Marie Muhammad's journey to salvation in Jesus Christ didn't take the normal route. From the moment of her birth, the enemy worked hard to keep her from walking in the truth and serving the true and living God.
As one of the great-granddaughters of Elijah Muhammad—founder of the Nation of Islam—Marie encountered more than a few hurdles in her quest to both find Jesus and maintain a deep personal relationship with Him.
Family animosity notwithstanding, Marie faced many other daunting challenges, including generational curses such as a long bloodline of adultery. But none of that prevented her from fulfilling her destiny—to tell others about Jesus, to see the broken made whole and to let others know that what God has done for her, He can do for them, too.
The host of The Overcomers Podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network, Marie has left her past behind and is helping many discover the same freedom, no matter what they have faced in life. After receiving her biblical, deliverance and spiritual warfare, and prophetic training from Crusaders Ministries in Chicago under Apostle John and Wanda Eckhardt, she now attends All Nations Worship Assembly in the same city and has now launched a ministry of her own. This single mom—who is also the daughter of a single mom—has a passion to help others in this difficult situation.
Moving Toward God
Despite being born into the family of Elijah Muhammad, Marie had one advantage to help her escape becoming a Muslim—and it also came via her roots. Her famed great-grandfather's mother was Baptist until she converted to Islam to follow her son, as chronicled in a 2003 Charisma cover story. And, of course, there was the strength Marie's mother demonstrated by leaving her husband and continuing to profess Jesus, which had a strong influence in Marie's own salvation.
"Where she [Elijah Muhammad's mother] laid down the baton, God wants me to pick it up because my roots are in him," the Charisma article quotes Marie as saying. "Even though I didn't grow up in a Christian home and we didn't go to church, my mother constantly told us that Jesus Christ is Lord. That was the only mustard seed we had."
"We literally did not go to church when I was growing up, and that's why I believe that anyone can be saved. Like Jesus said, whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
But Marie realized early on that the cost of following Jesus was high. Instead of growing up in the religion of Islam—one that included financial comfort and family inclusion—she, her mother and her three siblings chose a path that led to poverty and heartache in the natural for many years. They were no longer welcome around the family and could no longer reap the benefits of their ties to the founder of the Nation of Islam.
"Yes, my great-grandfather was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and coming from that background, the price was a great one," Marie says. "I had to suffer a lot as a child. My mom was a Christian and my father was a Muslim, of course, coming directly from the bloodline. And with that, we were given the opportunity to come to faith.
"I was the youngest of four, and by the time I was 9 years old, my grandfather had decided to enroll us in Arabic lessons and began to groom us to become Muslims," she says. "By watching me, he knew what I was doing, and I began to seriously reject the religion. I would be sitting in the car while being taken to the mosque. I would wander off when we were supposed to be training and taking private Arabic lessons in [former heavyweight boxing world champion] Muhammad Ali's mansion. I would just exclude myself from that.
"After that time—I was 9 years old—my grandfather stopped all of the privileges," she says. "The money stopped. And with that, we weren't even allowed to come around the family. My mom was a single mother and my father, unfortunately, wasn't paying child support. So, it was very rough for a long time."
In the 1970s and 1980s, living in Chicago—a city with brutal winter weather—this rejection forced her mother and her children into a life of abject poverty, doing all they could just to survive.
"We even lived without any heat for years," Marie says. "It was so cold, so very cold, there in Chicago. We had it so bad that we didn't even have a refrigerator in the kitchen. The kitchen wasn't even operable. So, when I say we suffered, it was really bad."
Since those hardships helped her understand that the Christian life includes trials and tribulation, Marie says she wouldn't change her past. Instead of Elijah Muhammad, Jesus became the Lord of her life. But it took an abortion at 17—one she didn't want—to turn her eyes and her heart to God forever.
"I told my mom that I wanted to keep my baby," Marie says. "I began to nurture it and take my prenatal vitamins and go to the clinic, everything. I'm nine and a half weeks pregnant, and my mom walks into the apartment one day after work, and she says, 'I decided that you are going to have an abortion, and I made you an appointment.'
"I was devastated," she says. "So I went through the fullness of abortion, not really understanding the whole thing. A few days after the abortion, some Christian paraphernalia came to the apartment and when I saw it, I was immediately convicted and a spirit of repentance came on me. I wasn't in church, but I was just convicted, and broken. I took a bath that night, and I just cried out to God. Literally, I felt the tangible anointing in my heart and in my hands. I really didn't know what that was until much later."
It was through Eckhardt's television show that Marie began to learn more about Jesus, and He began to melt her heart. She accepted Christ into her life at 17 and received the baptism in the Holy Spirit.
"When God gets ready to draw a person by His Spirit, which is what He does, He sends out angels to minister to those who are going to be heirs of salvation," Marie says. "He does it by His Holy Spirit. And it's supernatural. It's the invisible work. And that's what God was doing with me. It takes God's drawing us to Him."
