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(Originally published Feb. 11 2014)
Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): This particular interview is along the subject of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad escaping the death plot, therefore, I would like to delve into your testimony, as his son. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan wants us to bear witness to the Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Master Fard Muhammad and to defend him as well. You certainly came to mind. I believe you have a very special and unique testimony. I did not realize that today (January 29) is actually the very day the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was admitted into Mercy Hospital 39 years ago where he would escape the death plot until this morning. The fact that you are in Mexico right now where he traveled before departing is significant to me as well.
Rasul Muhammad (RM): It is an honor, it is a blessing and I feel humbled that my thinking or my thoughts would even be considered to be motivation, encouragement and inspiration to believers in this Mission and the Teachings of my father and the representation of the most Honorable amongst us, Minister Louis Farrakhan. As a believer and student we know that there is no such thing as coincidences. So whether you want to look at it from the date, the time, the place it all is part of a mathematical code that has great wisdom and even a peep into the strategy of Allah in this time. You don’t take anything for granted, nothing! It is significant. I pray that Allah will guide our words with whatever may be useful to your readers.
EM: Yes sir, All praise is due to Allah! Thank you very much. Brother Jabril Muhammad mentioned in his book “Is It Possible That the Honorable Elijah Muhammad Is Still Physically Alive”, that in October of 1967 the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told Brother Jabril directly, “If Allah had not shown me how I was going to escape, I would have no hope”. To me this is one of the most profound points of proof that he did escape along with the various testimonies of others who were present. In an interview Brother Jabril conducted with Mother Tynnetta Muhammad, she disclosed that it was during the family trip to Mexico, in December 1974, where the Hon. Elijah Muhammad first told her about the death plot and of his departure. I would like to talk to you about that moment and if you remember this. You were nine years old, is that right?
RM: That’s correct.
EM: Were you privy to that conversation regarding his departure?
RM: No, I was not privy to that or present for that conversation between my parents. Yet, I do recall very well that time where my father first came here to Mexico and something that he said while he was here that may tie in or give clues to his consciousness of the time of where he was and what he was doing leading up to his departure. For example, we had already been here and purchased this home about a year before he came. I recall when he first arrived, we were received by some of the special guard, National Guard, under the then President of Mexico [Luis Echeverría Álvarez]. When we arrived here to the home, which is about an hour drive from Mexico City, I remember walking my father up the steps. There are many, many, many steps in this house. I was on one side of him and Sultan, my nephew – may Allah be pleased with him – who is the father of our Imam Sultan Rahman Muhammad, was on the other side of my father. We were walking my father up the steps to the third floor. Once we got to the third floor of the home, my father went to the balcony, and it appeared that he began to weep. He kept repeating over and over again, “Thank you Allah, thank you Allah, thank you Master Fard Muhammad. Thank you for blessing me to make it here”. And he said, “This is the place I have been looking for for a long, long time”. He just kept repeating that over and over again. That’s one point.
The second thing I recall is I was in a conversation with him. He was sitting on the balcony on another day here in our home and he said, “One day or soon people are going to say that I am dead, but I won’t be”. I responded to him, “If anything were to happen to you, I would go into the kitchen and get the biggest knife and just kill myself”. And he started laughing and he says, “Oh you don’t have to do that son, because I will live to see your children’s, children’s children”. That would be another strong point or testimony if you’re a believer that says, “He’s not dead”. He knew that he was going away for a period of time, and for him to say directly to me, “They are going to think I’m dead…” Actually I recall him saying also, “…but don’t believe it, don’t believe it”. Somewhere in there that’s when I said, “If anything were to ever happen to you I would go into the kitchen and get the biggest knife and just kill myself”. That’s when he laughed and said, “No you don’t have to do that son. I will live to see your children’s, children’s, children”.
When you look back on a subject like this and you look at your whole experience with the man, I guess you could surmise that he was always telling you in bits and pieces about the future and what we would have to go through to get to that future. I’m recalling a lot of things that he said to me as a child even before Mexico. Sometimes he would be sitting in the house, in what we used to call the “old house” next door to the Palace. Once the Palace was built, he would be sitting in his office or in a room by himself very quiet, and I would be passing by looking for an opportunity to literally play with him. He would wave his hand like, “Come on in”. Well that was my joyous moment.
