As The Honorable Louis Farrakhan recuperates, word has come to us that one of his most valuable helpers has been stricken and rendered temporarily incapacitated. I am speaking of Brother Jabril Muhammad, whose stress level has, quite recently, affected various organs of his body, including his heart. He has, unwillingly of course, been forced into inactivity so that he may recuperate. Released from the hospital, he is now being forced to become acquainted with something that is totally foreign to him—rest!

I am keeping abreast of his physical progress as best I can. We go back a long way. When the Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad first reached Los Angeles, it caught on and spread so rapidly that The Leader sent his top Minister of that time, Malcolm X, to investigate, and then made Malcolm responsible for getting the burgeoning group correctly organized. Malcolm chose three members of the New York Mosque, where he was headquartered, to relocate and shape the swelling West Coast mob into a Temple. They served as acting Minister, Captain and Secretary while they selected and trained their successors. Brother Jabril served as Secretary, and by the time the Temple became fully accredited, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Leader of the Nation of Islam, sent his newly-appointed National Secretary to Los Angeles in order to adopt the system Brother Jabril had set up as the national model.

Shortly after I was appointed Minister in Los Angeles, Brother Jabril was appointed Minister of the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland). It was with his help that I was quickly assigned responsibility for the entire West Coast, and his help contributed greatly to my success.

Just recently, As our beloved Leader, Minister Farrakhan was preparing to undergo his most recent surgery, I asked his permission to help him in a particular area. The first person I named to be on the team to assist me in this endeavor was Brother Jabril. The request was granted, but before we could get started, our Brother was stricken. I am going to encourage the rest of the team to redouble our efforts, and have the engine running full blast when our Brother is able to rejoin us.

I wonder how many of us ever stop to wonder if those who are fighting the battle constantly are occasionally moved out of the way to see if their devotion and dedication is contagious, and if enough of us have caught it that we may be entrusted to carry some of the weight which they have been bearing. If so, then I can only repeat the words of that old Negro Spiritual, “Lord, I want to be in that number…”

My prayers are constantly for the speedy recovery of both my Leader, Minister Farrakhan and my companion, Brother Jabril. In the meantime – lest I be spouting empty words – I will, by the help of Allah, work diligently to do all that I can to help in the cause to which we all are dedicated to the point that it is more important than life itself!