WEB POSTED 03-05-2002
|The practice, attitude, spirit of prayer
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews I conducted with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, before our Saviours’ Day Convention held recently in Los Angeles, California. I expect to continue with these interviews at least through Volume 21, Number 32. I intend to make brief comments, where I can fit them in upcoming articles.
Brother Jabril: “How does the practice of prayer, the attitude of prayer, the spirit of prayer, help us in these studies?
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “Prayer is the preparation of the heart and mind, for the course of our study, for prayer puts us in a right state of mind toward the Author of the study.
“So the oft-repeated prayer of the Muslims sets the mind and heart of the student for advancement. ‘In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.’
“Why are you enrolled in such a course? You are enrolled in this course of study because the Beneficent God had shown the utmost quality of mercy in coming to make you and me into Himself.
“So it is right that we start, ‘Bi-smi-llah al-Rahman al-Rahim.’ Then we say the first verse of the seven oft-repeated verses, ‘Al-hamdu li-lla Rabbi-l-alamin— praise belongs to God.
“Why should this be the first verse of the oft-repeated prayer? It’s because the God has found us groping and He is now showing us the way, the way from ignominy to eminence; the way from death into life; from weakness into power.
“When one is going to embark on that kind of journey, one must know, all along the path that the praise does not belong to the student. The praise belongs to God, Who is nurturing that student from the time of his enrollment to the time of his graduation and perfection in the study it will be God Himself, Who will be evolving that student, making that student to attain stage after stage on his way toward perfection.
” ‘The Beneficent, the Merciful.’ At every stage, you will recognize the Supreme, Beneficence and Mercy of Him, Who came to involve us in such study.
” ‘Maliki yaumi-a-din’—Master of the day or the law of requital. As students, as we practice this teaching, we are bound to make mistakes and errors, but the Headmaster of our school and the professor is so loving toward the student, who sincerely wishes to succeed in the course, and is the Master of the law of consequences. So that master can withhold from the student the consequences of error and mistake, while pointing it out to the student.
” ‘Thee alone do we serve and to Thee alone do we beseech for help.’ Every student needs help to get where the student desires to go. Who is the helper? The helper is God.
” ‘Thee alone do we serve and to Thee alone do we beseech… .’ We constantly ask Allah to help us in our study, in our growth, in our development. Guide us on the straight or the right path.
“Part of our progress in developing, as quickly as we can, is if we remain on a right course from the teacher. Sometimes the student will get off course and it’s like getting off the main highway onto an excess road that is very bumpy.
“You want to get back on the main highway, so your constant prayer is ‘O Allah guide us on the right path;’ the path that will keep us moving toward the completion of our study; the path that will keep us moving toward becoming what you enrolled us in class to become; ‘the path of those upon whom you have bestowed favor.’
“Doesn’t the student want the favor of the teacher? No student would like to have the wrath of the Headmaster and the professor, poured on the student and have the student kicked out of the course. So we have to do that which pleases the Headmaster and the teacher by our constantly being willing to be guided on the straight; the path of those upon whom the teacher would show favors and not the path of those who anger the teacher and get punished or censored by the teacher or even expelled out of the class.
“So prayer frames the mind. Prayer sets the tone. Prayer shapes the attitude of the student. And as one Civil Rights leader said, ‘It is your attitude that will determine your altitude.’
“So prayer—the constant remembrance of God—keeps you in the right attitude and therefore, there is no limit to your altitude.”
Jabril Muhammad: Brother Minister, this question is really one question, containing three major parts. We ended the last session with the instructions of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to you, at a certain point, in your ministry, “To just stand up and Allah will speak through you.” Let’s take this up in stages and then move to the relation between this and your music and then to the third part of this question.
First, please outline, your high school education that was so deep, so thorough, that when you got to college, you didn’t have to pick up a book.
Minister Farrakhan: My high school education was so superior, that when I went to college, I never bought a book. I never was mentally challenged by anything that was being offered as a course of study. I went there because my mother desired that I have a fall back position, in case music failed.
The reason I went to prep school is because I graduated from high school so young. I was one month into my seventeenth year, when I graduated from high school.
So I, as a track man, who had equaled the state record in the 100 at 10 seconds flat, the coach in the South knew that the Brothers down there were running 9/7, 9/8. So in order for me to be worthy of a track scholarship, he wanted me to have one more year to grow and get stronger and then on the following year, after that one year of prep school, I would be allowed to have a scholarship to college. So prep school is free.
So I went to school and I ran another year strengthening my ability to run the 100 yard dash, as well as the smaller dashes.
Brother Jabril: What were the courses you took in high school?
Minister Farrakhan: Everything that is college preparatory. First, in foreign Languages, I took Latin for three years; German; French; Spanish and of course, English.
My Latin gave me a more profound grasp of English because many of the prefixes and suffixes in English are from a Latin or a Greek root. So having Latin, gave me insight into words and their meaning.
I had Ancient History, Medieval History, American History and some Modern History. I had Algebra, Plain Geometry, Solid Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus. I had Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
So these kinds of subjects put me in a tremendous position of advantage going to a Southern school that was preparing me to be a teacher, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, which would have allowed me to teach on the grammar school level, where once I learned methods, once I learned the history of education, and a little psychology, I could have taught grammar school coming out of high school with the background that I had.
Brother Jabril: So, would you say it’s rather obvious then that the nature of the preparation you had in high school, is what made you to whiz through college in three plus years so fast?
Minister Farrakhan: That is correct.
Brother Jabril: Now you come into the Nation. You become registered in 1955. Did you study?
More next issue, Allah willing.