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We are one family and it’s our time to lead

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Assistant Editor- | Last updated: Jun 25, 2014 - 11:53:01 PM

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Photos: Errol Muhammad

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Muslims and guests enjoy entertainment at fundraising dinner for Masjidullah, Inc., in Philadelphia, a $1 million multi-purpose complex. Photo: V. Mushiyrah Fuller Mushiyrah Fuller Photography

A weekend of reconciliation, settling differences and offering an example of the way to peace

PHILADELPHIA (FinalCall.com)- It was with great pride that the board of trustees of Masjidullah, Inc. announced a year ago that a property was purchased to build a $1 million multi-purpose complex that could service the needs of all the residents of Philadelphia.

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Masjidullah, a $1 million multi-purpose complex in Philadelphia, includes a worship center, administrative offices, a school, an auditorium and other facilities. The former synagogue is 30,000 square feet.
Pooling the resources of the Muslim community, ordinary supporters, and business owners made the acquisition of the property possible and now, a space exists to operate a masjid or Islamic place of worship, office space for administrative needs, and a school to educate children.

Both a morning leadership meeting and pre-Ramadan fundraising banquet were held June 21 at the Hilton in Philadelphia. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered remarks at both events and was welcomed with warm hugs and smiles all weekend.

“Regardless of differences, the wisdom of God is rising out of a people and Allah is preparing us for a role that we heard he had prepared us for, or was preparing us for,” Min. Farrakhan told religious leaders. “You are not any longer to be the followers of others to God. You are like Bilal, to call the human family back to the true worship of the one true God and therefore our sojourn in America was necessary. Our servitude slavery was necessary.”

The oppressors were “agents of God” to prepare Black people for the glorious future that Allah had planned, he said. There is an opportunity to be an exemplary community of not simply what Islam looks like, but what Islam actually is, but it requires courage, and rejection of evil, said the Nation of Islam minister.

Minister Farrakhan has always advocated that those who want to improve conditions inside of their communities should come out of the houses of worship (mosques, churches and synagogues) to serve the needs of those in dire need. This call was a consistent theme throughout the weekend.

Mikal Shabazz, Masjidullah’s resident imam, said meeting needs is definitely the plan and he believes the newly-opened property will allow the Muslim community to be better servants to those in need. Slavery and racism in America have been in preparation for this mission, since Black people know suffering and know how it feels to be rejected and neglected.

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While listening to Minister Farrakhan’s words at the leadership meeting early June 21, then again later that evening at the banquet, Imam Shabazz was at times overcome with emotion.

“It was confirmation from Allah of how what the Minister said and what we have been doing and thinking and saying ourselves are one and the same thing. That Allah has prepared us for this mission that we’ve been commissioned for,” said Imam Shabazz.

During a traumatic period within the Nation of Islam following the departure of its patriarch, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his son Wallace, later known as Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, instituted many changes, and there were ideological splits in the Nation of Islam.

Minister Farrakhan is the primary exponent of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  Rebuilding his spiritual father’s work, he has always extended a hand of cooperation to the followers of Imam W.D. Mohammed. The Minister has also often spoken of the closeness of the two men. He called Imam Mohammed a “spiritual giant” who taught him salat, or Muslim prayers, and who was always sensitive to perceived mistreatment of the members of the Nation of Islam. The Minister said though he disagreed with Imam Mohammed’s direction, the relationship between the two Muslim groups remained peaceful.

“We who came apart for whatever reason, in due season, would find our way back to each other, because we are Muslims. And even though we had serious disagreements, it never caused us to shed the precious blood of another Muslim. The whole world of Islam can learn from our example,” said Min. Farrakhan.

The Minister used the example of Muslims across the globe, both holding AK-47s, shooting at each other, both shouting, “Allah-U-Akbar!” This clearly is not the way to peace, is not the way Muslims should act towards one another, he said.

“Are we really the servants of Allah or have we been devoured by a clever shaitan?” the Minister asked.

The enemy wants to downplay the Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s contribution to the spread of Islam in North America and it is up to those who are the followers now to work and build, he continued. Don’t ever condemn the road that you walked over to get where you are today because if it were not for that time, there wouldn’t be this time, the Minister noted. The Hon. Elijah Muhammad’s “work was necessary then and his work is necessary now,” he said. “The world wants to lift the students and hide the teacher of us all! That’s the work of the enemy—hiding the source of our inspiration.”

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Boxing champion Bernard Hopkins, Jr., left, is greeted by Mustapha Farrakhan.
Throughout the weekend, many remarked that Min. Farrakhan’s appearance and participation in the events associated with the grand opening of Masjidullah, Inc., were a source of inspiration and healing.

“If you look at the rest of the Muslim world, they’re falling apart at the seams,” observed Imam Shabazz. “but we are not in that situation. We’re not blowing up each other’s mosques, we respect each other, we support one another, so it’s already obvious that we are the ones and Minister Farrakhan made it so clear that it is in fact the case.”

“What really touched me was the reality bearing fruit now from a seed that was planted in the year 2000 with the reconciliation between the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Imam W.D. Mohammed,” commented Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, resident imam at the Nation of Islam’s headquarter’s Mosque Maryam in Chicago.

“That work is still going on,” he said. “We are coming together and bringing families together. We may perceive ourselves to be on different sides of the aisle, yet we share the same God. Allah is bringing us together in His time.  This is a sign that we are one nation and that we are committed to our joint legacy.” Imam Rahman Muhammad is also a great grandson of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Others called Masjidullah’s opening an accomplishment in terms of building an institution and using spiritual teachings to bring forth a material reality.

“I enjoy anytime we can come together as a people, and not only enjoy ourselves but (also) raise revenue,” said Newark-based businessman and philanthropist Murad Muhammad. “The problem we have is that we spiritual people do not have economics, and people with economics are not spiritual.”

You have to have both to be able to have the pleasures of this world that God created, Murad Muhammad noted. “As long as we do right, Allah will reward us because it is written for us to be successful,” he added.

Ali Salahuddin leads Masjidullah’s fundraising efforts. He said the masjid is not looking for any government grants or contracts.  The Muslims are simply trying to put Philadelphia back where it used to be as a strong and vibrant Black economic powerhouse.

“I think the most important thing that came out is that both of the communities were able to come together and really talk about how we can move forward to really make this a model for the rest of the country. We really think that Philadelphia has the ability to become the first Muslim town in America,” said Mr. Salahuddin. “Everything is lined up and with Minister Farrakhan coming and sharing his wisdom, letting all know that we are one family, this puts us right on the road,”  Mr. Salahuddin added.

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