[Editor’s note: The following article is based on excerpts from Minister Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day address delivered February 27, 2005 at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, Illinois.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
We must understand today, that the one thing the enemy has always feared is that the mass poor would hear and respond to a voice that would uplift them. In the scriptures, Jesus had a feast and he sent for the doctor, but he was busy. So Jesus sent for the lawyer, but he was trying his case. So, Jesus sent for the businessman, but he was busy taking care of business.
When the disciples returned, the feast was empty. So, Jesus told his disciples to go out into the highways and the byways to invite people to the feast. When they went out into the highways and the byways, they filled up the feast with guests because the little man in the highways and the byways did not have any stake in the status quo. The little man had not benefited from being a magician of Pharaoh or a sycophant, or one of those who bowed to Herod or Caesar. They knew they were suffering and they were listening and looking for a voice that would speak to their hurt.
And then, Jesus came. He was not a weak man in terms of his speech; he admonished and rebuked the hypocrisy of the Jewish scholars of that day.
So Jesus was such a refreshing personality in the Roman society. The scriptures say that the poor heard him gladly. Anybody that the poor hear gladly concerns the rich, because the rich are rich because they are the bloodsuckers of the poor. You may say, “Wait a minute, Farrakhan. I am rich, but I do not suck poor people’s blood.” But if money is the lifeblood of an economic system and you have a lot of it and others have none or very little of it, you must ask yourself, how did you get it? You say you are an entrepreneur, which is very good. But as an entrepreneur who is taking life from the community by the profits you gain, you have an obligation to put some resources back into the community. Those who gain profits from the communities of the poor and bring it to their communities, without putting any resources back into the poor communities, are the bloodsuckers of the poor.
Jesus upset them because he wanted to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, give shelter to the homeless, give healing to the sick, and give life to the dead. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught me that there is a Hadith of the three most hated men. One of the most hated men is a rich man who will give away his riches to the poor, because a rich man who looks out for the poor makes other rich men who do not care for the poor look bad. That kind of rich man is hated by other rich men and, therefore, they move to destroy him.
The second most hated man is a man who is wise and shares his wisdom with the ignorant, because a wise man who shares wisdom with the ignorant will keep the ignorant from being used by the bloodsuckers of the poor. So those bloodsuckers move to kill the wise man who wants to make the masses possessers of knowledge.
The third and most hated man is the man to whom the Holy Qu’ran is revealed. Why is he hated? The Holy Qu’ran is a book that is misunderstood by many, even those who believe in it; not practiced properly by many who believe it; and misunderstood by those who criticize it. But in it is a message that, when properly used, will bring down the world of Satan. Naturally then, the man to whom the Holy Qu’ran is revealed, he is all three kinds of hated men: He is a rich man who gives away riches to the poor; he is a wise man who teaches wisdom to those deprived of it; and he upsets the power structure of the world.
There is no doubt in my mind that the power structure of this world needs to be upset. The hypocrisy of the rulers of this world needs to be exposed. The deceitful hypocrites who use good words to draw ignorant people into their web need to have their system exposed and their cunning chicanery made known. When you have that kind of an assignment, everybody is not going to like you. When you have that kind of a mission, if you are not prepared to live and die for your mission, then you should leave the mission alone.
There is a song called, “The masquerade is over.” When the masquerade is over, those perpetrating fraud are exposed. The people of the world have been deceived, as it is written in scripture, that Satan would transform himself into an angel of light and he would deceive the whole world. Counterfeiters practice making false money and there are dirty trick squads that, when they want to destroy the economy of a nation, they counterfeit that nation’s currency in order to undermine that government’s economy, because currency must be backed by something. They even make counterfeit leaders, counterfeit Messiahs, counterfeit prophets; the enemy is always interested in putting up a false one to hide the reality of the true one. That is why I chose for my subject today, “He Came That We May Have Life and Have It Abundantly.”
The scripture reads, “All that came before me were thieves and robbers. The thief comes to kill, to rob, to destroy.” But He said, “I am come”—that is not a spirit talking; that is a man possessed of the right spirit. “I have come,” not that I am coming. This is the present perfect tense, “I have arrived.” Every prophet said “He is coming.” Now He said, “I have come,” meaning He is present; He is in the world and He has a focus, a mission and an assignment. What is that assignment? It is to give abundant life to a people styled as dead.
