Farrakhan: The Light-Giving Sun in Our Midst

by Willie Muhammad

Part 4 of 9

The focus of this blog is the motivational abilities of the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan. This ability is one of the top qualities that leaders must possess. Some say it’s the most important. As we say in New Orleans, there are “beaucoup”, which is French for “many or an abundance of” examples I can point to that shows that the Minister’s possesses this quality. Here are four examples. 

In 1980s-1990s the Mayfair Mansions in D.C. were described in the following way, “…the Mayfair Mansions werenotorious, overrun with drug trafficking and violent crime.” In another article someone describe it as, “…a social decay that has mothers trading children for drugs and youngsters wielding Uzis in urban wars.” Despite these conditions, men who were first motivated to change their own lives after hearing the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan, were further motivated to go into a hostile, warlike environment unarmed! Filled with the spirit of Allah that was awakened in them by Min. Farrakhan, they made that community safe for those who lived there. 

I know a brother who has a PhD in economics. Once I asked him what motivated him. Bro. Dr. Andrew Muhammad told me, “The Minister in a Larry King interview told a caller that Black students should major in Agribusiness given the importance of agriculture to nation building. I hadn’t even heard of Agribusiness and could not tell you what the word meant, let alone what the major involved, but I obviously trusted the judgment of the Minister. I did not even realize people had such things as PhDs. Sometime later I saw a lecture where the Minister called up some of his ministers who all had degrees. As I sat and watched, I thought to myself, “That could be me.” Shortly after I changed my major and began pursuing a PhD.”

Since 1986 the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan has been banned from the United Kingdom. The ban prevents him from physically entering the United Kingdom and also prohibits all broadcasts of his image and likeness. However, several years ago Min. Farrakhan ordained the first Nation of Islam mosque in Europe. How did he do it? The answer to that is a VHS video copy of the Minister’s historic 1985 address, “Power at Last, Forever! The Overwhelming Event” at Madison Square Garden in New York, which was circulated underground for 3 years. In 1988, a small group of Believers began meeting at a private home to discuss the teachings of the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad. The following year, six of them flew to Chicago to observe their first Saviours’ Day, and eventually met with Min. Farrakhan. When they returned to London, they officially established the first Study Group, located in the Brixton area of South London. All of this movement was started by one copy of a lecture. The ban could not stop the Minister’s ability to motivate.

In 2005 while on the way to the Mall to participate in the Millions More Movement, I along with the brothers I traveled there with were given a ride to the event by a brother who shared a very POWERUL testimony, which I video recorded that attests to the Minister’s motivational ability. He told us what he experienced in the hospital after suffering a spinal injury due to being shot seven times. “I was in hospital for a year. The doctors said I would not walk again and that I would remain completely paralyzed. I started watching the televised lectures of the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan. The first time I saw him, after I saw him I went to sleep and things that he said played heavy on my subconscious while I was sleeping. Like a subliminal message. When I woke from that sleep I was able to wiggle my toes. So I started listening to him more, every Sunday. The more I started listening to him I was able to wiggle my legs from side to side. And they [hospital officials] would only give me an hour [to watch televised lectures]. I was like I’m getting progress from listening to this brother? Physical progress! At the end of the lecture it would always say, “To hear more of the teachings of the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan come and hear the local representative at mosque #4.” I would say, “Man I got to go to that mosque. I need more juice, if this is healing me,” stated Brother Michael. He told us he was now taking steps. 

Motivation is defined as “…the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something and a feeling of enthusiasm, interest, or commitment that makes somebody want to do something.” Each of these examples shows that the Minister does just that. Like the Sun, the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan sparks movement. As the light from the Sun causes the motion of the planets, the Light of Allah which the Minister embodies does the same in the lives of millions (33:45-46). 