All of the conversations seem to me like right now to be pieces to a puzzle. I remember I was brushing his hair. He has this really soft brush, because he only had a few strands of hair going across the top. It seems to be a hereditary thing in our family, which is greatly exemplified by my brother Ishmael (laughs). We have some receding hairlines in our family (laughs). I was brushing his hair and playing with those few strands and he would always just say, “It’s okay, Master Fard Muhammad promised me a whole new head of hair”.
Things like that always kept me in the mindset that he was going through or would go through some type of transformation. The way he would talk to me about Master Fard Muhammad made me as a child think of God as so real, but in possession of such Knowledge and Power to Transform reality. Case and point; not just with the hair but I recall on my father’s thumb. I don’t remember if it was the left hand or the right hand, but on one of his thumbs at the top was a dark, dark round patch that you could almost compare to a birth mark or a mole. He told me about that thumb of his. One day he was opening and closing the door for his daughter. I believe the daughter was my sister Ethel Sharrieff Muhammad who has passed. She was married to the Supreme Captain Brother Raymond Sharrieff. Those cars back in the 50’s had steel, big, heavy doors. When he closed the door, after her getting in the car, it clipped off the top of this thumb as it got smashed in the door. Naturally, they rushed my father to the hospital and took the little piece of the thumb that was clipped off by closing the door, and they were not able to sew it back to his thumb. Yet, my father told me, “Master Fard Muhammad promised me that it would grow back”. And of course it did. He showed me the thumb, and it was a perfect thumb from what I recall. It just had this dark patch at the top. He said to me, “You see? It grew back and soon this round dark patch will grow out too”.
Again, here is another account that in my young years produced an image or mindset about Allah, in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad, as a real human being with Knowledge and Wisdom that’s transformative. It was healing. I think this is the right concept of God that we all should have. It must be a concept, meaning a general understanding that He’s real and has Power. Power only means capacity. He’s a real God with the Capacity to Transform lives to Heal, to Cure, to Produce and to Create. My father said to me as a boy, “Nothing is impossible. Nothing.” I said to him, “Prove it.” He said, “The mere idea is proof of the possibility”. He said, “If you can think it, it can be. There is no such thing as impossibility”. I put all of that in the same category as the concept of God that he gave me as a child. What does that have to do with him being alive and surviving the death plot? If there’s a death plot that means that there are those with the thought in mind that are close up around him that do not believe in him. I think it’s in the book of John in the scriptures of the Bible, where Jesus says, “He that believeth on me, believeth not on me but on Him who sent me”.
Therefore, if we doubted in the Hon. Elijah Muhammad then of course we doubted also in the God he claimed raised him and sent him. Yes, I was aware because he made me aware of certain hypocrites around him, and we knew of certain hypocrites around him that were not only in Laboring positions in the Nation Of Islam, that also included government agents that were in the Nation Of Islam and are still in the Nation Of Islam. Yet, as the Hon. Louis Farrakhan said one day, “Betrayal would have to come from somebody that’s close to you, real close to you. You can’t have effective betrayal from somebody who’s obviously an enemy”. So that hypocrisy, that betrayal comes from both laboring, close staff members, executive officers as well as family members.
The Death Plot is deep. It’s very deep. However, ultimately in the early years of my ministry when the Minister first sent me to Detroit in 1989, I would often drive over to Chicago just to be close to him, because I would feel so alone and so abandoned in Detroit. You know, I started there before my 24th birthday, and I just saw so many problems with people and just problems period. Of course I just wanted to seek refuge. Sometimes I would come over in tears crying and crying, and the only thing he would say to me is, “You have to get closer to Master Fard Muhammad. You have to get closer to Master Fard Muhammad”. I was disappointed in that answer, because what I could see in front of me was him, Minister Farrakhan. So what I wanted in my heart was just to get closer to him. Yet, what he was telling me was to get closer to Allah, Master Fard Muhammad.
