[Editor’s note: The following text is the preface and excerpts of the first chapter reprinted from “A Torchlight for America,” which was written by Minister Farrakhan in 1993.]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.


This book represents some of the guiding principles taught to us by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This man and his Teachings have been responsible for transforming the lives of millions of Black men and women, many of whom this society has rejected as incorrigible, irredeemable, irreformable, irretrievable, hopeless and lost. Yet, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, with the Word of Allah (God), has been able to initiate the process of our salvation, redemption and resurrection, which continues to this day.


A Torchlight for America

There are tens and hundreds of thousands of Black people in this country who have been influenced by the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, through my work. We come from all walks of life. Some of us are learned; some are not. Some are young and some are old. Yet, we have been able, by the Grace of Allah (God), to produce a community of people that is relatively free from the ills that plague the larger Black community and the broad mass of the American people.


We believe that it is time for America to closely examine the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, his message and the people who have come to follow his Teachings.

As America prepares to make a change, she is seen searching for new solutions to her plethora of problems. Every aspect of American society is suffering. Her economy is faltering, her public schools are failing, maintaining the health of the American people has proven too costly, crime is rampant, her sense of morality seems to have been lost and, in general, the whole future of the country has become a big question.

We would like to offer the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, with ourselves as an example of what those words can produce, as a “torchlight” for America.

A torchlight is anything that serves to illuminate, enlighten or guide. It also means to love someone or something that does not necessarily reciprocate love. The bearer of the torchlight is a person who imparts knowledge, truth or inspiration to others.

This book is humbly submitted as a torchlight for guiding the country out from its present condition toward a more peaceful and productive society in which mutual respect governs the relations between the diverse members of America.

I hope that you receive this torchlight with open ears and an open heart, with the aim of discovering those truths that can lay the base for developing honest remedies for the condition of America.

  America Is On Her Deathbed 

America is clearly suffering and from my vantage point, America lies on her deathbed, in dire need of guidance and a new direction. If you examine her vital signs, you will have to agree that they show America is steadily on the decline.

The root of her suffering is basic immorality and vanity, where greed, lust and inordinate self-interest have become the way of life.

When the desire for the realization of self-interest becomes excessive, the first casualty in this struggle is “truth.” The leaders in the society, in their struggle to achieve inordinate self-interests, engage in hiding the light of truth from the American people.

Without truth, the American people are left paralyzed, unable to constructively address their problems. Eventually, their only response will be to react destructively because their very lives are at peril’s door, and they know not why they are in this condition nor how to save themselves.

So the country could be facing revolution because, in the main, the government and leadership have hidden the truth and will not or does not have a solution for the suffering and the root problems of the people of this country.

Gross vanity, greed, lust and inordinate self-interest have divided the country along the lines of class, race and sex. We live in one country with two realities, separate and unequal: one rich, one poor; one White, one Black; one predator, one prey; one skilled, one non-skilled; one slave-master, one slave.

Classism, racism and sexism are used to keep the people divided, and these three evils threaten to sink and destroy the entire country. America must deal effectively with these lines of division or face anarchy and revolution.

If the greatest political system is democracy and the right to choose the leadership, and if only half of the people are participating in this democracy, then the people are demonstrating their gross dissatisfaction with their own leadership and government. This dissatisfaction must bring about a change. The question becomes: Who will bring about the change? Who will offer solutions to the problems faced by the people and what kind of change will there be?

How will you deal with a solution, a Divine solution, a torchlight, if it is not carried by someone of your own class, sex, faith, color, party or nationality? How will you deal with a solution when it comes from a source you least expect? Would you cast the solution aside, or seek to destroy the bearer of the solution? Or would you thank God for giving you an answer to your problems and your prayers?

The Bible states, “No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” (Luke 11:33) It is the purpose of the wickedly wise to hide the truth so that people won’t see a way to get themselves out of their present circumstances so those who rule can continue to dominate and subjugate the people to feed their own lusts and greed.

I submit to you that this is a dangerous time to play with the people and their earnest desire for liberty. It’s a dangerous time to play with people whose hunger and thirst is for justice and truth. Like Moses and Aaron were unto Pharaoh, I humbly state that I am here, as a student and helper of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to tell the truth.

We, the followers of Elijah Muhammad, are here to demonstrate our love for our people and our concern for the worsening condition of America and its people, whether the people of America feel the need to reciprocate or not. I am here to present a torchlight that is intended to save ourselves, as well as all of America, if she will only take heed.