The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his July 21, 1956 article, noted that we: “…are inclined to righteous worship so much so, until they are constantly seen disgracing themselves, in their ignorant way, due to the lack of knowledge … .”
It is clear that as the master robbed the slave of his natural ability to think, feel and do for himself. He (the slavemaster) directed our thoughts, feelings, and actions into their service. They turned our natural inclinations against ourselves and for themselves. They warped our minds. They reduced us during slavery into nothings in contrast to what we were and could become.
On page 304 of Message To The Blackman, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad made clear that the slaves were made to think he would get a better life, including wealth, after the white man worked, or otherwise, put him to death. The masters taught the slaves to seek his reward in a heaven in the sky after death to control the slave. They did not want the slaves thinking over the wealth the slaves were producing for the masters while both were alive here on earth. The white man filled the slaves’ imaginations with pictures of a false heaven to which they would go if they obeyed the masters. Moreover, the slaves saw no way to get a better life while they lived. Thus, the slaves’ longing for a better life was directed into fantasy; unreality. They did not know that their deepest yearnings would and could never be realized where and how they thought–in the sky after they died.
As the Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches, the masters knew that no slave who died would be able to return to tell his brothers and sisters that the white people deceived them.
The slaves put their hopes for a good life beyond death because of the lies of the masters. They planned for death, not for life. They even expected to become white, like their white masters taught them Jesus was–a white god.**
The crushing weight of slavery combined with what the white people taught our people of Jesus produced a yearning for deliverance and a deliverer. Despite the fact that the slavemaster directed this longing to that which did not exist, this longing continued and intensified.
From the days of physical bondage until 1930, there were few changes in the Black man’s thinking about God, Jesus or himself. However, those changes that did occur were due to such factors as migration to the North, World War 1, increased education, somewhat better economic conditions and Marcus Garvey– who generated the first mass movement among Black people in America. This resulted in a drift from Christianity. But this drift was neither rapid nor far.
Another factor in this drift was despair of ever being relieved of the white man’s evils by means of the Christian religion. This despair combined with an inability to really understand the mystery god of Christianity, tended, somewhat, to reduce the Black man’s desire to rely on that god and religion.
Underlying all this (in America) and more (around the globe) was the unseen hand of Allah. He was active in behalf of His own, though they were unaware of Him. Their deliverance was being prepared, although they knew it not. The Deliverer was on the way, despite their ignorance of Him.
In another part of the earth, in the East, the Son of Man was preparing to openly manifest His presence among them and initiate His plans of salvation for those who were lost here in the West. All of this was written in the very Bible our fathers and mothers were reading and in which they believed.
Five thousand years earlier Abraham was helped to foresee this terrible state of condition. He was told by the Living God that he through his descendants would inherit the land which was shown to him. He asked God how shall he know this. He asked God for the means, the manner by which he could know this. He was not asking from a doubtful mind. He had demonstrated that he fully trusted his God. His God answered him by first giving him some instructions involving some birds. We will return to these details later.
Then, as it is recorded in Genesis 15:12 “As the sun was setting, Abram fell into a deep sleep, and a thick and dreadful darkness came over him.” Note: As, or while, or in accordance with which or with the way in which the sun was setting, he went into a peculiar kind of sleep. Other versions read: “a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, a horror of great darkness fell upon him.” Others use the word “terror” for “horror.”
Abraham went into an unusually deep sleep. The word variously translated horror, or terror, also means fear, and terrible dread. It implies something extremely frightening. The word translated darkness also means to make extremely dark or black, or to hide; even to confuse, in some of its nuances. It was a darkness, according to other aspects of its meaning, that enveloped, engulfed, or wrapped up that which it fell on.
The word fell, in the text, means that it (the darkness) has such power so as to cast down, divide, overthrew, and to make inferior, that on which it fell. It made one to fall and was that which had power to cause to fall.
The idea in that which is called a trance, is, to some extent, involved in the state of mind into which God put Abraham. A trance is, according to one simple definition: “a half-conscious state, seemingly between sleeping and waking, in which ability to function voluntarily may be suspended, especially a state produced by hypnosis or religious ecstasy.”
However, this does not cover all that this prophet of God experienced. He went into a state of sleep deeper than that which the above definition of trance tells us. He was taken in his spirit into our day. He was transported into this 400-year period of our enslavement and made to experience, in his spirit, something of what we were to go into 5,000 years after his time.
It was while he was in this condition that the Living God told Abraham–with the utmost conviction–these words, in verse 13: “Then the LORD said to him, ‘Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years.”
For certain it happened! These words pointed directly to the millions of millions of Black people who were enslaved by the enslaver. But, with equal certainty, which originated from His infinite wisdom and power, He further told His servant, as verse 14 reads: “But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.” (NIV)
This refers specifically to the United States of America. Some will say but that was in the past. Later we’ll come, Allah willing, to the sign of Jonah and how that nation which he warned took the words and lived, and the relevance of this to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and this country.
More next issue, Allah willing.