by Yaminah Muhammad
NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—The Holy Qur’an, Surah 2:138, states, “We take Allah’s colour, and who is better than Allah at colouring, and we are His worshippers.” Thus, delineating Islam as the color of Allah (God) and the unalloyed worship of and submission to Him as the best color to take on—making Allah (God) the ultimate artist.
Christopher Fabor Muhammad, F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam) and art specialist credits his taking on Allah’s coloring for his recent nomination and induction into the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance (RAAA), Inc. 2023 Hall of Fame.
The RAAA, Inc., is a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, operating independently of Rutgers University to aid in the educational programming and cultural awareness of the university’s Black and Latino populations. The organization works to foster strong connections among alumni, faculty, staff and students of African descent to positively create change.
Since 2004, RAAA, Inc., has honored more than 100 alumni, primarily of African descent, for their outstanding involvement in the advancement of their communities, Rutgers University, and their fields of endeavor. On October 7, the organization hosted its 20th Anniversary Hall of Fame Induction, honoring 13 new inductees.
Of the 13 was Christopher Fabor Muhammad, who was honored for his remarkable teaching, mentorship, activism and artistry, all of which demonstrate his devotion to doing the work of Allah (God) through community-building service.
“I believe the committee that chose me for this honor saw that. So, they weren’t really looking at me, they were looking at Allah’s greatness. They saw Allah’s coloring in me,” Mr. Muhammad said.
RAAA, Inc., president and co-chair Simone Mack-Bright proved Mr. Muhammad correct—detailing the greatness she saw in his willingness to always show up.
“This year, we had a record number of nominations, from doctors to lawyers to people from big companies. So, it was very competitive. But he was one of the first nominees selected. We saw the work he did in the community and every time we called him to help in the community, he showed up without a problem. He has always given back; he has always been in his community; he has always done the work,” she said. For those reasons, she nominated Mr. Muhammad for the 2023 Hall of Fame.
Mr. Muhammad’s longtime friend, brother in the Nation of Islam, and fellow Rutgers University alumni, Stowell Roux-Toussaint X Fulton, 53, reflected on his disciplined devotion to service. “From the discipline of one meal a day to the discipline we find in the Restrictive Law, he’s grown to love doing things the right way rather than just looking at it as a restriction.
That then carried out to his service in the community. From college to post-college, he has always been a disciplined giver in the community. He took his discipline into the schools and community and has gone forward with servicing others,” Mr. Stowell said.
Further attesting to Allah’s coloring on Christopher Fabor Muhammad, another longtime friend, brother in the N.O.I., and fellow RU alumni, Jamal Muhammad, 49, said, “Brother Christopher wears many hats in the community. But, before he becomes engaged in any endeavor, he always reaches back to the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as taught by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, for guidance on how to produce a service most pleasing to Allah, the Messiah in our midst and the people.”
As a native of Paterson, N.J., growing up in the city’s housing projects, Christopher overcame the challenging environment and paved his way to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. There, he graduated from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts in 1995 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Art with a concentration in Graphic Design (Design and Visual Communication).
In 2001, he began teaching art in Paterson Public Schools, winning multiple awards for his impactful teaching. From there, he fell in love with teaching students in the classroom. In 2008, Christopher obtained another degree from Caldwell University, graduating with a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration. Using said degree, he started his professorship at William Paterson University in 2018.
However, his love for art did not end within the classroom. After several years of teaching, Christopher Fabor Muhammad simultaneously worked to get his artwork showcased. As a result, he’s earned nationwide recognition with projects and murals in multiple states from New Jersey to California.
Simultaneously, he runs his company, Creative Force, Inc., which produces revolutionary artwork while also providing educational community art services. He’s always involved in various other community-building projects, including annual small Black-owned business bazaars, youth entrepreneurship contests, a specialized museum for the history and culture of Black Patersonians and a nonprofit “Arts Reforming Communities.”
After years of service, the induction ceremony served as a reward for Christopher’s exceptional work. He had a joyful night of networking opportunities, photo sessions, and honorable celebrations. Yet, to him, the most important part of the night was the impression it left on his three-year-old daughter, Ella Maryam Fabor Muhammad.
“She the future … she’s my future, and it’s important that I’m a positive role model and influence in her life in a righteous way. I pray to Allah that this experience makes an impression upon her mind and at some point, when she gets to look back and read this article or see videos and pictures or hear about it and really realize what occurred, it will inspire her to make her mark on this world in a righteous way,” Mr. Muhammad said.