In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
I bear witness that there is no God but Allah,
And that Muhammad is His Messenger.
Jesus… What’s The Real Deal?
Have you ever tried to deal with a very significant subject in a very limited space? You have? Then you understand that what follows is in no way an exhaustive treatment of the subject of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) and his representation in modern society. I just want to ask a few questions that, quite frankly, I thought we would be well past by now, given the clear truth in the Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad as put forward by His National Representative, The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. For those of you who are bothered by the use of so many honorifics in addressing these men, please reflect with me that we honor and respect the systems of white America every single day without batting an eye. Those systems, and the persons who represent them, are often openly antagonistic to us and to our quest for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, yet we honor them anyway. Thus, I know full well that for us to honor those who have given their very lives for us to be free should not be a problem.
It stands to reason that since the name “Jesus” is the most loved, honored, revered, hoped-for, admired and called-upon name in Black America today, it would also be the most misunderstood, as well. The continued crisis in our condition, in spite of all the psalms and songs, proves that we are missing something in our understanding or practice of the man Jesus and what he taught. In fact, for all the singing, preaching and empty shouting associated with the name, we would do well to look into it and instill it with its proper place in divine history, and its proper respect in current society. As I seek to become a student of Minister Farrakhan’s, I am comforted by his reassurance to us that only by a proper solution to the puzzle that has become our perception of Jesus and his mission can we as a people be saved. We MUST know the truth of Jesus in order to be free!
Questions abound about this great historical figure. Just what does Mr. Muhammad teach us about the man Jesus? Who was he? What does his teaching to us from the Bible really mean? Was he Black? If he is, then who portrayed him as white? Does it matter? Is he coming back? From where is he coming? Was he an historic or a prophetic figure? And perhaps most pointedly, who really represents him in the midst of the cacophony of confusion that is today’s religious marketplace?
No one magazine article, series or book can even begin to address these complicated conundrums. In this space, from time to time, we’ll attempt to shed light from Mr. Muhammad’s Teachings on this great man Jesus. We’ll attempt to sort through some of the racist lies that have been told on him in an attempt to shore up the rotten old building called religious white supremacy. We’ll salute and give credit to Christians who strive to do the Will of God as exemplified by Jesus in Scripture. Most of all, we’ll do our best to engage in a mutually civil and courteous dialogue about how Jesus’ example can be followed to the most advantageous result – freedom for our people!
First, let’s look at who Jesus is or is not. The Bible and The Holy Qur’an agree that Jesus did exist, that he was not a myth. But, beyond that, accounts of his life vary wildly, as do interpretations of the meanings to be drawn from these acts. Mr. Muhammad teaches us that most of what appears in the scriptures about Jesus is prophetic, not historic. The true history of Jesus reveals a man of humble, ordinary origins who, by submission and strict obedience to God’s command, performs extraordinary good for the whole human family. Because of Jesus’ willingness to die for the principles that he taught, this good still resonates today, and needs no embellishment from greedy religious charlatans.
As to the ethnicity or “race” of the great man Jesus, Mr. Muhammad has taught us that there is no way he could have been a white man. Based both on the prevailing understanding of historical anthropological studies of the area its population, and on scriptural descriptions of the man himself, the historic Jesus was in fact a Blackman. (Report to your local Nation of Islam Mosque for detailed scriptural and historic references to prove these points!) The question arises: why then would anyone purposely misrepresent the image of such an important servant of God? Would they also misrepresent his words? Why? And finally, what is the real truth?
In the month of December, millions of our people will almost catatonically begin heading off to stores, shopping malls and e-commerce sites to participate once again in “Christmas” and all of its unabashed hucksterism. Very few are under the illusion that this crass display of greedy hedonism has anything at all to do with Jesus, yet the “holiday” traditions persist, even into the 21st century! It has become a counter-tradition, albeit a weak and flaccid one, to utter clichés like “put Christ back in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season”. These sayings are fundamentally unsound because Christ never was in Christmas, and Jesus never called us to a season of bacchanalia and debauchery based on pagan observance. Nevertheless, many who lazily claim to be Jesus’ followers permit and even participate in the revelry which has its origin in the most vile and base of evils.
