Brother Fontaine Muhammad from The Final Call just told me that Muhammad’s Mosque No. 55 (Memphis, Tenn.) had just ordered 104 copies of A Torchlight for America.
In Volume 21, Number 32, I wrote the following words: “A Sister who wrote me about this series, which ends with this article, referred to them not so much as “interviews” but “inner-views” into the mind and heart of Minister Farrakhan. She nailed it! That was one of my major aims with this series.
“Minister Farrakhan did not know what the questions were before he heard them. So, of course, his answers were unrehearsed. Look at the depth of the wisdom each answer contains. His answers are mini-books!
“Do you really know anyone else who could have given such spontaneous answers to these questions, the contents of which he did not know before he heard them? (And wait until you read his answers to the other questions, in interviews that will appear, be it the will of Allah. Whew!)”
[The above excerpt was written as part of an interview of Minister Farrakhan on February 8, 2002.]
I’ve been interviewing Minister Farrakhan for over twelve years. Those who have read these articles were taken, to some extent, into the depths of the heart and mind of Minister Farrakhan. In so doing, I was trying to help us see to some degree into why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad called him “a beautiful man” and the implications this has for the rest of us—who number into the millions.
It should be clear that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had much more in his mind than the visage of Minister Farrakhan. What is this “much more?” And what are the implications of this “much more” for us all?
In November 1961, I was blessed to ask the Honorable Elijah Muhammad a question that had been growing in my mind since 1956. It was: “Dear Holy Apostle, isn’t it true that when one reads Psalms, one is reading the heart of the last Messenger?” He answered. The shortest part of his answer was the verbal part. It was “Yes.”
I was not to learn that Minister Farrakhan’s first opportunity to personally meet the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was at his home, which was in the early part of 1957, until after Minister Farrakhan arose to resurrect the Nation of Islam 29 years ago. I did not know until after then that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad whispered into one of his ears these words: “You remind me of David.” That was during dinner at the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s home after a Temple (as it was called then) meeting earlier that day.
This act of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was very significant.
First, why did he whisper into one of his ears? Before we go there, some of you may ask, “Since you, Jabril was not there and, even if you were, you could not have heard that whisper, how do you claim to know that it happened?”
These are wonderful questions. They help me now to go much deeper into the material that ended the last article. It ended with:
“These sections of his writing must be read in their full context, to be fully understood and appreciated. The primary point I wish to make is what it is that characterizes his thinking. It’s critical thinking. It’s mathematical thinking. It’s divine thinking.
“This is what characterizes his thinking in the soon-to-be-released book, be it the Will of Allah, entitled Closing The Gap.
“In it, I asked such questions as, ‘What advice would you give us with regard to buying toys for our children? What is fun?’ ‘What is friendship?’ ‘What is it about Black people here in America that, despite our extraordinarily wretched condition, attitude and disposition, makes us so precious or so valuable in the sight of God, according to what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad preached for 44 years and that you have preached now going on 29 years, absent his presence?’ ‘What does the concept ‘seeking refuge’ mean?’ ‘Why does Allah show mercy on Yakub’s made-man, even at the end of his time and past his time?’
“‘The way he answered these questions demonstrates that, indeed, he is the voice of God!’ ”
The question is: ‘Since you, Jabril were not there and, even if you were, you could not have heard that whisper, why do you believe that it happened?” Let’s start the answer with the suggestion, hint or assumption that this question cannot be answered truthfully. This question could be motivated by varying degrees of surprise to disbelief or even total rejection mixed with scorn.
The reason I’ve touched on the state of mind out of which the question comes is because that heavily influences how one finally reacts to the answer when it comes.
First, I accepted as true what Minister Farrakhan told me when he first told it to me, which I just shared with those readers who didn’t know this, of his first personal meeting with his teacher. I could stop right there. That was enough for me to state with total conviction that it occurred just as he told me it did. But just as I know he told me the truth, I know with conviction that there are those who doubt that this is the truth, or would doubt or outright reject that this is the truth.
I have been in brief discussion with some who take the position that the only words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that they accept as valid or part of what Allah revealed (or taught) to him are the words that are in his books. They discount the fact that all of his articles did not get into his books. They discount the words that he spoke to family members, Laborers and many others that were not taped or otherwise transcribed that they were aspects of the divine revelation he was taught.
So, of course, they would discount the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s answer to me of a question I asked him back in 1961. They would likewise discount what he whispered to Minister Farrakhan in 1957.
The Holy Qur’an contains words about this kind of thinking.
Others might say, away with them who doubt or reject this incident in Minister Farrakhan’s life as something that really happened. I hope you will be patient until I conclude this since I made the claim that it has implications on all of our lives.
If you noticed, I joined part of an answer the Honorable Elijah Muhammad gave me to a question I asked him in 1961 with Minister Farrakhan’s experience with him in 1957. I did so because they are connected.
In the first instance, I was in the process of learning something of the heart of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad when I asked him what I did in 1961. In the second instance, towards the end of 1960, I began a study, off and on, which helped me later understand Minister Farrakhan’s relationship to the Messiah before his departure in 1975.
All of the above is relevant to Closing The Gap and each of us. We may see better, next issue, Allah willing. I intend to include the importance of prerequisites, which may make clearer why I think Minister Farrakhan’s answers in Closing The Gap are an essential factor in the fulfillment of the Messiah’s words on the Nation’s not falling again.
More, next issue, Allah willing.