do death-bed confessions reveal?
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
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
"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
"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
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
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
Now, back to articles I wrote back in 1983, for The
More next issue, Allah willing.