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,
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
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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