[Editor’s Note: This is a reprint and was published online February 7, 2017.]
One day, while Jesus was giving his followers certain instructions, containing some profound insights, which were keys to their personal success and in their mission, (according to Matthew 18:1-21), Peter asked him an important question. It was important for them and it is important for us; indeed, for people everywhere.
‘The Honorable Elijah Muhammad exercised stupendous patience, tolerance, forbearance and divine love toward us. He stood as the intercessor between us and God, by His permission.’
Peter asked Jesus: “Lord, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seventy times?”
Again, Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question in Matthew 18:22, was: “ … I say not unto thee, until seven times; but, until seventy times seven.”
Earlier the parable was referred to but not given. Here is a summary of it, and the principle or lesson, which Jesus drove home in verse 35.
The parable tells of one who was forgiven for an offense, due to repentance, and an earnest request for mercy and the compassion that was showered upon the offender. Later the one, who was forgiven was offended by another. The other begged for forgiveness and asked for patience from the one (who was earlier forgiven). He had no compassion for the other, rejected the sincere plea of the other and punished him.
Others saw it all and reported it to the one who had earlier forgave him, who was now unjustly doing the opposite of what was done for him. So he was punished.
Verse 35 tells that Jesus said outright that when we refuse to forgive, when we ought to do so, we anger Allah, Who will, then punish us, if we do not forgive others from our hearts.
The text of verse 35 reads: “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye, from your hearts, forgive not every one his brother his trespasses.”
This area of forgiveness is an area of life about which most all of us have received little or no education. So many do not know how and when to forgive. There are so many festering, unhealed wounds among Black people, that courses ought to be taught immediately on this vitally important subject of forgiveness, all over America—seven days a week—among other things.
Part of the reason the subject of forgiveness was brought up, with the question put in Peter’s mouth is to tell us this: Allah and His Servant knew the heart of Minister Farrakhan through and through. The answer to the “how” the Nation of Islam was to be raised again, would involve forgiveness and the repentance of a whole people—everyone of us.
Without the quality and practice of forgiveness, the Nation would not rise to greatness. Love would not develop among those who would rise. And without love there is no resurrection.
Nor would the Nation abound or flourish. Without forgiveness, among a people, struggling to get up from their graves of ignorance, intolerance, shortsightedness, narrow-mindedness, false pride, and a host of sins done daily; there would never be the spirit among such people to focus on what Allah came to give them. Without that focus they would never unite. Without unity they would have no power—no motivation—to do for themselves and improve the quality of their lives.
Allah knew the quality of Minister Farrakhan’s heart for people before he ever came to Islam. He knew the closeness of his heart—in terms of quality— to that of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
They knew the purification he would have to undergo and the final stages They would back him to go through until he meets again with his Lord.
They knew the difficulties he would undergo dealing with those of us who once followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and had fallen asleep; those who were yet to be awakened; the problems that would naturally develop as both the modern “Jew” and the modern “Gentiles” stagger to their feet at the call of the modern “Paul,” dealing with hypocrites; dealing with foreign greedy vultures; dealing with this; dealing with that; and on it goes, as the needs of the people is so great, and the evil of those who oppress is so depthless.
They knew all of this and then some. So Allah picked the best suited Brother for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to bring the people to him. Not to him as a Messenger of God. Not to see him as the people ignorantly or partially saw him as the Messenger, but to see him as he is now; the exalted Christ, and all that this title and the function it describes implies.
Did not many of us, who followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad prior to 1975, pray to Allah, to exalt him to that most exalted place that He had promised him? Don’t you think the God heard you? Do you think Allah would fail in His own promise even though many were sincere in our prayers?
Again, don’t you think Allah heard you? Isn’t it written in such places—among others— as the 7th chapter of Daniel; the 5th chapter of Revelation; and the second half of chapter 81 in the Holy Qur’an; that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would be saved from a death plot and exalted over everybody and everything except Master Fard Muhammad? Don’t you know that this is also mentioned in 1st Corinthians 15:27 wherein it is written “For He (Master Fard Muhammad) is excepted who did put all things under him (the Honorable Elijah Muhammad).”
Remember that your Bible and Holy Qur’an teach you that Moses, at the beginning of his mission, put up excuses to Jehovah that he wasn’t qualified to represent God. You can read of this in Exodus chapters 3 and 4. At one point he said in so many words that he could not speak well. God totally did away with this excuse of Moses in Exodus 4:11, 12. Yet Moses asked for help in verse 13. Notice what God says in verses 14-16. Can you dig it? True, the dictionary says that “dig” is United States slang for “understand or the like.” But it also is United States informal “to study hard and steadily.” It also means to “entrench one’s self.”
God gave Aaron to Moses. Verse 14 tells us something about the quality of the heart of Aaron both before and when he meets Moses. Verse 15 tells us that God would be with both the mouth of Moses and the mouth of Aaron. Verse 16 reads: “And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God.”
In a 1957 article the Honorable Elijah Muhammad mentioned that Allah Almighty had made Moses a god over the people. A few of us saw, at that time, and most of us didn’t, just what he was talking about. Each would see in Allah’s good time and each for His glory that they may serve in His overall plan of salvation.
Most of us didn’t see the meaning and implications of those words in that 1957 article. In the nature of things, and in accord with the state of our growth, it could not be any other way. Nevertheless, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad exercised stupendous patience, tolerance, forbearance and divine love toward us. He stood as the intercessor between us and God, by His permission. Only seldom did we see the anger of God in him to our foolish rebelliousness.
To sum up, in blunt language: God came. He gave us—whom no one wanted at first, but Him—to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad—who wanted us too—to bring us to Him.
Because He wanted to save everyone of us, or as many as He could, He also gave the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to bring us to him. When he (the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan) has brought us to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he (the Honorable Elijah Muhammad) will complete the process of bringing us to Him (Master Fard Muhammad); as it is written in 1 Corinthians 15:28.
More next issue, Allah willing.