by Master Elijah Muhammad


        The Prodigal Son, he had went off and astray in a far off country, following the enemies
of himself and his people. The poor man had no friends among them, and the Bible said that
no one gave unto him. In time we knew he would be seeking a friend; therefore, God went
out and met him and escorted him back home to his family of kin and people. He knew that
this man was without the knowledge of self and the knowledge of the people, who he had
been serving and the knowledge of his people back home. He had lost knowledge of all. Yet,
God fore-knew this and came out and met His son. At the time His son had decided, in his
heart, he would go home, He went out and met him. This is a beautiful parable.

          At last there arose a famine in the land to make that Prodigal son come to himself. A
famine arose there. The famine became so forceful that it took the bread and all the money
he had away from the Prodigal son. He became in want. We like to talk on it to show you
where you are. He became in want and the want grew upon him so hard that he began to
think over his own home. He started looking around seeing horses getting fat off the corn,
while he was getting lean from eating nothing. He began to think over his Father, wondering
could he return to him after being such a devil of a boy.

        He said, “In my Father’s house…” think over those words, “… he has bread to spare;
whereas, this enemy of mine doesn’t have bread for himself nor me. I will arise.” He began
to fix up his story of what he would tell his Father. He was going to say unto him, “I’m not
worthy.” He began to think over the things he went through: taking an enemy for my friend
and now he himself had nothing. “I don’t have no job. I can’t get a decent job. He want to
give me a job feeding hogs. I’m not supposed to be around hogs – His family’s Muslim – and the
idea that I got to go around a forbidden animal that I should not touch. I’ve got to get out of
here. Father, I don’t want you to recognize me as a son of yours. You are too great for that.
I will insult your whole house, for I have lived among strangers.” Where have you been? “I’ve
been astray.” What did you find there? “Famine. They don’t have nothing to eat Father, but

you have bread to spare, and I’m here asking as the stranger for a job. I didn’t ask to be a
guest of his. I just asked him to let me have a job and he soon had no jobs for me.”

        America soon will not be able to give you a job. You are of the non-American. You are
not the white man’s kin, nor are you his friend. Regardless to how you claim that you are his
friend and will do good by him, you can’t do it by nature. You both are different people all
together. He can’t be your friend, nor can you be his friend. By nature you are different.

           As the Holy Qur’an says in chapter 30, verse 30, that you are created by the nature, the
nature that calls you to righteousness. The devil is created by the nature which calls him to
oppose you and he’s doing it. You want to have your parties and your conferences seeking a
way of telling the white man that he’s mistreating you. He knows that. He wasn’t made to
treat you right and he will tell you that. He listens to me every minute of the hour. He has
his mechanical instruments set on me all the time. He hears every word I’m saying now, but
he cannot condemn the words that I’m saying through this mic [microphone], that they are
other than the truth. You will never see him out trying to face me to condemn what I say,
never. You can go say, “Come on down here Elijah’s talking about you.” He’ll say, “I don’t
want to see Elijah.” No, he doesn’t want to come down here tangling with me in the truth.

          It’s just like the Bible teaches you, “They will shut their mouths at him.” I am the “him”
the book is talking about. They will hear me raging at them sometimes; they’ll ask some of
my followers who stay around near his house, “Was he mad with us?” If I am angry with you,
what do you want to do about it?

           Now remember, that I’m the only man in America of your kind who can talk like this.
Don’t you get out there and try to do what I’m doing. You can talk like me if you’re going to
go according to and stick to what I teach you. Don’t go out like Peter. Just because he saw
Jesus walking on the water, he thought he could do it himself. He had gotten so powerful
now, that he thought he could jump out there, and on the strength of his own self, walk the
water. The foolish man started sinking, then he became frightened to death, calling on Jesus
to help him. The water represents people. Peter was scared of the judge who was trying to
judge Jesus in the courts. Peter refused to bear witness that he was one of his disciples,
because he was afraid of the consequences of the judge. Jesus told his enemy, when he was
threatened with death that, “He could not judge him, so if I’m wrong let me go before my own
judge and not you. You are not the one to judge me.” So here I stand. I am he!


[Excerpt from Theology of Time lecture series]