BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: NOV 4, 2008 – 9:55:00 AM
[Editor’s note: The following article is the continuation of excerpts from the address delivered October 19, 2008 by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the occasion of the Rededication of Mosque Maryam and the Commemoration of the 13th Anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Brothers and Sisters, when Elijah Muhammad came among us, he taught what you could call a “Black Theology.” A lot of people were offended by that; turned off by that. In the Muslim world, they were angry. They said, “Islam does not teach color. What’s wrong with you people?” But they don’t know what happened to the Black people of America.
While standing before the Virginia House of Delegates on January 20, 1832, Mr. Henry Berry, Esq., made it clear what was needed to produce and maintain the condition of slavery. He said: “Pass as severe laws as you will to keep these unfortunate creatures in ignorance, it is in vain, unless you can extinguish that spark of intellect which God has given them. Sir, we have, as far as possible, closed every avenue by which light might enter their minds. We have only to go one step further—to extinguish the capacity to see the light—and our work will be completed. They would then be reduced to the level of the beasts of the field, and we should be safe… .”
And he said, “If they continue along that line,” Black people would be in a condition that we could never come out of.
Black people want to do something for self, but there’s something missing. If something is missing, then my question to you is: “Don’t we [Black people] need somebody to address us and our concerns? To raise us, reform us, transform us and make us again what God created us to be?
The Man that came to us from Mecca, we call Him Master Fard Muhammad. He had a Black father and a White mother.
That Man came to us first because our condition was worse. He was so skillful. He developed a Methodology, along with an Ideology that would start a Process of Transformation in our lives. There never was a people before the Black man and woman of America that are considered in scriptural terms as “mentally dead.”
The Arabs were ignorant, but they weren’t dead. They were in their own land, speaking their own language. All the people that had a prophet, they were in their land. God raised a messenger from among them that spoke their language, and dealt with their problems. The messenger doesn’t have to be universal if he is called to deal with a specific sickness in a specific people. Black people are sick unto death, and we need somebody!
Master Fard Muhammad, with a White mother and a Black father, was able to come in and out of America for 20 years before He even made Himself known to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
He was among White people. He was in the colleges. He was here, and He was there. He was studying—studying your minds! The mind of the Black slave and the mind of the White slave master, because He had to deal with both minds! Both cultures!
Now this may shock some of you, but He wanted to help, eventually, both people.
The message that you call “Black Supremacy” fed a broken heart, a broken mind and a broken spirit. As a Caucasian person, sometimes you look at us, and you may not understand what we’ve been through that puts us in the condition that we are in, so you don’t know how to deal with us.
God said He would choose a foolish people to be His people. He would choose the things that are not, to bring to naught the things which are. And God said, “Thou shalt no more be the tail, thou shalt be the head.” Then the scripture teaches, “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our sight.”
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that he heard the footsteps of Bilal (an Ethiopian Black man) going into paradise ahead of his own. How could a follower of a great one precede him into paradise? It doesn’t mean that Bilal is going to enter heaven before the Prophet. I believe it means this: That whenever you say you are chosen, please don’t use such language unless you’re going to do what you’re chosen to do. Whenever God raises a people from ignominy to greatness, it is because He wants to use that people for a broader, bigger purpose.
To my Jewish and Christian family: There is a parable in the Bible that talks about your neglect of these pitiful people that were brought to America to be made slaves. It is the parable of The Good Samaritan.
A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and on the way he fell among thieves who robbed him of his raiment, hit him in the head and left him wounded in the road. A priest walked by on the other side, and when he saw the man wounded, he didn’t help him. Along came a Levite who came to where he was, looked at him, but did not help him out of that condition. Then, along came The Good Samaritan, who saw the man wounded, poured oil in his wound, bound up his wound, took him to an inn keeper, gave the inn keeper some money and said, “If it is more than what I’ve given you, on my return I’ll pay you.” In this parable, Jesus was saying “Love your neighbor.”
The church walked by on the other side. You all really know how to help us, and I’m not talking about money. I’m talking about the transfer of knowledge.
The Levites: You saw him; you looked at him. The Levitical priesthood could help raise Black people up from that condition because you were once in it yourself.
Some of our Arab brothers own stores, and they are forbidden to eat the swine, but they will feed it to us. Some of our brothers are forbidden to take alcohol, but they have liquor in their store and they feed it to us. Some of our brothers know that Allah (God) taught the Prophet to teach us the respect and protection of our women, but some see the terrible condition of our women and take advantage of them.
