More Excerpts from ‘Closing the Gap…‘
Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint and was published on March 11, 2008.]
I’m asking you to either buy and give it away as a gift or motivate someone else to buy a copy of this book “Closing The Gap and read it.”
On page 159 of “Closing The Gap” starts this article:
Brother Jabril: Brother Minister, you have just summed up, Allah willing, how to uproot envy and jealousy. What are the roots of gratitude and of ingratitude?
Minister Farrakhan: I would say that the root of gratitude is the humbleness of heart; to be able to appreciate every little thing that is done to advance you in your growth and development or move you toward your goal or suffice for you a need.
The root of ingratitude, it would seem to me, is an arrogance that makes you think you deserved what you got. So you never quite see things as you should. So you act by what you’ve received, to advance you toward your goal, as if you only got what you deserve. So the opposite of humility is what produces ingratitude. We come into this world naked, as the Bible teaches, meaning we have nothing. But out of this world everything that we desire can come to us either through God’s intervention, directly or indirectly, but it always comes by the hand of another human being.
When one goes through life humble enough to be grateful for everything that God gives us, when you begin to feel down, if you start counting your blessings, you begin to see you’ve been blessed with so much abundance that this little disappointment, or unfulfilled desire, should never alter your attitude of gratefulness.
Brother Jabril: How is gratitude related to love?
Minister Farrakhan: I would say the first commandment that Jesus gave, and the greatest of all, “to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength” is the beginning of recognition of all the wonderful things He has done, and continues to do, to enhance our lives. When I love God purely, I’m grateful. When I rise up in the morning to see by His grace another day, I’m grateful. To look at His sun, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the water that I use to refresh myself after a night of sleep. I’m grateful for the advancement in science that allows me these different tools that I use to make myself presentable. I’m grateful for every insect, creature and flower and fruit and tree. I’m grateful to be able to witness and marvel over His creation.
Gratefulness is love of God. So, when a teacher comes to give me what I didn’t have, or shares with me knowledge, that I didn’t have–that’s from God. So it is the love of God and the purity of heart that allows me to see Him everywhere I look and to be grateful for even a smile or a kind word.
Brother Jabril: Allah used Joseph in the redemption of his brothers. What were the roots of this redemptive effort, which included freeing them from envy?
Minister Louis Farrakhan: Sometimes you envy a person, as I said earlier, because they have what you desire and you feel more worthy of this than this person. This was the case with Joseph’s brethren. From Joseph’s heart came great good to his Brothers that deeply affected them and ultimately caused a change in their hearts.
Only Allah can intervene and bring about a tremendous good from the heart of one who is envied that has a supreme benefit to the envier. God has to allow the envier to see the purity of the heart of the one from which this great good comes, that’s so beneficial to the envier.
In some cases good increases the hatred of the envier. In this case the great good from Joseph’s heart touched the divine in them. The divine in them was touched and watered by the good from Joseph’s heart. So it undermined and uprooted the envy in them, which changed the hearts of his Brethren. That change was manifested in their bowing to their Brother, which is something he did not desire, but it was what God had promised.
Now I say that to say this: My love for our father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, naturally extends to his wife, Mother Clara, his wives and all his children. My love for him has caused me to continue to do good for them. At some point in time the great benefit of good for them, from one who was envied by some of them, undermines the envy and causes them to see God using their Brother to benefit them. Out of their love for God their hearts are changed.
Those of us, who suffer from the envy of the envier, must realize that if we allow hatred and bitterness to set up in us, we cannot do the good that ultimately overcomes this evil. Even those who don’t understand me and why I do what I do, they may become blind even to a change of heart that may be manifested in those that once envied. They keep seeing the person as what they were, rather than recognizing them for what they are and are becoming, by the good of the heart that God is using for their redemption.
This is the position that we’re in today. I heard the Honorable Elijah Muhammad say that all of us would leave him. One of his ministers said, “All of us dear Apostle?” And he said, “Well, the few that are left that would be with me would be so weak that it would look as though all have left me.” Then after what seemed to be eternity, he said, “But you all will return.”
I was too dumb to ask him, by what means, by what method shall we who leave you and return? Never knowing that it was in my person that God and He would use my heart and my love for Him, and my love for them, to take abuse and never respond in kind, but continue to do good. As a result, He would turn the hearts of the children back toward their father and the father’s heart would turn back toward the children, and the curse that was on us by our division would be lifted.
Brother Jabril: Are you saying that love is that instrument by which this tremendous evil called envy is to be uprooted under those circumstances that Allah brings about?
Minister Farrakhan: There’s a saying, “That love conquers all.” I don’t know where that came from. But it was the ability of Joseph to love; the ability of Jesus to love; the ability of Muhammad to love; that ultimately overcame much, not all, of the envy of the envier.
Jesus, in the scriptures, and his awesome willingness love to suffer to redeem others becomes ultimately able to uproot envy and produce in the human being the kingdom of God. When he said that the Kingdom is within you, but it’s buried under all of these negative emotions; with envy the worst of all.
But his love was so strong and the benefit from his love was so great that they have a song that they sing about him, “He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.” In sufficing that need and overlooking the fault, the great benefit that came from the sufficing of the need, undercut the heart of envy and turned it into that which would bring about the Kingdom of God.
More next issue, Allah willing.