[Editor’s note: The following article is reprinted from the Winter 2006 edition of Virtue Today magazine; and The Final
Call will continue to publish articles by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]
Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, wife of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, sat down with Virtue Today magazine editor Audrey Muhammad, and shared her background and some words of wisdom while on her journey with the “Wise Man.” Below are excerpts from the interview.
Audrey Muhammad (AM): Can you tell us a little about your upbringing and your introduction to Islam?
Mother Tynnetta Muhammad (MTM): I was born in Detroit and exposed early to many cultural groups and programs. I had a well-rounded upbringing in art classes and dance, including ballet, tap and folk dancing. I grew up in a modest Christian background of both Baptist and Congregational upbringing. I was also exposed to the Catholic Church and various Indian and Eastern philosophies. During my senior year in high school, I came into the knowledge of “The Teachings” at age 16. I immediately started changing my dress and learned Arabic.
AM: You enjoy music. Do you think it is important for young girls to be involved in music? Which instruments do you enjoy?
MTM: The Effect of music in the mother’s womb is a creative life force. Each body organ has its own hum or buzz. Our ears can’t perceive those subtle sounds. Nature hums. Everything buzzes. Music and the arts should be a natural part of our lives as we evolve.
(Mother Tynnetta also discussed the relationship between music, health and the influence of music in developing internal organs. She said that the violin is at the top of her list and also the African harp, which gives a very soft, beautiful sound. Mother Tynnetta was attracted to the piano because it gives the full range of the orchestra. She said, “The 88 keys bridge us to the 88 constellations of stars in musical science.”)
AM: What did you learn about virtue from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? What is the state of virtue of women today? What changes do we need to make as women?
MTM: Women are being abused in society today and children are being raped and murdered. There are psychological imbalances in male and female relationships because of the lack of respect. No virtue in a woman demonstrates the type of leadership society is under. The female energy has to give back, to give balance. Women should be trained by all-women teachers. Women need to be put back in our rightful place. Keeping that family together and the children virtuous is on the woman. We need to re-educate the male. We, as women, have to be aware of how we act and dress, and the effects on the society we are a part of.
AM: What things did you teach your daughter in her teen and young adult years? What did you share with your sons? What values did you feel were important to teach them?
MTM: I believe it is important to give children a strong spiritual base. They must learn to nurture God. Honor and respect, prayer and cleanliness. The mother’s eye has to be attentive, even of the father.
AM: Thank you.