This is not good. If we are left in that condition to be exploited, then The Wrath of God will come down on the church, on the synagogue and the mosque.
We need to talk like this to one another—not with hatred; not with vitriol—but just to show you, “Look: You didn’t fail us. You failed God.” When God gives you wisdom and power, He gives you an assignment that goes along with that. If you walk by the man that needs your help, and you know how to help and you won’t give it to that man, then how will God feel about you?
This meeting today in Mosque Maryam is to celebrate The Oneness of God and The Oneness of Humanity; The Oneness of The Prophetic Community and The Oneness of Religion.
There is an African traditional proverb that says one going to take a pointed stick to pinch a baby bird should first try it on himself to see how it hurts. If you took that and did that to yourself, would you do it to the bird?
In the Baha’i faith, the kernel of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is: “Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself.” In Buddhism, the kernel of Buddha’s teachings is: “Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.”
In Confucianism, it is the word shu, which means reciprocity: “Do not impose on others what you yourself do not desire.” In Hinduism: “Do not to others which if done to thee would cause thee pain. This is the sum (or the total) of duty.”
In Jainism: “In happiness and suffering; in joy and grief, we should regard all creatures as we regard our own self.” In Shintoism: “Be charitable to all beings for Love is the representative of God.”
In Sikhism, the kernel of the teachings is: “Don’t create enmity with anyone as God is within everyone.” In Taoism: “Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your loss.” In Zoroastrianism: “Whatever you do not approve for yourself, do not approve for anyone else. When you have acted in this manner, you are righteous.”
I saved the Three Abrahamic Traditions for last. In Judaism, it says: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow man.” In Christianity: “Do unto others as you would have them so do unto you.” And in Islam: “No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.”
The New Beginning of The Nation of Islam is that we evolve beyond just the service to our people.
I was with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad one day and he said to me: “Brother, they call me a Black Nationalist.” He said “Black is not national. Black is universal.” All the time that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was among us, he was feeding us, teaching us and guiding us. There were Whites that came to his table. There were Asians that came to his table. There were great imams and scholars that came to his table. He never mistreated anyone. He gave them respect.
During his last sermon to us at Saviour’s Day in 1974, he had two White Muslims on the rostrum with him. One of them was Ali Baghdadi, and the other one was a Muslim from Turkey. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “These men are not here to see if you are clothed in a long white dress or a long black dress. They are here to see if you are clothed in the principles of your religion.” He also said that “Allah did not raise us (the Black man and woman in this hemisphere) to be mockers of anyone.”
Allah (God) is raising us, the Black Man and Woman in America, to be servants of the Human Family after the dross has been taken from us. Our Job and Our Mission is to help bring in a Government of Peace wherein we all can live together in peace.
But before we can accomplish that Mission, we have to grow out of the mind of Black Inferiority; and Whites have to grow out of the mind of White Superiority, for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, “There’s no superiority of the White over the Black, or the Black over the White. The one that is best among you is he or she who is most careful of his or her duty to Allah.”
Muhammad and Jesus are the two greatest of those who proselytize the Teachings. Jesus and his disciples have spread Christianity all over the world. Muhammad and his disciples have done the same.
Are Muhammad and Jesus enemies? No. Why, then, are we?
Is Muhammad and Jesus an enemy of Moses and the Israelite Prophets? No. Then why are we?
I think we all need to rise from this House, and all houses like it, to teach a Message that will inspire, motivate and stimulate human beings to act in the manner that God be reflected in us.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “The best religion, Brother, is ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you, and love for your brother what you love for yourself.’” All the rest of the Teaching is based upon that principle.
When you go forth out of this House today, let us go forth determined to be better tomorrow than we are today. What will it take from us to be kind? What will it rob us of to be a better human being? If we start where we are, spread it from where we are, then perhaps in our lifetime we will begin, as we are beginning, to see change.
We see change going on in America. We see change going on in the heart of young Caucasians, and they are now instructing their parents. So older people who have the old way, be careful, because Moses had some old folks that didn’t want to change and God had given them a land wherein were some giants. And God instructed Moses and Aaron, “Go ahead and take them into the land,” but the people said, “Not us. We’re not going up in there. You and your God, go get those giants out of that land and then we’ll go in!” And guess what God said? “Fine. I will let you wander in the wilderness until you die out, and I will take your children and they will inhabit The Promised Land.”
It is the young people today that every branch of faith should be going after because The Promise of God is not necessarily in the elders. The Promise of God will be found in the young.
Thank you, and may Allah (God) bless you. As-Salaam Alaikum (Peace Be Unto You).