By Nisa Islam Muhammad | Staff Writer | @nisaislam |
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and a delegation from the Nation of Islam concluded Ramadan with an historic “Umrah,” or pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city in Islam, at the invitation of the King Salman of Saudi Arabia.
Ramadan is the annual Muslim holy month of fasting and prayers which ended for many on June 4 with the sighting of the new moon. It is a very special time of year and celebrates the revelation of the Holy Qur’an given to Prophet Muhammad of Arabia (Peace Be Upon Him) 1,400 years ago.
“To be in the birthplace of Islam, it is this city, that is at the root of the civilization on our planet. For us after 42 years, Brother (Abdul Akbar Muhammad) and myself coming back to what we call home, it is from this city that knowledge and wisdom of the original man first started, when this planet was found in this new orbit 66 trillion years ago according to the teachings of our great and masterful teacher the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” Minister Farrakhan said via telephone on the Ramadan Prayerline June 4, from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as thousands listened live from all around the world. The prayer line is an annual event sponsored by Muslims in the Nation of Islam, which features daily pre-dawn teleconference calls and speakers from different Islamic communities during Ramadan.
“For us, a delegation of 17 to start in Madinah, the city of the Prophet, at his masjid and to see how that masjid, that started with the hijra (flight of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, from Mecca to Madinah to escape religious persecution) as he set foot in Madinah and when he put his foot down, this is where his mosque would be, there was nothing there but stone at the time and now here we are, at the most beautiful city. In my life, this is the most beautiful city that I call home,” said Min. Farrakhan.
He added, “Though I was born in New York and raised in Boston, Mecca is our home and so we are back home and I don’t know of a better place to be during Ramadan and during the last 10 nights of Ramadan. We were in Madinah and now in Mecca. We spent Laylatul Qadar (the night the Qur’an was revealed), the Night of Power, in Mecca. That same night we made Umrah, they said that 2.5 million people were in Mecca. We were guests of the king. We were blessed in a most special way to make Umrah and run between the two hills (Safwa and Marwa).”
During Ramadan Minister Farrakhan said to his friend and longtime confidant Abdul Akbar Muhammad that he wanted to make Umrah during the last 10 days of the month. The significance of performing Umrah during Ramadan is that the reward is the same as if one performs Hajj, which is a visit to Mecca and the Kaaba, the Holy House of Islam, that every Muslim must perform in their lifetime if possible.
This tradition traces all the way back to Prophet Muhammad. Ibn ‘Abbaas, an early Qur’an scholar narrated, “When the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, returned after performing Hajj (major pilgrimage), he asked Umm Sinaan Al-Ansaariyyah, ‘Why did you not perform Hajj?’ She replied, ‘The father of so-and-so [i.e., her husband] had two camels and he went on pilgrimage on one of them, and the second is used for the irrigation of our land.’ The Prophet, peace and blessing be upon him, said to her: ‘An ‘Umrah (minor pilgrimage) in Ramadan is akin to Hajj with me (in terms of reward).’ ” According to another narration, the Prophet told the woman: “When Ramadan comes, do ‘Umrah as (the reward for) it then is equivalent to Hajj.”
Umrah during Ramadan does not remove the obligation of performing Hajj, but confers the same benefit.
“When Minister Farrakhan said to me he wanted to make Umrah, I called Imam Abdul Malik and he sent a letter to the Saudi ambassador who sent a letter to the King’s office. Four days later we had visas as guests of the king,” Min. Akbar Muhammad told The Final Call.
“I was here 42 years ago with Minister Farrakhan. To return again, it’s like a new Mecca. There have been tremendous renovations, new hotels. When we were here before most people stayed in tents. The king has spared no expense. Now people come on a beautiful spiritual journey to the Kaaba and the Haram. It has been a great trip and great experience for Minister Farrakhan’s delegation. We have been so moved by what we have seen in Madinah and Mecca.”
He added, “Imam Abdul Malik found an old friend from the Nation of Islam who lives here. He was a 1,000 paper seller. He’s now 70 years old. It was so good to see him.”
The delegation traveled from Dubai to the Saudi Arabian cities of Madinah, Mecca, Jeddah and to Riyadh. They share their experiences below:
Imam Abdul Malik: “Mecca, a love story never written yet etched in my heart. She whispers my name to the winds of time into the heart of a man that became her voice. Upon hearing her request to see my soul I said, ‘labaak, I am here at your call.’ Upon entering her sanctuary she penetrated my heart and tears flowed from my eyes. I never knew Mecca was my love. Her hosts were extremely gentle and kind. In 25 years since the last time we embraced our reunion was a bond unbroken.”
