[Editor’s Note: This is a reprint and was published online Jan. 25, 2005.]
“My brother, Aaron, he is more eloquent in speech than I, so send him with me as a helper to confirm me… He said: … We will give you both an authority, so that they shall not reach you. With Our signs, you two and those who follow you, will triumph.” (Holy Qur’an 28:34, 35)
On December 4, 2004, I asked the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: By the time you came into the Nation of Islam in 1955, you were already acquainted with the importance, the value and the use of such tools as dictionaries, thesauruses, synonym and antonym books. How did you first use them, even up to the present time?
Being a student of Latin, you become knowledgeable of suffixes and prefixes. And you become knowledgeable of the root of a word; how the word evolved; what is the origin of that word in terms of its origin, where did it come from. You learn that most English words evolved from either Latin or Greek. The Romance languages are French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese and they come out of Latin.
Latin is considered a dead language, but as the Qur’an says, “He brings the living from the dead and the dead from the living.” So if you don’t know something of the dead language, you are missing the understanding of the living languages that are being used today by a great number of people on the planet.
Naturally, the meanings of words, and their shades of meaning are very, very important in developing our communicative skills.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad one day told me of Clarence Darrow and President Woodrow Wilson, and he said, “The degree of knowledge that they had of the English language was profound.” He said, “That’s why Clarence Darrow never lost a case.” When he told me that, even though I was a baby in English to him in terms of his depth of understanding of the language, he was telling me that when you master words and the various shades of meaning of words, you can take one word and use it as a weapon of offense and you can take the same word with another shade of meaning and use it as a weapon of defense.
So that is why I believe the Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad, said in The Problem Book, “You will not be successful unless you learn to speak the language well.” The entanglement of the people is an entanglement of words, and how they perceive the meaning of those words. So, the freedom of people is the untangling of their understanding or perception of meaning, and giving them a new and better meaning of a word that they think they know or understand. That goes back to the Qur’an in Surah 20 when (Moses) said, “Loosen the knot from my tongue that they may understand my speech.”
So the Word of God that came to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a word that was designed to fit the condition of our minds at that time, but a deeper study of that same word would disentangle us from a limited understanding of what we thought we understood when we first heard that word.
So, through the plain language and the metaphorical language–which is the language that uses nature and the creatures of God to describe characteristics of human beings and nations; the forces of nature; the wind; the weather; aspects of zoology; aspects of botany; aspects of anthropology; aspects of meteorology; aspects of physics and chemistry and science–all of this language is used in scripture to couch and hide even truth, as well as to give a mind that is not yet ready for deeper aspects of truth enough to free that mind to start a movement toward the deeper understanding of what God had in mind when He revealed what He revealed.
He said to me one day that Master Fard Muhammad told him the number of dialects that both Clarence Darrow and President Woodrow Roosevelt knew of English. The number was around 23 and 22 respectfully, or close that. I just don’t remember the exact number right now. Did he ever mention to you anything like that?
[If any one reading this ever heard the Honorable Elijah Muhammad speak on this, please write me at www.writtentestimony.com.]
No. He mentioned to me the degrees of understanding of the language that they both had mastered, which set them apart from their contemporaries in their ability to master language.
Sometimes, Brother Jabril, I didn’t use the dictionary. I would just use what I understood of the prefix, the suffix and the main word if it had a Latin root. Then, I would compare what I saw in the definition, even to what Webster said. Then, sometimes my definitions were deeper and more profound than what was in the dictionary.
Now, Brother Minister, that’s getting really deep into the very origin of the word–its very spirit!
Next, Big Brother, there is an obvious and profound relationship between the “We” who wrote what they wrote in the original scriptures and its power so deep into the nature of things, that it’s as good as done, long before it takes place! It passes down through the generations and it has everything to do with the very genetic make-up and the DNA of that human being. Please comment.
Those who write the future of events and circumstances, and write the future of persons who create these events and circumstances, know that there are circumstances that surround the womb of an individual of consequence that helps to manifest what is already in the DNA.
No matter what’s in a seed, if it does not have the right environment in which to manifest what is within, the seed never comes to fruition. So, many of us die as seeds that do not fulfill the aim and purpose for which we are sent into the world because sometimes we are placed in an environment that literally stifles the expression of what God has put within.
So every circumstance has to be made right for what God has put within to manifest. When I was listening to the TV early this morning, and they talked about the nature of Jesus’ birth–the circumstances, the hiding from a circumstance that was felt to be destructive to that one’s life; the lowly manger or ox stole in which he had to come to birth and all of those circumstances, plus the star that pointed out to the wise men where the baby would be, these are circumstances that allowed what he was programmed before birth to bring about–those circumstances and conditions allowed what was in him to come forward.
So, none of us are separated from the environment that produces us if God intends for us to do great things. He supplies the environment, the circumstances that others may see as negative, but He knows that those circumstances are absolutely positive to bring forth this person to fulfill his purpose and thus glorify God.
To correct my article in Vol. 24, No. 12, the number in attendance at Stevie Wonder’s “Toys for Tots” event, held at the L.A. Forum, was approximately 13,000, which Minister Farrakhan attended.
More, next issue, Allah willing, for it’s written: “And say not of anything: ‘I shall do that tomorrow, unless Allah should will.” (Holy Qur’an, 18:23, 24) And, let’s not add foolishness to this.