WEB POSTED 12-12-2000
A capacity for redemptive suffering
Farrakhan The Traveler by Jabril MuhammadIn two articles, written several years ago, I explained why I titled this column Farrakhan: The Traveler. In the first one, which I think appeared in The Final Call in 1982, I explained that even though I mentioned his physical travels in spreading the gospel, my use of the word “Traveler” was really about his inward forward motion—which is spiritual in nature—as well as the root of this motion.
Without an understanding of his inward forward motion, and what produces his inner life, you have no way to really understand the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. This part of his life is that out of which comes every thing that he is about and that he does and teaches. Without knowing and really understanding the root of what motivates him, what makes him say and do as he does, you don’t really know this very public man. I had and still have the roots of his spiritual motion, his destination, and the significance of the destination of his life, for you and to the world, in all that I write about or of him.
Several years passed before I decided to take up my second purpose in using the term, “Traveler” in the title of this column. In that article I went into the root of this word, “traveler.” I did so to bring out something of both the spiritual and the physical travels of Minister Farrakhan, that we must understand, or we will “blow” our salvation. It is an inevitable “by-product” of Minister Farrakhan’s mission or work, which we must grasp, which some misunderstood of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and that some now misunderstand of Minister Farrakhan.
In one way it is a by-product I’ll simply here call “suffering.” It is really a special kind of suffering called in the Bible by the word, “travail.” It’s something like the kind of suffering a woman goes through to produce a child, except that it is more agonizing.
The term “by-product” means: “something produced in a usually industrial or biological process in addition to the principal product; a secondary and sometimes unexpected or unintended, or incidental result, which may not be, but can be unpleasant.” It’s “anything produced in the course of making another thing; secondary or incidental product or result.” Again, a “by-product” is the result of another action, often unforeseen or unintended.
I don’t want to exhaust this part of what we are discussing here, but the word “incident,” and other closely related words, must be included in this study, if we are to extract what we must learned about “suffering” in this vastly important subject. Why not look further into this?
One day in the summer of 1966, over a delicious cup of egg-coffee, with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he shared with me something that bears directly on the subject that I have taken up, especially since Vol. 19, No. 46 to the present.
At one point he said that shortly after he met his Teacher, Master Fard Muhammad, that he told his Teacher that he thought he could get us all in about six months.
Then, he continued, after a little time and experience he told me he said to his teacher that, well he could get us in about a year and a half.
Laughingly, he said, “If anyone had told me, back then, that I would still be here (in 1966) getting after you-all, I would not have believed it.”
He was speaking to me of how long he first thought it would take him to accomplish his mission or assignment 35-years-earlier. Much had happened in his life between 1931 and 1966. By 1966 he had grown to know exactly how many years were ahead of him before he would complete the task God gave him to complete.
In fact, one day, in 1967, he told me he knew the exact year he would have 10 million followers. That information included the part Minister Farrakhan would do to bring this about.
He was so filled with love for his Teacher, the truth and we, his people, however, that regardless to what the costs were to him, he persisted in his assignment. Minister Farrakhan’s love for God, truth and us, is like his teacher. They have the same kind of heart—a heart like God.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is a new creature in Christ. What made him or what makes anyone a new creature in Christ? How does this happen? Are you also a new creature in Christ? Read pages 110 through 128 in Our Savior Has Arrived.
For an understanding of his newness in Christ, we must look into the roots of the word “traveler.” Let us begin in a somewhat unorthodox way to define this term. We’ll now look at some of the places in the Bible where “travail” is used. We’ll look at this word in connection with the labor of mothers when they give birth to children. We’ll see that there is the most profound connection between what mothers go through, in child birth, and what the scriptures describe of Jesus’ redemptive suffering—especially the final aspect of it when he was on the cross. This helps us to see why one of the symbols under which he is represented in the scriptures is a woman.
Then we’ll look at other deep aspects of this term, travail, from other sources. If we really understand what it is, and why God either orders it, or allows it in the lives of His servants and people, this will help us go through it far better than if we remain ignorant. In this study we’ll also see the relation between what is call a “high tolerance for pain” and one’s capacity for redemptive suffering. It will help us with what is coming up real soon, as this world stumbles to its end.
In all of this we will continue to look at statements of Attorneys Lewis Meyers, Minister Ava Muhammad and Minister Arif Muhammad about Minister Farrakhan’s powerful and enlightening death-bed/dying declaration last year.
In Genesis 38:27 we read, “And it came to pass in the time of her travail, that, behold, twins were in her womb.”
In Exodus 18:8, we read, “And Moses told his father-in-law all that the LORD had done unto Pharaoh and to the Egyptians for Israel’s sake, and all the travail that had come upon them by the way, and how the LORD delivered them.”
Isaiah 53:11 reads, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.”
Micah 4:10 states that, “Be in pain, and labour to bring forth, O daughter of Zion, like a woman in travail: for now shalt thou go forth out of the city, and thou shalt dwell in the field, and thou shalt go even to Babylon; there shalt thou be delivered; there the LORD shall redeem thee from the hand of thine enemies.”
Then from The New Testament and from the gospel of John, 16:21 we read, “A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.”
Then in Galatians 4:19 are these pregnant words of Paul, who is a sign of Minister Farrakhan, who stated, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you … .”
These verses are from the King James Version of the Bible. Read the same in other versions of the Bible.
Here are the definitions of the word “travail” in the Hebrew language, of The Old Testament and from the Greek of The New Testament. I’m omitting some details.
The English word, travail in Genesis 38:27, is from a Hebrew language, which means, “to bear, bring forth, beget, gender, travail.” This word, in turn, is from a word which includes in meaning, “to bear, bring forth; of child birth; of distress; to beget; 1b) to be born.” It also includes: “to cause or help to bring forth; to assist or tend as a midwife; midwife; to be born; to beget (a child) … .”
In Exodus 18:8 the word “travail” is from another Hebrew word, which in English means, “1) toil, hardship, distress, weariness,” which is from another Hebrew word meaning, “to be weary, be impatient, be grieved, be offended,” which, in turn is from another Hebrew word, meaning, “1a) to be weary, be impatient; b) to be tired of something, weary oneself; 1c) to weary, make weary, exhaust.”
The definition of “travail” in Isaiah 53:11 is the same as in Genesis 38:27.
Travail in John 16:21 is from a Greek word meaning, “to bring forth, bear, produce (fruit from the seed); of a woman giving birth; of the earth bringing forth its fruits; symbolically, to bear, bring forth.”
In Galatians 4:19 “travail” is from the Greek, meaning, “to feel the pains of child birth, to travail.” This word, in turn, is from a Greek word meaning, “the pain of childbirth, travail pain, birth pangs; intolerable anguish, [also] in reference to the dire calamities precede the advent of the Messiah.” This is from another word signifying, “consuming grief, pain, sorrow.”
Let’s move to mothers in travail.
Minister Farrakhan is in travail. Momentarily, his clear voice is silent, especially during the crises in which America is presently plunged. Read his warning on page 69 of A Torchlight for America, “Partisan politics must die if America is to live.”
Pray. Think. Love each other. Watch. Work.
More next issue, Allah willing.