This went on several times. I would even come and just tell him that I felt so lonely and alone in a different kind of way than I had ever experienced in this work, in this Mission. One day he said to me, “Yes son, I understand. Can you imagine how alone I have felt since the departure of your father? When while your father was here all I had to do was call him up and tell him whatever the problem I was having and he would always have an answer for me. Can you imagine how alone your mother feels all of these years without your father? Can you imagine how alone your father must’ve felt since the departure of Master Fard Muhammad? Can you imagine how alone the first God Who Self-Created Himself out of the womb of triple darkness felt sitting out there in triple darkness thinking of a way of how to become?” Think over this! What he was teaching me is that being alone and loneliness is a very intimate part of the process of our growth, maturation and growing nearer to Allah. In fact, if you haven’t experienced that then maybe you haven’t even started your process. Maybe to some degree every brother and sister who joins the Nation Of Islam, writes their letter and becomes a Registered Member may go through a period of being alone or feeling alone because of the decision they have made that was unpopular. Generally people don’t come to the Nation in groups. Generally, you write your letter individually and you join by yourself. Then maybe a friend or family member comes afterwards or they have preceded you. It seems to be a part of the journey that’s alone, where you’re alone. To me it all seems to also display aspects of the Pilgrimage, that we call Hajj in Islam, which comes from the word and the name Hajjar which is Hagar. The actual Pilgrimage or Hajj retraces the steps and journey of Hagar being put out in the wilderness with her son. Before she was put out, according to the way the story goes, she asked Abraham, “Is this of you that I must be put out or is this from Allah?” Abraham said, “It is from Allah”. Therefore Hagar said, “Then I accept”. So we accept to make this decision. We accept to make this journey, a very critical journey. Yet, really it’s not a journey that will bring you nearer to your family and loved ones in the beginning. It is one that is designed to bring you nearer to Allah (God).
EM: Beautifully said! Thank you very much. I interviewed Mother Evelyn Muhammad a few years ago and she mentioned that it wasn’t told to the larger body of his departure and the death plot. He didn’t share those things openly. He shared it with a small group.
RM: That’s correct. All of the memories I have of discussions with my father were mostly private, one on one. Yet, even though as a child the concept that my father gave me was always on the Power of Master Fard Muhammad to heal and transform. Of course he said it in one of his lectures, something to the effect that if Allah could not save him then he could not save you. Then in another lecture, “I know you look at me as a sickly man, but it is written in your Book that that last man would have to go through all of the ills of the people, and this would be the way that Allah proves His Power to save an entire people”. It is by saving His man that He would bring out of the mud, bring through the plot, bring through the trial, the stress and the dis-ease and the sickness of this world and He (Allah) would make him into Himself. Then he says to us, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad at the Saviours’ Day 1974 address, “I’m not here to make a Nation of followers but a Nation of gods”. One day our Brother Imam Sultan Rahman’s father who was better known back then as the pilot who would fly the jet that the Nation Of Islam purchased for the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, was carrying him up the steps here in this house coming from the dentist. My father had blood going all the way down his chin and there was blood all on his shirt. Of course I was completely alarmed, so I ran over to him and helped carry him up the steps. I kept saying as I was crying, “What happened to you? What did they do to you? What happened? What happened?” My father says, “Oh, don’t worry. They just did a little work on my mouth”. It was a young dentist who is still a dentist for our family here, a good friend, had done some work on his mouth. As they sat my father down, he said to me, “Master Fard Muhammad promised me a whole new set of teeth”. Then I challenged him on that with my fast wisdom at nine years old (laughs). I said, “How are you gonna grow new teeth after your permanent teeth come in?” I proceeded to explain to him that after your baby teeth fall out, permanent teeth come in and no more teeth are coming in after that. He says, “Well, how did you get what you call your permanent teeth?” I said, “What do you mean? After the baby teeth fall out the permanent teeth come in.” He said, “And what told the permanent teeth to come in?” I said, “What told them to?” Then he took his finger and pointed it at his gums. What that meant was the same genetic information, the same thing that triggered the growth of anything; he actually said these word to me, “It can be told to do it again, and again and again.” This pointed to me to the kind of Wisdom that is up on that Wheel. That Wisdom that is amongst the Scientists; a Wisdom that is reeled by God, Himself, that can literally again Transform, Heal even Re-Grow, as the Minister talked about on “The Time and What Must Be Done” last week. This kind of technology that’s on the Wheel, this more than confirms to me that my father escaped the plot and is more than alive and well in his own skin, in his own body, that has gone through a renewal and healing process. For all of us that are stricken with different health problems today, there’s hope. There’s great hope. I think it’s in the book of Romans where it says, “If we suffer with Christ, we will be delivered all together with Christ and share as heirs in his glory”. This is what the believers need to understand today, we’re not suffering with the Hon. Elijah Muhammad as Christ right now, but we are suffering with the Hon. Louis Farrakhan who is the Representative of the Christ. If we will accept this period of suffering, which means endure… Scripture says that the race is not to the swift but the ones who will endure to the end. I found many people didn’t understand what endure means. Endure means to suffer. Therefore, the race is not to the swift but to those who suffer all the way to the end. The end is what? It is when God has timed that period when He will literally deliver us all and/or in addition destroy all of our enemies.
