BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: MAR 1, 2016 – 11:09:38 AM
[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s keynote address delivered Sunday, February 28, 2016 at Mosque Maryam in Chicago, Illinois.]
The One God to Whom all praise is due, The Lord of all the worlds: Words are not adequate to express our deep love for our Creator; words are not adequate to say, “Thank You” to Him, The Most Merciful of those who show mercy. He is The Apex of every one of His 99 Attributes. We can be “beneficent,” we can be “merciful,” we can be “Aziz”—we can be powerful; we can have wisdom, but we are not the most excellent degree of those Divine Attributes. But Allah, The Most High, is the most excellent in every one of His Characteristics. We thank Him for showing mercy to us who are lost in The West. We thank Him for intervening in our affairs. We thank Him for coming in the Person of a Man.
That’s how Allah manifests Himself. If you were a “spirit,” maybe He would send you one. In the Holy Qur’an, Allah said if you were an angel, He would send you one. (Surah 17:94-96)—but we are human beings. So He has always addressed The Human Family, and The Human Community, through a human being from among themselves.
There is no doubt that He intervened in our affairs. There is no doubt that a Man came among us: Master Fard Muhammad. He only stayed among us three years and four months, and He told His servant, “You don’t need Me anymore.” And the servant, with tears in his eyes, said: “Oh yes I do”—and He pressed into his hand a little white piece of paper, and He walked away—and Elijah Muhammad, in Detroit, looked out the window and followed his Teacher down the street until he could see Him no more. And then he opened the little paper that The Teacher squeezed into his hand, and it was The 23rd Psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd…”—you don’t need a “leader” if The Lord is your shepherd …
“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He,” not “it,” “maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth in the path of righteousness for His namesake. He leadeth me beside the still waters.”
That’s some leading. And when you know that The Lord is your shepherd: When you know and are convinced that He is guiding your footsteps, when you know and are convinced that you are in His Bosom, so that you can say, “Yea, though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me”—if you can say that, you walk without fear. If you can say that, you are free; you’re not a slave anymore. You stand up, like a man and like a woman; you stand tall—no bending your knee, no shaking, and quaking, before the kings and the rulers of the Earth, for The Lord is your Shepherd.
‘You are The Bilal of Today’: A lesson on envying those whom are called of God to do a specific work
During my recent visit to Iran, as I was talking in a private meeting to English-speaking people, the former foreign minister looked at me, and his eyes got very big at what he heard me saying; I was shocked that he said, “You are the Bilal of today.” And then I spoke another day to another group of scholars, and after they heard what I said, they echoed the same thing.
Why Bilal? Who is Bilal? He was The Mueddin: He was The Caller to Prayer. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, never told Bilal what to say in the Adhan; it came from him naturally, because he is rooted in The Nature of God. And when he heard Muhammad teaching about “One God,” he knew that that was the man he should be with.
I thank Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: In my 40th year absent my Father, I have not failed to lift up his name and his Teachings, no matter what they offered me—and they offered me much. … In the process of my working to rebuild The Nation of Islam, some well-meaning people said, “Farrakhan, you don’t have to bear the burden of Elijah Muhammad’s baggage. You are a leader in your own right.” I said to my dear sister who said it; I said: “If I were to stand up and teach his Teachings, and not give him credit, I would be a thief.” So no matter what “baggage” you say he carries, that baggage is now on my shoulder and it’s not too heavy for me to carry. Many of us like to use Elijah Muhammad’s Teaching, but not give him credit. We read behind him, and steal. But you don’t have to steal: It belongs to you. He is happy to hear you saying what The Master told him. But respect and decency demands that we should give credit where credit is due; because you didn’t suffer for these Teachings, he did. He ran for seven years, not spending more than two weeks in any city, from hypocrites that were bent on killing him. One of them (his enemies) said he would “eat a grain of rice a day until Elijah Muhammad was dead.”
