My reaction to the death of (Brother) Prince is connected to this time period. I’ll explain that later. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wrote heartfelt words regarding Prince publicly. You can read it in The Final Call, on his Facebook page and on his Twitter page. Minister Farrakhan is a man divinely chosen to speak what he speaks and do what he is doing.
Now, have we really studied the Bible and the Holy Qur’an?
I heard these words from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “An envious person is the worst kind of person because he will kill you.” I was living at that time in Lansing, Michigan. I heard these words, on a tape recorder, in the spring of 1956. I wondered over the depth of these words.
I later heard these words in person, in person from him the Honorable Elijah Muhammad several times.
Now, where envy is there is the absence of generosity, charity, and brotherliness and sisterliness. In fact, it is impossible to feel both envy and kindness towards the same person at the same time. Love, in the fullest and best sense of the term is the opposite of envy. Love and hate can have redeeming features, depending on what is being loved or hated and why. Envy, however, has nothing in it to recommend it under any circumstances at time.
No one wants to be seen as envious. Yet many are. There are many instances in which envy is revealed. For example, a person may not want you to enjoy the same privileges he has. He may be in some higher position than you. He may also have control over some items that would make life easier than you now have it. But this person withholds the items from you that you may have had a right to. Your com-fort is not his objective. He wants you to be uncomfortable. This illustrates the evil nature of envy.
You have just purchased four new tires for your car. Another may have a better or worse car than you. He may not have new tires. That is not the question. The fact is that you have a car and especially, four new tires for your car and with your money.
The envier envies you for those tires. When you are not aware, he cuts holes in your tires. Or, as may just as likely occur, the envier may do nothing about your tires. Yet he, or she, wishes you did not have them. In addition, the envier dislikes you for buying them with your own money. This also is envy and depicts its inner nature.
What is envy? Envy is that which distorts a person’s perception of reality to the extent that the envier sees no merit in whatever is the object of his envy despite its merit. Envy makes a person speak evil of that towards which his envy is directed to help him live with himself. Actually envy does not “help” the envier, he only deludes himself into thinking this, while not seeing that he is envious, nor its evil. Ill will, begrudging others that which is theirs are central factors making up envy.
The above does not cover all that can be written to define envy. Nor was it intended to do so. On the other hand the above is not mere theory. There are many people than you can count who have been robbed, mutilated and murdered because someone else envied them.
Innocent people have been sent to death or to prison because of the envy of others. Many have served as witnesses in trials, for example, who persuaded themselves that, their self-distorted views and information was true. Their accusation of the guiltless was based on their envy-distorted observations.
Judges too have misused their power due to envy. On the other hand it has been established that envy is a major factor in many crimes and occupies a large place in the make-up of the “criminal” personality.
Often the envier is passive, either in not doing what could be done to help the envied (in some situation requiring it), or in the sense of repressing envy that it find no outlet in actions.
It is when the envier acts from his or her envy and harm, or great harm comes to the envied that the foul nature of envy comes into focus. At the start of this chapter some instances of envy were mentioned from the Bible. From those examples it is clear that it is when one compares himself to another in the wrong way that envy is produced in the heart. It is a perception distorting quality. The envied one may or may not ever know that another envies him.
Envy is an act of perception that is totally irrational, unreasonable and malicious. It is unproductive of any value for anyone, except as it serves the ultimate purpose of Allah. It is a tendency in a person’s heart to see with dislike the good of another, whose good or goods do not take away from the envier. It is an unwillingness to allow one’s own good to be overshadowed by another. This unwillingness comes from a wrong evaluation of the relative worth of one’s own good (or goods) in comparison to that of another.
But how many of us really know that we are living in what is called the end of time and who makes it? How many people really agree with the truth of it, and can prove it, in a mathematical way?
What is the end and what is the power that started this world, which is about to end? Minister Farrakhan had some experiences that caused him to speak when he did. How much do we really understand his words? On page 30 of A Torchlight for America the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wrote:
“And street violence is the No. 1 killer of young black adults ages 15-44. Approximately 59,000 American soldiers died in the nine years of fighting in Vietnam. It is said that 35 percent of those deaths, or about 20,000 of the casualties were black. But each year over 10,000 blacks lose their lives to street violence.
“So in the same nine-year period we lost nearly five times as many black lives in the streets of America as in Vietnam. This would suggest it’s safer to grow up in a war zone than it is in the inner cities of America.
“We could easily conclude from these statistics that all of our lives are in peril, and deeper, we could conclude that there is an assault on the black male. The black male is walking more deeply into the valley of the shadow of death than any other member of American society, which means that black women are more frequently becoming widows and without their male counterparts.
“When we consider the number of black men incarcerated, jobless or on drugs, there is no wonder that there already exists a preponderance of females in the population over that of males. If the trend in black male death rates is not reversed, the black male will soon be extinct, and the black female will be left as prey in the hands of men who do not love her, and only wish to continue to use her.”
Minister Farrakhan wrote this book many years ago. Do we know the numbers right now?
Minister Farrakhan was given an assignment before the Honorable Elijah Muhammad departed the United States of America. I know some do not like this statement. But how many really know and can prove their view or position 100 percent?
Holy Qur’an 16:125 Call to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the best manner. Surely thy Lord knows best him who strays from His path, and He knows best those who go aright.
More next issue, Allah Willing.