[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from a message delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at Muhammad Mosque No. 7 in Manhattan, New York on November 4, 1981]

In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

Brothers and Sisters, once again I am thankful to Allah for the privilege of being in your midst. We want to go directly to our subject matter this evening. For the last few weeks we have been dealing with the subject of “Time,” and so I will quote a few verses from the Holy Qur’an, Surah 103 Al-’Asr (“The Time”), which will be the base of our work this evening:

“By the time, surely man is in loss, Except those who believe and do good, And enjoin one another to truth, And enjoin one another to patience.”

 “Time” is The Criterion of The Measurement of  Our Action—if our actions do not correspond with the dictates of time, our action will bring us to loss, as the Holy Qur’an teaches us of  The Manifestation of Losses (Surah 64).

 Many of us are losing daily, hourly. We’re losing self-respect, self-worth. We’re losing our minds, we’re losing our families. We’re losing our loved ones. This loss is to bring grief upon the community that we may reflect again on The Time and act according to The Time.

Grammatical Correctness in Language

 The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was not known as an English-language “scholar”; some say he didn’t speak well, but I was with him one day and he taught me a very profound English lesson.



 In The Problem Book of The Supreme Wisdom Lessons, which details the condition of Black people in a mathematical way, we are told to put our Mathematical Theology to work to secure benefit for ourselves, which are money, luxury, good homes and friendship in all walks of life. We are also told that if we don’t speak the Language well, we will not be successful.

 Every discipline has its language, every skill has its language, and if we do not speak the language of our discipline or our skill well, we are not successful in communicating. Every time, every era has a language that is peculiar to that time. If you do not speak The Language of The Time, then you are not communicating properly, and you will not be successful. So in sitting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad one morning, he said, “Brother, the English language basically is not spoken well when you speak and do not use grammatical correctness.”

 In grammar, there must be subject and verb agreement: if the subject is in the present, then the verb, or the action, must be in the present, otherwise you don’t have subject and verb agreement. You are not speaking grammatically correct, and it impairs your success. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that as you use language to communicate your ideas, communicate your thoughts, you must speak in a way that your words, your thoughts, your ideas are clearly perceived by the one or ones to whom you are speaking. The less possibility there is for misunderstanding what you’re trying to communicate, the better it is that people will understand us.

 What was Elijah Muhammad saying? The verb in the grammatical construction of the language represents the action; in other words, the “tense.” The word “tense” here means: Is it Present? Is it Past? Is it Future? Is it Present Perfect? Is it Past Perfect? Or, is it Future Perfect? These are the different tenses that you understand if you’ve studied grammar. But if you haven’t studied grammar, don’t worry about it; we’ll break it right down.

 Look at the sentence “I am here”—the subject “I” is in Present tense because the verb “am” (be) is in Present tense. However, if I said: “I was here and I am here,” I would not be speaking grammatically correct. So what is Elijah Muhammad saying? If you and I live in The Present, our Action should be Present Tense. But if our actions belong to a Time gone by, then we are in the present, acting out the past—there is no “subject and verb agreement,” therefore we are not communicating properly and we are not speaking correctly. And when there is a lack of communication, there is a breakdown in social relationship.

 The word “tense” has to do with time. When we are “out of time,” we increase t-e-n-s-ion (tension). When we increase tension because we are out of step with time, then we increase stress. And where there is tension and stress in our relationship because we are out of step with time, there is a cleavage (definition: “the act of a division or split”) apart, rather than a cleavage together.

 “By the time, surely man is in loss. …” so Time is The Criteria. You are not a “slave,” but if your actions reflect slave mentality, then you’re not communicating properly and you begin to lose. If slavery was over, according to White folks words, with the “Emancipation Proclamation,” and we today in The Present are still looking to the Caucasian to provide us with our necessities of life, food, clothing, shelter, employment, education, then that action that we are involved in is an action that belongs to the past, to an era gone by.

 You are in the present, but your actions are not proper; therefore, you are communicating well with the Caucasian, but you are not communicating well with one another because you are not speaking well.

Become Servants of Righteousness, not Sin

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that it was divinely prophesied that we would serve America 400 years. We bear witness the 400 years of our servitude to America is up, and if it is up, we must adopt an action that corresponds to the time. If the Scripture teaches we will go into bondage to serve Satan and follow the path of sin and iniquity, and The Time given to Satan’s rule is up and The Time given to our service of Satan and sin and iniquity is up, then The Time demands another action: We must stop serving Satan and start serving The Lord of The Worlds.



We must stop being servants of sin and we must start serving ourselves in righteousness.


