By Charlene Muhammad CHARLENEM

Nation of Islam women and girls performed military drill during major event at Mosque Maryam, the movement’s headquarters in Chicago. The event was webcast across the country and abroad. Photos: Monica Morgan
A fashion show offered beautiful and dignified styles of dress. (R) The women showed their power and tenacity during martial arts and self-defense demonstrations. Photos: Andrea Muhammad

MOSQUE MARYAM ( – Excitement and anticipation filled the air as Muslim women put righteousness, civilization, high science, unity and sisterhood on display during the unprecedented and special Save Our Girls: A Nation Can Rise No Higher Than Its Woman class at the Nation of Islam’s flagship mosque.

The historic meeting April 18 was designed to offer guidance and solutions to problems plaguing the Black community through a special message to women and girls from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as part of the women only meeting.

Guests showed up early for the Save Our Girls gathering at Mosque Maryam in Chicago. Nation of Islam mosques and study groups hosted similar gatherings around the country and several cities abroad. Photos: Richard B. Muhammad and Haroon Rajaee

“We don’t discriminate in the Nation of Islam. We will take you as you are. You just won’t remain the same,” said Sandy Muhammad, the National Student M.G.T. & G.C.C. Captain, who is responsible for the international class of women and girls. She welcomed guests who included ministers, pastors, activists, teachers, students, mothers, sisters, grandmothers and women from different walks of life and cities. Some were bussed in from as far away as Michigan, while others drove from St. Louis and beyond to take part in a program webcast live across the country and abroad as women gathered in places big and small for a look inside the classroom of God.


“Whether you are a prostitute, you’re welcome! Whether you are a nurse, you’re welcome!   Whether you are a drug user, you’re welcome! Whether you’re a doctor, you’re welcome. … Whether you are a Christian, you’re welcome! Whether you’re Jewish, you’re welcome,” Sandy Muhammad said.

From 9 a.m. to noon, every Saturday, without fail, the sisters of the M.G.T. & G.C.C. and the Vanguard Class gather to learn and practice seven training units that are the base and foundation of their training: How to Keep House, How to Rear Their Children, How to Take Care of Their Husbands, Sew, Cook, and How to Act at Home and Abroad.

Until last Saturday, the class was rather secret. No males are ever allowed into the sacred space.   It is reserved for the education and training of females, except the head of the class, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and in his stead, Minister Farrakhan.

Sandy Muhammad opened up the class from Mosque Maryam and MGT classes throughout America and the world did the same thing and tuned in via live webcast. The morning featured speakers, video presentations and demonstrations on the Muslim women/girls’ training units.

In a fashion show, Muslim women proved how designing and creating your own clothing allows women to be beautiful and exude the high degree of civilization befitting the woman of God. Photos: Monica Morgan

Sandy Muhammad thanked the presenters, ranging in ages 17-32, for what they poured out, and   coordinators Sandra Muhammad, Lisa R. Muhammad, Maryam Muhammad, Lovenia Muhammad, Rosemary Muhammad, Vanessa Muhammad, Myisha Muhammad and Carmella Muhammad for their hard work to get women and girls to the class.

Participants filled Mosque Maryam’s sanctuary and overflow viewing areas downstairs as well as next door in the Muhammad University of Islam gymnasium. A tent erected on the National Center property was transformed into an exhibit area, which displayed the seven units and information about each one.

Nneka Muhammad facilitated the day’s program. She got the riveting morning of events off to an energetic start by debunking the myth that Muslims hate Christians. Welcome to your class, she told them, using some of Minister Farrakhan’s words in her invitation.

“I am for my Christian brothers and sisters. I am for those who don’t believe in God, because I know that you don’t believe in God because you have not found him in the hypocrisy of religion, but when you get acquainted with the truth, you can’t help but believe in God,” she said. “He is in the very core of your nature.”

Presenters spoke on the significance and purpose of each class training unit. The presentations included video and live demonstrations.

Nadirah Muhammad of Detroit, a walking example of love and sisterhood, discussed the principle “do unto others.”   The educator donated a kidney in May 2014 to Aja Booth, one of her high school students.

In one of many interactive moments during the class, she asked the sisters to turn to each other and say, “Love ye one another as I have loved you.”

“Sisters, why is this difficult for us to do?   Why is it easier to dislike, throw shade or belittle each other based on looks, attire, money, division or a man rather than supporting, respecting and loving each other because we understand what it means to be women,” Nadirah Muhammad said.

Jamila X, a physical therapy doctoral candidate, is 28-years-old and has been married for three years. She delved into “How to Take Care of Your Husband” by underscoring how a good marriage is rooted in a courtship.

Dr. Jessica Muhammad, a neurologist, shared her knowledge of cooking and good health to help avoid disease. And Jeniece Muhammad, a wife, mother, and dean of girls at Muhammad University of Islam in Chicago, talked about how properly rearing children can empower women to produce gods.

Discipline and strength were display as Muslim women and girls showed off fighting skills and precision military drill movements. Photos: Andrea Muhammad and Monica Morgan

“Do you want to see gods in the making?” she asked. She then presented the Jr. MGT Drill Team of Mosque Maryam, the youngest was four-years-old.

