Minister Jabril Muhammad On Western Spirituality, Prophecy And The Messiah In The Aftermath of "9-11" (Part 1)
In the immediate days after the events of September 11th we were struck by certain reactions to what happened in New York City and near Washington D.C. From some of our Black Christian friends and viewers we were sent scriptural passages and exegesis that were presented to us, by those who shared them, as if they were word pictures of what happened on that Tuesday morning, three months ago. These Black believers in a Supreme Being immediately sought the explanation for what had happened in the chapters of the Bible, which they believe contain narratives and prophecies of this world's history, from its beginning, and to its end. From some of our White viewers, who are Christians, atheists and otherwise, we received inquiries regarding the religion of Islam and even sincere requests for where information that is central to Islam, including the Holy Qur'an, could be purchased or obtained. These Whites thought and felt that there might be explanatory power sufficient to cast light on the events of September 11th, in a consultation with the Holy Qur'an, the book of scripture for over a billion Muslims throughout the world. Both groups, of those described, reached for sources of information that are often relegated to ceremonial and symbolic observations in the United States of America. Interesting.
And then we noticed the explanations and commentary, available in the mainstream and alternative press regarding the events of September 11th, regarding how and why the momentous event occurred. These public explanations and commentaries came out of liberal, socialist, progressive, conservative, libertarian and other political worldviews. There was truth and many valuable facts in what we heard and saw in these arguments. And there was also a tremendous amount of bias, prejudice, stereotyping, assumptions, confusion and ignorance in what was offered. Central to these intellectual shortcomings in their analysis, explanations and comments regarding what happened, and the context of such, was the manner in which these political and social scientists, and journalists, in most cases, were unable, unwilling or unqualified to deal with the critical aspects of the subject they wished to explain - aspects that absolutely involve the purpose, structure and function of religion and theology. Again, we are referring to many of the most popular and otherwise intelligent commentators, writers and opinion leaders in the conservative, progressive, liberal, socialist, and libertarian communities who seemed to look at every aspect of the issue, in depth, other than the core of the worldviews which guide the thinking, behavior and motive of billions of people all over the planet earth on a daily basis.
This all made us think over the potential for further violence and disaster that may result as a result of the lack of depth and integrity with which theology and religion are being handled in the current political, cultural and economic landscape. As an example, it is rare that American analysts, of various political persuasions, will publicly deal with the root issues of the conflict over Jerusalem, all of which involve, at their very core, three different interpretations (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) of the concept and reality of 1) God's chosen people and 2) a promised land. Many such persons go out of their way to explain the problems of the Middle East in so-called "secular" terms. But can the problems which plague the Middle East truly be solved without the most serious discussions and negotiations involving theology and religious duty taking place? Can the problems of that region be solved with permanence if religion is "left out of it" as many intellectuals desire and advise? And finally, what is it in the minds of the aforementioned scholars, writers, intellectuals, commentators, and analysts that causes them to reject, omit or resist the inclusion of theology in their deliberations, formulations, even in a controversy where religion is obviously central to the matter over which they are studying and deliberating?
In our view, Nation of Islam theologian, Minister Jabril Muhammad, has dealt with this issue, and why it occurs, in greater depth than those who have been regularly published since the events of over three months ago. In a series of articles, as part of his regular Final Call column, Farrakhan The Traveler, Minister Muhammad, rather boldly, has worked to approach and display, for the benefit of his readers, the root of the mindset which produces the attitude and disposition that political scientists, scholars, and opinion leaders have held and displayed toward religion and theology particularly since September 11th. Better than anyone else we have read, Minister Muhammad has been able to identify the common thread running among and within the thinking and analysis of many conservatives, liberals, progressives who superficially may disagree with one another across a limited political spectrum, but who share the same mindset - that of Western spirituality - which often leads them to deny the validity, relevancy and even necessity of religion and theology in solving problems which have been assigned a secular "economic" or "political" classification. Here are two excerpts from two of his more recent articles, Farrakhan The Traveler Vol. 20 Number 11 and Vol. 20 Number 12, respectively, that move us into this subject, which we will look at in more than one part.
From Farrakhan The Traveler Vol. 20 # 11:
It's been two months and eight days (as this is November the 19th) since the impact of that event, which is so huge that most know what you mean if you simply say "9-11".
I've looked at the views of "experts" on the significance and the ramifications of the world situation, since "9-11", through media outlets as National Public Radio, C-SPAN, and The History Channel.
These "experts" are university professors, persons in government, media persons (both domestic and abroad) and persons in America's prestigious "Think Tanks."
What I've not seen in these discussions, however, are "experts" on the Bible and the Holy Qur'an. Why?
The more one knows of world history, generally, and of the "Western" world's history, in particular, the more understandable is the omission of scriptural scholars in the current public debates and discussions of "9-11"...
These "experts" present themselves as having grasped, all of the pertinent facts, in order to give an enlightened view, on each of the issues, stemming from "9-11."
There is nevertheless deep within these "experts" the profoundest kind of denial. We must learn from this.
God's words are seemingly not important enough to be included in these public discussions. Those engaged, in these public discussions, are in the deepest kind of denial about His reality and His words.
Denial, in this instance, is not only profoundly unhealthy, but it's definitely spiritually and mentally deadening and can prove to be ultimately fatal...
Minister Farrakhan gave divine advice to President Bush, on September the 16th. His advice was/is superior to the advice of those who carefully selected certain words from the scriptures, to speak to the President, in public, which only seems to be appropriate for this hour but is not.
The hour is ever growing darker. And their carefully selected or "safe" scriptural passages, coupled with their superficial explanations of them, contain no guiding power, for the President nor anyone else.