(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Visit their website @ www.noineworleans.org)

Minister Farrakhan’s Ability to See the Bigger Picture and Make Sound Decisions

by Willie Muhammad

Part 3 of 9

The big picture is defined as a broad, overall view or perspective of an issue or problem. The definition does not fully convey the idea I am trying to express, but I will use it as a spring to talk about the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan’s ability to make decisions based upon that view. 

A scriptural example of what I am trying to point out can be found in the action of the Wise man in a story mentioned in the Holy Quran chapter 18 titled, “Moses Search for Knowledge.” Moses asks to be a student of a Wise man. During the journey the Wise man makes decisions based upon his broad perspective (the bigger picture) that was unknown to Moses. Due to Moses not being aware of the “bigger picture” that influenced the decisions of the Wise man Moses became judgmental. 

My purpose is not to talk about the misjudgments of others as it relates to the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan, but instead his keen insight that allows him to make decisions or rulings that are right and exact. Those who follow these decisions benefit greatly, just like those who followed Moses and Aaron through the Red Sea (which symbolizes mayhem and chaos), not being affected at all. This is an ability needed by anyone in leadership. Limited understanding and knowledge of a situation impacts the quality of the decision one takes as a course of action, which can negatively impact those he or she has been sent to lead.

Many of us sat in front of movie screens watching Colors, Boyz N the Hood, Menace II Society and New Jack City. After watching them we held endless discussions, debates at school, barbershops, salons, street corners. Very few of us saw what the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan was guided to see. The Minister saw the hand of Satan at work (Rev. 13:18). He saw that these movies were being used as an effort to further perpetuate an image of Black males and the Black community that would justify our mass slaughter and water the seed of self hatred.

After seeing this wicked plot the Minister went to work touring this country spreading the message of, “Stop the Killing.” This effort eventually culminated into the Historic Million Man March which gave the WORLD a different image of Black men. The Minister’s ability to see the bigger picture did not stop there. Being aware of what the scriptures foretold concerning the Historic Million Man March (John 11), the Minister then embarked on a World Friendship Tour, despite the criticism of those who did not have the ability to see the bigger picture. He traveled to numerous countries establishing friendships that would greatly benefit Blacks and the Nation at that time and at a time to come. There are so many examples that can be highlighted in this blog, but space is limited. This next example is not widely known, hopefully after this it will be.

Prior to Katrina, Bro. Capt. Dennis Muhammad offered his services to the New Orleans Police as an effort to help reduce tension between them and the community. The chief at that time contracted Bro. Dennis to do so. Well due to the influence of a rabbi, the contract was rescinded. Bro. Dennis Muhammad considered taking legal action on the basis of religious discrimination. Before doing so he sought the counsel of the Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan. The Minister told him that there were those, “…who would love to see us at odds with a black administration,” stated Bro. Dennis. “He suggested to me to call a press conference and take the high road. He said there would be a feeding frenzy amongst the media because they love anything that puts us at odds with our own. The Minister went on to say that if I sued them, I would never be able to train any other police and would not get other contracts. He said that I would be respected if I took the high road. The Minister asked me to consider his followers in the city who would be left there to deal with the police. He said that if I took the high road that not only would the NOPD one day call me back but that I would get other contracts as well. I received another contract while in Detroit and had discussions about returning to New Orleans to do the training. He went on to say that if the cries of the people were not addressed the city of New Orleans would one day be in a state of anarchy. He quoted Matt. 10:1-15. This was July of 2005. A month or so later the world watched the city of New Orleans fall into a state of anarchy after the greatest natural disaster to ever hit America,” concluded Bro. Dennis.

“Your companion errs not, nor does he deviate. Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but revelation that is revealed — One Mighty in Power has taught him. The Lord of Strength.” Sura 53: 2-6

(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Visit their website @ www.noineworleans.org)

The Lion and Lamb: Balance Between Self-confidence and Humility

by Willie Muhammad

Part 2 or 9

I can imagine how some may have scratched their heads when I mentioned the “Lion and Lamb Principle” as one of the leadership qualities of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. Such a description is usually not listed in books or articles that are about leadership. Hopefully as you read this entry you will understand why I did.

