[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint that was published on November 30, 2004.]
The reason I asked the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan what courses he took in high school was to help us look a bit deeper into an important aspect of his preparation prior to his meeting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It bears on his success in his performance of the divine assignment he received from the Messiah before he met him.
Minister Farrakhan studied English. He also took four other languages that developed parts of his brain in a certain way. He studied Latin for three years, in addition to German, French and Spanish.
He said that his study of Latin “gave me a more profound grasp of English, because many of the prefixes and suffixes in English are from a Latin or a Greek root. So, having Latin gave me insight into words and their meaning.”
He went on to say that, “I had Ancient History, Medieval History, American History and some Modern History. I had Algebra, Plane Geometry, Solid Geometry, Trigonometry and Calculus. I had Physics, Chemistry and Biology.”
Certainly, there were others in the classrooms in which he studied. But the impact was not the same on each person, as the make-up and potential destiny of each was not the same.
How would you have viewed Minister Farrakhan in those days? Remember, he was also a rapidly rising star, as a musician in those days. Minister Don Muhammad of Boston, among others, has plenty material on Minister Farrakhan’s early life, which includes observations from those who knew Minister Farrakhan in his teens and during his college days. They all agree that, although they did not know what his future would be, they concurred in saying that he was different–in the excellent sense of the word.
Have you read the scriptures’ teachings on the lives of those special men and women whom God used for the benefit of others before He called them? How did their education, or lack of it, and their work experience serve them once they embarked on their respective assignments from Allah?
In certain respects, these men and women of God were ordinary and did the ordinary things all humans do. However, those who refused to think naturally, missed or misread the extraordinary things these godly people did.
Look how Allah describes the unnatural thinking of such people. “And they say: ‘What a Messenger is this? He eats food and goes about in the markets. Why has not an angel been sent down to him to be a warner with him? Or a treasure given to him, or a garden from which to eat?’ And the evildoers say: ‘You follow but a man bewitched!’ See what parables they set forth for thee–they have gone astray, so they cannot find a way.” (Holy Qur’an, Surah 25:7-9)
Minister Farrakhan continues: So these kinds of subjects put me in a tremendous position of advantage going to a southern school that was preparing me to be a teacher, with a Bachelor of Arts degree, which would have allowed me to teach on the grammar school level, where once I learned methods, once I learned the history of education, a little psychology, I could have done that, teaching grammar school coming out of high school with the background that I had.
Brother Jabril: So you would say it’s rather obvious then that the nature of the preparation you had in high school is what made you whiz through college the three-plus years so fast?
Minister Farrakhan: That is correct.
Brother Jabril: Now, you come into the Nation. You became registered in 1955. Did you study?
Before we look into his response, let’s look at this excerpt from an interview I conducted with the International Representative of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, here in the West. It bears directly on the principle I am driving at in the life of Minister Farrakhan, which we must come to understand if we are to come up all of the way out of our spiritual death:
Minister Akbar: And I think just on this trip alone, we’ve seen how he’s won over these people–the leadership–over here. Some of them just heard his name. Some of them never even saw him. But he was able to come in and speak a few words and right now–it’s like they are saying that this man is a breath of fresh air. This man–Dr. Kenneth Kaunda–was deeply moved, deeply touched the first time he met the Minister. And this man has a tremendous history–forty years meeting with heads of states all over the world–but Minister Farrakhan touched him deeply, in a unique way.
Brother Jabril: Deeply.
Minister Akbar: Deeply. Yep.
Brother Jabril: How old were you when you put together this material about Africa in your book?
Minister Akbar: I was 18.
Brother Jabril: What did you write?
Minister Akbar: More school, then Africa.
Brother Jabril: More school, then Africa. When did you say that?
Minister Akbar: I was in the mosque. I wrote it in 1960. I went to the mosque that February, and in March, they asked us to make a quote for our school yearbook, and that’s what I put in there. Now, that to me is amazing. That’s amazing.
Brother Jabril: Yes. Why’d you write “Africa?”
Minister Akbar: Because I just felt, I had a feel for Africa. I had not yet even read the book “Inside Africa.” But I think it was something that I heard at the mosque that made me just know that I wanted to be involved in Africa. I mean, it was something that was said in the Teachings at the mosque, when I first went, that went right into me.
Brother Jabril: Heavy.
Minister Akbar: That is heavy, Brother.
Brother Jabril: Thank you, Minister Akbar Muhammad–the International Minister of Minister Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, based here in Africa!
This interview was conducted with Minister Akbar Muhammad in Nairobi, Kenya, as we were part of the small group who accompanied Minister Farrakhan on a mission to several nations here in Africa. Our mutual use of the word “heavy” was due to the unspoken (in that conversation) recognition that Minister Akbar “wrote” a major aspect of his future at the age of 18–when he could not really know that he would one day live in Africa to spread the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, under his Brothers’–Minister Farrakhan’s–direction.
The principle that I’m driving at, in the life of Minister Farrakhan, also indicated in this incident in the life of Minister Akbar when he was 18 years old, was prophesied of us all, in many places in the Bible and Holy Qur’an. One such place was recorded in the 8th Chapter of the Book of Romans, which in The Amplified Bible reads: “all things work together and are fitting into a plan for good to those who love God and are called according to His design and purpose.
“For those who He foreknew–of whom He was aware and loved beforehand–He also destined from the beginning (foreordaining them) to be molded into the image of His Son [and share inwardly His likeness], that He might become the first-born among many brethren.” [My note: Sisters too.]
More from this text, next issue, Allah willing.