Min. Farrakhan delivers Keynote address in Detroit. Photo: Hannibal Muhammad

[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day keynote address delivered Sunday, February 21, 2016 at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan.]


We give Allah (God) praise and thanks for His mercy to us and His intervention in our affairs in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, the Long-Awaited Mahdi of the Muslims, and we thank Him for His coming to guide us out of the darkness of ignorance to a straight path of righteousness and decency, that we might be successful.  We thank Him for coming to this great city of Detroit and making Himself known to us July 4, 1930.  He came to this city, the “Mecca” of industrialization; but it became The Mecca, the place where the knowledge and wisdom of The Original Man first started in this country when the Black man and woman of America who were lost were now found.

We thank Allah for searching among us and finding among us the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.  In this great city of Detroit, the Muhammad Family, which was known before as “Poole” and now known as Muhammad, would become the foundational stone of the rise of Islam in North America, bringing up a light out of The West that would shine back toward The East that is now in darkness. 

We thank Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, for the Muhammad Family, who endured much that Islam could be established in America.

They say that there’s great Islamophobia in America—but we are not new to persecution; we have suffered much, we have been imprisoned, and we have been killed for our faith.  So we can help our Muslim family who are now feeling what we have felt for 83 years. 

We thank Allah for Mother Clara Muhammad, the Beloved Wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who taught us what a strong Black woman could be like.  But when her husband was arrested—not because he was a bad man, but because the White powers did not want a Black man to teach what Elijah Muhammad was teaching at a time when America was prosecuting a war with Japan—Mother Clara Muhammad, with the early Muslims, gathered together nickels and dimes because we were very poor.  And she carried that money to Washington to pay the bail of her husband.  She held The Nation together and her family together, while the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was sentenced to five years in prison for draft dodging when he was too old for the draft. Later Muhammad Ali, our great brother, followed in his footsteps and refused to fight for a country that did not fight for us.

Elijah Muhammad paved the way.  The early followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in this great city paved the way.  And when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad left Detroit and went to Chicago to start building the Nation beyond Detroit, he found in Chicago the same hatred that he met in Detroit.  But 83-years-later, we come back home to Detroit; 83- years-later, Chief James Craig, and the police force under his command, gave us unparalleled welcome into the city with a motorcade of police that reminded us of how Presidents Obama and others are handled when they come to the city. 

The police have been around the clock; everywhere we went, they went in front and came behind.  I thank Chief Craig, and the police force of Detroit; and I believe he is a good man, and I believe that we can work together to make Detroit the No. 1 city in America for police-community relations.



Minister Louis Farrakhan

This is a very serious hour and I thought that it would be best not to give a “lecture” as such, because I’m really tired of lecturing.  Whatever needs to be said to you has already been said—and what needs to be done is that we do the things that our wise leaders and teachers have taught us to do! 


We applaud much, and do little.  So many of our leaders are like a “lovely song”; and when the song is ended, the melody may linger for  a while, but then the enemy puts a pacifier back in our mouth, and we go back to sleep until the next leader shows up with a strong message. 

We are a terrible people to work for.  But if we weren’t, we wouldn’t be The People of God, for the scriptures teach that God would come after a “stiff-necked, hard-hearted and rebellious people.”  I think they had us down pretty good. Yet as bad sometimes as we have been, and unfortunately still are, we are favored by God.  We have been made into a Great Problem that only God can solve.

So those of us who work on Black problems, and we go to the various colleges and universities that offer us nothing—I mean knowledge …  And many of us come out of colleges here and throughout the world with many degrees, and we feel that the “knowledge” that our former slave masters offered to us helps us to solve the problem of Black people; but after we use up what we’ve been taught, and get used up in the process, we get weak, and fall out—the problem continues—and Black people continue to suffer.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that our problem is not a problem that can be solved by traditional medicine or means, our problem is such that there has to be divine intervention, and the offering of a divine solution that will enable us to come up once and for all out of the condition that 460 years under tyranny has made of us.  (Message To The Blackman, “The Economic Program II,” page 199)  

If a Divine Solution is needed, Divine Help will be provided

A few months ago, while we were working on the 20th anniversary of The Million Man March, I think I gave a command.  That is not the first command that I gave:  During the time I was the minister in New York, an unfortunate incident took place and our mosque was attacked by the police, we fought; and, unfortunately, a police man died, another was wounded, and some of us were wounded.  I was very, very popular in New York, so the police chief came to visit me in my office—but I was so angry at what they had done, I spoke words out of my mouth that were filled with passion, and maybe ignorance, but I told him that “we would bathe the city in blood.”