These two animals are of different natures. Lions are known for their aggressiveness and lambs for their meekness. Lions are used to symbolize strength, one of sound judgment and one who is an opponent to be reckoned with. Lambs on the other hand are used to symbolize submissiveness, gentleness and one who has a willing spirit to sacrifice. Jesus is referred to as the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. I believe the reason these two descriptions are used to refer to Jesus, is for the purpose of showing how he is an individual who has a perfect balance between self-confidence and humility. The same cannot be said about many people.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has a perfect balance between self-confidence and humility. Such a balance is needed for anyone who sits in a leadership position.

I have come across people who have felt that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was arrogant. I don’t know how they can misperceive him as being arrogant, because such a perception of him is totally inaccurate. What I have noticed from my discussions with such people is that their misperception stems from them not being accustomed to someone who boldly and unapologetically speaks the truth regardless to whom or what. Plus, the truth that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks exposes their fears and insecurity. Instead of acknowledging this, they attempt to paint him as being arrogant so they can justify not listening to the truths that come from his mouth. The Minister’s confidence is not rooted in arrogance at all. It instead stems from his great faith in the God whom has helped him in his growth and development.

The quality of our spiritual heart determines the quality of our spiritual sight and our ability to see the Divine in others and more importantly ourselves. When we cannot see it in ourselves we struggle seeing it in others. (Matt.5:8) For example, prior to slaying the giant Goliath, David was accused as being arrogant by his oldest brother (1 Samuel 17:28). Some translations even have the brother referring to David as being “conceited” and having a “wicked heart.” Boy was he wrong. The same is true about those who misperceived the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan! If the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan had a heart filled with arrogance he would not be where he is today, for arrogance restricts the elevation of anyone who possesses it. Arrogant leaders cannot run or survive in the race/mission of redemption. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has a fifty plus year track record in such a mission. The arrogant cannot take much and Black people can give one a lot to take (smile).

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan exudes so much confidence, that I have sometimes thought that he was born that way and never had a struggled in that area. The Minister’s humility has helped me to realize otherwise. He is so humble that he is not afraid or ashamed to share life experiences that have helped to shape him. I am not just talking about superficial experiences. The Minister has shared some real intimate life experiences, you know the kind that many of us keep tucked in our minds.

The Irrefutable Leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

by Willie Muhammad

Part 1 of 9

In preparing for this series of blog entries, I have read through all of the books I have on the subject of leadership and I have read numerous online articles that discussed this subject as well. Some writers listed the top five qualities of a leader, some seven, some eight, some twelve. The largest list I came across was twenty-one. Despite the numerous references I came across while researching, my conclusions were always the same. You might ask, “What were the conclusions?”

The first conclusion is that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan possesses and demonstrates EVERY quality (and many more) that I read which was listed by those who are considered experts on the subject of leadership. The second conclusion, I arrived at is the fact that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s leadership is indeed irrefutable. Irrefutable is defined as, “…incontrovertible: impossible to deny or disprove.”

Some who read this will say that such a blog would be expected from someone who is a member of the Nation of Islam and a follower of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, therefore it comes as no surprise. To those who think that way I would simply say that the facts are the facts. Even if the mouths of every member in the Nation of Islam was sealed with the strongest glue that has been made, you would still hear people testifying of the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. So those who feel that this is just a praise party by someone who loves the Minister, I would like to ask you to explain the numerous other people who attest to the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan who are not “members” in the Nation of Islam? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s record speaks for itself. To get a glimpse of a few of these individuals go and visit the Final Call online store and purchase for your viewing pleasure the new DVD titled, “We Bear Witness: An Educational Compilation” and let your education begin.

In this guest blog column, God willing, I plan to talk about a few of the many leadership qualities that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has consistently demonstrated over his fifty plus years of sacrifice and labor for a despised people and for humanity. God willing we will look at some of the following areas (Note: The order is not etched in stone and subject to change, but content will not.)

