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WEB POSTED 08-01-2000

ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY
For Our Failure

by Minister Louis Farrakhan


In the Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.

"Say: I seek refuge in the Lord of men, The King of men, The God of men, From the evil of the whisperings of the slinking (devil), Who whispers into the hearts of men, From among the jinn and the men." Holy Qur’an (Sura 114 verses 1-6)

There are no parents who are free of mistakes or errors in the rearing of their children. It is sad that we can go to colleges and universities to receive degrees that tell us that we are qualified to work in our various fields of endeavor, but, the most important endeavor, which is the building of human life through the skill of parenting does not seem to matter in our quest for the acquisition of knowledge. There are no courses offered in high school or college that will allow us to become proficient in this skill. Yet, all of us will eventually become parents. Doctors who make mistakes or errors can leave their patients permanently wounded or even dead. Lawyers who make mistakes can cause their clients to suffer great loss, even the loss of life. Builders who make mistakes can cause what they build to crumble and fall.

What happens when we make errors or mistakes in the rearing of our children?

In my travels promoting the Million Family March, I am seeing the beauty of American cities and the billions and trillions of dollars that are being spent to make these cities some of the most beautiful and attractive that can be found anywhere in the world, but, all of these cities are peopled with persons who are the victims of mistakes and errors in the stewardship of their lives, either by their parents, teachers, pastors or the institutions of the society in general.

To see a human being made in the image and likeness of Allah (God) lying under a bridge, or keeping warm on a cold winter’s night on a grate with a cardboard covering; then, to see the many, many homeless persons in America, the derelicts, the malcontents, the prisoners, the social misfits, those who suffer mental illness. This society has misplaced values and priorities. This world places more value on things than on people. More money is spent on things than on the proper cultivation of the people. Parents are abandoning the responsibility of rearing their children to go out into the workplace to make money to buy things, leaving the children to be nurtured by the filth and ignorance that is bombarding their minds through television, radio, magazines, and newspapers. There is no doubt in my mind that parents generally love their children, but, our overwhelming ignorance disallows that natural love to become a creative force that would guide the development of our offspring. Therefore, parents look at their children and say, "I did the best that I could," but, they also often ask the question, "Where did I go wrong or what did I do wrong?"

There is no child, or grownup who reads this article, who in thinking back on their childhood does not remember some injustice done to them by their parents that marked them and stays with them even though they have reached maturity and beyond, but, the remedy for all mistakes is found in the verses of the Qur’an that opened this article, "I seek refuge in the Lord of men." The word Lord, or Rabb, in Arabic means nurturer or nourisher. All of us as children have sought refuge in our mothers, because all of us have been nurtured or nourished by our mothers, and, each of us when we felt troubled in our infancy or youth sought refuge and comfort in our mothers. This is why, next to the worship of Allah (God), and, obedience to His Messengers and Prophets, the honor and respect of mother is of prime importance. Yet, all of our mothers have made mistakes in rearing us. All of them in ignorance have neglected some of our needs that would have made us more psychologically and emotionally secure.

In our growth and development, we outgrow the need to seek nurturing from our mothers, then, we look at the "King of men." If we take the "King of men" to mean the political leaders that govern the political life of the individual or the nation, we grow to look at our leaders and to seek refuge in them from those things in society that ill effect our growth and development. Yet, we are dissatisfied, for, none of our political leaders; none of the rules and laws that politicians made to govern our lives has offered us the total security and peace that our nature cries out for. There is no mother, no teacher, no politician, and no leader who has led or taught us and has not made mistakes or errors.

A mistake is an unintentional departure from what is right; an error is an intentional departure from what we know is right. These errors and mistakes hinder the full growth and development of the person, so, we outgrow the need to seek refuge in our leaders, political and otherwise, but to seek refuge in the "God of men" is the ultimate place of refuge, for, no matter what mistakes or errors were made in the parenting of our children; no matter how our children were neglected and not corrected, when we get to Allah (God) we have reached Him who is perfect; we have reached Him who suffices all needs; we have reached Him who is the end of all excuses that we make for our failures in life, blaming these failures on those who have stewarded our lives and in some way have failed.

The greatest gift that any parent can give a child is to give that child the knowledge of Allah (God). At some point in our lives, we have all called on Him, oft-times when we are in great trouble. At that time, we promised Allah (God) that if He saved us from the predicament that we were in, that we would straighten out our lives and serve Him for the rest of our lives. This tells us that in nature our duty is to serve our Creator. However, to turn our lives over to Him, and, to feed on the perfection of His Word is to begin the process of rectifying all of the mistakes and errors that have been made by those who have stewarded our lives and have been the guardians of our rights.

No matter what failure, we as parents have made in the rearing of our children, if, or when our children learn to seek refuge in the "God of men," they will be freed from the whispering of a slinking devil that whispers into their hearts from the emotion of our anger, pain, envy, jealousy, fear, grief and, from the whispering of others who try to comfort us in our negativity against our parents, teachers, and leaders, by encouraging us in our condemnation of them. When our children see errors or mistakes in their parents, politicians, leaders; when our children see weakness in leaders, when we seek refuge in Allah (God), the God of men, we will cease to blame others for any failures in our life, but, we will take the responsibility that Allah (God) gave us when He gave us life, and, that is, to take charge of our lives and to live our lives in accord with the Will and the Way of Allah (God).

Thank you for reading these few words.


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