The ‘Rock of the South’ (FCN, 01-20-2004)
ATLANTA (FinalCall.com) – A little over a year ago, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan sent Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad to Muhammad’s Mosque No. 15 to serve as the city’s new minister. What a difference a year makes.
The physical changes are obvious. The mosque has undergone a complete renovation. The sanctuary is a flattering copy of Mosque Maryam in Chicago; there are new seats, marble in the foyer, new carpet, classrooms for the new school in the fellowship hall and the list goes on.
One of the major changes is in the spirit of the Believers. “Min. Sharieff has turned everything around,” Patrick Muhammad told The Final Call. “His love for Minister Farrakhan causes us to love him and helps us be productive. He’s a 24/7 helper of the Minister. This is Minister Sharrieff’s agenda. This is his life. He’s dedicated to the mission.”
Minister Jamil Muhammad, a former minister of Atlanta and now a national spokesman for Minister Farrakhan, saluted Minister Sharrieff for his success. “He is successful because he obeys Minister Farrakhan. It’s as simple as that. Atlanta is the key to the South. I see the lock coming open.”
Atlanta now offers a Muhammad University of Islam (MUI) for students in pre-kindergarten to the first grade under the direction of Samiyyah Muhammad. “He asked, ‘What do you want to do?’ That’s how we got the school started,” she recalled.
“The spirit here is work. He’ll give you guidance and he allows you to work,” she continued. “He’s one of the few ministers to totally support MUI. He makes sure we get everything we need. He also made sure every Sister had a new uniform she could afford. He bought the fabric and we developed a sewing team.”
It’s not just work at the mosque, either.
“We’ve had a youth ball and elders ball and even a baby ball. We taught the little ones, two to eight years old, how to waltz. They wore gowns and tuxedoes. They walked down the red carpet. They were so dressed up and we had a great time,” Ms. Muhammad added. “We have Youth Sunday, too, where the babies up to college-aged students speak.”
Former Vanguard Captain LaShonda Muhammad shared that she feels like a queen coming to her palace when she goes to the mosque. “We have so much going on here for every age group and interest,” she said. “We have a homeless ministry, which I love. We go out every Sunday morning and get our people.”
Going out to get the people includes developing relations with the community.
“Our street presence has dramatically increased,” observed Will Muhammad, the eldest son of Min. Sharrieff. “We’re out with The Final Call newspapers on the streets and in the hood.”
He also noted the mosque’s work with artists. “We’ve also established a good relationship with the hip hop community here. We work with Two Short, Big Boi from Outkast, Ludacris, Bishop of Crunk, Young Gotti and the DSGB (Down South Georgia Boys).”
Darryl Muhammad, Mosque No. 15’s financial officer, remarked that the changes in the mosque have directly impacted the community. “The vibrancy of our faith and way of life has uplifted the community. We are here to serve. Our future plans include a new kitchen, bakery, school and mosque,” he informed. “We’re offering what the community needs and wants.”