Estimated reading time: 16 minute(s)
By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
[Editor’s note: The following article contains edited remarks from words delivered by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan July 27 in St. Louis during an evening tribute to Abdul Akbar Muhammad, his friend, comrade, brother and “Recording Angel.” With decades of service to the Nation of Islam and Min. Farrakhan, Min. Akbar Muhammad serves as international representative of Min. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. But he is one of the pillars that has helped to uphold Min. Farrakhan’s success and made great contributions to the liberation struggle for Black and oppressed people. We pray Allah (God) that readers will enjoy these heartfelt words and the deep wisdom, love and lessons that they contain.]
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.
I thank him for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, who is the inspiration for my life. And I’m honored beyond words to be here with you tonight to honor my brother, my friend, my companion.
So much was said tonight. It is a special night to see Sister Miriam and the children of Brother Akbar and the sacrifice that she made, and they made, and then his other children and his wife Nafisah. I enjoyed everyone who spoke. I enjoyed James Mtume. I enjoyed my sister, Denise Thimes, who sang about love, about life and about you.
I wanted to say something tonight about my brother. I don’t know if I will get to say it again. I pray so. But I want you to know what he meant and means to me. I loved, Brother George Khaldun, the beautiful picture you gave of Mao Tse Tung, the Chinese revolutionary leader, and what he said about Chou En-lai, who helped the leader. You made a perfect representation of what Chou En-lai was to Mao Tse Tung and the same is true what Brother Akbar has meant to me.
I’m the type of brother who has been very careless about the things that I do, great things that God inspired me to do; but I was careless with those things because I didn’t pay it what some would say was adequate attention. And I think it’s because of the way I was made by God.
I used to say as a young boy, “When you do something great, the moment it is done, it is dying. So, you can never live on what you did yesterday because if you are not doing anything today, then you’re always living in yesterday.” That means you are dead today. So, I never marveled at the wonderful things that Allah blessed me to do, the songs I created, the music I did. After it was done, it was done. I’m moving on looking for the next thing to do.
But by my side was a man. I woke up maybe two weeks or so ago weeping. But, I was thinking about Brother Akbar and in the middle of the night, it was as though Allah was showing me the extreme value of my brother. And, the way the God brought it to me, he put by my side a “Recording Angel” that I would never write about me because I never thought that I was that important. I lived my life in the shadow of greatness. Never, ever believing that I was, in fact, great. But God put by my side a Recording Angel who saw value in me that I did not see in myself.
So, he recorded what I said. He recorded what I did. He kept the songs that I made and threw away, Brother Akbar had a copy. I thought tonight I had to be here to say to his family, to say to his friends, and to say to my family and my friends, that everybody needs somebody—somebody that loves you literally unconditionally because they see the value in you that you don’t see in yourself. Although I was always teaching and sharing wonderful things with Brother Akbar, as a teacher, but a teacher that did not know who he was.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad kept trying to get me to see myself and he used different pictures and different stories of the scriptures. I heard it but I kept on moving, running away from who I finally caught up with. But Brother Akbar was always there. New York could never have been as great as New York was, except I had a friend in Brother Akbar.
We’re a people that only God could love; and I must be close to God because I have loved us unconditionally all my life. But Brother Akbar was always trying to help me do things to bring about a vision that I had but he knew how to make it happen. And the sad thing about people like Brother Akbar or Chou En-lai or the Disciples of Christ, we only see the principal. But sometimes we’re blind to the pillars that hold the principal up. New York would never have been as great as it became if Brother Akbar was not there. When they would come to him and say ugly things, he would come and tell me. But he never heard me comment about any of those who were Laborers but were envious of me.
He can tell you, even in private moments, he never heard me say a negative word about the people who were my superiors in the Nation literally dogging me. They did not understand the way I loved my teacher. And because I loved him in the way I did, I never counted the things that I did. But Brother Akbar did. And in that journal, one of many, Brother Akbar could read things to me sometimes about 20 years ago, 30 years ago. When I woke up that morning weeping that God had given me an angel, not just a brother. Notice my words. I’m not a man given to hyperbole and B.S. But an angel who wrote carefully what he saw, what he heard and he like members of my family, know that I never came home bringing a negative report to my wife or my children about anybody.
That’s very unusual. But I didn’t realize how unusual I was. People talk Jesus but I live him. I pray for my enemies. Because I know my enemies are ignorant because they don’t know me and some of them are so envious of one another, it blinds them to their own greatness. If they would only come away from the hatred that envy produces because envy is hatred for God Himself. God knows best who to give a gift to. God knows best when he gives a gift that that’s who he wanted to have that gift. So, God laid on my heart the message of the Messenger and the Messenger said, “Nobody puts the teachings together, Brother, like you do!”