(The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a near five-hour presentation Feb. 27 as Saviours’ Day 2022 was commemorated in Chicago at Mosque Maryam and the National Center of the Nation of Islam. His subject was “The Swan Song.” Below are excerpts from this amazing address and part 2 of our continuing presentation of this incredible message. We encourage readers to get the full message on CD, DVD, or MP3 by visiting store.finalcall.com or call 1-866-602-1230, ext. 200.)
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
If you can run fast and you are on the track team, and you beat everyone running, that’s a gift. But just because you run fast, you haven’t gotten there yet. The Race of Life isn’t for the swift. The Race of Life is not for the strong. The Race of Life is to the one, male or female, who can endure the process until you accomplish the goal for which God brought you out of your mother’s womb and gave you life.
You are in the classroom today where the Minister is supposed to sing a Swan Song; and you’ve heard of the Minister. You know something of the Minister. Some of you know more of the Minister but you don’t know me at all. Some of you that walk with me don’t know me. I’m sorry. I have to tell you the truth.
Some of you that belong to me don’t know me.
You can’t know me unless you can find me in the Word of God. You don’t know me, but I have lived long enough in the Classroom of God with magnificent students that you admired, and I admire, too. But I could never follow them when they left the classroom and disrespected the teacher.
Two things that I want to say about knowing me and another thing about knowing you. Do you know I have it in my notes, but I’m not going to open my notes.
Do you know I was rebellious in the Classroom of God? What? Listen. Anything the Honorable Elijah Muhammad asked me to do, I did it. Anything he taught me, I believed and taught it and carried it into practice. But every time he wanted to tell me something about myself, I was a bad student. Because it is only when you get to know yourself that you can make a right contribution to the rise of your people.
If you don’t know yourself, you don’t know where you are on the scale of knowledge, you’re weak in your profession of faith and your works pale into insignificance because without faith you can’t have works. And where there are no works, you can’t say that you have faith. Because faith without works is dead. So, if I’m a disciple of Jesus, don’t tell me if I am His Disciple that I can’t raise the dead. Don’t tell me, if I’m a disciple of Jesus, I can’t make a blind man see and a deaf man hear, and a dumb man speak, and a lame man walk.
I can do all of that, and then some, if I’m a real disciple of Jesus. Listen. Listen. Listen.
I just want you to measure yourself. I’m giving you the tool of measurement.
My dear brother Malcolm, he was such a wonderful teacher to me; and I will thank Allah (God) for him all the days of my life. Even though I disagreed with him when he broke from the teacher, and he wanted me to come with him.
In the movie about Brother Malcolm and four men, “One Night in Miami.” “What did Louis say?” is part of the dialogue. I’m the Louis. What did Louis say? You weren’t there.
When Malcolm told me about my Messenger’s domestic life, we were at his table and Betty, his wife, had fed us well. And he drove me to LaGuardia Airport, which was right around the corner. He said, “Now, Louis,” he spoke with authority because I was his student. “Now Louis, don’t you tell anyone what I told you tonight,” he said. I said, “No, sir. I’m not going to tell anyone but the Messenger.”
See that was a little trial. “Well, you snitched.” Snitched? You got a hell of a damn nerve. I snitched? Do you know what a soldier in the army of God is? You report all slackness and weakness, all wrongdoing, if you’re the soldier. But if you’re a punk, you go along with the madness, then you become a disciple of somebody else.
When I said that to Brother Malcolm, he’s my teacher, we’re sitting in the car. He’s driving. He hunched his shoulders. See your reaction? I didn’t say anything wrong. He’s telling me about my Teacher. I am going to talk to the Teacher. Is this true? Not that I give a damn. I didn’t come to hear gossip on my Teacher. I came to hear the Wisdom of God from my Teacher. I want you to check my history.
Other people were saying they were defending the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, but they defended like somebody that had an axe to grind with Malcolm. See if you’re envious of your brother, you can’t even correct him right. Because in your correction is your hatred of your brother. That’s the difference between me and you. I loved Malcolm but I was not Malcolm’s follower. And as long as he was with Elijah, I was going to be with him.
And when the imam became the leader of the Nation, we were at odds, he and I. You don’t know my love for Wallace D. Mohammed. You don’t know what the Messenger said to me that made me love him. Even when he went wrong, I loved him. So, when you love your brother, you talk to your brother like a brother. I criticized him, never in your ear shot. I wasn’t trying to make a follower of me out of you. I wanted to see my brother go right because whether you want to know it or not, Wallace D. Mohammed was the hope of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I have a letter 17 pages long that Elijah Muhammad wrote to his son.
