Memorandum to the Black Nation

[Editor’s note: The following article, “Memorandum to the Black Nation” by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, originally appeared in The Final Call newspaper, Volume 2, Number 5, May 1982.]


[Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the Original Rules of Instruction to the Laborers of Islam and the Title of Muslim, given by our Saviour Before his Departure, with a Foot Note of a few words by Messenger Elijah Muhammad, to Lay Pressure Upon our Minds of the many Errors that were made in the Past and Present that we may hopefully see the Light and Walk Therein.]



The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

“Each student must qualify his or herself for Positions awaiting them. Assignment of offices will be made Immediately, after Examination and on Completion of his or her Labor or Course. Consideration for the Laborers of Islam will be taken under analysis, in the Near future; By our Saviour Allah.


“(Note) This Paragraph Puts a stop to all Quarreling and Arguments among the Laborers over their offices in Islam until he or she has been qualified, and their qualifications Examined to see if they (we) are fit to be used in the Respective Position. In the Past, History shows that the First Examination of Labors is made by the Apostle whom the Laborers are to work with.”


“Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” Matthew 6:27


“…That he who seeks to exalt himself shall be abased and he who humbles himself shall be exalted…Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall  …And humility before honor.” Proverbs 16:18

We in the Nation of Islam, under the Leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah and the Exalted Christ, have of our own free will, put aside all titles to accept the responsibility of intensive study to qualify ourselves for such titles and positions that await us on completion of our course of study and labor.

In this world, men and women study many, many years to qualify themselves to wear a title: Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, Priest, Father, Reverend, etc. Oftimes titles are used to motivate men to strive for these positions of influence and power, but the very means by which men ascend to titles oftimes is the destruction of the organization, which the titles were meant to serve.

The striving of men and women for positions of influence and power over others is an immature response to the need for organization; for this inordinate striving creates the very disease that ultimately destroys organizations: envy, jealousy, contentiousness, greed…All of which come from false pride.

Each organ in our body has a title, a name, which denotes a function. However, at the root of the function is character, integrity, and honesty, the basis of which is TRUTH. The quality of one’s knowledge alone does not sustain and maintain function; it is the quality of one’s knowledge combined with the quality of one’s character that sustains function and gives life to organization.

Each organ in our bodies has a function, and each organ must be true to that function in order for the character of that organ to be manifest and to give life or sustain the life of the body. To strive for titles on the basis of knowledge alone, not sustaining that function with character, nor being true to the title in every respect of that word, renders us dysfunctional.

This world’s order is closing down because men and women have titles and functions, but these persons of title and function are devoid of character. Men are called “Your Eminence,” “Your Grace,” “Your Lordship,” “The Right Reverend,” “The Most Honorable,” etc. However, if these men and women are not true to the principles of truth then their function is a mockery of the truth.

Allah (God) has set His Hand against this world, and its leaders for that very reason. This is why the Scriptures foretell the fall of kings and rulers, the destruction of governments and nations because there is no integrity in their character and their function has proved to be alien to the nature of God and the nature in which He created things. So, the wickedness of the men and women of title is bringing death to their nations, death to their organizations, and death to the present world order. Allah (God) is speeding up their disease; He is increasing it at such rapid rate that the persons and their functions are openly clashing with each other. The confusion of the world leaders and teachers is evident. This is bringing about the death of this whole world order.

The Qur’an teaches us, “Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of what they did, that perhaps they may return.” The land physically is corrupt. The sea physically is corrupt. But there is a deeper significance. The “land” means that the political and educational systems of the world are corrupt and they get their view of the world from the spiritual and religious teachers. So the “Sea” or the spiritual leadership of the world is corrupt and this corruption now is causing the religious leaders and the political leaders to do that which is making them taste the bitter fruit of their own actions.

The Qur’an teaches us that the people take their monks and their doctors of law for lords or gods beside Allah. Arrogance has led men and women to misunderstand and misuse their title and function, bringing them into opposition to God.

Arrogance and false pride clouds their thoughts so they misunderstand and then misuse or misapply their function, thereby bringing about the death of the organism.

Privilege and title give one status, and if we are spiritually immature, we believe then that this status, this privilege, denotes that we are better than those whom we are commissioned to serve. And in this feeling of being better than others, Satan enters in, for this is the spirit of Iblis or Satan in the Qur’an and Bible. He could not submit because he felt better than those whom he was charged with the responsibility of serving.

It is this form of corruption, this feeling that one is better that leads to excesses. So Paul taught in his writings that we don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places.

