The Nation, family and friends remember the life and contribution of Louis Farrakhan, Jr.
CHICAGO—Light shone through the domed ceiling of Mosque Maryam and what had been a rainy and overcast day became bright. The sunshine and its energy reflected the spirit buzzing in the sanctuary at the homegoing service of Louis E. Farrakhan, Jr., the eldest son of the internationally known Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan and his wife Khadijah Farrakhan.
The sanctuary was filled with family, Muslims, well-wishers and old friends to celebrate and remember a man known for his brotherhood, brilliance and humor.
While there was certainly sadness and a few tears shed, there was no grief as the Muslim funeral service and fond memories kept a great loss balanced with gratitude for a great life sent this way.
After the service opened with a Quranic recitation, Student Minister Jeffrey Muhammad explained the Muslim funeral service and its practical and beautiful nature.
There are no flowers because flowers should be given to the living and money spent on flowers can be given to surviving family, he said. Likewise, there is no music and no long litany of speakers, which may touch the family and heighten their loss, added Jeffrey Muhammad.
The sanctuary of the mosque was full of Farrakhan and Muhammad family members, members of diverse religious faiths, special friends and supporters like Chuck D and Flavor Flav of Public Enemy, football great Jim Brown, Father Michael Pfleger, Rev Jeremiah Wright, Rev. Clay Evans, Rev. Al Sampson, Rev. Paul Jakes, Rev. Henry Hardy, activist and educator Dr. Conrad Worrill, Prince Asiel Ben Israel of the Hebrew Israelite Community, Bishop Connie Bansa, Howard and Rosalind Morgan, Rev. Hiro of the True Family Values Church, former alderman Dorothy Tillman, Palestinian editor and activist Ali Baghdadi, community leaders Florence Cox and Doris Lewis, rapper DA Smart and comedian Reggie Reg.
It was a reunion of sorts for Muslims with attendees including pioneering former National Secretary of the Nation of Islam John Ali; Munir Muhammad of the Coalition for the Remembrance of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad; Ameer Muhammad, Alif Muhammad, Saffiya Muhammad, Rabb Muhammad, Maraud Muhammad and Hafeezah Muhammad, grandchildren of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad; Shirley Muhammad, the wife of the late Imam W.D. Mohammed and her daughters Laila and Ngina; Imam Muhammad Siddeeq, Imam Abdul Malik, Sheikh Ahmed Rufai and Believers from different Islamic communities. The mosque was also so full that it was not able to accommodate all who wanted to attend the funeral.
Resolutions from the Rev. James Bass and Mayor Eric Kellogg of Harvey, Ill., were acknowledged. Outside among flowers was a huge arrangement from tv personality and onetime Michigan judge Greg Mathis. Attendees came from across the country and condolences for the Farrakhan family came in from different parts of the world.
Ishmael Muhammad, a son of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and assistant minister at Mosque Maryam, offered words to comfort the audience, which included the Minister, his wife and family.
He offered prayers for the family that Allah (God) would lift any burden or sorrow, but every soul has a fixed time to depart this life and only leaves with Allah’s permission, he added.
The Holy Qur’an says Allah takes men’s souls at night and those on whom the decree of death has not passed arise the next day, said Ishmael Muhammad.
We don’t know when we will leave this world but life is short so what are we doing with the time God gives us? he asked. We were expecting Louis to live, but Allah knew what would happen, so we should be good to one another in our daily lives, avoiding grief and sorrow when the one we love passes, he said.
It appears Brother Louis was sleep, and Allah took him in his sleep in the family home; this represents Allah’s mercy, said Ishmael Muhammad. Brother Louis didn’t die in gun violence or a plane crash but in his sleep in the blessed month of Ramadan, where Prophet Muhammad said the gates of heaven are wide open in this month, said Student Minister Muhammad.
This is a blessed, highly favored family and Brother Louis’ children should be grateful for the time Allah gave us with their father, he continued. A blessed life doesn’t mean no illness, or pain but it means Allah allows you to praise and glorify him and rise above any condition in life, said Ishmael Muhammad.
We will miss Brother Louis who made an indelible impression on us and there will never be another like him, he said as the audience exploded into applause.
He was unique, gifted and “boy was he funny,” said Ishmael Muhammad. He was also gracious, kind and would not want us to be sad, he said.
Ishmael Muhammad recounted a story from Mustapha Farrakhan about his older brother who was in the hospital after having a heart attack. How does it feel? asked Mustapha Farrakhan. It was like Allah sent a new angel and a fat one that sat on my chest said Brother Louis, as Ishmael Muhammad recounted the story. The audience again erupted into laughter and applause. It was classic humor from Brother Louis, easily recognized by those who knew him.