By Charlene Muhammad via FinalCall.com
Mother Tynnetta Muhammad honored in street-naming ceremony
DETROIT— More than 100 Muslims at one point, and a modest, steady flow throughout the day, flocked to the Martin Park neighborhood to witness and celebrate the unveiling of “Tynnetta Muhammad Avenue,” named in tribute to writer, artist and scholar Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, dearly departed wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and a Nation of Islam Mother of the Faithful.
“That’s powerful,” said Pamela (Zaimah) Bahar, Mother Tynnetta’s sister, as she gazed at the street sign above. “I’m absorbing this,” she said tearfully.
Ms. Bahar, the youngest surviving member of Mother Tynnetta’s immediate family, wore hand crafted jewelry her sister made for her. “She thought I didn’t wear it,” she said, laughing and reflecting.
Ms. Bahar detailed some of Mother Tynnetta’s history, growing up on Lasalle Blvd. and attending Custer Elementary (now Thurgood Marshall Elementary School) and then Central High School, both on Linwood St. in their hometown of Detroit.
“It’s an honor to have that love of my sister through the City Council,” Ms. Bahar told The Final Call before the ceremony began. “When it was made known that it was going to really be done, no words can describe that feeling. It’s a powerful, emotional feeling, and then to see it. Oh my God,” she marveled.
Brenda Jones, Detroit City Council president, promised last year she would sponsor a resolution to honor the beloved Muslim scholar. During Saviours’ Day 2017 she proudly announced “Tynnetta Muhammad Avenue” as a reality.
The new street graced the intersection of Linwood and Puritan in Mother Tynnetta’s childhood neighborhood. Linwood is the path she took to school every day as young Tynnetta Alethea Nelson. It also intersects the street named after her husband, although the sign was taken down, according to Ms. Jones. She vowed to work to ensure it goes back on the corner where it was.
“There is a connection in those two signs in that one is at one intersection of Linwood and the other is at the other intersection of Linwood, so they come and bring everything together,” Ms. Jones stated.
Muslims crowded to witness, photograph and videotape Mother Tynnetta’s family during the ceremony.
After Jon Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 1 in Detroit blessed the ceremony with a prayer and recitation of Surah 113 (“The Dawn”) of the Holy Qur’an, Student Minister Troy Muhammad also of Mosque No. 1 welcomed and thanked everyone for attending.
“We all know the contributions of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to this community and to our people, and we know and we understand the contribution of the Muhammad family to this community and to our people, so this is a small sign of our appreciation of that,” he said.
“But our greatest appreciation is following the word and the teaching and the guidance that has been given to us by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” he said, before introducing Stephen Grady Muhammad, Ms. Jones’ chief of staff.
“As-Salaam Alaikum! Welcome to the corner of Mother Tynnetta Muhammad Avenue,” he said, igniting applause and chants of “Allah-U-Akbar,” which means “God is the Greatest” in Arabic.
He shared that after Mother Tynnetta made her transition on Feb. 16, 2015, police officers who assisted with escorts during her Ṣalāt al-Janāzah (Islamic burial service) said they had never seen police entities unite to transition and escort anyone in the manner in which they did her.
He and Min. Troy spearheaded efforts toward the permanent reminder of her impact on Detroit and the world.
Stephen Muhammad thanked Mother Tynnetta’s children Madeeah Muhammad, Ishmael Muhammad, Rasul Muhammad and Ahmad Muhammad, and family, and said Detroit appreciates everything she has done there and in the world.
“This is just a small way that we can capture her impact forever,” Stephen Muhammad said.
Thunderous applause erupted as a city worker hoisted on top of a and truck and removed the covering to display “Tynnetta Muhammad Avenue.”
Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, national assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, thanked the City Council on behalf of Min. Farrakhan, and the Nation of Islam for honoring one of Detroit’s finest daughters. He was flanked by his children, siblings, Ms. Bahar, and his mother’s cousins, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
“This is just the beginning of many institutions in the field of art, culture, music and education that will bear the name of Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, full of grace, an extraordinary woman, and an example of a woman of God,” Min. Ishmael said.