What is God telling us in an hour of trial?

By Ishmael R. Muhammad | Last updated: Apr 23, 2020 - 12:37:55 PM

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[Editor’s Note: This week we are presenting an important message by Student Minister Ishmael R. Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Over the last several weeks he has shared timely, spiritual lessons and guidance delivered via webcast from Mosque Maryam as the country and world continue grappling with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic which has claimed thousands of lives. Below are edited remarks delivered by Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad from his message delivered April 12, 2020 titled: “Jesus: His Sacrifice and Death.” Tune in every Sunday, 10:00 a.m. on]

In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Merciful, the One God to Whom All Praise is Due; the Lord of All the Worlds.

I greet you all with the greeting words of peace. We say it in the Arabic language, As-Salaam Alaikum!

We are definitely in an hour of trial.

The Qur’an tells us that the believer can expect to be tried severely at least once if not twice in a year. Allah tells us in the Qur’an that we would be tried with something of fear, hunger, loss of property, loss of lives and diminution of fruit. But then the Qur’an says give good news to the patient.

What’s the good news for the believer? It is that in our patience, the things that try us, the things that happen to us that we don’t understand, in our patience God will gradually bring you into the understanding and answer the whys.


The difficult thing that the Minister shared with me on the phone the other day is that when our will is not the Will of God. ... Just think about that. Allah already knows our will. We pray, we fast for our loved ones who are ill and sick and dying. In the end God’s Will may prevail over our will and that’s where we are challenged because we have to summon the strength of our faith in Him to accept His Will. When we accept His Will, peace comes to us.

I want to go into this very carefully, but I want to point our attention to the fact that in this month of April we have the three branches of religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, observing their greatest ritual traditions. This is very significant at a time of the Coronavirus pandemic.

God has arrested the world. God has us praying like never before; even the nonreligious person is reaching for a higher power. The atheist that doesn’t believe in God as such yet is reaching for a power bigger than ourselves.

In this month of April we have Easter, and the holiday concludes the passion of Christ, a series of events and holidays that begin with the observance of Lent—a forty-day period of fasting, prayer and sacrifice—and ends with Holy Week which concludes on what they call Holy Thursday, the celebration of Jesus’ last supper with his 12 Apostles. And then of course comes the Friday of Jesus’ Crucifixion followed by Easter Sunday.

Lent is the Christian season of preparation before Easter and the Lenting season is a time when many Christians observe a period of fasting, repentance, moderation, self-denial and spiritual discipline.

In the season of Lent we have the Jewish holiday that’s called Passover. The eight-day festival of Passover is celebrated in the early Spring from the 15th through the 22nd of the Hebrew month of Nisan. In Hebrew it is known as the Pesach, which means to “pass over,” celebrating and observing God passing over the Jewish homes when the last plague of death entered ancient Egypt and claimed the first born.

After the season of Lent and Passover and Easter in just a few days the Muslims will observe its holiest practice or ritual which is the observance of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar observed by Muslims worldwide as the month in which the Holy Qur’an was revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). It is a month devoted to fasting, prayer, reflection, acts of kindness and gathering as a community of faith.

All three religions have the same principle and practice being observed by its adherents and worshipers. It’s for reflection, it’s for repentance, it’s for the expiation of sins, it’s for us to draw closer to God.

This season God has called everybody home. We can’t go to church; we can’t go to Mosque. If you look at the empty houses, the Holy Sites all over the religious world; in Jerusalem—in Judaism is a custom that thousands go to the Wailing Wall as part of their worship and the Rabbis can no longer lead the people in that practice.

There in Jerusalem you have the church of Nativity in Bethlehem and it also is accustomed to having many, many visitors. The Church of Bethlehem pleasing Christianity and right now it’s empty.

St. Peter’s Square in Rome is accustomed to having tens of thousands to gather on this day and other days and the Pope delivering his Easter message from the Vatican in St. Peters Square in Rome. But now it’s empty.

Student Minister Ishmael R. Muhammad, National Assistant to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.
In Islam we have Al-Haram Mosque in the Holy City of Mecca where all of the pilgrims come to observe Umrah or the Great Pilgrimage and during the time of Ramadan to come for their daily prayers. Tens and thousands, hundreds of thousands go to Mecca every year and we were blessed to accompany the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan last year during the month of Ramadan, in June of 2019.