EM: You mentioned earlier in wanting to answer the how and why regarding the death plot. For those who are unfamiliar, why was there a death plot against the Hon. Elijah Muhammad?
RM: We can answer that question in two ways. One, because the Messenger of Allah always comes at a particular time. God is also active along with Satan’s activity to destroy God’s Will and His People. Therefore, the presence of a Messenger of Allah in each time period marks the end of Satan’s world. There always has to be a plot to kill and destroy the one that is inspiring and influencing people against Satan’s rule and from his control. So there was naturally a plot against the individual. Yet, at the same time in another sense, I watched an interview with my father about the Wheel, the Mother Ship. The interviewer said, “So Mr. Muhammad this Wheel or Mother Ship is actually a war ship?” And my father said, “Yes sir.” The interviewer asks, “And when will it go into effect or operation?” My father calmly looked over at the interviewer and said, “When you attack us”. Allah says in the Holy Quran that He is not the aggressor, yet, we are to fight with those who fight with us. The key is the opposition. The attack has to be made in order for God to intervene and wipe out our enemies. We have to suffer before we are delivered. The Messenger had to suffer before he was delivered. We will have to suffer before we are delivered. We have to accept that. It doesn’t mean to surrender to it, but accept that this is a part of the journey and the start of the process. This is part of how we will escape, not by our own wisdom or might but we will escape it, because that is exactly how Allah will intervene to take us and deliver us from our enemies. I hope and I pray that Allah is guiding my words. This is a very heavy subject that you are dealing with, but it’s extremely important for now and the events that are taking place and that will take place. Have you read in the Holy Quran where Allah makes enemies for His servants?
EM: Yes sir.
RM: Isn’t that something that He would make enemies for us. If Allah makes enemies for us then we can afford to believe that He has power over all things. He is Lord of ALL the worlds and Master of the Day of Requital. He is God, He is Allah and nothing happens without His permission. Satan is part of God’s permission. Satan is not self-created, neither is his devil. They are made and part of the design of Allah to bring about the perfection in His man. Therefore, if we focus on Allah Who is our Deliverer, on Allah Who is our Saviour, Allah Who is the Sender of Messengers and Prophets and Angels. If we focus on the Deliverer I think we have a better chance at surviving the plot, because ultimately Allah is trying to make us into Him. Everyone is asking, “Who is the Minister? What’s his identity? Who is he?” He is a man in transition as was my father who was before us. He was a man in transition, and that’s what every human being goes through when they believe in God. Belief is only a mental decision and it is in the absence of knowledge. As we grow into more knowledge, as the body was designed to follow the mind, the mind is transformed and the body is transfigured. You look like this at one time, and then you look like that at another. Yet, ultimately it is critical that you understand who you are becoming. Who is that? Ye are all gods, children of the Most High God. If you’re a child you’re already in a growth process. To become what? To become like your father. Father means author, originator. You are to become like your Father, you are to become God. Again, my father at Saviours’ Day 1974 said, “I’m not here to make at Nation of followers, but a Nation of gods”. Here’s a question for you. How can he make a Nation of gods if he’s not already one himself? You can’t make what you’re not. To ‘create’, you start from scratch and to ‘make’ you start from something. This is why he (the Hon. Elijah Muhammad) is called the ‘First Fruit’. We study him and the transformative power that was vested in him and is him to understand how we will escape the plot and conspiracy of death that is hanging over all of our heads, but primarily the Hon. Louis Farrakhan because he is who we’re following. Any significant, consequential leader or person with whom Allah has favor and uses as a channel for transformative work with people, that same dynamic is always there. The ultimate goal is that we experience God coming in the Person in each and everyone of us. We will not only witness the coming of God in the Person, we will experience the coming of God through the Person of us all. I would like to end with the words of my father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, “Every time you look at a black man you’re looking at God”.
EM: Thank you so very much Brother Rasul for your words and testimony. May Allah continue to bless you many times over for bearing witness to all three men!
RM: All Praise Is Due To Allah!
[Photos of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad provided by Carlos Muhammad, Nation of Islam National Archivist]