SPEAK OUT Spirituality

Breaking the Barriers of Sexism in Religion

Breaking the Barriers of Sexism in Religion

Ebony Muhammad (EM): You are affectionately recognized as the first woman to hold the position of minister over a mosque as well as a region, which is a first in all Islamic history. In addition to those positions you also served as the National Spokesperson to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Please give a brief background of what was going on during that time and how you were approached and offered these positions. What was the conversation like between you and Minister Farrakhan as he explained your role and representation to the world as it relates to the women in Islam, particularly as a follower of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad?


Ava Muhammad (AM): On July 4, 1998, Minister Farrakhan asked me to serve as his Southern Regional Representative in Atlanta.  There was no prior discussion between us.

There had been a National Laborers’ Meeting that day, and he was hosting a dinner at the National House.  There were many laborers present, as well as a number of guests who were not members of  the Nation.  He asked me quite suddenly during the dinner.  In addition, he was leaving the country the very next day so there were no instructions from him,  other than to assume the post immediately.  I was in the position for just under two years.  In July of 2000, he appointed me a student National Spokesperson,  a  position I hold to  this day.   My initial position with him was administrative assistant, and I have always been a member of the Nation of  Islam’s  legal team.


EM: We are taught that anything of value has a difficulty factor attached to it. What value do you believe was seen by the Minister in appointing a woman as the minister of a mosque, the Southern Region and as his National Spokesperson?  What obstacles did you encounter during the time you served in these positions? What do you believe is at the root of that opposition and how were you able to prevail?


AM:  I faced tremendous difficulties in the post, as the appointment brought to surface just how pervasive sexism is in the Nation of Islam as well as the Christian church.

One pastor in Mississippi withdrew an invitation for me to speak at his church when he learned Minister Farrakhan’s Southern Representative was a woman.  I don’t know that I prevailed; the liberation of the female is a process.  One of the greatest impediments to my ministry came from the women.  Someone once said that members of oppressed groups often lead their own opposition.  I found that to be true.


I believe the value of my appointment is expressed best by Minister Farrakhan in “Closing The Gap”.   He said, “Sister Minister Ava Muhammad’s appointment as a minister over a mosque to head the mosque in teaching and administration is a sign now of new rulership.  This is a sign that it is becoming time now for the female to come out into Allah’s (God’s) new world, as well as to master the home to bring forth a brand new civilization.  It is also a sign of the irreversible Will of Allah that nothing Satan can do will alter the establishment of Allah’s Will.  The woman can come out now because Satan’s power over her is waning.”   That is just an excerpt from a profound narrative he gave on the woman that women are paying very little attention to and it is to their own detriment.


EM: You are the author of several phenomenal publications; Real Love, The Force and Power of Being, A New Unit of Measurement, Weapons of Self-Destruction, Queen of the Planet Earth to name a few. What is the overall message of these books, and why is it important for the readers to have a proper understanding of the message being delivered regardless of the vessel?


AM: The overall message of my lectures and writings are to empower our people.   I was blessed to work with Minister Farrakhan as he developed the course of study that would usher in a new world order.  I owe it to him and to our people to give what little insight I am able to bring.   I do not believe those of us who are near the Minister should ever be found wasting his time.


EM:  The theme for this year’s Saviour’s Day convention is “I Will Send Saviours After Them”.   Is this exclusive to only Muslims and if not who else are in these numbers?


AM:  I do not believe the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan were ever limited to those who call themselves Muslims, because the work is to bring all of humanity into Islam.

EM: Thank you so much!

AM: All Praise Is Due to Allah!







You can follow Dr. Ava on Twitter @DrAvaMuhammad and visit her online at www.avaspeaks.com 

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