Founders Tribute

Sheik Abdul Malik Muhammad
(December 2, 1929 - February 18, 2002)

"Any good deed that I can do; let me do it now, let me not defer; nor neglect, for I shall not pass this way again."

Sheik Abdul Malik Muhammad, a longtime resident, community leader, and entrepreneur of Lancaster Avenue, incorporated the Lancaster Avenue Business Association (LABA Inc.) in 1986. He always worked for the collective interest of Lancaster Avenue business people and the community residents.

Mr. Muhammad led by example, he introduced firm leadership to the corridor showing direct support for unification and teamwork strategies to a diverse business community. His scope was set for and included the entire business corridor, bridging the gap that appeared to separate 34th East to 52nd from 52nd West to 63rd on Lancaster Ave.

Mr. Muhammad envisioned a community united and a corridor alive with one hundred percent strong businesses and busy shoppers, based upon his memory of the Lancaster Avenue, as he recalled from his childhood, where all businesses of the corridor provided its individual and direct service, meeting the specific needs of the resident community. He attempted to implant this vision of community revitalization and community rebuilding by fostering membership participation and establishing a respectable rapport with the avenue merchants.

With support from membership participation he introduced programs designed to offer a collective statement, represented by One Voice, Under One Association for the betterment of the community as a whole. Programs that prompt change implemented towards the revitalization of Lancaster Avenue through Community, Social, and Economic Development.

Several of the services Mr. Muhammad worked continually to maintain was, Sanitation / Clean-Up of the Avenue, Property Redevelopment, Security / Increasing Police Patrol & Area Town Watch, and Zero Graffiti Tolerance.

Mr. Muhammad was a dedicated leader of the Business Association, he promoted integrity and fair dealings, to ensure the profile of a strong business corridor. He educated his membership (mostly Asian) to take the view of a farmer who knows that the land is the source of survival. He tills the soil so that he can have a productive crop. This parable is analogous to the vision that Mr. Muhammad had. He envisioned that merchants along Lancaster Avenue would understand and realize that just like the farmer, one reaps what he sows. If a farmer continues to harvest and harvest without maintaining the fertility of the land it will soon produce no fruit. Similarly, a merchant's livelihood rests in the financial vitality of the community in which he or she is located. Appreciating and considering this, a reciprocal relationship should be sustained between the merchant and the community to ensure that both shop owners and the resident community help each others' growth and development.

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