Theology Thursdays: Exclusive Q & A With Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad, NorthEastern/Mid-Atlantic Regional Representative Of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Re: Saviours' Day 2003
On Sunday, February 23, 2003, from the UIC Pavillion, in Chicago Illinois, Minister Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to deliver his Saviours' Day address, "America At The Crossroads: War Is Not The Answer." The address is slated to be available via satellite in venues throughout the world. The tone and content of the intended address is both sobering and inspiring according to Minister Farrakhan, who has stated, "The message will contain guidance and warning for the government of the United States, the American people and Black people in particular... As America goes to war and Homeland Security takes away many of the rights and privileges of the citizenry of the United States, we are going to need the guidance of God to get us safely through this period of darkness and even intense darkness. The Saviours' Day message will be light for those who desire to get safely through this period of war, revolution and unparalleled bloodshed."
BlackElectorate.com Publisher Cedric Muhammad recently visited Minister Farrakhan's Northeastern/Mid-Atlantic Regional Minister, Abdul Khadir Muhammad, at Mosque #4 in Washington D.C. to discuss Minister Farrakhan's scheduled address, the manner in which the Nation Of Islam intends to observe Saviours' Day in the nation's capitol; and the position and evolution of the Nation Of Islam juxtaposed to the condition of Black people in the United States; the prospect of African unity; and a theological dialogue with the broader Islamic World - all in the backdrop of the aftermath of September 11th and an impending war against Iraq.
Cedric Muhammad: Brother Minister as "everybody" knows, the word is rapidly spreading... On Sunday February 23rd the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is scheduled to speak as part of the Nation Of Islam's annual Saviours' Day celebration with the topic being, "America At The Crossroads: War Is Not The Answer." There is going to be a satellite presentation right here in Washington D.C. and across the nation. If you could, please tell us a little about the message that you think Minister Farrakhan may have on his heart to deliver that day and how you plan to observe this event from the nation's capitol.
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: First of all I just want to say to those viewers and observers of the website, Blackelectorate.com, that I greet them all in the words of peace and paradise, As-Salaam-Alaikum. We are working on this occasion with the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, and hoping and praying with the greatest of expectations for the complete exposure and presentation, throughout the entire country and the world of our Saviour, Master W. F. Muhammad. This Saviours' Day is the celebration of the anniversary of Master Fard Muhammad's birthday. He is the one who came to bring us Islam and to teach the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad - the founder of the Nation Of Islam; and to give us guidance on how to be Muslims in America. Normally we would go to Chicago for Saviours' Day. We would get our airline tickets, train tickets, or bus or drive by car, and rent hotel space and accommodations. Perhaps we might have a rental car for a week or for a few days and have a great time of celebration, enjoying festivities as we witness to the birth of Master Fard Muhammad. But this year we decided to take Master Fard Muhammad and this celebration from under the bushel basket, so to speak, and expose it to the whole world. This will be the largest Saviours' Day celebration in the history of the United States Of America. And as you noted we will be holding our convention in Washington D.C. This will be only the second time that Saviours' Day, under Minister Farrakhan's leadership, has been celebrated in the city. We will be in the Washington D.C. Armory located at 2001 East Capitol Street in South East Washington, D.C. Our doors open up at 1 PM to allow the crowd to get seated properly and to allow some activities before Minister Farrakhan addresses the country. To answer the last part of your question I feel that Minister Farrakhan will give us guidance and direction in this hour that we badly need. America is not only at the crossroads for war and peace but also at the crossroads for economic survival. Look at the homeless and unemployed and the plight of Black America - we need help and guidance in this dark hour. There will be much for us in these areas coming from the Minister in the delivery of his speech. This is not a dark hour that is coming, but one in which we have already entered into.
