This continues the opening of a talk the Honorable Minister Farrakhan did in Phoenix, Arizona.
“Now, as you notice Christianity does not take it’s beginning from the birth of Jesus. Nor from the ministry of Jesus but Christianity takes it beginning from the most painful and critical aspect of his life. It begins on the basis of his passion that under the judicial decree of crucifixion. Isn’t that interesting?
“You would think that a religion would base its beginning or start its calendar from the birth of a great man or from the beginning of its ministry. But Christianity takes its beginning in the saddest and sorrowful, painful and trying time of the so-called Christian era when Jesus was being crucified and his friends were leaving him.
“Disturbed by this powerful human being in a state where it appeared as though he had no power to save himself and this is the beginning of Christianity. Islam is somewhat similar.
“Islam does not start its calendar from the birth of Prophet Muhammad, Peace Be Upon Him. Nor does Islam begin its calendar from the first revelation of God to Muhammad. But Islam begins its history, its calendar with a death plot against the life of the prophet from which he escapes and fled from his enemies.
“So, when you hear the Muslim calendar given–this is the year 1406 I believe–1406 AH; after the hijira. Or after the flight of Muhammad on the heels of a death plot. So here is a critical time in Islamic history, and a critical time in Christian history where these religions take their calendar from. Now what should we learn from that? There’s a lesson there.
“That in our darkest hour. An hour when you think you should give up because the forces arrayed against you are so mighty, so powerful and they look as though they have totally overwhelmed you. It is in that hour that your greatest opportunity for triumph is in you and it is in that hour that most people give up the struggle and they never come to victory over the forces that are now apparently overwhelming them.
“So, this is to be taken personally by you and me. That the life of these two great religious movements in the world begins from an apparent tragedy. And you know what.
“Your and my great beginning as a people has started from the tragedy of slavery. Where we think that our slavery, and our suffering, and our total destruction as a people is a cursing underneath what appears to be a cursing is a great blessing for a new history begins on the basis of a tragedy.
“Now, when we speak of the resurrection of Jesus. I don’t want to waste a lot of time but I think I should say very quickly that as Muslims we don’t see Easter as such as anything more than a former pagan holiday or ritual that has been superimposed on the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter as a word is not known among the Jews and among the scripture.
“We hear of Passover, but we know nothing of Easter. Easter is a word that is derived from the goddess of love and fertility Istarte and the early pagan Romans during the time of the vernal equinox. The time when we find spring coming and a change in the relationship of the earth to the sun, where the life in the earth that was once dormant begins to burst forth and you have spring.
“Then they had the rights of spring so their woman would put on gaily colored dresses with flowers in their hair saying ‘that as the earth has sprung alive we too are alive sexually and we are ready–if you will–for the purpose of mating.’ And then during that time wild orgies and whatnot would take place among the Babylonians and among the pagan Romans.
“So, when they became Christians all they did was adapt a pagan holiday to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Today you are fashion models at Easter time. You have to buy a new dress and a new suit that has nothing to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ, unless you really understand what this is all about. You don’t profit from Easter at all.
“The merchants profit because they sell you new hats, new gloves, new shoes, new suit, new everything but you are the same old Negro under all that new stuff that you just bought, more in debt than you were before Easter so you need to rise up again from the depth of debt and oppression of debt. This is terrible.
“Every year Easter is different. It comes at a different time because it’s not based on a particular date. It’s based on a particular relationship of the planet. Are we clear here? So, Jesus was supposed to have been murdered on a Good Friday, in the evening of Good Friday.
“He was raised from the dead Sunday morning, which of course, doesn’t give you three days. From Friday evening to Saturday evening to Sunday morning is not even 48 hours.
“Something is off somewhere. And when you really plumb the depth of it you find that this Easter egg and the bunny rabbit theory. I saw someone as I was driving yesterday out in a big bunny rabbit suit with colorful Easter eggs.
“You know bunnies don’t lay eggs but it’s telling you of a time because the rabbit is one of the fastest producing animals. Is that right? So, it represents fertility. The egg represents new life. See, so it all is going back to old pagan ritual, you see. But yet in it there is meaning if you know how to extract it and put it together properly so you don’t get caught up in the old pagan worship as you are trying to understand the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ and his great victory over death.
“Now, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad didn’t tell us or teach us that we could look forward to this kind of resurrection that the mommy and the daddy and the uncle and the grandma and the grandpa that we buried–five, ten, fifteen, twenty, sixty, eighty, a hundred years ago–that we would see them again on the resurrection day.
“I think that we need to wake up. When this body of ours is returned to the earth and the earth takes this body back there is nothing left for you to rise from. And if all of the billions of human beings that have died on this earth heard a trumpet and came forth, the whole earth would come forth and then maybe I would be a little angry because the earth that is part of you may have been part of somebody else that lived 200 years before you.
“Now you all arguing over what part of the earth that you should rise up in. There’s not enough earth to accommodate every human being rising up out of an earth that 57,255,000 square miles of earth. You just have to be more intelligent than this in the way of looking at religion.”
More next issue, Allah willing.