(Excerpt from A Torchlight for America, pages 140 -143)
I’ve often noticed how people go into houses of God with such reverence. I have visited Mecca several times and I have visited Al-Harem, which is the sacred house of all Muslims, and I watched the way each Muslim approached that house, as I did, with great reverence. Of course, the house is a house made of stone.
I have visited St. Peter’s Basilica and I watched the reverence with which Catholics and visitors approached that magnificent structure. I’ve watched the dedication of religious houses and I see how spiritually-minded people act in a religious house.
They are quiet in their decorum and they will not utter certain words. They try to be very respectful around the altar. But all of these buildings are the work of the hands of men, while the human body is the handiwork of God Himself. It bothers me that we would show more respect for a house of stone built by men and designed by men in their vanity, and yet be so disrespectful of the true house of God designed by the Supreme Architect of all creation.
Don’t you think that we ought to change our focus and become more respectful of the human body as the true house of the living God? There is no house on earth more holy than this wonderful magnificent structure created by the Lord of the worlds. We ought to clean it up.
Most of our sickness can be traced to our rebellion against Divine law. Look in your Bible. Look at the old patriarchs. Read how long they lived. If you believe the Bible to be a true account of the lives of these men, then 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, nearly 1,000 years is the lifespan of these men.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that if we learned how to live properly, we could extend our days to 200, to 300 and 400 years. If we taught our children how to respect their lives, maybe three or four generations from now our children would learn how to live 500 to 1,000 years of age.
This is what is meant in the scripture that we would live as trees. There are trees that have been on this earth over 1,000 years. And yet we, the greatest of God’s creations, cannot make it to 60 or 70 years old without being stricken by death or a debilitating disease. If you love yourself and you love your children and your grandchildren, then you ought to make a change now.
As young people, don’t wait until you’re old to make a change. The time to change the style that is leading to death is now, before you bring forth new life onto this earth.
The desire to change must come before change can come. Desire must feed the will, and the will of the human being is what empowers us to make the change. It is written in the Holy Qur’an that Allah, God, will never change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. So the burden is not on God to change us. The burden is on us to change when knowledge comes that dictates that we must change.
Then we must develop the will to change. There’s a saying that nothing is more powerful than a made-up mind. If you are ready to choose health, then health can come to you.
Prayer will strengthen the will. Prayer will constantly feed the desire. Desire will feed the will, and once the will is strong enough, you can change. One doctor lamented that, “Your doctor will tell you to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise more and relax, but he doesn’t have the time or the know-how to give you the tools to make the changes.
So you continue the same unhealthy lifestyle as before and, naturally when you return for your next doctor’s visit, your blood pressure hasn’t come down. So the doctor has no choice but to start drug treatment or increase medication.” Sometimes this is because the doctor is the victim of the very thing the doctor is treating you for. In fact, many times the doctors are as sickly as their patients and die just as young.
Do you want to make the change? Yes, you say. But you ask, how do I do it? And the answer is, just do it! One day a young sister who had a problem with smoking wrote the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and asked him..
“Dear apostle, how can I stop smoking?”, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote her back and he said, “Dear sister, If you desire to stop smoking, stop. Best wishes for your continued success, I am, Your brother and servant, Elijah Muhammad.” She brought me the letter and she was quite upset that he only told her to “stop.”
What was he saying to this sister that she didn’t understand? He was saying to her, “you have the power to stop.” Use your will and say I won’t do it anymore and then don’t do it anymore.