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Testimonies from extraordinary women

By Ashahed M. Muhammad -Assistant Editor- | Last updated: May 22, 2014 - 9:56:47 AM

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Bearing witness to the heart, mind and soul of a man who dies daily for the people

So Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and I do nothing on My own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” – (John 8:28,29)


CHICAGO ( - Hundreds filled the elegant and luxurious ballroom of the Salaam Restaurant on the city’s South Side May 10 to participate in a unique witness-bearing panel discussion during which perspectives of a well-known person would be shared.

That well-known person is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

(L-R) A’ishah Muhammad, Dr. Ava Muhammad, Nation of Islam First Lady Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, Fatimah Farrakhan and Mary Alice Muhammad. Photo: Valerie Muhammad

Minister Farrakhan does not talk about himself much, nor does he call attention to the wonderful things he does. He does not share the confidential advice he delivers to those who seek his guidance, nor does he reveal the identities of those he has counseled. Though well meaning, many who praise him publicly and privately attempt to give him lofty titles, when in fact, the one he prefers most is that of a servant. 

The testimonial panel is the brainchild of Rashad Muhammad, a longtime member of Minister Farrakhan’s personal security team who joined the Nation of Islam at the age of 19. He is a man of few words when you see him in action at major events or appearances however, his recent words at programs in Washington, D.C., and New Orleans have been profound, as he shares his perspective as one who has literally traveled all over the world with the Minister.

“What we want to do is share the heart, the mind and the soul of a man that dies daily for a people,” Rashad Muhammad said during his introductory comments.

Many love Min. Farrakhan, because they witness his love through his sacrifice, and words of guidance, but the question or test for those who say they love the Minister is whether they are able to display that same type of love to one another. Jesus communicated this desire in  the scriptures when he commanded, “love ye one another even as I have loved you.”

Photos: Haroon Rajaee

“When we truly understand what God has given us in the man, then we’ll start to practice the principles, and we’ll produce the miracles,” said Rashad Muhammad. “I think that when we truly understand what God has given us in the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we will see the reality of God,” he added.

Chosen to share their experiences were Dr. Ava Muhammad, National Spokesperson for Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, A’ishah Muhammad, former Student National Captain of the M.G.T. & G.C.C. who now serves as the Nation of Islam’s National Auditing Coordinator, Mary Alice Muhammad, who serves as Min. Farrakhan’s personal chef, and Fatimah Farrakhan, who in addition to being Min. Farrakhan’s personal nurse is also his daughter, which added another layer of depth to the discussion.

They are in a position to observe the Minister publicly and privately, beyond the man that is seen speaking from the rostrum. They all described the experience of watching the Minister do something or deliver insightful guidance that could only come from one with a direct connection to God.

Often, Minister Farrakhan is defined in the public by what the controlled media says about him, and as a result, there are many with misperceptions. Many wondered if those testifying would really go into details regarding the Minister—and they did. Consistently the sisters emphasized that the man you see in public who is courageous, courteous, selfless and thoughtful is always in teaching mode, whether through his words at the dinner table, or through his actions.

The moderator, Student Minister Willie Muhammad from New Orleans, Louisiana’s Mosque No. 46, directed specific questions to each of them dealing with the nature of their service.

Fatimah Farrakhan became emotional several times during the program, especially when a question was directed to her related to Minister Farrakhan’s near death experiences. Although the Minister has been very open and graphic about his health challenges and those experiences, she said she was impacted in a different way watching him suffer and in so much pain. Even describing how the Minister’s body had to be inverted to ensure that blood would continue to rush to his vital organs, including the brain.


“To see large clots of blood, him losing baseball sized clots of blood, hemorrhaging to death, and with each pain that he felt he would say ‘Oh Allah! Oh Allah!’ and—for me, sometimes when I hear the words ‘Oh Allah’ it doesn’t even have the same…” and she paused and held back the tears for a moment. “Sometimes that is a place you don’t want to go back to, because when you see a man in the grips of death like that and his words are ‘Oh Allah, whatever you want Allah’ and I’m like ‘No dad, fight!’ And I’m in nurse mode ‘I’m like no, I’m not letting you go, I’m not ready!’”

