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A minister, man and Muslim

By Tesha Muhammad | Last updated: Jul 11, 2018 - 12:52:41 PM

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Nation of Islam representative honored by city council, family and community

Friends and supporters of student Minister Keith Muhammad attend tribute in his honor. (R) Student Minister Keith Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 26B was recognized for his 27 years of work in Oakland.

OAKLAND—It was a night to be remembered. Families, men, women and children traveled from near and wide to celebrate the legacy of a minister, a man and a Muslim.  Student Minister Keith Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 26B in Oakland was honored and recognized for his 27 years of  labor and work during a recent ceremony and tribute.

Numerous testimonies, words of admiration and appreciation about the works of Student Min. Muhammad were shared from Muhammad University of Islam (MUI) students, Believers across the nation and community activists.  

The tribute was held at the Preservation Park Victorian Home dining room.
Pastor Wanda Johnson (mother of Oscar Grant, slain by a BART police officer in Oakland) was one of the first to arrive. Shortly after, many familiar faces in the fight for justice arrived, including Oakland City Council member Desley Brooks, County of Alameda Supervisor Keith Carson, Donald Lacy, (father of Loesha Lacy slain by a 16-year-old), former Black Panther member Elaine Brown, Student Minister Christopher Muhammad of  Muhammad Mosque No. 26 in San Francisco, Jumoke Hinton-Hodge, member of the Oakland Unified School Board, members of the Love Not Blood Foundation and a host of community leaders and pastors.

A pleasant surprise of the night came when Councilwoman Brooks officially declared June 23, “Student Minister Keith Muhammad Day” in Oakland. She then presented him with a resolution from the City of  Oakland which stated the following:

“City Council City of Oakland California Resolution celebrating and Honoring Minister Keith Muhammad for his 27 years of dedication, service, which has touched the lives of many, has promoted positive change and has supported the spirit and wellbeing of  Oakland residents.”

Next, Keith Carson, Supervisor of the 5th District presented a Commendation from the Board of Supervisors. It recognized him in the following words:

“In recognition of Minister Keith Muhammad, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors recognizes Minister Keith Muhammad for his 27 years of exemplary service in our community.

Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors presented commendations to Student Min. Muhammad.

“We commend Minister Keith for his extraordinary leadership as the representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, as the Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 26 in Oakland, California.”

The commendation continued, “We thank Minister Keith Muhammad for his commitment, sacrifice and strength in advocating for truth and social justice, while working to unite people across religious faiths. Minister Keith plays a pivotal role in leading and uplifting our communities and we applaud his dedication to enhance the quality of life for all residents of Alameda County. We wish Minister Keith Muhammad continued success well into the future.”

The ambiance during the evening was amazing. The Preservation Park Victorian Home dining room was transformed into an elegant backdrop for the occasion. The tables were draped in black table cloths with accents of gold, white and black flower petals. The plates were trimmed in gold with platinum level food prepared and served by the MGT and GCC (women of the  Nation of  Islam) of  Oakland. As tables began to fill with friends and family of Student Minister Muhammad the joyful mood in the room was palpable.

One MUI student, Salaudin Abdul Rabb Muhammad, testified that Student Min. Muhammad was a minister, father, brother, role model, counselor and a guide to the Oakland community.

James Muhammad, Student Minister of the South Haven Study Group in Mississippi, stated, “Student Minister Keith was a big brother and a protector who believes in the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and he is a follower and student of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.” 

Student Min. Christopher Muhammad of San Francisco. (R) Community leaders, activists and friends shared stories and testimonies on the dedication and work displayed by Student Min. Keith Muhammad in the city of Oakland over the last 27 years during a recent evening honoring his impact in their lives and others.

Student Min. Keith Muhammad, his wife, Salamah, their children, family and friends. Photos: Jabril Muhammad

During the program, Ms. Brown described him as a humble and steadfast brother that never sits down on his post. Describing Student Min. Keith Muhammad’s physical appearance, one Muslim in attendance exclaimed, “In 27 years of obedience and service to the community of Oakland, nothing has changed in his physical presence, but the new glasses placed lightly across his face.”

Student Min. Muhammad’s four sons then presented him with a beautiful gold watch and shared warm words and testimonies of the man they know at home being the same man they know publicly.

Salih Muhammad, his eldest son, gave a heartwarming testimony as he fought back tears reflecting on a man that he admires and loves.  He described a father who never told him how to be but showed him what to be by example—“a Muslim.” 

“I never heard my father raise his voice to my mother or any woman for that matter,” said Salih Muhammad, as the room erupted with thunderous applause. This was what the Student Minister Keith Muhammad witnessed by many.  His family, including his wife, Salamah Muhammad, all described him as a humble Muslim who rose above emotion into the thinking of God.

Student Minister Christopher Muhammad of San Francisco’s Muhammad Mosque 26 followed with testimony that invoked laughter, while making key points that emphasized the arduous journey of a tumultuous terrain in the city of Oakland. 

“Oakland is a tough city, but you needed a measured, wise, disciplined, humble, patient, loving servant to balance the rough and tumble of this city. Student Minister Keith has worked in the best manner. He has overcome all the negative imagery that the enemy tried to project us and portray us in,” said Student Min. Christopher Muhammad.

Toward the end of the night Student Min. Keith Muhammad delivered his own brief words that mostly focused on his gratitude to Allah (God) for allowing him to help Min. Farrakhan.