The Final Call Online Edition


WEB POSTED 12-26-2000

What do death-bed confessions reveal?
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Farrakhan The Traveler by Jabril MuhammadOn October 31st, at Chicago, Midway Airport, I conducted a short but meaningful interview with Minister Arif Muhammad, who is one of the attorneys for the Nation of Islam. It concerned the value of the deathbed-dying declaration of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan last year.

Brother Jabril Muhammad: "Minister Arif, the question I have involves the concept of what’s called "death-bed confessions" or "dying declarations". In my mind at present, there are four kinds. There may be more. A man did a crime then confessed to it, now he’s about to be electrocuted or otherwise put to death. At the last moment, and in his last words, he admits it. He confesses. Then there is a man who, up to the last minute states no, I didn’t do it, even up to the last minute, he protests his innocence. And then there is the person who is dying, or for any reason, sees his/her self as dying. They’re right there at death’s door. They’re in their bed. There is no criminal situation involved but they decide to make certain statements that their loved ones, friends, or whoever, with the thought in mind, or with the conviction that they’re dying. And then there is the person who makes such a statement while in the state of subconscious or unconsciousness, or for some medical reason is unaware of what they have said that others heard. Others witnessed what the person said. They all heard what the person said.

"Now I want to know, what is the value and weight of these kinds of statements, in a court of law? How high do they rank in terms of those things considered trustworthy?

Minister Attorney Arif Muhammad: " Under the rules of evidence called hearsay, statements by a third party in court attempting to testify as to statements made by another person as being true are not allowable. This rule is based upon the principle that only the person who made the statement can testify as to his or her state of mind at the time he or she made the statement.

"There are, however, what’s called exceptions to the hearsay rule. Based upon these exceptions, the judge will allow statements to be offered to establish the truth of the declarant’s state of mind. The exception to the hearsay rule which is commonly known as the ‘dying declaration,’ generally occurs in the context of a homicide, where the person who is about to expire states the causes or circumstances of their impending death. This statement is offered to prove who the victim identified as the murderer. The factual circumstances under which the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan made his statements thanking Allah for his life, and bearing witness to the glory and majesty of Allah, and that Allah is the author of life and death is analogous in principle to the ‘dying declaration.’

"If the state of mind of the declarant is an issue before the court, then a dying declaration is admitted into evidence by the court as a statement of truth regarding the declarant’s views and thoughts at the time the statements were made. Thus, the declarant’s statement is given the weight of evidence of truth and veracity. The underlying principle of accepting a dying declarant’s statement is because it deals with a person resolving their conscience with their God; clearing their conscience before God, as they know that they’re about ready to meet their Maker.

"And so it is presumed that a person knowing that this is their circumstances, would not knowingly leave this planet making a false statement; and that in fact the statement that they would make is a true statement.

‘There is, however, another exception to the hearsay rule which I believe also applies to this situation. It is called "statement of a then mental or emotional condition." It is offered to establish the truth of the declarant’s state of mind or emotions or sensations at the time he made the statements. It relates to the execution, revocation, identification, or terms of the declarant’s will.

"Now clearly in the case where a declarant is in a subconscious state and is making a declaration that even they are not aware of at the time, but others hear that, that is a higher degree of quality of trustworthiness and veracity because the statement is being made from the deep recesses of the person’s mind and soul, since they’re not even aware in their conscious mind that they’re making these declarations.

"So in the case of someone who is in a subconscious state, or a knowingly unconscious state but the subconscious mind is active and the subconscious mind makes a declaration, then in my opinion, that is given a higher degree of veracity and trustworthiness and truthfulness as to the substance of the matter that the declarant has made."

Brother Jabril: "If we were to consider those factors that constitute evidence that are at the top of the line, how would you rate the last point that you just made?"

Minister Arif: "That, in my view, the statement made by the declarant, who is in an unconscious state, but the subconscious mind makes the declaration, would rank, in my opinion, as the highest character of quality of trustworthiness and veracity because you would know that one in that state is not consciously making decisions as to how they will make the statement. The other statements would fall in line in an order after that."

In "Farrakhan The Traveler" Vol. 20, No. 7, I quoted Sister Rosalind Muhammad, who is a correspondent for The Final Call, on Minister Farrakhan’s deathbed statement. She wrote, in part,

"By definition, unconsciousness implies that the conscious mind is no longer able to monitor or censor itself. So what a person says in this state, to me, exposes what is at the core of that human being. No better time than this to rage at and curse God, if that is what a person’s ‘uncensored’ mind called for.

"But our dear Brother did the opposite. There is such a lesson in this." [Emphasis mine.]

These lessons are divine. Consider the fact that some people have what is called a higher tolerance for pain than others. Minister Farrakhan is just such a person. I am among those who have seen him teach his heart out, so to speak, and do other work for the rise of our people, while extremely sick and in great pain. We’ve seen this many times. And, in most every instance, those for whom he was working hardly or did not detect the extreme difficulties he was going through.There is a case to be made about the relation between one’s high tolerance for pain and one’s capacity for redemptive suffering.

Minister Farrakhan’s capacity for redemptive suffering, in my humble view, is like that of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. This capacity is indicated by his ability to love others who not only do not love him but they also do not love themselves. That kind of love is only of Allah. That kind of love is the kind of love out of which God created the first person, after His own Self Creation. That person was a woman. Next, He created he sun. The sun was the first thing that God created in what we now call universe.

He created her (woman) from the most intense aspect of His love. He created the sun and the means by which it (or rather she) exists and works, which is fusion. Dictionaries state that fusion is "the union of different things by or as if by melting; blending; coalition." In the more scientific sense, and especially as it applies to the sun, fusion is "the union of atomic nuclei to form heavier nuclei resulting in the release of enormous quantities of energy when certain light elements unite."

The etymology of the word "fusion" is the Latin word "fusion-" which is from the Latin "fusio, from fundere," which refers to this process. What I also found interesting was that one edition of Webster’s Dictionary states that it’s first use, or, may I say, the year of the birth of the word, "fusion" was 1555.

That was the year when Sir John Hawkins, or Hopkins, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us, when he and his co-conspirators first began to bring our ancestors here to what is now the United States of America. The name of the boat used in this crime was Jesus. That was also the year of the beginning of the fulfillment of the prophecy recorded in Genesis.

On page 94 of "Our Savior Has Arrived" is an article written by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in June 1956.

Towards its end he wrote, "This ship was on its way back for another boat load of our people. Our forefathers stared at the old slave ship as it departed, and they begged to be carried back. But it was to no avail. And our forefathers said to the whites: ‘You can have this new Western world, but give us the ship ‘Jesus’ back to our people and country.’ This has now become a song among our people which goes something like this: ‘You can have all the world but give me Jesus.’ "

"But our poor foreparents did not know at that time that it would be 400 years from that day before the real ship Jesus (God Himself) would come and get them and their children and cut loose every link of the slave chain that held them in bondage to their slavemasters."

Now, back to articles I wrote back in 1983, for The Final Call.

More next issue, Allah willing.



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