by Azizah Muhammad
“But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” – Matthew 24:37 (KJV)
ATLANTA—In the city of Atlanta lies the modern-day “Ark,” a portal of Black-owned businesses that demonstrate the importance of unification and financial independence within the Black community. Nation of Islam Southern Region Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad conceived the idea of constructing a building that would visually represent a blueprint of spiritual development and economic success.
As a flood of hunger, unemployment, and social injustices begin to rise, “The Ark” was born to keep community progress afloat. The Ark started as an empty building that was gradually made full by the vision of a man with a hunger for collective advancement.
When Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad first stepped foot into the building, he immediately knew what needed to be done with the empty space. “When I got in the building, I looked around, said a prayer and then started visualizing the type of businesses to put in there,” he stated.
A variety of businesses and services are featured in The Ark. Such businesses and services include: People United for Change, Inc., a non-profit organization that encourages the feeding of individuals—both on a spiritual and physical level; 10,000 Fearless Men & Women II, a branch of the 10,000 Fearless Headquarters of the South, with the same aim of making our communities a safe and decent place to live;
Community Patrol which is a service that brings peace to the streets; Auditing services, which allows individuals the opportunity to gain management of their mental well-being; and Conflict Resolution, a room where people can sit down and effectively solve conflicts.
Also featured in The Ark is: Beloved Boutique which is a women’s clothing store where modesty is the main brand; Rise Magazine and Supreme Spring Water Corporate Office, an office that houses an independent publication to share words of truth and fluoride-free water to quench your thirst.
Your Book Store, Your Grocery Store, Blue Seas Express & Catering, Your Fish Program, Your Bean Pie bakery, and last but not least, the Sharrieffah L. Muhammad office which serves as Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad’s executive space.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “ark” is defined as “something that affords protection and safety.” Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad gives reason to the name. “The Ark is like a Black Wall Street, but a safety zone,” he said. “It’s a safety zone where we can have an example of our economic independence—so we can drink, we can eat, we can clothe … we have everything under one roof.”
In his monumental book, “Message to the Blackman in America,” the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad instructs the Black man and woman in America to do something for self. He gives us warning in the words, “Do for self or suffer the consequences.”
By observing the works of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, we can see that the Minister has embodied the commands of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and enclosed the Messenger’s words in flesh. Do for self is what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has instructed us to do, and it is the adamant intention of Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad to follow the footsteps of his leader, teacher, and guide.
Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad has spearheaded a structure from words spoken by the Messenger and the Minister. “What I want to see is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s words made flesh,” explained Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad. “What I mean by that is living up to the words that we preach,” he continued.
He believes that lip-profession will not be the claim that gets the job done. “We preach ‘Do for Self’; we preach caring for one another; we preach feeding the less fortunate,” he stated. “We can’t just talk it; we have to do it. We have to make our community a decent and safe place to live, so we have to be an example for others to see and then they’ll come on and join us.”
The Ark is a Muslim establishment whose doors are open to everyone. “It’s important to have a Muslim establishment that welcomes everyone because Islam is a way of life and we [as Muslims] practice our Islam everyday (in peace),” said Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad. “We’ll be able to demonstrate, not just talk the principles, but demonstrate them.”
The importance of unity amongst ourselves (first) and among others (second) is the order in which Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad intends to incorporate in the building blocks of The Ark. To effectively do this, he commanded the construction of an executive conference room for all staff members to meet. The Ark represents unity, he explained.
“Its purpose is for us to work together collectively [and] economically to help ourselves (first) and to help our people.”
Plank by plank and nail by nail, the modern-day ark has been a work of continual progress. July 2021 will be the grand opening where all can come and witness the creation of an economic demand. The Ark was built with a command and vision in mind, and as head of the Southern Region, Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad worked to ensure that the words of Min. Farrakhan, the Mouthpiece of Allah (God)—will be an echo that revolves around the city of Atlanta.
“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan demonstrates, every day of his life, that he’s a man of God,” said Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad. “He [Minister Farrakhan] has demonstrated the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad all over the world and Allah (God) is backing him till this very moment. You can take it or let it alone.”
Student Minister Sharrieff Muhammad would like to thank all the brothers who helped work on the construction of The Ark: Willie Muhammad, Chester Muhammad, Rashaad Muhammad, and Charles Muhammad. The Ark is located at 3638 Campbellton Rd., SW, Atlanta, Ga 30331. For more information and to find out how you can support, call 404-963-1078.