Ishmael Muhammad, student national assistant to Minister Farrakhan: “Words are insufficient to express my deep gratitude to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for inviting me to accompany him to visit the two holiest places of Islam, Mecca and Madinah. What a blessing, honor and privilege. This has been an extraordinary life fulfilling experience; one that has been etched in my heart and my memory forever. The trip has inspired and strengthened me to continue my help of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in the mission of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We are grateful and have so much to share and we look forward to sharing this blessing with our Nation.”
Mustapha Farrakhan, student Supreme Captain of the Nation of Islam: “I am deeply thankful and grateful to Almighty God Allah for the privilege of being given the opportunity to travel beside I would say, to get personal, my father. I don’t know when the time will come where he’s no longer among us physically; but I am a member of the team that was selected to travel with our Beloved. I’m so eternally grateful to Allah and His Christ for the opportunity to rededicate my life in the service of the rise of my people for their total and complete liberation. I believe that this trip to the Holy Land as Master Fard Muhammad teaches us in our Lessons when he says, ‘We put them out of the worst part and kept the Best Part preserved for ourselves ever since we made it. And the Best Part is in Arabia at the Holy City of Mecca.’
“Those short words have a treasure of wisdom buried deep in within, what Allah preserved in this area of the world, in this city in particular, I believe is still preserved. But we are blessed, so very blessed, to have with us Allah’s servant in our midst to show us, once again, the importance of the unity of us as the Nation and the broader unity of the Muslim Ummah all over the world.
“It is imperative as Muslims that we find a way to the path of unity among ourselves to preserve what Allah has blessed our world of Islam to build. I thank Allah that we’re traveling with one that has that authority from Allah and His Christ, to be the example of how to take those characteristics that come up in the hearts of men, envy and jealousy, to show us how to be selfless as brothers.
“The Minister loves the world of Islam. He loves this city. He loves this kingdom. And, he also loves our brothers in Iran, and he loves Muslims in general. He can be, of course, at times, critical but he always does it from the spirit of love and you have to be very skillful and wise how to make a critique without destroying. There are a lot of Muslims in the world that do not have the understanding of the Qur’an and of the human being that would allow them to be the vessel that Almighty God Allah has made the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He is a very unique and special human being, to say the least, on how he was made for this particular mission.
“When the unity of the Muslim world comes together, there is no power on this earth that can stop Islam and there is no power on this earth that could stop this great movement. It would transform the whole entire planet into a masjid or a mosque.
“What they have done with the two holy mosques in Madinah and Mecca is absolutely phenomenal; and it would make anyone who calls himself a Believer in Islam proud. Everywhere you look, you see progress and the thought that comes up in my mind is that the enemy of Islam would love for this to be destroyed. So those of us that are in leadership have to guard ourselves against those characteristics that will cause us to implode as a Nation which is envy.
“We have to be very careful of how we are in our thinking and try our best to keep purifying and cleansing our hearts of vain imaginations of who we may think we are and try to serve the best we can while we have a little time left to serve. I would use that Qur’anic verse, ‘When we were on the brink of a pit of fire,’ the Minister is helping to unite our hearts in the Nation and in the Muslim World.”
Imam Sultan Muhammad, national imam of the Nation of Islam: “Words cannot express the honor and privilege to accompany the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to perform Umrah during the last 10 days of the Holy month of Ramadan.
“It was a blessing beyond words to have the privilege to visit the two most sacred sites of Islam, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and The Haram in Mecca to perform Umrah during the last nights of The Month of Ramadan with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Although, I have been blessed to make this journey before with my father and family, to now have the enormous favor to walk in the steps of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and Master Fard Muhammad with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan these sacred signs of Allah have been unveiled.”
Sa’ad Alim Muhammad, formerly, Berve Muhammad, student National Secretary of the Nation of Islam: “All praise is due to Allah for the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“I am grateful to have had an opportunity to accompany the servant of Allah in our midst on this pilgrimage to the Holiest sites in Islam.
“Our journey first took us to Madinah, to Mecca and to Jeddah. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims congregated every day for every prayer. Many of them walked for miles to perform salat (prayer). Afterwards, many of them walked back home only to walk back a few hours later for the next prayer. That level of commitment to the daily worship of Allah was impactful to say the least. Tens of thousands prayed outside in over 100 degree temperatures on the concrete ground if there was no space inside the buildings. They did not complain and some even chose that as their preferred place of worship. There was no excuse to not perform prayer that outweighed their intention to make prayer.
