WEB POSTED 02-05-2002

The characteristics of a good judge

Brother Jabril: “Would you say that in a limited circumstance, we can make true judgments, but not the truest judgments?”

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “In a limited circumstance, we can make true judgments, but oft-times our egos are so wrapped up in the judgments that we make, we never leave room in our judgment for the possibility of mistake or error. That is the tragedy of judgment.

“This is why, in my mind, to be made a judge of the human condition, is one of the greatest honors that can be bestowed on a person. But when you are made a judge, you are in the greatest position to come under the judgment of God.

“So when I see a person robed in the garment of a judge, I often wonder how bias, how prejudice, how status symbols, how the nobility of a person, or the lack of it, enters into the judge’s decision.

“So when God says, ‘Judge not lest you be in danger of judgment,’ we ought to speak less, and think more, and desire to know as much as we can about the circumstance, the event, or the person, before we open our mouths to make a judgment.

“That, unfortunately, is not always done. And this, unfortunately, will always be the human condition, until we become so humble and righteous in character, that we desire to do no man, or woman, wrong.

“So then we must speak less and we must counsel more, and do it with patience. This is what I find in the Qur’an, that God is consistently counseling us to learn to be patient.”

Brother Jabril: “Brother Minister, since we will one day have a full blown judicial system, which will include judges, what are just some of the qualities that immediately come to your mind that should characterize these kinds of persons?”

Minister Farrakhan: “I think the greatest quality must be first, a love of God; a love of truth and an insatiable desire to know more and more and more about the subject.

“One must have the characteristic of humility. No judge should be arrogant because arrogance over your position makes you ineffective as a judge.

“Humility always keeps your heart open for greater knowledge because you recognize the value, the importance of making a right judgment and you recognize the consequences of making an improper judgment.

“It is the consequences of faulty judges and faulty decisions that bring down nations, societies and individuals.

“So a judge must not just be one who has completed the course of study in law that is required, but the judge must have the quality of character that would make one a good judge of the affairs of human beings.”

Brother Jabril: “Brother Minister, yesterday we spoke a little bit about some of the factors involved in the advancement of human life, of society, of nations. You said that there was no advancement without sacrifice and that the advancement of humanity toward the ultimate objective of God, requires, on the part of some, or many, or all to one degree or another, pain, bloodshed and even the loss of life. Please comment.”

Minister Farrakhan: “There is no advancement without the sacrifice of life, bloodshed and pain. Those human beings whom God has chosen to advance us in whatever discipline that is, must first have the quality to endure suffering, to endure insult. Such persons must be able to endure criticism, made by judgmental persons, who are comfortable where they are and are challenged by where this human being is trying to lead us.

“There is no advancement in any field without tremendous sacrifice and then life lost and bloodshed. Any advancement, in any field, has caused the one who leads us into that new field of knowledge and advancement, suffering or great suffering.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, ‘Blessed is he who forges the way for others.’ There is a scripture that talks about the one whom God assigns the task of bringing in a world that is totally new. This would mean he brings in a new knowledge—a knowledge that challenges the scholarship of his day. So the scripture teaches, ‘No visage was more marred than his.’ This is because what he’s doing is like cutting a path through a jungle.

“The branches of the trees that you have to cut down hit your face and scar your face, but as you cut that branch down, the ones coming behind you feel little or no pain, because you have felt it for them.

“So it says, ‘By his stripes we are healed.’ In the newness of the knowledge that he brings, and in his intense love for the world that he sees in his mind, which is not yet in reality—this is what causes him to endure what he endures of the ignorance of his contemporaries. So, when his truth is established, he may or may not be present, but he will be vindicated by history.

“I can imagine the prophets of God, who saw beyond the range of vision of their contemporaries, to speak of things yet to come. Such gifted persons, who in certain areas possessed gifts far beyond the gifts of the contemporaries, were subjected to thoughts that ‘he is sick, or crazy.’

“So he is rejected of men and despised and evil spoken of and ill thought of, because he sees what others are unable to see. So there was no prophet that escaped the judgmental nature of his contemporaries.

“I can imagine how lesser ones, such as Nostradamus, suffered. I can imagine how Galileo, how Newton and Boyle and visionaries in every field, suffered.

“Look at doctors who have discovered, in the DNA, that which would allow them to clone a human being, and who to some extent, suffer the same.

“Look at those who have discovered, in stem cell research, that they could literally grow new organs, rather than implant organs of a different person into a different body. So they can literally take the DNA of that body and grow organs that would replace organs that are failing.

“Well, this kind of research has created controversy, debate. The doctors sometimes are considered demons, rather than great doctors who are on the cutting edge of great new discovery.

“I guess this is natural, for I once read in a book that when God sends a prophet, He ordains opposition for him, because it is only the severest opposition that tests the quality of the character of the bearer of the truth and tests the truth of the bearer of that truth.

“So opposition is a necessity. So one must not necessarily be overcome by the judgmental. One whom God has given an assignment must understand that in the nature of that assignment God has already ordered judgmental persons to attack him, to vilify him, to malign him, to say all manner of evil against him.

“But he knows his Sender. He knows the value of the truth with which he has been sent. So he stays the course, knowing that his greatest vindicator and witness is God Himself.

“Even if he does not live to see, or witness his vindication, he knows, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew, ‘I will be the winner living or dead.’ “

More next issue, Allah willing.

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