Now, I have to qualify such a statement.  You know, there comes a time in life, whether it’s a woman suffering under the constant beating of a man who claims to love her, but you’re forced to a position where death is sweeter than to live under oppression.  We’ve had many great ones among us pay the supreme sacrifice, because they couldn’t take it anymore.  So I told the chief:  “We want all White policemen out of Harlem tonight!”—and that night, in Harlem, there were no White police

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad called me to Chicago:  He wasn’t happy.  But when you are unarmed, and people are armed that come against you, and God gives you the upper hand, it’s not wrong to take them off the planet.  It’s not wrong .… 

Master Fard Muhammad taught us not to carry as much as a penknife; so there are no weapons in our homes, no weapons do we carry, because we are not looking to fight with the little weapons that we might get under the 2nd Amendment of The Constitution to fight a well-armed enemy.  We want to show the world that we are a people of peace.  Master Fard Muhammad said He came to fight our battle for us.  It didn’t mean that we wouldn’t have to fight; but I mean to fight, and win:  If it is a divine solution that is needed for our problem, there is Divine Help that is also needed “…  for vengeance is Mine, saith the Lord.”  The battle is not yours.  The battle is His.  Now this doesn’t make us cowards, because Allah does not like cowards.  When your love is deep enough, you will lay down your life for what you love. 

So the Honorable Elijah Muhammad raised a question:  “How many of them did you kill?”  I said, “Well, only one passed away, sir.”  He never, never looked like he was pleased with my answer; and then he said to me, “Brother, never speak ahead of your actual power to do; because if you speak ahead of your power to do, and you are called to do—and you cannot do—then your folly is laid bare as a big mouth with no substance.”  So we don’t believe in bluster or blabber.  When we are committed to a Cause, we commit our lives to that Cause.  We’ll never be the aggressor, because Allah does not love aggression, but we are commanded by God to fight with those who fight with us in His name.  And in 83 years, we’ve lost a few; but you would have thought the numbers that came against us we would have lost many, but Allah helped us, right here in Detroit. … 

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad continued; he looked at me and said:  “Brother, 35 percent of the people in New York are with you, 15 percent are sympathetic to you.  But there’s another 50 percent that are not sympathetic—they are neutral towards you.  You go back to New York and take the 15 percent that are sympathetic, and make them like the 35 percent who are with you.”  And then he said:  “Reach over into the 50 percent until you make 25 percent of them sympathetic, then any command that you give will be carried out.”


During our move up toward 10.10.15, we gave a command:  “Up with Jesus!  Down with Santa!”  saying that we are going to boycott spending, following the beautiful instruction of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:  “Redistribute the pain that you feel!”  We just can’t keep burying our dead and suffering quietly while the rich and the powerful continue business as usual.  Dr. King said, “Redistribute the pain, and tell them that fairness to God’s people should be high on your [the politicians’] agenda.  And if that is not the case, then we have an agenda, and we will involve ourselves in economic withdrawal.” 


Audience fills Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.

A note on Dr. King:  The lengths the enemy will go to bury an idea whose time has come


Many Black people didn’t even know that Dr. King spoke words like that.  We cannot allow the enemy to write our history.  We cannot allow the enemy to destroy the legacy of great Black men and women, “softening them up,” as they bury them, and then try to bury the idea that made America arrest them, prosecute them, deport them, kill them.  Malcolm would come back from the grave and slap somebody for putting his image on a U.S. government stamp.  Malcolm was no friend of the government—and the government certainly was no friend of Brother Malcolm; in fact, he probably would be alive today if the F.B.I. and the Counter-Intelligence Program of J. Edgar Hoover was not so much in effect inside The Nation and outside The Nation, to split Black from Black.  This is their modus operandi.  Martin Luther King sleeps in death, but the grave cannot hold him once you know what he really was killed for.  He wasn’t killed because he had a “dream” that his little Black children and little White children would “hold hands together”—he wasn’t killed for that. 

And that makes the enemy feel so good, that after all the hell they’ve given us we just want to hold hands with them.  We are such a silly people.  Dr. King said he woke up from his “dream” and found a nightmare.

