WEB POSTED 01-23-2001

Moses and the Wise man

A great amount of energy has been expended by learned men, over such factors as this: If this was a historical event in the life of Moses, when did it occur? Where did he meet this man? What impact did this meeting have on his mission? What does this event (in the life of Moses and in the life of the one with whom he traveled) have to do with us? Other questions have been raised and several answers have been offered.

Since this event is described in the Holy Qur’an (which was revealed to and through Muhammad of 1,400 years ago), the following is a worthy question to raise: What impact did this passage have in his life and what was its bearing on his work?

Then, too, there are detailed explanations that say, in effect, that what we read, in 18:60-82, is a vision God gave to Moses about Muhammad (of 1,400 years ago).

All of these, and other questions and points, are important and worthy of study and discussion. I think it best, however, for us to start with the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad on this subject. He said that those of the Black people of America, who made the decision to follow him, generally, followed him as the “Moses” followed the unnamed man whom God made wise and guided. He spoke to me of this in October, 1960.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad had demonstrated before 1960, and since then, that he thoroughly knew the scriptures. It is a matter of public record that he taught that his interpretation of the Bible and the Holy Qur’an was given to him by Almighty God. In addition, he demonstrated the truth of this, time and time again.

Now, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was the one whom God shown to Moses in a vision. God made Moses to see that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would receive a greater manifestation of God’s glory than he (Moses) did; that this future man’s capacity for such was much greater than his; that it had to be, due to the nature of his task, or mission at the end of this world’s existence. Moses was helped by God to see that in the future God would disclose to a man the utmost truth of God and man! This never before revealed teaching would be essential for the successful outcome of his mission. Of course, he had to be fitted—by nature, divine education and training—for success. He was.

Muhammad of Arabia is reported to have said, “Would that Moses had kept silent, so that God would have revealed to us many more secrets of the unseen.” This is among other statements, that he made, that clearly indicates that wise and good as he was, there was a far greater disclosure, or revelation of God’s wisdom yet to come to a man in the future; after his time.

We read in the Muhammad Asad’s translation of the following (verses 66-68): “Behold, thou wilt never be able to have patience with me—for how couldst thou be patient about something that thou cannot comprehend within the compass of (thy) experience?”

Abdul Maududi translates this same passage this way:

“Moses said to him, ‘May I accompany you, so that you may teach me also that Wisdom, which has been taught to you?’ He answered, ‘You cannot bear with me, and you cannot have the patience with regard to that matter of which you have no knowledge.”

Still it is put this way, in another translation edited by Malik Farid: “Moses said to him, ‘May I follow thee on condition that thou teach me some of the guidance which thou has been taught?’ He replied, ‘Thou cannot have patience with me; and how can thou have patience about things the knowledge of which thou comprehend not?”

Moses made a strong statement, to the effect, that by no means would he disobey and that he would be patient. Note, that he (the student) said, he would be patient, “if Allah pleased.” Smile.

The teacher asked him (the student) to demonstrate this by not questioning him about anything until he tells or explains it to him. He was saying, “OK, if you are to travel with me, you can show that you’ll live up to your word by being quiet. Your mouth can or will, interfere with what I am doing or will do. It could impede my moves. You could hurt things of benefit—to you and others—due to your expression of part knowledge. Just keep quiet. Alright?”

He was saying: “Look, in making this trip, with me, you are traveling a road, and by a method—both of which you are unacquainted. Your knowledge and experience, up to this point, is inadequate to enable you to comprehend all that we are about to encounter, as we go forward. You cannot use yourself—and whatever else you bring to this endeavor—as the measure, or as the yardstick by which to comprehend that which you will see, hear and even see me do. You will understand, however, at the proper time. God’s time.”

But the student did not only question his teacher, he charged him with evil motives, in the first instance, saying that what the teacher did was grievous. In the second case he charged his teacher with a capital offense and said that what he did was horrible. And on it went, until they parted company.

What did the student see the wise man do? He saw him put a hole in a boat that belonged to others, by which, as the scholars state, the owners used to earn their living. He saw this man, from whom he expected to learn more of God and His ways, kill—in apparent cold blood—a young boy. The student saw nothing in the boy’s behavior that merited death at the hands of his teacher. And there was more.

What explanation did the teacher give the student, just before they parted?

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad did not put holes in boats, nor did he murder anyone. He did guide us, however, on a path, and by a method that we knew not. He was raised among a mentally dead people—who did not know they were mentally dead—to whom he introduced unsurpassed wisdom. He taught that which was never taught to any one, or people, in the public. Thus a totally new thing; a brand new phenomena, was introduced by God through the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to and through Black people, in America.

God and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad worked to produce, Minister Louis Farrakhan, who is now leading us on that same path—the path that is filled with the wisdom of Allah.

Now, how does all of this relate to the origin of wisdom—even the origin of wisdom of God’s own wisdom? First, what is wisdom, in the common sense of the word, or of its common definition(s)?

It basically means the quality or state of being wise; sagacity, discernment, or insight. It is the possession of scholarly knowledge or learning. It is the sum of scholarly learning or knowledge; the grasp of the wise teachings of the ancient sages, down through the ages, which produces deep understanding, profundity and judiciousness, sapience, comprehension, penetration, and apperception. All of this is taken to be wisdom. It’s the sum of what has been perceived, discovered, or inferred, the ability to make sensible decisions; make a wise plan, or course of action, based on a wise outlook is called wisdom.

It is understood that learning facts does not necessarily give one wisdom. Wisdom is a quality that must be developed and matured through certain experiences, that must be understood. It’s a quality deeper than just the understanding of what is true, right, or lasting. It’s profound insight. It’s something far beyond common sense or the exercise of good judgment.

It’s generally acknowledged that the scriptures provide ample evidence that there is a knowledge, an understanding and especially a wisdom which is above that which most of us—humanity in general—usually don’t utilize most of the time. This is so, in most instances, despite the fact that the wisdom these books contain compels our deep respect, even reverence or awe—if we will but look at it.

Muslims, for instance, won’t put the Holy Qur’an on the floor. They even place it higher than other books in their homes.

Let us take another look at this word, called “wisdom.” Let’s look in a very brief, condensed, comprehensive, to broad idea of what wisdom is, including but beyond a few dictionaries and encyclopedias.

Then we look at this concept by means of a few of the many references to this quality in the scriptures. Why? First, scriptures were written by beings, who were wiser than those who wrote the dictionaries encyclopedias of this world. The scriptures takes the reader into the deeper regions to the origin of wisdom.

Finally, when we reach the apex of the best grasp of what wisdom is, as defined by this world’s best minds and from the scriptures, including that which came by means of the prophets of Allah, we will find that we have only just arrived to the porch of the house of the wisdom Allah revealed to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—by which Minister Farrakhan operates.

More next issue, Allah willing.