By Michael Z. Muhammad, Contributing Writer
- August 1, 2023
Download Special 8-Page Spread: Minister Jabril Muhammad
“O soul that art at rest, Return to thy Lord, well-pleased, well-pleasing, So enter among My servants, And enter My Garden!”—Holy Qur’an, Surah 89 Verses 27-30
CHICAGO—Mosque Maryam at The National Center of the Nation of Islam was full to capacity as family members, friends, and Believers from around the world gathered to pay tribute to a man who was and is a pillar of Islam as taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and exemplified by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
Brother Minister Jabril Muhammad, known affectionately and lovingly as “Brother Jabril,” was honored during a janazah (Islamic funeral service) on July 30. The program was streamed live around the world. Minister Jabril Muhammad was a longtime companion, aide and supreme witness to the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
His casket was ceremoniously brought into Mosque Maryam accompanied by Nation of Islam Honor Guard dressed in striking blue uniforms. At the front of the sanctuary, they lifted the casket above their shoulders before carefully putting it in place.
Bro Jabril Muhammad Janaaza 7-30-23 (Photos Abdul K Muhammad)
As the believers in the audience stood, raised their arms and saluted, the air was filled with the heartfelt chorus of “Allah U Akbar!” (God is the Greatest).
“We are gathered here today for a very special tribute in honor of one of the great helpers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Minister Jabril Muhammad,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, National Assistant to Minister Farrakhan. “We mourn the loss of a father, a grandfather, a husband, an uncle, a brother, a soldier in the cause of Allah (God). We lift his lovely wife, his children, his family in our prayers and thoughts.”
Bro Jabril Muhammad Janaaza 7-30-23 (Photos Abdul K Muhammad)
Student Minister Ishmael explained, “Today we will be introduced to this special man, this beautiful human being, Jabril,” and that “we will learn something of his life through the obituary.” But, we will learn his divinity and the special divine role he played in the liberation struggle of Black and oppressed people as well as his priceless, invaluable contribution to the Nation of Islam, he continued.
“And that role that he played will be introduced to us by none other than the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. In my humble opinion and I’m sure it’s shared by many: Brother Jabril was the greatest witness of the Messiah, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Jesus—hands down! He was the greatest witness of his brother, his Minister, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. We thank Allah for Brother Jabril Muhammad.”
The service was a testament to this man’s incredible achievement as the central and key figure of assisting Minister Farrakhan in resurrecting the Nation of Islam after the departure of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1975.
The service detailed Minister Jabril’s life history through a beautifully crafted program. The reading began with Brother Cedric Muhammad, who took those in attendance back to Minister Jabril’s early years. Born as Bernard Edward Moore in the Bronx, New York, on June 28, 1936, his upbringing was profoundly influenced by his mother, Ruby Anna Mae Parker-Moore, and his father, Bernard Moore, Sr. Growing up, his mother nurtured his public speaking skills. She instilled in him the importance of education and diligent study.
Minister Jabril developed a deep passion for research and the arts as a young man. In 1953, he first heard about the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and attended a mosque meeting at Temple No. 7 (as they were called at that time).
The following year, he had a transformative six-hour conversation with Minister Malcolm X, where he made a powerful commitment regarding what Malcolm told him of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “If this man is who you say he is, I will help him,” read Brother Cedric.
Brother Cedic concluded by noting that in June 1954, Minister Jabril had a transformative experience when he read J.A. Rodgers’ book, “From Superman to Man.” This book reminded him of a previous conversation with Minister Malcolm X, sparking his interest even more. He soon started attending Temple No. 7 in Harlem, and after his fourth visit, he officially joined.
A year later, he met and instantly connected with Brother Louis X (the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.) This friendship would prove to be one of the most significant and enduring bonds in both men’s lives, Brother Cedric read.
Additional historical highlights of his life stated that in 1965 Brother Jabril was appointed minister in Phoenix, Arizona, where he had the distinct honor of living with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Minister Jabril was blessed to receive direct teaching and training from his teacher.
Student Minister Ishmael noted that in 1966 Minister Jabril corresponded with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who confirmed his thoughts about his departure on the heels of a death plot that would not succeed.
