[Editor’s Note: This is a reprint and was published online January 13, 2004; and The Final Call will continue to publish articles by our beloved brother and friend, Minister Jabril Muhammad.]

Here is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s answer to my question respecting “the 104 books.”

Jabril Muhammad: “Brother Minister, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated that he was given a list of 104 books by Master Fard Muhammad, as part of his studies. After his Teacher’s departure, when he was in Washington, D.C., he said it occurred to him to call his wife to send the list to him. He then began that part of his study. What did you hear him say concerning those books and their contents and what were they for?”

Minister Farrakhan: “I heard the Honorable Elijah Muhammad say that Master Fard Muhammad gave him 104 books to study. He said the best of those books was the Holy Qur’an. The other books contained certain aspects of and incidents in the life of Prophet Muhammad. Those are his words to me.


“As I reflected on those words I asked the question, why would Master Fard Muhammad give him the Holy Qur’an, which was the book that details the revelation that Allah gave to Muhammad, and 103 books (making the 104) dealing with specific aspects of the life of Prophet Muhammad, that gives the context or circumstances that surrounded that revelation and the instructions that Allah gave to him concerning his mission and this revelation?

“When I reflected on that, I thought that the path that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was to travel was to use the footsteps of the Prophet to guide him in establishing the faith of Islam in the United States of America. So, as Prophet Muhammad walked and worked in Arabia, so Elijah Muhammad, his companions, his followers would work for the establishment of Islam in America.

“Before Prophet Muhammad departed this life, he said to his followers, ‘If you follow this Qur’an and my Sunnah, you will never deviate from the straight path of God.’

“From what I understand, the Sunnah represents his actions in accord with the directions that he received from Allah in the establishment of the Qur’an and Islam.

“So, by Master Fard Muhammad giving the Honorable Elijah Muhammad the Qur’an and giving him the footsteps of the Prophet, it seems to me that He was saying to His Messenger that the path that you will follow, if you follow this book–Qur’an–and the steps that the Prophet was guided to make in establishing the faith, plus the wisdom that I’m giving you of these books, you will never deviate and those who follow you will never deviate from the straight path of God.”

Of all of the men whom Jews, Christians and Muslims today refer to as prophets of God, or Allah, the lives of none of them have come down to us in greater detail than that of Muhammad ibn Abdullah, through whom the Holy Qur’an was revealed, around 1,400 years ago.

What are the titles of these books? Was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad given the whole of each book to study? Or was it certain sections of each he was to study, whether or not he read the whole of them later? What impact did this study have on him and why? How did he relate these studies to his knowledge of the Bible and to his meeting and experiences with his Teacher–Who was born in Arabia? How did these studies inform his understanding of people whom he already knew and those he would meet later?

What he did with what was important to him, has profound relevance, not just to those who knew and know him, but also to countless numbers everywhere, even though this is yet to be really known.

Naturally, when we first learn of his study of “the 104 books” an interest arises in us to know more. However, everyone who seeks such knowledge do not do so from the same motives. Some use what they know, or think they know, to look important in the eyes of others. For instance, some claim that they have read some of the books on this list. Some say that Master Fard Muhammad used this or that book during the time He was in Detroit or Chicago. But the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that he asked Him if these books were in Detroit. He said His answer was a simple, “no.” They were in D.C.

But many more are interested in this subject because they are sincerely interested in him. But how many have thought of this subject, as has Minister Farrakhan? More of his mind on this critical subject to come, be it the will of Allah.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Teacher first gave him a copy of the Qur’an in Arabic. He couldn’t read it. Then, He gave him the Muhammad Ali translation of the Qur’an. A little later, He gave him a copy of the Yusuf Ali translation. And He taught him how to understand it.

Now, consider the implications of Minister Farrakhan’s words above. The Qur’an teaches that you will find no change in the ways of Allah. He is consistent. This is evident in His ways with His prophets.

If we knew His mind or words that He gave the people through the prophets in this or that circumstance, would not this benefit us, if we found ourselves in similar circumstances?

We have a lot to cover from Minister Farrakhan’s wise observation, that could be of the greatest benefit to us, NOW, if we would but hurry and open our minds and hearts wider to his message and overall mission, before “all hell breaks loose!”

Now, here are the concluding words of the documentary, entitled: In The Footsteps of Jesus, which aired last month (December) via The History Channel.

“Devout Christians believe that on that first Easter morning Jesus rose from the dead to bring salvation to the whole world. It is the bedrock of the Christian faith, even if there is no empirical evidence to prove it.

“While archeology enables pilgrims to walk in the footstep of Jesus, ultimately it is a journey that could only be completed by faith.

“Archaeology and history–all these different sciences–are marvelous help to us, if they can help us to be more sure of what we believe. But we need to remember that belief is faith. We’re basing our faith on what is unseen.

“In the past, archeology and faith were more or less antagonistic. Faith tried to use archaeology to prove that it was true. Archeology, at times, would be guided by faith–misguided by faith–to look for particular things. I think in recent years they have a much more beneficial relationship. That is to say, if the Christian faith, or any faith, wants to have depth to it, it needs to understand its traditions in their historical contexts.

“What archeology does for us is to contextualize the Gospel story. We simply understand better where the Gospel said Jesus went here, or he said this–now, we understand it because archeology lays bear what it looked like, the kinds of things people were doing, the customs, the tools–that’s the real value of archeology. It doesn’t really prove anything. It clarifies much.”

More next issue, Allah willing.