[This is a reprint and was published online July 26, 2006.]
“The future of the Black man is so beautiful that we can hardly comprehend it! The biggest thing that stands before us is qualification–and readiness. Let us get qualified to master the house that God is giving to us, before someone tries to rob us of that mastering of the house. If they rob us of the mastery of the house, I am sorry for us.
“I say to you, Black Brother and Black Sister, do not be foolish. The Kingdom of Heaven will be given to you and to me. Have patience to receive it.
“But to get the house into our service, it is like a mother giving birth to a baby–the baby must mature in that which he is in. As a baby matures in the womb of the mother in order to be born, so the Black man must mature to be born into a new world that the Black man must build himself. These are the days of trouble.”
So wrote the Honorable Elijah Muhammad these profound words in the 42nd chapter of “The Fall of America.”
He opened chapter 25 of “Our Savior Has Arrived” with: “Allah (God) has come to unite us.” How well do we understand his words?
He also taught–which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has confirmed–that agreement on truth is the basis of love, out of which unity is produced.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad once told me that when he came across a word he did not know, he would not stop until he went to the root of it. He used dictionaries.
We have learned so little about the meaning of the words we use, hear and read daily that we inadvertently continuously contribute to the disunity we have yet to overcome, despite having God’s direct help.
The following excerpt provides insight into the heart and mind of Minister Farrakhan as a student. It is my “Farrakhan: The Traveler” column from Volume 21, Number 25 (January 28, 2002).
And then from the writings of Paul, in this instance, I keep saying it over and over like a mantra, “I can do all things through Christ or through Allah which strengthens me.” This keeps me focused on God, because without Him I will not be able to do this at all. Without God’s intervention, I would not represent Beethoven as well as I would like.
So I’m begging Allah and believing that He’s going to be with me and help me to take an ordinary talent and do something, maybe a little more than ordinary, by His grace.
You told me of this conductor the other night–
You know, the fact that you ask me questions over the years that you didn’t prompt me on, so I never knew the question; but as you give me the question, the answer is formulating in my head. So you, more than anybody, can attest to the truth that this is not regular, it’s not necessarily ordinary, but that God is with Brother’s mouth.
One of my purposes in these interviews is to show, through you, what God has and is doing with you for us, to help us to have more confidence that He is with us.
Brother Minister, I don’t fully remember the man’s name, it starts with a “V” and you said that he talked about what you are attempting to do, is a tight rope–
Please repeat what you told me that he said of the difficulty factor in what you are preparing to do.
He said that the difficulty factor in what I intend to do is to be compared to a man walking a tight rope, a hundred feet in the air with no safety net.
When he first heard me play, he said, “You know, there were some moments of brilliance in what you did.”
He said, “You’re close.” But he came back then days later, after giving me some guidance, he said, “Man, what you’ve done in a week’s time is amazing.” He said, “You’re there now.”
All praises are due to Allah for blessing us with an example such as He has given us in you.
Now Brother Minister, be it the Will of Allah, I intend to make of these interviews into a “Gap Two” book, for in your words are many lessons for others–young Brothers, Sisters–who want to teach; who want to help advance the Nation of Islam. In a summary fashion, what would you want them to get out of your experiences that you just outlined, that could help them do what they are trying to do or will try to do?
I wish that every Believer could see me in the role of a student. They always see me in the role as a teacher. But you can never be a good teacher unless you first become a good student. And you can never be a good leader unless you first become a good follower.
There are characteristics one must develop to become a good student. The reason I believe that I excel as a student is because my desire is so intense to know and improve. So it doesn’t make any difference how you critique me, my heart has been made by God so humble and my desire to be better is so great, that I suck up what you tell me like a sponge.
Let’s look, for example, at Encarta World English Dictionary’s definitions of some of the words used (or implied) above.
Qualification: a skill, quality, or attribute that makes somebody suitable for a particular job, activity, or task; a condition or requirement, for example, passing an examination, that must be met by somebody who is to be eligible for a position or privilege (often used in the plural); the meeting of a condition or requirement to become eligible for a position or privilege
Qualified: having met a condition or requirement to become legally eligible for or entitled to a position or privilege: with the necessary skills, qualities, or attributes to do a particular thing.
Ready: prepared for something that is going to happen: finished or completed and so able to be used immediately; on the point of doing something or liable to do something; eager, willing, or prepared to do something; quickly and easily given, provided, or available; intelligent, alert, and quick-witted.
Preparation: the work or planning involved in making something or somebody ready or in putting something together in advance a state of readiness; something done in advance in order to be ready for a future event.
Master: somebody who has great skill in a particular area; somebody or something controlling or influencing events or other things; somebody who is highly skilled in a trade or craft and is qualified to teach apprentices; a specialist; sometimes a retired judge, who assists a court by making a report to the judge presiding over a case, often a highly complex case; to become highly skilled in something, or acquire a complete understanding of it.
More on this, next issue, Allah willing.