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Reflections on the Life of Captain Shaheed Muhammad 
By Charlene Muhammad  Contributing Writer 
Published June 9, 2022

 

Captain Shaheed and family, wife Tiffany Muhammad and son ibn Shaheed (courtesy of family)

Nation of Islam Captain Emeritus Shaheed Muhammad stood tall and strong at 6’7” in his life, which he dedicated to helping the Black man and woman of America.  He passed away on May 20, and at his Muslim funeral service or janazah, many of the very men he sacrificed his life for stood just as tall for him during a special prayer service.

On May 28, City of Refuge L.A., the Rose Hills Mortuary, and Compton College Gymnasium where the repast was held, were filled with soldiers – men, women and children, touched by the stern but gentle giant.

California Senator Steven Bradford, California Assemblyman Mike A. Gipson, Compton Mayor Emma Sharif, and even the City of Oakland, all recognized “Big Cpt.” Shaheed’s service to his community with proclamations.

Obituary cover

His life was one well-lived and many, from his children to civic leaders and the men he touched, vowed to carry on his legacy of service to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI), and his chief student and helper, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

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“Each and every one of you know something of Brother Shaheed or you wouldn’t be here. As I look in this room and see all the lives that he touched this is a shining example that his life was not in vain,” said NOI Western Region Student Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad, funeral officiant. “What an honor to celebrate our brother,” he added.

Cpt. Shaheed Muhammad was a special friend, admired most for his unwavering love for Black people and justice, his fearlessness, and love of the brotherhood and young, Black youth.  Among those with fond memories of Captain Shaheed Muhammad, whether challenging the police department or providing safeguards for the community, is Los Angeles Sentinel Executive Publisher Danny Bakewell, Sr.

Cpt. Shaheed in a bar pin ceremony with one of the article’s interview subjects (photo courtesy of Jabril M. Muhammad)

“I had a program called Taking Our Community Back from drug dealers and stuff like that. And Minister Tony and Khallid (former NOI Minister Dr. Abdul Khallid Muhammad), we would go into the to the community and organize brothers to walk the community and talk to these young men, what the White man would call these ‘gang members,’ we call our brothers and sisters who didn’t have a job. And he was always there. That’s my point,” said Bakewell.

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“He was rolling security for Khallid.  He was rolling security for Minister Tony, and he was organizing the brothers.  And that’s that imposing presence,” he continued.

Bakewell reflected on the reality that although there are a lot of brothers like that, who come to the Nation with such abilities, Cpt. Shaheed had such a dedication and commitment to Minister Farrakhan Minister and the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that trickled down no matter where he was.

Cpt. Shaheed Muhammad helps secure the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during his historic World Friendship Tour in 1996 (this stop Nigeria) (photo courtesy of family)

“He lived that creed of honor to the Black woman and the community. That was one.  Whenever we confronted the police about some action that took place, he was right there on the scene. You almost didn’t have to call him.  He’d call you,” Bakewell recalled.

“Brother Danny, you need something?  I’m available.  Just call me, brother.  Speak into the wind.  I’ll hear you.  That’s what you could always count on him for.  He could always be counted on to do the work and had the commitment to the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” added the longtime brother and friend.

Sajdah Karriem, NOI Western Region Student MGT-GCC (Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization Class) Captain for the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Nation of Islam, bore witness to Cpt. Shaheed’s love and protection of the Black woman.

“It was such an honor to know this brother because every conversation with him was a teaching and training moment. I will surely miss our talks about ‘How To Eat To Live’ and can’t believe when we spoke two weeks ago that would be our last conversation,” she stated.  “How to Eat to Live” is the dietary program introduced by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1967.

She recalls a great brave soldier and servant to the great Nation of Islam, a dear brother who understood his assignment and knew his purpose for his mission in the Nation.  “May his name and legacy be remembered and live on through those many lives he touched. May Allah (God) be pleased with the life and work of our dear brother and comfort the hearts of his loves ones,” she stated.

Among those loved ones Captain Shaheed Muhammad leaves to carry on his legacy: his wife of 17 years, Tiffany Muhammad; his children, Kelly, Kareem, Dawud, Quiyamma, Kenyatti, Malik, Ayesha, Ameer, Shareef, Daiyaana, Ziyadah and Ibn Shaheed; 27 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

“One of the things that becomes so important to a people who have suffered, like we have more than other people in the history of the world, we even lost the knowledge of ourselves. One of the advantages of such a brother as Shaheed Muhammad is an example of a stern, firm loving brother who had all of what was necessary from God to stand with a man like Jesus and he was willing to be one to give his life for such a man that our people have been waiting for, for more than 400 years here in the wilderness of North America,” said Sultan Muhammad.

Sultan Muhammad is a a member of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Executive Team (E-Team) and NOI Research Group.

“He was the one who pinned me when I got registered in November 2017,” recalled 26-year-old NOI Student Lieutenant Jabril Mikhail Muhammad of Mosque #75 in Las Vegas.  “The way he trained men never bothered me, because I knew it was all love. He was a very strict/disciplinarian and could come off as abrasive to some, especially if they aren’t used to that sort of discipline.

That type of training is all he’s known, growing up in the Nation and under his father, Student Minister Reuben Muhammad-Winston Salem, N.C, who was also trained by Cpt. Shaheed Muhammad.

“I could see through it and know there was no ill intent.  But, he wanted cracked Fruit (Fruit Of Islam/FOI).  If he didn’t love us, then he wouldn’t do the things he did or talked to us the way he did. It was always rooted in the love for Muhammad and his Messenger and Minister Farrakhan,” said Jabril Muhammad.

“You can imagine the upbringing I had. I always sought to walk my post in a perfect manner so that when Cpt. Shaheed came by, he’d have only good things to say. I knew I had been receiving my training well from him when he’d come up to me and ask me, ‘Who trained you?’ or ‘Can you hit as hard as your father?’ And we’d laugh … I look up to him and his way of leadership and I pray to Allah that He blesses me with the ability to have an impact like our dear Brother Captain Shaheed,” he added.

“He was a rare one, one of the few,” said Dr. Aquil Basheer, founder and executive director of the BUILD Program and the Professional Community Intervention Training Institute (PCITI).  “The brother was a real general, and not only exemplified that in his character but also the representation of the Deen or way of life in Islam, and what does Islam stand for,” he stated.

“One of the things I’ll give about Shaheed is he did give his life for this, Islam, and he had a heart of gold.  He would help anybody to move themselves forward, and in brief, he was a real soldier.  He was a real general, and he lived by the code of honor and respect,” added the expert on violence intermediation, public safety and hardcore gang intervention.

 

Categories: Celebration of Life
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