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Honoring an honorable man

By Starla Muhammad -Managing Editor- | Last updated: Oct 8, 2019 - 12:54:34 AM

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“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
—Bible, Romans 12:10 English Standard Version 

CHICAGO— Men from several Black Masonic lodges came together to pay homage, honor and respect to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam during a special gathering at the Palace, home of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

Brothers from John G. Jones Grand Lodge of California Ancient Free and Accepted Masons; Carlos Smith Grand Master M.W. Mt. Olive Grand Lodge A.Y.M. in Harvey, Ill.; Most Worshipful Progressive Grand Lodge; Ancient Tradition Craft Free Masonry; The Supreme Council Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of All Hemispheres and a member from Prince Hall gathered in Chicago Sept. 28 for the special occasion. Some of the men were there representing their lodge and others were present as invited guests and presented honors on their own behalf.   

From left: Rashad Muhammad, Dr. Mark Stevens, Min. Farrakhan and Tony Hawkins.
While they came from different parts of the country and belong to different lodges, this small gathering of Black men was clear about their love and respect for Min. Farrakhan, his work and many expressed a desire to work toward unity among Black Masons.   

“Knowing his works, knowing what he has done for the African American community or the Black community in particular here in the United States, this should have been done a long time ago but by the grace of Allah we’re here today,” said Tony Hawkins of John G. Jones Grand Lodge in California. 

Rashad Muhammad of South Carolina and Marcus 2X Hill of Maryland are members of the Nation of Islam and are also Masons. Mr. Hawkins contacted Marcus 2X Hill in Baltimore for assistance in facilitating a way to honor the Minister on behalf of his lodge. Marcus 2X Hill then contacted Don Enoch Muhammad, an aide to Min. Farrakhan, for help. Around the same time, Rashad Muhammad in South Carolina was also reaching out to Don Enoch Muhammad with a similar idea to present Min. Farrakhan honors from his lodge. 

Amzi Muhammad and Min. Farrakhan
“This like the Omega Psi Phi honor and membership that was bestowed upon the Minister, this too is what the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, that the Minister would reach the pinnacle of success in this world and now all of these different organizations honoring the Minister, paying tribute and respect, love and appreciation for his service and duty to Black people. This is a wonderful thing to be a part of. I thank Allah,” said Don Enoch Muhammad, a member of Omega Psi Phi. Min. Farrakhan was inducted as a full lifetime member of the Black fraternity earlier this year.   

There was palatable excitement and mutual respect among the men gathered at the Palace. “The Minister has taught diligently for the majority of his life to resurrect Black people from their grave of ignorance and this is an honor that’s overdue but that must be done because of the time that we’re in,” said Dr. Mark Stevens, a member of Omega Psi Phi who was invited to the gathering as a guest. He is also a Prince Hall Mason.  

For Melvin Little of Atlanta, the gathering was “like a dream to be amongst history.” 

“Just to be here, to stand here on the floor, to be with a great man like Farrakhan, I’m speechless really,” said Mr. Little. He admires the Minister’s growth and development. “He’s about the Black man powering up first and if we can lift our self up then we wouldn’t have to worry about anybody else. I like his elevation. His elevation has grown. In watching his elevation over the years, I just hope I can even get to 86 to even think of even doing something like him! It’s a hope anyway,” said Mr. Little. 

“The Minister is the perfect person to me, to be able to unify us,” said Rashad Muhammad of The Supreme Council Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of All Hemispheres. He hopes what will result from this gathering is a willingness to pool resources and finances among Black Masonic groups and work toward a stronger brotherhood and bond. He described Min. Farrakhan as “the perfect glue” in this effort and he hopes Black Masons can organize an agenda to move toward operational unity. 

For Amzi Muhammad, the Minister and the work that he’s been doing since 1955 embodies the moral principles and code of brotherhood he said is found in Masonry. He joined the Nation of Islam in 1991 as a senior in high school and said over the years he has been part of several organizations that have honored Min. Farrakhan. For Amzi Muhammad of Carlos Smith Grand Master M.W. Mt. Olive Grand Lodge A.Y.M. The day with the Minister was the most significant in his personal history as a Muslim and Mason. 

Brothers from Masonic lodges and guests met with Min. Farrakhan (center) at the home of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in Chicago. From left: Arthur Muhammad, Amzi Muhammad, Christopher Jackson, Melvin Little, Brian Weathersby, Tony Hawkins, Carlos Smith Jr., Rashad Muhammad, Andre Johnson, Marcus 2X Hill and Calvin Sanders (kneeling). Photo: Haroon Rajaee

“In various cities throughout the country and the world, many different factions so to speak of Masons have tried to come together, with some success, but today all of us being able to come together in honor of one man who means the same to all of us, deserves it, this here represents that missing key, that missing link that’s going to bond all of us together,” said Amzi Muhammad.

For over 64 years Min. Farrakhan has worked tirelessly and fearlessly for unity, upliftment, resurrection and progress of Black people. He has taught and guided millions around the world regardless of creed, class, color, political and religious ideologies or organizational affiliation. The Muslim leader has spoken in front of nearly every major Black professional, student, civic, civil rights, religious and fraternal organization. He is often called upon as an arbiter of peace between those who may have disagreements with one another.  The Minister has been received as a head of state in the U.S. and abroad and has received honors, accolades and recognition from those who applaud and appreciate his sacrifice and love for Black people and humanity.

Masons are a fraternal order or society that grew out of men that worked as stone masons and builders in the 17th and 18th century. It is a society steeped heavily in traditions, symbolism, core beliefs and doctrines but is not a religion. Masons or Freemasons congregate according to Masonic tradition, in autonomous/self-governing groups called Masonic lodges.  A Black man from Barbados, Prince Hall founded the African Grand Lodge of North America in the U.S. around 1784 when Blacks were not allowed or permitted in White lodges. Some well-known Blacks who were Masons, include Paul Robeson, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Medgar Evers and Nat King Cole. 

Min. Farrakhan appreciated the gathering of such an “august” body and thanked the men for the honors and kind words. “I’m so honored, because since I’ve been a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—he had tremendous respect for Masons because the Worshipful Master that taught him shared with him in truth, the degrees that make you god,” he told the men. He was speaking about Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi and teacher of Elijah Muhammad. 

The Minister was presented awards, plaques, certificates and Masonic regalia that have deeply significant meaning, including white gloves which in layman’s terms, explained Marcus 2X Hill, symbolizes that the works of a man’s hands must be as pure and spotless as the gloves. He was also presented a Masonic apron which represents a pure heart.