[Editor’s Note: This article is a reprint that was published online on May 11, 2003.]
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan continues the subject of “As-Salaam-Alaikum:
“I offer you peace. I want to do good to all. Of all those with whom I come in contact, I do not wish to harm or hurt one human being. Not one.
“My mother told me once, ‘You don’t have to lie on anybody; the truth about everybody is bad enough.’ When you think about it, it’s true. If the truth were told on each one of us that was bad, that would be bad enough. And you certainly don’t have to lie on nobody if you just knew the truth of them and told it. That’s sufficient to kill everybody in the room.
“So, all of us stand in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness, as we’re full of faults. Every time I manifest a fault that disturbs your peace it has already disturbed mine. So we say, ‘O Allah, I confess my faults.’ I confess my faults. It’s our faults that injure peace.
“Is there anyone here who is without faults? Will the faultless one please raise your hand? Nobody. I’m going to ask the question again; maybe they didn’t hear. They didn’t have their hearing aid on. Will the person in this room, without faults, please raise your hand? Since there is none, then all our faults are potentially injurious to peace and the peace of others, as well as the peace of self.
“So, then, how can peace be attained in a society that is filled with fault? When you say, ‘Peace be unto you,’ does that mean my faults go unto you?
” ‘I like to gossip and I like to gossip about you. I like a little backbiting. I like to backbite about you. Ã‰ I ain’t too bad about adultery either because I certainly like your wife or your husband.’
“Now these are faults.
“You know, ‘I’d like to get high sometime,’ some of you may say; ‘What’s a little reefer between me and God?’ I just wasn’t feeling good. I needed to jack myself up. I got tired of waiting on God to grant me money, good homes and friendship in all walks of life. So, I just robbed the bank. God helped me to get away. The devil didn’t catch me. I got away clean.’
” ‘As-Salaam-SaAlaikum, and a slab-a-bacon to you too.’
“Sometimes your peace means a slab-a-bacon. Not As-Salaam-Alaikum, but a slab-a-bacon from Kanzier, because we’re speaking out of a foul spirit; out of a foul motivation; out of a foul intention toward one another. ‘As-slab-a bacon to you.’ We’re commanded not to eat the swine, not even to touch its carcass. So why would you offer swine to your Brother and Sister?
“They used to do the same with the prophet when they would say ‘As-Salaam-Alaikum.’ They would say it in a strange way to mean something evil.
“Dear family, offer peace. Though we are full of faults, we must learn to confess the fault. ‘I have been greatly unjustÃ‰’ not to you. ‘I’ve been unjust to myself. And I confess my fault.’
“See, that’s a prayer that we need to break the prayer down [analyze it] and make the prayer live. ‘I confess my faults.’ How many of us have gone in the closet somewhere, and talked to God about our faults? Ã‰ I mean just talking. You don’t have to tell Him. He knows it. He’s trying to forget, as it is written.
“But He wants us to confess because confession is good for our soul. If you just say, ‘Allah, I lied today. I should not have told that sister or that brother that lie. Purify my tongue, Allah, and make me more courageous to face the truth.
” ‘Why didn’t I tell him I was looking at the football game? Why did I have to tell him a lie that I was sick? Who is he? [The one we lie to.] He is not my judge. You’re the Judge, Allah.’ ”
Minister Farrakhan went on to point out that only Allah really has our future in His hands. Others may mistreat you, but “they can never excuse you from the blessings of God.” He stated that others may treat you “unjustly” but they can’t cut you off “from the blessings of Allah, because He sees what others do not see.” Of course, he qualified this, as we’ll see.
“He knows what none of us know. He’s free from prejudice and prejudging. … He’s free from bias. … So only Allah can give us true judgment and true justice, but we must be found trying.
“When you confess your faults, then you ask Allah, ‘Oh Allah, please grant me protection against’ what? ‘All of my faults.’ Because for every fault that faults, whether it is in our character; whether it is some disease of the heart, like envy or greed or lust; whatever that fault may be, ego tripping, a longing to be bigger than somebody else; to be noticed; that’s a fault. And every fault … acted out, brings consequences. So we are asking Allah to grant us protection against all our faults.
“In other words, ‘Oh Allah, don’t bring me the consequence of my foolishness. Don’t bring on me the weight of my own sins. I’m confessing my faults, but Allah, don’t punish me if I forget or make a mistake. Have mercy upon me and don’t lay on me a burden as you laid on those before me.’
“Think over these things. When you get up from confession and feel the presence of God after your prayer, saying, ‘Son, Daughter, I forgive’ and what then should you do when you come in the presence of your fellow faulty-Believer, whose fault has injured you? Shouldn’t you be quick to forgive? Why are you going to hold grudges against one another, because of some fault that the Sister or the Brother has, when you have one yourself and God is protecting you against the consequences of your faults?
“Brothers and Sisters, when our faults preponderate over our good, then disorder, strife, rebellion, contention and evil begins to permeate the house. There is an old saying, I don’t know who originated it; when faults are thick, love is thin. But when love is thick, faults are thin.
“He looked beyond my faults and he saw my need. How many of us can see beyond the faults of our Brothers and assist them? Do we say, ‘Let’s see if I can suffice that need?’ ”
Minister Farrakhan is indeed a very special human being. What makes him special in the special meaning I have in mind here is the quality and content of his heart. I have often spoken of the type of heart he has, because the scriptures give his heart (and his teacher’s heart) special prominence.
The Almighty wants us to study both hearts, as this can bring us closer to understanding His heart. He always chooses those who are constitutionally close to the make up of His own heart for our salvation.
So the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to Minister Farrakhan, “You remind me of David.”
More next issue, Allah willing.