[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited excerpts from the message of the same name delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at The Institute of Positive Education in Chicago, Illinois, on March 20, 1980. To order this message in its entirety, please visit store.finalcall.com.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful, The One God to Whom all praise is due, Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad to Whom praise is due forever. We thank Allah for blessing us, for our beloved leader, teacher and guide, The Messenger of Allah, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
‘What The Muslims Believe’: A Reminder on Our Position toward the abject, despised
I wanted to start class by reciting something from the 80th Chapter of the Holy Qur’an, called ’Abasa, which means “He Frowned.” It talks about Prophet Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, in Arabia, talking to a very prominent rich man, and a blind man came tapping up to Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad was bothered by this blind man—because he was into this conversation with this rich man—and he looked at the blind man, and he frowned, and turned away. When Prophet Muhammad frowned at the blind man, and turned away from the blind man, Allah (God) frowned on The Prophet, and the following verses were revealed:
“In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. He frowned and turned away, because the blind man came to him. And what would make thee know that he might purify himself, or be mindful, so the Reminder should profit him? As for him who considers himself free from need, to him thou dost attend. And no blame is on thee, if he purify himself not. And as to him who comes to thee striving hard, and he fears—to him thou payest no regard. Nay, surely it is a Reminder. So let him, who will, mind it.”
Allah (God) is saying to Prophet Muhammad: “Why would you spend your time with those who really have no need of you, when a man came seeking you, who would be benefited by what you have to say, and you turned away from him, and you frowned?”
The Bible has something similar in the 14th Chapter of the Book of Luke, in “The Parable of The Great Banquet” (verses 15-23). Jesus was at a feast in the home of a prominent Pharisee when he began to teach his host, and those gathered, about “a certain man” who was preparing a great banquet, and invited many guests. When the feast was ready, this man sent his servant out for the doctor, and the doctor was busy; he the servant out for the lawyer and the businessman, and they both were both busy. So, he (Jesus) told his servant (his disciples): “Go out into the highways, into the byways, and bring me the lame, the halt, the blind, the leper; they will fill up my feast,” and they did.
What is the moral, or the lesson? Dear brothers and sisters, The Nation of Islam started and was built by the most abject of our people. Yes, the people that nobody else wanted could come to Muhammad—he never would turn them down. The people that had no home, no place to go, no one to love them, no one to care about them; yes, the prostitute, the pimp, the lowlife, the dope seller, the dope user, the wine drinker, the man that was so far down in the mud, nothing was looking out but his eyeballs…
But that is the man that knew he needed somebody, that is the woman that knew she needed somebody, so they reached out for Muhammad, as Muhammad reached out for them; and they came, and in a matter of moments they were cleaned up! Then when you looked at them again, you saw them clean, shining, and strong, doing things that the learned had not the courage to do.
Well, as it was that way in the first building of The Nation of Islam, so it is in the second re-building of The Nation of Islam. Who are the people that are going to be the foundational stones of this re-building? Oh, the doctor may come, the lawyer may come, the teacher may come, and what a blessing it is that such brothers and sisters come at the ground-floor level. However, the brother and sister who is willing to make the sacrifice, even of life, is the brother and sister who feel that they don’t have anything to lose.
To the brothers of The F.O.I., and the sisters of The M.G.T., and to those of you who visit with us: If you know that we are having a general meeting, go get the brother in the mud, go get the sister in the mud! I mean, if your friend happens to be a teacher or doctor, we don’t reject anyone. But the brother and sister in the mud, they are the ones that nine out of 10 times will stand up when there is nothing there to stand on but The Word.
Others who are used to going in and out of fine buildings, they can’t join you unless you have a fine building (“Oh, I would come… But there? That place, among those people? I can’t come, oh, no! But when you move up on Broadway, I shall be there!”). Well, we understand. But we have some brothers and sisters who don’t care where truth is, they will go there.
Study the Holy Qur’an to understand God’s Nature, which is Your Nature
So I thought we would start on that note, to let the brothers and sisters who feel that nobody cares, nobody loves you, nobody respects you, I want you to know how the Honorable Elijah Muhammad looks at you! When asked, “Muhammad, where is your God?,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said: “Every time I look at a Black man, I am looking at God.”
I don’t take those words lightly. When I look at you, sister, when I look at you, brother, I know who I am looking at! There is no sense in me praying to God and then mistreating you, because if I mistreat you I am already a mis-treater of God, for the very essence of The Nature of God is in you both! And if you doubt it, then study the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Qur’an is an Index of The Nature of God; it is telling you what The Nature of God is, and really, it is a key to The Nature of Your Self.
