For the Black American community, February is one of the most pivotal months in the year. In the United States, February pays tribute to the immeasurable, yet sometimes forgotten, contributions Black Americans have made in the United States. While the celebration and intake of Black history should be daily, it is especially highlighted and analyzed in February. In this month, many noteworthy events take place that center around Black people and their plight.
One such event is the Nation of Islam’s annual Saviours’ Day convention. In fact, some even consider the convention the crowning event of Black History Month. During this convention, thousands of members and guests come together to commemorate the birth of the God and Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad. It is a joyful and spirited ocassion that includes workshops, drill exhibitions, health screenings, and social events, ending with a major address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the national representative of the Nation of Islam.
Some consider it a huge family reunion where Black people from all walks of life come to celebrate, and as a young Muslim woman in the Nation of Islam, I feel as though that’s an appropriate outlook. Over the course of the convention, I get to see all of my spiritual family and friends. It connects seemingly different groups of people through shared theology and culture and is one of the biggest family reunions I have ever attended. However, not only does the word “reunion” apply to this large annual gathering, but it also applies to the very essence of what Saviours’ Day actually is. It represents the reunion of the Black man and woman with the Black God.
As stated previously, Saviours’ Day is the commemoration of Master Fard Muhammad. In simple terms, it’s the commemoration of the founder of the Nation of Islam. However, it is more than the coming of a founder. It is the coming of the Black God who came in the person of a man. In the Nation of Islam, we believe that God came in the person of Master Fard Muhammad, the great Mahdi of the Muslims and Messiah of the Christian world, on July 4, 1930. While His coming fulfills many scriptures, one in particular is Abraham’s prophecy in Genesis 15:13 of the Bible. In Abraham’s prophecy, God tells Abraham that his descendants will be enslaved by a strange nation for 400 years, but He, God, will come Himself to free Abraham’s descendants and judge that same nation. In the Nation of Islam, as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and represented by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we believe Master Fard Muhammad to be that man. The one who would come to give the Black man and woman true independence and connect us back to our roots as the original people of the Earth.
Master Fard Muhammad was born on February 26, 1877 in the Holy City Mecca. He would come alone on July 4, 1930 to declare that the 400-year-bondage of the Black man and woman was over. He would be the Saviour that was prophesied by Abraham. He would be the answer to those long-suffering prayers that our ancestors made in fields of cotton. In His coming, He would reconnect the Black man and woman with three things they would need to no longer be a tool to their open enemy and oppressor. In Message to the Blackman in America, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, taught directly by the Saviour, outlines these things as being the lack of knowledge of self, God and the devil (Muhammad 220).
As we know, when our ancestors were brought to the shores of the Americas by white European colonizers, they were stripped of their culture, language, and agency as human beings. They were put into the shackles of chattel slavery by people who would instill inferiorty complexes into them due to their dark skin. Not only would they be affected by this mental and physical abuse, but it would likewise trickle down to their descendants. Even when they were “freed” from chattel slavery, they would still be viewed and treated as lesser human beings through acts such as The Compromise of 1877, Jim Crow, police brutality, and violent, systematic racism. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, again in Message to the Blackman, refers to this as the Black man and woman falling “into the hands of the slave-masters, who have robbed, spoiled, wounded and killed them.” (Muhammad 33). We as a people were treated and viewed as less than animals, and we believed it. Through constant propaganda, we believed our skin color and pronounced Black features were inferior. Our open enemy, our slave master and the slave master’s children, had effectively broken their slave.
In the Nation of Islam, this is why the coming of God in the person of Master Fard Muhammad is so important and integral to the Black man and woman of America and all over the world. His coming and knowledge would contradict everything that a white supremacist system and world had entrenched in us. Instead of us being the curse of Ham, we were taught that we were created in the image of God and His likeness. We were taught that we were the direct descendants of the original Black God from trillions of years ago. No longer were we coons, shines, niggers, or colored people. We were the original Black man and woman of the planet Earth. We were the maker, the owner, and the cream of the planet Earth. As a people, we did not need to depend on our once-slave master and slave master’s children who had “maliciously and hatefully adopted attitudes and social and educational systems that have deprived us of the opportunity to become free and independent right up to the present day.” (Muhamamd 227). As the Black Nation, we had the ability to create our own political, educational and social systems that would be based on freedom, justice and equality for all regardless of creed, class and color. As a young Black woman, I was taught that I am the Second Self of God. My being was the first act of creation after God’s self-creation. Master Fard Muhammad produced a teaching that would cause a total reformation of the Black man and woman in the wilderness of North America and all over the planet Earth.
Shortly after Master Fard Muhammad’s coming, He would meet and teach a man who would take His teachings and help Him in the resurrection of the lost-found nation in the wilderness of North America. That man, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, would dedicate 40 years to establishing the Nation of Islam and resurrecting a people who were dead mentally, morally, spiritually and economically before his own departure and reunion with Master Fard Muhammad. During these 40 years, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would meet another man who would help in the establishing and re-establishing of the Nation of Islam and further spread the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as taught by Master Fard Muhammad. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan would become the helper to the helper of God. The God’s second helper. Both these helpers would produce more saviours that reflected the coming of God. Hence, the term “Saviours’ Day”. Not only are we celebrating the birth of our Saviour and the coming of God, but we’re celebrating the fact that God came to make us, the Black man and woman, saviours of our own people as well. He came to make us into Himself. He came to make us little gods.
The God who came in the person of Master Fard Muhammad only stayed among us for 3 years and 4 months. It was a visit. God had visited the Black man and woman in North America, and it was a visit of profound impact and love. In an address by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, entitled “The Majesty of Master Fard Muhammad,” he discusses love, how love is duty and how God demonstrates His love to the oppressed, describing a visit by God as a “demonstration, a completely magnificent demonstration of love.” We in the Nation believe that the Black man and woman have received this magnificent demonstration of love by the coming of God in the person of Master Fard Muhammad. This is why we celebrate His coming every year in the form of Saviours’ Day. For we aren’t only celebrating the birth of Our Savior – we are celebrating what His birth produced. The teachings He produced. The Helpers he produced. The Nation He produced. So Saviours’ Day is, in fact, a family reunion. Because in addition to being reunited as a Black Nation, we were reunited with the Black God who came 9,000 miles by Himself to Black Bottom, Detroit. To me, this is the greatest love story the planet has ever seen and will ever see.
Happy Saviours’ Day!