There is a Chinese saying that goes: “Only he who has tasted of life’s bitterest of bitters can appreciate life’s sweetest of sweets.

And, may it be added here, the humiliating circumstances of this world’s life, far more often than we realize, contain those lessons which contains keys to a far better tomorrow.

This was certainly the case of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and for his Minister, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who is following in the footsteps of his teacher.


Jesus chose Peter for a grand task. It really was to be carried out after Jesus rose and Peter fell and rose again.

It was in 1974 when Minister Farrakhan spoke before 70,000 people on Randall’s Island, in New York. That’s right–70,000! Yet, just two years later, in 1976, he was going through the throes of an agonizing experience, intended by God Himself, to deepen– among other things–the quality of humility in him.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated publicly that the Minister already possessed humility, which would be a key factor for his future success. He was to–and had to–grow deeper in humility because of the heights to which his teacher would guide him.

In 1974 the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke to audiences of 20,000, 40,000 and 70,000! When he called his leader on the evening of the event at Randall’s Island, where again, he addressed a Black Family gathering, he was elated. And rightly so.

His teacher brought the principles of Surah 110, of the Holy Qur’an to his mind, and commented on them. It reads: “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. When Allah’s help and victory comes, and you see men entering the religion of Allah in companies, celebrate the praise of your Lord and ask His protection. Surely He is ever returning to mercy.”

The translator indicated that one of the principles involved here, was that undue elation ill befitted a teacher of righteousness. He also indicated that he believed that protection was being asked for the masses as they enter Islam in large companies. The translator even felt that forgiveness, which would form a sort of protection, even for his enemies–who might later become good believers–was a principle taught in this Surah (chapter) of the Holy Qur’an.

This Surah also calls to mind how Joseph treated his brothers, who out of envy, once tried to kill him, and did sell him into slavery. Joseph looked deeper into what was going on–into what had happened to him–and saw the hand of God; even in his afflictions at the hands of his brothers. He could not have had this insight unless the quality of humility was developed to a high degree in him. A major factor in developing this quality were the humbling experiences he underwent before he came to power. The heart God blessed him with that enabled him to handle his afflictions with an ever-increasing measure of grace, borne several qualities, among which was humility.

Look at how he comforted and strengthened his brothers, right after they came to see him (Joseph) as their brother. In Genesis 45:7, 8 consider the words of Joseph: “God, therefore, sent me on ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance. So it was not really you but God Who had me come here; and He has made of me a father of Pharaoh, Lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.”

The quality of humility clears the mind to enable one to see that which they otherwise would or could not see.

The book of Proverbs teaches that after pride comes a fall. Humility comes before honor. Of course, this passage requires qualifying than that which we have looked into thus far in these articles. We won’t get into that here except to indicate, as we are, something of the value of the hell the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan went through, when he, like Aaron and Peter, had fallen, and the lesson this holds for us all.

Within a month after he made the decision to rebuild the Nation of Islam, many things had resurfaced in his mind. One day, a few weeks after the decision, he decided to play one of his “old” tapes of a talk he had made prior to 1975. After a few minutes he told his wife to cut that “n––-” off. He added that: “That n––- is too arrogant.”

If he had not gone through the throes of agony, as he did, while the Nation was down, he would not have been able to say those words partly quoted above. He was not exactly the same man which he was prior to the fall of the Nation of Islam in 1975. He was better.

The word throes means a condition of anguished struggle and disorder; excruciating pain; agonizing struggle or effort. The Minister had gone through a fire that had a purging effect on him. This 30-month purging experience was a major factor in all that he has done since 1977. The changes it generated in him were ingredients that helped to protect him against the pitfalls and traps that were set for him, after 1977, as he really learned more of his great position in the plan of God to set up His kingdom. He was humbled to become humbler to rise to levels of greatness beyond anything he reached before 1975.

One day the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told him (Minister Farrakhan) that if he could stand the praise of thousands he would one day teach millions. This success was directly related to the development of the divine quality called humility. He is now teaching millions.

To really know Minister Farrakhan is to know that he is, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has said, a humble man.

When asked, one day of the changes that he has undergone since he arose to rebuild the Nation of Islam, he answered that he has become humbler.

Some may disagree. They don’t understand. They really don’t know him. Look much deeper into the nature of his mission, out of which he speaks, and into the stressful, awful nature of the burden that he carries, and maybe these will change their minds.

Do we not read of what Jesus, for example, told his closest followers; that if the people rejected them they were rejecting him? Didn’t Jesus say that if a city rejected them that they should wipe the dust of that city off their feet and that God would really put a whipping on that place and its people?

Matthew 10:11-16 we find: “Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.

“I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorra on the day of judgment than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

In Mark 6:11 “And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”

More next issue, Allah willing.