From the Introduction of Closing The Gap:
“Now, it is 2006, and all of those reading this book, Closing The Gap, in one way or another are becoming familiar with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan or have been affected by the impact he has had on the United States of America and the world since he arose to rebuild the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad twenty-nine years ago. Some may not fully realize it but that statement, just made, is the same as stating that all of us reading this have been affected by the relationship that began between Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in September of 1931, and the relationship that began between the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in February of 1955.
“In the normal sense of the word we do not, as a mass of people, have access to all of the forms of communication with Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that we might enjoy today with many of our family and friends, for example. Nor have we had regular access to a widely disseminated, non-stop flow of communication about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad or his Teacher, directly from themselves, identical to what we might receive from celebrities and public figures through this world’s media–whether broadcast, television, or Internet.
“The same cannot be said about the other third member of this significant relationship, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
“Through speaking events, written letters, dinner table talks, webcasts, telephone conversations, meetings, appearances, and other engagements and settings, many of us have an opportunity to learn much directly through the words and actions of Minister Farrakhan as part of his active and open physical presence among us.
“And then there are interviews–those unique opportunities where we get to see, hear or read Minister Farrakhan respond to the thoughts and feelings of others expressed to him in the form of direct questions.
“What makes the interview such a powerful vehicle for learning and communication is that in a direct manner, an individual is placed in a position of being presented with concepts, ideas, and arguments of varying intelligence and emotional content and given an opportunity to express what they think and how they feel about what has been placed before them. Another critical aspect of the interview process is that an individual has the opportunity to speak about their view of themselves in relation to persons, ideas, institutions and events.
“But what kind of interview yields the most information and learning and produces the greatest impact on others? It is that interview where the interview subject is the most candid in answering the most informed, important, and consequential questions, while speaking deeply into that which is of the greatest consequence, motivated by love, the deepest respect for the Truth, and concern for what is most appropriate for those who are listening.
“This book, Closing The Gap, represents the very best of interviews. For the first time, in one handy reference, we have Minister Farrakhan’s clearly expressed views about himself; the roots of what he teaches; his relationship with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; his growth in the Nation of Islam–as both a Believer and Laborer; and his thinking across an exceptionally wide range and variety of disciplines, individuals, institutions and events.
“As these interviews clearly show, Minister Louis Farrakhan is as much a servant as he is a leader–interested first and foremost with the deepest education of all of us into the best of ourselves and our proper connection to one another and the Ultimate Reality. In other words, he is facilitating proper and right relationships between all of the human family, the universe, and its Creator. His answers to the questions placed before him in Closing The Gap are informative, sobering, stimulating, and inspiring, and also cast light on the international implications of his function as a reconciler, by humanity.
“It is on this divine function of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan where I will place a concluding focus and emphasis.
“Consider that the chain of events connected to the beginning of a relationship on September 22, 1931 continues today. As there has been an expansion from Master Fard Muhammad to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, there is now an expansion from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to a body of people, and then beyond, in a very special way.
“Two points related to this subject of a chain of events–all loaded with implications, immediately come to mind. I hope that they stimulate serious questions and the deepest kind of thought in answering them and further introduce Closing The Gap.
“Here is what comes to my mind:
“First, during his historic Theology of Time lecture series of 1972, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad indicated that on occasion he had been asked by the leadership of the nations of Africa to leave or spend less time with his own people–the Black Man and Woman of America–in order to teach on that continent. The African leadership expressed to him that he would have greater success abroad than he was having at home. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated, with great humility and confidence, that he declined such offers. He said clearly that one day, in the future, once he got his own people up to a certain level, it would be they, and not he, who would come and teach abroad. He explained a certain order of things–a chain reaction that over time would represent an expanded relationship between he, his earliest followers, a larger group of followers who would come later, and the rest of humanity.
More next issue, Allah Willing.