[Editor’s note: The following is the address delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan at the National Training Conference and Martial Arts Seminar, themed “S.A.F.E.T.Y” (Security, Awareness, Focus, Empowerment, Training and Your Survival). The event was held at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday, July 29, 2023.]
As-Salaam Alaikum! In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful. All praise is due to Allah, The Lord of all the worlds. We thank Him, and we can never thank Him enough for His merciful intervention in our affairs in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, Who came among us, chose us to be His people, and He wanted to demonstrate His power. And wanted you to feel confident that when He chose us to be His people, He had come to fight for our freedom, our justice, and our equality.
We thank Allah for His coming! And we thank Him for His wise choice of the most honored servant, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And I thank him for being himself. I’ll tell you more about him… But I wanted to thank all of you who, especially the senseis, the grandmasters, the wonderful teachers… I always love coming to see you, and to see you perform.
And the great students that you are producing that bear witness to your greatness. I am honored to be here. So to the grandmaster, his lovely wife, and to all of you that made this journey, thank you so much for coming.
I heard that Mother Khadijah is in the house … Where is she? [I am told] she is two minutes away—so I have to stop when she comes in. (Smile) 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.
To my son, the Supreme Captain, and to all the captains that are here, and all of you who have come from near and far to strengthen your ability to protect what God has given to you, I want to take just a few minutes to lay on some words that are in the scriptures where Jesus said “God is love.”
Now those of you who study English, you know you have a “subject,” you have a “predicate,” and sometimes the predicate always take an “object”—but not when the verb “to be” is there (“God is …”) No, there is no “object” there. What you get is [not] a “predicate adjective,” [but] a “predicate nominative” to give you a greater description of God.
[By definition, “a predicate nominative makes the subject and the word (or words) after the given verb in a sentence equal.”] So when you use “God is,” or “I am,” you’re in the ballpark there. “But Who are You?” So God answered, and the answer is He is love.
Wow, what kind of love is that, that it’s the description of God Himself? God is love. Wow. Well, is it that kind of love that we talk about on the low level? I mean, it sounds nice, you know? (“I love you.”) And I’m sure you mean it, for a while (smile). Sometimes the “while” is so short, you know? Because the love wasn’t quite real. But with God, His love encompasses everything.
Brother Mustapha Farrakhan: Mother Khadijah’s in the building.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: Where is Khadijah?! There she is… [Standing applause and cheers as Mother Khadijah Farrakhan takes her seat on stage.]
Brother Mustapha Farrakhan: You said God is Love!
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: [Laughs] Alright, now. You all gotta sit, so you can see her! But I am 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.
Brother Mustapha Farrakhan: She’s alright, pop. She’s sitting down.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: She’s sitting down… So I’ve gotta ask her: Do I have permission to (carry on)?
Mother Khadijah Farrakhan: All the time.
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: [Laughing joyously]
Grandmaster Abdul Azziz Muhammad: [Laughing]“All the time”…
Brother Mustapha Farrakhan: Ous!
Audience: “We love you, mom!” “We love you, Mother Khadijah!” “We love you!”
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: That’s right … I want to talk to you about real love.
A reason to love
Real love… What is it? We shouldn’t just say it, but 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. “You mean even in the devil?” Yeah! He couldn’t be the “god of evil” if God wasn’t somewhere around. He couldn’t be a master deceiver if he didn’t know the truth and act the opposite of what the truth directs; so “God” is there, but he is corrupted. What I am talking about is a people in whom is the indwelling spirit of God Himself.
We have been purposely made other than ourselves; and our former slave masters and their children, and their teachings, made us more into them and less into God. So the way we act, the way we behave, the way we think is so troublesome to ourselves and to others, we have to have a new way of thinking, and it starts with knowledge of God, knowledge of self, knowledge of truth, and accepting God fully, completely.
The Bible teaches the first commandment that Jesus gave—he only gave two—is: “Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.” That doesn’t leave anything for anyone else to claim. But Jesus dropped something in on the second “love”: “And the second commandment is like the first, Love your neighbor (love your brother) as you love yourself.”
“Love” and “life” is the same word; you just change the vowel or the consonant. You have l-i–f-e (life), and l-o–v-e (love). So, “love” and “life” is the same thing. If you have 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.
Wow! Just think about that for a minute. And if we are created in the image and the likeness of God, He put Himself in each one of us. The scripture teaches, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.” So, the heart is very important; and we must know how to purify it, keep it clean, because when you have a dirty heart, the words that come out of your mouth are poisoned by the condition of your heart.
You can’t hate your brother andspeak the right word that encourages “brotherhood.” So here we are at this wonderful meeting place, and I want to offer you today a reason to love.
