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Big Muslim on Campus - Faith, service fuel success of young scholar, athlete and activist

By Janiah X -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Jun 6, 2017 - 3:42:00 PM

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Karim Muhammad, an Information Technology major at LeMoyne-Owens College in Memphis, Tenn., is a young Black man striving to help himself and his community. Not only is he extremely active on campus, but he’s also active in his mosque.

Muhammad is Mr. Sophomore on his campus, vice president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, captain of the golf team, a member of a leadership and mentoring organization called the Talented Tenth, and a member of Moving Forward, which is a program for STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) majors.

“With being part of all these organizations I have to give my all and be focused on each one as well as be a good example for other students because I am looked at as a leader,” Muhammad said.   

As with many college students, Muhammad strives to manage his time effectively. This means having enough time for his academics, campus organizations, and his Islamic studies.

“I do my best to balance my academics and Islam by making my Islamic studies a priority,” Muhammad said. “I believe if you truly want to study the Teachings, you can find time to do so. Even if it is just for 30 minutes, you should strive to devote some time to what gave you life.”

With his desire to represent the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Karim Muhammad, along with Brother Chavan Muhammad and Sister Terrika Muhammad, started the Nation of Islam Student Association (NOISA) at Le-Moyne Owens College.


“We do a lot of unity work supporting and helping other organizations with their events and we have hosted two events on our own,” Muhammad said.

The first event that the NOISA at Le-Moyne Owens College put on was called “Redistributing the Pain: Making Dr. King’s Dream a Reality.” They brought in Student Minister Brother Nuri Muhammad out of Indianapolis, Reverend Earle J. Fisher and Tami Sawyer, who are leaders in the Memphis area.

The purpose of the event was to inform students about the Up with Jesus, Down with Santa movement and to educate and encourage students to circulate the Black dollar, Muhammad said. They also wanted to show unity between Muslims, Christians and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The second event was called “Didn’t Y’all Kill Malcolm?”

“This was done by Student Minister Brother Demetric Muhammad, where he cleared the Nation’s involvement with the assassination of Bro. Malcolm X,” Muhammad said. “This event was very important because one of the biggest questions people ask us is did the Nation of Islam kill Malcolm X? After this event, it really helped answer a lot of the students’ questions.”

During this past Saviours’ Day, Karim Muhammad and many other youth from around the Nation helped to put on a two-part workshop on the topic “conquering your college campus.” It generated helpful dialogue among students in the Nation of Islam and positive feedback.

Karim Muhammad on the golf course.
“The workshops came about because I wanted there to be some workshops that the youth could see themselves in and have the opportunity to ask questions to those that come from the same background as them,” Muhammad said. “As youth in the Nation in college, we have a duty to be an example to our classmates of what the Teachings have done and are doing for us. The workshop was aimed at the Nation’s college students to show them that they are not alone and that it is possible to be a successful college student and still be proud of our Islam.”

Karim Muhammad strives to maintain his Islam while in school, and it is something that has helped him to flourish.

“My connection with Allah is what fuels me, guides my path and gives me strength to face any struggles I go through,” Muhammad said. “The stronger that connection is the stronger you will be.”

With all of his accomplishments so far in college and striving to be a good example of the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Karim Muhammad is showing that there is more to young Black men than society portrays.

“For me as a young Black male, being in college means I am striving to better myself, master the best that this education level has to offer and that I am not complacent with the image that has been promoted of uneducated Black men,” Muhammad said. “I am a leader working to learn the most that I can and use what I have learned for the betterment of my people.”