[Publisher’s note: During the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s visit to Houston for the “Justice Or Else Leadership Tour” (June 14&15), Sister Malaika X received her “Muhammad” directly from Minister Farrakhan, himself for her amazing courage in saving 7 people during the historic flood this past May! On June 23, 2015, Sister Malaika Muhammad received a proclamation from Houston’s City Hall for her heroic efforts. That day has been officially named “Malaika Muhammad Day”. She decided to rename the day “Muhammad Day” in effort to lift that honorable name up in connection with all of the members of the Nation Of Islam. She plans to host an entire day of family and community each year on June 23rd.]
When I initially spoke with Sister Malaika Muhammad for her story to be highlighted in the Final Call Newspaper, she and I spoke for approximately two-and-a-half hours straight. She recalled every detail, emotion and afterthoughts that took place May 25/26th and gifted Hurt2Healing Magazine with the ultimate exclusive! We pray you enjoy it and are inspired!
Here is Sister Malaika Muhammad’s account in detail:
My children weren’t with me that day. it was Memorial Day holiday. I have a number of family members who served in the military; my brother as well as my uncle and grandfather. I had to work that particular day, so my mother came to get the children for the day.
I finished with work at 4 pm. I was on a fast; my intentions were to do a 10-day fast. After I finished work, I decided to break my fast early. I got some fresh foods, I bought myself some flowers; sometimes I do things for myself that I enjoy. I was home alone enjoying taking some time to nurture myself.
Once it started raining really bad, I went onto Facebook communicating with believers from around the nation about the weather. I remember posting “forget raining cats and dogs, it’s raining lions and wolves!” The thunder was just so powerful.
I put my phone down and got ready for bed. I decided to make another post that “the earth is shaking”. I was in awe of the power of the storm. I ran to look outside and that’s when I noticed that the exit ramp was flooded and there was a car there. When I saw the car, it was just a quick glance. I went away from the window and came back and the car was still there. So I began to ponder in my mind, “Was this car stalled?” Really it was a moment of disbelief of whether this car was stalled. I went back to look again and that’s when whoever was in the vehicle turned their headlights on. That’s when I realized someone was in the car and needed some assistance.
When I came away from the window, it was a shock and awe kind of feeling. A weight of seriousness came over me, and I began to literally talk out loud, “Oh my God, what am I going to do?” I just kept talking to myself, “I’m going to have to go out here and see what’s going on”. Then I was like, “Oh Allah is this for real?” I remember a moment of clarity came over me and said , “I’m going to have to help this person”. It was like I had no choice. It was like a moment of decision and asking myself, “Who are you? There is no way I cannot intervene and go on with my life as if nothing happened. So this is it, either I am who I say I am or I’m not”.
In that moment it was affirmative, they’re going to need help. I did my best to dress for the weather. I put on two pairs of pants and two NOI t-shirts. I put on a navy blue sweater, trench coat, a scarf on my head and a hat on top of that. By the time I got outside there was a woman sitting on the hood of the car.
The water, at this point, was up to the headlights. It was if things were happening so fast. I don’t remember consciously coming up with a strategy of how I would get to her. It was if Allah took over. Again, the water was up to her headlights, so if I would have gone straight to the exit ramp I would have had to go through quite a distance through the water. I went up the side of the freeway, on foot. I went onto the gravel part. I walked up the underpass. This particular exit ramp slops down and the exit lane was below me. The only thing available to walk on was about five inches wide, and there was water on both sides. I took this route so that I could get close enough to her to speak with her.
At that point I realized it was two individuals in the car; a young man and woman. Once I got close enough to them, I yelled out, “Are you okay? Are there any children in the car?” They replied, “No”. I said to them, “You’re going to have to get out of the car. I’m going to help you get out of the car”. The young lady said she didn’t want to get into the water. I told her, “The only way you’re going to get out of this situation is to get out of the car. As soon as you get out don’t worry I won’t let anything happen to you. Just come into the water”. The young man with her was also encouraging her to get into the water. I just continued assuring her that it would be ok.
He said, “I think I saw snakes.” At that point she freaked out. I didn’t see any snakes. I almost had her out of the car, but when he said that she yelled out and pushed back further onto the car. I said, “Look sis, either you get into the water and deal with these snakes or stay here and look at this water rising. The water isn’t that high. Once you get out it’ll probably be up to you stomach. You won’t be in there that long. Just come towards me. I won’t let allow anything to happen to you”.
At that point she slid off of the hood of the car. She walked about two feet towards me and I pulled her up onto the underpass. Once I got her up to the underpass, I looked back and noticed another car back there. That car was about another car’s length behind the first car. I had two now.
