E-Book Reviews: A Written Testimony and This Is The One by Minister Jabril Muhammad
Those of you who have been viewers of this website for some time should be familiar with our periodic references to the writings of Minister Jabril Muhammad - either in the Final Call newspaper or from his book, This Is The One. We refer to him and his writings out of profound respect for his perspective, experience and understanding of a variety of subjects. We suspect that most of our viewers are not familiar with Minister Muhammad, for a variety of reasons, but some of those who have become familiar with his writings through this website have begun to express a similar level of respect for his knowledge and understanding of theology, history and both the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan. Today, we take the opportunity to review Minister Muhammad's recently published e-books: A Written Testimony and This Is The One available at his new website http://writtentestimony.com/
Minister Jabril Muhammad was born in New York City, three years after Minister Farrakhan, actually in the very same hospital, in the Bronx, as the Minister. He first heard the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in 1954 and became a registered member of the Nation Of Islam in January of 1955. His first minister in the Nation of Islam was Malcolm X who was over Temple # 7 in New York City at the time Minister Jabril Muhammad joined the Nation. He would meet Minister Farrakhan, for the first time, in that very same year, 1955. These two brand new followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad would become instant friends upon meeting each other.
Later, when he would move to the Lansing, Michigan area, Minister Jabril Muhammad would be appointed to his first laboring position in the Nation of Islam, as a captain, under Malcolm's older brother, by two years and was confirmed as such in July 1956, by none other than the Honorable Elijah Muhammad himself. He became an assistant minister to Minister Philbert the next year. After an appointment in Los Angeles as secretary and Riverside California, as a minister, in 1958 and 1959, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad appointed him as his minister in the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland) and in Sacramento, California.
In 1965, Minister Muhammad would become the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's Minister in Phoenix, Arizona. It would be in these years, on the West coast, several of which were spent living in the Phoenix home of the Muslim leader, that Minister Muhammad would undergo much of his study and receive much of his training, as a theologian, directly from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
In 1977, in Los Angeles, it would be Minister Muhammad's writings and personal interaction with Minister Farrakhan that would determine the Minister's decision to rebuild the Nation of Islam in September of that year.
His new e-book, A Written Testimony, is just that --a written testimony-- featuring some of Minister Muhammad's writings on Minister Farrakhan and their teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. They span a time period of 34 years and contain a wealth of information and insight into Minister Farrakhan, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the history and theology of the Nation of Islam. A portion of the website description of A Written Testimony outlines the eBook's contents:
"The new eBook called A Written Testimony: Some of the Writings of Jabril Muhammad on the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is jam-packed with over 300 pages of material including an updated edition of the book, Is It Possible That The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Is Still Physically Alive???; Chapter Seven of the unpublished book, Where Is The Honorable Elijah Muhammad: Is He Dead or Physically Alive? called "More Than A Vision"; also Chapter Two of the unpublished book, Farrakhan: God's Man On The Straight Path and forty-eight previously published Farrakhan: The Traveler articles, involving subjects such as Defense Mechanisms; the Truth of Minister Farrakhan's words when he appeared on "60 Minutes" and the Moses and the Wise Man series!"
The eBook is actually a combination of little-known history, informative anecdotes, and scriptural exegesis rolled into one. It combines previously unpublished information with published writings in the public domain, in a convenient, attractive and easy to read format. The eBook even includes an exhaustive Search feature of all of the written material in the eBook making research, review and study easy to conduct.
"Is It Possible That The Honorable Elijah Muhammad Is Still Physically Alive???" is a book that grew out of a letter to a friend begun by Minister Jabril Muhammad on December 26, 1975. The book now includes additional material not included in the original text, including part of a 1994 interview with Minister Farrakhan. In this interview excerpt, Minister Farrakhan provides his own account of the impact that Minister Jabril Muhammad's original text had on him when he first read it in 1980, and more.
"A Valuable Black Man" is a chapter taken from an unpublished book, which Minister Muhammad wrote in 1988 and 1989. The chapter provides insight into the Nation Of Islam's Saviours' Day Convention addresses delivered by Minister Farrakhan in 1981, 1982, 1983, and 1984. It provides unusual insights into the intimate relationship between Minister Farrakhan and his teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
"More Than A Vision" is a chapter from yet another unpublished book of Minister Muhammad's which deals with the often talked-about but little understood spiritual experience that Minister Farrakhan had on September 17, 1985 while in Mexico. The chapter includes informative anecdotes and the Minister's own words regarding his experience. It also includes the text of Minister Farrakhan's address to the World Conference Against Racism-Zionism-Imperialism in Tripoli, Libya in 1984.
