The end of February marked the anniversary of the Nation of Islam's annual Saviors' Day convention. Each year the convention culminates with a sermon from Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan. This year's address, titled "The Intensifying Universal Cry for Justice" and done in two parts, paid special attention to the declining influence of Islam as practiced in countries – principally in the Middle East and North Africa – where Islam is the dominant religion. Farrakhan said, "The division that is manifested in the world today, particularly in the world of Islam" has Christians, Jews and Muslims killed just because of their religion.
In part two of his speech, Farrakhan stated the world of Islam has deviated from the Sunnah, or way of Prophet Muhammad. In his speech, he mentioned the four companions of the prophet that later assumed the mantle of the caliphate, the mantle given to his successors. Farrakhan said that after the death of the prophet, the first of the caliphate died of natural causes and the other three were assassinated.
Realizing the eventual deviation from the principals inherent in the faith of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, according to Islamic prophetic traditions, said of his followers, "Three generations after him would not be of him."
"Hating the division" in religion and recognizing the severity of the plight of the world of Islam, some years ago, while visiting the tomb of Prophet Muhammad in Medina, Saudi Arabia, Farrakhan prayed, asking Allah to give him " a double portion of the spirit that he gave" Prophet Muhammad so, in America, he could finish his work of reformation.
Jalil Muhammad, who made the pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, in 2005 and is the creator of the Deen Intensive Academy, said that during Prophet Muhammad's last sermon, he advised his followers to "listen to good advisement" coming from anyone, even it came from a person who had "raisins (kinky hair) on his head."
This reference to listening to a black person shows the value in listening to Farrakhan, Jalil Muhammad said. During a phone interview from his home in Washington, D.C., Muhammad said Farrakhan's knowledge of geo-political affairs, his ability to give substance to what he says is the intensifying cry of the global population for justice, his explanation of both the Bible and Quran, and his ability to connect with the masses, witnessed in his 1995 Million Man March, makes him one of the few "global' Muslim leaders who has gained "credibility" through the "work he does in the community."
Jalil Muhammad, who is working toward a graduate degree in Islamic studies, said, "The Muslim world is in shambles." He said, referring to ISIS, "I don't know how you can be a Muslim leader and chop off someone's head." He said that as a Muslim, you cannot allow "your hurt and pain to cause you to do something that is contrary to our religion."
According to a recent USA Today, the ISIS "executioner with the British accent has been unmasked as a Kuwaiti-born Londoner named Asim Quresh, who grew up in affluence but turned to militancy … after repeated harassment by security agencies simply because, in his view, he was a Muslim."
Farrakhan, during the second part of his lecture said, "The light of the prophets has gone out of the East, and it is now alive and well in the West!"
Farrakhan has cited the work of Elijah Muhammad, the nation's patriarch who focused on reforming black people, a people he said under slavery had been robbed of their humanity, including, a knowledge of their culture and history. He said Prophet Muhammad's work of reformation set the standard that Elijah Muhammad followed.
Last summer, in kicking off the "Reconciliation-Next Steps" conference at Masjidullah in Philadelphia, renowned Imam Siraj Wahaj of Masjid Al-Taqwa said during the Jumu'ah prayer service that "the Nation of Islam's influence in urban America is without comparison." He said the nation has a history of reforming black people and making them want "to be themselves and to be good Muslims, not imitations of others."
Jalil Muhammad, who attended the prayer service said, "Maybe the world of Islam should revisit the work of the Nation of Islam."