I’m not going into it today, but I just want to say this to you: When you follow a divine man, do you think the road to God is just like you want it to be? Do you think the road to greatness is like you want it to be? Do you think the road to Oneness with God is the way you want it to be? Five o’clock the next morning Brother Malcolm called me. He said, “Brother, I know you said you’re going to tell the Honorable Elijah Muhammad but I hope that you will wait a little while so I can get my letter off to him first.”
I said, “Well, brother, my head is so messed up after what you said, it’s going to take me time to see how to write the man I love, the man I’ve committed my life to, about something a disaffected student had to say.” Because sometimes, brothers, sisters, when you bring a complaint, the complaint says more about the one who brings it than the man or woman you are complaining about.
I just want you to listen to your brother today because I don’t intend to talk again until I return from where I’m going.
Where you going? I’m going up yonder. Where you going? I’m going up yonder. Where is yonder? See, you say that on dead people. I’m not dead and I’m not dying but I’m going up yonder. When are you leaving? I’m leaving soon. Anybody ask me when I’m leaving? Anybody ask me, tell ‘em I’m leaving soon, ’cause I’m going up yonder. I’m going up yonder. I’m going up yonder to be with my Lord. Yes, that’s where I’m going.
I’m having a good time. I’m having a good time because it’s what I do when I’m not going to do it any more for a while. When I gave up my music, I was in the Borscht Circuit in New York upstate. And I said, “Well, the Messenger gave me 30 days to get out of music or get out of the temple.” I took 30 steps and I said, “Well, I can live without music, but I can’t live without the truth.” I want you to hold onto those words: I cannot live without the truth, and you cannot live with a bunch of lies that you tell or are telling or listening to.
That’s why Paul said, “Prove all things and hold fast to what is good, what is true, what is right.” No lie should enter your ear without some guard standing at your ear like a guard standing at the door of a vault of riches. The truth is our life itself. God is taking me this way and I want you to look at The Swan Song, that’s a lot of notes. I don’t need them because I knew God was going to help me deliver this message today.
I want you to hold on to those words: “I can’t live without the truth.” You have a no good man by your side, you can live without him. If you’ve got a no good woman by your side, you don’t fall in love so stupidly that you can’t walk away when truth is not a part of your journey of life.
I gave it all I had that night. I sang classics. I sang blues. I sang ballads. I sang calypso. I danced. I played jazz violin, played classical violin. I told jokes. I did it all. You know how Kobe Bryant, the professional basketball player, was when he finished his long farewell tour and he scored those 60 points. And what did he say? “I left it all on the court.” See when you empty yourself, you move on.
And so I gave up my music, and then one day at Dunbar High School my Teacher came. He sent for me. And when I got to the house, 4847 South Woodlawn Avenue, in the living room, he called me and there were two chairs close to each other. “Have a seat, brother.” Now, you know you in trouble or he got something for you. He said, “Oh, brother, I was at your performance, and you have a great deal of talent, brother. But the people you were singing and they was all crying.” He said, “Don’t make my people cry, brother. One day I was teaching on the Prodigal Son and the Saviour came to the house for dinner and he asked the question, ‘how did you all enjoy Karriem’s teaching?’” He was Elijah Karriem then. “Oh, he was wonderful. There wasn’t a dry eye in the temple.”
And then a frown came over Master Fard Muhammad’s face. And he said, “Brother, don’t make my people cry. Because I came to wipe away their tears.” I had a brother playing the part of a homosexual that Elijah Muhammad would clean up in the play. And as he did the switcharoo, when Elijah Muhammad came, he straightened right on up. Beautiful Black sister standing by a light post. She was so pretty, too, but she was playing the part of a prostitute.
And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Brother, when you catching a fish, you don’t leave the fish on the banks because it keeps flopping around and the next thing you know, it’s back in the water again.” He said, “I’m trying to raise my people from that condition.” So, in order to be a homosexual, even as an act, you have to think like that in order to act like that; but it was just an act. And then the Hon. Elijah Muhammad said, “Brother it’s hard enough trying to get our people to think better. So when you put them in a play, having them to think like what they once were, you have them flopping around in a play but the play sometimes looks so real.”
I see my beautiful brother, 50 Cent, he’s a great, great brother. But the life that he lived, the shots that he took, the pain that he was in as a tremendous rapper. Now, the roles that they have him playing, he’s always playing a part. He can play that part now. Sometimes you aren’t even acting. You play it so well, you know, killing your brother, throwing him off a roof. So, acting is dangerous if you’re not writing the script and having a person do something that lifts the spirit and mind of the people that you’re playing your music, or your acting, or your stage production for.
Elijah Muhammad, all that was in his mind, was raising you and me up from where the White man put us. And if we keep on thinking like we thought when we were in the street, you’ll go back to doing the same thing that you did when you were in the street. So, Jesus says in the scripture, “Behold the dog, once clean, returns to his vomit.” That’s what happens when you walk away from this Teaching. No. No. No. No. I have to talk to you.