And the sad thing is that some of you think the same way about your Brother Farrakhan: You are angry with me because God has made me successful in your midst. You are angry with me because you say I am not a “real Muslim,” that I’m “false.” Well, you go over in the Muslim World and see if they bow to you like they bow to me as a Student of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I’m not trying to be a “big shot”; that would make sure that I would be defeated. I can be no more than what Allah made me. But according to the Hadith of The Prophet, they said they heard Bilal’s footsteps “going into Paradise ahead of The Prophet.”
When I read that Hadith, I said: “How could anybody go into Paradise ahead of him who suffered that we might say ‘As-Salaam Alaikum’ today?” No, nobody is going into Paradise ahead of Muhammad The Prophet; but, it is the Arabs that have lost The Way. I just want you to listen to me today. … It is those who have mislead the Muslim world; it is those who have split up the religion into sects and parties, each party rejoicing in what their part is due to envy among them.
“Envy” is the most ignoble of human characteristics. The Bible teaches that envy is “more cruel than the grave.” (Ref. Song of Solomon, Chapter 8) That’s why we don’t hang around gravesites; as much as we love our departed, we know the grave can’t praise God. We never drape the coffin of any Believer, or king or ruler, with The Sun, Moon and Stars, because that’s The Symbol of Life itself—it does not belong in the grave. If the grave can’t praise God, then it’s what you do on this side of the grave that praises The Creator, and gives benefit to your life. I often wondered, when The Janazah is being said over one of our departed about a part in the prayer where we are saying, “O Allah! Do not deprive us of his reward.” Think about it.
Now I know you are told that of course we who do good on Earth will receive “our reward,” but those who remain behind a fallen soldier, male or female, when we say, “O Allah! Do not deprive us of his or her reward,” that means, to me: When you work The Will of God during your lifetime, you deserve a reward. But that reward, you can’t use it in the grave. But your progeny can use it while they live.
People ask, “Well, why should we do good?” No, you should rephrase that question: “Why shouldn’t we do good?” when good brings its reward to the living. And to the dead, who die in faith, the reward of their work passes on to those who are left behind. Those of us who honor and respect our dead, our ancestors, the ones that struggled to make life better for us: Don’t you know there’s a reward for their suffering, for their labor, that raised us as a people a degree—or two, or three or four, or more—during their lifetime? When they pass from this Earth, that’s not the end of things; that’s for you, to be guided by their faithful life. And if you have strayed from the straight path, and are running into all kind of difficulties, when death afflicts it gives you a chance to measure yourself, and ask Allah’s protection and mercy; and come back to the path that you know is the right path, that you may have a blessed life.
A “blessed life” doesn’t mean you don’t have misfortunes. A “blessed life” doesn’t mean you don’t get sick. A “blessed life” doesn’t mean that you don’t have accidents. A “blessed life” doesn’t mean you don’t have trials and misfortunes. A “blessed life” means that whatever you have, you rise above that condition, for The Glory of Allah, and for The Future of The Nation of Righteous People.
I thank Allah for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And I speak to you today from what he shared with me as one of his students. I like calling us “students,” because as long as we live in His creation, you would be foolish if you didn’t study all the time. …
Our delegation had a great time in Iran; we had a wonderful meeting with people that the media in America has demonized. And before America ever goes on the attack of any nation they must make you hate them, so that they can put a gun in your hand when they send you—not to “build their nation,” but to kill them. …
The ‘evolution of a Revolution’ requires paying attention to the cries of The Dissatisfied
When we went to Iran, I noticed the former foreign minister look at me when I said: “We must perform the evolution of The Revolution.” He said, later, “I never heard that, that term before.” (Well, Students of The Mahdi may say things that a lot of us have never heard before, but that doesn’t mean what you’re hearing has no validity.)
Imam Khomeini started an “Islamic revolution.” No revolution is perfect. We said to them that this universe, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us, is built on the number “6”: The Holy Qur’an says that the universe was created in “six periods of time,” and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said it could be “billions or trillions of years.” “This is an old, old, old universe, brothers, but anything that’s built on the number 6 is not complete, and is not perfect,” so The Attribute of Allah called Rabb: Rabbil-‘Al-amin means “He Who begins a creation, and evolves that creation making it attain stage after stage until it reaches its eventual perfection.”
