BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: OCT 21, 2010 – 3:38:01 PM
[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts of the message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on October 17, 2010 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Fla. on the occasion of the 15th Anniversary Commemoration of The Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
Every human being has the possibility of reflecting God. Every human being has the possibility of achieving unlimited heights during the time of our life on this planet. And every human being should be afforded that human right “to know,” for whenever a human being is deprived of knowledge, they are deprived of that which evolves them to be what God created them to be.
So, the Bible teaches that God created the heavens and the earth with wisdom; and the Holy Qur’an introduces Allah to all of us in these words: “I, Allah, am the Best Knower.” How could anyone serve God in ignorance? Ignorance is The Enemy of God. Knowledge will make us The Friend of God, and it will allow us to befriend one another. Therefore all the prophets taught us to get knowledge.
The Holy Qur’an contains not only wisdom, but The Key to unlock The Wisdom of this Creation; a marvelous book! But after the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, revealed this book to the Arabs; in one of his “sayings” or hadith, he said: “Get knowledge even if you have to travel to far off China.”
Well, he has given us the book, why should we have to travel to far off China? Evidently everything that we would need is not always in the book. But what’s in the book is a Key to every bit of knowledge that exists! So no human should be afraid to “know more.” No human being should feel threatened by one who possesses knowledge.
The Three Most Hated Persons
I heard the Honorable Elijah Muhammad say that the three most hated persons are those who are: 1) rich, and give away their riches to the poor; 2) the wise man who shares his wisdom with the ignorant; and 3) The Man to whom The Holy Qur’an is revealed.
Why should a rich man who sees poverty, and wants to spend his wealth to reduce poverty, be hated? See, he’s hated by the other rich men, who don’t want to share their riches. And that’s why Jesus said, “It would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.” There’s something about “having money” that can make one think he is untouchable.
Why would somebody hate a wise man who would share knowledge with the ignorant? Because most wise men like to stay wise, in their own eyes, by keeping a group ignorant; so that they can use the ignorant as a tool and a slave. So a wise man that wants to make others wise by sharing wisdom is an enemy to the so-called wise, because once you free a human being from ignorance, he can no longer be made a slave.
The Holy Qur’an is so powerful that the man to whom this Book is revealed is rich with wisdom, and his knowledge of the Book can get him the riches that God has put in the world. And he loves to share that knowledge, that when “you know,” you can turn knowledge into material things; when “you know,” you can remove impediments in your pathway to progress; when “you know,” nobody can ever make you a slave, or make you feel inferior! When “you know”—and know that you know—then indeed you’re free. And that’s why Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”
Knowledge and Responsibility
In the time of the Prophet, peace be upon him, there was a man in Medina who urinated in the mosque; and some of the Companions ran to the Prophet, saying: “One of the helpers here—he, he urinated in the mosque!” Some of his Companions wanted to go and beat the man up, but the Prophet said: “Take some water and wash down the urine, and teach the brother. He’s just ignorant.”
Now when you see ignorance, that is a “teaching moment.” And, because so much ignorance exists, then all of us who “know,” with whatever degree of knowledge we have, we have a responsibility to those who “do not know” to share that knowledge! Not seeking to make them our followers or slaves, but share knowledge to improve them spiritually and mentally. That they may improve themselves socially, politically, economically and otherwise.
Knowledge places upon all of its bearers a heavy responsibility.
How could I be a Christian, and know Jesus, and walk by the dope addict, or the dope dealer? Or the sister who doesn’t realize her value, who is a prostitute? Or walk by the pimp? How could I be a true follower of Christ, and see people in a degraded state who have the potential to reflect God, and leave them in that state, and walk by as though I saw nothing, and yet claim Jesus as our guide?
How could I be a Muslim, and just go to the masjid and say my prayers? How could I be a Muslim, and fast during the month of Ramadan; and pay zakat, or charity; and attend Jumu’ah Prayer Service, and not attempt the Uphill Road?
“And what is the Uphill Road? It is to free a slave.” Too many human beings are in bondage, and need to be set free.
The Million Man March
What was the intent under the Million Man March? What was the result of it? Andwhat has happened since? Can we regain the spirit of the Million Man March?