 Now does that seem so strange or farfetched? If we have run out of the time given to evil to hold sway over the people, and the evil is steadily losing, how can we come into our own, following an out-of-date activity? Evil is an out-of-date activity because it will not permit us to communicate properly to one another. We cannot do evil to one another and communicate to one another. The Time given to evil is over, so doing evil will not bring results, it will bring deterioration, loss, ruin, disgrace and death. If our actions can be judged as evil, and we are out of The Time given to evil, then we are not communicating correctly.

 Either we’ve got to go out with the evil world, or we’ve got to change our actions to be in harmony with The World of Righteousness that is coming in.

 Now, God has not sentenced you and me to death, God has sentenced to death The Wicked—but we are practicing wickedness. The longer we persist in the practice of evil, the more the fate of the wicked becomes our fate. If God’s Truth and Righteousness condemns something that we are practicing, though we like it, we’ve got to give it up. We may like evil deeds, but if The Word of God in The Time of Right condemns the action that belongs to the old world and to the past, then we have got to make up our minds to correct our conduct by The Standard of Time.

 If you can agree that the White man’s world is on its way out, then the White man’s way is on its way out. And if the White man’s way is a way of evil, and is on its way out, then we’ve got to give up evil. Beloved, life and the spirit of life is tied into The Spirit of Righteousness. The Creator, Who set this whole Universe in motion, is a Righteous Creator. He set it up in righteousness, so the very energy that perpetuates the life of the Universe is a Righteous Energy. This is why there is so much talk in the Scriptures of the Bible of that which is called “Holy Spirit.”

 This kind of spirit is different from the spirit of the world, because the spirit of the world has not any righteousness or holiness attached to it. It’s the spirit of the world, which is the spirit of adultery, the spirit of freakishness, the spirit of sport and play and partying. It is not the spirit of the serious intent of The God who fashioned life, so the key to longevity is in being in harmony with the spirit that perpetuates the life of that which keeps you living.

 You draw your life’s sustenance from the Earth and what she produces. What the Earth produces is in harmony with the spirit of the Life Producer, Almighty God Himself. The Earth is producing you fruits of obedience, fruits of submission and you and I survive and grow strong from the fruit that the Earth produces. If we were in harmony with the spirit that germinates life, which is submission to the Will of the Life Giver, that spirit generates life into us.

The Power of Thought

 Being in harmony with The Thinking of The Creator generates electrical energy in the cells of the brain picked up by the blood and carried to every part of the body. So you can’t just eat well, we’ve got to think better.

 So, the song says, “I’m going to change my way of thinking, I’m going to change my style, I’m going to change my walk and my talk…”—that’s an old song we used to sing. But when the Right Word in accord with the Right Time strikes your ear, if you let it enter it starts changing up the way you think. And once the way you think is changed, the way you think starts changing up the chemistry of the cells.

 This is nothing but pure science—and if there are doctors, and scientists, and biologists and chemists in the house, all you have to do is take what Brother Farrakhan says from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, go and study it, and come on back and bear me witness that I have been taught by a Master Teacher.

 We must change the thinking, for the scripture teaches “As a man thinketh, so is he.” This is telling you The Power of Thought. Thought shapes and reshapes matter, so the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was not just interested in getting you to eat properly, he wanted to change the way we think. In changing the way we think, he will then change the way we act. And if our thinking gets in harmony with the Will of God, gets in harmony with The Time, then our actions follow suit, and instead of showing loss, we will show gain.

 Even though the world seems to be going contrary to the way we think and act, we will be steadily gaining and the world will be steadily losing because we are on time.


When the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “we are gods,” he wasn’t making mockery. He was showing us our Divine potential if we fed that which is in us from Allah and allowed ourselves to grow spiritually. Like you feed your stomach to grow physically, then spiritually you’ll grow right on up into God. And this is why, beloved Muslims, Allah gives us the right to wear His Attributes. He has 99 Attributes, and when you put them all together, you have Allah.

 Well, what about The People of God? If we wear His Name and manifest His characteristics and recognize that as God’s Names work together for the fruition of His Will, and His Name represents His Attributes and Characteristics, then if we wear His Name, manifest His Attributes, and we come together in unity under His Will and His Guidance, then we become Allah!

 The Holy Qur’an says: “And We adorned the lower Heavens with Stars. And We made man and We know what his mind suggests to him. And had We wished to take a pastime from before ourselves, surely We would have taken it. Nay, We cast Truth at falsehood till We knock out its brain.”—“We” who?

 The We is us who believe and submit to The Will of The Supreme Being, The Lord of The Worlds, Almighty God, Allah. We have become “the actors of His Will,” so when you see us acting, it’s not “us” acting, it’s Allah Acting. When you hear us speaking, it is not “us” speaking, it is Allah Speaking. And when you see our manifestation of righteousness, it is not “our” righteousness, it is Allah’s Righteousness.

 That is why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wanted you to change your way of thinking and looking at your own self.