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I apologize that I will have to delay the continuation of last week’s article until next week–Allah willing. Here is an excerpt from “Closing The Gap,” a book that was freely distributed as a gift from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Brother Minister Jabril Muhammad: The next question is based on a few verses from both the Bible and Holy Qur’an. It all deals with the same subject which you just touched on.

The Holy Qur’an says: “Repel evil with what is best.” Then it teaches that you can return the like of that with which you’ve been treated, but it would be better if you were patient.

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2 Peter 3:9 says: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise”–some say the word ‘slack’ also means dull of mind–“but is long suffering to us and not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”

Psalms 32:1 reads: “Blesseth is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”

Proverbs 10:12 reads: “Hatred stirs up strife but love covers all sins.” Of course, this is put in various ways in different translations.

And in 1Peter 4:8 is this: “And above all things have fervent charity [love] among yourself for charity [love] shall cover a multitude of sins.”

And then of this last part, I want to give more of the context because of how it involves the name Elijah. It is from the Book of James 5:16-20: “Confess your faults one to another and pray for one another that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are. And he prayed earnestly that it might not rain. And it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again and the heaven gave rain and the earth brought forth her fruit.

“Brethren, if any of you do error from the truth and one converts him, let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death and shall hide a multitude of sins.”

Of course, these passages impact many, many aspects of our duties including us going out ‘fishing’ (bringing people to the mosque) and helping us gain strength, as well as the selling of The Final Call.

These passages revolve around the same point you made earlier, and with what you just said as well as what you said the other night, about the process and the price of redemption.

Please comment.

Minister Farrakhan: The person who is given the task of redemption is a person who is willing to pay the price of redemption. What is the price of redemption? The price is that your love must approach the love of Allah (God), that you may be long suffering. Because, without long suffering, you interrupt the process by which people are redeemed.

Consider the quality of being slow to anger. You could return like for like. If you are a redeemer, or if you are following a redeemer, returning like for like would not be sin, but it would injure the process by which the sinner would eventually come to redemption.

The sinner is, by nature, of God–but the nature of God in the sinner is thoroughly impacted with evil, so we have to get past the layers of evil to contact the nature of God in the human being to affect redemption.

Master Fard Muhammad, in His Coming, made a demonstration for his servant for three years and four months of long suffering; of taking abuse to show him the price of redemption.

Then, on leaving, He tells His servant, “Take plenty.” He wanted him to be long suffering, so that all may come to life.

He did not want one to perish. We may think that that one is so ugly, so terrible, we would want that one to die, because in our judgement, he has earned death. Yet, He said He would pull some out of the fire that have done no good at all.

My Lord!

In the 13th Chapter of I Corinthians are these words: “Though I speak with the tongue of angels … though I have the gift of prophecy … though I give my body to be burned … if I have not charity or love, I am nothing.”

In this dispensation, it is love that makes you something in the eyes of Allah (God), because it is only love of Allah (God) and love of the truth and love of the purpose for His Coming and love of the people for whom He came that would cause you to have value in His sight.

Love is not proud. Love is long suffering. Love endures all. It hopeth all. This has to be the spirit, the attitude of a person that has been called on by Allah (God) to act as a redeemer.

The price he must pay is to be all but completely selfless. Because, wherever the self is, the ego is, and the desire to retaliate is, and the nature of vindictiveness is, and the unwillingness to suffer is.

Allah (God) has to make you selfless, and only when you are selfless, are you un-offended by the wickedness of those whom you have come to save.

I do not say that you are un-affected in that it doesn’t hurt you, but you cannot respond as a natural man/woman; you must respond according to the nature of love and the nature of yourself as a redeemer.

For Allah (God) so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. He gave. He sacrificed him, and the son was willing to be sacrificed. I have no life of my own. My life is for the redemption of a people, and that is pretty hard. However, that is the necessary requirement to affect resurrection, redemption, restoration and reconciliation of the soul that is lost.

In concluding, when a person is like that, he has no sin. He has shortcomings, for sure, and he may commit sin, but by his long suffering and continuing to pull on the good nature of Allah (God) in the people to make them better and better and better, Allah (God) just wipes away sin that he has and throws it in the sea of forgetfulness and covers his sin, because of the work that he does of redemption. This is why Jesus is looked at as absolutely perfect and sinless.

Brother Jabril: Here we have President [Bill] Clinton. We were talking the other day about the hearings involving President Clinton. Among the points you brought up, one had to do with the general self-righteousness of the Republicans and their staffs, and how they are tearing up the country and are blinded by the bent of their minds–bent on going in that direction–and how this was ill affecting the country and, at the same time, they were ignoring the will of the majority.

Your observances were different than those of the reporters and the commentators. It has a direct bearing on us–the Nation of Islam. It included the source of the spirit of these people and their alienation of the Mind of Allah (God). I don’t remember all the details of what you said at this moment.

Minister Farrakhan: I don’t either, Brother. (Both laugh.)

More, next issue, Allah willing.