From left, In this historic photo, Muhammad Ali, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Jabir Herbert Muhammad, son of Messenger Muhammad are at the Messenger’s home in Chicago. Photo: courtesy of Table Talks

An extraordinary historical project called Table Talks of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad preserves the legacy of one of the most influential figures in Muslim history in America and around the world, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Table Talks Project is an organized effort involving historians, researchers, and volunteers dedicated to documenting his life and Teachings.

Imam Sultan Rahman

The project is curated and directed by Mosque Maryam’s Student National Imam of the Nation of Islam, Sultan Rahman Muhammad, great-grandson of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam, guided and taught by Master Fard Muhammad established from 1934 to 1975, the foundations upon which a new idea of self-identity continues to shape the course of Black liberation and the rise of the human condition through the complete renewal of today’s political and spiritual order.

“The Table Talks Project contains an oral history component that seeks to preserve our stories, and advocate community-led research, preservation and documentation of our shared heritage,” Student Imam Sultan told The Final Call. “People who want to know more about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad can hear him and learn for themselves from his informal discussions with dinner guests.”


“Many of his conversations at the dinner table were recorded as his ‘Table Talks’ by my father, Sultan Muhammad, grandson and personal aide to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” he continued. “They give a rare glimpse into the life of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I’m excited to bring this project to the world.

Participants can access never-before-heard informal audio recordings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and transcripts. It includes multimedia presentations that cover varying aspects of previously unknown history and in-depth discourse on Nation of Islam Teachings accompanied by historical photos provided by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Commemorative Center (HEMCC).”

Hundreds of hours of recordings, document question-and-answer sessions and a range of discussions the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad had with his closest family, dignitaries, guests, and Nation of Islam officials. Listeners get a glimpse into intimate interactions and experience his personality in new ways. The oral history component of the project includes his autobiographical narratives, humor, social commentary, spiritual guidance, and organizational direction given.

“His personal humor and charisma that comes through the recordings were an element of what is captured that surprised me the most,” Imam Sultan said. “People may see him in one way, yet these Table Talks allow us to see him in completely different ways.”

This project was decades in the making. The original archive consists of hundreds of hours of audio recordings from Muhammad’s dining table documented by his grandson, closest aide, and personal pilot Sultan Muhammad, father of Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad.

The recordings start in 1972 at the former Chicago home of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, 4847 South Woodlawn Avenue, now The Honorable Elijah Muhammad House Museum established by Sister Sajdah Wendy Muhammad. The recordings continue from the National House or “Palace” once construction was completed and from his home in Cuernavaca, Mexico, through January of 1974, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad traveled from one home to another in his work to advance the mission of the Nation of Islam.

The Table Talks of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad are his last known recordings and serve as a reference to his early history in the establishment of the Nation of Islam like no other documented primary source. They also give a deeper understanding of his preparation and tutelage by Master Fard Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam, during these early years and his trials after Master Fard Muhammad’s departure, leaving the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in His place to lead the Nation.

Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, eldest son of Sultan Muhammad, has continued his father’s documentation as the director of the project. The Table Talks archival collection has grown to include an oral history initiative that’s also focused on community engagement and collaborative efforts with The Honorable Elijah Muhammad House Museum through forthcoming installations, exhibits and public awareness programs that include the documentation of Muslim pioneers and their families, as well as broad public educational initiatives around the living history of the Nation of Islam and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. 

“We believe that intergenerational engagement supports the preservation of our stories through shared experiences that create spaces that strengthen community relationships, and deepen appreciation of family and heritage,” Imam Sultan Rahman said.

Curating such a historic project takes skills and talents. The scholars group dedicated to Table Talks annotates, transcribes, and authors articles for ‘The Transcript Books: Volume 1 and 2’, and journal publications made available through an online multimedia database. Archives include related interviews, documentation, and narratives.

