When it comes to major entertainment awards shows, the only thing that may be equally as important as who won, is what people are wearing.
Red carpets are filled with a parade of celebrities showing off the latest designs, often scantily clad, but one fashion game changer of the night at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony was not a celebrity recording artist, writer or composer, but two elegantly, modestly dressed, regal Black women who are citizens in the Nation of Islam.
Although it didn’t make for the Grammys news cycle, there was an overwhelming response received, both Karen Muhammad (wife of Medinah Entertainment co-owner Sean Muhammad) and Nusaybah Muhammad (guest of Medinah Entertainment) to their attire.
“When Sis. Nusaybah and my wife came, dressed like we know we are to dress, those two, were affecting worlds from their two different seating areas. Many, in particular, White people, were walking up to my wife, telling how nice she looked and one French-speaking brother said, “you look ‘glamo.’ ”
The two made a huge impact. “Sister Nusaybah was the belle of the ball,” said Don Enoch Muhammad who accompanied her to the event, also a guest of Medinah Entertainment. “When I met her at the elevator bank, I had my phone on video recording and brother, I’m telling you when she came off that elevator … It was nothing but, ‘oohs and aahs,’ and that continued every three feet,” said Don Enoch Muhammad.
“I mean, we were late getting to the MGM where the Grammys were because of the people constantly stopping Sister Nusaybah; telling her how beautiful she was and wanting to take pictures with her. White women, Black women and everyone in between. Little children were pulling on their mothers and pointing at her. They thought she was some kind of living doll, some kind of Disney fantasy come to life. You know, this was Las Vegas. They were video recording her.”
Incidentally, “Nusaybah” is a feminine Arabic name that means noble, beautiful, intelligent and generous. Sis. Nusaybah Muhammad has a reputation inside the Nation of Islam for being just that. To see her get the kind of response she got from complete strangers let the two attendees know they were witnessing something special.
Several women told Sister Nusaybah that she was the best dressed and the best-looking woman at the Grammys. Though she maintained her discipline and composure, it was rather overwhelming to Sis. Nusaybah, she explained.
“At a certain point, I realized that it was no longer about me and that it was about representation of a woman who is going through the reformation process that Master Fard Muhammad came to give to us. Because he said he can sit on top of the world and say the most beautiful Nation is right here in the wilderness of North America. And that’s what I felt like in that moment,” Sis. Nusaybah Muhammad said.
“This is a bigger representation of the power of Allah to show a woman who is coming into an event that is known for women’s fashion and women usually don’t have on too many clothes and to see these two women who are modestly dressed,” she said.
“To be celebrated, recognized and just done over with. I then started to walk just a little more regal because I knew at that point, it was bigger than us. It was about representation of the Islamic woman. And to look over and see another elegantly dressed MGT (short for Muslim Girls in Training) bold enough to dress in our modest way was so beautiful. It was rewarding to see us comfortable being ourselves,” said Nusaybah Muhammad referring to Karen Muhammad.
“There was a young sister probably in her early 20s with nearly nothing on. A little ‘band aid’ on as a dress. She comes up to Nusaybah putting her little top up and telling Nusaybah, ‘you are beautiful,’ ” said Don Enoch Muhammad as he held back tears. “That means that God is in the DNA of Black people. I don’t care what they have been reduced to, that the presence of God pulls on their nature. We just gotta show up,” he added.
“In essence, you lose nothing that God specifically came for to give us as a people that which we should have naturally had all along, right? You lose nothing when you commit yourself to what God has come to give us as our cultural expression,” added Sis. Nusaybah who emphatically thanked Mother Khadijah Farrakhan, wife of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, for being an example that she could emulate.
“Mother Farrakhan is the standard of beauty, the standard of grace, and high civilization and culture. She started me on that trend of understanding the importance of the ministry of fashion especially in a world that says a woman is only judged by her figure, by her hair, the size of her behind and her breasts. And to come into our Nation and see really one of the most beautiful women in the world to me and the way that she has traditionally dressed throughout the years, over decades of me seeing that, in that moment, I felt I was channeling my inner Mother Farrakhan, especially as I wore one of her traditional signatures, which was her, as I call it, Mother Farrakhan crown.”
The Grammys were held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on earlier this year.