[Editor’s note: The following article contains excerpts from the historic Saviours’ Day keynote address of the same name delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on February 24, 1991, at Christ Universal Temple in Chicago, Illinois.]
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, for 44 years, taught us that God is not a mystery, He is not a spirit, He is not a spook. God is real. He is a real live human being, differing from you and me only in that He is supreme in knowledge, wisdom, understanding, and power. This is what he taught us.
Of course, this upset the Muslim world, and it upset many of our Christian brothers and sisters, that a Black man born in America, born in Georgia, who only went to the 4th grade of school said that he met with God, and God taught him night and day for three and one-half years, then went away, and left him here with a mission to raise the Black man and woman of America up from the grave of mental death and ignorance.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was laughed at; he was mocked and scorned and ridiculed. But White people did not laugh at him—they knew better. When war broke out in 1941, by executive order, the president of the United States had the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taken off of the streets because they did not want a Black man teaching Black men and women the proper use of themselves.
For they wanted to use our bodies to prosecute a war that was not in our interest, even as President Bush is using the bodies of Black boys and girls to prosecute a war that is not in our best interest.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad made many ministers and sent them into the cities of America, and he produced the most disciplined, organized and progressive group of Black people ever to be seen in the Western Hemisphere, yet he only had a 4th grade education. He taught Malcolm X who had an 8th grade education!
And Malcolm confounded the scholars of the world with an 8th grade education, but taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Muhammad Ali was “Cassius Clay,” just going to be another great fighter until he met with and was taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Then he burst onto the scene, one of the greatest fighters that ever lived.
But he was a different kind of fighter. He was a fighter with a message in his mind, a message in his heart; he was a fighter that stood for a principle. He fought the government of the United States against the war in Vietnam, and he prevailed. Even though he was stripped of his title, nevertheless, he came back to win the championship twice more.
My point is, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had to know something, and had to know Somebody, to say what he said and do what he did and live in America, when Black men who thought so much less than him lost their lives for just thinking as he was bold enough to speak!
Louis Farrakhan, now, is known pretty much throughout the Earth, and honored and respected in many circles of our people. But I was just a common musician. I never graduated from college; I only went to the third year in college. But Elijah Muhammad took me from there, and taught me. He is not an ordinary man. He is an extraordinary man. How do you know? Wisdom is known of its children. If you are wise, you don’t produce a fool.
I am the child of my father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I know no other father but him. My biological father died when I was quite young, and even before he died I never knew him. When I met the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I met my father! He fathered me into knowledge, into wisdom, into understanding.
He brought out of me what The Creator had put in me for the service of my people. So if I am anything of value today, it’s because I had a good father, a good example, a good teacher. And so I stand before the world today to challenge the scholarship of the world on the most important of all subjects: “Who Is God?”
‘Point No. 12 (God is a Man),’ as evidenced in Bible, Holy Qur’an
“Who is God?” We all talk about Him, certainly we love Him, we bear witness that He is The Greatest. We live in His Universe: There is nothing to compare with it, so certainly there is nothing to compare with Him! But Who is He?! We want to know our Creator! We want to know God! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, on the back page of our newspaper, then the Muhammad Speaks, now The Final Call, in Point No. 12, he said:
WE BELIEVE that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited “Messiah” of the Christians and the “Mahdi” of the Muslims. We believe further and lastly that Allah is God and besides HIM there is no God and He will bring about a universal government of peace wherein we all can live in peace together.
Many of the scholars of Islam have said to me, “Brother Farrakhan, why don’t you take that off of the back page?” Many of my Muslim brothers and sisters, who love Allah and love Prophet Muhammad, and love The Qur’an say, “This is un-Islamic, take it away from the page! Allah never has appeared in the form of any man.
Allah is not a man”—but they can’t tell us what He is! I want you to listen to me. I intend to talk to all of you! The scholars of the world of religion, Jews and Christians and Muslims, and whatever your religious persuasion may be: We have got to know today Who is God, that we may not make a mistake and serve other than Him.
The Bible teaches us that God made man “in His own image” and “in His own likeness.” But He is not a man?? The Bible teaches us of Allah (God), that He grieves, He sorrows, He sees, He hears; the wickedness of the wicked stinks in His nostrils; that He loves, that He hates; that Enoch walked with Him. The Bible teaches that God met Abraham in the plains of Mamre; three men came to Abraham, and one of them, the Bible says, was The Lord.
