“Abstinence: A Way of Life” a critical Saviours’ Day 2014 workshop, provided an open, honest dialogue on the importance of remaining virtuous. Photos: Lens of Ansar

DETROIT ( – In one of this year’s most admired workshops for the Nation of Islam’s Saviours’ Day 2014 convention, Muslim siblings discussed abstinence until marriage and its benefits.

“Abstinence: A Way of Life” featured Maryam, Salahuddeen and Umar Muhammad of Phoenix, Ariz., and Student Minister Nuri Muhammad of Indianapolis, Ind. The goals of the workshop were to build self-esteem, identify “triggers” of and tips to avoid risky behavior that can lead to the loss of virtue.

In addition, attendees were introduced to decision-making tools, ways of maximizing communication, and how to strengthen relationships.


A major stress point for teens are social and peer pressure–where they are sometimes forced to compete with war stories of sexual conquests from classmates, teammates or friends. Many are merely making these claims in an attempt to hide their own virginity or insecurities. For once-sexually active adults, who might be single parents, widowed or divorcees, the pressures lie in feelings of loneliness and lack of a confidante.

All agreed it was better approaching abstinence in a conscious and scientific way to avoid sex and recognizing abstinence offers a reward and intimacy is truly fulfilling with a lifelong commitment.

Teenagers and young adults benefited from the presentation.

“One of the easiest ways to remain disciplined and abstinent as young children, we have to look at the sexual side of relationships from a scientific view, instead of an emotional and romantic view,” explained Student Minister Nuri Muhammad. “And when our children are trained on what the male reproductive and the female reproductive systems do–how they operate then they come at that male-female experience with more of a mind of a scientist than that of an explorer.”

Salahuddeen Muhammad told the audience honesty was important. “And know your triggers. Identify those things that create or charge your sexual appetite,” he said, then channel that energy into another form of expression. He uses drawing as an outlet.

Other panelists spoke of reading, studying and fasting from common triggers such as today’s video games, music and television.

Understanding the anatomy of males and females, hormonal development, etiquette, manners, and the role of parenting were identified as necessities for withstanding peer pressure along with understanding consequences, self-control, and how to resolve sexual conflicts.

“If my mother had not laid the foundation of being virtuous–being the example and encouraging me to keep my virtue, I would not be the woman I am today,” said moderator and panelist Maryam Muhammad. “She was married and got divorced. For years, I never saw her go out on dates. She never brought over a bunch of men in the house.” My mother led and taught by being an example of what Allah intends for us, she said. Her mother understood, “Children hear what you say, but do what you do!”

Hannah Muhammad, 79, from Moss Point, Miss., and a member of Muhammad Study Group in Mobile, Ala., told The Final Call there is a need to understand how the travails of slavery affected us and learn about abstinence to help prepare our nation to usher in God’s kingdom.

Sylvester Muhammad, 57, from Atlanta, Ga., echoed the value of celibacy, courtship and how this practice led to his family success with a 30-year marriage. Some youngsters had their own success stories they were eager to share with the Believing community.

Maryam Muhammad, a 19-year-old from St. Louis, expressed appreciation for the workshop and how it answered some of her questions.

The youngest member of the panel, Umar Muhammad, emphasized the need to communicate and look at abstinence as a badge of sacred honor for Allah (God) and self.