The war with self: Inmates in Mississippi enjoy positive messageBy Rhodesia Muhammad | Last updated: Sep 10, 2015 - 5:19:42 PM
Earlier this summer, Student Minister Willie Muhammad of the Nation of Islam along with the brothers of Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans, traveled to the Central Mississippi Correctional Facility (CMCF) near Jackson, Mississippi, to visit and deliver a message to the inmates titled, “The Greatest War is the War with Self: Who is the REAL Warrior?”
“Joseph Wilson, a brother housed in CMCF wrote me a letter asking if I would speak at the facility if given a chance,” Bro. Willie stated. “I try my best to respond to every brother who writes me from prison and if an opportunity to speak is given, I do my best to do so. The prison is three hours away from New Orleans.”
Brother Tyrek Muhammad, the state prison reform minister of Mississippi for 10 years, played an integral part in the brothers from New Orleans getting access into the facility. “We have a great relationship with the Imam in the prison and the Islamic community, so if there are brothers who want us to visit, we make ourselves available. It’s like a breath of fresh air for them,” Bro. Tyrek added. “It’s not only important for us to share the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under the guidance of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with our incarcerated brothers, but it’s also important we visit with them because we are their instrument of hope. Many of them have little or no connection to the outside world. Many of them have distant relationships with their families and estranged relationships with their children because a lot of times they are moved around and families can’t afford to travel or even make phone calls to them,” he continued.
“My message was based on the theme found in our study guides, which is “Self-Improvement is the basis of Community Development,” said Bro. Willie. “In the lecture, I spoke about the top 10 men who are listed as great warriors in the annals of history. The list contains such people as Sun Tzu, Hannibal, Alexander the Great, Julius Cesar and others. I spoke about how the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan says that the greatest war is the war with self. Then, I asked with all that being said, who is the greatest warrior? Is it someone who can swing a sword, shoot a bow and arrow, or fire a weapon? Or is it he/she that has the courage to look within and go to war with those thoughts that cause us to live a life that is not reflective of what Allah desires for us,” he said.
The brothers enjoyed the July 18 message so much; they wanted the Nation of Islam brothers to come back. CMCF is one of the four state prisons in Mississippi. It houses women, men and juveniles in separate areas.
“Brother Willie opened his mouth and the words of Allah flowed like the living water. His message was clear and to the point. We are thankful for our brother representing the Honorable Louis Farrakhan; the man I consider my teacher. We are looking forward to him coming back soon,” stated Bro. Joseph who helped them make contact with the Chaplain.
“I am thankful to have had the chance to hear such a powerful message that Brother Willie delivered here at CMCF. I now clearly understand more about Islam and what it means to submit to God and the value of obedience. I thank brother for giving us his time and for the words of motivation,” said Christopher Jackson.
“Our primary motivation for having a prison reform ministry,” said Bro. Tyrek, “is to make sure there is a haven for the brothers and sisters after their release. Housing, employment, and transportation are the three critical components needed in the first 90 days back into society and we help facilitate those needs. Everyone knows someone incarcerated, have been incarcerated, or paroled, so it’s important for us to be there for them.”
“Allah always allows things to happen for a reason. I personally needed to hear that powerful, motivating speech. I love the message that brother shared. It was straight forward and to the point, touching on some of the smallest segments that could make a big impact in my life. I am thankful for brother’s hard work and dedication,” added Tyundre White.
Cary Thompson said the message of self-motivation and self-discipline was positive and empowering.