by Askia Muhammad
White House Correspondent
(FinalCall.com)—Prayer heals wounds, and it was during the
traditional Friday Muslim prayer service Feb. 15 that the continued
healing of the Nation of Islam was manifest by the unity of two of Black
America’s principle Muslim leaders, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed and the
Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
"We are very happy to be here today," said Imam Mohammed, leader of
the Muslim American Society at the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day
observance. "It is made truly beautiful by the coming together of the
Nation of Islam under the great leader Minister (Louis) Farrakhan, and
his brother and friend, Wallace D. Mohammed. We embrace him, and we’re
going with Min. Farrakhan all the way to the Promised Land," he said,
referring to himself by his birth name of Wallace.
Min. Farrakhan was equally effusive. "Let us build an exemplary
Islamic community so that when (the world) looks at us, they will see
what Islam really is and why they should accept Islam and follow Prophet
Muhammad, (Peace Be Upon Him)," Min. Farrakhan said.
Imam Mohammed’s message was the keynote sermon to more than 4,000
Muslims gathered for congregational Ju’umah prayer service held in the
West Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The two men and their followers—who once were united behind the
leadership of Nation of Islam patriarch, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad—often
traded criticism before a reunion in Chicago two years ago.
Muslim American Society adherents contend that the Nation of Islam
does not carefully enough follow the "sunnah" (traditions) established
1,400 years ago by Islam’s Holy Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (PBUH).
Nation of Islam members in turn accuse Imam Mohammed of turning away
from the principles taught by Mr. Elijah Muhammad, Imam Mohammed’s
The founder of the Nation of Islam was a man like the Good Samaritan
of the Bible, Imam Mohammed said, describing Master W. D. Fard, the
somewhat mysterious Arab man known as "The Saviour," who taught Islam in
Detroit’s Heavenly Valley neighborhood until he met Elijah (Muhammad)
Poole in 1930.
Mr. Fard, also known as Master Fard Muhammad, unlike others who knew
of the power of Islam to transform the lives of its converts, tried to
uplift the condition of Blacks in America by teaching Blacks in America
who were once slaves to be Muslims.
Mr. Fard’s concern, Imam Mohammed explained, was like that of the
Good Samaritan. He wanted to take the Black man in America "on the road
of personal development that God created for him, until he establishes
his own social contract, and respects his brother, and respects his
parents, and respects his God who created him, and respects his calling
to be a community builder, to be a society builder," Imam Mohammed said.
"We were taught not to believe in anything except the objective,
material world and man," the Imam said of his father’s methods. "We were
taught two teachings. One was a strategy to attract us because he knew
that the religion we were under was really oppression. It kept our
pockets empty. It kept our neighborhoods in bad repair. It kept our men
drunk. It kept our women serving the White community and not the Black
community. It left our communities in bad shape," he continued.
The Imam also explained his understanding of why members of the
Nation of Islam were kept apart from the larger Muslim society, long a
sticking point among those who criticized Mr. Muhammad and his message
of "separation" as a solution to the racial hostilities which have torn
at the seams of the entire American society.
As a result of Mr. Muhammad’s careful, restrictive policies, his
movement—also known as the "Black Muslims" in America—was able to grow
strong, to develop and to mature. "We have moved forward to get the
admiration and respect of people throughout the world," Imam Mohammed
said of the development that occurred under his father’s system. "Now
the biggest gift that America can get, and the West too, is to embrace
Islam and respect it and not go against it, and let it thrive."
Imam Mohammed’s growing sensitive understanding of his father’s
message and the cooperation of the two leaders, opens the door for
possible unity in the future, Min. Farrakhan said. "You cannot have a
Nation of Islam without proper recognition of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as
the foundational stone, and the Qur’an as the foundational stone upon
which to build that Nation," Min. Farrakhan said.
It is important that Muslims around the world restore the example of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in their lives, Min. Farrakhan said, because
"Islam today is off the straight (path), and some are trying to get back
to the straight path, and making a mess of it. They’re making a
grotesque image of what Islam really is.
"But since we live in America, and America is the world leader, then
out of America should come a light that would guide the world and make
the world see Islam as Islam really is. What we have is the solution to
America’s problems. But we have to present an example that makes
scientific minds want to wonder, ‘what made them the type of men and
women that they have become under Islam?’ So that is our job.’"
"We want the world to know that Islam does not oppress women. So our
women have to be examples of what Allah wanted for women and we have to
be examples of what Allah wanted for men, and I don’t believe that
guidance is to come from the East. That guidance is to come out of the
West, and Imam Mohammed and myself and others, we will produce that
community that the whole world needs and is looking for," Min. Farrakhan
Photo: Imam W. D. Mohammed, left and Minister Farrakan
at Ju'umah prayer during Saviours' Day 2002.