“But He is not a man.” Sarah came out of her tent and said, “Lord, if I have found favor, pass not away”; and Sarah comes out and says, “Lord, if You are hungry, I will feed You.” But how can you feed a spirit? She said, “Sit down, Lord, if You are tired.” How can you sit down if you have nothing to sit down on?
You say, “Yes, Brother Farrakhan, but that is the Bible.” I am not finished with the Bible yet! The Bible said Moses walked with Him, and spoke with Him “face-to-face as a man speaketh to his friend.” Mm? All throughout the scriptures of the Bible we are not dealing with some “spook,” or formless spirit, we are dealing with a man!
Well, what about the Holy Qur’an? “The Holy Qur’an is not dealing with a man.” No! The Holy Qur’an uses the personal pronoun “I.” “I” belongs to who? Talk back to me… The Holy Qur’an uses the soft pronoun “We.” Does God have associates? Does He have partners? Why say “We”? If God Himself revealed the Book, He knows best the language: Why did He use the language of a human being?
These Attributes in The Qur’an are not the attributes of a spirit! He is “Beneficent,” He is “Merciful,” He is “Powerful.” He is “The Life-Giver,” “The Sustainer,” “The Securer,” “The Destroyer.” Spirits don’t do that! Men in whom The Spirit dwells do that. Who is God?!
“Point No. 12”: I shall never take that Point from the back page of the paper, regardless to how many scholars don’t like it. I visited Mecca, and I sat with the scholars, and this was the main point that we wrangled over. And when we finished, the scholars shut their mouths; they had never heard an exposition like that. This is true! So, I figured that what I gave to them I should give to you, since they in Mecca could not defeat the argument.
And every argument they gave me, I gave them back their argument with more detail in it, yet I am born in America, never have been taught in any Islamic school by any scholars or scientists. I was taught by the unlearned one, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. But he don’t make no fools! (I don’t want to get too excited, but this is an exciting subject!)
“Who is God?” If we look at the way the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote that Point, it was Point No. “12” of “What The Muslims Believe.” I asked myself, “Why did he call it Point No. ‘12’?” (Why didn’t he make it Point No. 11, Point No. 9, Point No. 10?) Why did he have the word Messiah in quotes (“”), and bold, and why did he have the word Mahdi in quotes, and bold?
What is “Messiah”? Who is “Messiah”? What is the meaning of “Mahdi,” and Who is “Mahdi”? Why did he use these two words, put them in quotes? These words are well known to Christians and Jews; and the word “Mahdi” is well known to Muslims. Why did he use those words?
When you put quotation marks around a word, you sometimes do that to draw particular attention to that word. And if you italicize it, or make it bold, you want it to stand out because you are trying to suggest something subtly to your reader. Well, sometimes we are not wise enough to pick up on subtleties. But there are those among us who can pick up on subtleties; they would ask the question, “Why the quotation mark? Why in bold words?” He is trying to tell the world something about Messiah, something about Mahdi.
Introducing The New Ruler: Rules of interpretation that dispel the mystery of Who God is
God is setting down all false leaders. Hurling them down, not setting; throwing them down! Everybody that you want to worship as a god beside Him, He will destroy them for you, to show you that none today is worthy to be worshipped but God. But we come back to the question, “Who is He?” Let’s get after that number “12”; it is a very significant number.
We have 12 signs in the Universe, is that right? We have 12 inches on a ruler; and the ruler enables us to draw a straight line. We want to go straight today—we have been crooked so long. But you can’t go straight unless you have a ruler that will give you a straight rule to follow. So the Honorable Elijah Muhammad made it Point No. “12” because it is introducing the New Ruler!
The White man today is not going to be a permanent ruler. He will be set down by God… All of the rulers of the world are to be set down. Isn’t that what your Bible teaches? So why put your trust in [presidents, rulers]? You’d better look for the new ruler and make a straight way to Him because all the others are going to be set down.
The world is looking for the return of Jesus Christ. The Jews are looking for The Messiah, and the Muslim world awaits the appearance of Mahdi. But all of these “worlds of religion” are not looking for a spirit or a spook, they are all looking for a man. Am I lying? If The Messiah comes, are you looking for a spirit to pop out of a closet somewhere?
You’re looking for a man. If Jesus Christ returns, who are you looking for? You’re not looking for a spirit, you are looking for the return of a man in flesh and in blood. Is that right? And the Muslims who are looking for The Mahdi: You are not looking for a spirit, you are looking for the coming of a man.
What kind of man is He? He is an extraordinary man; but He is a man, right on. But He is extraordinary. Why should “Mahdi” and “Messiah” come in the form of a man? Because man and woman have been degraded! Man and woman are not “man” and “woman” today; man and woman have become “beast in human form.” Man and woman have degenerated: This is fallen woman, and fallen man. You don’t know resurrected man! You don’t know elevated man.