So no matter how good things are, there will always be dissatisfaction; and there’s dissatisfaction because there is not perfection. So some of us, when we run into dissatisfaction, we think we’ve run into “an enemy.” It could be that you’ve run into your friend. Because once you get satisfied with where you are in the process, you reach a plateau of learning. Allah creates dissatisfaction even on what you think is “perfection” so that you will keep on growing, keep on changing, keep on evolving until you reach perfection. Some of us, when we get a little knowledge, we get carried away. And we get carried away, and we think we’ve “found it”: “I found what I’ve been looking for!” You just lost it. See, when you think you’ve “found it,” if you are not careful you just lost it, because Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah said, “He who goes out in search of knowledge is in The Path of Allah (God) until he or she returns.” Because if you go out seeking knowledge, you’ll never find it all; you find what satisfies your quest at that moment. And if you’re not wise, you won’t challenge what you just found to grow deeper in what you found.
So I said to the Iranians, “There’s dissatisfaction in Iran with The Revolution, particularly among the young.” We must pay attention to those who are dissatisfied, because maybe in their dissatisfaction there is the kernel of what is to come; because when somebody is dissatisfied, and you throw them away, then the enemy comes …. And the enemy says, “Yeah, they don’t like you,” so then a counterrevolution starts. And that’s what the enemy has been doing throughout the Muslim world: He is producing a counterrevolution by misusing those who are dissatisfied.
It’s not that their dissatisfaction is not legitimate, but America goes in and then feeds the dissatisfaction with lies and false accusations; then hatred. What you recognize as your “revolution,” you begin to hate, and hate those who started you down the road. Then the enemy uses our dissatisfaction to produce a counterrevolution to destroy the fruit of The Revolution. I said to my Iranian family: “The counterrevolution is already here. Pay attention because the enemy wants to destroy the fruit of The Revolution” and The Tree of Revolution. If you keep feeding it, it keeps growing, it keeps changing, it keeps evolving. The fruit gets richer, the fruit gets more powerful; the seeds are better, because the fruit is better.
I’m going to duck “in and out” of The East, and come back to The West, because the same thing that’s happening over there they want to make it happen here, with The Nation of Islam and us as Muslims.
A note on Hypocrites: Now there are some hypocrites right in here among us. Some of you walking with me handle me like it was with my Father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: Some thought he was “getting old” now, and said “We need a change.” Believers: If you’re hearing it, you better say what you’re hearing and who you’re hearing it from!
In every nation, they have agents. In every organization, they have agents and they get among sincere people, saying, “See that Farrakhan? He’s not a real Muslim. He’s deceiving the people. He’s not really following The Messenger…”—but you are? Well let me make this very clear: If you are not following me then you are not following The Messenger of God, and you are a hypocrite!
Hypocrites can say “As-Salaam Alaikum” just as good as any righteous Muslim! … The smiling ones, the laughing ones, the ones that make you think they love you the most—the ones that are always doing “the right thing,” but with the wrong motivation—Allah says, “The hypocrites fear lest a Surah be sent down against them.” Allah knows! I don’t know you—but I am satisfied that Allah knows you. And Allah says to comfort the messenger; He said: “I made an enemy for you in every town.” The messenger of God says, “Damn! That’s a lot of enemies,” but Allah said, “But I control them.”
Now think. I want us to go back 42 years, just before Saviour’s Day 1975: Elijah Muhammad is not well; he has diabetes, and sometimes he slips into a diabetic coma. See, wise people can fake stuff, and pull you out. Elijah Muhammad was so skillful, he knew all the enemies that were right around him. You say, “Why didn’t he get rid of them?” They had a job to do—and he was not going to interfere. Now some can’t wait until the evil accident of time touches The Minister: Here is a man that served you faithfully; brought you up out of the mud—and gave you a place—and you are hoping on the evil accident of time to exclaim,“You know I am the inheritor”? Be careful. You don’t know what you’re going to inherit.
