By Halimah Mohammed Ali
ATLANTA, Ga. – An old vision of this community’s leadership has reappeared in Fort Valley, Georgia. The legacy of both the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his son, Imam W. Deen Mohammed –for economic growth and independence – has emerged in the spirit and heart of Fareed Shakir.
While incarcerated in the Milan, Michigan, prison for draft evasion, a round table discussion among the Muslim men inmates and their leader, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, led to an accreted effort to purchase a 140-acre farm and some cattle in White Cloud, Michigan.
A little over a year ago, Fareed Shakir went to investigate a property that was recommended to him for purchase. Bro. Fareed is a builder, so farming was the last thing on his mind. But with Allah’s Decree, he would purchase a 140-acre farm in Fort Valley, Ga.
Without any agricultural training, Bro. Fareed took up this calling and with Prayer and Perseverance, he literally bought the farm and is determined to produce Organic Halal meat. He completely revived the land and uses only organic fertilizer and grass seeds.
Once the grass began to grow, he immediately sought out for the finest quality of Black Angus cows – a total of 11 – within less than nine months of the purchase of the farm. Those cows already have produced six calves to date.
The journey for Bro. Fareed has been hard yet miraculous! Allah blessed him to acquire farm equipment, tools and the local support of his neighbors. Last spring, he related how anxious the cattle were to graze in the freshly grown grass. He observed them poking their heads out of the pen, constantly peering at the tall grass.
Although they were being feed hay, the cattle became disinterested once the grass appeared. Bro. Fareed finally released them into the field and expressed the delight of the cows as doing a “Happy Dance.”
The road to developing the farm is far from complete. Nonetheless, the small group of men and Farmer Fareed are on the job daily. He shared with his visitors that he could feel the spirit of the late leaders as he worked and tilled the soil.
So what’s next for the farm? There are three structures up to house chickens! Just like the Hon. Elijah Muhammad did in Michigan! The Atlanta community encourages everyone to pay a visit to the Fort Valley farm and lend your support for this brave and noble effort – that honors the legacy of our great leaders through the work that is being done.
Keep our brother, Fareed Shakir, and his staff in our dua’s everyday. It’s our time, and we must get busy doing all we can to please Allah and to serve humanity.
Muslim Journal is looking for more Do-For-Self stories that have turned ideas and ideals into realities and concrete works serving humanity.