[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from Volume 32, No. 39 and The Final Call will continue to reprint articles written by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]
“Say: My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are surely for Allah, the Lord of the worlds–No associate has He. And this am I commanded, and I am the first of those who submit.” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 6, verses 163-164
We were born into the world of Satan, a world of iniquity that has veiled our perception of reality on planet earth. Perhaps this is why we cry when we are babies because the path of our life’s existence in this world is so painful as we strive to return to our Lord. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad has taught us that this planet is the home planet of the Supreme Being who is the Ruler over us all. We are constantly experimenting on everything in the Divine Creation searching for perfection.
Other civilizations that exist on other planets have reached the extent of their evolutions and are satisfied with the worlds they have created. It is undoubtedly a challenge to live on planet earth, the third in orbit around the sun. We are always experimenting on everything in creation, and somewhat like children, we love pulling things apart and separating them in order to study every minute particle of its composition.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden whose fruit appeared to be good for food represents the workings of the atom itself. The world of physical reality is the outward manifestation of the spiritual world. This has nothing to do with religion. Religion is an organized system of belief that is not necessarily based upon science. True religious consciousness is not separate from science but go hand in hand to prove all things and to hold fast to that which is good.
The term “Messiah” is greatly misunderstood if we subject it to only an individual, separate from one’s own personal identity. The Master who revealed himself to us in America in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad is one who has been anointed or wiped over with oil and who travels much. It took him 42 years to prepare for his Mission to find his Lost and Found people and to knock on our doors of awakening. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says to the churches.” (Revelations 3:20-22)
It is in this spirit as expressed in the book of Revelation that I proceed to tell my story as I retrace my footsteps back to my early childhood to reflect the Presence of the God within. As I reflect on my transportation growing up in the city of Detroit I was, for the most part, on buses, streetcars, and bicycles when not walking by foot. I especially enjoyed bicycling across the city blocks and thoroughfares covering great distances through the city that would take me to parts of town leading to the historic Belle Island. I remember seeing the hovering structure of an oversized, old-fashioned, iron stove at the park entrance.
Belle Isle is surrounded by beautiful landscaped woods and intersecting bridges crossing over the Detroit River meeting Canada on the other side. I always felt that I was a citizen of both the U.S.A. and Canada and lived in both worlds. I often traveled to my dance classes at the LaClaire Knox Dance Studio and Performing Arts School on bus part of the way and then took the streetcar that used to run down Woodward Avenue jostling past familiar sites such as the famous Vernon Ginger Ale Company which has since been relocated to another state.
Woodward Avenue stretches down on one side of town to the landmark historic district of Palmer Woods where I spent a great deal of my time walking through the nature trails in the wooded areas where oft times one could see the baby does (reindeer) peeping through the branches of trees in our path. We would often run past rabbits and squirrels bustling through the forest leaves.
Near the historic district of Palmer Woods were beautiful stately mansions with well-manicured lawns built for some of the wealthy citizens of Detroit, first developed in the latter part of the 19th century. I remember accompanying my family for drives in our family Oldsmobile through this area and to other wealthy and prominent neighborhoods skirting the shores of the Detroit River in Gross Point and St. Clair River.
When I came into the knowledge of Islam, I was told by members of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s family living in Detroit on both the Muhammad and Bogan side of the family that our Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad, had met with some of these prominent White citizens in the course of his visits to Detroit, Michigan. One, in particular, was described as an English professor who helped him in reviewing his use of the English language as written in our Nation’s Book of Lessons.
This information was dictated by his secretary, Burnstene Muhammad. I wondered if the Saviour’s path had ever taken him to meet with the famous physicist and scientist, Albert Einstein, who had visited with Henry Ford for a short period of time in Detroit, Michigan, during the 30s. I also wondered if the Saviour had ever met with Henry Ford, founder of the Automobile Industry that put America on wheels beginning with the Model-T Ford.
Henry Ford left an estate in the Gross Point area where he lived with his family, which can now be visited as an historic landmark. I remember riding my bicycle to other nearby places in my neighborhood where I lived before leaving to live in Chicago to work for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his employ as a secretary in 1959.
I attended the Temple on John C. Lodge, which has since been torn down, making way for the construction of the John C. Lodge freeway that runs through the city of Detroit. Such enriching memories abound in my past life experiences touching upon my visits to the Temple No. 1 in those days during my senior year in high school.
I was so deeply impressed by the teachings of the Supreme Wisdom literature published in small booklets in 1957 and 1958, and enjoyed listening to Minister Wilford’s school-like lectures presented at the John C. Lodge Temple. I enthusiastically enjoyed being able to ask questions at the end of his lectures.
I invited many of my friends and schoolmates by the twos and threes and more to come to the Temple and listen to the profound and enriching lectures. I would bring potential converts every week hoping that they would be as convinced as I was with the Truth of the Teachings. Word went out that I was a great fisherman of the dead. This word was communicated to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and he was so greatly impressed with this report that he wanted to meet me during one of his visits to Detroit. Such a meeting took place later on in the home of the late, Sister Gertrude Bogan, a great companion of mine, who was married to Brother George Bogan, who had married into the Muhammad family. It was here where I first met Sister Tommey Bogan, a sister of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who was as sweet and gentle as anyone could be.
She, along with her sister, Aunt Emma, whom I met later, were remarkably kind and gentle spirited. They have now passed away in peace with loving spirits, having lived to their late 90s.
“And He it is Who has made you successors in the land and exalted some of you in rank above others, that He may try you by what He has given you. Surely thy Lord is Quick in requiting (evil), and He is surely the Forgiving, the Merciful.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 6, verses 165
To be continued.