BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: JUN 28, 2016 – 10:11:13 AM
[Editor’s note: The following message was delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on the 15th day of observing the Holy Month of Ramadan during the daily Ramadan Prayer Line teleconference, on Monday, June 20, 2016. For more information on #RamadanPrayerLine16, be sure to follow Minister Farrakhan via his official social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @LouisFarrakhan).]
Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim.
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His Messenger.
As-Salaam Alaikum! Ramadan Mubarak to all of those who are fasting in this month. I want to thank Sister Nisa Islam Muhammad, and all of those who joined with her making this prayer line a reality, and growing and ever improving now for 10 long years. May Allah bless all who are on this prayer line. … I have enjoyed all of those that I have been blessed to hear on these mornings on the Tsunami Prayer Line.
I pray that Allah will guide my words, that they may be pleasing in His sight, and that these words may enter the heart of the Believer, and help the Believer to be stronger. If fasting is a “prescription,” then [The Qur’an] says that those who are in this world, who need to fast, are indeed spiritually in a sick condition; fasting is so necessary as a guard against the evil that man is inclined to do. (Surah 2:183) I want to talk about “Abraham,” about “fasting,” about“favor,” and about “reward.”
Abraham, The Upright One: A model of virtue to pattern one’s life after, seek the favor of Allah
Abraham, in the Qur’an, is said to be a model of virtue: The scripture talks about Abraham in such glowing terms (he is “the upright one,” Surah 3:67). And then in our prayer [as Muslims], we always mention Abraham and his followers with Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his followers, and we say: “O Allah! Bless Muhammad, and bless the followers of Muhammad, as Thou didst bless Abraham and the followers of Abraham, for surely Thou art praised and magnifi ed. O Allah! Grant Your favors to Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, as Thou didst grant Your favors to Abraham and the followers of Abraham.” So Abraham is mentioned that we might study him, and pattern our lives after Abraham and Prophet Muhammad that we may be as Abraham is called, “The Friend of Allah.” (Book of James, Chap. 2:23)
In The Qur’an, Surah 2 Al-Baqarah (“The Cow”), Allah says to us concerning The Children of Israel (verses 47-48): “O Children of Israel, call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you, and that I made you excel the nations. And be on your guard against a day when no soul will avail another in the least, neither will any compensation be accepted from it nor will intercession profit it, nor will they be helped.” Now to Abraham (verse 124): “And when his Lord tried Abraham with certain commands, he fulfilled them,” and Allah said, “Surely I will make thee a leader of men.” Abraham said, “And of my off spring?” Allah said, “My covenant does not include the wrongdoers.”
So though we are promised the favors that God granted to Abraham and to Muhammad (peace be upon him and peace be upon Abraham), yet we are warned that these favors do not include the wrongdoer.
Most of us do not realize that the favor of Allah is the thing that we should be seeking. And that’s why The Fast of Ramadan is so absolutely necessary, because it gives us the requisite discipline that allows us to guard against evil. There are many times in the Qur’an, as we read the 15th Day/15 Sections, wherein Allah says, “Call to mind My favor which I bestowed on you, that I made you excel the nations.”
Well, we are all seeking the favor of God, and that favor cannot come to us unless we are Believers in 1.) The Last Day, 2.) Guarding against evil, and 3.) Are the doers of good to others; so The Qur’an says to the Jews and the Sabians and the Christians that believe in Allah and The Last Day that theirs is the reward of Allah. (Surah 2:62) Allah will not keep His reward away from Jews or Christians, or Muslims, or Zoroastrians; as long as we believe in The Last Day and are doers of good to others, we have a reward from our Lord.
And what is His reward? It is found in Al- Fatihah (so well spoken during the Ramadan Prayer Line): “O Allah! Grant us Your favor! Guide us to that straight path that will allow us to have your favor!”
The Reward of God (His Favor) is the greatest desire of a Muslim
So here we are, in this great religion of Islam, seeking the favor of God. Well let’s look at some of the favors that are promised as a reward. Allah says to the Children of Israel, “Call to mind My favor on you when Pharaoh had you under such a great trial, killing your boys and saving your girls; surely,” He says, “this was a great trial, but I delivered you from Pharaoh, and drowned him and his army”—and [throughout The Qur’an] He keeps bringing it back to us (“Call to mind My favor to you”). … And then when we put away our loved ones who pass from this Earth, during the Janazah we say these words: “O Allah! And make us not to fall into trial after him/her, and do not deprive us of his/her reward.”The reward that belongs to the servant who passes away, and they believe and are the doers of good, is favor to his off spring or her off spring.
