2020 has been a curve ball for the United States of America. The reality of race relations in the country is being uncovered, as well as the ill-intentions of those who’ve made a vow to lead us. With the onslaught of these truths, Black America has been forced into the valley of decision: Continue with the way things are, or go and do for self?

It’s time to build a nation of our own. It’s time to support our own. But there’s something that must be established as the cornerstone of that nation, and that is family.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan says, “There is no success in building a nation without the building of family. There is no success in the building of family without the respect and honor for the institution of marriage.” But, he goes on to say, “We are beset with divorce and the problem of infidelity.”

We can’t have a successful nation without strong families. We can’t have strong, happy families without successful marriages. So, there has to be a process that will help a man and a woman to make the best decision on who they should marry.

That’s where courtship comes in.

Courtship removes all the fluff, and helps you get down to clear judgment. Of course, there are feelings––if you’re interested in someone, there’s going to be feelings. But the decision to get married can’t be based off of feelings alone, which can cloud your judgment. The process of courtship helps both people come to a sound decision by questioning one another, getting to know each other, and seeing if they are truly a good fit for each other.  

With this in mind, we interviewed three young couples, who, at the time of this interview, were engaged to be married. They let us in on how they met, their courtship process and how they prepared themselves to be married. 

Prayerfully, through their unions, and countless more, we can be on our way to building strong families that will, in turn, produce a strong nation.

Khabirah Muhammad and Rashaad (4x) Grace

Khabirah Muhammad from Fort Worth, Texas and Rashaad (4x) Grace from Chicago, both 23, met at National Training 2019, an annual security and training retreat put on by the Nation of Islam.

Rashaad: Our first encounter was when I was selling bean pies to raise funds for the NTC and I called her over to the table to purchase one. And at the time I thought she was familiar but couldn’t place her face. The whole time she was following me on Instagram and was really feeling the kid (laughs). 

JT: How did you know that this was the right person for you to marry? 

Khabirah: I knew Rashaad was the right person for me to marry because he values and respects me. He handles me with care. Even at times when I was out of line, he demonstrated patience. When I’m with him, time passes. We can talk about anything, from the Teachings (of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad) to old childhood stories. When we’re together, it’s always a good time and a day full of laughter.

Rashaad: There were so many signs that I knew I was making the right choice, but when she told me she wanted to be a teacher and that she was good at math, I was sure. Her mental, spiritual, and emotional strengths balanced and complemented mine so well and so harmoniously, I knew we could by Allah’s grace produce an incredible family. 

JT: How have you been preparing for marriage?

Khabirah: I have been preparing myself for marriage by attending MGT and GCC (the Nation of Islam’s Muslim Girls Training and General Civilization) class. Working to improve my 7 units (cooking, sewing, taking care of the house, rearing children, caring for your husband and acting at home and abroad). Learning my weaknesses and strengths. Watching lectures the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan did on relationships and marriage. Also reading books galore. (Self-Improvement the Basis of Community Development, Real Love, Before You Say I Do, etc.) Constantly studying and working to better self. On Saturday’s I would tune in to Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad’s  Zoom calls on male and female relationships. There are so many resources out there to help prepare yourself. 

Rashaad: I’ve been studying and reflecting heavily on my character flaws and bad habits and asking Allah to remove them from my heart and mind. Though it is an ongoing struggle, I desire to house the spirit of God so that I can effectively lead my family by Allah’s hand. 

JT: Why is marriage important to you?

Khabirah: Marriage is important to me because it is the cornerstone of a strong family and of nation-building.

Rashaad: Marriage is 1/2 our faith, so through the process of becoming one with Allah we must also go by way of our significant other. Because we learn so much of ourselves through that other person that if you come to Allah for the answers that are needed for this life-long process, He will not fail you. Hence, you can’t truly be a man nor a Muslim without the union of two halves becoming whole. 

JT: Any advice for young people who want to get married? 

Khabirah: The advice I would give young people who want to get married is please don’t rush into it. There’s a lot of people getting engaged/married on social media, but your time will come. Fall in love with self first. You can’t properly love someone else if you don’t love yourself. Also, choose your mate wisely. Brother Nuri Muhammad said it best, “The mate we choose will either aid in our growth and development into greatness or confine us to complacency. They will either be our other-half or make us half of ourselves.”

Rashaad: Don’t let ANYONE tell you when you should get married. Strengthen your relationship with Allah and don’t let the applause of others’ weddings pressure you into accepting anything or anyone. Focus on the work, and Allah will automatically bring someone for you to help you in your work. Seek assistance through patience and prayer.

Sabbath Muhammad and Kareem Muhammad

Sabbath Muhammad, 21 from Columbus, GA, and Kareem Muhammad, 27 from Miami, FL, originally met via Facebook.

Kareem: We met on Facebook in 2012 (she thought I was cute, so she made the request *laughs*), and we physically met in 2016. We’ve been friends ever since, through thick and thin.

JT: How did you know that this was the right person for you to marry? 

Sabbath: I personally knew that Kareem was the right person for me to marry when he met everything that I asked for (in my evolved/more mature mindset), as well as when I realized that during our courtship, Allah allowed him to reveal and help mold impediments that I didn’t even know I had.

Kareem: The best way I can explain it is this: Allah is the BEST of planners. To this day, I would’ve never seen it coming. As far as she’s concerned, she’s always loved me for who I am and who I’m becoming. She’s also helped me to grow in so many ways. I am forever grateful to Allah for this gift.

JT: How have you been preparing for marriage?