A Lion and a Lamb 
His Ability to See the Bigger Picture
His Courage
His Character
His Ability to Take Plenty
His Ability to Motivate People
A Man of Vision
How he Has Made Other Leaders

I will close with three points. One, by thanking Brother Jesse Muhammad for allowing me to appear as a guest blogger in his AWESOME and HIGHLY POPULAR blog. Thank you Brother Jesse, you are greatly appreciated. 

My second point is about the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan once again. The Minister does not NEED me or anyone else to attest to his leadership. If every human being on the planet Earth denied his leadership, it would not mean anything, because his leadership has and is authorized from on high (Matt. 3:17) and he was born to be the one who would stand in this dark hour (Daniel 12:1-4).

My last point, I am not writing these blogs in an effort to persuade those whose hearts are sealed already. My purpose is to put forward a view that is not highlighted when the subject of leadership is discussed. Some people just cannot be pleased. Even Jesus, after he raised Lazarus from the dead, still had critics who unjustifibably questioned his leadership position amongst them, despite their inability to duplicate the works that Jesus did. Can you imagine people saying that the Children of Israel had no leadership at a time while Jesus was still present among them? Well, it is not by accident that what was written to have happened back then is happening right now as it relates to the work of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan.

(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Visit their website @ www.noineworleans.org)

EGO ALERT: “I am the Problem, We are the Solution”

 by Robert Muhammad

The problems within the Black community are solvable. The first step to solving our problems is to take a good look in the mirror. When you do, you will realize like I did, that I am the problem. No, I am not saying that I am the sole source of abberative behavior in the Black community. What I am saying is that I, my and me in my vocabulary is the problem. Selfish, self centered, egotistical leadership is the problem. Too much “I, my and me” in our conversations; not enough “us, our and we.”

“The I has subordinated the we” the Honorable Minister Farrakhan told me this past week. “Our differences have subordinated the cause” he added. Unless we think, speak and act for the whole, our leadership is nothing but vanity. Until we settle our differences, the cause or our permanent interest will never be addressed and we will continue to suffer.

Today, we must begin to think, speak and act for the whole. No individual can rise above the condition of his people. There must be men or groups of men advocating one common cause. We didn’t get to America because one individual decided to enslave African for 310 years. Nor was the Native American’s land stolen from them by one or two persons – it was men or a group of men advocating one common cause.

It is time to do for self. Leadership must stop using I, my and me but rather think, act and speak for us, our and we. Like Jesus, we must say “I can of myself do nothing.” Submission to Allah our Creator and unity will turn you and I to the We. When that happens, then it will be Allah (God) acting through the We. 

(Robert Muhammad serves as the Student Southwest Regional Minister of the Nation of Islam. He is also an Urban Planner, and the host of Connect the Dots Radio show which airs Every Wednesday from 3-4pm CST on KPFT 90.1FM. Follow him on Twitter @DotsConnector)

My Battles With Vanity (Part 2): “Vanity, Arrogance, the Devil and Our Hearts.”

by Willie Muhammad

Vanity is also a magnet for several other unattractive human qualities, one of which is arrogance. Both of these qualities are evidence of a delusional view of self. A delusional view of self impacts the way one sees reality, their place in the world and others. Here is a short story that illustrates the point I am attempting to make. The story is called, “The Window.”

A young couple moved into a neighborhood. The next morning, while they were eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hang her recently washed clothes on the line. “That laundry is not clean,” said the young woman as she looked out the window, “She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.” Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make judgmental comments.

About one month later, the young woman was surprised to see her neighbor now had a nice clean batch of laundry on the line. She turned to her husband and said, “Look! She finally has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her how to?” The husband humbly said, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

I hoped you laughed, I sure did when I first read this story. The lesson the story is teaching that what we see when watching others depends on the purity of the window (heart) through which we look. Vanity dirties the heart. Not the physical heart but the very essence of the human being. Vanity is synonymous with the word ego. I read once where a spiritual teacher said that E-G-O stands for “edging God out.” If God is edged out, who takes His place? The devil, that’s who. Where ever the devil lives life as defined by God no longer exists. Don’t believe me spell the word DEVIL backwards and see what happened when Adam obeyed the devil rather than God.