I’m singing a Swan Song because if you don’t change, death will find you soon. If you don’t change. You’re too comfortable in iniquity. We sin like we breathe. Damn. Sin has that effect on us. We don’t even have a conscience anymore to say, “Oh, no. I ain’t gonna do that anymore.” We sin and love it. That’s why we keep going back to it. So, I’m singing a Swan Song because the God that is on scene today is a God of Truth and Righteousness. And if you play a game with God, He will leave you where you are.
I want you to listen carefully. “But I thought you were gonna tell us something about the Jews.” Stop. “I thought you was gonna tell us something about the war.” I got it. Just try to be with me a little bit. We’re losing ourselves. Look at how many deaths and Brother Ishmael Muhammad has been to funerals and given them comforting words. I have some witnesses here. I have a big one right in front of me.
We didn’t have deaths in the Nation. Every now and then somebody would die. And when somebody died, the whole Nation was shocked. What? Listen, I’m not trying to be funny but that is the truth. The way Master Fard Muhammad taught us, when we followed his Teachings exactly, we didn’t need medical insurance. “How to Eat to Live” was our medical insurance. We didn’t go to the hospital, except in an emergency. We always had a shine on our faces, looking clean and beautiful. See sin has a way of burdening your mind because it’s not natural to sin.
For the Devil it’s natural to lie, and steal, and cheat—but you are not made like that.
So, when you and I go to acting a fool, it shows up in our skin. It shows up in our face. It shows up in our forehead because that’s not who you are. I had a beautiful granddaughter. I loved her so much. She was drinking a lot. And some of us when we have a problem, we don’t look for God. We look for the bottle. We look for the reefer. We look for sex. We look for anything that gives us momentary pleasure when solving the problem would give you ease and peace.
My dear brothers and sisters, I visited my granddaughter, she was so beautiful, in Arizona. I said to her, “If you continue to drink when you know it is destroying you, soon Allah (God) will turn you to that to which you turn yourself. And when you love your sin so much that nothing of conscience can rise up in you to stop you from yourself, then you’re tempting God to turn you to that to which you turn yourself.”
Surely, I’ve turned myself to thee, O heroin. Surely, I’ve turned myself to thee, O reefer. Surely, I’ve turned myself to robbing and stealing and that’s a beautiful young woman over there. Surely, I’m turning myself to that, too. But when God gets sick of you, He will turn you to the very thing that you turned yourself to and leave you there. Then you’ll die of an overdose. The thing you turn yourself to will kill you. God is not to be played with. God is not an overcoat that you put on when it’s cold outside. God is the God of Truth and Righteousness. He loves you but you’ve got to love yourself. Listen. Elijah Muhammad said to us one day, “Brother if Allah left me for a fraction of a second, you would see a walking fool.” Think about that: Elijah Muhammad, a walking fool?
I heard Sister Ava Muhammad talking about me when I was coming here. Bless you, Sister Ava. You said, “The Minister wins all the battles and stuff.” You didn’t see the ones I lost, but that’s okay. See those that I lost were in the gym; but your inner life is what prepares you for your outer life. See you lose yourself in your privacy. You lose yourself when you’re alone with yourself or you’re alone with your partners in crime, you lose yourself. And then come out and act like you’re better than what you are. But what you are in private is who you are.
See you came to hear me sing a Swan Song. I hate to disabuse you. “He’s tired. He’s getting old.” You better check this old man out. Oh, yes. Look, I’m sneaking up on 90. You are listening to your brother. Do I sound punktified to you? See if I have given you strength from the strength that God has given me, why would I stay around until I’m a vegetable and allow you to see me in a state that disgraces who I really am?
So prophets, God sends an angel to talk to them: “Are you ready to come in now?” Because if you’re done with what God put you here to do, don’t hang around. Death is beautiful when you’ve done your job. Death is heavenly when you’ve done your job. Why do you want to hold on to life and you aren’t living it? So, when God sends the angel to the Prophet, “hey, are you ready to come in now?” And listen if the Prophet says, “No, I have something I would like to do.” Who was the man in the Bible that wanted extra time, Hezekiah, wasn’t it? So, the angel went back to God and said, “I’ll give you 15 more years.” Now, I’ve been with you 67 years. Do you know what that is? Do you know what that does to anybody that’s sincere? Do you understand what love is?
How many of you wake up every day and somebody’s talking bad about you? How many of you are with problems that you don’t get rid of? How many of you have the friendship of Jews or the hatred of Jews where you can’t even say a kind word about me and you have to answer to them? It’s written in the Book of John, the people were afraid to say anything good about Jesus because the Jews jumped on them. That’s what they did to Nick Cannon. That’s what they did to others who say they love Farrakhan. The enemies of Jesus were Jews. That’s not anti-Semitism. I didn’t write the Bible. And they were Gentiles, too, but it was the Jews who had received so much from God in the way of knowledge. And then they turned away from God and used the skill and wisdom that God gave them to trick people into sin. So now Satan has to be exposed. The liar has to be exposed. The lie must be exposed by the truth.