So many foolish people think, “Why should I do good in this life? I’m not getting all of the blessings that I see the wicked getting!” Of course you are, but you do not see your favor! A. ) “Favor” is when He delivers you from a painful chastisement; b.) You’re in an accident, and your car is absolutely destroyed, and you walk away, that is a favor from God; c.) When good comes into your life from whence you saw it not, that is a favor; d.) That is good in your life when you are blessed with divine guidance to get you out of problems and areas of trial; that is a favor from Allah. So when those of us who are trying to fast, so that we may do good, we are preparing favors for the off spring that we leave behind when we leave this planet.
Do good, that you may set up favor for your off spring. … The doing of good not just because you want the reward; but the reward of God is real. So many of us, we’ll get into competitions for some kind of victory and award, or sometimes it’s a certificate, sometimes it’s money, sometimes it’s something that you would desire, but the greatest desire of a Muslim is The Reward of Allah—and that reward is His favor, which comes in so many different ways.
‘Pray to Me, I will answer you’: The comfort in knowing Allah’s favor to The Believer
Now as a Black people who have been in bondage now for 460 years under an oppression that started in 1555 and continues to this moment: When you fast and I fast, and we fast, and we do good to others, what is the reward for our doing of good? Allah says, “Surely this Qur’an guides to that which is most upright, and gives good news to the believers, who do good, that theirs is a great reward.” (Surah 18:1-5)
Oh, my dear brothers and sisters: What is the reward to us who have suffered under tyranny and oppression all these lives? “And call to mind My favor to you, that I made you excel the nations”—plural; and Allah (God) says in both Bible and Qur’an, “I gave you the scepter of rulership even though you have been suffering; I’m going to bring you out, with great substance, but I am going to give you rulership, and try you to see how you act.”
What a great favor from God that we who have been the least will become the most, we who have been the last will become the first; we who have been lost and rejected and despised might become the favored ones of God. But remember, His covenant does not include the wrongdoers.
And the last thing I would like to say about the favors of God: As a Believer, Allah says in the Qur’an, “Pray to Me, I will answer you.” (Surah 40:60) Oh, what a favor from Allah, that we could make a prayer, and know that our prayer will be answered. Is there a favor, a reward, better than that? I think not. So beloved believers, sometimes you are tried by members of your family as Abraham was tried by his grandfather; sometimes we are tried by our wives, our husbands, our children: sometimes they just don’t want to follow the path that we are on. And we pray for them, and we seek Allah’s blessing on them, but you know, sometimes our children want the world; and sometimes, as much as we pray for them, they seem to go deeper and deeper into the world. Do not grieve, dear Believers, over your loved ones who refused to accept to do The Will of God. Continue in prayer, but leave them to Him.
Do you remember Noah’s son? Noah was a righteous servant of God, and he had a son that did not wish to follow Noah. And as the water was beginning to come down, Noah called to his son who was aloof: “Come, son! Come with me!” and a wave, a mighty wave came between him and his son, and he was of those who perished. Allah said to Noah, “I know best who is in your family. He is not your son; he is the embodiment of unrighteous conduct.”
Abraham was an upright man! Abraham was a man of great virtue! Muhammad was an upright man! Muhammad was a man of great virtue! So in this month of fasting, I pray that Allah will make each of us successful in our fast, and make us stronger to do His Will; to believe in what The Qur’an teaches us is “The Last Day” and what will come, and the separation of the righteous from the wicked, “believe and do good, and enjoin one another to truth and enjoin one another to patience”—this will earn us the favor of Allah. … A favor, that when that time comes and our Janazah is said, and those words are spoken (“Let us not fall into trial after him/ her, and do not deprive us of her/his reward”): Make sure that we are getting that reward by the doing of good—but know that that reward and that favor does not include the wrongdoers .
So let’s keep up the fast, let’s strengthen one another in the fast! And even though because of my medical condition I cannot fast, and it grieves me that I cannot fast, but I can do all the other things that a faster should do. And by The Help of Allah, the feeding of the poor, the doing of good to others, the giving of guidance to those who need it, the giving of counsel to those who seek it, so that I may have a great reward from my Lord, and that on my passing, whenever that comes, behind me a reward is being set up for my children and my family, and my people. But I am counseled to know that that reward will never fall on the wrongdoer.
Thank you for reading these words, and may Allah guide, bless and protect us all in this great and Holy Month of Ramadan.