CHICAGO—Love radiated through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, the host hotel for the 28th annual International Training Conference. On July 29, Minister Farrakhan delivered a message to trained martial artists and conference participants of all ages.
“It is so tremendous to me to have him to want to come here. He has been saying that he has been looking forward to coming to this event, and this event in particular,” Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad, the Nation of Islam’s Student Assistant Supreme Captain and conference organizer, said in his introduction of Minister Farrakhan.
He recounted that when Minister Farrakhan’s son, Mustapha Farrakhan, the Student Supreme Captain of the Nation of Islam, shared with Minister Farrakhan information about the training conference, the Minister asked, “Am I invited?”
“The reason for this is because of him. He’s the reason. But his humbleness, the kind of man that he is, he’s just totally and truly a humble person, and I’m in love with him because he is and has shown his love for us,” Grandmaster Azziz Muhammad said.
Minister Farrakhan spoke heavily on the topic of love, using the Biblical scripture 1 John 4:16, “God is love,” as the basis. “Now those of you who study English, you know you have a subject, you have a predicate, and sometimes the predicates always take an object but not when the verb ‘to be’ is there,” Minister Farrakhan said. “God is. No object there. What you get is a predicate adjective or a predicate nominative to give you a greater description of God. So, when you use ‘God is’ or ‘I am,’ then you’re in the ballpark, then. But who are you? So, God answered, and the answer, He’s love.”
“What kind of love is that, that is the description of God Himself?” the Minister questioned.
He explained that the kind of love being talked about isn’t on the low or cheap level, but it is real love. “We must know what we mean when we say, ‘I love you’; Now I can say why I love you—because I have never met a fellow human being that I didn’t find God in that person,” he said, describing Black people as a people in whom is the in-dwelling spirit of God Himself.
He brought up the two commandments of the Bible: love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor and your brother as you love yourself. He then described “love” and “life” as the same word with the middle vowel and consonant changed.
“If you’ve got life, you should have love. If you don’t have love, you don’t have real life. So life begins with loving, and loving begins with knowing the Creator,” Minister Farrakhan said.
He talked about the importance of purifying one’s heart to be able to see God in all of His creation and to then be able to remove fear and master creation. He also urged the audience to protect the gift of life they were given by God.
“You’re alive, but you’re walking in the valley of the shadow of death. So, you have to understand your environment and be as wise as the serpent, humble as the dove but always ready to demonstrate your ability to protect the gift of life that God has given to us all,” he said. “Our duty is to protect the gift to show how much we love the Giver Who gave us the gift.
So, if you’re a lover of the gift of life, you want to preserve it, you want to protect it, you want to maintain it. You can’t do it without discipline. What foods are you putting in your mouth? What drinks are you drinking? What are you smoking? Did I hit a note?” he asked.
“Brothers and sisters, look. This is a great gift. It’s yours to protect. It’s yours to maintain. It’s yours to allow it to grow to its fullest. Death is its enemy,” he continued. “You’re studying martial arts, but that has to be coupled with ‘How to Eat to Live,’” he said, referring to the dietary way of life prescribed by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad from Allah, God in Person, Master Fard Muhammad.
“Every time you go against the rules of life and the rules of love to harm yourself, you’re harming your relationship with life, and you’re harming your relationship with God,” he added.
He also described each person in the room as valuable.
“The littlest one in here, the little brother, the little sister, when you look at them, you’re really looking at a little god growing up. And they are worthy of our respect as a little god. And when you can learn to look for God, and when you see Him, bow. That’s what senseis do,” he said. Sensei refers to martial arts practitioners that have achieved the level of black belt.
“They show you God and what you’re supposed to do. That’s recognizing what they know and the power of that knowledge to inflict pain, and death if it’s necessary. That’s an awful power for you to have if you’re not mentally balanced enough to handle that power.”
“God will give you power, but He also wants you to gain the wisdom, the knowledge that accompanies power, to give power a balance,” he continued.
Letting love live
During his address, Minister Farrakhan recognized his wife, First Lady of the Nation of Islam, Mother Khadijah Farrakhan.
“I have to stop when she comes in, because she is the most wonderful friend and wife that a man could have, to hold a position that God has placed me in. And I couldn’t handle that without somebody by my side who helps me, and that is Mother Khadijah,” he said.
He paused his message to acknowledge his wife’s presence and to ask for her permission to continue. “I’m so happy that she wanted to come out to be with you and to see you and to feel your spirit and then to see the grandmasters and their great students show us what they are learning,” he said.
“I want us to win the approval of God, that He will be inside of us. How do you know that you’re awake and resurrected? Because God is life, and Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. If you believe in me, even though you are dead, yet shall you live,’” Minister Farrakhan explained.
“Let love enter your hearts. Let love in, and you’ll let God in. I’m not talking about stupid love, I’m not talking about sex-crazed love. I’m talking about a love that is as genuine as the God of love. He’s offering it to us in His word, and if you feed on His word, you’re feeding on His mind, His life, and when His word and His mind becomes a part of your mind, then you die and He lives. And that’s when the fusion takes place when God has made us all up into Himself,” he concluded.
Soke Li’l John Davis, the teacher, and trainer of Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad, said to The Final Call that the Minister’s messages keep him motivated. “I love him. He’s always my heart,” he expressed.
Sister Johnnae Muhammad from Mosque No. 13 in Springfield, Mass., said she always feels grateful to be amongst Minister Farrakhan and to receive the words that God puts on his heart. “It encourages me because I strive in my Islam and just every day to do better,” she said. His message also encouraged her “to remember to love Him first, to love God first, love myself and then expand out.”
Minister Farrakhan’s words on women, his wife, and on the topic of fearlessness resonated with Sister Cornelia Muhammad from Mosque No. 25 in Newark. “What stood out to me is he’s standing, not sitting. He was standing the full speech,” she said of the 90-year-old teacher.
Minister Farrakhan said a word that Sister Lucia Muhammad, a M.G.T. Vanguard from Mosque No. 32 in Phoenix, needed to hear. She commented on society’s constant devaluing of Black women.
“We have this amazing teacher. We have these amazing books. We have all these amazing resources to understand and to learn how to value Black women,” she said.
She described the Minister’s words on love as beautiful. “Even when he talked about the newborn baby, because I’m not going to lie, my baby stresses me out,” she said. “And he said bow to the baby and that’s a little god. Oooh! you’re right! I can’t be a spirit killer to the baby.”
Sister Lucia Muhammad said the Minister’s words gets her in the spirit to emulate and to self-reflect.
“How can I show more love? If we become too individualistic, then we’re not showing love,” she said. “We’re ambassadors. What lasting image do we want people to leave when they see the believers?”
For Brother Taqee Muhammad, a young civil engineer based in Atlanta and a recent graduate from Tennessee State University, Minister Farrakhan’s message was about “the kind of love that allows Allah into us and replaces ‘the us.’” “Allah wants us to love Him so much that we release ourselves completely and let Him in like how the Messenger did,” he said, speaking of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
“What’s the practical way to do this?” Brother Taqee Muhammad questioned. “(The Minister) was saying, feed on the word of Allah. And if you’re feeding on the word of Allah, studying on the word of Allah, you grasp the mind of Allah more, and you come into the mind of Allah.”
“As you feed on Allah more, you’ll begin to see Allah, see Him in yourself, boost your love for yourself,” he added. “Then, you can do as the scripture says, love God with all your mind, heart, soul and (strength), and then you can love one another as you love yourself because now you really actually love yourself.”