So don’t tell me, brothers or sisters, that you love Farrakhan, but you hate me for telling the truth. It doesn’t work like that. The Holy Qur’an teaches us, “Had we wished to take a past-time from before ourselves, we would have done it. Nay, we cast truth at falsehood ‘til we knock out its brains.” Brains are real. Falsehood is false; but the brain that’s using falsehood is real. God wants to knock out the brains of Satan, the brains of the devil and the brains of those of us who have bowed down to Satan and have become a Devil ourselves.
So your, brother, speaking now of myself, I was looking for somebody from the time I was a little boy that would stand up for Black people. I wasn’t faking that. I cried myself to sleep nights reading about the lynching of our brothers and sisters in the South. Though I was living in Boston and I was an Episcopalian, I asked my preachers and my Sunday school teachers, “I heard that God delivered this one and that one. Is there a deliverer for us?” I’m a boy, seven years old. I’m in love with God. My mom didn’t tell me to love God. My nature told me. Yes, I’m going to finish my points. It’s so beautiful. Here’s the basic story of my life and why I’m going up yonder and what I’m going up yonder for. You ready for this? I really want the Jewish people to hear me. I really want you to understand Prophets of God are not your enemies, but they are your correctors. Don’t tell me that you are so arrogant that God can’t send somebody to correct you. And some of you are scared of people of power, but God doesn’t give a damn about that. And He’ll punish you or me if I have a mission, and all of a sudden, I get terrified because the people I’m sent to warn and correct, they might kill me. The one thing you should know, you are going to die anyway and some of you are dying faster than you should by the way you live. So don’t be angry with me. I’m going to die, too, but it is not now. It’s not now. Don’t come over here crying over Farrakhan. I ain’t gonna see him no more. Yes, for awhile. I’ll be out of your sight for a while. I’m going to tell you about it. Well, the enemy doesn’t want me to go where I’m going and neither do the hypocrites. So, there’s a death plot hatched by the government to be carried out by my own people. Well, do you think that I’m afraid? Listen. Listen. Why don’t you walk in my shoes for a day? If the government can’t frighten me, and the Jews and their power can’t frighten me, how the hell do you think you are going to scare me with a gun?
See if you hate me that much that you want me dead, sing because it’s your song now. If you want death for me, the angel of death is already on you. When I met Elijah Muhammad, first when I was 19, I heard that God had raised a Messenger. I walked down the street and tears were in my eyes and I asked God: “God, why didn’t you choose me? You know I love my people.” And as fast as I thought that, I said, “Oh, he came in 1930. I wasn’t even born.” Look at my next thought, “Let me go find him and offer him my life.” See this isn’t a damn game that I’m playing, man. You can’t play a game with this. Because if you’re playing a game, I’m singing your Swan Song, and I want you to listen to me good because I’m coming to the Government of America. Just be patient because you can’t walk in my shoes. He made me to walk in shoes that he made for me: Swan Song.
Do you know when I met Elijah Muhammad, when I first came in the mosque in New York, I had to go through the Fruit of Islam and my captain was a man named Yusuf Shah. Every man coming into the FOI has to say something. I had to say something. Listen to my words. Tears flowing from my eyes, I had never seen Black men as beautiful as the FOI in New York, and they were showering me with love from their eyes for coming into the Nation.
But I said to them, “I will take this word from Elijah Muhammad to every nook and every cranny in the United States of America.” Did you hear what I said when I first got breath of life 68 years ago? That’s a serious thing to give your life and say what you’re going to do on the first day of life. Now, all of those of you who see me now answer the question: Have I fulfilled my word? Have I fulfilled my word? I’ve carried this word throughout America. Practically, every Black organization has asked me to speak for them. All the prisons that I could visit in America, I visited. I carried this word of my Teacher, and one day in Boston, I was invited to speak to 500 preachers, and I preached.
When the Messenger heard what I had said, he sent me a letter. He said, “Brother, for that one speech that you made to my enemies,” because the Black preacher at that time was the enemy of Elijah Muhammad. They are not that today and it didn’t happen in a vacuum. He wrote me a letter. He said, “Brother, for that one speech that you made to my enemies, if you turn hypocrite on me, I will ask Allah to go and get you and bring you back.”
What is a “hypocrite?” A “hypocrite” is one who believes, then disbelieves and becomes an enemy to what he once believed. A “hypocrite” is one who speaks out of his mouth what is not in his heart. I offered Elijah Muhammad my life. I didn’t ask for a dollar or a dime.
To be continued.