You don’t know man made in the likeness of God—you don’t know original man—so, therefore, you would have to get acquainted with yourself by God sending one to you in your own form, but mighty in power, mighty in wisdom! Not only carrying light, but is The Light! Then you can get an idea of who you are if you could only recognize Who He is.
In the Book of Revelations it says: “When the seventh angel sounds, the mystery of God will be finished.” “Mystery” means that which is unknown. “Well, wait just a moment! Do you mean to say that God, Who created all of this wonder, is a mystery? That an angel will have to sound, and when that angel speaks, the mystery of God will be finished?”
Why does the Bible say God “will come”? Where has He been? Why does The Qur’an speak of the “days of Allah”? Where has Allah been for all those other days? “I thought every day was His: Why would you make a specific and particular reference to the ‘days of God’?” I think we have to look at this. But before I go any further, I want to say something to the Muslims.
Beloved Muslims, in The Qur’an, in Chapter 3 called “The Family of Amran,” in verse 6, Allah reveals to us the rules of interpretation of His Book. Every person who has some degree of love for God, and scholarship, would want to read the Bible or read The Qur’an, and try to interpret such magnificent Books. God doesn’t want you to be one to mislead yourself and mislead the people, so He gives rules for interpretation of His word.
He says, “He it is who has revealed the Book to thee,” speaking of Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah, of 1,400 years ago, “Some of its verses are decisive, and some of the verses are allegorical. Then those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part which is allegorical, seeking to mislead and seeking to give ittheir own interpretation.”
Stop. God does not want us to give His word our own interpretation. I want you to listen, because we who study the word of God have to restrain ourselves from trying to give His word our own interpretation. Why? It takes more than just going to theology school to interpret the word of God.
To interpret God’s word, you have to get up into His Own Mind—and you can’t get there except by His permission. If there are musicians in the house: You can’t play Beethoven well if you don’t study Beethoven. Before you try to play Beethoven’s 5th Symphony, it is wise that you study the man who wrote it.
When you study the man who wrote it, then you study the condition that he was in when he wrote it. Then when you become one with his mind, one with his spirit, then every nuance in it, you can feel it, then you can make Beethoven live even though Beethoven is dead.
You cannot interpret The Wisdom of God unless and until God brings you into oneness with Him; that you begin to know Him in a hint and know Him in a sign, then you can interpret His word. But how many of us are like that? Of course, the vain among us will say: “I am!” And the foolish among us will say, “Me, too!”
But fools rush in where wise men fear to tread… And interpreting the word of God is a “fool’s paradise.” But a wise man will step back from that because it’s dangerous to play with God or to play with His Word, and to deceive and mislead people in the name of God. That’s a dangerous thing to do.
Now, after Allah gives us rules for interpretation, listen to what He says: “And none know its interpretation save Allah.” I’m going to say that again. “And none know its interpretation but God.” He is the only one who knows the hidden meaning of His own word. So the scripture says, “Those firmly rooted in knowledge, they say, ‘We believe in it. It is all from our Lord.’ And none mind except men of understanding.”
The Purpose for God’s Coming in The Person of Master Fard Muhammad
Beloved, Master Fard Muhammad was born February 26, 1877 in the Holy City of Mecca. His father was one of the 12 Major Scientists. His mother was a woman from the Caucasus Mountains. He was a specially-made man to go after The Sheep that was lost.
So in order to go after The Sheep that was lost, and “The Sheep” are the Black people lost among White people, He had to have a color that would allow Him to get in among White people and not be discovered. So the scripture say, “He came as a thief in the night. He came without observation. He came in sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh.”
Master Fard Muhammad’s mother was a Caucasian woman. I want you to listen good now. Why a White woman? [Now don’t you Black men get crazy and run out of here and go grab you one because the purpose has already been fulfilled! (Smile)] You remember the story of Jesus and the woman; and “seven devils” had to be cast out of the woman?
This was “a wonder in heaven,” this woman from the Caucasus Mountains. But she was approved by the Scientists, that she would give birth to a Son. The father of the Son would anoint the Son, but the Son would grow up to be greater than the one that anointed Him. The father would send the Son, but the Son would be greater than the one that sent Him.
Master Fard Muhammad was born with the capacity to understand the mysteries of the Universe. How is He born to understand the mysteries of the Universe? He was called into existence by The Originator. When The Originator wanted to perfect His Universe, it had to wait until One was born with a perfect knowledge of how to perfect what is imperfect.
