[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the Wednesday, July 26, 2017 interview of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan by Brother Munir Muhammad, host of ‘Muhammad & Friends’ and co-founder of The Coalition for the Remembrance of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad (C.R.O.E.) live streamed over the C.R.O.E. website.]


In The Name of Allah, The Benefi cent, The Merciful.

Munir Muhammad (MM):  As-Salaam Alaikum!  Welcome to another show. My dear brothers and sisters, this show is live, and we are streaming live all over the entire world. And I am so excited about this show. What can I say? You need no introduction: Brother Minister Louis Farrakhan, thank you so much!  Thank you for coming…

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF):  Thank you for inviting me, sir!

MM:  I’m happy to see you whenever, but especially today … . I’ve seen you happy before, but to be with your brothers and sisters as they tweeted the pictures out from the [BIG3 Basketball League] game on Sunday [July 23 at UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois].  I was doing something, and someone texted us to say, “The Minister is at the game!” I saw these pictures … .   You seemed so happy. You got a chance to see Taraji P. Henson, the way I’d like to see her; a nice picture.  Tell me what that was about.

HMLF: Yes sir.  Brother Ice Cube is doing an amazing thing. I believe it’s his idea to establish a league for basketball players who have maybe just passed their prime. When he was coming to Chicago, he asked me if I would come. Now, you know I don’t usually go to basketball games or places like that, but I could not refuse the invitation of Brother Ice Cube, because every time we’ve had a major event, the Million Man March, the Million Family March, the 20th  Anniversary of  The Million Man March, I could always count on Ice Cube to support me. So when he is taking such a big step, brothers and sisters, whenever he comes in your city, be sure to fill the stadium. Because what he is doing is so frightening to those who have, like a leech, been on our talented people; that we live rich and die poor. Now, there is a chance for Black people to have their own league in basketball. I thought, “This is the beginning of the reclamation of what really belongs to us.”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and Munir Muhammad during a recent in studio interview on “Muhammad and Friends” in Chicago.


The talent that is in our people is equal to if not greater than the nations that have gold as a supply or oil as a supply, or cocoa or tea or coffee. These are national products that people use to get much needed foreign income, that they can build institutions for their people.  Our talent is our gold. Our talent is our oil. Our talent is what God has given us that others have exploited to their advantage and to our disadvantage. And so, Ice Cube is saying, “Well, enough is enough. Let’s see if we can exploit our talent, make money, and help to build institutions for our people.” 

I was so happy to be there, to sit among our people, who were really having fun. The players gave it all they had; and I had never seen “half-court basketball with a four-point play”—and I’m sure the NBA is watching because of the creative genius of our people. So I think my son told Ice Cube, “You better patent that four-point play, man, so if they try to use it you can get something for it.”  It’s time.

MM:  It is beautiful to see how effective you have been with these brothers. When you did the tour, “Stop The Killing,” in the ’80s, and you were all out in California, it shows you that a lot of this [the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad] has resonated. And recently you wrote an article about economics being warfare. I think I have some sense of what you mean, but why don’t you share that?

HMLF: Economics is the business of life itself. In the word “business” is busi-ness … . And what is the activity of life? The activity of life for every living creature is to do something for itself. I opened my window to my bedroom the other day, and I saw all these hornets, and they had built a nest right up in the corner of where my window opens. And I looked at that, and I said, “Now, the Bible is sure right. Foxes have holes, and birds have nests” and our people are homeless, out of doors, and naked. Something is wrong with that picture, and that is why the scripture refers to us as a “dead” people. Not physically dead, but mentally dead, spiritually dead, because had we been alive we would be in the business of life. And what is that? Preparing food, clothing, shelter for yourself and your people. Having land where you can dig into that earth and produce products to give to your people and sell the surplus, making trade and commerce a part of the activity of living people. So, when we say “business is warfare,” it shouldn’t be that way, but it is that way. When Black people decide that we are going to do something to help ourselves, the enemy that has been sucking the lifeblood out of us all of these years feels threatened because our pocketbook has been their bank. And they keep going in, going in building, while we are sitting, suffering. So with us, when we do business, it’s warfare with them—so we’ve got to be on a war footing, too.

