- Graduated Case Western Reserve Medical School in 1975
- Paratroper in military
- Minister of Mosque #4 in Washington, DC 1981
- National Spokesman for Louis Farrakhan 1988
- Nation of Islam’s First Minister of Health 1992
- Mayor of Washington, DC declared a day in his honor
- Has a wife, Alima, and nine children including Kush Amir, Ajane, and Kadira
Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad was born Maurice Peters Jr near York, Pennsylvania in 1948. From the beginning, Dr. Muhammad and his family were socially conscious. He went to an NAACP convention in Harrisburg, PA at age 6. Muhammad’s father Maurice Peterson Sr organized a protest against police brutality. The family was also involved in the Civil Rights Movement and marched with King. However, racism hit Muhammad in a personal way while going to an all-white high school at age 15.
Maurice Peters Sr was a post office worker. He saved enough money to move his family to the all-white suburb of Shiloh, PA. The whites of the area organized to keep the family out. Their plot was to harass his children to intimidate Mr. Peters into returning to York. One of the black maids in York got wind of the plot and warned them. When the Peterson family arrived, white residents blocked their moving van and demanded they leave. Undeterred Mr. Peterson entered the neighborhood in which he lived until the day he died.
Once Muhammad began coursework at the local high school, his grades fell from straight A’s to C’s and D’s. His parents thought he was not applying himself. When confronted, Muhammad said maybe he is not as smart as everyone thought. Upon hearing that his parents had to get to the bottom of the situation. His parents began reviewing his work and found he got most of the questions marked wrong were correct. After taking the corrected test to the principal, the school changed his grades. After this incident, Muhammad always questioned authority, not his ability.
Due to his intellectual ability and support from his parents, he made grades high enough to win a scholarship at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. His original major was poetry. When in college, he was introduced to the philosophy of Elijah Muhammad and wanted to change his major to something that would aid his people in the fight against oppression. He became a Biology / Pre-med major.
After receiving a degree in biology, Case Western Reserve Medical School accepted him in 1975. Muhammad told the Washington Post none of the fourteen blacks that enrolled in the program that year wanted a “Beverly Hills” style practice. All wanted to serve the urban community. While in college, one of his fellow black students faced expulsion because of grades. Muhammad and others were able to organize to keep the student in college.
Muhammad first heard Farrakhan speak in 1974, while in college. After meeting and interacting for a short time, Farrakhan appointed Muhammad assistant minister of Mosque #18 in Cleveland. Once Muhammad graduated, he went to Harlem University Hospital to work as a surgeon. While working in Harlem Muhammad officially changed his name from Maurice X to Muki Fuad Muhammad El-Amin. Farrakhan changed his name to Abdul Alim Muhammad before granting the position of Minister of Mosque #4 in Washington, DC in 1981.
Howard University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center both employed Muhammad for a short period, but Muhammad realized his passion was alternative medicine. He founded Abundant Life Clinic in 1986. The medical approach of the clinic was community-centered, alternative medicine. Muhammad infused Ayurvedic medicine and Yoga into treatment plans. Abundant Life’s drug rehab became nationally known, and Farrakhan’s son Joshua received treatment there. The clinic was the first step in a national black health agenda. From his work at Abundant Life, he became the NOI’s first Minister of Health in 1992.
The Dopebuster’s drug program began in 1988 at Mayfair Mansions. The program was initiated at the request of residents to calm the drug activity that got the complex nicknamed “Little Beirut.” Because the Dopebuster mostly came from Mosque #4, Dr. Muhammad was the unofficial spokesman. The need for a spokesman came on the first day when guards beat a man that approached them welding a shotgun. Not only did the guards assault the man wielding the shotgun, but they also attacked a news-crew filming the beating.
During the press conference created to answer questions on the incident, Dr. Muhammad charged the police department for orchestrating drug sales. The charge was doubling down on comments he made during a radio interview earlier in the week. Muhammad presented no evidence during the interview or press conference. Dr. Muhammad never named any specific policemen. A police spokesman denied the charge. There were never any formal charges brought against the police by the NOI or Dr. Muhammad.
Steny Hoyer first became a Congressional Representative in 1981. His district, Maryland’s fifth, housed in Prince Georges County had a 50% Black population. Because the area had a large black population, Muhammad thought he could have a chance to unseat the incumbent. The campaign was launched in the summer of 1990.
Part of Muhammad’s platform was government funding for the NOI’s Dopebuster’s initiative that had recently spread nationwide. Muhammad was able to gather a respectable following amongst working-class blacks, due to incendiary rhetoric. According to the Washington Post, Muhammad said that white politicians were “slave masters of a white-run political machine” and Prince Georges County was “plantation politics at its worst.” He also said blacks are no more free in America than Apartheid South Africa. Muhammad accused the media of obsessing on his affiliation with the Nation of Islam, but opened his speeches with the Muslim greeting “Al-salam aleikum.” Critics brought up the fact he did not live in the fifth district and only registered to vote a few months before running.
Unfortunately, the Alim Muhammad campaign only raised $35,000. Aid from Farrakhan never materialized. The Nation of Islam leader canceled his appearance at three campaign events. Hoyer was able to raise $230,000, and $115,000 of it was spent on television ads, Muhammad had no chance. Hoyer had a solid lock on PG’s white vote and a respectable track record on black issues. Muhammad only got 20% of the vote on the September 11 primary.
In the summer of 1992, Washington DC city councilman Henry Thomas purposed making a day to honor Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad. The one Jewish member of the council, Jim Nathanson, opposed the resolution. The resolution was moved to committee which ensured the bill would die. The mayor, Sharon Pratt Kelly, took up the cause. The Washington Post accused her of pandering to poor and working-class blacks by approving the resolution. No matter what the motivation July 11, 1992, was declared Dr. Abdul Alim Muhammad day by the mayor.
Prostate Cancer awareness is another point of advocacy for Dr. Muhammad because he also suffered from the disease. His prostate cancer diagnosis at age 36 was surprising because Muhammad was a vegetarian with no history of cancer in his family. He became a member and spokesman for the Empowerment Network, a group dedicated to spreading awareness about prostate cancer in the black community. His knowledge and personal experience became necessary when Louis Farrakhan afflicted with the disease in 1999. Muhammad served by informing the public on Farrakhan’s condition and helping chose the best hospital for the surgery, Howard University Hospital.
In 2010, Dr. Muhammad became part of a joint effort to provide earthquake relief to Haiti. The Church of Scientology and The Nation of Islam came together to improve the life of those hardest hit by the earthquake. The specific role of Dr. Muhammad was to provide wound care. He also documented the earthquake relief program in a personal blog.
Dr. Alim is currently practicing nutritional medicine in Bowie, MD. He makes few public appearances.