“A reason to love.” Love is so magnificently attractive. Love is not ugly! When you act ugly, even if you think you are pretty, your ugly disposition has made you as ugly as your disposition. You can say, “You know, that girl is fine!” And she is! I know she is. (Smile) But how long will she be fine if she is always angry over her mistreatment? So even if she was real pretty when you walked down the aisle, by the time you got to where there was a honeymoon, the “honey” was off the moon, and my poor brother and sister began to discover what “ugly” really is.
No matter what you think you are, if you are of God then you must be a lover. I’m not talking about no cheap “lover.” See, I really love you, this is the God’s honest truth! And when I see you, I see something to love! You may act a little ugly, but I get past that, because I know under ugly is beauty if you are patient enough with ugly.
A reason to respect life
To me, I search you for God—and I have not missed in seeing God! Because if your heart is pure, the purer your heart is the more you can see God! And when your heart is really pure, you see God everywhere you look. You can see God in a bird, you can see Him in an ant, you can see him even in a coyote; you can see Him in a bear, see Him in a crocodile! See Him in a snake.
You may not want to love the snake, but God created the snake, so He had a purpose for a snake. So when you are in harmony with God, you find out, “Hey, what is the meaning of that one?” And when you get on the side of God, and know His creatures, and then treat His creatures like you should treat His creatures, then you attract more and more love from God.
Some of us have dogs… But a dog is a very special little creature, when it’s domesticated, you know? Sometimes you can’t find love nowhere else but with your dog. That’s a pretty bad scene: “I’m going home to my dog, because I’ve got more love with that dog when it sees me…,” and it starts wagging its tail, even to the point where it starts urinating and whatnot! “I tell you, that’s love!” But every creature of God: If you are more with God, you master His creation.
God is not afraid of anything that He created. Nothing! As ugly as it may be, and powerful as He has made it, He is not afraid of it. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad told me God put the fear of Himself in everything that He created.
I was out in southern Arizona when I found out that I was a victim of cancer, and I was fasting and praying, and trying to get my body back in shape again. I went out for a walk after I heard a tape that Brother Jabril had sent me; on that tape, The Messenger said: “God put fear in all his creatures for Him.”
That morning, Brother Harun was with me, and Brother Rashad… (They didn’t want me to get into a problem with the wild creatures, so they had a “little something.”) But they were walking behind me; they gave me space. And while I was walking, a bull came right out in the path. I saw the bull, the bull saw me. And the bull put his head down and started moving his feet back-and-forth, like he’s getting ready to attack, and I thought of the words of Elijah Muhammad that I had just heard on a tape. I said to myself, “I’m gonna try this out.”
Now, if you believe in God, and He tells you something, in order for you to work it, you have to try it and see if it works! So, I walked right up, now, toward the bull, and he made his move—and I kept walking. When the bull could not see fear in me, it ran right off in the bushes.
The enemy likes to control us with fear. You already should have a natural fear of God. God is not trying to control you by making you terrified; your sense of Him should make you wise, not terrified, but wise to act in accord with His will so He doesn’t have to use His power to bring you to your senses. He can do that… God is about to show the world that His will is going to overcome it all! He turns everything you depend on against you when you start acting like you are His equal.
‘Discipline’: How to preserve, protect and maintain God’s gift of life
God is love, and out of that love God gave to each one of us the gift of life. So you are alive today because of the gift of God; but in order to prove God’s love for you, He has to show you how to handle the life that He gave you, and then how to protect that life from any enemy against that life.
That is why you’re here, you’re alive! But you are 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.
As martial artists, when you understand why you are in a class like this, it’s easy for you to be more submissive to the sensei. He or she has passed through many, many degrees of trial to get to where they are today, so what they want to teach us is how to use the knowledge of what God has given to them to protect the life that God has given to us. When you have a gift from a lover of you, do you just sport it, and throw it down here or throw it down there?
That’s not respect. For example, if I gave you an engagement ring, and you get upset and throw the ring down because you got mad with me one day. Now, the ring hasn’t done anything to you, it’s me! So how do you treat the gift? How you treat the gift tells you how deep your love is for the giver of that gift.
This body of yours, this is God’s gift to you, a marvelous creation without any equal! The human form is the greatest form of life that there is, what He gave us as human beings; so our duty is to protect the gift to show how much we love The Giver Who gave us the gift. So if you are a lover of the gift of life, you want to preserve it, you want to protect it, and 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?
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. You didn’t hear me… So what you eat could be death though it tastes nice. So every sister in here: See, you are studying martial arts, but that has to be coupled with how to eat to live!
When you can throw that punch and knock somebody down, and then turn around and go to someplace to eat, and you know nothing about the food you’re eating or the cooks who cooked it (you’re just, “I just want to get out and have something to eat”), so you end up eating mess. Every time you go against the rules of life and the rules of love to harm yourself, you are harming your relationship with life and you are harming your relationship with God.
