The sweet life of a Believer: Honoring Abdul Hakim MuhammadBy Richard B. Muhammad - Editor | Last updated: Mar 9, 2017 - 10:58:38 AM
HUNTSVILLE, Ala.—In the book of scripture of the Muslims, the Holy Qur’an, the promise of Allah (God) is that there is no fear nor grief for the Believers—even in the most trying of times.
There is perhaps nothing more trying than the loss of a loved one through death. But a message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at the janazah, or funeral service, for Abdul Hakim Muhammad, a Believer and laborer in the cause of Islam, was true to the Quranic promise. Poignant words left the family of the Muslim minister and longtime follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad with smiles and laughter amid few tears.
Death is part of the reality of life and when we accept the decree of God at the passing of a loved one, the brain releases chemicals that help us enter into peace, explained Min. Farrakhan.
“We’re here because this person has already touched our lives and we come to pay our respects,” said the Minister, explaining that the Muslim funeral service does not include sad songs or anything that could add to the grief of family and friends. Likewise money is not wasted for flowers or extravagant spending for services but that money would be better served going to the surviving family, he said.
We try to live properly by our brother and sister daily so that we don’t have feelings of regret and remorse, Min. Farrakhan said. We try to treat them the way we want to be treated, he said.
Nothing and no one is closer to you than God so we should be close to God, the Minister said. God gave us a mother to nurse us, food from the earth to feed us and prophets to guide and teach us, he said.
But given the position that Blacks occupy in the country, a teacher and teaching is needed to make us better than we are, continued Min. Farrakhan. God must give us a teacher who gives us “the wisdom that allows you to save the life you are throwing away in ignorance,” he said. The old patriarchs of the Bible lived for hundreds of years, but Isaiah the Prophet says your life will be like trees—and some trees live to be thousands of years old, said Min. Farrakhan.
“What has happened to us that our lives are cut short because we really don’t know how to live the life that God and God alone has given us? The scripture says he came that we would have life. … and have it more abundantly,” said the Minister.
“You get a new name when you come to God because you really belong to God,” explained Min. Farrakhan. But, he added, you have grown away from God and follow doctors who have the same ailments and ills as their patients. “Something is happening to us that is robbing us of life,” he said. Growing up on farms, the food once had real energy in it and nutrients and minerals in pills today was in food yesterday, the Minister noted. The enemy is killing the people and our ignorance is speeding up our death, said Min. Farrakhan.
But God has always been with you and nothing is closer to you than your life vein and you don’t need any intermediary to reach God, he said. “You need to strengthen your relationship with your creator. Because life is like a vapor it appears for a short time and then it’s gone. So the question at the day of judgment is what did you do with God’s time? We have to answer now for how we handle the life he gave us.”
We should thank God for this precious life but what did you learn from him to make your life better? asked the Minister. “Why not let his passing be a rebirth for you?”
As the service closed prayers were said, those assembled paid a final tribute by walking past the casket and took a piece of peppermint candy, which represented the sweetness of life and how life gradually wears away life. “When there is no more candy, there is the sweet taste that was, so it is with his life, his life was once full like this candy and a righteous life is always a sweet life. … The good that this man has given to us is like the sweetness of this candy,” he said.
Abdul Hakim Muhammad lived and died in faith. He accepted Islam under Minister Malcolm X in New York. He officially joined the Nation in May 1956 and was a student minister in historic Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in Harlem. When Min. Farrakhan was assigned to lead Mosque No. 7, Brother Hakim Muhammad served as a student minister under Min. Farrakhan from May 1965 to February 1968. The Minister appointed Brother Hakim Muhammad, with the approval of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, to serve as minister of Mosque No. 14 in Hartford, Connecticut. He served in that capacity until the departure of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad in 1975. He was later transferred to Mosque No. 61 in Grand Rapids, Mich. “He concluded that the only right concept, mission and program was that of Master Fard Muhammad as taught and practiced by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” said his obituary. “He traveled extensively until he heard that Minister Farrakhan was rebuilding the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and reestablishing the Nation of Islam.”
He met with Min. Farrakhan and in the fall of 1981 was asked to head Muhammad Mosque No. 1 and moved to Detroit in 1982. He served as minister in Detroit until December 1988. “After December of 1988, he travelled and set up study groups and speaking engagements locally and nationally. He served as a member of the Huntsville, Ala., Study Group for numerous years until his transition,” said the obituary. He departed this life February 24, 2017.
He is survived by his wife of eight years, Barbara and his children Cheya (Bernard) Dunlap, Robert Keve II, Christad (Tye) Fezzia, Elanna (Brett) Dancer, Salim Powell, Ahmad Powell, Abdul Powell, Jabril Muhammad, Ali Muhammad, Vance Amir and Samaiyah, brother Johnny White, goddaughter Miracle Cook and 13 grandchildren, two great grandchildren and a host of nephews, nieces and friends.
Min. Farrakhan, who described the departed as a brother and a friend, gave Abdul Hakim Muhammad his name, which means servant of the wise God.
Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad said he was touched by how the Minister explained the brother’s name and showed Muslims how to have a funeral and how Allah (God) used the Minister to capture the Muslims and Christians so they would not be sad. “When the Minister finished they all understood. … He lifted the burden right off of us and made it a real home going,” said Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, who is the Nation of Islam Southern Regional Minister and student minister over Muhammad Mosque No. 15 in Atlanta.
“He loved the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and he also loved Minister Farrakhan and he loved our people and our extended family,” said Hasty Muhammad. They met 60 years ago, perhaps in New York, he added. “A steady man, a man full of wisdom, a man who loved his people,” said the Muslim of his longtime brother and friend.