WEB POSTED 03-10-1999
NOTE: This article was originaly published  March 3, 1999
in Vol 18 No 19 of The Final Call Print Edition

Editor's note: this very special reflection
is written by Min. Jabril Muhammad

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

Minister Louis FarrakhanAmong the many blessings and privileges of my life was to witness the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, during the darkest days of his current ordeal.

What follows are many of my impressions, not of his speech, but of a man, my Brother, whom I have known for 44 years, as he is engaged in one of the greatest struggles of his life. My Brother is struggling to overcome the forces of death.

He has been gravely ill since near the beginning of January. He was suffering when he came to Phoenix on January 9th to address the Black publishers, a few days later, from around America. He became progressively worse on leaving Phoenix for Chicago on the 19th. Over the next three weeks he went further down, with but a few days of slight improvement. His trainer, Brother Rodney, cried over the Minister’s weakened state.

Minister Farrakhan returned to Phoenix on the 10th of February. He had lost considerable weight. He was so weak he slumped to one side in his seat all the way to his home from the airport. I put an arm around him to steady him.

Fifteen days were now left before Minister Farrakhan was to speak at the first of a series of meetings during our annual Saviours’ Day Convention. He desired to speak to his Laborers on Thursday the 25th; to be with the Muslims and with Imam Warith Deen Mohammed at the Jumu’ah prayer the following day, at which he would have been one of the speakers; to speak to the F.O.I. and to the M.G.T. in separate meetings and later to the entire body of Believers on the 27th. That would have been five meetings in three days, before the major one on Sunday.

However, it was not until the 16th that out of a sudden burst of energy, the Minister dictated all of the speeches he intended to make in Chicago to me. He did it in a little over three hours. It was awesome. Not long after he again went into a slump.

From the time he dictated what he did, right through to the morning of the 28th, he hardly looked at his speech material. On Sunday, February 21st, he attempted his first real effort to exercise. We went to a place where we walked. There he dictated a statement of guidance for the believers. He again became so weak he had to sit down to rest. To get back to the car he rested his arm on my shoulder.

After we arrived at his home he recalled a purchase he had to make. He said he was not up to driving. So I did it. In the course of the business transaction he again became so discomforted that he just leaned on the counter. It was sad.

We know that Minister Farrakhan gives his all when he delivers the word of God to the people. He just never does otherwise. So, on Wednesday the 24th, a few of us, looking at his condition, prevailed upon Minister Farrakhan not to try to do what was by then clear to us he was not able to do.

Here was our Brother, who was hardly getting any sleep; in continuous discomfort and in pain; whose legs were often unsteady. We were compelled to speak to him as we did when we did.

He reluctantly agreed. He said that although emotionally his heart was there in Chicago, he knew it was better to send his words for the other meetings and, by the help of Allah, get to Chicago for the major meeting.

We left Phoenix on the 27th. It was clear that he was not yet up to do what he wanted to do. He said so himself.

At about 9 a.m., on the morning of the 28th, he tried to look at his speech, but was in so much pain he went to back to bed. There he remained until 12:35 p.m. At about 2:30 p.m. he was picked up by the Supreme Captain of the Nation of Islam, Abdul Sharrieff Muhammad, and his son, and Brother Mustapha Farrakhan, the Assistant to Captain Sharrieff, and driven to the McCormick Place, in Chicago, Illinois.

An audience of about 28-30,000 people had gathered that day to see and hear Minister Farrakhan. Many in that audience were aware that the reason he did not attend the Convention, during the three previous days, was due to his illness. So, there was an unusual anticipation, in many, over how he would look, sound and act.

When he mounted the stage and went before that audience, he was resplendent, regal, glowing. He radiated love. He greeted his audience and humbly bowed to all.

Then he spoke.

He spoke with utter honesty. He was forthright. He spoke with energy. He spoke from the power of his intelligently held and profoundly understood convictions. He spoke with deep and passionate concern for his listeners; for his people; for humanity; and even for those who have made themselves his enemies.

The core of his presentation was his love for and gratitude to, as he put it, "These Two Men." He wanted, with all of his heart, to help others better understand "These Two Men." The Two Men of Whom he referred, of course, were Master Fard Muhammad and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.

He sought, with every atom of his being, to help his family become more unified through an increased understanding of the divine.

We heard him say, at the beginning of his speech, that he thanked "all of you who have prayed for me during my recent illness; an illness that took me down so fast, that it concerned me greatly because, though I’m nearing 66, I have never been sick like this in my life. If it is a virus, several doctors that were working on me have not found that. It’s an assumption. But the fact is that I lost twenty pounds in less than two weeks and all the muscle mass that I had built in eight years of my working out had turned to flab and I had no appetite, night sweats, dealing with the after effects of radiation therapy [for prostrate cancer] and other things."

During the 44 years that I have known him I’ve never seen him this sick; nor have I ever heard that he was in any way near this kind of condition. To me, at one point, he was at death’s door. Others thought so too.

In fact, I later learned that Mother Khadijah told her husband, after the dinner, after his guests had left, on the night of the 28th, "I saw death on you." She was referring to how he looked to her earlier in the previous month when he came to Phoenix to speak to the Black publishers.

This was a Savious’ Day Convention he was not suppose to attend. However, that was not the will of the Almighty. The Almighty desired to make a statement; for now and for tomorrow. And, He did. We saw it in the powerful way that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan addressed his audience and the world.

We had agreed in Phoenix that he would speak for a about an hour and a half. But as he spoke, he was so moved by the spirit of Allah, that at least three times tears came up in his eyes and he was on the verge of breaking down. He was crying out to his people to see that the two men, whom he was representing, were the best friends we’ve ever had and that time and circumstance had already proven that the message they brought, was the only way to initiate the process of lifting us and then of lifting humanity up from the blinding touch of Satan to the status originally intended by God.

He gave instructions and a plan of action to the Nation of Islam, and to others, as we enter into the year 2000. He appeared to me that he ended his three hour and fifteen minute speech as strong as he had begun it.

As he got into his automobile to get to his home, to greet his Ministers, other laborers and guests, again tears came up in his eyes, as he thanked Allah again and again, for allowing him to get through this day.

About 15 minutes after we arrived at his home, he came down in a green tunic. I remarked to Brother Karl Muhammad, whom I was sitting next to, about how youthful Minister Farrakhan looked. I am sure if you could talk to anyone who was there, at that time, they would tell you the same.

He was greeting others as if he was not sick at all; nor exhausted. He was refreshed and refreshing, to all of his guests

Later, at dinner, Dr. Alim Muhammad and I were seated next to each other. At one point, he remarked to me about how Minister Farrakhan looked. He then said to me, "I don’t know what I’m looking at."

I said to my Brother, "Doc., we are looking at a miracle."

The dictionaries say that miracle means: "Someone or something that evokes surprise and admiration; a marvel; a phenomenon; a rarity; a marvelous spectacle; a wonder; a superb or surpassing example of something; one that excites admiring awe."

What I had in mind, however, was much more. Other meanings of this word include: "an extraordinary occurrence that surpasses all known human powers or natural forces, and is or appears inexplicable by the laws of nature and so it is ascribed to God."

So, when I said to Dr. Muhammad that we were looking at a miracle, as we beheld our Brother, I knew we all had seen God work—in an extraordinary manner— directly through Minister Farrakhan.

—by Jabril Muhammad


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