Sabbath: Within courtship, though I’ve always been a financial person, I personally tried to see the start of certain business endeavors, for when I did get married. As a woman, it’s always nice to have something on your own. On a similar note, I also worked diligently to increase my credit score (Kareem and I are credit building together, which is pretty cool)! I want to be an example for whatever future children I am to bear; for my daughters as well as my sons. I also wanted to be in the pathway of starting a financial legacy NOW rather than later. The Holy Qur’an talks about (paraphrasing) “not doing tomorrow, what you can do today.” This is something that I’ve been trying to keep in mind for myself as a person. You’ll find that whatever you do in your single life, you will likely carry into your married life. On a final note, I also started, and have been checking myself in terms of “my role”. I personally wanted to make sure that I would not be a “lazy” wife. Not to say to “tire myself out”, but making sure that as a person, maintaining the home and the spirit of the home, that I don’t/won’t leave things “undone,” whatever that thing may be.

Kareem: Doing absolutely everything I can. *laughs* From restoring my credit, to working on my driving, and everything in between. It also helps that she’s the ultimate cheerleader.

JT: Why is marriage important to you?

Sabbath: Marriage is important because it is that next step that helps you cast out your demons. If you’re arrogant, you won’t notice it. Because my fiancé and I have known and been friends with one another for 7+ years, the step of being “real” with him was far easier than it would have been if he were a person I had never met. Now, the art of communication is STILL a challenging thing! However, the challenges that were present were softened to a degree, because of the sense of trust that I’ve already gained with him. So marriage is important to me because it literally allows you—and FORCES you—to grow into the BEST “you”.

Kareem: I’m still fresh in this experience, so I’ll answer this to the best of my ability. Marriage is the process that Allah established in order to fulfill your love; your duty to your significant other, in order to become one with one another and with Him.

JT: Any advice for young people who want to get married? 

Sabbath: The advice that I would give to young people who would like to get married is to be humble. Understand that everyone can have ego. Furthermore, never listen to “respond.” Listen to FULLY intake what the person is saying, and then judge their words by the balance of what is absolutely just.

Kareem: Again, I’m still fresh in this process, so I’ll answer as best as I can. For starters, focus on yourself. Allah will bless you with the right one in due time. Don’t rush the process of courtship, but don’t take too long, either. Six months to one year is best. Also, before courtship, grow in affinity with one another (don’t get intimate though). My fiancé and I were friends long before we got together. Lastly, be transparent. Courtship does not necessarily equal marriage, although that is the wanted result. Don’t hide things from one another and make it look like a show, because if you get married and those things come out, you’ll regret it later. Peace.

Kenya Muhammad and Darryl Parker

Kenya Muhammad, 23, and Darryl Parker, 27, both from Chicago, got engaged on May 25, 2020. The two answered some of the questions together.

JT: How did you two meet?

Kenya: Honestly, neither of us remember the exact moment we met. We both grew up at Mosque Maryam and were in the same circles. My best friend’s brother is his best friend and his 3 sisters are close to my age, so we were first friends by association and then eventually became cool. We were friends for many years before ever entertaining the thought of anything romantic.

JT: How did you know that this was the right person for you to marry? 

Kenya: Even before me and Darryl started courting, I knew he was a great brother. He is one of the most caring, hard-working, talented, intelligent and genuine people that I’ve ever met. Fast-forward to once we started courting, Darryl would be doing and saying all the right things, and we fit together so perfectly. I will say that there would be times when I was nervous about making such a “final decision” in committing to someone 100%. Like, how do you reallyyyyyy know that this is THE one?!?! I would be so in my head about wanting to make the right decision that I honestly doubted him and us at times. But the more that we experienced together and his true character never faulted, the more I noticed how he is strong where I am weak and vice versa, I was comforted and eventually resolved in my great decision! But it took me getting less critical of him and more involved with Allah and what I know He wants for me (goodness) that it became abundantly clear.

Darryl: First and foremost, Kenya is someone who I am 100% myself with. We are so comfortable around each other, and it’s important to me that the person I spend my life with is someone who I feel understands me at my core. When we first got together, I wasn’t looking for anything. I was at a space where I was literally allowing Allah to guide me, and it was during that time that I felt He guided us to each other. Kenya makes me happy. She is someone who I know I can build a beautiful future and legacy with, and I see us doing very great things for our Nation and the world, which is why I believe Allah has us for each other.

JT: How have you been preparing for marriage?

Both: We believe that growing spiritually, mentally, financially, and morally individually first allows you to be in the best possible state before marriage. So it’s been important for us to continue to develop our gifts and get to know as much as we can about ourselves to make the process of growing into oneness with each other as smooth as it can possibly be.

We also have been studying together, watching different lectures of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, reading books such as Before You Say I Do by Brother Nuri Muhammad and praying together.

JT: Why is marriage important to you?

Kenya: Marriage, as we know, is the foundation of a nation. The stronger our families are, the stronger the community becomes. And so as a woman of faith, I’m striving to want what God wants for me. I think commitment, loyalty, duty, respect, growth and love is absolutely worth whatever struggle comes with marriage, considering it’s with the right person. Also, there are not many marriages in my family and I want to set a great example for my loved ones and children.

JT: Any advice for young people who want to get married? 

Both: Our advice would be don’t take advice from just anyone! Lol… Protect your mind and your relationship when it does come.

Anyway, that is a great desire to have! We don’t believe that everyone should get married young, but it’s a good sign that we have the desire to be in a committed relationship and to ultimately work to grow into oneness with Allah and our potential partner.

We’d say to have fun, travel and learn as much as you can to prepare yourself for when the time comes. Don’t rush the process. Don’t see things in people that aren’t there. Deal with reality and work to show up as your best self everyday. We believe that Allah will always send to you who and what is for you!

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