[Editor’s note: This article is a reprint that was previously published online on January 10, 2002.]
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: I can imagine the prophets of God, who saw beyond the range of vision of their contemporaries, to speak of things yet to come. Such gifted persons, who in certain areas possessed gifts far beyond the gifts of the contemporaries, were subjected to thoughts that he is sick or crazy.
So he is rejected of men and despised and evil spoken of and ill thought of, because he sees what others are unable to see. So there was no prophet that escaped the judgmental nature of his contemporaries.
I can imagine how lesser ones, such as Nostradamus suffered. I can imagine how Galileo, how Newton and Boyle and visionaries in every field, suffered.
Look how doctors who have discovered in the DNA that which would allow them to clone a human being, to some extent, suffer the same.
Look at those who have discovered in stem cell research that they could literally grow new organs, rather than implant organs of a different person into a different body. So, they can literally take the DNA of that body and grow organs that would replace organs that are failing.
Well, this kind of research has created controversy, debate. The doctors sometimes are considered demons rather than great doctors who are on the cutting edge of great new discovery.
I guess this is natural, for I once read in a book that when God sends a prophet, He ordains opposition for him, because it is only the severest opposition that tests the quality of the character of the bearer of the truth and tests the truth of the bearer of that truth.
So, opposition is a necessity. So, one must not necessarily be overcome by the judgmental. One whom God has given an assignment must understand in the nature of that assignment God has already ordered judgmental persons to attack him, to vilify him, to malign him, to say all manner of evil against him.
But he knows his Sender. He knows the value of the truth with which he has been sent. So, he stays the course, knowing that his greatest vindicator and witness is God Himself.
Even if he does not live to see or witness his vindication, he knows, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew, “I will be the winner–living or dead.”
The article that followed in Vol. 21, No 19, written on January 13, 2002, read:
Brother Jabril Muhammad: Brother Minister, to what extent does the judgmental state of mind open us up to the wiles of Satan–and the Satan of self–but more especially to the evil agents, the provocateurs, described in current TV documentaries about the government’s infiltration of many groups to misdirect and hurt the members of these various organizations, but especially, of course, including the Nation of Islam in the 50s, 60s and the 70s.
An example was COINTELPRO, the counterintelligence program that was designed to “disrupt” groups and “neutralize” individuals “deemed to be threats to domestic security.” To what extent does the judgmental state of mind open us up to these wicked secret agents, who look like Believers, who we know are in the Nation to get Believers to unconsciously do their bidding?
As I raise this question, I’m thinking about your Study Guide No. 17, wherein you raised the question, “Could we be unwittingly involved in a conspiracy against ourselves?”
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: When one makes hasty judgments on individuals, events or circumstances that, in its initial interaction with us, causes us some degree of hurt or pain; once our egos get wrapped in our judgment, our ears close to words that might alter our judgment.
Our eyes close to that which we might see that would alter our judgment. Our tongues become dumb to speaking a proper word concerning that event, circumstance or person and, in that judgmental state, we can become guilty of slander, gossip, backbiting, which opens us up to the evil whispering of the sly, slinking devil who whispers into the hearts of men from among the jinn and the men.
The first devil we must confront is the devil of self. Once we have closed our hearts and minds on a particular view that we have concerning an event, a circumstance or a person, those with whom we have friendship or kinship, we would have a tendency to share that view with others and, because of our relationship with others and the amount of influence we have over others, our unfinished, tainted view can become the view of others.
So unwittingly, we get involved in a conspiracy to put down and destroy members of our own tribe or family, church or mosque, organization or community.
Satan, who is always listening as the righteous speak, can use our judgments, followed by our pronouncements, to make a chasm, and then widen it between individuals and then groups, depending upon whom we are engaged in conversing about. In this instance, we become unwitting tools of Satan. This is why the Qur’an forbids backbiting and offers a ‘Woe‘ to the slanderer and the defamer who goes about exceeding the limits.
Allah says in the Qur’an that “He can and does forgive hurtful speech.” But we, who claim to be the righteous, would not desire others to form harsh judgments concerning us if we forget or make a mistake or even an error. So, we must refrain from being quick in doing these things to each other, which, in the end, damages the self; damages the person about whom we have made our judgment; then damages the community that we have some degree of influence in; and ultimately, we damage ourselves with Allah.
Brother Jabril: Brother Minister, from the time we enter the Nation of Islam, to become registered Believers, and even before that, we are told directly and indirectly to see ourselves as “students.” We get Lessons and we’re referred to as “students.” Even the Lesson by which we are enrolled in the F.O.I. and the M.G.T. meeting classes is referred to as the “Student Enrollment.”
The concepts of student and study are put before us in various ways throughout our Islamic life. It was that way under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It is the same way under your leadership.
First, what are the fundamental or the primary characteristics of a good student?
Minister Farrakhan: The good student is seen practicing that of which he or she is studying. The more one studies, the more one must practice, for it is only the practice that refines our understanding of the principles.
Those who study ofttimes become separated from those who do not study. Those who do not study find themselves convicted of the truth that they have come to believe, but are not studious in that truth. Finding excuses for not studying more about that truth, they find themselves divided now within the group into different camps.
All of us who have come forth to follow the Honorable Elijah Muhammad must always see ourselves as students and be about the business of studying that which we have come to believe or to confess as our belief or our way of life.
More next issue, Allah willing.