Cedric Muhammad: Do you see any significance in Washington D.C.'s observance of Saviours' Day being that this is the nation's capitol and the President himself lives here and that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad did very unique things in this city and region? And do you see that all tie in with the manner in which Minister Farrakhan is having this special address - regarding a war planned in this city - broadcast in so many locations by satellite throughout the country?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Well, in 1995 the Honorable Louis Farrakhan called for 1 million men to meet on the mall for the Million Man March; and Congress shut down; the Senate closed; the President got out of town; and they brought in tanks to confront what they thought would get out of hand. But it was a peaceful demonstration. And to have this call again for Saviours' Day, not just in terms of those who will be in attendance in the Washington D.C. Armory, but the estimated 250,000 Black people who will hear this message across the country; it will have the effect of dominating what is discussed in our communities on that weekend and it will have an impact around the world and on that Sunday, Islam will be the talk of that day. Minister Farrakhan, that day, will be speaking in that same spirit as he did during the Million Man March. As you know the Million Man March was 85% Christian and 15% otherwise, so we know that Minister Farrakhan has guidance for our Christian Brothers and Sisters and that he knows how to properly address them, as he was in the earliest days of his life a Christian himself. He loves Jesus Christ and he knows what is expected of Christians at this particular hour. So we look forward to Saviours' Day and our expectation that we will be able to reach a quarter of a million Black people on that day.
Cedric Muhammad: What was your impression of the Minister's letters to President Bush?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Well, his letters to the President of the United States of America were an offering of warning and guidance in a time of trouble. George W. Bush did not know that he would be the president who would have to stand in this hour the way that he is standing - that he would be in this important position. However, Minister Farrakhan has taken the position that Mr. Bush is the one who will have to address these serious problems. The Minister has given President Bush a message that hopefully will save America - a country that we as Muslims, Christians and those who live here love, but which is being destroyed by the unbridled power of its leaders who say to hell with what the people have to say or what is in their best interests. Minister Farrakhan's letters to President Bush have been filled with warnings and great counsel. But Pharaoh's heart has hardened, Brother Cedric. The President is determined to go to war. His heart has hardened to sane talk. His heart has hardened to counsel. His heart has hardened to advice. And his heart has hardened to good guidance. The Minister has warned the President that this is the final call to him, personally, and to all of us who want to travel the road to peace and avoid World War III.
Cedric Muhammad: You have been, how long, a member in the Nation Of Islam?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Oh, I received my "X" on July 2, 1973.
Cedric Muhammad: And you were first a minister in what city?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: I was first a Minister for Minister Farrakhan in Newark, New Jersey. Officially I have been on the post of minister, assigned by him since 1980, but I was with him back there in 1979.
Cedric Muhammad: In a very personal way and as a Minister, you have seen Newark, New Jersey; you have seen New York City; you have seen Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and really all of the major cities in this East Coast region. How would you judge the evolving condition of our people from the very first time you entered the Nation Of Islam almost 30 years ago and our response to the call of Islam and this teaching?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: I see us as a people, in terms of responding to Islam and the Nation Of Islam, as receiving a second-chance. This is grace and an opportunity to try this one more time. This is our last time and often we refer to Brother Minister Farrakhan as the "last voice for Black America." He is exactly that. And we had better get this message out to the people or as the book of Ezekiel says in Chapter 3 verse 18:, "When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand." So we are working hard that we give this all that we have got. If we don't do this today I know that our sons and daughters who should have this a lot easier, will be forced to do what we didn't do. So we have no choice but to give it our all and I believe that we are going to do that and we are living in a great time of opportunity that has been talked about in times before.
Cedric Muhammad: Earlier you mentioned Pharaoh alluding to a modern and ancient Egypt. And in the second letter that Minister Farrakhan wrote to President Bush, he outright said that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that America was the "Mystery Babylon" described in the Book Of Revelations...
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Yes...
Cedric Muhammad: And you have made references to prophecy. How does your understanding of scripture inform your work as a minister - particularly in a city like this that seems so politically-oriented?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Well, I see the Book Of Daniel where it talks about, "...And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time." Michael is the Honorable Louis Farrakhan who is standing in a time of trouble. Here is a house that is occupied by the President but you can't really tell whether he lives here or not. Here is a house that is occupied by a President but it appears that there is no love or concern from the President for what goes on in the city. Here is a house where the President lives and you would think that you are living somewhere that the President does not reside. It is as if you might as well be in Cincinnati, Ohio, or Newark, New Jersey or Chicago. The President lives here but you don't feel any difference or any change in terms of righteous behavior or living conditions. This city of Washington D.C., where he does live is in the same predicament as those other cities where he does not reside. So, Washington D.C. - as I have been told - once we have been given the right guidance, so goes the entire country. So, yes, this seat of power must be confronted by what we believe in and what we stand for so that we can correct and show an example of what works here, in the nation's capitol. Then it is a 1000% guarantee that as Washington D.C. goes so goes the entire country's Black communities, who are poor and deprived. We hope to give in the District Of Columbia that example of what happens when one follows what Minister Farrakhan is teaching.