By contrast, Islam teaches the reverent and serious commitment in every believer to actually follow the examples of Jesus, Moses and Muhammad (PBUT) and the other Prophets of Allah (God). Ironically, in the America of the 21st century, one of the most consistent voices calling people to live a lifestyle like that of Jesus is The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who not coincidentally is the chief proponent and National Representative of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad! What Minister Farrakhan is sharing with us makes it possible for people of good faith and reasonable temperament to cooperate in ways that can save and free a people trapped in the ignorance and mental death that shrouds us as a constant reminder that the vestiges of slavery linger on, even unto today. Progressive Muslims, Christians, Hebrews, Pan-Africanists and just plain good brothers and sisters all find a place to stand with the Minister, as was evidenced at the Million Man March and by the fact that he is held in the highest esteem by Black people throughout America and around the world.
Let’s face it. Minister Farrakhan is walking directly in the footsteps of Jesus. There’s nothing un-Islamic about that, nor is his walk in any way an insult to our dear family in Christianity. It is simply a fact that the Minister has the same type of mission that Jesus had (teaching the fulfillment of law with love to a broken and desperate people), the same base of support (the poor and disenfranchised), the same enemies (the rich and those who wickedly profit by keeping the poor ignorant and dependent) but most importantly, the same backing (from God on high!)
Think about it. How could a man as vehemently hated by the most powerful groups in the most powerfully wicked nation of all time (racist white America) be as successful as he is without the backing of The Lord of The Worlds? How could he be nearing the achievements that his Teacher gave him to accomplish, most notably the unity with the Black Church on points of common understanding and shared perspective, and the finding of a way to unite The Nation of Islam with the Muslim World? At this writing, new and exciting sparks of brotherhood are flying among all these elements in Black America. How long can it be before the Minister’s work of uniting our people erupts into the full-fledged flame of freedom?
Are you angry that I called America racist? Do you think that the selection, election and installment of a Black President means we have entered the era of the end of white supremacy and wicked bigotry? The fact is that America’s historical and current record of evil doing, treachery, trickery, espionage, intrigue, environmental racism, assassinations, slavery, brutality, war crimes, exploitation, colonialism, imperialism, exportation of filth and indecency, and other clear-cut cases of scandalousity, rascality, and general trickeration is too great to be corrected by the presence of one Black man, however brilliant and nobly motivated he may be, in office as President. It’s almost like being appointed Roman Emperor after Nero has already set the “Eternal City” ablaze, and the Gaul and Persians are galloping up the Appian Way to bring battle into Rome itself. A dubious “honor”, at best!
The truth is that against this backdrop, Minister Farrakhan has been spiritually and intellectually true to the message of Jesus, Moses and Muhammad (PBUT), as well as to the direct instructions of his Leader and Teacher, Mr. Muhammad. His thoughtful and inspiring sermons, lectures, khutbahs, writings and interviews are unfailingly respectful of other religious points-of-view, even as he brilliantly evangelizes for the Nation of Islam. In spite of being the target of a constant onslaught of nearly 30 years in duration, from the most potently virulent media outlets in the world, our Brother Minister Farrakhan does not wither and fade away. On the contrary, he gets stronger and better, more effective and wiser as time goes by. This is the effect of modeling oneself on the TRUE example of Jesus and the righteous prophets of God.
I would like to share a more detailed discussion in future columns in this space. There is so much to say, but for today, I end here. If Jesus, Moses and Muhammad were to encounter each other in person, somewhere in the helter-skelter of this modern world, I don’t believe that they would argue and dispute about God and His Message to the human family. I believe that they would embrace and share brotherhood in the Singular, Matchless Uniqueness that is Allah (God) Who sent them all. I believe that with all my heart. And the man who taught me that is the man who walks the Way of Jesus today, Minister Louis Farrakhan.
– Brother Jamil Muhammad @BrotherJamil