I was yelling to the second car asking if they needed any assistance. No one was responding and it was too dark to see into the car. I yelled out “I’m coming!” I had to walk back down the cement ramp and further down to get closer to that next vehicle. By the time I got half way to that car, the door open and it was an older lady. Now the water was up to her chest. So at that point the water was rising. I couldn’t get to her so I just yelled to her to take her time and she made her way to me and climbed on to the underpass where we were.
Once I had both women on the underpass, they were shaking and wet. It was then I introduced myself. I said “It’s okay, my name is Sister Malaika. I’m a member of Muhammad Mosque No. 45 and I live right over there. You’re safe.” I let her know I was a trustworthy person because she looked afraid. My house was about 50 feet away. I said, “This is my house, you can come inside.” However, she looked afraid. At this point the young man was standing on the hood of the car. I told her, “I really think we should move where you can get warm it’s very cold. You’re wet. I really think we should move to the house. You can use the phone and call someone”.
She agreed and I escorted the young lady and the older woman to my house. The younger woman yelled at the young man to jump, but he wouldn’t. As I turned around there was a police officer and two other vehicles coming down the service road. I stopped the police officer, “Sir, there is a man stuck in the water. He can’t get out, he needs help.” He looked at me and said, “We’re not doing that right now”. I said “You’re not helping people right now?” He said, “No we’re not doing that”. So once I had the women in my home I asked them where they lived. I asked the police officer if he could transport her home, and he said no he’s not doing that either. At that point my mouth was open in disbelief. I said, “So you’re not going to do anything?” He looked at me at and chuckled and said, “You’re the good Samaritan, you got it”. At that point I just walked away. I could not believe it. This was not happening.
I approached the brother on the car. I was attempting to travel back the same way I went the first time. He just jumped right in. I met him halfway in the water and escorted him to the porch. Myself and the women came inside while the brother stayed on the porch. I gave the young lady the phone and she called her mother. I asked the older woman a few questions. She just had a faraway look in her eyes. I just kept asking her if she was okay.
At first they didn’t want to sit down, because they were concerned about the water. I assured them they could sit anywhere, it’s just water. I got some sheets and towels to wrap them in. The older woman looked like she was having a harder time dealing with what was happening. The young lady was on the phone with her mom.
At that time I called Sister Mahasin Muhammad, but she didn’t answer on the first call. Then I texted her and she called me. I relayed to her what happened and she gave me instructions to get everyone’s name and contact number who was with me. She told me to keep her updated and to contact the believers who stayed close to me. She stayed in contact with me the whole night.
I went outside to the young man and told him he could come inside the house. I gave him a sheet as well. I turned the heater on to warm it up in the house.
I remember thinking, “What is the next thing to do” to make sure they’re okay and comfortable. I went into the linen closet to get towels and sheets. I remember thinking about our 7 units in the M.G.T. & G.C.C.; I didn’t have enough towels so I had to use sheets. I was mad I didn’t have enough towels. I just remembered, “You never know what could happen in your life”. I know this may some strange, but I was looking for more things to give them and it reminded me of the value of what we’re taught.
The young lady’s mother was not far away. The main freeway was flooded but the regular streets weren’t. The couple were on their way to the hospital to visit their newborn baby. That hospital was about five to ten minutes away from my house.
As they were leaving I gave them my business card and a post card to the mosque. I asked her to call me to let me know they were okay. They expressed gratitude for helping them. They left and moments later the phone rang, and it’s the young lady telling me there’s another car outside if I want to go get them. I had taken everything off and left it on the porch.
I said, “What!” She said there’s another car stuck in the water. In case you wanted to help. I ran to the door and looked out and it was another vehicle, a SUV, stuck on the exit ramp. That third car was behind those first two cars. The water was now over the hood of the SUV. It had been about 30 minutes since getting the first set of people. I went back in the house and put my tennis shoes back on and my jacket. I changed my head scarf and engaged the third vehicle.
That car was far back so I couldn’t go the same way I went before. I had to approach from the other side. Once I was parallel with the car I yelled out, “Are you okay? Are there any children in the car?” Someone opened the driver door. I saw by how he was moving that it was an elderly man. The water was up to the his chest near his collar bone. He was making his way around to the other side of the SUV. I knew then someone else was in the car.
By the time I got to the water he was letting an elderly woman out the car. I told them to take their time. They were walking toward me and I was walking towards them. Once I got them on the service road, I pointed out my house to them and to make their way there.
