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

A bearing of witness
Min. Farrakhan defends
foundation of Nation of Islam

byAskia Muhammad
Washington Bureau Chief

sd99-mlfc.JPG (27214 bytes)CHICAGO—The weekend began with the honoring of the Pioneers of Islam in North America as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. It was Saviours’ Day Weekend 1999.

It ended with the tens of thousands of Muslims—both young and old in the faith—assembled in the cavernous McCormick Place Convention Center cheering acclamation to the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, the man responsible for the restoration of that work, as he gave them "marching orders" for the New Millennium.

Distinguished guests of various races, faiths, and nationalities from around the world joined enthusiastic members of the Nation of Islam and their guests, 20,000 in all. Three African Heads of State—from the Gambia, Ghana, and Libya—sent their greetings and congratulations on the celebration of the 122nd birthday of Master W. Fard Muhammad, the "guiding force" of the Nation of Islam and the man who taught Mr. Elijah Muhammad.

"To all Muslims past and present," Min. Farrakhan said, acknowledging those Islamic Pioneers like 100-plus year-old Minister Lemuel Hassan, who led Muhammad Mosque No. 1 in Detroit in 1953 when Minister Malcolm X first came from prison into the Muslim ranks, "I want you to know that there’s no price that you paid, no dollar that you gave, no paper that you sold, no suffering that you endured that was in vain.

"Including all the Muslims who felt," the Minister continued, "that the Nation was destroyed. Jesus said: ‘Except a kernel of corn falls to the Earth and dies, it cannot send up the new stalk.’ The old Nation was seedling for the new stalk that is now coming up. So I wanted to thank all of you for what you have done, and may Allah richly bless you for that good work."

A thunderous three-minute ovation greeted Min. Farrakhan before he could even say one word after he was introduced by Min. Ishmael Muhammad of Chicago’s Mosque Maryam as the leader in America today who is carrying out the work of Marcus Garvey, Booker T. Washington, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.

After explaining his "miraculous" recovery from an illness which caused him to lose 20 pounds in just eight weeks and which medical doctors could not accurately diagnose, the Muslim leader spoke energetically and passionately for the next three-and-a-half-hours.

In the tradition of Marcus Garvey, Min. Farrakhan announced that he has completed the work of building a mosque and educational center begun by the late Alex Haley in the village of Juffre in the Gambia where the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author found his "Roots." In June, he said, he will travel to the West African nation to dedicate the facility.

In the tradition of Booker T. Washington, Min. Farrakhan promised that soon the Nation of Islam will be able to offer as a part of the "Exodus" marketing campaign, manufactured products including shoes and clothing, computers, and even cars and trucks, imported from friends in Korea which he won on his historic series of World Friendship Tours.

In the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Min. Farrakhan’s message was the most universal, the most ecumenical of any Saviours’ Day address since the Nation of Islam was established in North America in 1930.

"To my Christian family," the Muslim leader said, also extending his embrace to Jews and Hebrews alike, "as long as there’s life in me I will work with you and for you, until I have no more life left."

Whites in America, the Muslim leader said, must recognize and seek atonement for the fact that the history of Christianity in this country is inseparable from slavery. "Your people have done tremendous evil, but your people have also done tremendous good. Yet white people are not nearly as great as what they could have become if they were more righteous," he said.

The Nation of Islam, he said, was a "mirror" which allowed America to look at itself in a way which helped bring about important changes in this society.

And in the tradition of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Min. Farrakhan first offered to Blacks in America a familiar "self-help" appeal; and then offered perhaps his most passionate, articulate, and steadfast public defense of the Nation of Islam’s unique theology.

"Black men filling the prisons, Black men filling the jails, Black men on the street corners, Black men with guns in their hands, Black men drive-by shooting their brothers and sisters. We are killing ourselves at a rate beyond what the brutality on the police force can do.

