“We are the Night of Power!” This phrase captured the spirit of Saviors Day 2019. Many attendees reported “This was the best Saviors Day I have ever attended.” The theme of this Saviors Day was: Prophet Muhammad the Leader for Modern Times. It began with Friday Jumuah The Khutbah was delivered by Councilman Imam Alfred Mohammed.
The Saturday address began with a beautiful musical opening by Sister Kamillah Furqan singing both the National Anthem and the Black National Anthem. Imam Haaziq Muhammad II facilitated throughout the event. Believers traveled from across the country to show their support, hear the many notable speakers, and attend the banquet and award ceremony. Speakers included Imam Warith Deen Mohammed II, Sister Anna Muhammad, Sister Ellen Rahman, Sister Shakira Bashir, Councilman Imam Alfred Mohammad, and keynote speech by Ismail Shamsid-Deen.
During the Annual Hadid Award banquet, six awardees were acknowledged and honored for their contributions as pillars to the Islamic Community. Posthumous Award was given to Arnetha Gholston-Habeel. The Hadid (Iron) Award was presented to Imam Hamin Rasool, and to Tauheedah Mustafa and Jameelah Mustafa. Pioneer of the year awards were presented to Naim Sabir and Alimah Sharif.
During the Saviors Day program, Imam Warithudeen Mohammed II stated “Muhammad the Prophet (PBUH), what he meant to us as the people, a lot of us don't have a sound grasp on what he represents, “humanity.” He was and is the leader, not just what's in the Quran and in description but his spirit, his being, his personality, everything. Things that were revealed in the Quran are just as important today. He also spoke about signs in creation “Give G-d credit and say this material universe is telling us something about ourselves.” “The thing that separates us from the animals is our human intellect, that is not a gift to be neglected. Your human mind is more powerful than anything in creation if you use it properly.”
Upon interviewing several attendees about the keynote address, everyone gave the same highlight:
“We are the Night of Power!” This was the message of the keynote speech given by Ismail Shamsid-Deen, the former Secretary for the Nation of Islam under the leadership of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and became the East Coast National Consultant under the leadership of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. In his speech and slideshow presentation, Ismail connected the legacy of our past to our present state of affairs. “This is the day we celebrate our legacy!” Ismail said as he reminded us of our rich heritage and masterfully connected the dots using history, scripture, cosmology and his personal experience. “I do call to witness the Resurrection day” he said as he quoted Sura 75 - Qiyamat, Ayat 1. He outlined “The Resurrection” of African-American people from the enslavement of our ancestors, to rising to the highest office in the land by President Barack Obama. The first resurrection was under the leadership of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1930 for 41 years. The second resurrection was under the leadership of his son, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed for 33 years and our current leadership under his son, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed II for 10 years. If you add up the years, you will have exactly 84 years. These statistics connected in everyone’s minds.
The Holy Qur’an speaks of “Laylat al-Qadr”, or “The Night of Power.” It states that the Night of Power is “better than a thousand months.” How many years is a thousand months? 84 years x 12 = 1008 months.
This connection was very powerful. Ismail also talked about “the eclipse”. “The sun and the moon are joined together” Sura 75 - Qiyamat, Ayat 9. “There was an eclipse during the month of Ramadan in the year 1894. A reformer comes to the people after every century. We witnessed on Saviors Day 1975, another eclipse. The passing of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad the day before Saviors Day. The next day Imam Warith Deen Mohammed became the leader. We witnessed the Spiritual representation of the sun and the moon of Al-Islam in America. With this transition taking place, it brought about a change in our lives. A New World came into being. The high and mighty will be laid low and the downtrodden will be exalted.” “I haven’t heard any other Imam put it that way” said Sister Nazell Mohammed. As one who served under both leaderships, Ismail Shamsid-Deen’s address seems to be the story of our legacy as someone who lived the history.
This was a Saviors Day for us to reflect on our heritage as Muslims here in America.
By Na’Im Najieb
What is Saviors Day, how should it be observed?