Historic Muslim American Newspaper Celebration Draws Hundreds to Nation's

Talib I. Karim | 12/22/2011, 5:56 p.m.

Historians note that Imam Mohammed, who died in 2008, led tens of thousands of mostly African-Americans from the black nationalism-based theology taught by his father's NOI into orthodox Islam.

Mohmmed's legacy was indelibly shaped by friend and mentor Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz (Malcolm X). Many also credit Shabazz for founding in 1960, the Muhammad Speaks Newspaper, the Muslim Journal's predecessor. The Muhammad Speaks made American history, not just Black history, said Ayesha K. Mustafaa, editor-in-chief of the Muslim Journal.

According to NOI historian and political commentator, Askia Muhammad, the Muhammad Speaks was the nation's first truly national newspaper, reaching a peak circulation of 950,000, only second to the Wall Street Journal.

Mustafaa notes her newspaper has evolved from the days of the Muhammad Speaks--- first renamed the Bilalian News, in honor of Bilal, the African aide to the ancient Prophet Muhammad, then the American Muslim Journal, and finally the Muslim Journal, which today has a circulation of just under 20,000.

"The events were a success based upon the public relations impact and good will that the Muslim Journal garnered from those who participated, on the international, national, and local levels," said Albert Sabir, a retired senior official at the D.C. Department of Employment Services and active member of DC's Masjid Muhammad, which served as the Muslim Journal's local host for the weekend of activities.