In 1972, Minister Jabril accurately predicted the day, month, and year of the Messenger’s departure. Three years later, on February 25, 1975, the world received the news of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s passing. This event plunged the Nation of Islam into a period of darkness and led to the dismantling of the works of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Sister Dr. Patina Muhammad, the wife of Minister Jabril, highlighted her husband’s role as an “extraordinary helper to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.” During a meeting in Hollywood, California, in September 1977, Minister Jabril had the opportunity to present his book to Minister Farrakhan, who was on the verge of returning to show business. He felt the unwavering love the Minister still had for Allah in Person, The Great Mahdi Master Fard Muhammad, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Black people.
Minister Farrakhan completed reading the book in just three days and assured Minister Jabril that his “eye operation” had been successful, Sister Dr. Patina read.
In the same year, Minister Jabril revealed that he was able to lift Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, the wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as well. The trio’s bond was unbreakable, and Mother Tynnetta became like a sister to Minister Jabril. Together, the three of them worked tirelessly to rebuild the Nation of Islam.
Minister Farrakhan bestowed the name Jabril Muhammad upon Brother Bernard Cushmeer in honor of the angel Jibril, who revealed the Holy Qur’an from Allah to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). Minister Jabril approached Minister Farrakhan with profound spiritual insight, urging him to “READ.” Minister Farrakhan acknowledged that Brother Jabril knew him better than anyone else due to his deep understanding of scripture.
Sister Iman “Latonja” Ali worked with Brother Minister Jabril read portions that further shared facts about his life. She highlighted his admiration for author J.A. Rodgers and his influential book which inspired his writing endeavors.
His strong determination to accurately portray the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan led him to produce remarkable works, showcasing his scholarly expertise and unwavering support for these two divine servants of Allah.
She stated Minister Jabril demonstrated an unwavering dedication to the written word as evidenced in his numerous books, such as “This is the One: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad We Need Not Look for Another,” “A Special Spokesman,” “A Written Testimony,” and “Is It Possible the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is Still Alive???” His impactful insights were also featured in his weekly column, “Farrakhan the Traveler,” in The Final Call newspaper.
Minister Farrakhan then mounted the rostrum and shared a touching tribute. The Minister expressed his admiration and gratitude, saying the name of his brother and trusted companion should be celebrated and shared with the world.
He described Brother Minister Jabril as a mentor and teacher who helped him regain his true self. The Minister highlighted the commendable assignment undertaken by Minister Jabril, which he successfully fulfilled.
“Our actions align with the Teachings found in the scriptures, spanning from Genesis to Revelation,” the Minister stated. Minister Jabril’s guidance has prepared me “to be a victor over Satan.”
Minister Farrakhan highlighted the recurring nature of history. He cited the example of Prophet Muhammad, who was initially unable to read but later received a book upon the command of the Angel Jibril. Similarly, Master Fard Muhammad bestowed the Holy Quran in Arabic to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who could not read it at first. However, a profound understanding of the Qur’an emerged through Elijah Muhammad, leading to the discovery of an entirely new realm of knowledge.
Lastly, he noted the story of Peter, who denied Jesus upon his death. Addressing the audience, he inquired, “What is my assignment?” Answering, he pointed to the Bible’s book of Luke, Chapter 22, where Jesus says in part, “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”
“I came back and got you,” Minister Farrakhan said as the audience stood to their feet in applause. Please see the special insert in The Final Call to read the Minister’s message.
The service ended with the janazah prayer led by Student Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad and Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad. Following the customs of the Nation of Islam as taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, mints were handed out to honor the sweet and meaningful life of Minister Jabril Muhammad. A repast was held next door at Muhammad University of Islam where guests fellowshipped and also greeted family members of Brother Minister Jabril.
Brother Minister Jabril Muhammad married his wife, Sister Dr. Patina Muhammad in 2011 and she remained a trusted and faithful companion. Brother Minister Jabril was preceded in death by his second wife, Sister Nafessah Muhammad.
His legacy is carried on by his loving and devoted family, including his children from his first marriage with Sister Bernique Cushmeer: Sister Naeemah, Sister Ati Hamid, Sister Bari, Brother Elijah, and Brother Barnar.
And his stepchildren with his wife Sister Dr. Patina, Sister Vanteresa Underwood-Muhammad, Brother Isaiah Underwood-Muhammad, and their children Kalaiah, Isaiah, Kai Jr., and TahRyah Prince Lee. Brother Jabril’s legacy also includes his seven cherished grandchildren: Gabrielle, Kaia, Joaquin, Noah, Ehren, Hasan, Hanif, and Emir Nasr Karriem. To view this special service in its entirety, visit media.noi.org.