The life lived by Brother Abdul Rahim Muhammad, according to those who knew him, was exemplary in every regard. As a member of Mosque No. 12 in Philadelphia, his light followed him wherever he trod with large footprints. In a pandemic, hundreds flooded the funeral home parking lot to pay their final respects during his Janazah (Islamic funeral) service held March 9.
In 1979 he met Sharon Grasty, his “ride or die,” and a union was formed resulting in the birth of four children. Both he and his wife would later enter the Nation of Islam.
Brother Rahim’s value to Mosque No. 12 was priceless with the warmth and spirit that he brought. He was a true Muslim hero in word and deed. He devoured the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and His Representative, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. If there were a battle to be fought, he would run to it—obstacles meaningless.
Delaware Valley Regional Student Minister Rodney Muhammad likened him to a star. “The light that we see in the heaven that we say is a star in truth is a light from a star that has died and the light as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has taught us travels by the time we see it, in the same regard Rahim’s light will continue to travel and shine,” he said.
According to Mosque No. 12 Student Paper Captain Akbar Muhammad, Abdul Rahim Muhammad’s legend began shortly after his entrance into the Mosque. “I was there the night he got his X in April 1994,” Brother Akbar said. “He was Brother Edward 4X, a humble brother who associated with everybody.”
“On patrol with Top of the Clock Security in the Abottsford Projects, a heavily drug-infested community located in Northwest Philadelphia, it came to his attention that an apartment was on fire with children trapped inside. This was in 1995. The apartment was fully engulfed in flames when Bro. Edward runs inside up the steps to the second floor pulling six-year-old Edward Calender out of the home, saving his life,” Bro Akbar Muhammad recalled.
According to Bro. Rahim’s beloved wife, Sister Sharon, he suffered severe burns, spending two and a half weeks in intensive care followed by months of rehabilitation due to his heroic effort. As a result of his action, Min. Farrakhan offered him the name Abdul Rahim Muhammad, meaning “Servant of the Merciful,” which he humbly and graciously accepted.
Brother Wesley Wilson Bey, chairman of the Moorish Unification Council of the World, shared a story reflecting on Bro. Rahim.
“I was in a tight situation and needed to move. It was winter and really cold. I contacted Brother Rahim, and he came and moved me and made sure all my furniture and everything was intact. I know one thing. When he gave his word, you can count on it.”
Brother Rahim was a businessman and devoted husband. He established several businesses and fully embraced the “Do for Self” program of the Nation of Islam, the crown jewel being the award-winning restaurant Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen. Former business partner and student minister of the Nation of Islam Chester City Study Group Keith Muhammad reflected on Bro. Rahim.
“He is one of the most genuine brothers that you could meet. He had a heart of gold. It’s nothing he wouldn’t do for you. He’s a brother that you never hear complaining, no matter what. He’s a brother that’s going to be sorely missed. But I thank Allah that I had the opportunity to meet him,” said Bro. Keith Muhammad. “The life lessons that I learned from his way, his spirit, I’ll keep with me and hopefully implement in my life.”
Sister Dora Muhammad, an employee at Sister Muhammad’s Kitchen, remembered Bro. Rahim as a humble brother. “He has always just been a kind brother, a brother with a good heart; a brother that would always have a smile on his face. He was always a giving brother no matter what.”
Upon reflecting on his father, his oldest son Edward said, “Legends never die, and legacy never dies. My dad is a legend. As long as I have breath in my body, I will carry on his legacy.”
Student Minister Omar Kariem officiated the Janazah service. “You know, you got sunlight. You’ve seen moonlight. But when you have a man that can help people come through the darkness in the night, that’s a star.
“Brother Abdul Rahim was that because he was an example, he was a non-complainer. I don’t care how good or how bad it was. You wouldn’t get any complaints from brother. He walked his post in a perfect manner,” Minister Kariem said.
Brother Rahim had several sayings, the best of which was, “No is not an option” and “We are going to work it out,” he added.
His “life story” tells it this way: “Brother Rahim had a special way of touching the hearts of everyone he encountered. He was compassionate, patient, kind, understanding, caring, and above all, a brother who genuinely wanted for his brother what he wanted for himself. he truly exemplified the name he accepted from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” Minister Kariem said.
Student Captain Anthony Muhammad said Brother Rahim “meant the world to the FOI.” He was an example of true brotherhood, and there was nothing that you asked him that he wouldn’t do, he explained. “If he couldn’t do it at that time, his words were, ‘we will make it happen,’ and he did,” said Bro. Anthony Muhammad.
Brother Rahim’s legacy was best summed up by writer and Mosque No. 12 member Jehron Muhammad when he remarked, “How do you spell FOI? Abdul Rahim Muhammad.”
In remembering her husband, Sister Sharon recalled he had only one complaint. As a result of injuries he suffered during his heroic actions, he could not attend the historic 1995 Million Man March.
In January 2019, Brother Rahim began having health complications. He had been battling cancer from that time until his return to Allah on March 6. Brother Rahim was cared for at home by his loving wife, Sister Sharon, and was surrounded by family. Leaving to cherish his many great memories is his wife, daughter Tanisha, sons Eddie, Kevin, and Kharee, grandchildren and a host of other relatives.