I make no excuse for my love for Black people; I don’t apologize. All my life, my love was for God and for you. When I was a child, I was displeased with God, because it seemed as though He sent somebody to deliver other people, but didn’t send anybody to deliver us. I was only seven—but I was fixated on two things: God and you. I was 11 when I went to my uncle’s home and saw a picture of this Black man above the mantlepiece. I asked, “Who is that man?” My uncle said, “That man came to unite Black people.”
I said, “Get a chair,” because I was a “shorty”; and I got on a chair to drink in the features of this man that I felt I’ve been looking for all my life, because he came to unite you! And that’s what I cried over as a child. When I stood on that chair, I said, “Who is he?” he said, “That’s Marcus Mosiah Garvey.” I said, “Where is he that I may go and follow him?” and he said, “He’s dead.” The tears rolled down my eyes, because I had come so close to what I was looking for, and he was gone.
Now why is this important? See, when you love deeply you have patience with what you love. When you love deeply, you can suffer the abuse from those that don’t love you like you love them.
Some of you may wonder: “Why does Farrakhan say the things he says? Why does Farrakhan do the things he does? Doesn’t he know he’s upsetting ‘the powers’; and they may come down on us?”
But if it is God in Whom you put your trust, then the fear of men will leave you. If it is God in Whom you put your trust, then nobody is bigger than God! That’s why when we pray, as a Muslim, we say: “Ashadu an la ilaha illallah”—I bear witness that there is no force, no power, worthy to be over my life but He Who created my life.
I’m telling you brothers, sisters: When you think like that, you can’t be moved. See, that’s an unshakeable, immovable, invincible “Stable Datum,” meaning it is the very thing you can lock onto! It removes fear, doubt, uncertainty, suspicion, and you’re on your way to freedom!
Out of love for you, God showed me what the government was planning against you. Love gives you “eyes” that are beyond these eyes! Love gives you ears that are beyond these ears! Love puts you in The Circle of God.
When I spoke to 20,000 people at the Jacob Javits Center, at the end of my lecture, I said to the people: “Would you mind if I came back to New York and talked only to Black men? Would you come out?” With a thunderous applause, they said, “Yes!”
When I came back, we were at the 369th Armory. Out of my mouth that night came the words: “We’re going to take a million Black men to Washington.” The words shot out, and I looked at them! Then I had to run and catch the word.
I told the men: “When you come, you don’t bring a knife, you don’t bring a gun. That day will be a day of complete peace where you will feel, experience, the Spirit of God.” I said, “I’m not going to pay your way. I don’t want you to ask anybody to pay your way! It’s happening on a Monday, when people have to work and go to school! I want you to forsake school; forsake work, and meet me in Washington, D.C.!”
Some of my Civil Rights brothers said, “Farrakhan, you don’t know nothing about ‘marching’! There ain’t nobody ever had a march on a Monday! We always have a march on Saturday!” I said, “Well this time, this march is going to be on a Monday.” I wanted to test the heart of men, because the only way we can get relief, and the Help of God, is that we have to be willing to sacrifice something to get His Support!
The day came, and there were Black men stacked together, shoulder-to-shoulder; bolder and bolder! Sober Black men! Loving Black men! Peaceful Black men! And on that day: No crime in the city of Washington. For that weekend, there was no crime. The armed forces were all down in the tunnels. The president left town. The Supreme Court and city government closed down. The Senate and the Congress closed down. Everything in Washington was shut down because the “N-words” were coming to town! That’s the way they were thinking, but they saw peace; they saw tranquility.
Go and get my talk that day of October 16, 1995. When a Black man, who has been the victim of oppression, can make a call for a million, and two million men show up, see, that’s an army.
God was behind that Call, and God put it in the hearts of those men to answer that Call!
The Atonement Process
God showed me Eight Steps in a Process of Atonement. When you look up in the dictionary “atonement,” it means “reparation for injury or harm.” Do you think that we as a people need repair? Do you think that humanity is in need of repair?
Why? Because as human beings, created in the image and likeness of God, we are all so far away from our potential because of circumstances over which we had no control.
The hardest step in the Process of Atonement is the first step, which is called “pointing out the wrong.” In all our marriages, and in all relationships, there’s “offense.” As Muslims, in our prayers we say: “I have been greatly unjust to myself, and I confess my faults,” so if we are unjust to ourselves, then in our social relationships we’re going to be at some point unjust to somebody else. So in our relationships, there has to be a Spirit of Forgiveness.
