Haggai, Zechariah, #FarrakhanFridays and The Economic BlueprintBy Cedric Muhammad -Guest Columnist- | Last updated: Jan 8, 2014 - 1:07:41 PM
Regarding his economic program the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated, “I have set before you a program, according to the Divine Supreme Being and His Prophets. You have neither produced a better program nor anything to equal it.” This is a statement that should be the basis of rational thought, lawful dialogue and a comparative study of the great many schools of economic thought. At a certain stage of that process it must become the basis of action. Those of us who are already convinced of the truth of these words, their timeliness and the trustworthiness of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan are acting right now.
A great many more are on their way to doing so.
Can one really begin the most serious of economic conversations with a Bible and/or Holy Qur’an?
Here’s a small example.
Generally speaking, Haggai articulates more of the material nation-building aspects of God’s spiritual plan. In contrast the Prophet Zechariah placed greater emphasis on repentance and the universal relevance of that divine plan. They both pointed to the Messiah in different ways. Despite their leanings both prophets harmoniously worked on behalf of the restoration of the People and Temple of God in Jerusalem which had been destroyed by Babylon and which laid in ruins.
This horrible condition is described in both prophetic books. In a scholarly work, “Thoughts on Haggai and Zechariah,” by Fleming James, published in the October 1934 edition of the Journal of Biblical Literature, we read (colon in between Biblical verses inserted):
“For seventy years Yahweh had had indignation against Jerusalem and the cities of Judah (Zech. 1 12). In contrast to the happier times of the former Prophets, Jerusalem and the cities round about it and the Negebh and the Shephelah were no longer inhabited or prosperous (Zech 7:7). The population of Judah, Israel and Jerusalem had been scattered by hostile nations (Zech 1:19; cf. 7:14). Jerusalem, and probably many smaller towns needed extensive rebuilding (Zech 1:16). To crown all, the temple of Yahweh lay waste (Hag. 1:4).
...Fields were worked, orchards and vineyards tended (Hag. 1:6; 2:16). Yet for the moment at any rate agriculture was giving poor returns. Drought, blasting, mildew, hail (Hag. 1:11; 2:17) had made inroads into the scanty crops. Unemployment was prevalent (Zech. 8:10). The prevailing misery was aggravated by unhappy social relations (Zech. 8 to, 16f.), and annoyances from more prosperous neighboring peoples (Zech. 1:15). Thus we get a picture of a struggling, feeble, disheartened community, with all the odds seemingly against it.”
God made Haggai, Zechariah and the People successful in their national economic and spiritual re-building effort.
Many supporters of the Economic Blueprint have sincere questions about how it will be established. Many others who are undecided have the same. What should both groups do? I recommend two things: 1) Follow the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan on Twitter and Facebook and carefully study the answers he is giving to rightly-motivated questions; 2) Accept the fact that the successful implementation of the blueprint requires the pooling of not just money but all of those five foundational elements of economics identified by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad as brainpower, talent, skills, labor and wealth.
Just as Jehovah provided a blueprint and guided Moses and Aaron to unite leadership, skilled artisans and the mass body of the Children of Israel around it, Allah (God) and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad are guiding and placing Minister Farrakhan in a position to convene and employ the talents and skills of professionals in Black America, the United States and the World to assist him in marrying the wealth and labor of the masses properly and in an accountable manner.
One profound example of this was Minister Farrakhan’s meeting with economists of various ethnicities and schools of thought this past February in Phoenix, Arizona.
Other examples are the following answers posted on Nov. 22nd during #FarrakhanFridays:
Question: “Similar to your transparency with The Million Man March, do you plan to be just as transparent with The Economic Blueprint? I’m an outside supporter, and I made a donation. I just wanted to know will you make the progress of what we raised available for viewing online?”
Question: “Who is the ‘we’ that will own the land that is purchased? And if it includes ending poverty and want, does this include poor White people as well, or are you just starting with your own people, and it will branch out from there?”
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “Well, we have to start with our own people who are suffering. But if we opened a hospital, as many religious groups do: Could we turn down somebody who is sick because we opened it to serve Black people? No. When we work, we work first for ourselves, but we can never deny good to others who have need.”
Question: “I’m not in the Nation of Islam, but I trust you, and I was happy to give to The Economic Blueprint. My only question is: Is there a board being set up to oversee the funds, similar to how you did the funds for the March that you held in Washington? I’m not criticizing, just inquiring.”
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: “My dear brother: It is wonderful, that you should inquire! There are many questions that are being asked; and no question is off limits! Your questions are proper. No money will be spent. The money is being banked now; we are not pulling one nickel, one dime, one dollar out.”
These questions and answers are advancing the solution to the problem of earning and saving money which has plagued us. God, through the Prophets Zechariah and Haggai described this. In Zechariah 8:10 it reads, “But before these days there were no wages for man…” Haggai 1:6 reads, “…and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
Notice how Minister Farrakhan is never defensive in answering challenging questions.
(Brother Cedric Muhammad is an Economist and Member of the Nation of Islam’s Research Group.)