"Farrakhan: The Traveler" contains numerous Farrakhan The Traveler Articles, previously published in the Final Call newspaper, including 8 articles written regarding Minister Farrakhan's interview last year on 60 Minutes with host Mike Wallace and the daughter of Malcolm X, Sister Atillah Shabazz. This particular set of writings are of special interest to some, partly due to the fact that Minister Jabril Muhammad was present during the 60 Minutes interview, which took place in Phoenix, Arizona. They contain information regarding the interview that to this date, has not been published in the mainstream media.
You can order your copy of A Written Testimony at http://www.writtentestimony.com/ebook.html
The second eBook available for order through http://www.writtentestimony.com/ is This Is The One, which Minister Jabril Muhammad began writing in October 1967. The book available online is from the third and latest edition of This Is The One which includes an additional chapter not available in the first edition and an interview with Minister Farrakhan not available in the second edition.
This Is The One, the first edition, was the only book ever written about the Honorable Elijah Muhammad by one of his Muslim followers prior to 1975. The book received laudable reviews from sociologists, theologians, and professors and to this very day is viewed as a primary source by scholars, historians and journalists conducting thorough research into the Nation of Islam, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan.
In 1997, Mattais Gardell, author of In The Name of Elijah Muhammad, a lengthy book published about the Nation of Islam in 1996, told me that This Is The One and the writings of Minister Jabril Muhammad helped him to understand his subject better than any other information source he reviewed.
The late great scholar C. Eric Lincoln said the following about This Is The One and Minister Jabril Muhammad (formerly known as Minister Bernard Cushmeer):
"...when this Muslim writer examines his own religion in relation to more familiar doctrine, he finds no reason to be apologetic about what he believes. Cushmeer takes on the theologian, sociologists, journalists and others who have expressed themselves regarding the Black Muslims … he marshals from his arsenal, mathematics, logic, history, epistemology, the Bible, the Quran, and of course this teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. Bernard Cushmeer's book is a useful addition to a significant body of literature on the black experience … it should be in the library of anyone who wants to understand the Black Muslim's point of view."
I could not agree more with Mr. Lincoln's final statement above. Anybody - friend, foe or neutral observer of the Nation Of Islam, Minister Farrakhan, or the Honorable Elijah Muhammad - who is serious about understanding any of the said subjects should own a copy of This Is The One.
The 278-page book contains rare biographical information of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad; the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's own words, given to Minister Jabril Muhammad, regarding his first meeting and time spent with Master Fard Muhammad; a blistering critique of the numerous social scientists, intellectuals and journalists who wrote about the Nation of Islam in the 1960s; and about a 68,500 word chapter on Minister Farrakhan's relationship to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
My personal experience with This Is The One has been informative and revealing. I have taken the contents of the book, read, re-read and studied various parts and used the material contained therein for numerous interviews and discussions that I have had with so-called experts on the Nation of Islam. Invariably, without fail, I have discovered, in each instance that such individuals were woefully ignorant of critical facts regarding the Nation of Islam, Master Fard Muhammad, The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and Minister Farrakhan simply because they had not read This Is The One or had not properly taken note of its unique contents. I have discovered such ignorance in at least 3 biographers and authors that I have personally met who have written books about the Nation Of Islam, Minister Farrakhan and The Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
When I was in the music business, I gave copies of This Is The One out as gifts to my friends, colleagues and Hip-Hop artists that I worked with. They all said they learned something very significant about the Nation Of Islam, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Minister Farrakhan, theology, or journalism that they did not know before.
Simply put: This Is the One is a must have for anyone - theologian, college student, journalist, economist, intellectual and even the casual reader who simply enjoys a good book.
You can order your eBook copy of This Is The One at: http://www.writtentestimony.com/tito_ebook.html
A man of many talents, Minister Jabril Muhammad is not only an exceptional writer but he is also an outstanding fine art photographer. His ability to capture rare moments and the awe-inspiring beauty of nature are remarkable. Even a cursory review of his penetrating writings and beautiful photographs reveals that Minister Muhammad is a magnificent witness of the work of God - with both his pen and his camera. An online visit to his growing art gallery is well worth the trip.
To view some of his fine work on display, please visit http://www.writtentestimony.com/jabrils_art/index.html
Sunday, June 24, 2001