by Tariqah Shakir Muhammad and Andrea Muhammad
FLINT, Mich.—Hundreds gathered to pay their final respects at the Salat al-Janazah (Islamic funeral prayer service) honoring Brother Roy Anthony Muhammad’s life, service and sacrifice in Flint, Michigan, at Sheldon T. Banks Funeral Chapel September 23.
He was affectionately referred to as the “dean of the FOI” for his dedication in spreading the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and for his consistent distribution of The Final Call newspaper. The FOI (Fruit of Islam) are the men of the Nation of Islam.
He was doing just that on September 13 before being severely injured in a hit-and-run on Ballenger Highway in Flint Township by two cars. Witnesses reported the cars being driven at high rates of speed and both drivers left the scene. Two suspects are now facing charges for vehicular homicide. Roy Muhammad died in the hospital due to his injuries.
“Our MGT (women of the Nation of Islam) remember him as a helpful brother who was always present,” said Student Minister Troy Muhammad of Mosque No. 1. He was among many that spoke sharing reflections on the life and sacrifice of Roy Muhammad.
“Whenever they came down, he was always present; whenever I came down he was always one of the first people that I would see—or one of the first people I would see when I would come to Flint” said Student Min. Troy Muhammad.
“I’m happy and honored to get up and travel to Flint this morning to salute this brother, this father, this FOI, this martyr,” he added.
Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley expressed his condolences saying, “Our city has lost a great individual who worked tirelessly on behalf of his faith and whose deep commitment I admired.”
Friends outside of Flint also came to pay tribute to Roy Muhammad and his family. Roy Muhammad, born Roy Anthony Welch, was the loving father of son and daughter Rasul Welch and Khadijah Welch; grandfather of several grandchildren; and former husband to Addy Welch.
He joined the Nation of Islam at the young age of 21 and served as a lieutenant in the FOI. He was instrumental in recruiting young men during the formative years of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s rebuilding of the Nation of Islam in the 1980s.
“I was able to spend 32 years of my Nation time with him of his 39 years and I have never seen Brother Roy deviate from the standard that we are to represent in the Nation of Islam,”said Student Protocol Coordinator Linda Muhammad. “Brother Roy was always dedicated to the sisters. No matter when we needed a Brother, Brother Roy was always there for the MGT. Always.”
“I thought about all the times we soldiered together, but it was more than that. …When we think about Brother Roy and Brother Roy’s life, we are watching God work through Brother Roy. So, this casket in the grave can’t hold him,” Tremikus Muhammad reflected during the service.
“The Qur’an says: ‘speak not of those who died in the way of Allah as dead for they are not dead but you perceive not,’ because somebody said we’re looking at the physical. But this man jumped up out of the physical long time ago and started working in the spiritual and that’s why the room is filled,” he added.
“We can see the outpour from the community. From those considered the smallest in the community to the higher-ups in the community, the love and work that he did here in Flint can be seen. I’m very proud to salute our brother. He was loved, respected and our Nation will remember him,” said Student Min. Troy Muhammad.
Student Minister Jalil Muhammad of Flint delivered closing remarks which was followed by Salat al-Janazah (janazah prayer).