[Ref. The May 8, 1967 NBC News interview with Dr. King.  “King in 1967: ‘My dream has ‘turned into a nightmare’” (] 

Dr. King saw that land was a necessity for us to be economically free.  And he started talking about land—yes he did; and some 20 days after he made a speech talking about what America did for poor White people in Europe, he was murdered.    The Congress passed laws and millions of acres of land in the Midwest and West were allocated to White people coming from Europe to get a start in America; and Dr. King said they gave them land, they gave them the implements to work the land, they gave them the seeds to plant, to produce food from the land, and from that came land grant colleges.  And “they,” of course, were the Republicans, by the way …

Brothers and sisters, you haven’t made any progress under Democrats.  I don’t know why you’re such a slave.  Figure it out: What did they do for you with what you have given to the Democratic Party?  All White folk have to do is smile at you, and talk “right talk.”  But then look around and see what they do after they talk.  See, they want your vote.  Your vote is what they want—but they can’t perform, I don’t care what they promise.

[Ref. On YouTube, the video “Rare Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Speaking on Federal Subsidies for White Land Owners” (;   Also, please visit for The NOI Research Group’s extensive compilation of speeches showing the evolution of Dr. King from one of an integrationist “Dreamer” in 1963, to one of a true wide-awake revolutionary in 1968 when he was murdered.]

‘Our Economic Withdrawal’:  The Effect of our obeying a Divine Command/Order

We gave an order not to shop from the day after Thanksgiving called “Black Friday” all the way to the first week of January and then we said, “Find some Black business that you can spend your money with and don’t complain. Go find a Black business and spend your money with your own.” Did you know our people started doing that in cities across the country?  This is how you find out who your friends are, and who your enemies are, because it’s real. 

In a little town in Texas called “Waxahachie,” brothers and sisters in The Nation of Islam Study Group went to the mall—and I’m talking about Muslims who are tired of hearing talk.  Muslims who want to do something.  Muslims who want to make a change in the world. Seeking to remedy the trade imbalance by informing the neighborhood of the Black alternative for hair products just down the street. They set up an information station on a public sidewalk near the Korean store and asked the steady stream of Black hair care customers to simply consider the Black-owned vendor.  But when they went to the mall, our Korean family, distant family, accused the Muslims of injustice.

Now, they can sit in Korea and plan how to make money off of our foolishness; so from Korea, they set up 9,000 beauty supply stores throughout America.  Oh, they know we have a mental hair problem. … The Koreans, they are smart:  They put themselves in communities across America.  And some of our people had beauty supply stores, but they took over, and we had to go to them for our beauty supplies when the prices we were offered were jacked up.  And many of our beauty supply businesses went out of business. … Now I don’t necessarily want to inflame you, I just want to help you.  You do look beautiful, yes you do; but you’re so much poorer—but you are beautiful.  I don’t know which is better:  To be beautiful and broke, or to still be beautiful with some money in your pocket.  They know you have pretty feet, but they are going to make them prettier; so, they serve a need, and the income that they get from us in a year is in the billions of dollars.  And while there are Black banks in some of the cities, they will not put any money in a Black bank; they get money from Black people and Brown people, but the money is in their bank building their community, while our community is going to hell. 

Some scientists said that money circulates in the Black community six hours, and it’s gone; because we are habitual spenders.  It seems like when we get a little money, there’s an itch, and we scratch that itch by spending money.  I don’t know whether spending money on things makes you feel good, you know?  Or your husband speaks unkind words, or you don’t feel too good that day, and you say, “I’ll just go spend some money”—so White folks love that you don’t have good relations at home, or anywhere else.

I don’t mean this to be the “comedy hour,” but I want us to see how we can create wealth in our own communities by holding our money tighter.  Just some discipline from the Christmas Boycott:  You didn’t know how powerful it was.  And nobody had to hit you, or, talk about you; you said, “Yeah, I’m not going to give my money,” and you just held your money.  That discipline made you more powerful than you have been in a long time. 


There was a (public opinion) poll that was taken, the Rasmussen Poll that reveals that a command, and the spirit to carry it out, have entered into the thinking and altered the actions of a critical mass of people, Black people.  It’s called “behavioral economics.”  Now all we did was say to you, Do you love Jesus?”—and you wouldn’t dare say, “No, I don’t love Jesus.”  Then we asked, “Well, is Santa Claus equal to Jesus?  Why would you kick Jesus to the curb, and go and buy a tree and deck it with silver and gold,” (not real silver or real gold; you know, tinsel), “spend money that you don’t have to give gifts to your friends and your family”—and on the day after Christmas you see them taking the gift back. …  We are the ones that are spending big money, billions:  $602 billion is spent in America on the Christmas-Thanksgiving holidays to the first of the new year. 