Eckhardt prophesied over Marie's life on Marie's website, mariemuhammadspeaks.org, "You'll not be an example to people of failure, but you'll be an example of success of what I can do in the midst of incredible odds and in the midst of difficult situations, says the Spirit of the Living God."
Overcoming the Obstacles
Still, the powerful generational curses of the Muhammad family almost consumed through the suffering she endured in her marriage. The roots ran deeper than she could have imagined.
But the Lord revealed to Marie in a prophetic dream how she would overcome her challenges.
"The greatest struggle of my life was tied to my marriage, my faith and my future," Marie says. "God chose to reveal to me and give me a burden for my future. Everything was embedded in the womb of my marriage. That's where I could really see the dream of God. I had been given a lot of prophetic words about a lot of different things such as being a major voice and dealing with the false religion of my family and how God was going to use me. But it wasn't until God allowed the enemy to come so close to me that it almost destroyed my entire immediate family. I really began to feel plundered, like Job.
"I ended up losing my marriage," she says. "And I thought God was going to give my husband back like God gave Isaac back to Abraham. But it didn't happen like that. It kept me in that place of intercession. And so much was birthed out of that place.
"My husband was committing adultery, and I was screaming about what he was doing," she explains. "At the same time, I had become so bitter and hateful, to the point where I was struggling even with the spirit of murder. I had become so upset that he was treating me the way he was that I began to inquire of the Lord about why I was having to go through what I was going through."
And that's when God revealed something to her, Marie says. He showed her "the ancestral, demonic activity of how the doors had been opened because of Elijah Muhammad. He had 23 illegitimate children outside of my great-grandmother's marriage. There is a very strong curse with adultery in my bloodline. Then, my grandfather had 10 children outside of my grandmother's union. And my father has been married numerous times.
"So I was contending for my marriage and for the promises of God, and it was painful," she says. "But God required me to stay in that place. And in that place, God began to turn my heart and I began to lay my life down for my immediate family and my generations."
Marie chronicles her struggles with these generational curses and other painful life challenges in her memoir, Overcoming the Shipwrecks of Life on Broken Pieces, published in 2020.
The title of the book stems from Acts 27, in which the apostle Paul's ship endured a great storm while on its way to Rome. During that time, Paul received a prophetic word that he and the ship's crew would survive.
Marie also received a prophetic word earlier in life that she, through God's grace and mercy—and the redemptive power of the cross—would survive the storms in her life to help bring the gospel to a lost world. Even if they arrive with broken pieces, she wants others to know they can be made whole and receive the promise to reach their destination.
"The shipwrecks that I've had to overcome are so many because of the bloodline doors that were open," Marie says. "I had to fight a lot of different things in relationships like perversion, childhood trauma, idolatry, a broken marriage as a scorned wife and to be a single mother. I had to overcome a lot of things, but God's prophetic words and promises in my life that I got when I came into the church were literally the very things that caused me not to be destroyed."
Ministering to Others
With her passion to help single moms with their struggles in life as well as their spiritual lives, Marie initiated the ministry Ruth's Vineyard, a 501(c)()3 organization, in 2016. She says it is a mission to serve young single mothers by providing educational support and resources.
The nonprofit, located on the south side of Chicago, focuses on supporting those who have chosen to give birth instead of having an abortion and helps them become more self-sufficient. The clientele consists of young single mothers from ages 13-24.
"I know for my own self that if I had been provided the support and resources I needed, things would have been different," Marie says. "I never wanted to be one to carry a baby and give it up for adoption. When I had my abortion, I never even thought about adoption at that time. I wish I had because it's better than abortion. But a lot of people have that mindset and fall into it. Ruth's Vineyard is all about helping young women in need and to help them realize that abortion is not the way."
Out of her background of being groomed as a child to become a Muslim, Marie says she also has an assignment to expose the myths and misguided truths taught by Elijah Muhammad to the Nation of Islam.
She says it's not her only duty as a believer, but because of her background, God has placed it upon her shoulders.
"I feel like the truth needs to be revealed," Marie says. "Many people don't even know the lies that my great-grandfather taught.
"I believe Elijah had a mighty work to do for Jesus, but he allowed the enemy, through deception, to pervert His message. Elijah would use the Quran to challenge newly saved believers who had not yet received the baptism in the Holy Ghost. And these people were eventually led astray and converted to Islam."
Today she shares her testimony with others of how to trust God through homelessness, abortion aftermath, enduring the pain of a scorned wife, being a single mother and escaping Islam.
"Without the truth, a person cannot grow in the knowledge and the revelation of the inspired Word of God," she says.
Learn more about Marie Muhammad and her ministry at mariemuhammadspeaks.org.
Shawn A. Akers is the online managing editor for Charisma Media.
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