I pray you find this article beneficial.

(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Follow Twitter @BroWM46) 

My Battles With Vanity: “Vain Behavior is Completely Void of Proper Motivation”

by Willie Muhammad

The Honorable Louis Farrakhan recently gave a lecture titled, “All is Vanity.” Like many of his lectures it has caused discussion, debate, self-examination and self-reflection. As I pondered on the words of the Minister, I thought about my own run ins with vanity and how subtly dangerous this characteristic is. In this brief blog entry I want to share two of my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned about vanity.

I will begin with an experience I had in my early days (mid-90s) as a processing member of the Nation of Islam. A childhood friend and I made a stop at a popular Black owned bookstore in New Orleans. I wanted to go to the store to get some conscious reading material and my friend was just along for the ride. While there I overhead a gentlemen, who was a former member of the NOI, talking about the Honorable Louis Farrakhan in a negative way. The friend who I was with heard him also. I remember tapping my friend and saying, “Watch this.” I tapped him because I wanted him to watch me approach the man and set him straight about what he was saying about the Minister. So with my limited knowledge and VANITY, I approached him and attempted to offer a defense. Let’s just say I left feeling like I did not do a good job and embarrassed in the eyes of my friend. After that experienced, I did some soul searching. I realized that my approaching the man was not so much about defending the Minister, but rather more about my own vanity. That experience helped me realize the need to really study, but the most important lesson I learned was the value of being properly motivated. Vain behavior is COMPLETELY void of proper motivation.

A second experience I had took place at the first commemoration of Hurricane Katrina. People from all over traveled to the city to participate. There was a bus that came from another Southern city that happened to have a few MGT, one of whom served in a laborers capacity. The program began by the levee in the Lower 9th ward that was breeched. There were media outlets from all over the world which caused many to jockey for positioning so they could be in view. While they did that I noticed people who were gripped in great emotional pain who were clinging to the wall of the levee crying. The sight of them deeply impacted me and my mind was filled with thoughts about what can I and our mosque do to help our people. The MGT who served as an official in another city approached me because she saw that I removed myself from the camera jockeying. She began to lecture me about why I needed to be positioned in view of the cameras and how she always makes sure her minister is always positioned where he can be photographed or videoed. I listened and respectfully told her that I did not want to be where the others were because, “None of that vanity would do anything meaningful for those who are crying at that levee wall.” She looked at me with disgust and as if I was not a true helper of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan, but I did not care. Because I knew that when everyone got back on their buses, planes etc. the real work would still be there for us to do. That experience taught me the importance of not getting caught up in the vanity of others. When we try to fit into other peoples warped view of us, we are moving out of a spirit of vanity.

That first experience really left a taste in my mouth that caused me to disdain vanity and to constantly inspect my motives for doing much of what I do. As I listened to the Minister’s lecture and read scriptures about vanity, I realized that if what we do is not driven by a sincere desire to fulfill Allah (God’s) Plan for us, it is all vanity. Allah is the only reality and if what we do is not in accord with that reality, then it is like it never occurred or existed (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

(Willie Muhammad serves as the Student Minister at Muhammad Mosque No. 46 in New Orleans. Follow Twitter@BroWM46)

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone and Speak to Unusual Audiences

When you attend speaking bootcamps the experts will tell you that in order to be a successful motivational speaker you should select a target audience to zero in on. I agree with that, but this is not what this blog is focused on. It’s about being able to make a connection with your audience even if its not your target market.

