[Editor’s Note: This article is reprinted from Volume 32, No. 47, and The Final Call will continue to publish articles written by our late and dear Mother Tynnetta Muhammad.]

“I, Allah, am the Seer. These are the verses of the Book, full of wisdom.  It is a wonder to the people that We have revealed to a man from among themselves:  Warn the people and give good news to those who believe that for them is advancement in excellence with their Lord?  The disbelievers say:  This is surely a manifest enchanter.”  –Holy Qur’an, Surah 10, verses 1-2

Photo of two ducks showing their similarity to a small boat structure.

While in the presence of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad at the dinner hour engaging in yet another of his intriguing “Table Talk” sessions, he brought to us one evening the subject of the 13 ducks referred to in Problem Number 33.  He asked us the following question many times—What did we think about those 13 ducks?  Those of us seated at his table pondered over the question and timidly tried to answer the question to the best of our ability.  For our readers who may not be acquainted with these studies as given to new registered believers in the Nation of Islam, let me explain that this question asked by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad originates from an assignment called, “The Problem Book,” in our Supreme Wisdom Lessons, which contains 34 Problems.

This small book explains our miserable condition in America in a mathematical way, when we were first found by our Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad.  He was first known as W. D. Fard and came under a disguise, and was identified in our Lessons as “The Prophet.” 


In making Himself Known, He had to find a way to get next to us, to teach us how to tune into the thoughts of a New World to escape the confines of our enemy’s embattled world of falsehood and deception.  He based his Teaching to our people on the basis of the universal language of mathematics which is Islam and can be proven in no limit of time.  He began the process of our awakening by choosing one from among us, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, in the city of Detroit.  He became the first begotten of our mentally dead nation, and was assigned to resurrect our people into a new level of spiritual consciousness.

Ambassador Bridge crossing from Detroit to Canada.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad laid the base for a whole New World of Thought in a mathematical way by asking questions to help remove the rusty locks from our brain cells.  This methodology forces us to go more deeply into the Truth about the Reality of God and the Knowledge of ourselves in the process.  So, many times at the dinner hour, he would drill us on our assignment in this way by posing questions that would force us to go to the root of the answer to all things.  The Nation of Islam was established in the early 1930s by our Saviour, Master Fard Muhammad, on the basis of a New School of training and re-education for the chosen students who would become the new Rulers of a whole New World order and civilization.

So, as I thought over this question about the 13 ducks, even to this day some 40 years later, my first response was to ask why the term, “ducks” was used in this problem;  and why 13, and why do they appear on Lake Michigan.  First of all, a duck is of the aquatic bird family with short head and neck and feet and a compressed arc-shaped body. 

A duck has a stately form and can be seen ducking its bill into the water and sometimes flapping its wings.   In appearance it looks something like a small boat.  On the other hand, the term “duck” can also be defined as a bodily motion, meaning to dodge or to plunge under the surface of the water or to descend suddenly and duck out of sight.  One of the most pleasant sights is to watch the smooth, gliding motion of ducks down a stream or on a lake. 

A night view of recent UFO sightings over the city of Phoenix, Arizona.

Literary author, Hans Christian Anderson, wrote a story about “The Ugly Duckling,” who was later transformed into a graceful, beautiful swan.   I also wondered if this problem of the 13 ducks might have something to do with hiding and concealing something as in a military unit or operation; and if these 13 specialized ducks that are drying up the water of Lake Michigan could possibly represent a rescue mission assigned to helping people to escape and get across the lake during turbulent times.

I am reminded of the Red Sea crossing when the waters were parted on the border of Egypt allowing Moses and the children of Israel to escape through dry land.  There is a reference to these ducks drying up the river bed of Lake Michigan. Might this be referring to people and an evacuation plan?  Would the appearance of these 13 ducks, likened to little ships or boats afloat on the water, have a relationship to these biblical stories and the reality of some special event that may yet take place.

A view of the Detroit River with a Windsor Police Boat dividing the city of Detroit from Windsor in Canada. Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Relative to my early childhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan and the invitation extended to me to board one of the ships near the city of Detroit, near Lake Michigan bordering Canada, I wondered, now, if there might be some connection to the rescue mission to be employed by those “baby planes” with their trained pilots to rescue people on both sides of America’s border in the not too distant future, the one connected to Canada to the North and the other connected to Mexico to the South.

“Surely your Lord is Allah, Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods, and He is established on the Throne of Power regulating the Affair. There is no     intercessor except after His permission.  This is Allah, your Lord, therefore serve Him. Will you not mind?  To Him is your return, of all (of you). It is the promise of Allah (made) in truth.  Surely He produces the first creation, then He reproduces it, that He may reward with equity those who believe and do good.  And as for those who disbelieve, for them is a drink of hot water and a painful chastisement because they believed.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 10, verses 3-4

To be continued.