Munir means “radiant, shining with faith”. A visit to the mosque in 1972 would change his life forever. The message from the brother at the podium, the uniformly dressed Black men and women conducting themselves in an orderly fashion, and the obvious joy that they had deeply touched him and sparked his interest in the Nation of Islam. His usual investigative side took a back seat; he followed his heart and joined what he believed was peace and contentment, the Nation of Islam (NOI) under the leadership of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Although the Messenger did not speak on that day, the speaker shared the teachings, which were as powerful and life giving then as they are today. He witnessed Black people practicing what they believed. The slogan, “do for self”, which many have summarized as the Messenger’s teaching was a reality in the lives of the followers.
Twenty-nine years later, Munir Muhammad does not regret his hasty decision to join the Nation of Islam. His only regret is that he stumbled after the Messenger’s departure. The final test came and the nervous student froze like many others. Munir knew the answer, but like many students, you wait for another who you think is more qualified to answer the question. Unfortunately, no one answered the questions directly. The number of students who knew the answers steadily decreased as they assimilated into society removing their uniforms and changing their names in an effort to ease the pain of the Messenger’s departure. A steady attack began against the Messenger with the encouragement of even some former believers. While Munir never denounced the Messenger and his faith remained steadfast, he suffered greatly through his silence. He realized that if he were to recover what he lost after the Messenger’s departure, he would have to address the critics directly. More importantly, it became a continuous atonement to the Messenger for failing to remain faithful in upholding his name and accomplishments.
Munir’s faith that the program of the Messenger could stand in his absence against any challenge, formed the basis for the decision to openly discuss this great man. It caused discomfort for some who once held fast to the teachings because they had succumbed to the attacks by joining in denouncing the man they once followed. Munir sought out believers and sympathizers during his discussions and he influenced his blood brother, Halif Muhammad, and a former follower and First Lieutenant, Shahid Muslim to join him. He persuaded them that there was a need to secure a place to meet and discuss The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. As a result, they formed the Coalition for the Remembrance of Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.). However, there was still much work to do internally.
Munir’s tenacious spirit and courage in defense of the Messenger would be recognized by the organization as well as outsiders. He began to address the misinformation disseminated about the Messenger wherever and whenever he could. Whether it was a 2:00 am talk show or a forum at Malcolm X College, he responded with passion and truth of what he knew, based upon his experience as a Muslim follower of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
As the Business Manager
of C.R.O.E., he manages the daily operations. It is not a position that
is taken lightly. His faith and belief in the program, motivates him to
work 365 days per year in defense of the Messenger. This is a personal
commitment to himself for failing the test in 1975. One way to understand
Munir is to recognize his love affair with a man; the Most Honorable Elijah
Muhammad, who gave so much and asked for so little in return. His defense
is a very small token of his appreciation to the Messenger of Allah.
© 2011 The Coalition for the Remembrance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (CROE)