And guess what?  We got help—from God!  We said, “We’re not spending,” and God made the weather warmer than it had been in a long time.  This Christmas they lost billions of dollars, billions of dollars. …  Here is what you did to redistribute the pain:  Apple, they say, in the current quarter, which was from the last quarter of the year 2015, there was a decline in Apple’s sales for the first time in 13 years.  Best Buy holiday sales declined as the retailer sold fewer smart phones than expected.  Domestic sales over the nine weeks through January 2nd fell 1.2 percent; Macy’s announced plans to lay off 4,350 employees due to disappointing holiday sales.  Macy’s said about 80 percent of its sales declines can be attributed to shortfalls in cold weather goods like coats, sweaters, hats, gloves and scarves—because the weather was so warm, the people weren’t buying.  So it’s wonderful to know that we give commands and God helps us!  God backs us up! 

So we are going to commission a poll, because I want to see if I’ve reached the percentages that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that if I gave a command, it would be carried out.  So this is no more time to teach, now; you’ve got The Teaching.  What you need are The Commands, and The Spirit to do after The Command. 

‘Get in-Formation’:  Beginning on a spiritual level allows us to hear, obey and carry out commands

On Saturday, February 20th, I watched the military drill of The F.O.I. and The M.G.T., from the babies all the way up.  We saw babies giving commands—and those commands were carried out, without one misstep.  See brothers and sisters, you are by nature soldiers.  You just have not had commands to follow that will demonstrate the power that you possess. When the command is given, the next thing we have to do is take counsel, make plans, and carry out the command.  And it has to start on the spiritual level

Now, dear reverend:  You must stop preaching that “God loves everybody.”  That is a gross falsehood.  “Oh, God loves everybody.  And I love everybody …,” and when you talk like that, we can prove you don’t love anybody, even yourself.  Everything in nature has an enemy.  I didn’t create the dog and the cat, Allah did.  But that cat, when he sees that dog:  His back comes up, hair goes up, and you hear that hiss coming out.  The dog wants the cat, and the cat is ready to fight.  In nature, everything has an enemy. 

Now let me ask you a very real question:  Do you think you have a real enemy?  I mean, somebody tricked us.  Is that a “friend”?  Somebody brought us out of Africa, kidnapped us:  Is that the work of a “friend”?  Some of us jumped in the sea because death was sweeter than to be a slave.  Somebody put us in chains …  Oh, I love Kendrick Lamar’s [2016 Grammy awards] presentation!  Kanye West is railing on his new album!  And my sweet sister Beyoncé:  Boy…  Boy, did she fix ’em? 

Now, you know, people are terrified:  “Beyoncé??”  [Former New York mayor] Rudolph Giuliani said, “On the greatest platform in the world —THE SUPER BOWL—she started talking that, that BLACK STUFF!”  And White folks said, “We …  We don’t know how, how to deal with that!”  But you taught us everywhere we went about the Holocaust, and we have sympathy for you.  But when one of us shows some independence?  Look at how you’re treating Beyoncé now …

You’re going to picket?

You’re not going to offer her police protection?

But The F.O.I. will.


We say to the Hip Hop Community, to our cultural giants:  Say What You Feel!  Put it out there, with strength!  They allowed you to call your women “bitches” and “whores”—now put it out there how you love your Black Self, and you want to see Black people free!  WE’LL BACK YOU UP!

Kendrick Lamar set a new standard:  He freed rappers to come on up!  He’s the boss!  He is the boss.  Now, when the rappers are free to say it “like it is,” and say what they feel, and teach their people through music and rap and song and dance, The Cultural Revolution is on!


‘Realism vs. Spookism’: Accessing a true spirituality to begin freeing ourselves from a colonial state of existence

Now, what I am trying to get you to see that we have enemies; a natural enemy.  Why are you in this condition?  Is it because you have “friends,” who:  1.)  Took away your name and gave you theirs?  2.) Took away our language and gave us theirs?  3.) Took away our God and gave us theirs?  4.) Took away our religion, and gave us theirs?  5.) Took away our country, and our history, and gave us theirs?  That’s not a friend.  That’s an enemy.

Now let’s look at Detroit.  All reverends, all politicians, leaders, that may be [reading my words], can I address to you momentarily, brother-to-brother?  We are in a colonial state of being.  Detroit, where we live, is a “colony.”  Harlem is a “colony,” Bedford-Stuyvesant is a “colony”; in Cleveland, the East Side, that’s a “colony”! 

