From the ‘30s onward, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad continued to be on the lookout for signs from his Teacher (God Himself) of the identity of this special helper.
On his February 1954 Saviour’s Day speech he declared to the relatively small audience:
“Since you and me are witnesses here this afternoon in this world that we live, we have been so greatly misunderstood that I desire that Allah send to me a little helper; for 22 years I have worked hard wherever I was or may be to try to get into your ears and into your hearts the truth that Allah has revealed to me.”
The next year—on February 26th, 1955—the year that marked the fulfillment of the 400 year prophecy that we were to serve our enemies (Genesis 15), the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was divinely given that sign. He recognized that special helper who was sitting in the audience and at once gave him the essence of his assignment.
That special helper, of course, is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He would have to be that special helper to share with his teacher, the hardest job God ever gave to any man! He would have to be the man the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would one day say: “Allah prepared you for me.” I intend to get into his words much deeper, Allah willing.
For the benefit of others, who have not studied, or have not ever read of Minister Farrakhan’s trials, and for others, who intend to write (articles or books) for the millions, truth of Minister Farrakhan, I’m referring to his words in “Closing The Gap” of his trials. (I intend to state my reasons for asking him of his trials.)
On June 8, 2006 Minister Farrakhan slowly got out of his car and acknowledged me with a slight smile. He walked up to my door and entered my home slowly.
I knew the question I intended to ask him would emotionally affect him. But I knew that so many of us need to know how to better handle our trials as our trials are a necessity and an essential factor in our growth into our divinity.
I intended to ask him to go deeper into himself which meant asking a man, whom I love, to go deeper into years of pain while he is in pain. So I began.
I asked Brother Minister: I would appreciate it, for myself, and everybody who reads this book, that you take us sequentially through your trials. What are trials?
Minister Farrakhan answered: Well first, what is a trial? A trial is that which brings forth from the person being tried what is hidden of both good and evil.
Trials make manifest what is within. This is why Allah says that He will try the Believers at least once a year—severely. Trials make manifest. The manifestation of defects leads to the perfection of the human being.
In the world of God and righteousness, trials are as necessary to the perfection of the human being as water is to the growth and development of life; and sunlight and air is to the nurturing, preservation and origination of life.
Having said that, my first trial inside the nation came after I accepted to follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I believe I received my “X” on the 5th of October. Within that same month of October, or early November, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad sent a letter to Mosque No. 7 asking all who were in music or in show business that they had thirty days to get out of show business or leave the Temple.
I was then working at a place called “The Village Barn” in Greenwich Village, New York. I was not there when the letter was read on that Sunday because I had a matinee. I came to the restaurant that evening after my matinee to get a bowl of soup. A brother gave me the content of the letter. I did not wait for an official to tell me. I got up from the table and walked maybe about forty or fifty paces, outside of the restaurant and made up my mind right then that I could live without music but I could not live without the truth. So I decided to give up music. That was my first test, thirty days inside of the nation.
Then sometime in December, I had my last engagement, which was within the thirty days. It was at a country club in the mountains in New York—I can’t remember the name of the mountains—but it was the Nevele Country Club. It is in the borsch circuit which means Jewish people went there for enjoyment; relaxation, et cetera.
That night I decided to get all my music out of my system. So I sang ballads; light classic. I sang blues. I sang calypso; mambo. I played classical violin; jazz violin. I danced. I told jokes. I did everything that I knew I could do.
In the audience was a man who came to my dressing room and he was the manager of Pearl Bailey and Billie Daniels. The world of music knows these two as great super stars in the 40s, 50s and 60s. He wanted me in the “stable” of these two and he offered me five hundred dollars a week to start.
Well I was making—say a hundred and fifty, or sometimes, for a performance, I would get seventy-five to a hundred and fifty dollars. But five hundred dollars a week in 1955 is like five thousand dollars a week in 1995 or 2005.
That was a trial. But I laughed and turned it down immediately and of course, I told you that that night I got that vision of show business and Islam. That was the second trial.
The third trial was I had been in the Mosque and Brother Malcolm invited me into the ministry class. Captain Shah asked me if I would be a lieutenant. I told him, “I knew nothing about how to be a lieutenant.” He said, “Do you know how to obey?” I said, “Yes sir.” He said, “Then you can become a lieutenant.”
Within nine months my economic prospects, by giving up show business in New York, looked pretty bad. My first job was selling storm windows. I made thirty-five dollars a week and commissions but I received no commission. So I was just getting the thirty-five.
Since I wasn’t selling much storm windows and doors then I got released from that job.
The brother who married Anna Lois—he was a cook—he had a job downtown cooking in a restaurant.
Jabril Muhammad: His name was “Brother Bernard 2 or 3X.”
Minister Farrakhan: Yes. He got me a job washing dishes. I didn’t do that so well. They had me mopping floors, taking coffee and donuts, and whatnot, to the various offices in the area. Then they had me peeling potatoes, which I had never done in my life.”
If you study his trials and how he went through them this is a part of how Allah prepared him for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This covers the first 20 years of his trial from the time he entered the Nation of Islam.
More next issue, Allah willing.