So, every business in this city of Chicago: When our brothers and sisters came up from the South in the early 20th century, they knew what segregation caused them to have to do. They had their own this and their own that. When they came up from the South, the Southern Black man was the top businessman, and Chicago was the mecca of Black entrepreneurship. But with every generation it got weaker and weaker. Now those same business people that made Chicago our mecca for business—Detroit, a mecca for business; New York, a mecca for business—now everywhere you look, we are out of business, and foreigners, immigrants are in our community taking the lifeblood of our community. We have to look at it like it’s warfare. You can’t go in the Chinese community and set up a chow mein shop. You can’t go in the Italian community and set up noodles. As much as we like noodles, we’re going to have to have our own. You can’t even set up a barbecue place, and that’s because they can do the same thing, and they feel they can do it better. We’ve got to do something for self, and fight to preserve, protect, and develop where we live, and give our people our needs.

MM: Just as you elaborated on the economics being warfare, you have had long conversations with Jay-Z?  Forgive me, I may not pronounce his name properly, but I may learn how to listen to him more, you know?  Since he’s so profound and so popular, all my grandchildren seem to know more about him than me, but I’m getting there. But you’ve actually had conversations with these guys; they admire and are impressed with you. Well, what’s coming out of these conversations that we’d like to be privileged to be in the room with?


Jay Z

HMLF: Well, I have never had a conversation with Brother Jay-Z until I heard his album played for me by my grandchildren! They said, “Dad, you’ve gotta hear this!” So they sat me down and played the whole album, “4:44”.  My son said, “Wow! That’s a great number, dad, because at 4:44 in the morning I’m getting up for Fajr prayer.” I said, “Mmm” so that’s what he saw in “4:44”. I saw something else. And when I heard it, I was sad; so I said, “I’ve got to reach out to my brother.” Because he talked about somebody killing him, or people desiring to harm him. I saw “death” too, but I never saw death for this great brother from somebody harming him. So I called him, and I said to him: “Brother, I see death too, but I see the death of Jay-Z of old, and I see the birth of a new Jay-Z.”  Jay-Z who, in that album, talked about his beginning with drugs—and he is one of the few brothers who sold drugs, who was allowed to get out of the drug business and clean the money by doing something progressive like the Kennedys did


You notice how I said, “Mr. Kennedy did”? Because these people engaged in criminal activity, but they were allowed to “cleanse” the money from illegal activity to send their children to college, to make two a senator, and one a president of the United States. And right here in downtown Chicago is a big building, the Merchandise Mart, as a sign of Kennedy wealth.  But [“Freeway”] Rick Ross was not allowed to do that. Frank Lucas was not allowed to do that. Big Meech was not allowed to do that.  Once we get into the drug business, when they bust us, they take the drugs, take what we have. Then they redistribute the drugs and then take the money and then pass it out to whoever they want to pass it out to. But Jay-Z was fortunate; and from that, Jay-Z built an empire off of rap, and he and his wife, Beyoncé, are now billionaires.  Well, I heard him say [in the song “Family Feud”]: “What’s better than one billionaire? It’s two of the same hue.” I said, “Boy, this man, to me, is becoming a leader in the economic development of our people.” Because if that billionaire family meets with P. Diddy, meets with others, and they pool their resources … . He talked about the Jewish ownership of property [in the song “The Story of O.J.”]. I do not know how that is “anti-Semitic”; the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us, “Study the White man, he is successful. He makes no excuses for his failures, and he works together in a collective way. We should do the same.” 

Black people are too individualistic. In order to do great things, we’ve got to  learn the value of pooling our intelligence, our knowledge, our money, to do the thing that will cause us to be honored and respected by civilized people all over the world. So I saw Jay-Z’s album, as a new beginning for him, and possibly a new beginning for us. And by my showing up at Ice Cube’s start of a basketball league for Black people? If tomorrow this gets bigger and bigger, White people that own the stadiums may say, “I’m sorry, we are not renting to you.” Then we’ll pool our money and buy stadiums, and buy places for our artists to perform. Look, it’s our day now! And we can’t sit around, and act mad: if the White man don’t want us in his place, set the thing up for yourself!  The time is now. That league will have Black people and White people, and Asian people and Arab people spending their money to see us because we are the game—we are the real game, in sport and play. Let’s make some money for self, and do something constructive to advance our people.

