[Editor’s note: The following are edited excerpts of the remarks delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at the memorial service for Nasik (Prince) Asiel Ben-Israel, International Ambassador of The Original Hebrew Israelite Nation, held at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois on Friday, September 2, 2022.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
I bear witness to the Oneness of God and the Oneness of His people and the Oneness of His prophets. Peace be upon all these worthy servants of God. Thank you very much for the honor and the privilege of being a part of the family of Prince Asiel Ben-Israel, who has touched us all in his own unique way. And that’s why we are honored to be here today, to celebrate a life well lived and a job well done.
To all of you who spoke today, I enjoyed listening and learning from your words. You deepened my understanding of my brother by the beauty of what I saw and heard from his family. So, to your honor (Chicago) Mayor Lori Lightfoot, to the wives Shalaymiah, Yoanna, Shalgheyah and all the children and grandchildren of Asiel Ben-Israel, I thank Allah for each and every one of you, because as you were standing and talking, I was looking and listening; and I was saying a prayer as you were talking, that Allah would bless the womb of every one of his daughters, and bless the life germ of every one of his sons, that from him will come nations from his seed.
True brotherly love outweighs disagreements
One day I was with my teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, shortly after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered. I loved Dr. King, but we disagreed; and usually, when we disagree, we somehow don’t like each other—but Dr. King was special… On my radio broadcast, I felt danger coming to that great man, and I wanted to warn him that I felt death approaching him.
Dr. King was shot down, and I broke down and wept, and when I went to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I said, “Dear Apostle, why is it that we can disagree with somebody, and when death comes, tears flow from our eyes for that person?”
I felt like a hole was in me when the word came that my brother, Prince Asiel, was gone. He and Ihad a good relationship! Like all of you, we celebrate one man, but that man was our man; each of us had a sense of ownership of our brother and the beauty of his soul. And I want to say to you, that when I asked the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad why do we act like this when somebody that we maybe even disagree with passes, he said these words:
“As long as the testator is living, he or she is writing their testament. But when death comes, it puts a period (.) to their testament; then the historians come, and gather up the bits and pieces of that person’s life, and they assign that person their place in history.”
Our brother, Asiel: When I heard he dismissed the doctors and told them he didn’t want to take dialysis anymore, I spoke to his son, and I said: “I think dad is ready to return to The Creator. His earthly work is done.” They said he had three days, or so, to live, and I was thinking, “I’ve just got to go see him again!” Because just before he made that big trip to Israel (maybe in May, I think it was), we met, and I said to him after we had finished speaking:
“Nasik, are you going back to Israel to die, so that you can be buried in the soil of Israel?” He turned and looked at me, and he said, “Yes.” So when he left me that day, I didn’t expect that I would see my brother again. And he came back home, and we met again. But I knew his desire was to go back to the land that he loved.
Not a land that belongs to usurpers, but a land that belongs to God, that He gives to those who submit their will to do His.
‘Shalom’ (‘Peace’): The greatest prayer one can offer another
When I talked to Yoanna, his wife, I said, “You know, the best greeting I could give you is not to talk about sadness, or to say that I offer condolences,” but what I offered sister was “Shalom.” “Shalom. Shalom.” When you are offered peace, there is no greeting greater! Because the peace that we offer is a prayer to The God of Peace without Whom there is no real peace; The God of the prophets.
When we greet each other saying, “Peace be unto you,” we are exclaiming a prayer, a hope, that our lives will offer peace to each other. Our peace turns, if we mean it, into love. That peace that “passeth all understanding” (Bible, Phil. 6-7) is only the peace that The God of creation can give! And once you have made peace with Him, and He grants us His peace, then there is no trial that the enemy may bring that we cannot overcome.
God offers us His peace. But the scripture teaches that we didn’t know “the way to peace,” so He taught us how to have peace. So, I wouldn’t say that my brother did it “his way.” He didn’t have a way until God showed him the way, then he followed The Way of God all the way until he took his last breath. So, he is at peace now.
I heard how Prince Asiel talked to his children; and he said beautiful words to you! And you are a beautiful family… He gave you a purpose for your life! Sometimes, we run away from our purpose when we find out how difficult the road is. “Peace” carries with it a promise, but also, a factor of great difficulty.
