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Samaiyah Aziz returns to Allah

By Brian E. Muhammad -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Jun 4, 2014 - 12:41:07 PM

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Condolences and prayers poured in from all over the world after the passing of Samaiyah Aziz, the daughter of Nation of Islam International Representative Abdul Akbar Muhammad and Maryam Aziz-Mann. Ms. Aziz passed away May 30, 2014 in Accra, Ghana, where she lived for several years, after attending a social gathering at the home of a judge.

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Calls, e-mails and postings over the social media networks contained comments of reflection and consolation for the family by many who were touched by her life and the prominence of her family in the establishment of Islam in America and the betterment of people worldwide. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan sent his daughter Maria Farrakhan Muhammad and Darryl Muhammad to Ghana as support and aid for the family.

When the news of his daughter reached Mr. Akbar Muhammad in America, he was in New York preparing to speak at the funeral of Pan-African activist Elombe Brath and left immediately for Ghana. Family and friends are awaiting a pathology report to determine the exact cause of death as it was untimely and unexpected. The family is looking into some of her health challenges such as her lifelong battle with asthma as a possible cause of her demise.

Ms. Aziz was born in New York City, raised in Queens, N.Y., and moved to Saint Louis, Mo., in 1975 where she graduated high school. She attended college at Southeast Missouri State University at Cape Girardeau before transferring to Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach, Fla., where she graduated. It was at Bethune-Cookman that the spark for international travel was lit. She began her global experience through an international exchange program in Kenya, East Africa. In 1987 while living in Chicago, she married Billy Hawkins and from that marriage had one son, Malik.

Ms. Aziz engaged life and actively made her mark. As a world traveler, she believed in how travel broadens the scope of people especially children, who she loved to work with. She organized a summer camp in Ghana that facilitates Ghanaian children visiting America and American children visiting Ghana. In her business life she co-owned a school and opened the first teacher supply store in Accra, Ghana.

In a posting on FaceBook her sister Samimah Aziz described her as “energetic, adventurous, creative, witty, coy, and beautiful,” and a tenacious trailblazer.  

“She loved Africa and was determined to make a difference in the lives of each child she encountered. She was a fierce businesswoman,” wrote Samimah Aziz. 

When Minister Farrakhan sent A. Akbar Muhammad to open the Nation of Islam’s first office in Africa, Ms. Aziz was right there using her gifted talents to put programs together. It was Samaiyah Aziz and her sisters who offered invaluable input to help organize the first Saviours’ Day convention on the African continent held in October 1994. They organized travel for over 1,900 people to the convention—the largest travel of any one group to Ghana.

Besides her parents, Samaiyah Aziz leaves to mourn, her son Malik Hawkins; sisters Samimah, Germaine, Saudah, Najah, Lateefah, Maryum, Ruqqiyah, and brother, Jihad. One sister Medina preceded her in death, August 8, 201l. She is also survived by 17 nieces and nephews.

The  janaza  (funeral) service for Ms. Aziz will be conducted by Sheikh Tijani Ben Omar at Gethsemane Memorial Gardens located at Shiashie, East Legon in Accra, Ghana on June 10 at 10 a.m. Following the funeral, a tribute to Samaiyah Aziz will be held at the W.E.B. DuBois Cultural Center in Cantonments, Accra, Ghana, at 1 p.m.

There will also be a tribute in Chicago, with the date to be announced.

For more information please call: 011 233 208180408 or email: samaiyahaziztribute@yahoo.com

Condolence letters to Akbar Muhammad and family may be sent to:

Youth4Africa Foundation
8816 Manchester Road
Saint Louis, MO 63144

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