Back in 2010, I was on a major national speaking tour with my friend and fellow activist Jordan Flaherty of New Orleans. He was the mastermind behind the entire tour and I was honored to be invited to be apart of it. One of the stops on the tour was Bluffton, Ohio, a small town surrounded by cornfields. This was my first time in Ohio and we had never heard of Bluffton. We were scheduled to speak inside the prestigious Yoder Recital Hall at Bluffton University.  (pictured above)

Like all of the other 20-plus cities we spoke in, I did not know really what to expect in Bluffton. The audience was filled with mostly White residents, students, staff, politicians, and community organizers. The only Blacks in the audience that night were a few athletes and other students. However, I wasn’t nervous because by that time I already had years of experience in speaking to diverse audiences. I did a little Googling about school and asked a few questions of the organizers prior to the start of the event. Throughout the tour my message was centered around the case of The Jena Six, racism in America, and the principles of organizing. You know what I did? Stuck to my message.

One of the interesting questions posed to me was by one of the Black athletes when he asked “Why does it seem like the government targets Black males?” I am sure you know that question raised a few eyebrows. And my response probably did also yet we were well received by everyone. We made many new friends in Bluffton and I actually received an email from one of the White female students who told me I gave her a deeper understanding of racism in America.

If you regularly speak in the same spots, it’s beneficial to step outside of your comfort zone and stand before audiences you would normally shy away from. It can be tempting to speak over and over to the same crowd because you know you will get an easy applaud, but how about challenging yourself to step outside the box. I’ve spoken at schools, drug rehab centers, universities, street rallies, churches, community centers, masjids, and more. Don’t limit yourself and don’t be scurred! (translation: scared)

(You’re welcome to follow Brother Jesse Muhammad on Twitter @Brother Jesse) 

Helpful Motivational Speaking Tips: Practice prepares you to deliver impromptu speeches

I didn’t see it coming, but I was ready. All of the speaking and interviews I’ve done the past several years prepared me for an impromptu message I was asked to deliver last week.

Some people dread not having a power point or notes in front of them. And there is nothing necessarily wrong with that. It’s always good to be prepared and have everything laid out, right?

However, in my experiences there are always those moments where you will just have to stand up and deliver at a moment’s notice. You can’t allow fear to choke you. Matter of fact, if you’ve prepared, there is no need to fear. Just grab the mic!

On October 2, I was volunteering for the second year in a row to address several classes at Woodson K-8 Leadership Academy’s annual leadership summit in Houston. As I drove up to the school I received a call from the summit coordinator stating that the morning keynote speaker, whom I had referred, was not yet present.

The cafeteria was packed with eager students awaiting a message to kick off the event. She said, “Can you speak in his place?” And without thinking twice I said, “I got you.”

Once I hung up the phone I had a quick negative pop up, “Man, you’re not prepared to address them.” That thought only lasted a millisecond because I confidently walked up to the school and looked for the coordinator to find out where I needed to go.

When we approached the cafeteria door I could see that the principal of the school was trying to hold their attention until a speaker showed up. It was quiet in the room and I could tell they were bored. I started rubbing my hands together and walked to the microphone with a humble posture. The summit coordinator looked at me and said, “What’s wrong, you’re nervous?” I smiled and said, “Of course not.”

Originally that keynote was to be 30 minutes, however, I was told I had only 12 minutes. I told them, “Good, I only need ten.”

I asked the principal to skip the long introduction and I wasted no time going right to the core of the message I was inspired to give them at that moment: How Bad Do You Want Greatness?

I told them a short motivational story, encouraged them to become masters, and took questions from the audience. It was short and effective. No script. No notes. No slideshow.

When you love what you do, people can tell. Young people can definitely spot a phony. Many of them saw me in the hallways the rest of the morning and said they were inspired by what I said. One boy even said he could tell I truly want to see them be great.

When you put in the work, study hard in your field, there is no need to fear impromptu opportunities. What is within will naturally come out. Have you ever delivered an impromptu message? How did you handle it? 

(Follow Brother Jesse on Twitter @BrotherJesse)