If you doubt that you are like the Holy Qur’an describes you, brother and sister, then let anybody come to you pompous and proud, and immediately you start closing off and rejecting them. This is because the Holy Qur’an says “none comes to Allah except he comes as a servant,” and none can come to you and win your love, and your respect, except he or she comes to you as a servant. They can’t come to you boastful and arrogant, and proud.
The Holy Qur’an teaches us that “Allah hates any self-conceited boaster.” And you know what? You do, too. You may not know why people turn you off, but if they boast, if they are self-conceited, if they are arrogantly proud, it turns you off. But you love the humble, yes, you do! And it is something about you, that whether you are right yourself, you respect righteousness. You hate hypocrisy! It is in you, that you hate anybody that preaches a good word and then lives totally contrary to what he preaches. (You can’t go for that! There’s nothing in you to make you go for that.)
You are, actually, the reflection of Allah. And when you submit, and we submit our will to do the Will of God, and when leadership represents Allah properly, they get the goodwill of the people. And the goodwill of the people is the very essence of the people, and that’s what Elijah Muhammad attracted from his followers.
Never has there been a Black man in the history of America who was able to get another Black man or woman to give him all that we had. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad got it all. That’s the truth, brother! He didn’t play no games, but we believed in him as The Messenger of Allah, and we submitted to him, and whatever he wanted for us, we gave it to him.
When White folks saw Black men and women submitting to Black leadership in that way, it totally threw them, because they understand that when Black men submit to Black men, the end of their power over us has come. Anytime a Black man rises up with good in him for us, they always try to come in between us and that leader by saying ugly things about that leadership so that you will never give your all to one from among your own kind.
The enemy knows how to short circuit your respect and commitment, so he will say, “Yeah, they’re stealing from you.” That will short circuit your respect and your commitment just so. Or, “They’re jiving you.” When they start talking like this, you pull back; and the moment you pull back, and you close up your support, then the enemy says, “We’re on the road to overcoming them.”
Understanding that ‘force governed by intelligence’ is The Reality of God in Man
Study Message To The Black Man in America by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the chapter “Program and Position.” On page 172, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad makes a declaration on Allah (God) in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad: “Who can be saved, you will ask? The Muslim believers who have submitted to the will of Allah and His religion, Islam, and those who faithfully followed and obeyed His Messenger. Let us try to do something for ourselves. Give praises to Allah for converting the people to me and blessing us with peace and security. Allah is one God. He is independent and has no need of us, but we have great need of Him. It is He the Prophets predicted would come in the last days of the world seeking us, the Lost People, to save us and restore us to our own. I declare to you that He has come in the person of Master Wallace Fard Muhammad by (1) a summary of His work for the past 33 years and (2) by the Messenger, who believes in what has been revealed to him by his Lord, as do the believers. They believe in Allah and His Prophets and His books. We make no distinctions in His Messenger. We hear and we obey.”
“Who is Allah (God)?” “How can Allah (God) come in the Person of a Man?” (These are questions that have been asked regarding the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.) There is an old saying that “truth is stranger than fiction.” Some of our people would rather believe that a spirit created the heavens and the earth rather than to believe that man is capable of doing this that has been ascribed or given to a spirit or nonentity. … And if we have misunderstood “God” all these years, we can’t say we are going to understand God in a day; but, the key to understanding The Reality of The Divine Being is understanding the reality of your self.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in telling us that Allah (God) is a Man, that puts him on the outside of the whole Islamic world because the whole Islamic world believes that God is a spirit. Well, consider this: We have heard said that God is a “Supreme Force,” right? But there is no force that we know of in the universe that doesn’t have behind it intelligence. Electricity is a force, but it is not intelligent. We just can’t say that “the universe was created by a force” and leave it like that; there is too much intelligence in the design and order of the universe to say that it was just “a force” that created it, because forces don’t have intelligence! So it must be something that is “force,” alright, but a force that is governed and guided by “intelligence.”
Brothers and sisters, the prophets said they heard God speaking to them in their ear. What “force” do you know of that speaks? Name any force that you studied in physics or chemistry, any force in the universe that communicates words in a language in the ear of men. Can you name one? No, you can’t. So if the prophets said they heard God’s Voice, what “force” has a voice speaking words in a language that the prophets understood? God didn’t present Himself to all of the prophets, but He communicated with them through what they call “dreams,” “visions,” and they heard His Voice. Only one prophet in the scriptures says he saw God “face-to-face,” and God spoke to him out of His Mouth, and that is Moses.
If we want to understand The Reality of God, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that we live in a material universe—and God would have no pleasure in creating a material universe if He, Himself, were nothing of “matter.” Everything that He created, you see; and there are things that He created that you don’t see, but nothing that He created is outside of “matter.” “Spirit” and “energy” are wrapped up in matter; even down to the most intense light, which is called a “wave,” that is also matter and energy. Even with an x-ray, which is a lower form of light than laser; the x-ray passes through you, but the x-ray still is “matter.”
