[Editor’s Note: This article text was published online on April 14, 2003.]
“And say not of anything: I will do that to-morrow, unless Allah please. And remember thy Lord when thou forgettest and say: ‘Maybe my Lord will guide me to a nearer course to the right than this.’”
–(Holy Qur’an 18: 23, 24)
In 1994, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a speech in which he beautifully explained the significance of the greetings: As-Salaam-Alaikum. It will take a series of articles to present it in this column. Since it’s taking longer than I expected to get it ready, I cannot present the first installment until next issue, Allah willing.
Instead, I am presenting the concluding parts of a series, which appeared in this column in 1997. It began:
So, in the history of the circumstances in the life of Hannah, leading up to the birth of Samuel, we have the essence of an answer to the two questions raised in my last two articles dealing with: what is going on when we are suffering injustice and seemingly have no answer that addresses our appeal from the ultimate source of justice–Allah Himself? The other question involves what is going on when we are praying to Allah for that which we seek and which we have good reasons to believe we should receive and have done all that we know to do to obtain it and much time has passed and we yet do not have it–what is going on?
The other wife, who was blessed with children, unjustifiably mocked and scorned her for something over which she did not have complete control or no control at all. The text states that the Lord had closed her womb. What does this mean?
It could mean that she did that which activated aspects of the laws of nature over which, of course, Allah has complete mastery, as they are from Him. And, as a natural consequence she was unable to bear children. On the other hand, this could refer to something God Himself deliberately did which prevented her from being able to bear children. Which was it?
The other wife treated her wickedly. Did God factor in her wicked treatment of Hannah as part of His plan to accomplish something wonderful and beneficial for the people through Hannah’s anguish and pain?
Time and again the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, as his teacher before him, sought to get across a great principle of life which is especially important at this time. It involves the principle that, more important than what God either does to us or allows to happen to us, is what He is doing for us; for our ultimate benefit and for benefit to come to others through us.
We can illustrate this in the lives of both the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan. Both men suffered greatly. The Minister still does. But there can be no doubt that the hand of Allah was and is over their suffering both for their personal benefit and for the benefit of countless others, now and in times to come.
Hannah was dealt with unjustly by the other wife. If God had granted her relief from the injustice, that’s all she would have gotten. She would have gotten justice and that would have been that. However, He had in mind something greater than simple justice for her. To accomplish this greater blessing, there was something she had to do in cooperation with Him and His plan. At the base of what she had to do was open her heart up in greater prayer to Him. He required greater inner development of her.
The exercise of her spiritual lungs enabled her to take in ever greater measures of divine inspiration. He wanted her to use the pain she was undergoing at the hands of the other as part of her overall motivation to seek means of nearness to Him. The closer she was getting to Him, the closer she was getting to her true self.
He would not relieve her of the pain of her oppression until she was fit to receive what He really intended for her. He was not going to come down to where she was to grant her what He had in mind for her. His desire was that she come up to the proper level He deemed best for His wise purposes. He wanted her to travel the uphill road. He knew this would develop the strength in her required to make the proper use of the blessing He intended to grant her.
Now the text does not show that her prayer to God was for relief from her oppressor. Her prayer was for a son. Nevertheless, God would not grant her desire until she had reached a certain level of qualification. When she got to where He wanted her to be, He not only blessed her with this magnificent son, named Samuel, but later blessed her with five other children. In the tenth verse of the first chapter of the first book of Samuel, we read that she prayed in bitterness. In verse 11 [we read that] she finally reached the stage where she made a vow to the Almighty and promised Him what she would do with the child if He would enable her to become pregnant. It wasn’t until verse 18 [that we read] that she developed or grew to the state that she was no longer downcast.
In granting her desire for a son, in Samuel, the Almighty was at the same time accomplishing what He already had in mind, not just for her but for the nation. What happened to the other woman?
Later in this article I wrote:
In the 25th chapter of Matthew, Jesus gave a parable of the 10 virgins to which the kingdom of heaven was compared. Five of the virgins are called “foolish.” The other five are called “wise.” Some translations use the word “sensible.” All of them had lamps, however, only five of them had oil.
The bridegroom tarried or delayed his coming. All began to nod and to then fall asleep.
It was at the midnight hour when someone shouted the bride groom had arrived and that they should come out to meet and greet him. All of the virgins woke up and got their lamps or torches ready. Then the foolish said to the sensible, give us some of your oil for our lamps have gone out. But they were told that they had to go back and get their own.
While they were gone the bride groom came and the five that were ready went to the marriage and the door was shut.
Included in that article was: “In Surah 57, section 2, we read, in part, the following: “On the day when the hypocrites, men and women, will say to those who believe: Wait for us, that we may borrow from your light. It will be said: Turn back and seek a light. Then a wall, with a door in it, will be raised between them. Within it shall be mercy, and outside of it chastisement.”
I suggest the reader read the fuller context Surah 57, section 2, and Matthew 25.
More, next issue, Allah willing.