"You have become your own worst enemy. We can blame others, but the blow (inflicted by white supremacists during slavery is so devastating) that the white people can leave us alone and we can do the job on our own. We destroy our own churches. It was we who turned on Paul Robeson, on Marcus Garvey, on W.E.B. DuBois, on Martin Delaney, on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Malcolm X, on Elijah Muhammad, it is we who are turning on each other today as snitches, as paid stool pigeons. To spy on, to betray, to trick, even to kill those who the enemy does not like."

Min. Farrakhan called the theological portion of the address his "Apologia," his formal intellectual defense of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Master W. Fard Muhammad, the most controversial and misunderstood men in modern Islamic history.

The Nation of Islam leader spoke directly to the most contentious issue raised by critics of the teaching of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad: "Point Number 12" of "What the Muslims Believe," which was published on the back page of each edition of Muhammad Speaks, newspaper, and which is published on the inside back page of each edition of The Final Call, which says: "We believe that Allah (God) appeared in the Person of Master W. Fard Muhammad, July, 1930; the long-awaited "Messiah" of the Christians and the "Mahdi" of the Muslims.

"Most Muslims would say: ‘This is not Islam,’ " Min. Farrakhan said. But, he insisted, "you make a hasty judgment. I want you to unwrap your ego from your judgment.

"One of the names of this book is ‘al-Shifa,’ The Healing. He (Allah) comes with healing in His wings," the Muslim leader said, holding up a copy of the Holy Qur’an, the Muslim holy book. Master Fard Muhammad, the Minister continued, pointing to a mural-sized photograph in which the Nation of Islam founder is shown reading a copy of the Qur’an, "had healing in His knowledge of, interpretation of, and mastery of this Book."

"Can you prove a doctor has good medicine?" Min. Farrakhan then asked. "If a man, born of a woman raises a dead man, by whose permission, and with whose power is it done? He can’t do it without Allah’s permission," Min. Farrakhan said.

"This is why the Holy Qur’an says in Chapter 3, that Jesus, the Son of Mary, would teach wisdom from the cradle to old age. He will raise the dead by Allah’s permission. He will make the dumb speak, by Allah’s permission. And he will teach them what foods to eat and what foods to store in their houses." This, Minister Farrakhan insisted, is precisely what Master Fard Muhammad taught the Hon. Elijah Muhammad to do, and is precisely what Mr. Muhammad did while he was among us.

Min. Farrakhan reminded his audience of an important theological distinction made by members of the Nation of Islam concerning the identities of Master Fard Muhammad and the Lord Who created the Heavens and the Earth.

"I want you to hear my Apologia," the Nation of Islam leader said. "Allah says in the Qur’an, He is the only reality. There is only one reality. Everything else is illusory. Master Fard Muhammad came to birth in 1877. He could not have been the originator of the heavens and the earth. We say in our prayers, ‘I am not of the polytheists.’ We can’t set up and worship any of His Prophets, and we should not worship His son."

In fact, Min. Farrakhan went on to point out, "Point Number 12" of "What the Muslims Believe," says quite plainly: "We believe further and lastly that Allah is God and besides HIM there is no God." That emphatic declaration, Min. Farrakhan said, does not refer to Master Fard Muhammad by name.

Again and again Min. Farrakhan emphasized the Oneness and the indivisibility of Allah (God). "Allah said to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): ‘Say He Allah is one.’ Then he illustrated how it is possible for that One God to inspire through His Word, divine attributes among people of all colors, on all continents, in a variety of cultures.

Min. Farrakhan described water in a "big pitcher, tied to the eternal source. If this water represents the wisdom of God, and I am an old wine skin," he pleaded, "pour out of us the wine of the world that was built on racism, sexism, materialism, and replace it with the water which represents the divine wisdom. That is what your destiny is. You say no, I say yes. Ye are all gods, sons of the Most High."

Photo: Muslim pioneer Lucius Bey of Macon, Ga., known as "The Deen" of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad's ministers, is honored by Min. Farrakhan, along with other pioneers, during Saviours' Day. (Credit: Kenneth Muhammad)


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