(Blogger’s Note: I’ve watched Joshua Muhammad of Atlanta for many years as he has developed into a strong warrior in the ranks of the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He just released his first book, “No Father. No Excuse!” and I was eager to go one-on-one with him about the inspiration behind the project, his own personal battles, and more. Order a copy of the book via https://www.paypal.me/NofatherNoexcuse)
Brother Jesse: First, I want to congratulate you on the release of your new book, “No Father, No Excuse!” Who and what inspired the book?
Joshua Muhammad: The book was inspired by a conversation I had with one of my best friends whose father was an alcoholic. He said his father missed his birthdays, sports events, and teaching him how to be a man. I told him that my father is a workaholic and missed those events in my life as well. However, there are many examples of people who have overcome those obstacles to become great.
Brother Jesse: What is the core message within the pages that you want readers to extract?
Joshua Muhammad: I want the readers to extract from my book that God lets everything happen for a reason. So although many of us have father issues, we have to remember God allowed it for a reason. We have to learn to be better and not bitter. We have to break the cycle of bad father and son/daughter relationships.
Jesse Muhammad: You were born in The Nation of Islam. How critical has The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as Exemplified by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, been to your manhood development?
Joshua Muhammad: The Teachings has been everything to my manhood development. The Minister taught me the two most valuable things a man must learn. He taught me that we as men must be protectors and providers for our women and children.
Brother Jesse: Your father, Student Minister Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, has been on the go serving The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and The Nation of Islam for decades now. That type of sacrifice and constant travel can sometimes affect a father/son relationship. What has having your father in your life meant to you? How have you all been able to stay so tight, even during the times when you didn’t see him much? Did you ever have to fight bitterness of him missing many of your childhood events?
Joshua Muhammad: Absolutely, I grew up very bitter and insecure due to my father not being active in my life due to his responsibilities of protecting the man of God. I didn’t understand as a young man, my father being with Gaddafi instead of being at my football games. However, as a grown man I have learned to see the value of my pain to help heal the children who went through the same situation. I have been able to connect with young people all over the country due to our common bond over father issues. I believe that God uses me to speak for those who don’t have a voice and to be an example of how you can love your father in spite of his shortcomings because we have shortcomings. Be better not bitter.
Brother Jesse: We all know the statistics about fatherless homes in the community, but if someone asked you to give them just one successful model to overcome this ill in our community, what would it be?
Joshua Muhammad: There are many examples of people who overcame that situation. I would use LeBron James as the example. He grew up without his father and became the highest paid athlete in the world. He’s a great example because he’s a family man and he gives millions back to the community.
Brother Jesse: I’ve known you to be a cracked drill instructor for Atlanta in the Nation of Islam annual drill competition, but I didn’t know you had a writer in you. When did you gain a passion for writing? How does it feel to be a published author? What has the feedback been like thus far?
Joshua Muhammad: I have been writing and producing plays since middle school. I have written and performed adaptations of West Side Story, The Lion King, Hair Spray, and Beauty and the Beast. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan teaches us that pain is the mother of creativity. This is how I used my pain of my father being a workaholic to become a writer, actor, and a D.I.
It feels amazing to be a published author. The feedback has been all positive. I’ve had men and women calling me to tell me how the book has been helping them with their relationships with their fathers.
Brother Jesse: What other projects do you have in the works that we can look forward to by 2017 or 2018, Insha’Allah?
Joshua Muhammad: Insha’Allah I will be casting my first movie,“Death Before Dishonor”, which is inspired by the Dopebusters next year. I also intend to shake up the world again at the Drill competition.
Brother Jesse: I dare not ask, after you started a heated Facebook debate about the greatest rappers of all time (Laughs), but what’s in your playlist these days that keeps you motivated? And why is your social media page like a smorgasbord?
Joshua Muhammad: I stand by my Top 5 rappers and their millions of record sells back me up. (Laughs) My biggest musical motivators right now are Kanye, Future, Drake, GuWop, Little Dickie, Chance the rapper, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and of course Queen Bey.
The reason my social media page is such a variety is because I want to show the world that you can be a Muslim and be cool. There is a negative stereotype that Muslims don’t listen to real music, watch TV and are lame. I,however, am none of the above and I bear witness to the true and living God.
(Order a copy of “No Father. No Excuses!” via https://www.paypal.me/NofatherNoexcuse)