This young child was born in Mecca in Arabia—mm. He grew in wisdom and power, and at the age of 6, He saw Himself pushing the Fords, the DuPonts and the Rockefellers into a lake of fire.
At six years old, He came into the knowledge of who He was! Like your little children today at six, they start them in school, but if you train them right from the cradle, at six they will know exactly what they are born into this world to do.
You train your children all wrong, feeding them lies instead of truth, feeding them foolish fairytales; making them think that bunnies talk, and rats talk, and pigs talk, and wolves talk. You’re killing your baby’s mind with fairytales. Feed your baby on truth from day one, and your baby will become a master of truth!
We are not birthed into the brain of God, we are birthed into The Mind of God. “Mind” is not brain, and “brain” is not mind. Brain is the source of mind. Brain is the root of mind. Brain is a repository of electrical energy. Brain is a transmitter and a receiver. If it receives right, it will transmit right.
What you see out here is not the brain of God. You are birthed into God’s Mind! Everything that you see came out of His Mind; therefore, if you feed on His Mind, you can grow into His Mind.
In The Qur’an, the name given to the temporary ruler called “Adam” in The Qur’an is Khalifa. Khalifa. The word Khalifa means “he who supplies the place of another who has perished or died; the successor to; the deputy of.”
Man is the deputy of God. Does God die? Just the physical. But when the physical goes, another stands, and the wisdom comes right through that one; and he is “deputized” to carry out the wisdom of The Originator. He dies; stars are created… But the will of The Originator is being carried out by men, who live and die. You don’t know their names! You don’t know their faces! Because their names and their faces are irrelevant. There is only One “doer” in this Universe, and that is God. He is the only reality—there is no other reality but God!
You say Satan is a reality. Yes, but it’s God acting through the left side. The scripture says that God has a right hand, but He also has a left hand. “Satan” is the left-handed expression; he is the negative side of the original nature. “Satan” is the misuse of power, he is the misuse of knowledge, he is the misuse of women, he is the misuse of sex; he is the misuse of water, of air, of fire… But he is using power from God on the negative side.
God’s coming is after the workings of Satan. And this child that was born in Mecca was born to overturn Satan’s world. He was born to destroy it. He was born to discover it at the foundation and expose it and uproot it and leave it neither root nor branch. He was born of a woman but born to rule…
“For unto us a child is born, and unto us a son is given, and a government shall be upon His shoulders and He shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the Everlasting Father and of the increase of His government of peace there shall be no end.”
Now how is He going to make Himself manifest? He grows, and He becomes the power. He knows how to destroy. He governs; He can govern creation: He can give life and cause death. He is Beneficent and Merciful, but He is a human being. The scripture says He came “without observation.”
Habakkuk says “God came from Teman; and the Holy One from Mount Paran.” Mount Paran is in Arabia. “Teman” is in Arabia. “Teman”: If you say it’s a man from a man, “Teman” was one of the sons of Adah. So if he came from Teman, from one of the sons of Adah, then he is the son of a man! And your Bible said, “The Son of Man will come.” Not the son of spirit, but the Son of Man.
“As lightening shineth from the East even unto the West, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be, for wheresoever the carcass is there shall the eagles be gathered together.” The symbol of America is an eagle. She has flown higher than any other bird. She has ascended above the clouds. Yet the scripture says, “I will bring you down to the sides of the pit to hell.” Yeah, this enemy has become more powerful than any other being or nation on the Earth in the annals of the last 6,000 years of history.
America, she is powerful. How did she become powerful? She killed off the Native Americans; brought our fathers out of Africa and robbed us totally of the knowledge of self, and deprived us of human rights much less civil rights; sold the people of God not for a decade, not for a century, but for four centuries. But God said “I, even I, will search the Earth for My sheep that is lost. And I will bring My sheep again.”
Here we are: The Lost people, The Lost Sheep, The Lost Tribe. Lost in America; lost in the way of White people. Lost… “All in Adam die,” and we died in the way of White people. So you are not a living Black man and woman, you are considered a “dead” Black man and a “dead” Black woman. You are no longer what you once were, and you need to be raised to life. But who can give you life? He said, “I am The Resurrection and The Life.
If you believe in me even though you are dead, yet shall you live.” “I am a human being”: “I am The Light of the world,” a human being! “I am the Good Shepherd,” a human being! “I am the True Vine,” a human being! “I am The Door,” a human being! “I am The Bread of Life,” a human being. “Messiah,” “Mahdi,” and He came to North America by Himself.