Many wept listening to her words and her courageous and heartfelt testimony.

“Every day I see him struggle for us, and for our salvation, and he’s so unselfish … he’s something else,” she said through the tears.

A question directed to A’ishah Muhammad centered on Dianetics and those who question whether the Minister has deviated from the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad by introducing it to the Nation of Islam’s membership.

“You know it is very interesting is that when we hear about the Church of Scientology and we hear the term Dianetics, it sounds very foreign to us—particularly to Black people—so we think that when we hear those words, it is different from the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and it is not. So when we go back and look at the Minister’s words, old (lectures), new (lectures), study guides, read Message to the Blackman, everything bears witness to what he already gave us, so it is not different. It is language that often confuses us. So his adherence?” she paused. “He is the example and were it not for him, we would not even know what the Teachings were supposed to look like,”she added.

Dr. Ava Muhammad described in detail that she was introduced to the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad though a speech by Minister Farrakhan in 1981 in New York. At the time, she was involved in an emotional, mental and physical battle with cancer. He spoke of the healing power of Allah that night.

“When he spoke those words, it was like a light came on within me, like all my cells lit up,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad.

A diverse crowd enjoyed the entire program. Photos: Haroon Rajaee>

She said when she looked at the flyer the May 10 event, it said, “they denied themselves.” She went through all of the things she denied herself and came to a realization, “Everything I denied myself would have ultimately killed me,” she said.

“I am so thankful to Allah that when I first heard Minister Farrakhan,  I was in the throes of cancer so that I would not have to struggle with a dilemma because I was in the throes of death and he was sunlight, sunshine, and life,” said Ava Muhammad. “I know in my heart and in my soul that is the beloved of Allah and His Christ.”

Dr. Ava Muhammad responded vigorously defending the Minister in response to a question submitted via social media asking why the Minister wrangles with the Jewish people so much. In fact, the questioner said he should “get over it.” Dr. Ava Muhammad said the Minister has never been the aggressor in the fight. Muslims were minding their own business quietly working to serve Black people and to lift up the downtrodden when Jewish enemies attacked the Minister, as they have done relentlessly for nearly 30 years.

“Contrary to this idea that he attacks them, he is Allah’s weapon against them!” said Dr. Ava Muhammad. “He is a life giving sun, he is exposing them, and he is making them known!” she added.

She said the Minister is strategic and tactical in all of his dealings whether it is handling our enemies, or our people who are often misled and misguided. The quality of his heart is unmatched, she said.

Mary Alice Muhammad described something extraordinary she has observed over the years, and that is witnessing the graciousness and hospitality displayed by Minister Farrakhan as he hosts religious and political leaders who have disrespected, denounced him or opposed him and his works. This is a testament to Min. Farrakhan’s remarkable capacity to forgive, she said.

“When they come to his table, they are treated like royalty and sometimes, I have a problem dealing with that, but when I look at him and see how he behaves, I have no choice. If I love this man and respect him, then I have no choice but to treat his guests as he is treating them,” said Mary Alice Muhammad. “To serve this man, along with Mother Khadijah has been the joy of my life. I have walked away from a business, lost my husband in the process—evidently he was not the one—I’ve struggled with my children, but if I had to do it a million times over, I would do it, and I’m honored to serve this nation. This is where I belong,” she added.

She said she originally wanted to be a doctor, and now, she is a doctor, but in another way, by properly preparing food for him that contains healing power and enables him to stand strong in defense of Black people.

“There’s something special and extraordinary about this man and it is hard to put it into words. There are no words in the English language—maybe in Arabic—but I don’t speak Arabic so I just have to say I’m at a loss for words,” she said.

The sacrifice of the First Lady of the Nation of Islam, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, who was present for the event, has helped the Minister do the work that has raised a nation and a people. Throughout the entire event, the sisters bowed in deference to her and several times throughout the program, the audience stood and applauded her. There she sat gracefully in the front row, smiling and even laughing at times, reflecting on the words of the panelists as she listened carefully throughout.

“It was wonderful, it was absolutely beautiful,” Mother Khadijah Farrakhan told The Final Call afterwards. “What they were saying was the truth! I’ve been hearing it and seeing it for a long time and it is the truth,” she added.