Cedric Muhammad: I do know that you have attempted to work hand-in-hand with the religious leaders of every city that you have been in. People understand the theology of the Nation Of Islam to varying degrees. But certainly, over the last decade a great amount of progress has been made in conferring with Muslims of all perspectives. How do you see the progress of these discussions as it relates to understanding what we all believe in the Holy Qur'an?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: I believe that we are moving forward theologically and that we are being accepted by the Muslim world, as we have not been afforded the opportunity but we have taken the opportunity to discuss our presence in America and what we stand on and believe in as it relates to Master Fard Muhammad. Many of our Muslim Brothers from the East - Sunni and the otherwise - have not come to understand and see our position of representing our Saviour in such a light that Master Fard Muhammad will be recognized in their world of Islam according to the recognition that we have. Some still say that we are not Muslims. But we still are working on ourselves according to the laws, rules and guidance of the Holy Qur'an. As you know we follow it, in my view to the exactness of its Spirit, because we are the ones who don't go by the rules laid down by America and then still call ourselves Muslims. We go by the Holy Qur'an. Sure there are some differences in manner, that we can and are working out, but the problem oftentimes is this: for the most part we know that we can't claim to be Muslims and believe what comes from the Holy Qur'an and the hadith and sunnah of Prophet Muhammad - may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him - but sometimes when the telephone rings, and it is a call from President Bush, Muslim leaders respond to that call and tell the rest of us to hold on. But with us in the Nation Of Islam, if the President calls us, he has to call back because we our trying to keep our focus on the Qur'an and Allah directly, because that is where we get our balance. We are Muslims domestically, in this country, while others are not because they bow to influences that are not from Allah or the Qur'an.
Cedric Muhammad: Do you think that since September 11th there has been some compromise in the Islamic community relative to how some have responded to how President Bush has used the Qur'an and spoken of Islam as a religion of peace?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: I have seen a great change in some of the immigrant Muslims because they wish to not have any problems in America while they are visiting here or working or going to school. But they want to be in a peaceful state of mind. They want to be accepted. They want to be in America what they were overseas. But for the most part we can see that the President has chosen whom he thinks he can interact with in the Islamic community. But what he is really looking at is the fact that Islam is the great challenging force in the world today and is sweeping the country by storm, since September 11th and since the Million Man March. The effort against Islam in this country has been tremendous, particularly in the Black community. A great effort was undertaken after the Million Man March to speak against Islam in the Black church. But it is too late because Muslims have already been going to Church and Minister Farrakhan was even elected churchman of the year in 1986, and yet he is a Muslim. And of course, Rev. Fred Price taught against Islam in a major way late last decade, teaching against what we believe and lambasting what we are guided by in the Qur'an and hadith but he actually did read the Qur'an and spread Islam further as he challenged it, and didn't even realize that he was putting out the word in a positive way. So we thank Rev. Fred Price and we thank the President, even though he is accepting only certain Imams and Muslims. It is only helping Islam to take its rightful place in the United States Of America.
Cedric Muhammad: How do you see the process of reconciliation and dialogue between the Nation Of Islam and Minister Farrakhan, and Imam Warith Deen Mohammed and his community developing?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammmad: I can tell you this my dear Brother Cedric - it is a very, very tremendous effort on the part of both of these great men. And we can now see the fulfillment of what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said of these two Brothers. He saw that both of them together would "mop up the wilderness." They both are spreading Islam throughout the Western hemisphere. Imam Warith Deen Mohammed has always been in love with Islam and prior to he and Minister Farrakhan sitting down and working out their acceptance of one another; he already foresaw the changes that the Nation Of Islam is now making with the Honorable Louis Farrakhan. Imam Warith Deen Mohammed saw this when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was still here. But sometimes you can move too quickly and if you are moving at a terrific speed and you make a sharp turn or even go in reverse, you may throw all of the passengers off of the train. Not to say that was what was done. But in truth, Imam Warith Deen Mohammed and Minister Farrakhan have been heading in the same way with the same thought for years but they just didn't have a chance to sit down and work out how it should be done together so that with the two of them together we can raise up the whole wilderness; and as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, "mop it up" and clean it up so that we can enjoy Islam as it should be practiced right here in America.
