ummah. He called it the World Friendship Tour in 1996. Telling the world what injustices White supremacy and racism did to oppressed Black people in America.
Hopefully, with the new efforts of exposing our next generation of Black Muslims and Black people, particularly, Black youth, to a serious Black consciousness spirit coming through a Black Liberation teachings, such as the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, I pray it will wake up and inspire our people all over again and produce a new wave of strong principled Black Muslims and Black leaders in the new millennium.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is not anti-Semitic, anti-White, or anti-anybody. He is a pro-Black Muslim leader working hard to liberate oppressed people (i.e. Muslims, Black Muslims, Black people, Latino people of color, poor people, etc) from the contradictions of White supremacy, racism, Imperialism, poverty, and Black self-hatred.
Al-Islam teaches us Muslims that only Allah (SWT) is the only eternal, the most perfect, and the most divine force in all the worlds. There is no human being (i.e. Sheikh, Imam, scholar, Minister, elected official, Rabbi, Preacher, teacher, Whiteman, Blackman, Latino, President, a person of color, etc) on earth comparable to Allah (SWT). The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is not divine nor a perfect human being. He will live and he will die like Allah (SWT) says we all will do in this world. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan makes mistakes like many human beings do in this world. Some of the things he says and does, I do not agree with at all. Some of his tafsir (an Arabic for interpretation) of Al-Islam, I do not agree with at all. However, as a Muslim and as a Black leader, I respect his 60+ years of service to Al-Islam, the Muslim Ummah, Muslins, the Nation of Islam, Black Muslims, oppressed people, Black people, and Black liberation. Most importantly, I respect the fact that he and the Nation of Islam are standing on the five pillars of Al-Islam, especially La ilaha illa-llah, Muhammadur-rasulu-llah (Arabic for there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
In closing, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam represent some of the last independent Black Muslim organizations left in the world. America consistently, and intentionally works to make sure that the world forgets that Black People have experienced a long history of injustices. The power structure created our oppression through racism, sexism, police violence, unjust incarceration, White Supremacy, hundreds of years of slavery, state-sanctioned legal discrimination, and racist violent terrorism, Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) that the Honorable Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam are still left in the world standing for us and justice.
Your brother in struggle and in Al-Islam,
Bashir Muhammad Akinyele
-Community Activist in Newark, NJ
-Co-Founder of the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC)
-Co-Host and Co-Producer of the All Politics Are Local Radio Show, the number #1 political Hip Hop Radio Show in America
Jazak Allahu khair ( May Allah reward you with goodness)