As soon as I got to the service road, halfway to my house, I looked back and saw another vehicle drive into the water. At this point I was like, What is going on?” It was apparent that people couldn’t see the water. It was once you exit, the water wasn’t detectable. I looked up and saw the car dive into the water. The difference between this vehicles was that the windows were up and I couldn’t see into the vehicle. I’m trying to yell into the vehicle as other cars were passing me on the road. I felt like I was going to need some help, because of the distance of the car and the windows were up. All you could see at this point was the top of the car and some of the windows. The car mostly submerged.
A while ago, my mother watched a show were a person got trapped in water and couldn’t get out. They said to keep a hammer in the car. I would make fun of my mother about keeping this hammer in her car. Her co-worker would make fun of her too. Last year that same co-worker’s aunt drove her car into a ditch and drowned, because her windows were up and the electricity went out in the car. She couldn’t get out. So now this co-worker carries a hammer in her car. That’s what popped into my mind when I saw that next car submerged in water.
I saw that he wasn’t able to get out. Now I was alarmed. I stopped another car and asked for someone to help. That person was startled, and I realized he wouldn’t be able to help me. I stopped another vehicle on the road and asked if they could help. I asked if they had something to break the window with. He got out and popped the truck. He said he couldn’t find anything to break window with. I said stay here and watch the car.
I went back to my house looking for anything I could use. I had a curtain rod and grabbed the metal piece and ran towards the water and swam toward the vehicle. As I was swimming I hit something. It was the cement partition. That’s how high the water was now. It was over the cement partition. I had to climb over that portion. Once I got the vehicle the water was now up to my collar bone. I saw that the windows were rolled down a bit. I didn’t see anyone. I yelled, “Are you okay?” I saw a man popped up. I said, “You’re going to have to get out”. He said okay. He stuck his feet out of the window. I grabbed his legs and pulled him out. Once he got into the water he took off swimming. At first it was ok because I realized he could swim, but then I remembered the cement. He was swimming right toward it. I yelled, “Stop, it’s a wall!” He lifted out of the water just in time. I swam over to show him where it is and we climbed over it. Once he got on the road he took off running. I never got his name.
I got out of the water exhausted, trying to catch my breath and gather myself. At this moment I’m taking it all in; this is happening. I started walking towards my house. The elderly couple are on the porch. I see another man climbing over the embankment. I asked him where he was coming from. He said he was coming from the freeway and his car was under water. I told him he could sit with us on the porch.
At this time we’re all sitting on the porch looking out taking in what just happened. The elderly couple spoke only Spanish. I was trying to communicate with them, but we couldn’t understand each other. The last man said the elderly woman wants the use the phone. I encouraged all of them to come into house. They were hesitant. Then they were concerned about getting water on the floor and where to sit. I ran back to the linen closet to get more sheets and covers to keep them warm. I offered hot tea to warm them up as well. They declined, but I just kept trying to find ways to keep them comfortable. I told them where the bathroom was. The elderly Hispanic woman was shivering. Her shoes were wet and she didn’t have any socks on. I went and got towels and sat her shoes outside.
In that moment I thought about the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and a story he told about someone who hadn’t treated him so kindly. At another instance he had a meeting with him and he was ill. His legs had swelled and the Minister had to help him take his shoes off. I just thought of that level of humility. It invigorated my spirit to help this elderly woman. I dried her feet and got another towel and some socks. They were elderly and I didn’t want them to get sick.
They had gotten a hold of their son. Her husband spoke better English and said their son was coming for them. I offered more tea or anything I could do to make them more comfortable. At that point everyone was wrapped up and had attempted to communicated with family. I excused myself and changed into dry clothing. I got the excess water off of the floor to prevent anyone from slipping. I just kept asking if they needed anything. Soon after, the son of the elderly couple came to pick them up. The look on her face… she held her hands up to my face and said, “Gracias, and God bless”. I said, “De nada”. She looked so thankful. Her husband looked at me and said, “Thank you, thank you”.
At that point I communicated to Sis. Mahasin to update her of the other individuals and their names. I was left with two others and they didn’t have anyone to come pick them up. I knew they would be staying with me over night. It was the older woman in the second vehicle and the young Indian man who walked over the other side of the freeway. He was from Mumbai, India. He has been in Houston for a year and his family was still in India. He was staying with friends.
He called his friends to tell them what happened, and his roommate informed him their apartment was completely flooded as well as their other vehicle. It was then he knew he would be staying. The older woman, Ms. Lanor, left her car keys in the car and didn’t have her house key. Her daughter lived in Spring, Texas and wouldn’t be able to come get her. I gave them both dry clothes and a blanket. Within five minutes she was asleep. Thank Allah she was able to get some sleep. I moved her into my formal family room. The brother and I watched the news and I asked him about himself. We went to the porch to watch the weather and we saw that people were still drive toward the ramp. We were waving at them to alert them away from the water. There was still water on the exit ramp.