“I am looking out of my hotel room, I am able to see thousands of Muslims walking toward the Kaaba and it is 2 a.m.! The Kabah never closes because there are always thousands of worshippers ready, willing and able to pray to Allah for guidance, protection and forgiveness.
“In addition, while interacting with the throngs of people, I never heard an argument, I never saw a fight and I never saw anyone have their goods stolen. The stores closed for prayer and some of the merchants only had a sheet covering their products. These Muslims showed respect for each other as an indication of their respect for a fellow Believer.
“Every room in our hotel contained a speaker system that played every prayer service from the Kaaba. Beholding the Kaaba for the first time was an experience that words cannot describe. It was like looking at something that was not real, even though it was. It had almost a magical and mystical aura about it upon first sight. Here was a holy site, thousands of years old and we were blessed to be gazing upon it to begin our Umrah. All praise is due to Allah!
“I thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for embarking upon such a wonderful journey here in the holiest of Islamic sites. He is our Light in the midst of darkness and our Guide in the wilderness. His love for and faith in his Teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, is the reason why I and many of you are able to call ourselves Muslims!”
Naeemah Muhammad, formerly Sandy Muhammad, student National MGT Captain of the Nation of Islam: “Words are insufficient to express my deepest gratitude to Allah for blessing me with one of the greatest life-altering events in my life. How wonderful it is to be blessed to walk with Jesus and travel to the Best Part of the planet Earth, the Holy City Mecca. The most memorable part has been to have the opportunity to perform Umrah with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, all while having a knowledge and understanding of Allah, Who intervened in our affairs in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad; a knowledge of the Exalted Christ, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad; and a knowledge of the modern day Jesus in our midst, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Praise be to Allah!
“How awe inspiring it was to witness millions of people from all over the globe merging to one central point, the Kaaba, for one singular purpose and that is to worship Almighty God, Allah. I felt the overwhelming presence of Almighty God upon seeing the Kaaba, and it was even more overwhelming to know that the Kaaba is a sign of what we know to be true and have been given. It is a sign of Someone greater.
“In addition to our beautiful experience in Mecca, we have been blessed to travel to the holy city Madinah and visit the Prophet’s mosque and pray; visit the tomb of the Prophet and the houses of the Mothers of the Faithful; climb up the mountain of Nur in the Holy City Mecca to see the Prophet’s cave; travel to Jeddah and go on the Red Sea. To have done all of this with the knowledge, wisdom and understanding that we have been given in the Nation of Islam is truly emotionally and spiritually overwhelming. It will take me some time to fully process and understand the deep spiritual significance of this trip. I am so humbled and will be forever grateful to Allah and the Exalted Christ for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Praise be to Allah!”
Aminah Bayyinah Muhammad, formerly Kimberly Muhammad, administrative assistant to Minister Farrakhan: “I feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to make this journey as a part of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s delegation to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I never dreamed that I would have the privilege to witness the pages of the Holy Qur’an come to life as I walked in the places I’ve often read about. To be in the birthplace of Master Fard Muhammad and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is an overwhelmingly beautiful experience I never thought I would have.”
Abdul Khalil Muhammad, formerly Darrell Muhammad, personal staff for Min. Farrakhan: “First, I would like to thank Allah for allowing me to step foot in these two holy places (Mecca and Madinah.) All praise is due to Allah. I pray that He accepted my prayers and intentions so that I may return being a better Muslim and helper in the cause of Islam. I thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for choosing me to take part in THE ultimate Islamic experience with HIM and making my Umrah, which was life changing for me. Seeing those blessed to be a part praying, experiencing, happy and in love with Islam was a beautiful sight.
“The bond that we shared over there as Believers in the Nation of Islam was a sign and confirmation for me that we will be ok if we strive to be disciplined Muslims under the leadership of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad because He has given us all that we need. I am truly grateful because this was the best gift of my life and again I thank our Brother Minister. And along with that gift was being given the knowledge and understanding of what this ritual meant and soon the whole world will know. Allah U Akbar! We will be blessed in so many ways if we continue to hold on to our faith because we are fighting for Islam and we will surely win. Alhamdulillah!”