“Dr. Khalilah T. Muhammad, The Nation of Islam Research Team, Demetric Muhammad, Dr. Ava Muhammad (May Allah be Pleased), Dr. Wesley Muhammad, Dr. Ray Muhammad, Dr. Larry Muhammad, and Student National Secretary of the Nation of Islam, Sa’ad Alim Muhammad, and a host of transcribers—including but not limited to Sister Haqqiyyah Muhammad, Sister Naadhera Muhammad, Sister Donna Muhammad, audio engineers and copy editors work to make this collection possible,” Imam Sultan Rahman said.

Dr. Khalilah T. Muhammad is an English professor. She told The Final Call, “When I began working with the project, we met face-to-face, listened to the Table Talks, and then had dinner. We talked about what we heard the Honorable Elijah Muhammad say. We even saw an heirloom table he has words engraved on. It’s a blessing to be able to work on so many layers of the project to make sure that the word is preserved.

In this historic photo, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, on left and other minister’s of Messenger Muhammad are dining at his home. Photo: courtesy of Table Talks

“In many instances, I am the final eye to review documents. I’m grateful to be part of the conversations to frame the listener’s ear. It’s important to listen to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, without judgment. The Minister cautions us to listen to what he’s saying and not how he says it. There’s so much knowledge, wisdom, and divine guidance that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad gives at the table. But if your ear is more acclimated to grammatical perfection, you might miss it.”

Star student of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, explained the value of the project when it launched in 2008 and released audio excerpts from the archives called, “Divine Dining,”

“These Table Talks are for the world,” Minister Farrakhan said. He commented at the National Training Conference in July of 2023 about Imam Sultan Muhammad’s father, stating, “I was present at the Messenger’s table when his father asked the Messenger could he record the Table Talks of the Messenger and the Messenger gave him permission and authority.

And when his father passed away, he gave to his son the legacy of the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoken at his table. Now think about this, he offered that legacy to me, and I refused it because I knew his father wanted him to have that and so far, he’s handled it like a wonderful brother should.”

Dr. Aminah McCloud Al Deen is a Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies, Chair of the Islamic World Studies program at DePaul University and one the most eminent scholars on Islam in America. She told The Final Call, “Oral history projects are an excellent opportunity to preserve culture and legacy. This is an exciting project.”

The online archive collection continues to grow as the full unpublished collection continues to be digitally mastered and transcribed for access at for students, researchers, historians, and collectors. The sound quality of the original audio, recorded in the 1970s, varies due to the technological limitations at the time. The informal settings at dinner sometimes prohibited optimum microphone placement.

Therefore, audio recordings have been digitally processed to improve the quality yet occasional results are inaudible, however, the majesty and depth of what is conveyed have not been lost.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s language has been preserved even in the transcriptions. His words are transcribed in the way that he spoke them. The Divine power and wisdom behind each word or series of conversations is apparent in the complexity of thought and manifest achievement that is documented in these critical years of the greatest growth of the Nation of Islam’s membership, influence and economic expansion, although the Honorable Elijah Muhammad received no more than a fourth grade education from the schools of our oppressors.

This project invites listeners and readers to be a guest at the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Table Talks. We hear his openness, reflective expression, Divine Guidance, and casual banter. The listener or reader is transported back in time. Become a supporting member of the online community for a nominal recurring $25 donation for three-month access to exclusive content from the audio archives, including the Table Talks Journal, e-books, podcasts and more.  Or purchase your limited Collectors Edition of the Audio Disk set and Transcript Books to support the ongoing labor of mining the jewels the archive offers.

The Table Talks of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is now in production of a comprehensive and all-new multivolume hardback publication of the words, narratives and Teachings transmitted by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad edited to extract cross-talk to catalog, index and arrange the hundreds of hours of words spoken in the audio archive as a written collection of the first hand primary source accounts of, “Table Talks of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Sayings, Life and Teachings.”During Saviours’ Day 2024 visit the Table Talks booth in the vending area!