Sister Minister Ava Muhammad, A Star of God
Sponsored by Sister Cherelle Muhammad
(The excerpt below is from a Virtue Magazine article submitted by her daughter)
Dr. Ava Muhammad was a gifted attorney, researcher, lecturer, and author of five books. She received her Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University in Washington D.C. and is a member of the New York Bar Association. Additionally, she has been featured in Essence Magazine many times and was named by Essence as one of America’s most powerful Black women. She has also appeared on the cover of Virtue Today Magazine twice. The focus of her work is self-empowerment.
Sister Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad was born on November 9th, 1950. She was born to William and Gladys Atkinson. Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad grew up in a middle-class home in Columbus, Ohio. Both of her parents were educators, and some of her early influences included The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), and other civil rights activists that promoted equality and self-reliance. She earned a law degree, graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1975. She was on what many consider the perfect course in life for law students, becoming a criminal defense attorney and charting a successful career when she reached a turning point in her life in 1979, at the age of 28. She was diagnosed with cancer and began looking for spiritual support to deal with the fear of death that accompanied her cancer.
She first took refuge in the church of her youth, but it did not provide the comfort she was searching for, and she found that she was still afraid of dying. Admiring the Nation of Islam’s focus on self-reliance for black people, she went to hear The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speak in New York City and finally felt she was where she belonged. This was only natural since she had long been an advocate of the self-reliance message that she encountered in The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s preaching. In an interview with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she explained why this time was a revelation. “When I heard him talk about Allah, it penetrated my very being,” said Sister Ava Muhammad. “I knew that this was what I was born to do.” She also avowed that her cancer disappeared after she heard Minister Farrakhan’s message.
As an ardent follower and student of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, she desired to help him fulfill what The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said of him, “Through you, I will get all of my people.” As she worked with every fiber of her being to achieve that end, Sister Minister Ava Muhammad would evolve into a servant that commanded the respect of people in all walks of life. As such, she served as a link to those considered among the mainstream, who were often in opposition to the Nation of Islam due to fear and ignorance. Serving as one of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s greatest helpers, Sister Minister Ava Muhammad blazed a trail for women in the ministry in the Nation of Islam, the Islamic world, and even among Christians. In fact, she was an inspiration to women in leadership as a whole and those who aspired to such. As one of the most visible women in the Nation, she was a key speaker at the 1997 Million Woman March. She addressed the women at the march on the topic, “The Further Development of Black Women Who Are or Wish to Become Professionals, Entrepreneurs, and or Politicians.” In the message, she emphasized the importance of women to first establish a strong relationship with God when seeking to move forward in life.
Allah used Sister Minister Ava Muhammad’s life and work to mark a pivotal point in history and a shift in the consciousness of humanity regarding the role of women. In 1998, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was divinely guided to make an unprecedented move that the Islamic world had not yet seen. He appointed her as the first woman to head a Mosque at Muhammad Mosque No. 15 in Atlanta, Georgia.
After serving as the Student Regional Minister, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan appointed her as the National Spokesperson of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. She soldiered, worked, and served as one of the top students in the Ministry Class of the Nation of Islam. She also served as a member of the Executive Council of the Nation of Islam.
Sister Minister Ava Muhammad also determined that her role in a leadership position in the Nation of Islam required that she move toward being one with the will of God. As part of her work to share the Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad as taught by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with the world, she authored many bestselling books. Two commonly known books are Real Love and Queen of the Planet Earth: The Birth and Rise of the Original Woman.
As she traveled life’s journey, Sister Minister Ava Muhammad was blessed with a beautiful family. In 1988, she married Brother Darius Muhammad. They had two beloved daughters, Cherelle, and Sasha. She was the best grandmother in the world to her two grand babies, Amirah, and Amir.
Sister Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad will be remembered not only as one appointed to the highest leadership position for a woman in the history of the religion of Islam, but her light will forever shine as a Star of God.