MM: What has been missing with our people: They love to coin Elijah [Muhammad] with “do for self.”  I wanted to let them know that you’re not only economically inclined, but your greater gift is your spiritual depth.  So when we talk about “the beginning of time” and “the creation of God”: you’ve already have gotten these guys’ attention. They like you, as you are exposing to my grandchildren and others the root of what these rappers are saying. I’m not a rapper, but I am inclined to listen now; you know, you’re bringing this together as a kind of “cement,” if you will. But when you think about the depth of your 60-year longevity, explain to the people “the beginning of time” and “the creation of God” in the sense that you can. Because I think they see Elijah [in] a little lightweight [manner]. You go to the ends of the Earth, have conversations with people all over the Earth because you bring a superior message. You know, like some people say, “Well, where did you come up with that?”  Elijah is a tough man … 

HMLF: That’s putting it mildly … . I’ll say it like this, Brother Munir: That’s a very heavy subject. But as a person who is looking at the students of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, just stop a moment: There would be no Malcolm X  if there were no Elijah; there would be no Muhammad Ali if there were no Elijah; there would be no Imam Warithudeen Mohammed were there no Elijah.  And there certainly would be no Farrakhan if there were no Elijah. And there are many more in between these that he produced that were stars in their various cities, and their light outshined the light of the so-called scholars and leaders in their cities. This is to show us the majesty of when God intervenes in the affairs of a people. He did not come to make us followers of the other religious scholars.   “Scholarship” is one thing, “revelation” is another.  We are not here to deal with the cheap scholarship of the world, because if you were real scholars, your flock would reflect your scholarship, and the condition of the world would be better because of your scholarship.

Elijah Muhammad was given revelation by God in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, The Great Mahdi.  And because of that revelation, the gift of The Nation [of Islam] to the world is a transformed human being that will not bow down to the foolishness of this world, nor to those whom you claim are “brainy scholars.” No, not today. God is Present—and your wisdom, as the Bible teaches is like “foolishness in the presence of God.”


MM:  I want to go even further, because there’s so much I want to show the people about you. I’ve told you, I’ve shed tears of joy, because I’m so blessed to have been in the room for 45 of those 60 years of your work. I have marveled at the way that you have been able to handle this. You once told me, “Brother, sometimes you have to experience the bottomless pit of hell in order to experience the limitless heights of heaven”—and you have endured and seen so much. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said if they killed 10 million of us, those of us that are right here, we go on. Elijah has been gone for a long time; you stood up as The Reminder, and you said no one will destroy The Reminder. How did you love him like that? How could you do the things that you did? I want the people to understand that when you talk about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—as all of us should—you do it in a way that has been that testimony for him. And I want you to know I’ll always be indebted to you for that. 

HMLF: Thank you. You, raised something, Brother Munir, that, some of us that are watching, some of us in this room, and in the room next door, have longed to see our people relieved of the burden of oppression. Elijah Muhammad, the son and grandson of Baptist preachers, read the Bible a lot in his youth, but he saw it differently than the way his father was preaching. He told his father, “I’m going to preach one day, but dad, I don’t think I’m going to preach what you’re preaching.” He just didn’t know what it was, but he was not going to preach “same ole, same ole”. Or, “Same-o/Sam-bo”: A White man-made preacher, to preach the thing that White folk will give you a top hat and a coat? Elijah Muhammad, when he heard Master Fard Muhammad, he knew right then Who he was looking at. Because, when he came up to join, Elijah Muhammad said to Master W.D. Fard (at that time He said that was His Name): “I know Who You are. You are The One that the world has been waiting for, for 2,000 years.” And The Saviour said, “Well, who else knows it other than you?” He, Master Fard Muhammad, told Elijah Muhammad to “hush,” it wasn’t time for him to say what he had found in that Man. 

Now when you love like that … . See, I thank you for having [the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s] picture up, because when you look at that man, Elijah: His mother said to me when I met her, “This is not the same child”—and this is the way she said it—“that I borned into this world.” She said, “Allah made him over into this new man that we are all looking at.” Elijah, who was “Elijah Poole” … Well, what happened to Elijah, that this Man could take a man that only went to the fourth grade of school and make him a master—and that he could make masters out of those who had master’s degrees, doctorate degrees, so the scripture is fulfilled: “How come this man having not letters is learned?”  He was taught by God.  And he, as a student of God—listen to this part: He loved his Teacher so much, He didn’t want himself. He wanted his Teacher in him. It’s like a woman loving a man so much, she wants the man inside of her. It sounds “sexual,” but it’s not! When you love like that, you give up yourself to receive the object of your love. See, women and men are not like that today, because the women don’t really love their men like that. But a Messenger of God loves God like that! The Messenger “dies” so that God may live in him.