It was about 2am. I called Sister Helen Muhammad, Student Regional Protocol Director, and informed her of the final situation. She asked if I was able to get some sleep. I said, “No ma’am, I’ll be up on post”. The brother dosed off.
Once the sun came up we went outside to see all that happened. The first three vehicles were completely submerged in water. You couldn’t tell there were vehicles out there. The water had reached all the way up to the edge of my driveway.
A hour or so after the sunrise people came out of their homes looking around. By mid-day helicopters were in the air. People were just coming from everywhere to spectate the sight of the water. Ms. Lenore, Tjus and I walked across the street to the main freeway to look down and it was completely filled with water. While we were out there that’s when the local news truck pulled up.
They said they were about to do interviews. I told them that I pulled individuals out of the water and two of them are in my home. He said, “Really? Would you mind sharing this on camera?” I said, “Sure”. He said, “Good, we go live in 5 minutes”. I said, “Okay”. I ran back into my house and cleaned up. I got my earrings, a new headscarf and I prayed to Allah to give me the right words to say.
He asked me what happened. I gave him a description of what took place. He said, there are some Houstonians who are thankful for what you did. I said, “I’m thankful for my training as a M.G.T. in the Nation of Islam. If it weren’t for that training, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do what I did. All Praise is Due to Allah!”
It was not so much of the training of disaster preparedness or rescuing. It was more about mental training. It was that moment in my room when I made the decision to do what I did. I have an obligation to serve. Either I am what I say I am or I’m not. We’re taught that we are the saviors of our people. We’re the Vanguard and we’re responsible for delivering and helping our people. The training is knowing who you are and your role to the masses of our people. All I can say is that it was divine circumstance. I didn’t have a choice. There were only two other houses on that block. There were no other options. I am fully aware of what God desired for me to do. There was no one else I could call on to help me. It was either do it or it won’t get done.
In our lives, even if there are 50 other people around you, no one has been given what we’ve (Nation Of Islam) been given to do. We’re the chosen ones. I was just put in that situation where someone’s life depends upon whether I’m going to do what I’m supposed to do. I accepted it verbally, but am I going to act in accordance? We all have to question ourselves. Am I who I say I am?
I am a single sister. I couldn’t use femininity as an excuse to punk out! I did what I could. I made sure my head was covered. It was me and God. I had to decide whether I was going to allow God to use me or not. When you live the life, it is engraved in you.
Even though for me it was that one act, it was the connection that Allah made. I still have the welfare of those people on my heart. I called brother Tjus to check on him. I called the young couple, but they didn’t answer. I can’t pretend I never met them or act like I don’t know they’re going through some difficulty.
The young couple called about where they could find their vehicle. We found out the information. Tjus couldn’t go back home because it was flooded. It was now down to him and I. I called Sister Helen, and her husband came over and attempted to secure him a hotel room. At the hotel, even though they just saw him on the news, they wouldn’t give him a hotel room. This is a reality of the world we live in and the way people think. Humanity doesn’t come before protocol. The righteous: we’re all our people have. The woman at the hotel saw all he went through, and she still wouldn’t allow her humanity to override policy. We are all they have.
Through circumstance I built a human connection with them and I feel it’s my duty to see them through to a moment where they get some relief and resolve. I helped them find their car. We called Red Cross for Tjus to file a claim for assistance. I felt some kind of way of saying, It’s over, leave my house”. I had to do something else.
I just want to thank the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan for extending so much love and grace to us. Without his example of how to be a Saviour and to sacrifice, I wouldn’t know how to be a Saviour. He is a divine example for us. All of the believes of Muhammad Mosque NO. 45 and all over the Nation Of Islam: We are all Saviours. We encounter people everyday who are in their own personal storm and we are assisting them through as well.
I want everyone to know the praise is to Allah. And we are all Saviours. If no one ever thanked you for what you have done, I thank you. Know that whatever comes my way; the proclamation, it’s for all of the believers, M.G.T. and FOI. I hope the world sees the events around me of what Allah is doing in the wilderness of North America is a remarkable thing. This is icing on the cake to strengthen us and our fortitude. We have the victory and Allah is in control.
Hurt2Healing Magazine thanks Sister Malaika Muhammad for her time, energy, love and sacrifice! She is a beautiful example of what strength and courage looks like and a testament of obedience to Allah looks like when lives are at hand. May He continue to bless you and your family!