If somebody is doing you wrong, forgiveness cannot come just by you saying, “I forgive.” Sometimes that’s cowardly. How can I “forgive” if I haven’t even approached you about what you said or did that offended me? It takes courage of a subordinate to talk to one in a position of authority, and say, “You wronged me.”
Now when somebody points out wrong, the defense mechanism is what comes up; you don’t want to admit anything! When you are too arrogant, too self-assured, to admit to your children, your wife, or your husband; your friend or associate when you are wrong when they pointed it out, that wound cannot be healed. As you go up the ladder in life, somebody is going to do you wrong, or, you are going to do somebody wrong.
But if there’s “dialogue,” or “communication”; if you can humble yourself to listen to somebody who wants to correct something in you, then you have to have a good ear. That’s why Jesus said the Kingdom of God comes through hearing.
When you hear the word, and the word touches you, and you act on the word, then you can begin to become a changed person. But if your ear is closed to any criticism; and you feel you have to defend yourself because your ego is so bruised that you cannot even admit that you did something to offend somebody else, then that produces differences that soon become irreconcilable.
Atonement. Reconciliation. Responsibility. There isn’t anyone who is going to do something for us. We’re going to have to do it for ourselves.
I ask you to accept responsibility for your life: Go home, and atone with your wife, your children, your fathers, your mothers. Sit down and iron it out, and come away stronger!
The Modern Moses and His Helper
We had a Modern Moses among us. You must get acquainted with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and with what that Great Man said, taught and did.
Some will say he’s not a “real Muslim”; that he’s “guilty of shirk,” and his followers “hypocrites.” Terrible thing to say! If it were not for Master Fard Muhammad, Who gave us Elijah Muhammad, Islam wouldn’t be in America like it is, and you wouldn’t even be a Muslim!
You say, “Well, he talked about White people. That ain’t Islam!” Why isn’t it? What kind of “Islam” do you have that you can’t point out an enemy when an enemy is in your face? If White people were our friends, we wouldn’t be in this condition! It’s not hate! Just a fact!
You say, “Well, that man, Elijah Muhammad, taught hate.” No. He told us the truth of our condition. And the truth of our condition made us hate alcohol, so we put down the bottle! We put down the reefer; we put down the cigarette; we put down the cocaine and the heroine, because we hated the condition that our oppressor had put us in!
We started respecting our women! We started coming home, making a family! We started learning How To Eat To Live!
Don’t tell me that that man was not from God!
We all were in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Class together. I never knew the role that I was going to play, but we were in The Class! I never thought that much of me, but he taught me. I didn’t even know what he was putting in me when he was wisely teaching me.
And when I would come and sit with him some days, he would say: “I saw a man climbing up a mountain late in the evening, carrying a heavy load.” And he said, “When will my help come?” I’d come back to the house another time, and he’d go in it again: “I saw a man climbing up a mountain, carrying a heavy load! When will my help come?” I would wonder why he kept saying that to me.
It is because I was The Help, and I had to arrive to a level of consciousness that I could carry out my duty to him and to you. You may not like me, and you may have doubts about me, but I am that man that my Father made for you! You can take it, or let it alone! You don’t have another one!
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah (God) told Moses: “I’m giving you 30 nights and I’m strengthening you with 10 more.” And after the 40 years, Moses summoned Aaron, saying, “Aaron, take my place among the people. And act well, and follow not the way of the mischief makers.” In the late ’60s, I was sitting at his table, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to me: “God has made me to take His place. And I am making you take mine.” And when the 40th year came, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad departed from us.
Allah says in the Qur’an to Moses and Aaron: “I have given you both an authority, so both of you go to Pharaoh!” Read it for yourself! There isn’t anyone else doing that—I am the one calling the government out! I am the one calling the Modern Pharaoh out! I am the one making Satan manifest! You don’t have another Black man in America like this, or in the world!
I was made by God for my leader and my teacher, to be his helper. And if you love him, then come on and help me! And if you love him, and you believe that he is who he is; and he told you that: “Wherever he tells you to go, you go! And wherever he tells you stay from, stay from.”
He trusted me with you, and I will not fail him! Nor will I fail you!