From Farrakhan The Traveler Vol. 20 # 12:
Caucasian scientists (and non-Caucasians, who follow Western spirituality) continue to pursue the explanation of all things that they may become the masters of the universe.
They well know that which they study, of the universe, contains wisdom infinitely superior to what they had when they began their study centuries ago. Their great advancement in science is yet inferior to that of the Creator's.
They don't like to acknowledge, or recognize, that there either was, or is, an intelligent source of, or being, whose wisdom thoroughly fills every aspect of the universe that they are studying.
Many of these scientists claim to believe in a god, of some sort, or that they belong to one of the "recognized" religions. They claim to keep their god and their religion belief out of their scientific work and reporting, even though their learning is based on their study of the creation of "God" Whom they know is wiser than they.
Some admit that if they could reach the root of the wisdom of the universe they would come face to face with God. Most simply say if they got to the root, they would become "God" themselves over the universe.
Some seem to be internally conflicted between their scientific and their personal beliefs. The outright atheistic scientists seem very comfortable with their totally arrogant approach to the truth of the universe.
In any case, it's obvious that the universe was created from the highest kind of wisdom. It takes special study to understand, and much more to master, the principles and laws out of which the universe was created and maintained.
The atheistic scientists refuses to acknowledge the power of the obvious: at the very least, there had to be such a Being, Who created and in some way, maintains the universe.
Refuse Him as they will, they cannot get around the fact that as it takes mind power to understand the creation, it took mind power to create it [emphasis is ours]. In fact there could be no way for us to understand the universe if mind had not created it.
Supreme arrogance runs throughout the spirit of Western man's thought. It's imbedded and permeates the nature of his study and use of history; of society; his educational systems; his laws and his evil use of "medicine," his systems of government and his way of warfare or military science.
The powerful of this world really see religion as myths and lies. So to them, it's ultimately irrelevant, except as it suits them, in what they call "the real world." They think: God is alright, so long as He does not get in their way.
They think that "religion" has nothing concrete to offer in the formulation of their planning, policy-making, war making and rule -- especially in the recent ramifications of September the 11th.
They regard "religion" as ultimately irrelevant to the every day affairs of the public, and especially the crucial problems of the nations of the earth.
There are some who are aware that the prophecies of the scriptures, concerning these times, are being fulfilled.
Minister Jabril Muhammad is approaching a very important reality that most who diagnose social and political problems and prescribe solutions for such, frequently gloss over. Minister Muhammad is moving his readers into an examination of one of the most striking characteristics of Western spirituality, which runs through the liberal, conservative, socialist and progressive worldviews. That characteristic being the consistent avoidance of the Divine origin and nature of life, things and circumstances, combined with the dismissal of any deliberate creation of life and the provision of revealed guidance for that life,through other human beings, by its Creator. Thus, the rejection of scripture and prophets in an advisory capacity in political affairs. This rejection of theology and religion is supported by a revision and division of history. This characteristic is visibly on display in the media, which it seems, rarely if ever addresses the origin of cultural, political and economic problems. The Middle East conflict is a prime example of this fact, as reporters and journalists will not publicly explore and comment on the origin of the conflict in what is called the "Holy Land". Another example is a discussion of the origin of the race problem in this country.
Interestingly, young socialists, conservatives, progressives and liberals are not even aware of the origin of the political worldviews that they subscribe to and rely upon to explain reality. Even fewer are clear on how the rejection of religion in Europe contributed to the development of the model(s)to which they subscribe today.
We can see this at work even among those who present themselves as more sensitive to the concerns of human beings than others. As an example how many progressives or liberals in the United States of America are aware of the origin of those political terms and the purpose behind the birth of the progressive and liberal movements in this country? Today's conservatives claim to be the heirs of the original liberal movement and political ideology. Very few in the media explore that debate. And Progressives may be surprised to learn of the deep agreement, at the core, between their worldview and that of the conservatives with whom they often vehemently disagree. These political ideologies for all of their superficial differences are all birthed from Western spirituality. Similarly, few historians and scholars deny that both capitalism and communism are products of Western civilization, although today both models are said to be at war with one another and inherently incompatible. But are they really?
In the second part of this subject, we will continue to look at Minister Muhammad's evolving analysis and commentary on how the dismissal of scripture and the Origin of life itself, by Western scientists, scholars, and historians has contributed to the establishment of an artificial division of reality and a system of governance that does not permit certain problems to be solved. Central to Minister Muhammad's arguments, as we will see, is the premise that the nature of a thing, person and circumstance and the law out of which it continues to operate is determined by the process out of which that thing, person or circumstance was/is created or comes into existence. Accepting that premise, we ask the question: can that which occurred on September 11th and the problems that preceded it, accompanied it and result from it, truly be solved if all of the pertinent and contributing factors leading up to the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks are not analyzed and weighed?
Juxtaposed to Minister Muhammad's continuing writings on this subject, we also ask whether any Western scholar, scientist, politician, journalist or economist can offer a working solution to the problems represented by "9-11" without specifically conducting an intense scriptural and theological study, or conferring with those who have undertaken such an effort? Lastly we intend to take up the subject of what would be required for leading political scientists to seriously include in their theories and writings on the subject of war and peace, the Torah, Gospels and Holy Qur'an; as well as Jewish, Christian and Muslim predictions pertaining to the role that the Messiah is to play in a final war between good and evil and the eventual establishment of a lasting and universal peace. Is war and peace exclusively a secular subject? If not, how can the process of conflict resolution not involve religious leaders and scholars as well as scriptural scientists, if it is to have permanence? We will look at all of these issues as we continue this series, after the New Year.
Thursday, December 20, 2001