[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint and was published online February 16, 2004.]
The tape I sent to Atlanta, Ga., in tribute to Minister Abdul Rahman Muhammad was mistakenly not played, even though it got there in time. It contained my heartfelt appreciation for a wonderful Brother and helper of both the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
I first met him in Los Angeles in the spring of 1958. It seems that he was visiting L.A. A few days later he left town.
I continued working here in the West, for the Cause for which Master Fard Muhammad came and raised the Honorable Elijah Muhammad–as did Minister Rahman and many others. So, I did not often see him as the years went by. He served in Chicago and then was sent to the South. However, I did have the opportunity, over the years, to be in his company often enough to see in him an intelligent, sincere and a valuable Black man, who was in love with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his people.
There were many great kings, rulers, conquerors and statesmen who have lived on this earth over the last 6,000 years whose histories are presently available. Without exception, Minister Rahman is one of those rare individuals who would have been an outstanding assistant to any of them.
But he is a man of such qualities that he was destined to be a helper of a man of infinitely superior qualities than any of this world’s past rulers and conquerors, who were great, but not very good or no good at all.
Of all of the great leaders of the past 6,000 years, the greatest (but the least understood) were the prophets of Allah. There is no doubt in my mind that Minister Rahman would have been attracted to and have become a great helper of any of them–from Moses onward.
The proof that he would have been attracted to and followed any of the prophets of Allah, rather than the crass rulers of this evil world, is the fact that he became a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, of whom all of the prophets of Allah testified. He rose up to become one of his great helpers in the Cause of raising his people out of the cesspool of hell.
Minister Rahman was among those few, in contrast to millions of others in America, who was both attracted to and became a star helper of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his people wherever he worked for the resurrection of “the dead.”
On the tape that I sent, I said that when I came down for coffee (from my hotel room) in June 1978 on the eve of Minister Farrakhan’s first big appearance in the South in Atlanta, as he was in the early stage of the rebuilding of his teacher’s work, the Brother I saw sitting with him at the coffee table was Minister Rahman.
It was a joy for me to see him because I knew, right then, that a special man was being joined with Minister Farrakhan for a most difficult but magnificent work!
Study Minister Rahman’s words as they appeared in The Final Call, Vol. 23, No. 15, when he was interviewed by Sister Nisa Islam Muhammad: “I am thankful and proud of the love I received from the Messenger and Min. Farrakhan. When I speak of one, I speak of both.”
His use of the word “both” tells much of Minister Rahman’s divinity.
I knew that the misleading movies, writings and so-called truthful documentaries lied about how Muhammad Ali entered Islam. I once heard a 1960 tape where Malcolm was teaching and you could hear Muhammad Ali bearing strong witness. That alone shows that his conversion was not in 1964, as an assortment of Hollywood slanderers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would have all believe.
I was in Minister Allah’s motel room, in Oakland, Calif. in August 1963, where several Brothers, including Brother Ali had gathered. I distinctly recall his sincere responses to Minister Allah, who gave him un-spooky and brilliant answers on his questions about the Mother Plane.
After that set ended and all went their way, I asked Brother Ali where he was going to eat. He really did not know. So we went to the Muslim family I was staying with where he had bowls of excellent bean soup and then some. The point here is that he was already a Muslim, but I still knew nothing of Minister Rahman’s prior work with him.
But it wasn’t until I read the recent interview of Minister Rahman’s work with Muhammad Ali in The Final Call that corresponded with something the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said of Ali’s conversion. It was that Allah converted Ali Himself. He did it through Minister Rahman! Few things are as valuable as the correct history of persons and events. Thank you, Final Call!
(Incidentally, isn’t it interesting that you can “know” someone for years and not “know” the great things they did or those things that were formative of good works they later did? Thank you, Brother Askia Muhammad via The Final Call (Vol. 23, No. 18) for his article on the history of the Muhammad Speaks, where I learned for the first time of Minister Allah’s significant work “in putting together the first issues of the Muhammad Speaks and, in fact, he was the director of the editorial department.” His works were both significant and historical steps in the development of Muhammad Speaks!)
Even though my knowledge of Minister Rahman is not as extensive as that of some others, if I did not pay genuine honor and express my deep respect for such a warrior for the rise of Black people–a man whom God Himself provided for the modern Moses and Aaron–then I would be insulting Allah and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, as well as Minister Farrakhan.
This would be a disservice, not just to Muslims, but to all those he personally touched and who benefited by his goodness. Not to say to him: “Thank you, Minister Rahman, for your wonderful works. All praises are due to Allah for you,” would be a stupid reaction to the historical value of his work and a display of gross ingratitude to Allah, for the sacrifices he and his family suffered to enable him to serve the Cause for which Master Fard Muhammad came.
The only reason I was not there in Georgia, sharing in that excellent night with my Brother, was that I am under strict medical orders, which I’ll not get into here. I’ve been very far down, health-wise for quite a while now, even though there are many who think I run marathons every other week. (Smile.)
Study Minister Rahman’s words: “When I speak of one, I speak of both.” Let’s go into his statement on “both” in relation to JESUS by means of an interview I did with him in 1994. That next issue, Allah willing.
I’ve been trying to reach Brother David 5X Nelson for over two years, who may live in Nashville, Tenn. He and his crew, in addition to Mosque sales, used to sell 40,000 Muhammad Speaks per week for quite a while in L.A. Please help me contact him.