My beloved Brothers and Sisters, the one who said, “I have come” could not have been talking about the prophetic community that came before this one because, while all of them mounted on wings of truth and they gave life to their communities, they did not give it in abundance. What is this life in abundance that He came to give? Do you have it? Do not tell me that you know Him, yet you do not have life and have life in abundance.
Abraham did not say, “I am a Jew.” The Holy Qur’an says he was neither a Christian or a Jew, but he was an upright man and was not of the polytheists. Yet, Jesus and Moses paid honor to Abraham as the friend of God. Don’t you want to be what Abraham was? Don’t you want to be what Jesus was, what Moses was, what Muhammad was? If all of these great men were on this stage today, not one of them would be at variance with the other.
They all belonged to the same school. Abraham was the foundation, like the first grade. But the first grade teacher passes you to the next grade. They do not tell you, “Do not pay any attention to your second grade teacher. I am the best teacher that you ever had, so you will be in the first grade the rest of your life.”
Jesus said a generation shall not pass before you see these things. Many generations have passed. Scripture is not wrong. Our understanding of it needs to be corrected. Once our understanding is corrected, we will all be on the same page and nobody can divide us. He said One is coming. Seven centuries after Jesus, Muhammad was born. Muhammad never condemned Jesus. Muhammad never condemned Moses or Abraham. Muhammad never told his followers to kill Christians and Jews. Those Muslims were a sign of something that would come at a later time. This may hurt those who love the name of Jesus, but you have a good name in Jesus. Hold on to that, do not let that go. But your mind is centered in the past in an ancient Roman government, when you are living in a modern Roman government. But you cannot see what is, because your brain is locked on what was.
The Roman empire was a sign of America. There never was a country or a nation in the world in the past that equals America today. Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), was not quite a man like Moses. Although the Holy Qur’an and Bible say you should expect a man like Moses, you do not need a man like Moses unless you have a modern Pharoah, modern slaves and a modern condition that would take God Himself to solve.
I do not want you to be angry with me, but I do want you to think. If dogma overcomes reason, then we are slaves of dogmatic doctrine and we become irrational and unreasonable.
If both Bible and Holy Qur’an talk about a man coming the likes of Moses, you do not need to know his picture; you need to look for the circumstances and see what voice and program is rising among an enslaved people, and look again and you will see the man like Moses. Jesus could not have been the man like Moses. He was not born a slave; he was not born in a strange land among strange people. Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in Palestine. His mother was an Egyptian woman, but they were living in Palestine. Jesus never spoke directly to Caesar and told him, “Caesar, let my people go.” Jesus had an argument with religious hypocrites, the Pharisees, the Saducees and the Sanhedrin. Caesar was ruling, but he was ruling through these various puppets.
Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and render unto God what is God’s. His kingdom was not of this world. When you say “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”—yet he preached the doom of the world. Let us reason. If he loved the world, why destroy the world? Jesus did not love this world and if you truly love Jesus, you cannot love a world like this.
Jesus of 2,000 years ago was a prophet. He did a prophetic work, but the Jesus that is the great figure in both Bible and Qur’an is The Messiah. The Messiah is not a prophet; The Messiah is a human being acting in the place of God with wisdom and power that does not belong to him, but he has been anointed.
You may not understand why I quote the Bible sometimes more than the Holy Qur’an. That’s because you do not have my assignment. You cannot raise the dead to life without a knowledge of the Torah, the Injil or Gospel, or the Holy Qur’an. Whatever Allah (God) will give you, you have to be in those three major books because they are the books that lay the foundation for the One that said, “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly.”
I am not trying to undermine or challenge your faith. It is about making faith real. Our faith must lead us to that elevated state of consciousness where we, as people who love God and love the Word of God, can sit down in a room and agree, and even disagree, with love. The things that you do not understand, do not worry about them. The things that you do understand, latch onto them because when this is over, by the Grace of God, we will move a notch higher, so that perhaps tomorrow we will act in a better way toward one another.
Now, all over the country, you are seated in auditoriums listening to a student of a teacher. I am a product. People in science and religion listen to a student. What would they do if they could hear the teacher? But the teacher had a Teacher.
On February 26, 1877, Elijah Muhammad’s Teacher was born in the Holy City of Mecca, Arabia, as he taught us. He came out of the East and He came to North America by Himself.