A wise man never wants the position of the king; a wise man fears such a position. A wise man knows that to try to lead a people that’s in the condition that our people are in: If you are not called of God, this people will destroy your faith. You are not an easy people to lead. …
Overseas I said, “When did all this trouble start between Shia and Sunni Muslims?” When did it start? It’s a little over 1,400 years old; it started at the deathbed of The Prophet. Well, going back to the so-called “Deathbed of Elijah Muhammad”: It was on the deathbed of The Prophet that The Helpers kind of felt that he was dying; because some would hold him up on his right and left … and, some of them began talking among themselves. Believers, don’t “look back”; look in the mirror. They started spreading rumors, “The Messenger of God is going to die.” But he never appointed, they say, a “successor.”
That’s dangerous in Movements. Have you noticed all the charismatic leaders that died, and what happened at their deathbed? That’s when their organizations broke apart, because of those who think: “Now, he’s gone. The Money is mine. He’s gone! I can run this thing.”
Some of you can’t take it. You aren’t made to take your people turning on you. …
Commands to conquer not only Islamophobia, but the divisions between Muslims in The West
They have divided The Middle East. Our brothers are fighting and killing each other; beheading each other … Lord have mercy. One on one side with a machine gun, saying: “Allahu Akbar!”—and he’s shooting at his brother, and his brother is shooting back saying, “Allahu Akbar!” hoping that the bullet will find his brother. The Middle East is finished, right now, as a power—and America did it.
A closing note on this political mess: They are not only planning the destruction of The Middle East, when they sacrificed nearly 3,000 lives during 9/11, they did so to turn America against Muslims. While we are running around here in America, talking about “who is” and “who is not” a Muslim, the enemy has created an atmosphere of Islamophobia where they hate Islam; poor sisters wearing their hijab are being persecuted on the airlines, in the schools, in the streets. …
We, The Nation of Islam, have been through this for 80-some years. We are not new to persecution. We could help our Muslim brothers and sisters who are immigrants here, functioning on a green card, or maybe have just gotten their citizenship—we can make this world see the beauty of Islam. It’ll never come from over there, but it can come from right here.
The Holy Qur’an (Yusuf Ali translation), Surah 3 Al-‘Imran (“The Family of Amran”), verses 102-103 reads: “O you who believe! [Keep your duty to Allah] … And hold fast to the rope of Islam, and be not divided. …” That’s division over there (in The East). We are divided, too, but there is love in us for each other. … There were some in Imam W.D. Mohammed’s camp that wanted me murdered, and there were some in my camp that wanted them murdered; but the Imam never submitted to that, neither did I. Now, my brother has passed … but we are together—because he has prepared scholars; young men and women who have studied Arabic and Islam from the old world.
Let us find a way to pool our Islamic resources.
Let’s find a way to embrace each other.
Stop fighting each other to the joy of the enemy; let’s show the world what Islam really is.
A new generation has come up that are born to act on The Commands of The Commander. If you are too old, too stubborn, in the scripture it teaches, “We’ll let you die out in The Wilderness; but your children, they will inhabit The Promised Land.”
[Ref. (NIV) Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 1, verses 26-46 (“Rebellion Against the Lord”).]
They seek the destruction of The Nation of Islam; that is their Ultimate Aim: To kill The Minister, who represents The Messenger. All of you that say you’re “the one,” you’re “this,” you’re “that”: Yes. But the enemy is not after you like he’s after me. Those of you who say you are with me? You open your ears, and listen to what people say. …
They want us out of the way, Nation of Islam. We’ll be here. We will be here—and we will win. And Islam, as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, will be established in America! We are “a nation within a nation.”
I pray that God will guide you, and bless you, and protect you. If you want to know who my successor is, then you ask Allah, because I’m not wise enough to make that choice. And I have not made any such choice, because it’s not in my pay grade. If this is Allah’s House, He knows best. But, if I am not here, and The Brotherhood is here, do your best to follow them—as long as they don’t tell you to do anything against what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is teaching, and what I am teaching from him.