Abdul Siddiq Muhammad, formerly Melvin Muhammad, personal staff for Min. Farrakhan: “First, I would like to thank Allah for inspiring the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to take this trip and this journey, making Umrah in the Holy City of Mecca and Madinah. I would like to thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for having it in his heart to include me in this delegation.
“This trip has been a life changing experience that has been enormously impactful on my life as a follower of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and a student and helper of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. This journey seems to be the commencement, or the start or beginning of a marriage between us in America, students of the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and students of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, to the Muslim World in the East, the home of our Founder and Saviour, Master W. Fard Muhammad. We have been so well received by the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We have never felt so warmly received as we have on this journey. It takes me to the Supreme Wisdom Lessons, Problem Book, Number 32: ‘Twelve Leaders of Islam from all over the Planet have conferred in the Root of Civilization concerning the Lost-Found Nation of Islam - must return to their original Land.
‘One of the Conference Members by the name of Mr. Osman Sharrieff said to the Eleven Members of the Conference:
‘The Lost-Found Nation of Islam will not return to their original Land unless they, first, have a thorough Knowledge of their own.’
‘So, they sent a Messenger to them of their own.’
“In my heart, I believe that on this journey, that is being accomplished on both sides. I am eternally grateful to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for the manner and the way he has guided us to tie us back unto our own, as with the care of a mother guiding her child through a very dangerous period in time. The spirit coming from us to them, those we met of the Muslim World in the East, and from them to us, is like the spirit of a newly formed union.
“My faith has been impacted so thoroughly by what I have witnessed, what is in our Lessons and what we have been taught by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. I am so firm and convicted in my faith in The God that came to us, Master Fard Muhammad, and His Christ, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and His servant, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. My spirit has been quickened. I have been rejuvenated and I am ready to further our work in this mission as a helper to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. My feet are more firm today than they have ever been. I’m ready to further this work in America, the work and mission given to us by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
‘Don’t tell her that there was no one to teach for three hundred and seventy-seven years. She already knows and is trying to forget it. Now, she will teach you quickly any course you may desire.’ The Supreme Wisdom Lessons, Problem Book Number 12.
“I am eternally grateful for the way of devotion that has been given to us in America by Our Saviour, Master W.D. Fard Muhammad, and His Christ, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and His Servant, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. During this trip, I have also grown in greater respect of the culture and way of devotion of our Muslim brothers in the East.
“May Allah continue to bless us all to work tirelessly as helpers in this cause of the redemption and the resurrection of the Black man and woman in America, and humanity around the world.”
Haqq Muhammad, formerly Robert E. Muhammad, Final Call video crew: “It’s been an honor for me to be asked to make this Journey with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. There are many Believers that have labored longer and harder in service to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan than I. I feel a solemn responsibility to share what I’ve seen and felt with those back in the States.
“The most meaningful experience for me was making Umrah with the Minister and the rest of the delegation. I made Umrah 21 years ago, but I was a young Believer. This was far more meaningful to me. I saw and understood so much more now than I did then. And to perform this awesome ritual with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and fellow students of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad made it so much more meaningful. I pray every Believer in the NOI has the opportunity to journey here.
“Standing outside of Al-Haram was a humbling experience. I was reminded of the universality of our faith. People of all colors and nationalities face this same place and pray to the One God every day. And now all of us have made our way here and are worshipping together in one place.”
Hassan Muhammad, Final Call video crew: “Just being with the Minister in the Holy Places was the high point of the visit for me. His discourses with us and to our hosts and his way, made the visit everything for me.”
Abdul Aziz Muhammad, formerly Anthony Muhammad, assistant student Supreme Captain of the Nation of Islam: “I thank Almighty God Allah for blessing me with life, and being present here in this Glorious Holy City of Mecca. I love the fact that everyone you meet and see are Believers that love Allah and his way. The people walk for miles to just pray.
“As I think about their beauty and commitment, I am humbled and grateful. I am grateful to be in the presence of millions of Believers which makes me to reflect on the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and his Love. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan nurtured me with and through my mother, Sister Rosetta Muhammad. The Minister’s reflection is what I recognize most when I see and meet these Muslims. This trip makes me to want to work harder so I can be one like the Minister who submits his will to do the will of Allah. I commit my life in the cause of Islam. I am most grateful for Allah loving me so much that He blessed me to be raised under the teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.”
