By Renaldo Dakim Pledger
Some 140 inmates came out to hear the teachings of the Nation of Islam, which were well-received at the institution.
The Federal Corrections Institute (F.C.I.) Pollock enjoyed a spiritually enlightening visit from the Nation of Islam’s National Prison Reform Student Minister Abdullah Muhammad and local Monroe County, La., Student Minister Verbon Muhammad.
In his introduction, Brother Abdullah told the audience of approximately 140 or more inmates his message was a gift from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He shared proof that Allah (God) in Person, the Great Mahdi Master Fard Muhammad and his Great Apostle, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, anointed Minister Farrakhan Muhammad as their voice to the world and the agent of their transformative power.
Brother Abdullah did not disappoint: Starting his presentation, he stressed applause was not his aim, but an honest man-to-man or brother-to-brother chat was desired. Adorning his talk with stories of personal trials and development, the student minister brought cheers, resounding shouts and applause from listeners, many serving sentences of 20 years, 30 years or life behind bars. For some it was the first time at a religious service in the institutional chapel or their first time hearing the life-giving teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as taught by Minister Farrakhan.
The humor and ease with which Brother Abdullah Muhammad connected to the audience melted the usual tension in the environment. Present were large numbers of various so-called gangs or street organizations, who sat next to one another. Five Percenters sat next to Sunni Muslims and members of the Moorish Science Temple of America, and Rastafarians with faces that appeared brightened by a newfound sense of hope as Brother Abdullah talked about the Muslim Program of the Nation of Islam.
Reciting Point Number 5 of “What the Muslims Want” brought a resounding roar of approval and applause. Student Minister Abdullah stressed to the audience and supervisory Chaplain Shields that Minister Farrakhan is not interested in taking Negroes to Africa, but was fighting and willing to take and build a new reality with those reformed from old habits that led to prison or violation of God’s laws.
When families are abandoned, when responsibility for children is ignored or others are blamed for crimes committed, there must be atonement, which includes someone pointing out the wrong, then repentance, and making amends, Brother Abdullah said. Many cheered since they had been wronged, but Brother Abdullah talked about societal ills that shaped inmates, making them unable to love themselves and robbing them of the knowledge of self and self-respect.
Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and Whites sat in awe as he spoke of their origins in the world. Using the Holy Qur’an, Brother Abdullah directed attention to the 4th chapter, which reads: “O people keep your duty to your Lord, Who created you from a single being and created its mates of the same (kind), and spread from these two many men and women. And keep your duty to Allah, by Whom you demand one another (your rights) and (to) the ties of relationship. Surely Allah is ever a Watcher over you.”
Reciting from the Supreme Wisdom and Student Enrollment, he tied that wisdom to Chapter 15, verses 26-29 of the Holy Qur’an which says: “And surely We created man of sounding clay, of black mud fashioned into shape. And the jinn, We created before of intensely hot fire. And when thy Lord said to the angels: I am going to create a mortal of sounding clay, of black mud fashioned into shape. So when I have made him complete and breathed into him of My spirit, fall down making obeisance to him.”
To the Black man he explained their color wasn’t a badge of shame, but a symbol of their divine origin as direct descendants of God. In God’s sight, race or color are meaningless if you live in sin and disobedience to God’s laws and commandments, he continued.
Brother Abdullah explained the science of dominant and recessive genes, the development of the White race and how different races came into existence and why. He pointed to Quranic verses which said, “… Surely the noblest of you with Allah is the most dutiful.” It is not about color or race with Allah, nor the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, but about obedience and to God the noblest are not tied to the blackest or the whitest skin color, he said.
Different tribes and families are a means to unlock Divine Gifts in each person and it would not be necessary to discuss race or color were it not for the tainted idea of White supremacy, Brother Abdullah said. Since the lie of White supremacy exists, it is necessary to have honest and open discussions on the truth of man and mankind’s origin, he said.
Directing attention to the Flag of the Nation of Islam and using the Holy Qur’an, Brother Abdullah showed through history, science and theology that the Original Blackman and woman are the direct descendants of the originator of the heavens and the earth. He taught how faith and belief alone are not enough to fight Satan and could leave one to be misled, tricked and/or fooled into worshipping a false God. Our very nature makes us to know that a God exists, he said. We naturally have faith and belief, as a hungry crying child expects food, he said. Before we knew our names, we had faith and belief that something or someone would tend to our needs if we cried out long and hard enough, he said. To an infant the one who changes diapers and feeds it is its god, he said. So mother is God, father is god but when we mature, we realize that they are not the true God, Brother Abdullah said. When we can reason and search out truth, we can honestly discern the idea of the true person of God, he added.
Explaining the return of Jesus and the appearance of the Mahdi is at hand, Brother Abdullah said the evidence of Master Fard Muhammad’s power is seen in the work of Minister Farrakhan guided by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Using the Bible, he illustrated how easy it is to misunderstand the reality of God and how this misunderstanding causes confusion among people trying to follow God. Brother Abdullah recited from the Bible’s Book of Acts and Paul’s travel in the city of Areopagus which had erected an alter with an inscription saying, “To the unknown God.” Paul told the people, “Therefore, the one whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you.”
If you are a student of history and scripture, you will have to bear witness that a power backs Farrakhan, he said. Of all the religious programs and teachers of the past, of all the social, political or cultural organizations of the past, the civil rights organizations, when the powers of this world destroyed or attacked them, none has been able to be restored to its former glory except the Nation of Islam, he observed. Think over this, he said.
Ask yourself why and by what power does Farrakhan do what he does? asked Brother Abdullah. It is by the backing of the power of his God, Master Fard Muhammad, the Great Mahdi and his Apostle, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he said.
Bearing witness to the presence of Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and the Minister as a mercy to the human family, Brother Abdullah closed to a resounding roar of “Allah-u-Akbar!” (God is the Greatest!) as many rushed to shake his hand, thank him and ask when he would return.
Submitted by Brother Renaldo Dakim Pledger, F.C.I. Pollock Study Group