[Editor’s Note: This article was published online on September 11, 2003.]
After Jesus finished giving his parable, called The Good Samaritan, he asked the so-called expert on the law:
“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” He replied, “The one who showed compassion.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37)
What became of the man whom The Good Samaritan helped to become fully restored? From this parable alone, we can’t tell. Jesus ended it without that information. He went as far as was necessary for his purpose with this so-called expert.
However, in the light of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we understand that this parable is prophetic of what’s taking place now.
The above brings to my mind an experience of Jesus that’s recorded as a historical event. It’s in the 17th chapter of Luke, which is loaded with wisdom both in direct and symbolic language. In the 12th-19th verses of that chapter, we read that Jesus entered a certain village and met ten men who were lepers. They asked him to take pity and have mercy on them. He instructed them to go and show themselves to the Priests. They immediately obeyed and, while on their way, they realized that they were cured and cleansed. He had cured them!
Then one of them, upon recognizing that he was restored to good health, came back to Jesus and, with a loud voice, expressed his recognition of, and thanks to, and praised the Almighty God, as he fell prostrate at Jesus’ feet, expressing his thanks over and over again. Jesus asked, rhetorically, were not there ten cleansed? Where are the nine?
Now, no man ever faced a more seemingly insurmountable, or a more daunting, or overwhelming task than that which Master Fard Muhammad faced as He began the process of the resurrection of the dead in 1930. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad faced the same after the departure of his Teacher. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan faced the same in September 1977.
Again, no man ever faced greater opposition to the full realization of his aims and purposes, as did Master Fard Muhammad on the day He openly began His work on July 4th, 1930. The same applies to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad when he began the next part of his work, “absent” his Teacher in 1935. This likewise applies to Minister Farrakhan who began the next part of his work, “absent” his teacher in 1977.
On the other hand, never has there been absolutely any chance, at all, for the opposition to succeed in defeating the aims and purposes of anyone, as is in the case of these three men.
As I’ve stated for decades, the scope of Minister Farrakhan’s work is huge, but is only part of the scope of the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The scope of the work of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is larger than that of his student (Minister Farrakhan). However, his work is but a part of the full scope of the work of his Teacher (Master Fard Muhammad).
If you are with Minister Farrakhan, and trying to help him with his assignment, then you are part of a work that has no end. It’s eternal. We are very lucky indeed to be born during the time of the setting up of the perfect world. We should be full of thanks for the opportunity to participate in the creation of this new world.
The more we perfect our abilities, the greater our contribution will be in that which is everlasting.
Not long after we are born, we began to ask questions, among which is ‘what was I born to do?’ These may not be the words you used, but every one of us has asked this question. Many still do.
What are you here for? Whether the question is put in this form, or not, the “why” is implied. These words demonstrate our awareness that there is an intelligent reason that someone else had in mind for our existence, even if you deny this later.
Get books that help us understand what words mean. Again, we’ll be compelled to bear witness, that when we first ask the “why” of our existence, we’re acknowledging that this involves the aim and purpose, or the reason for our existence is rooted in someone’s else’s wise and beneficent intelligence.
Consider the seemingly countless forms of life here on this earth. Only a stubborn fool would say that there is no ultimate intelligent cause Who produced all that exists. It’s unintelligent to use the word “what” rather than the word “who,” as the cause of all things, as “who” tells us that “Who” has infinitely more intelligence and power than the “what.”
One day I asked the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, how does one know what one was born to do? He answered that “Allah has given us all many talents, but each a talent that we can perform perfectly.”
Let’s start with a simple way to begin to determine our talents. It’s my intention to move to more scientific methods, developed by others, Allah willing, that helps with this problem.
Try this. Get a piece of paper. Write down everything you like to do, even if it’s 100 things. Put it away for a day or two. Look at the list again. Pick out the things that then strike you as that which you like to do better than other things on that list. Put the list away. Do this a few more times until you wind up with a list of things that you like to do equally well–or it may be just one thing.
Of course, past experience; little or no experience; whether you like to work with a lot of people, or with a few; or basically alone; whether we would rather work outdoors, or indoors; with things or with people–all of these factors (and more) influence what people like to do and helps us identify our gifts.
As we proceed, consider that such words as gift, faculty, aptitude, genius, talent, knack, and bent, according to Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms, “come to comparison when they mean a special ability of capacity, achievement or the like.”
It’s necessary to further define these terms but, for now, consider that Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms includes this: “TalentÃ‰ carries the implications, derived from the Scriptures of the servant’s use of the talents (pieces of money) entrusted them by their master (Matthew 25:14-30), that the gift is a trust, and that its possessor is required to develop it and put it to profitable use.
“This basic implication in talent leads inevitably to another implication: that the gift is under the control of its possessor because its proper exercise depends on the industry and the requirement of necessary knowledge and skill.”
As we must work hard to excavate or mine gold and other precious metals, we must work hard to develop our divinity.
Now, what are the relationships between our talents and the attributes of Allah? The answer holds a major key to the education of our children and the perfection of the world to come.
More next issue, Allah willing.