[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint that was published online on November 25, 2003.]
“Say: O People of the Book, why do you hinder those who believe from the way of Allah, seeking (to make) it crooked, while you are witnesses? And Allah is not heedless of what you do.” (Holy Qur’an 3:98)
“And certainly We know those among you who go forward and We certainly know those who lag behind.” (Holy Qur’an 15:24)
“And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which [men] deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it [is] sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29: 11, 12)
“And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. The meek also shall increase [their] joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (Isaiah 29: 18-19, 24)
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. (John 5:25) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; (John 5:26) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. (John 5:27) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, (John 5:28) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5:29)
“… Allah, He is the Truth, and He gives life to the dead, and He is Possessor of power over all things, And the Hour is coming, there is no doubt about it; and Allah will raise up those who are in the graves.” (Holy Qur’an 22:6, 7)
How well do we understand the above (somewhat randomly selected) passages from the Bible and the Holy Qur’an? What about humanity as a whole? How well do the billions of the readers of these two books understand them?
It was in the early fall of 1931, when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad first heard that there was a man teaching “Islam” who was going by the name of Mr. W.D. Fard. He heard this from his brother, Charlie. They were then living in Detroit, Michigan. Charlie’s excitement stimulated his interest.
Although he had the wrong idea of Islam, at that time, as he thought it was a “heathen religion,” he was told enough that he wanted to meet the Teacher and hear His teachings.
There was something deeper in him that caused him to want to see and hear this man. Ever since he was a little boy–after he learned to read and write–he was a reader of the Bible. He only went to the fourth grade of school, as his father needed him to work in the fields. His father was a sharecropper.
He was not at all lazy, but when he was a little boy, he said, he would crawl under a house or a barn, and read the Bible, as often as he could. He was drawn to its contents.
Now it’s September 1932. He was told that Mr. W.D. Fard was teaching a few people in a basement. He went there but did not see Him. He was told the man was there earlier.
His determination to see Him intensified. He went to other meetings held there and elsewhere, but continued to miss Him until the night of September 22nd. He was eager to see and hear Mr. Fard because he had a strong feeling about this man’s identity. He had quietly grown to expect the man whom his understanding of the Bible told him he should expect, “right about that time.” He felt this was the One he was expecting, prophesied in the Bible.
As soon as he saw and heard Mr. Wallace D. Fard, he knew Him to be the One the world had been expecting for the last 2,000 years. It came to him that the man he beheld was the very man expected by the prophets and others, Who would come in, or under, many good names: Jesus included.
That which Mr. W.D. Fard said and did, at that meeting, convinced the Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the truth of His identity. The Messenger would later say to his followers and to the world that the first thing that struck him about Mr. Fard was that His words and actions tallied with the Bible’s prophecy about what the coming One would say and do on His arrival.
Mr. Fard began speaking on the origin of things. He went on to teach of the measurements of the Earth, its weight, the distances between the Earth, the sun and other planets. He spoke of their rotation, measurements and so on.
He could not but compare what he was listening to, with the prophecy of the coming of God in the book of Habakkuk and elsewhere in the Bible.
Mr. W.D. Fard said much about the nature and history of Black and White people. He spoke about the future, including the coming judgment of this world and of the new world to be established after this world’s power was broken.
He said that Mr. Fard Muhammad went on to say that we were not in our own names, that we were in the names of White people, that He had come to give us our own names (names of God and our people). As he listened, Elijah said to himself: “This has got to be the man.”
When the meeting was over, he got in line with others to shake the Speaker’s hand. When his turn came, Elijah told Him that He was the One Whom the Bible’s prophets foresaw coming along about that time, about 2,000 years after Jesus, or the Son of Man.
Almost simultaneously, Mr. Fard Muhammad looked around to see who else heard that, and then looked at Elijah a little sternly. His smile followed the look. He bent His head close to him, put one hand on his shoulder, and the other on his forehead. Pressing His mouth against Elijah’s ear, He whispered:
“Yes, I am that One. But who else knows that but yourself?”
A few months and 23 years later, on February 26, 1955, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would first physically see the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
During his speech that day, he looked up to and gave Minister Farrakhan his assignment, when he said for him to put the teachings that he, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, was teaching, “into that fine language that you know.”
It was his Teacher’s interpretation of the scriptures that was the means by which he recognized his “Aaron”–Minister Farrakhan.
More next issue, Allah willing.