Abraham, a “friend of God”: Look, God had to make sure (“I’m going to make Abraham the father of the righteous, the father of Judaism, Christianity and Islam? Abraham, I’m going to do that for him? I am not going to do it just because his name is Abe”). The Holy Qur’an said He tried him with certain commands, and after he had fulfilled those commands, He said: “Surely I am going to make you a leader of men.” Well naturally, if you are going to make Abe a “leader of men,” he knows he’s going to pass off the scene, so he asked God, “Well, what about my offspring?” He said, “My covenant will not include the wrongdoers.” So now from Abraham, let’s go all the way … . 

See, that’s what makes a Christian love Jesus so much, because Jesus was not a prophet. He was the master of prophets. How did he become that? Because he longed for God in such a way that the first time you ever hear the word “father” is with Jesus. Prophets don’t call God their “father,” prophets call God “God,” and they bow down—they’re not companions of God. No. They are servants of God. But God, in the last days, comes and takes a man into His bosom; he is called the “firstborn of God,” the “first begotten of the dead,” and He makes that man into Himself. But what was the vehicle? He came on the wings of that Man’s love, devotion, commitment, and willingness to sacrifice everything for the Man that he loved. That’s Elijah. And I’ve been longing for that man! Ever since I was born into the world, I wanted to see Black people free. I knew I didn’t have what it took, so I was always looking for the man. When I saw Mr. Garvey, I said, “This must be him.” He had already passed. I heard about Noble Drew Ali; he had already passed. When I heard that God had come and chosen Elijah Muhammad, I cried, and the first thing I said: “God, why didn’t you choose me? You know I love my people … .” And as the tears rolled down my eyes, it’s like God said, “Hush.” He said, “You weren’t even born when I chose that man, Elijah Muhammad.” So my destiny then was to go meet that man and offer him my life. 

Nobody … I’m telling it straight to you: Nobody can say that Farrakhan don’t love Elijah. Because all of the hypocrites that said he taught them, and then they walked from him:  He taught them, but they turned on him! But this one that you’re looking at and listening to: He taught me! And he said, “I did things to Farrakhan to make him turn, and he would not turn.”  Because I was born to be his helper in this great work.  So he is not dead! He is Alive in me! He didn’t write a will—he left his will in me. Take it, or let it alone! I really don’t give a damn what you think!  It’s time for you to know that the man that’s been walking in this world with you was called out by God to be the helper of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in The Resurrection of Black people not only in America, but all over the Earth.  Take it, or leave it.


MM: You just finished describing the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the terms that only he could be described, and, I just don’t know why more people don’t pay attention to your life, and what you have said.

HMLF:  Time.  I woke up this morning with a scripture on my mind (Ecclesiastes 11:1): “Cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days you will see it coming back to you.” “The bread” here represents The Word of God; “the waters” here represent the people.  The Honorable Elijah Muhammad cast bread on the waters, his ministers cast bread on the waters, and for the last 40 years absent my teacher I have been doing the same. So today you see people rising: Some of them don’t even know how much they were affected by the word, because the word stimulates consciousnesses. So yes, but you have to be patient, because if you think the rise is going to take place just because you preached, you’ll die very disappointed.  So the Holy Qur’an says, “Seek assistance through patience and prayer.” And I thank Allah that He made me to know, through the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that The Nation would fall and The Nation would rise again. He made me to know, and believe, that every one that walked away from him during that period of “the cutting off of The Messiah”—he said, “Oh, but you all will come back.” And I am alive now to see many changing their view. 

[Those who] went over to Orthodox Islam: You may ask, “Why? Why would Allah permit that which He brought to be sidetracked?” See, to understand the movement of God through time, and circumstances and events, and people: God is never absent from the maneuvering to bring about the fruition of His Will. We had to go that way in order to experience what that is so that we could make a comparison between what God revealed and what you got. You were in a vanguard position under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—but when you went that way, you had to take a backseat to those who had deviated from The Prophet. So what else can you do? You have learned The Qur’an, bless your heart; you’ve learned the Arabic, you have learned so much about the world of Islam. But, if you come back to your Teacher, your Messenger, your God, then bring what you have learned!  And it makes us only stronger because now, through you, we’ll master the language … . We’ll master all of the things that we need in order to bring the whole of our world together.