Well, what is a “colony”?  See, you’re already separated; so, we want separation—but we don’t want segregation.  Well what’s the difference?  Back to “Islam 101”

Segregation is imposed on an inferior by a superior. 

Separation is voluntary by two equals.

Now, brothers and sisters, a superior said where you could live.  Talk to me.  And a superior, when they got ready to close the project down and move you someplace else, you’re just like a speck of dust easily blown around.  Do you want to admit that you’re a colony?  The wealth that is in the colony is extracted from the colony by those who control the colony through leadership in the colony! 

Now reverend, as long as you can keep the colony happy, docile, meek, and weak, you’ll get an occasional call to come “downtown.”  And when you go downtown, they’ll tell you:  “Reverend, what is it that I can do for you?” and you’ll respond, “Well, you know, the collection plate is getting a little weak, because the people are losing jobs, your honor.”  “Your honor”…  They’ll assure you, “Well, we have something laid over here; give it to him.  Give it to him …,” and the reverend goes back to the ghetto, and on Sunday morning he comes out in his fine regalia and entertains us


One of the things you have to understand spiritually is that prayer, without work, won’t get it!  If you, whether you’re Muslim, Christian or Jew, or Buddhist, say your prayers:  “Prayer” is required—but only prayer, and then you sit down, thinking that some Mystery God is going to fix it for you?  That is why a lot of your prayers don’t get answered; because all God has to do is give you the strength and the wisdom, and you will answer your prayer with His Help.  That’s why Jesus said, “Seek, and you shall find.  Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.  Ask, and it shall be given.”  But beg, and do nothing?  That’s a fool!  So the first thing I want you to do in The Spiritual is: Do not believe that God is a Mystery, and that He is some spook, somewhere (“over the rainbow”). 

You think that, “Oh, when I die, I’m going to meet Him in the air, YES I WILL!”  No you won’t.  “Heaven” and “Hell” are not two places; “Heaven” and “Hell” are two conditions of life.  You can make a “heaven” for yourself, or you can make a “hell” for yourself—but it’s in your hands.  With The Help of God you can make a heavenly life, right now, on this Earth.

“Well, ain’t I going to heaven?”  Yes, you can go anytime you want.  “Well, do you believe in The Hereafter?”  I do!  I believe in Life after Death.  “WHAT??”  Let me explain. 

Now, I don’t believe that when we place a body in the earth, and the earth takes it back to itself, that we’ll meet that person again somewhere else.  That’s against reality.  Have you ever seen anybody dead come back and tell you “how sweet it is”?  No.  Well then, if it’s “so good” on the other side, why do you cry so much when somebody’s dying?  Let’s send ’em!  It’s better on the other side?  “Honey, hurry up and go!”—because you’re sure in a lot of pain here!  See, as long as you think you’re going to get something “somewhere else” it limits your ability to do something here, now, on this Earth, while you live.  …   

Beloved, the word “Here-after” is an adverb of place, and an adverb of time.  (“Here” where?  On this Earth.  “When”?  After!)   “After what?”  After the power of the wicked has been destroyed and we are free to live a Godly life on this Earth, then we are in “Heaven”; we’re in “The Here-After”—and it starts right now; when Truth enters your mind, and breaks up the foolishness of your mind, then “heaven” can begin for you right then.


Brothers and sisters, see, The Law of Cause and Effect is very real.  Look at the beautiful creation of God:  Is it real?  Can you see it?  Even if you can’t get there to touch the moon, we sing about it.  White folks say, “Hmm.  I think I’ll go there!”  The White man has been very great as a teacher in many things.  Because you:  You don’t believe that you could visit the moon—not you.  You sing about it …  But the White man:  He sings too, but he knows it’s a mathematical problem that Higher Mathematics can solve.  And he makes a rocket and puts something in space, and they reach the moon—a quarter of a million miles away—and they walk on it; then come back, and we hail them:  “Wonderful! He walked on the moon!”  And he’s celebrated all over America, because he went to the moon—our moon.  Our moon… 

That’s why when he landed he said, “A small step for Man.  A giant leap for mankind.”   What did it mean?  The Original Man, not “the original spook,” put it out there; so going there, for us, would be a “small step.”  But for that kind of man, who is non-original, it is a “giant step” for him!  White folks prove that God is Real. 

God is not a “mystery”:  He is as real as me standing here, you sitting there.  God is Real.  And if you want to make something happen, all you have to do is envision it, believe in it—and then get others to believe with you—and work your vision, and soon the vision will become a reality.  God is Real.  You are Real.  We can change the reality of our lives if we understand that we are the ones to do it.