Cedric Muhammad: How do you see the steps that the Minister has taken relative toward Africa, specifically the idea that there should be a "United States Of Africa". And what is your view, as well, of his dialogue with Pan-Africanists and Nationalists in the United States Of America? Do you see that in a similar manner and on par to his outreach to the Islamic world and Muslim communities here in America?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: It is funny you say this because (I have just been reflecting over the scriptures on this subject). The Nation Of Islam, indeed is a nation. And we may be small but the God gave us that name because He knew that we would become a nation one day - in the fullest sense of that word. We are growing into that name. The Qur'an speaks of this in Chapter 2 and verse 128 about a nation being raised up one day that would be submissive to Allah. So the Minister Farrakhan takes the same approach to the United States Of Africa and other groups and people in this country that love Africa. You can see all of this in Minister Farrakhan's approach to peoples and leaders overseas and his contacts with some in South Africa and other parts of Africa and his relationship with the different factions and groups in the Islamic world. He is trying to produce the union that makes it all one. When you make hajj and go to Mecca, you are asked to take off your shirt, pants, everything off of you that is not in unity but which you make one by placing these items all on you together. You take all of those off and you put on one single garment that represents the unity of all Muslims. That is Minister Farrakhan's approach - to make us all one as a people and to make us one harmonious group of Muslims throughout the entire world. And I do recall several instances where the Minister has been asked to come back into foreign countries and to teach Islam as he sees it, and to set up mosques in certain parts of the Muslim and African world.
Cedric Muhammad: As you know recently Minister Farrakhan gave an address to the United Kingdom by satellite from Phoenix, Arizona. It was very unique. Some people have this view of the Minister's evolution and at different times, people who love him have felt for their own reasons that they have not received as much attention from him as they have grown accustomed to. In light of that view which does exist among certain groups, how do you promote the understanding of a broader mission, or a more international responsibility that Minister Farrakhan has, and the Nation Of Islam itself?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: The Minister has the ability to capture them all. But those who have received direct contact with him would not always have that type of access, but yet, if they only understood they still would. They still do. The Minister has a mission, as we say in our Lessons, "at home and abroad". But many of us at "home" have not understood that. Many of us who feel that he has not been there for them; well, he has been there for them but they have not been there for him, at that particular time. How long shall a man continue to preach - warning to a people and they continue to dance and party as if he were a song or a performer? Like he was competing with the Marvin Gayes of the past or the Whispers or the great songwriters of the day. We all have to answer that question - those of us who have grown comfortable with his voice. But no, Minister Farrakhan is not in that category of "performer" or "entertainer". He is on a higher spiritual plane, much further away from that. But unfortunately people do take him as if he were a song or just someone who is always going to be there with a rap. Or they diminish his value saying, "well, he wasn't that heavy, what he said - it wasn't that deep", until, these same individuals find themselves in a problem of great spiritual consequence or trouble. Then they want to seek his guidance again. But why should he continue to respond personally to situations like that? You can find some tape of all of his speeches on every subject. The collection of his talks now has become like a pharmacy or medical institution. You have a problem and you come to the store that has a collection of Minister Farrakhan's tapes and a Brother makes a prescription. He says, 'Play side two of this tape every day, twice a day and your problem will be solved' or 'play this tape for the next two weeks straight and you will be alright'. But the bottom line is that in what Minister Farrakhan has spoken and left for us in tape or book form or that which is in The Final Call every week, he has been there for us and continues to be.
Cedric Muhammad: What is there left for him to do among us, in light of what you just said?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Well, what is left for our Brother to do for us is to get us through these hard times. We are headed for a time of trouble - as I said before when Michael would stand - written of in the book of Daniel, the likes of which we have never seen before. The Bible says that there will be blood up to a horse's bridle. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that if we would go as he (Minister Farrakhan) says go and do as he says do and obey what he says for us to obey, that he would get us across to the other side safely on his shoulders. And that is the whole nation. And so far those that follow him attentively, even from the time he first stood back up - in the late 70s up until this time now - I can say that we haven't gotten a scratch on our bodies for what we have stood for with this great Brother of ours.