Kenya Muhammad, 18, offered a presentation on How to Act at Home and Abroad. She noted how many young people have a commitment to watch the controversial yet popular TV show, “Empire” every week. “Your commitments can develop or destroy you, but either way, they will define you,” she said.

Kenya Muhammad encouraged her peers not to devalue themselves and to never feel compelled to compromise the truth of who they are for the sake of an opportunity or money. She challenged the girls to fall more in love with God.

Ayanna Muhammad, a college student, implored the women and girls to pick up the art of sewing because modesty is a form of protection. “What better way to protect yourself than to create your own patterns and design your own garments to cover your adornments, instead of allowing the world to undress us piece by piece, trying to show our every curve and telling us to accept it as fashion,” she said. “Let’s not only dress to please the world because fashion trends come and go, and let’s not only dress to please a man, because sometimes we know they come and go but I can tell you one thing you can count on and that is Almighty God Allah.”  

The Muslim women and guests leaped to their feet with a standing ovation.

Then in a moment of shock and awe, the M.G.T. & G.C.C./Vanguard put righteousness on display with a high charged fashion show. The rainbow-colored garments and draped sisters showed the world the dressing room of God’s woman.

With their heads covered, bodies concealed, and minds focused, the young models wowed guests as they entered Mosque Maryam’s sanctuary to up tempo beats.

The models didn’t strut, rather, they glided with grace down the sanctuary aisle-turned runway.   As the beaming Muslim women graciously waved to the audience guests returned their smiles and waves along with clapping and cheers.  

Usually fashion shows are the grand finale of events. But this fabulous display was just a fascinating centerpiece. There was more to come as Saffiyah Muhammad, the daughter of Minister Farrakhan’s national assistant Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad (son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Mother Tynnetta Muhammad) testified of her growth and development as a third generation member of the Nation of Islam with a dual Mexican/Black heritage. She has learned the impact of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad on cultures and people around the planet from her grandmother.

Saffiyah Muhammad further added she had not always made the best choices in life, but is at a point in her life where she’s thankful for the life that’s been given to her. “My greatest choice was accepting the teachings and becoming a registered Muslim,” she said. “I also pray that you will be greatly inspired today and find something that the Minister says to us that will help you and I pursue our purposes in life.”

Muhammad University of Islam honor student Tairah Muhammad spoke on the virtuous woman.   Through scriptures in Bible and Holy Qur’an, the 17-year-old encouraged women and girls to stop degrading themselves in conversations because they are the women of God.

Kabasa Muhammad, Student National M.G.T. & G.C.C. Vanguard Captain, responsible for training the specialized class of girls and women age 16-35 in the Nation, discussed military drill as an exercise that instills discipline. It requires mind body coordination, utilized for the ultimate purpose of being able to hear and obey the command that comes from God himself, she said.

Many of the young girls sat on the edge of their seats as they watched intently how the Vanguard drill team came out and moved in sync, with precise movements under the single commanding voice of a woman.

Maryam Muhammad moved the class into a presentation on martial arts. Muslim women showed their fighting prowess in punches, kicks, strikes, throws, flips, wrist and arm locks in disarming male assailants during the exercises. The goal is to subdue any threat that presents itself, but we also have to remove the emotional response that gives us the urge to attack one another, said Maryam Muhammad. She called for the women and girls to end 30-second Twitter fights and other destructive behavior occurring in social media. That’s not who you are, said Maryam Muhammad.

“It’s just an example of us being placed in an environment that doesn’t give us constructive outlets so we turn to destructive behavior,” she said. “In the Nation of Islam, we are taught when I see my sister, I see God. I see a reflection of me. All Praise Is Due To Allah.”  

“In that mindset, we become our sister’s true keepers and together we will fight our true assailant, our open enemy, the one who has placed us in an environment resulting in us hating one another instead of loving one another,” she continued.

As the class began to wind down, Nneka Muhammad introduced a video clip of Sandy Muhammad speaking on the divine value of women during the 19th Anniversary of the Million Man March in Jamaica last October. The short video included slides of three men: Master Fard Muhammad, who taught the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who taught Minister Farrakhan.   It invoked long applause and a standing ovation.  

Many smiled and held back tears as the voice of Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, the late wife of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, a scholar and leader, voice emanated from speakers while images of modest, civilized women and girls of the M.G.T. & G.C.C. flashed across the screen. Mother Tynnetta Muhammad lived, sacrificed and dedicated her life to the resurrection, elevation and civilization of the Black woman and all women, which was displayed April 18. It was indeed a glimpse of heaven.

Sandy Muhammad explained the M.G.T. & G.C.C. training units are the foundation of a civilized society because they form the basis of every civilization. The degree the woman can execute and master these training units will determine the society’s degree of civilization, she said.

“We’re not just cleaning women, cooks. You have to look deep into these training units …You will find biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, agriculture, sociology, arts, culture, the pursuit of happiness,” said Sandy Muhammad.