God is not an easy One to submit to, because He knows it all and we know so little. So many of us want God’s way to be ours; we don’t want to give Him the right to choose the way for us, so sometimes He has to whip us into submission—and that’s so easy for Him to do!.
But the beauty of the Prince, and the beauty of the Saints (the brothers and sisters of the Original African Hebrew Israelite Nation): You heard the word, you loved what you heard, and you submitted your life to live that word. It is only in living the word, not (just) preaching it, [that will cause us to accept God’s way and be able to manifest the purpose for which He created us]. But you preach the word by living the word!
So, the Prince was just what my dear sister said: He was a man. And I hollered out, “Yeah, that’s what God made!” (Smile) God didn’t make “negroes,” He didn’t make “colored people.” He made a man! So when God makes you a man, you are His man. And the Prince was His man.
The Life-Giver has bestowed upon a beautiful nation gifts, purpose
As I look at you and marvel over the love that I see, and heard, in all of us for this wonderful, wonderful man of God, it was Prince Asiel who came to me one day and said: “Farrakhan, I’d like to take you to Israel.” I said, “Really?? I’m in a lot of trouble with those people, brother! I’m happy that you want to take me there…” And he took me to Israel; he took me to Dimona. I said, “Wow! These people loved us so much!”
Israel had a nuclear reactor in Dimona, so they thought that they were settling the Saints in a terrible place that will give them hell. But they turned hell into heaven. Because when they planted you there, they had to realize that God was with you!
So when I met Rabbi Ben Ammi, and I experienced the life of the Saints for real, I knew Rabbi Ben Ammi was a special man, and I will always love him; but he had a special man by his side, and that special man was your husband, your father, one of the great, great lives of our time, who helped Rabbi Ben Ammi to become the great one that he became. But it was the work of Asiel Ben Israel that made the whole word know Rabbi; and then he brought us there to meet Rabbi Ben Ammi! And after we met the Saints, we all came back to America and we had a song to sing, we had a word to say about what we found in Dimona. And for that, I will always, always, love the Saints!
I will always thank Allah for the day that the Prince brought me to Israil.
‘Be upright,’ the nature in which you were created by God
There is only one Life-Giver, and that is The Almighty Creator by whatever Name you call Him. When you give birth, you are not the creator of what you brought forth. Allah says in The Qur’an (64:2): “I created you (in the womb), and one of you is a believer, and the other is a disbeliever.” This teaches that some of us are born to disagree with God. That’s bad, man…
Now, this is a beautiful family, and I know you’ve been through a lot! But look what happens when we submit to God: If you fall down, and learn why you fell down, and you pick yourself back up and say “Hallelujah!,” then your fall was the beginning of your rise.
I close with this: The purpose of your life is given in the gifts that The God gave you! And we always want to know “What’s my purpose?” You find your purpose when you understand your nature, and try to live your nature. And that nature doesn’t have a name as such, so we call it a “religion.” I don’t like that word, because “religion” has us all upset and divided, and hateful of each other. No! The Holy Qur’an (30:30) says it like this: “Set your face for religion being upright, the nature made by Allah in which He has created man. That is the right religion, but most people know not.”
You never were converted! You were born the righteous, born in the Nature of God! So people put names on it. God didn’t call it “Christianity.” No, He didn’t. Now we say we’re “Christian,” and we’re disliking each other; or “I’m a Muslim,” or “I’m a Hebrew,” or a “Jew.” But if you “set your face for religion,” a religion that is rooted in the Nature of God; Allah (God) says, “That is the right religion,” and He gives it to everyone who He is The Creator of! He gives you His Nature… And Satan has been busy twisting nature! Some of us don’t know what we are, because Satan has us so confused. But your nature is righteousness.
That’s why I don’t like “his way.” Prince Asiel did it God’s Way! He practiced righteousness. He practiced good. He practiced treating everyone the way he would like to be treated. There is no better religion than that.
I love you, and I love what my brother has done, of which you are a witness. The family of this great Prince has to be the new leadership of the future of the Nation of Israel. So rise up and take your place, and speak love to your father, love to our brother, and do good in his name!
Thank you for reading these words.