But now where last year when we were in Mecca, they had record numbers, more people came to Mecca to perform their prayers and to perform Umrah during the Holy month of Ramadan than during the Pilgrimage. But now Al-Haram in Mecca is closed, it’s desolate, it’s empty. No worshipper is permitted to come and perform their prayers.

The same it is in Madinah where many worshipers come to pray but it’s empty. The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem desolate, empty. The holy sites in Iran, also empty. The empty houses of worship all over the world, mosques are empty; churches are empty, synagogues are empty, temples are empty, the megachurches are empty.

The big attractions, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the streets in the major cities are empty not to mention the empty colleges, universities, sports arenas, casinos; everybody is at home.

What is God telling us? What does He want us to lend our ear to that we are now taking to our homes as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us that a time would come where we would have to make our homes our places of worship?

Are we getting closer to God? Are we humbling ourselves to God? Allah says in the Qur’an that He seizes the people with distress and affliction. For what purpose God? That they might humble themselves. Have we humbled ourselves to the teachings and the guidance of Jesus? Have we humbled ourselves to the teachings and the guidance and the life that God would have us to live through Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him)?

Have we followed the commandments and the divine law given in the Torah through God’s prophet Musa or Moses? Most of us feign religion; most of us go through the observances and have become more ritual and devoid of the meaning and the purpose and the objective of fasting and praying.

How do you know? Look at the society, look at the world, look at the community and our behavior and the life that we live all in the name of Jesus is my Lord. But we’re living a life that is beneath the life and the dignity of the man that we claim. How can we say we claim Jesus and I would rob and steal? How can I claim Jesus and I’m abusing my children, abusing my wife?

My dear beloved brothers and sisters, Satan has caused all to deviate. He’s devoured almost everyone. Now the places are desolate all because of this Coronavirus that God permitted. In the negative the Minister said there’s always a greater positive in the negative. So, if you’re only looking at the negative and not looking for the hand of God, the Minister said you would be bound up in the negativity, the conspiratorial acts of the enemy.

You give the devil and Satan, too much credit. Because if it is from Satan, the question that has to be asked is “why Lord, why God did you permit this?” The loss of life, the suffering of human beings? My heart goes out, I tear up watching how many are suffering no matter what their color, they are fellow-travelers on this Earth with me. I am particularly pained and hurt to see the devastation that is happening in the Black community.

The poor are suffering. The poor are being hit the hardest, and we keep looking to a government that lies and gives misinformation and mixes truth up with falsehood. This crisis, the impact of it, is going to be devastating as it already is to the economy.

Where does that leave Black America? Where do we turn? Who do we look to? The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned us of a day and a time like this. They pleaded with us to Do For Self. They pleaded with us to acquire land and become landowners that we could produce our own food and feed ourselves. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad set-up an economic module and program, “Muhammad’s Economic Program” to end poverty and want among our people.

Could it be that God has arrested us that we may consider the Program of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? Could it be, brothers, and sisters that we have been arrested because we rejected a messenger of God?

Poor housing, all of the disparities and inequalities in health care, in housing, they’re telling us that social distancing is our best friend. Well if social distancing is our best friend to protect us from contracting and spreading the virus then distancing ourselves from the enemy of God and the righteous is our best friend. It’s called separation. We must separate. There is no future for Black people under this structure. We cannot continue to suffer and die like this. We have to Do For Self. We must open and build our own hospitals. We must build and open factories to employ our own that we can give jobs to our own people. Don’t say that that’s not possible. Just say, as the Minister said, “I don’t have the will to do for self.”

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said he met with God. How can you dismiss that and accept the prophets in the Bible who received revelation, who received the word of God and then reject one who comes who is the fulfillment of who the prophets said would come at the end of the world?

Elijah Muhammad said he met with God. He gives the credit for everything that he taught to Allah in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and you cannot prove that anything that Elijah Muhammad taught is false. All Praise is due to Allah!

God is telling us something. Will you lend your ear, will you hear now? Are we being humble enough that we will say “Yes Lord, we accept your Will,” we will put the blood of the lamb on our doors? We will strive to live the life that you have ordered us to live through the Messiah. All we can do is at least make the effort. Make one step towards Him, he will take two steps toward you. Make two steps towards Him, He’ll make four towards you.

God wants to save us brothers and sisters. He didn’t come to destroy us, He didn’t come to kill us. He was born for the whole of humanity that no one need to perish.

I thank you for listening. May Allah’s peace be with you all as I greet you …

As-Salaam Alaikum.