Abdul Wazir Muhammad, formerly Donald Muhammad, personal staff for Min. Farrakhan: “Out of all my travels with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, this trip was absolutely the most impactful. As a Muslim we are taught that we should visit the Holy City of Mecca at least once in our lifetime, but never could I have imagined how spiritually rewarding this trip would be. Praying throughout the night in the Prophet’s Mosque in the Holy City of Madinah, traveling by car with a police escort to the birthplace of Master Fard Muhammad—the Holy City of Mecca, then making Umrah with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is an experience that I will carry in my heart for the rest of my life.
“I am so thankful to Allah for being chosen as part of this delegation of brothers and sisters. The love that we have experienced from each other in addition to the brothers who were assigned as our hosts was simply beautiful. This experience has increased my ability to bear witness to the teaching and training we receive through our Beloved Minister that is without question, putting us, the Black man and woman of America, on top of civilization. I will, by Allah’s grace, use this experience as fuel to increase my efforts as a helper to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in his Mission of completing the Mission of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.”
Talib-Ul Hikmah Karriem, formerly Jason Karriem, director of Muhammad University of Islam in Chicago: “This journey to the Holy City, Mecca, Arabia, the birthplace of our Saviour Master Fard Muhammad and the birthplace of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) has been the most unexpected blessing of a lifetime that still leaves me in awe and speechless. The magnitude and significance of this journey will unfold with time and deep reflection. Never could I imagine that I and we (the delegation) would be invited to perform Umrah in the Holy City, Mecca.
“Not only to perform this deeply spiritual and symbolic Islamic ritual during the sacred month of Ramadan, but also to make our circuits around the sacred Kaaba with Allah’s divine servant, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The remainder of my life will forever be impacted by this spiritual journey. I am deeply grateful to Allah and his divine servant, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, for permitting me the honor and privilege to accompany this delegation of beautiful Believers. I am still struggling to wrap my head around this entire magnificent experience and often question Allah, ‘why me?’ There is nothing I can ever do to repay this tremendous honor, but I’ll try by my works, deeds and striving to be a better helper. I will never forget this. I am deeply humbled!
“Climbing Mount Nur (Mountain of Light) also known as Mount Hira, the place where the beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) received the revelation of the Holy Qur’an was a spectacular experience. Climbing nearly 1,600 challenging steps to the top of this mountain tried my endurance and will, not to mention unexpectedly running into a pack of baboons on the way up the mountain (smile). After much struggle, arriving at the top to be blessed with a breathtaking view of Mecca and mountains as far as the eye can see was overwhelming. Also, knowing that the Holy Prophet stood on that ground. Although the pilgrims spoke various languages, their shouts of joy and their spirit on top of the mountain was well understood. I did not venture into the cave. It was packed with people trying to get into it and its position on the side of the mountain made that extra step a bit more risky.
“This journey and what I’ve experienced has expanded me, encouraged me and strengthened my faith. I have a greater appreciation for the birthplace of Master Fard Muhammad and an expanded appreciation of Prophet Muhammad. It has produced in me a greater sense of gratitude and love for people. It has inspired me to want to be a better servant and helper to grow our beautiful nation in the West to shine back on the East. This experience has made me to know that Allah is observing us and He knows just what we need. He has blessed me with a treasure that will continue to unfold over time as I grow into the understanding of the great significance of this journey. I cannot thank Allah enough for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“One powerful moment was when we were performing Umrah and we were at the stage of the ritual where we had to walk, run between the two hills as Hagar did. As we were coming to the last stretch, running, Student Supreme Captain Mustapha Farrakhan began to chant loudly our drill cadence, “Allah, Allah-U-Akbar … .” We all chimed in following his lead, running as a group with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan encircled by his helpers. It brought so much energy and spirit to that area that the pilgrims stopped in their tracks trying to figure out, who are these Muslims? It was like an announcement that we, the original owners of the earth and our home Mecca, we are back to claim our own.”
Nadir Al-Shifa Muhammad, formerly Thomas Muhammad, personal staff for Min. Farrakhan: “Frankly, putting my feet down on the same ground that Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Hin), Hagar, Abraham, Ishmael and the ancestors did is what meant the most. Also, to come back to the East as a Muslim, knowing our people were forcibly taken from the East and Islam, was significant to me. To be in Mecca with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and to spiritually carry with me the Fruit of Islam, the MGT (the women of the Nation of Islam), my family, my homies and those that wish they could have been here means alot to me. Lastly, through this trip I’ve realized how very intimately personal my relationship with Allah is. There is no God but Allah!”