This is the concluding part of an answer the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan gave to this question I asked him on June 8, 2006. It was: “Brother Minister, how would you define the art of conversation? How would you define the best kind of conversation Muslims should be engaging in, especially in this critical hour, as it’s getting darker?”
Minister Farrakhan: So when you think of the Nation [of Islam] and when you think of the world in which we live, inside of the Nation [of Islam], the time has come when the people would no longer endure sound doctrine. Sound doctrine represents the water of life. So if I cannot endure the water of life, then I am gradually drying up and becoming like the blades of grass and the brush that is here in California and Arizona not getting the water of life.
So here is a world now that is dry. A famine, not of bread, but a famine for the hearing of the Word of God, or that the ear has been turned away from sound doctrine and people are heaping to themselves teachers that tickle their ears.
This is akin then to the rejection of the highest form of spiritual energy that is found in the revealed Word of God. That means that the conversation is no longer on that level because we don’t endure the doctrine that would keep our conversation on that level.
So our conversation is dropping and, as it is dropping, we are becoming dry of the Word of God. Then the tongue, “a world of iniquity,” is like a flame—is just a careless word or a spoken evil word that contains slander, defamation, false information. It is like the spark that starts the fire—before you can put it out, it is spreading, spreading, spreading, spreading and spreading because the people are as dry as the California desert and as dry as the forest that has received no rain.
The flame of the tongue that is set on fire with rumor, half-truth, slander, defamation and character destruction is now spreading death over the people. As trees burn, I’m reminded of a song that (says), “Only God can make a tree.” Trees are important to the stabilization of the land. Shrubs that the fires are burning are that which are stabilizing the land. They give off oxygen and take in carbon dioxide. As the leaves are gone, there’s no oxygen there. There is no life there.
So death, the last plague, is on the nation and the world. It all starts with our inability to use our ears to receive the electrical current that’s found in the revealed Word of God. When conversation sinks to low levels, where we have no energy in it, it takes energy from us or it redirects the remaining energy in us, into a negative force of gossip and slander, which is the ruin of any society and the destruction of civilized behavior.
At this point, Minister Farrakhan picked up a King James Bible and began reading from the third chapter of the Book of James. It reads:
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things, we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.
“Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
“Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
“Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
“This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.”
Here are parts of what Minister Farrakhan read, from a few other translations:
From The New International Version we read verses 13-16: “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
From The Amplified Bible: “Who is there among you who is wise and intelligent? Then let him by his noble living show forth his [good] works with the [unobtrusive] humility [which is the proper attribute] of true wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry, selfish ambition) in your hearts, do not pride yourselves on it and thus be in defiance of and false to the Truth. This [superficial] wisdom is not such as comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual (animal), even devilish (demoniacal). For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.”
From The New Living Translation: “If you are wise and understand God’s ways, live a life of steady goodness so that only good deeds will pour forth. And if you don’t brag about the good you do, then you will be truly wise! But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your hearts, don’t brag about being wise. That is the worst kind of lie. For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and motivated by the Devil. For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and every kind of evil.”
Thank you, Minister Farrakhan!
More next issue, Allah willing.