Now if this is so, then Master Fard Muhammad, Who was born of a woman: How could He be God? The Christians teach that Jesus was born of a woman. Yes, they do! And they say that Jesus lived like ordinary men, and then grew to become God; and all the powers in the heavens and earth were turned over to Jesus, so that Jesus became “The Christ” which means “True God,” “True Man.” That’s Christian teaching! But when you tell the Christian that God is a Man, they don’t want to hear it—but yet, Jesus was a man. Before and after his resurrection, Jesus was man.
Allah (God), The Best Knower: His Nature is Our Nature
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us that Master Fard Muhammad’s Father was “Allah” before Him. What does “Allah” mean? The Qur’an opens up saying: “I, Allah, am The Best Knower.” Well, The One Who is “The Best Knower” is Allah. Remember, there is no “force” that you know that can say it is “The Best Knower.” Though knowledge is the supreme force, knowledge must be contained in something! “Spirits” don’t walk around talking and conveying knowledge, it is a mind that contains knowledge, and Man is The Supreme Life in The Universe, and he is formed right after God, Himself.
This is why the Holy Qur’an says Islam is not your religion, it is your nature, it is “The Nature of God and The Nature in which God created man.” Allah (God) gives you His same nature. Well, if you have His same nature, then you and Him are the same! So, you’re not a “child” of God, you are a God, a descendent of The Creator Himself!
“The time has come”: All the prophets have been talking about how God “will come.” There is no prophet that said “God is present,” they said “God will come.” Moses kept saying, “And when He comes…”; Noah said, “And when He comes…”; Lot said, “And when He comes… .” Even Jesus said, “And when He comes, the Spirit of Truth, He will guide you into all Truth.” Jesus wasn’t talking about himself, he was talking about somebody that he recognized as greater than himself.
David, the great prophet of Israel, looking down in the wheel of time, saw the “master prophet.” This is why when you call the Honorable Elijah Muhammad a “messenger,” that’s the cheapest title you could give him, because he is not just a “messenger,” he is the master of all prophets. He masters what they taught! They were in darkness, and they revealed words of light, but they themselves didn’t understand the depth of what God had given them. But the one who comes in the last days doesn’t come as a “prophet,” he comes with God.
It is written that God would come after the sheep that was lost. Brothers and sisters, God would come after you! He wouldn’t send a prophet, He would come Himself. The Bible teaches, “In that day when God comes, every eye shall see Him, every tongue shall be made to confess.”
How are you going to “see” something, but you can’t see? What does this mean, “In that day, when you see Him, you will be like Him and He will be like you”? What is the scripture talking about? This means that as long as you don’t see God as yourself, you won’t call out of yourself your capabilities! This means that as long as you think that The Master of The Universe is “some spirit out there,” you will never see yourself with the capabilities and possibilities of mastering the very forces of the heavens and the earth.
You are the natural master of the forces of the universe, but you are going to have to grow into that, now. So when God say it’s time to “go after the sheep that is lost,” where are they lost? They are lost in The West, among wolves. Who lives in The West? The Caucasian. Think about this: Anyone with jet black skin, if He comes into that house, they would spot Him immediately! So the old Christians said, “Prepare me a body, that I may go down…”
Brothers, this is beautiful wisdom if you understand it. Here is a Man coming that is going to judge two people, the White man and the Black man. He has to judge them, so He has to have the nature of both in order to deal with both. In order to produce one that can get among the devils, The Father of Master Fard Muhammad had to find the right earth to plant His seed in.
Look, there’s all kind of products that a farmer can produce, but you have to know the nature and quality of the earth and the nature and quality of your seed, and what you want to produce; then, you find the right earth for your seed. One thing that we have never been taught, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad mentions it in Message To The Blackman, on “Knowledge of Self”: The White man never wanted to teach Black people the science of mating.
We just lay down and have children, and luck up on geniuses (because we are so great). But wise men study themselves, and know themselves. Wise men say, “Well, I know ‘the multiplier,’ now let me study what ‘product’ I want. If I want to produce this product, then if I am ‘the multiplier,’ and I know what I am, then what is ‘the multiplicand’?” (Where will I find what I’m looking for to make my product? For instance, if I know that I am a “4,” and I hope to produce an “8,” then I have to find a “2” to multiply with to produce the “8.”)
Well, it is the same way in mathematics as it is in life: If I know what I possess, my characteristics, my qualities, and I know what I need, then I set my sight to look for the woman that has what I’m looking for, so that when I multiply with her I will get the product that I am after. The Wise Father of Master Fard Muhammad was after a product that could get in among the devils. And the scriptures say this of Him: “He came in sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh.”
