Five of the first six problems of the fifth written Lesson Registered Muslims received under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—and now from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan—directly concerned the problems of the health of the Black woman in America.

Whether we’re Muslims, Christians, Jews or otherwise, we’re generally in bad health here in the wealthiest country on earth—America. This should change.

Now. I’ll continue the point, from my experience, that I introduced last week and get to its relevance to the unusual Saviours’ Day address delivered on February 27 by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

As we go up in altitude (on an airplane, train or automobile, etc.), the amount of oxygen remains the same as at sea level, but the number of oxygen molecules per breath is reduced. The size of the oxygen molecules becomes smaller and denser (or more compact) as we climb in altitude. The amount of oxygen required for activity is the same. So, the body must adjust to having less oxygen. Therefore, in order to maintain proper oxygenation of the body, our breathing rate (even while at rest) has to increase. We may not have ever noticed it, but our body automatically made necessary adjustments as we ascended.

This extra ventilation (inhalation) increases the oxygen-molecule content in our blood, but not to sea level concentrations. The air pressurization made in airplanes does not equal (and is not the same) as air at sea level.

Now, we, likewise, breathe at a somewhat slightly increased rate as we ascend in altitude, even when we’re ascending on a train, trucks, SUV or in any vehicle. But let’s remember that there is no air pressurization in these other means of transportation. So, if we’re suffering from certain illness, seek medical advice and be careful.

The above explains why, for example, we who have had head colds or sinus congestion experience a worsening of these states when the plane ascends to higher altitudes. Ear-popping and excessive yawning are other examples of our body’s adjustment mechanism to entering high altitudes.

In persons of relative good health, our bodies make the necessary adjustments easily, as we go up in altitude. But, if we’re suffering from cardiovascular disease, respiratory malfunctions and certain brain disorders (such as strokes), our bodies either do not make, or hardly make, these natural adjustments as we ascend higher altudies. In these cases, such trips are difficult.

In such states of illness, our body does not produce, or it does not produce enough, of the enzyme that facilitates the release of the oxygen from the hemoglobin (red blood cells) to our body’s tissues, which is key to making the proper adjustments.

Lastly, because of the illness of high blood pressure and the medications that such persons may be taking to decrease the blood pressure, their ill bodies do not increase its pressure in the pulmonary (lung) arteries, that forces blood into portions of the lungs, which are normally used during sea level breathing.

There is another adjustment the body experiences during periods of traveling in high altitudes, as oxygen is reduced and carbon dioxide molecules are increased in number in our bodies. As explained earlier, the body compensates for the decreased levels of available oxygen by increasing the heart and exhalation rates. It does this to rid itself of the increased amounts of carbon dioxide. One of the ways the body rids itself of increased carbon dioxide is by increasing the bladder activity.

To explain further, as carbon dioxide levels are higher at higher altitudes, there will be higher than normal levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. A by-product of this higher than usual concentration of carbon dioxide is an increase in sodium bicarbonate in the body (generally) and in the bladder (in particular). In order to excrete this sodium bicarbonate, more frequent urination is required.

Should not we agree, then, as it is written in Psalm 139:14: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”?

Minister Farrakhan’s address to the world, delivered this past February 27, was accomplished by a man who has ascended to towering spiritual heights. How many human beings have you ever heard of who have been able to present a platform so principled, profound and clear that Jews, Christians, Muslims and humanity at large, can intelligently agree?

Consider the following excerpts from Minister Farrakhan’s address. I am here taking it from The Final Call, Volume 24, Number 21.

“When I was in Mecca, I met with Islamic scholars and wrangled over theology with them for three days. They wanted to know if I was a Sunni, Shiite, Hannifee or Hanbilee. No, I am none of these. I want to be what Muhammad was. He did not ascribe to any of these labels. Muslims have imposed these labels on the prophet to divide the house of Islam. But what was Jesus? What was Moses? What was Muhammad?

“If you do not want to go deep into the meaning of your scripture and study this, then you want to continue in false worship. Abraham did not say, ‘I am a Jew.’ The Holy Qur’an says, ‘He was neither a Christian or a Jew, he was an upright man and he 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.

“The Kingdom of God is a kingdom based on righteousness, not compromise. We have to make a decision whether we want to be with Jesus, Moses, Muhammad and God. If we want to be with them, we can only be with them in that which they are with—they are with righteousness.

“Righteousness does not have labels. My mother taught me that five plus two equals seven. Your mother may have taught you that four plus three equals seven. Someone else’s mother may have taught that six plus one equals seven. Another mother may have taught that seven plus zero equals seven. When the children get together, they start arguing over what their mothers taught them, believing everyone else is wrong.

“But it is not that your mother was wrong. She knew in part, so she spoke the part that she knew. If we understood the basis of arithmetic, we would unite all the mothers and children, because understanding breaks down the things that keep non-understanding people divided and arguing amongst themselves.

“Moses, Jesus and Muhammad would never be found arguing. Never. Their love for God is translated into their love for each other.”

With what in these words can you disagree?

More on this ascent, and our need to ascend, next issue, Allah willing.

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