Isaiah the prophet said, “He looked and there was none to uphold him, so his own right arm, it upheld him.” His arm was not too short that it could not save. He came alone and manifested Himself in Black Bottom, Detroit, talking to Black people. He was an Arab. He was a Wise Man who had figured out a way to get to you to give you life. He had silks on His arm and He knocked on your door. Master Fard Muhammad knew our condition. He said, “I’m bringing you silks from your Brothers and Sisters in the East. If you would like to know more about your family in the East, meet me at such-and-such place.” And the Teaching began in Detroit.
He said, “Those names that you carry, they are not your names. Those names that you wear are the names of your former slavemasters and you cannot be free until you get out of your slavemaster’s name.” Your slavemaster came after creation, so he named himself after creation. You came before creation, so do not name yourself after creation; name yourself after the Creator. That shows you belong to the Creator.
You say Jesus is worthy of praise. He is. Praise his holy name. In Arabic, when you say “Muhammad,” that means one worthy of praise and one praised much. He gave us names that identified us with the Creator. He never told us exactly Who He was. We called Him Prophet Fard, but the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he recognized Him as the One that was to come from the East to the West to raise Hiram from the grave. You are a master architect, but you have been hit in the head. People have tried to raise you, but they could not get you up because they did not have the lion’s paw or the lion’s grip. You are a lion asleep in Judah. Who will awaken you?
Master Fard Muhammad came and met a Black man named Elijah. They said He made Himself of no reputation. That means He did not tell anybody who He was. He left it for one to tell us who was in our midst.
Now, here you are, 400 years living under the whip and lash of a strange people. God said He would search the earth for His Lost Sheep and He would find them and bring them again and settle them on the mountains of Israel. You are the Lost Sheep that has now been found. You are the “Prodigal Son” who now must arise and go back to your father.
A modern Jesus, The Messiah, comes with wisdom that opens the eyes of the blind, makes the deaf hear, the dumb speak and raises the dead to life, by Allah’s (God’s) permission. He does not have this power on His own, but God is so wise. To prove His power, He will raise one from the dead and then send that one to raise the rest.
“I have come that you may have life and have it more abundantly.” He is going to lengthen your days by teaching you how to eat to live, put the right foods in your mouth, put the right thoughts in your brain, because the brain and the stomach work together to preserve your life.
But this scripture means even more than that. He comes to give you abundant life. You are already alive on the physical level, but He came to give us life on the spiritual, mental and moral level. You know you are beginning to come to life when the self-accusing spirit begins to nag you when you do that which is not right. When you lay down at night and something starts jabbing you, saying you know you should not have done that, that means you are coming alive morally. Do not kill that spirit. When it tells you you are wrong, admit it and change your behavior.
While you are coming to life, the greatest life is that Allah (God) comes to share with us His mind. “Let this mind be in you, the same that was in Christ Jesus.” He is coming to take you from where you are and make you what you were in the beginning. What were you in the beginning? Allah (God) made man in His own image and likeness. David the Psalmist said, “You are all gods.” The Holy Qur’an says that man was made Khalifah, meaning that he stands in the place of Allah (God) in the absence of God. That is your destiny, but you cannot stand in the place of God without the Wisdom of God.
When you come into the Life of God, that is the Abundant Life. It is your inheritance to be anointed with His spirit, to be filled with Him, so that when you are filled with His word, you become an extension of Him. When He is in you, then the scripture is fulfilled. Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.
I met a man who taught me. On February 25, 1975, he departed from among us. We felt lost without him physically. That was not his fault. It was our fault. We were wedded to his physical person. We were wedded to the beauty of his personality. We were wedded to his charisma and, of course, some were more wedded to the Word. When that physical person was taken from us, we fell apart, like when Jesus went to the cross, the disciples fell apart. They came back together in the upper room on the Day of Pentecost. They understood that he really was alive and, on that day, they started speaking in tongues and every man heard the Gospel preached in their tongue.
This is the Day of Pentecost. I do not care where I go, I preach in your tongue. Your language is the language of Christianity. I am speaking your language. You cannot tell me you did not understand what I said. You cannot go back in the scripture and study what I said, because what I said is with you; I am speaking your language. When I am among Muslims, I speak the language.
But there is a Higher Language that is synergistic. It takes all of the languages and brings them together as one, so that there may be one faith, one Lord, one baptism. We are one people. One people.