Master Fard Muhammad, The Supreme Being: The Proof is in His Works
Master Fard Muhammad: A Man, born February 26, 1877. He is not The Originator of the heavens and the earth; no, He wasn’t here then, but He is from that same line. However, His knowledge is so great, that it supersedes the wisdom even of His Father. He is so wise, so says the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Master Fard Muhammad pictured and extracted the language of the people on Mars. He spoke the language of the birds, talked to the wild beasts. He knew the language of the human families. I mean, He listened to you think; knows your thoughts!
That’s no “heavy thing,” when you understand; that’s minor stuff! But the heaviest thing is to control the universe and master its laws, and make the universe bow to His Will. That’s the kind of power that He has!
Master Fard Muhammad comes to North America, as the scriptures teach “He came alone…”; and the Book teaches “He would measure the Earth, and tell its measurement.” When He came, Master Fard Muhammad shot to us a barrage of questions: “What is the square mileage of the Earth?” “How much is the land? How much is the water?” And He gives the answers: “196,940,000 square miles, that’s the square mileage of the Earth,” “The Water is 139,685,000 square miles, and the Land is 57,255,000 square miles.”
He starts running the circumference, the diameter and the distance between the Planets. He is telling the Honorable Elijah Muhammad: “Look, I am The Master of this! And I’m going to make you the master of this, so I’m going to give you a Flag that shows a master… I’m giving you The Sun, The Moon and The Star—and the only man that is qualified to wear that Flag is a master!”
And Master Fard Muhammad says to us, the Lost Sheep: “And you have to master the law that governs the universe in order to be qualified to wear The Flag of The Universe. But I am going to give you that because I am a Master, and I am going to make you a master; but before I make you a master, I have to make one man among you a master. Because, I am half-Original; I have a White-looking face, though my father is a jet-black man, but I’m coming to put a Black head on a Black body.
I am not to be the head of that body, I am to be The Head of the head of that body; I am not to be the head of that body, therefore I searched among the Lost-Founds to find Me one man worthy.” And Master Fard Muhammad found a little Georgia-born Black man that only went to the third grade of school, and He taught him three and one-half years, and went away.
To prove that He, Master Fard Muhammad, is God, The Supreme Being: He leaves a man who didn’t go to school, and that man confounds the scholars with what His Teacher taught him! To prove that He is God, Master Fard Muhammad tells little Georgia-born Elijah what was on Mars, what is on The Moon, and the nature of The Moon, and how The Moon got to be The Moon. And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad reveals it, and the White man goes up and bears witness: “Elijah is right!” Here is a little Georgia-born man telling you what was coming down the pike. We couldn’t even see the pike, much less what was coming! And every word that Elijah spoke is right on it. Who taught him but a Master?
Those who say that Master Fard Muhammad is not God: Then who are you worshipping? You say, “I worship the true God, Allah.” Well then, what has your God taught you that is superior to what The Man, Master Fard Muhammad, taught Elijah? How come your scholars can’t handle the followers of Elijah? How come the world couldn’t deal with that man Elijah?
How come the White man, who is a vicious beast, brother… God raised up a little lamb in the midst of a beast, and the beast couldn’t eat Elijah. Who was The God shutting that man’s mouth, and opening the mouth of Elijah? We don’t carry no guns. We were taught by Master Fard Muhammad through The Messenger: “Don’t even carry so much as a penknife.” And they have attacked us, and we’ve taken their weapons and killed them with their own weapons!
What God has been with us? And to prove that God is still with us: The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has left, but he left his word with us. Now we take the same word, and go right back to what the White man tore down, with hypocrites among us, and we are building it back up, defying the world. God is present… And you’re going to see it more and more when the devil starts attacking in the future. You will see that they won’t be able to do anything with Elijah Muhammad, nor his followers. No, there’s a God! He is present, and He has power.
Go study into The Attributes and Characteristics of God as found in the Holy Qur’an and the Bible; they will show you that these are not attributes of spirits, these The Attributes and Characteristics of The Divine Human Being.
God is Ever-Living, that is true! The Nation of Islam: There is no end to us, we will always be here. See how cells in the body die all the time, but the body continues? Every time you get in the bathtub, you see that ring around the tub. Those are dead cells. You are alive, but the cells have died; but, they gave birth to other cells. You’re straight! Well, that is the way it is with God: The body remains, and it keeps on producing one who will be the head of that nation; and that head is always the best knower.
How can you tell that Master Fard Muhammad is The Best Knower? He is revealing that which no man ever considered before. And when they try to fight it, the more they fight it, the more they say: “Man, He’s right.”