Cedric Muhammad: What do you think will be the consequences for those who stand with Minister Farrakhan and even the Minister himself in this hour with President Bush determined to go to war and have nothing stand in his way?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: ...We were told to say this prayer, "O Allah we beseech Your help and we ask Your mercy for we believe in Thee and trust in Thee for all that we need. We are helpers in Your cause with Your Apostle. Please grant to us success." The Minister said that once this Saviours' Day is over he would tell us how that prayer came about and what it stands for. It was given to the Muslims when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was with us and in times of trouble that the Muslims were in, so that they might get through a certain especially difficult period of time. So I hope that we will make it with him, whether it is going to jail or wherever. But everywhere we may go in persecution we will be preaching Islam and it will be hard to stop us. It has to get to the point where Pharaoh must come back and ask us what he can offer us to get us some place where we can worship by ourselves and where they can have their way, perhaps, somewhere away from us. But we do know that the time is coming where Islam will sweep the entire globe, the world over.
Cedric Muhammad: What do you say to individuals of different faiths who see what is going on now as a war - a clash of civilizations or a war between primarily two religions or between a civilization and a religion : Western civilization and Islam? Do you think that a religious leader in the West, whether a Christian preacher, a Muslim Imam or Sheikh, or a Jewish Rabbi, can be justified according to what they believe, in watching the Minister stand up against war and do nothing of their own effort? Or do you think that there is something in those teachings, in those scriptures, and those belief systems that would demand all of those leaders stand with Minister Farrakhan in what he is doing to try to warn against and even prevent this war?
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: To answer your question, there are many religious leaders, who if, and when they study carefully their scriptures, it always points to some messiah, to some mahdi, some caliph - some person described within their religious and theological readings that at the end, people will meet and encounter, who is to carry out a great assignment of warning and salvation. And I can tell you from what I know that when these great religious leaders of different faiths meet with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan all of them always see or feel or get the spirit from their theological reading that 'Brother Farrakhan is this answer, is this person, has this voice' and that he thinks, walks and talks like the figure that their respective scriptures describe as being of great importance at a critical time. They somehow, according to what they already believe, see that all wrapped up in him. Now, if they follow Brother Farrakhan and follow his current focus in terms of what he actually sees formulated in the mind of President Bush and heed his warning that he has given to us about this war, which he has been doing since 1985, and if they walk with him continuously in this hour then they will be successful. Those others who are standing on the outside watching are not even sure of what they believe. They don't even have enough faith and conviction in what they say they believe to even recognize that it is coming true. They do not have enough conviction in their standard of right and wrong nor the personal courage to consider that the direction where President Bush is attempting to lead us is wrong. So, yes they have to make up their minds, either they are for this war which is against the whole world, and which will destroy millions of lives and which will be called the War Of Armageddon; or they will help to prevent this and save the lives of innocent human beings by standing up with Brother Farrakhan as he echoes this call to save. We all must choose life over death. That is the answer.
Cedric Muhammad: Thank You Brother Minister.
Minister Abdul Khadir Muhammad: Thank You Brother.
For More Information On How To Obtain Tickets To Attend The February 23, 2003 Satellite Broadcast Of Minister Louis Farrakhan's Address in the Washington D.C. area, Please Call (202)-399-1010 for Muhammad's Mosque Number 4, located at 1615 Kennilworth Avenue NE Washington D.C.; 202-387-7095 for Tape Connection, located on the corner of Georgia Avenue and Harvard, NW Washington D.C.; (202)-547-6440 for the Abundant Life Clinic; and 202-723-9850 for Modern Scientific Barber Shop located on Georgia Avenue NW Washington D.C.
Doors Open On February 23rd at 1PM for the event at the Washington D.C. Armory, located at 2001 East Capitol Street SE Washington, D.C.; The theme promoted in the Washington D.C.-area is "Help Us Reach A Million For Peace: Join In This Humanitarian Effort To Stop The War And Hear From An Ambassador Of Peace"
For information on where the event will be broadcast via satellite, nationally and internationally, please visit The Final Call Website and specifically:
Thursday, February 20, 2003