The aim of Allah (God) is to bring in a new world order. The entrance of Jesus into the world represents the germ of that new world order. He warned his disciples who were prepared by Roman authority, fashioned by Roman influence, and education, that he did not want them to exercise authority as the Romans did. Then Jesus gave His disciples the key to how new world authority should be handled. He said, “the one who is chief among you, or the one who is greatest among you, let him be your servant, your minister.” He used Himself as an example in these words, “The Son of Man came not into the world to be ministered (served) unto, but to minister (serve).” It is the understanding of the true nature, quality, and character of being a servant of the people in the way of God that those in authority must learn and practice, lest we fall under the death of the old world order and instead of bringing lifeto our people we increase them in the death of the world.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us, and me specifically, “Brother, remember, you cannot step through the earth, nor can you equal yourself up to the mountain. You must learn to accept your place in the reality of things.” What a marvelous way to teach a student who may have tendencies toward the proudness of the world. He told me from the Qur’an, “Remember, Brother, you can tell the righteous for they walk the earth in humbleness.” Jesus admonished His disciples to take His yoke upon them. But before they could take upon their shoulder His mission of redeeming and saving a people who were lost in a world that is lost, He admonished them to learn of Him for He was meek and lowly of heart. And they would find rest unto their souls. This means that the nature (soul) of you, will not be corrupted by wild imagination. It means that the essence (soul) of you will not be spoiled by delusions of grandeur. It means that if we study the Christ, who was lowly of heart, never driven to wild imaginations of Himself; a man who knew his place in the universe and in the scheme of things and never tried to get out of the place that Allah (God) gave to Him to try to take the place of his Sender, then we who followed His example would find rest and peace within from the disease of envy, jealousy, greed, contention and false pride. Jesus wanted His foolish disciples to know that the positions of being at His right or His left hand could only be given by God. They were still caught up in titles and position.

Likewise, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had that problem with us. He told us, “I have called you Minister, not that you are that, but I have set you aside that I may qualify you to become that.” And oftimes before many of us were qualified, we began to try to teach Him, and as a result, instead of being humble to our teacher and learning our lessons and mastering our assignment, pride crept in, and then destruction came after pride. And so, the nation has fallen not because the nation was right. The nation fell because of pride, because of envy, because of jealousy, because of striving for power and influence and wealth and domination of one another.

What happened to the spirit of humility? What happened to the service of our poor lost and found brothers and sisters? What happened to the quality of that service? When the Nation became untrue to the character of its function, then death set in and God gave the people leadership after their own corrupt desires, which led them further in the path of destruction that the nation may be taught a Divine Lesson. That lesson is that we must submit to God, yield ourselves to His instruction and let Him guide us to the right path, the path of Divine favor.

Therefore, I have asked that we set aside title, not because titles are unnecessary, but they become counterproductive if the underpinning, the support for title, is not yet in place. We must have the proper attitude, the proper mental view of the mission of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. We must understand Allah’s (God’s) aim and purpose for bringing Elijah Muhammad into the world.

If we indeed want to carry on His work, then we cannot put titles on ourself or “add cubits to our height.” We should not exalt ourself so that we who think we know, may mislead others by making ourselves lords and guardians beside Allah for the people. We must first study and qualify ourselves for the position that we may desire to hold. However, we should not even desire these positions. We should desire the fruition of the will of God. And out of and working for the fruition of His will, we grow into a title that is consistent with our own character and the nature of us that makes us unique from our brother and sister. And it is Allah (God) Who gave us our uniqueness so it is only Allah (God) Who can give us our proper function and title in this Divine work.

It is written in the Holy Qur’an, “You were on the brink of a pit of fire, and Allah saved you from it. And united your hearts, and you became brethren while before you were enemies.” This is Allah’s grace upon you…

The Black people of America are now on the brink of a pit of fire as this world closes down, and it is our hearts that are separated. It is we who have become enemies of one another due to envy, jealousy, contention, greed, lust for power, prestige, influence, wealth, position and all of the things that make us a non-spiritual, carnal minded people. Allah (God) wants to unite our hearts and make us brethren.

The Bible bears witness to the Qur’an in these words, “We can tell that we have passed from death into life because we love the brotherhood.” If we love title, if we love influence, if we love power, and status, more than we love the equality of brotherhood, then we are yet dead and are a part of the dying world that is on the “brink of a pit of fire.” However, if we can give up these things the misunderstanding of that which makes one feel greater than his brother and accept to love and work for brotherhood above all, then, we have indeed passed from death into life.

So beloved, Black brothers and sisters, we admonish you to strive no more for title, power, influence, position, of advantage, more than our brother, then let us serve our brother with love and humility and promote the brotherhood of the Blackman here, and throughout the World.

Thank you for reading these few words.

I Am Your Brother and Servant,


The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

Servant to the Lost-FoundNation of Islam in the West

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