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Sunday, July 21, 2024

The passing of a husband, father, social activist — a warrior for social justice

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Over 400 people gathered July 30 at Martin University to pay their respects and offer “janazah” (the Islamic funeral prayers) to longtime community activist, educator and Muslim leader, Muhammad Siddeeq, who passed away July 27 after a spirited 10-year battle with myeloma. 

Siddeeq, born Clark Moore to James and Hilda Moore, began his journey in this world on June 21, 1937 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. As the youngest of three boys, Jimmy Wayne and Ronald, his older brothers, often described him as intelligent and determined beyond his years, even in childhood.

Mourners from all walks of life joined with Siddeeq’s wife, Fareedah, his children and their families and a large number of Siddeeq’s extended family to honor his many contributions to Indianapolis, and to the other cities he lived before Indianapolis, including New York City; Buffalo, New York; Washington, D.C.; Tallahassee, Florida; and his hometown of Pittsburgh. Muhammad Siddeeq was the father of 22 children, 82 grandchildren and 39 greatgrandchildren.

Attendees included Congressman André Carson, former State Sen. Billie Breaux, religious leaders of many faiths, noted Atlanta developer Noel Khalil and many other local community leaders and clergy. Several students of Imam W. D. Mohammed shared memories and expressed their heartfelt condolences. Siddeeq — an energetic and ardent Imam — was also an avid student and longtime supporter of Imam W. D. Mohammed’s leadership 

Minister Akbar Muhammad represented Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam. All three men (Siddeeq, Farrakhan and Akbar) were members of the original Nation of Islam. Farrakhan sent words expressing a mutual love and admiration that he and Siddeeq held for each other. He also expressed that only health concerns kept him from being personally in attendance. 

Siddeeq had a special love for spiritual knowledge and growth, a love that was instilled in him by his parents. He was raised in a Christian household under the guidance of his stepfather, Nelson Morgan, and his mother, Hilda, who attended church regularly. Inspired by what he learned about G-d at home and in church, his thirst for spiritual understanding grew until he began to research world religions in depth. During this journey of spiritual discovery, he met and later married his loving wife of 54 years, Fareedah, formerly known as Delores Edwina Boykin. Together, guided by G-d, they took the next step of their spiritual journey and joined the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Mohammed.

In the Nation of Islam (NOI), Siddeeq, known as Clark X, was assigned by the late Honorable Elijah Mohammed as director of Muhammad University of Islam in Harlem. He served in this leadership role for 10 years. He, referred to as Director Clark at the time, was responsible for the education of around 1,500 African American students in what was the largest “Black” owned school in North America.

During the “Second Resurrection,” he and his wife made an “about face” along with numerous other believers when Imam Wallace D. Mohammed accepted the leadership role of the Nation of Islam around 1975. Imam Wallace D. Mohammed guided the believers to a more complete understanding of Al-Islam according to the teachings of the Qur’an and the life example of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). Siddeeq and his family wholeheartedly embraced Al-Islam according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah, as taught by Imam Wallace D. Mohammed, and throughout his entire life remained a dedicated supporter of Imam Mohammed’s leadership and an avid student of the Imam’s spiritual direction. 

In 1976, Siddeeq moved his family to Tallahassee, where they lived for five years. There, he worked at local universities in the city, including Florida A&M and Florida State University as well as in the broader community. He was known among his students for inspiring positive changes in their lives, as well as instilling in them a love for G-d and education. Siddeeq’s love for his community, fueled by his passion for truth, led him to take on the case of Hattie Mae Kenon, and he worked to change the Florida laws so that innocent people wouldn’t lose their houses to unethical land speculators without a proper level of due process.

During his time in Tallahassee, Imam Wallace D. Mohammad gave him the name Siddeeq, which means brother, friend and truthful. Thereafter, Clark Moore became known as Muhammad Siddeeq and Delores Moore as Fareedah Siddeeq. It was at this point between the years 1977 and 1978 that the Siddeeq family name was born.

In 1981, Imam Wallace D. Mohammed asked Siddeeq to go to Indianapolis to help develop the education in the community there, and this is where Siddeeq lived ever since. When Siddeeq moved to Indianapolis, his dedication to his community was manifested even further when he became notably involved with the case of Michael Taylor, whose life was taken while in the custody of the Indianapolis Police Department. He detailed the inaccuracies of this case in his book, “Black Lives Didn’t Matter When Indianapolis Police Murdered Michael Taylor & Lied! Where are you Daddy?”

Siddeeq, guided by the leadership of Imam Wallace D. Mohammed, contributed to the betterment of his people and society in many ways. His love for Almighty G-d, Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), Imam Wallace D. Mohammed, his community, and his family has left an indelible mark on the lives of all who knew him. His spirit resides in his family and the beloved community.

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