Oral History Interview with Dr. Naajiah Muhammad on August 11, 2020


Oral History Interview with Dr. Naajiah Muhammad on August 11, 2020



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Muhammad, Dr. Naajiah


Yousif-Ahmad, Zainab; Perkins, Dr. Alisa (Research Director)


Oral history interview with Dr. Naajiah Muhammad conducted by Zainab Yousif-Ahmad on August 11, 2020. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director) and Zainab Yousif-Ahmad. Dr. Naajiah Muhammad was born on August 16, 1958 in Detroit, Michigan. Her father was born in Springfield, Illinois, and her mother was born in Oklahoma. Both her parents migrated to Michigan in the 1940s. At the age of nine, Dr. Muhammad’s grandmother introduced her to herbal medicine and to her family’s Choctaw and Cherokee heritage. She was raised as an Episcopalian Christian and embraced Islam as a young adult after being introduced to the religion by her sister. In the interview, Dr. Muhammad discussed the importance of several different mentors and teachers who guided her study of Islam and the Arabic language throughout her life. She also discusses her enduring connection to the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center. Dr. Muhammad has been a successful entreprenuer for many years. Her first business was jewelry making which she continues to this day. In her interview, Dr. Muhammad discusses how her own health challenges and dissatisfaction with mainstream healthcare motivated her to go back to school and pursue a career in alternative medicine. Currently, Dr. Muhammad works as a naturopathic doctor and teaches classes in holistic medicine. She encourages her patients from different faiths to combine healing and prayer. Dr. Muhammad presents monthly about the connection between Islam and healing at Muslimah University, a women’s learning circle, and also runs a series called Health Smart Kids, which promotes peer education among young people through creative video production. Throughout the interview, Dr. Muhammad emphasizes the importance of facing challenges and overcoming the limiting ideas of others to excel and thrive.

Date of Interview


Location of Interview

Detroit, MI (Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center)


Acupressure, Acupuncture, African-American history, African-American Muslims, Mariam Anisah, Imam Nadir Ahmad, Al-Ikhlas Training Academy, Alternative medicine, Arabic language education, Art therapy, Artist, Belleville, Biology, Businesswoman, California, Cherokee Nation, Chinese medicine, Choctaw Nation, Chrysler Corporation, Community development, Conversion to Islam, COVID-19 pandemic, Dearborn, Detroit, Energy medicine, Enid, Entrepreneurship, Episcopalian Christianity, Farmington Hills, Fellowship, Florida, ‘Gospel of Barnabas', Grandparent, Great Migration, Halaqa, Hamtramck, Health Smart Kids, Herbal medicine, Herbal science, Holistic health, Holistic medicine, Illinois, Intergenerational relations, Islam, Islam in America, Islamic environment, Islamic parochial school, Jewelry making, Kansas, Kansas City, Tahira Khalid, Macrobiotic diet, Mentorship, Michigan, Millwright, Missouri, Mosque, Motherhood, Muslim Americans, Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, Muslim community, Muslim-owned business, Muslimah University, Muslims, Native American peoples, Naturopathic doctor, Naturopathy, Nutrition, Oklahoma, Online teaching, Peer pressure, Physical disabilities, Physiology, Prayer, Qur'an memorization, Red Raspberry, Religious education of women, Reversion to Islam, Self-care, Sickle cell anemia, Madinah Siddiqi, Springfield, Teaching, Travel, Tsalagi, Wayne State University, Women's Islamic study circle, Catherine Ziyad


African American Studies | Africana Studies | Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Biology | Civic and Community Engagement | Digital Humanities | Indigenous Studies | Inequality and Stratification | International and Community Nutrition | Islamic Studies | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Politics and Social Change | Race and Ethnicity | Religion | Urban Studies and Planning


Interview conducted by Zainab Yousif-Ahmad at the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director) and Zainab Yousif-Ahmad. Interview recorded under the direction of Razi Jafri. Videography by Naimah Abdul-Zahir. Video Edited by: Rebecca Kyser. Transcribed by: Dr. Alisa Perkins. Transcription edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins. Metadata prepared by: Hannah Cole. Metadata edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins and Sophia Wimberley.



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Rights Statement

Dream of Detroit Interviews were made possible by funding from the Pillars Grant and Whiting Foundation. Content is for educational purposes only and non-reproducible; interviews are not to be duplicated, but may be linked through ScholarWorks with appropriate attribution. Please direct any questions about copyright to scholarworks@wmich.edu.


Pillars Fund and Whiting Foundation


Dream of Detroit

Length of Video


Oral History Interview with Dr. Naajiah Muhammad on August 11, 2020