I want to be loved by God. I want Him to love me and make me, I would say, a tenant in His bosom. So, I walk upright; I bother no one. So God gives me protection. “From angels?” Yes. We’ll talk about that tomorrow (at the Janazah Prayer Service for Brother Minister Jabril Muhammad).
Pain is not your enemy
As you walk this walk and live this life, love for God is prime. I mean, is there any reason why we shouldn’t love The Creator? No! There’s no reason! Is there every reason why we should love The Creator? Yes! The eyes you have. The ears you have. The tongue you have. The brain you have. The heart you have. Because of Somebody Who loves you, everything we need to master the environment, He put it all right in here [your body], right up here [your mind].
So this is why I wanted to just have a few minutes to talk to you about love: When you learn the power that you have when you have the science to protect yourself, you are a deadly human being, and that becomes your test. When you’ve got that science, how you act with it will show you how God will lose His favor of you, if you misunderstand what you have and then use it to mistreat others to show your power.
When you’ve got power, you don’t want to walk around showing it. Most people that can kill you very quickly, they are very humble people, because they know the power that they have and they just don’t want you to mess yourself up! These are dangerous men and women, boy! And I have seen what they can do! The poor little brother, last year.
Where is my young brother, Demonet? (How are you doing, soldier? I see you’re ready for some more!) Because he was a strong man last year; and I felt kind of sorry for him, because they would just call him out, you know? I said, “Wow. He really can handle it.” But you have to be able to handle stuff. Pain is not your enemy, pain is your friend if you know how to use pain to your advantage.
Each of you is very valuable, each of you. 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 is 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.
So God will give you power, but He also wants you to gain the wisdom and the knowledge that accompanies power to give power a balance.
How to become one with a Master Teacher
I thank you so much for allowing me these few moments of your time. I pray that Allah will open your minds and your hearts to find the power that is in love. Not lust! Real love. It’s so powerful, that God is offering His Mind to us. Think about that one! The scripture says, “Let this mind be in you, the same that is in Christ Jesus.”
Now you, you can talk “Jesus,” and that’s great. But when I talk Jesus, and get to know Jesus? When he knocks on the door of my mind, I always say, “Come in.” Not, “I’m busy, now. I ain’t got no time for you, God.” Always make room for the Presence of God in your life. And when you hear the knock, that God wants to come in to you, let Him in.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad: Oh, what an example! He met a Man… He met a Man that he was looking for all his life; and when he met Him, and knew Who He was, he offered Him his life. He didn’t want his life, he wanted the Life of that Man in him!
When you say the vows in marriage, from what I understood of those vows, the female is offering herself in marriage. That’s big! When a woman loves you enough that she wants to offer you her life, then brother, you have to think about what you’re going to do with that life! Because there is no such thing as a no-good woman, so teaches Elijah Muhammad! No such thing as a no-good woman;
Every woman that is no good was made no good by a no-good man! When a woman offers you herself in marriage, she is like the earth: You now have the freedom to plant in that earth a good seed. And like the earth is going to give you back what you gave it in a little bit, it gives us back a life that resembles us. Don’t play with sisters. Don’t play with women!
And sisters, don’t let no man play with you! Because you are not a plaything, you are a serious creation of God.
Brother Imam Sultan Muhammad is here: One day, when I was present at The Messenger’s table, his father asked The Messenger could he record the table talks of The Messenger, and The Messenger gave him permission and authority. When his father passed away, he gave to his son the legacy of the words of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoken at his table.
Now think about this: Imam Sultan offered that legacy to me, and I refused it, because I knew his father wanted him to have that. And so far, he has handled it like a wonderful brother should.
During one of these table talks, I was talking to Elijah Muhammad about “love”; and why he loved Master Fard Muhammad so much, he wanted to “die” that The Saviour could live in him. And it happened! So when Minister Lucius Bey Muhammad said, “How do you know that the man that you met is God?,” The Messenger said, “Because He made me all up into Himself.”
Now you think about that! So after I finished telling The Messenger how he had become The Saviour by accepting The Saviour into himself, like a woman who offers herself to a man, and takes the man into herself and she gives the man back himself in a better way, in a better form, in a life that will see a future that he may never live to see…
On that tape, I was talking about love, and The Messenger said, “Oh brother, you’re putting everything in the right place. It’s perfect.” But The Messenger said, “Brother, I love you.” Now, this is the first time I ever heard him speak like this to me; and he already told me that his mouth was not made to speak idle words, but the will of God. So when he is telling me he loves me, then he said: “And my love of you was approved by God even before I was born into this world.”
I want us to win the approval of God, that He will be inside of us.
How do you know that you are 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.”
Let love enter your heart. Let love in and you will 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 is 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 Words and His Mind becomes a part of your mind, then you die and He lives… And that’s when fusion takes place: When God has made us all up into Himself.