Ebony S. Muhammad (EM): For those who are studying the Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad (Nation of Islam) and for those who are not, if they are not keen to the Time in which we are living they may be consumed in what looks like hopelessness or intense darkness. The rate of suicide is climbing in our community, the Black community. How can one maintain under the pressure and affliction of this time?
Ishmael Muhammad (IM): If you look at the despair, and there are so many levels of despair. For those that feel like they don’t know if they can make it another day or make it another week, we all in a sense or a great majority are marking time. We really don’t have the hope that we should have, I’m talking about believers. There is no certainty in the Hereafter (among the people). Certainty of the Hereafter with the promise of Allah would reflect itself in us in a greater activity. There would be greater joy, there would be greater happiness among us and you don’t find it. We have to be constantly dealing with the trauma, if you will, and the effect of death and dying. This (Thanatology/H2H) is so critical in our Nation right now and among all of our people. If you notice only in the extreme cases do you find, and even though it is increasing in our community, where a person will take their own life. Again, nature will prevent that. You have to be completely ruined and at the lowest point. To even begin considering it… If it were that easy people would be checking out of here just like that. However, look at what they contemplate and the length of the contemplation before the actual act is carried out. Yet, that’s a very small percentage, but it’s reflective of what a great majority or percentages of people are thinking.
EM: You mentioned in our lecture, “Suicide: Losing the Will to Live”, that it’s not necessarily the conscious thought about taking your life as much as it is our lifestyle that is self-destructive. What is an example of the lifestyle you were speaking of?
IM: Why do we drink, abuse drugs, etc? It’s to escape our reality. Living this life is not fun. There’s no joy in this because the real joy that life brings and the peace that life should be giving us is that good feeling you get when you are creating and producing. So you have a people who aren’t producing for themselves. They’re not using their creativity for the benefit of themselves. You’re disappointed, you’re depressed; you’re dissatisfied, you’re angry because you’re not producing. So here comes heroin, here comes cocaine, here comes Mr. Alcohol. You’re just getting lost. Most of us who lose ourselves either we don’t have a goal in our life, no hope for the future, or you don’t see yourself going anywhere. For those who do these things, when you finish the party, what is your life like? Where do you find yourself going? What are you realizing? So this becomes the means of your destruction and even if you have a goal, you’re not focused on the goal as you should. No focus or aim.
EM: In that same lecture you stated, “What man or woman who loves themselves, knows the value of life and discovers his or her purpose in life would willingly entertain death”?
From that question it appears as though self love or self hatred is the catalyst of such thoughts and behavior. Do you agree?
IM: Yes, it starts with rejection. I have found that at the root is rejection and the moment the human being experiences rejection, and I’m talking about from as a child, that is what create insecurity. So you as a human being begin down that road of feeling insecure, but it started with you being rejected either by your mother or your father. Somebody dealt you the blow of rejection. So then what happens along the road? You lose your sense of self value even though you feel as though you have some value. Now, that rejection takes on many forms. If there isn’t somebody who appreciates your value and to listen to you, then you start questioning yourself.
The people you look up to and the people that you admire and the people that you believe, and rightly so, that should be there for you they’re not there. However, it starts in the home. Forget everybody else who comes in and out of your life. These are not the important pivotal players in your development. It starts right there in the home with mama and daddy. In the pathology you trace it all the way back to the home. Whether it’s in the womb of the mother at the time and what she impressed on the mind or the circumstances that surrounded the child coming out of that womb and the relationship with the father. It’s all right there.
Those two are so critical to how we develop relationships. Who we let in, who we keep out; it’s all based upon the relationship with the parents. So that rejection takes on many forms, because then I start underestimating myself because all of the support should be coming from mom and dad. If you don’t have the right support and guidance you can make some very bad decisions for yourself. However, it all starts early in childhood.
The key for all of us; you, me, and for all of our people….where is the hope? Where really is the hope? With this generation out here…we talk a lot. We need to point, because young people have to see the word taking on some form. The word and the hereafter has to take on some form, some flesh otherwise…it’s sounds good but… that hope and the hereafter… at the end of the day… we need to get out of a certain mindset that disallows us from being creative, being productive… at the end of the day it doesn’t matter who God decides to remove from the Earth. The Earth isn’t going anywhere and we’re not about to get transported to another planet so let’s keep it real. This is the land; this is the Earth…can’t we be a little more focused on living as opposed to just getting by?
The grief, the loss, the misfortune; these are the realities of life that are starring us in the face every single day. What is the alternative? Well we’ve talked about the Kingdom of God. Are we saying that we have to wait until the enemy is destroyed? Are we waiting for the Baby Planes to come down and drop bombs? Is that the way God is going to kill the enemy? I don’t think so. It’s not going to be like that. Everything that we see right now, is it the result of the Son of Man doing it Himself, or is it a result so that man can learn the valuable lesson of the price of rebellion and he has to learn when he tips the scale of balance with nature. You see nature is reacting to the deviation. The storms the physical storms are the reflection of the thoughts of the people.
What advantage would Master Fard Muhammad accomplish in all of His wisdom by destroying the enemy with weapons or with the forces of nature? What would be accomplished? Has not all other civilizations been established through force and power, but He says, “Not by might nor by strength or power but by My Spirit Sayeth the Lord”. He made the Devil. The devil is not self created. Some of us still think that the Devil has power. We should have left him in Europe.
It’s like the Matrix. There is a program that He (Allah) allowed to be written into our hard drive, but that was an application necessary for the new software that would be put on the hard drive. He needed the Satanic program to reboot the system to activate the other software. See you just can’t put any software on your system unless you do some updates. Other applications have to be put onto the system in order for other software and programs to run. So ‘Agent Smith’ was a program and every person that he touched he made them into himself. He overwrote their programming, but it made it possible for ‘Neo’, at the end, to get into everyone. ‘Neo’ and Agent Smith, when they were fighting, you see that is Satan and God. It was only when Neo took the oracle into himself and allowed himself to be consumed. He had to break Satan or Agent Smith up from the inside out.
The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that Master Fard Muhammad could take this country without lighting a match. He is so wise. Well what is the wisdom? The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke about the sheep lying with the wolf, two natural enemies. How did He do this? You’re dealing with forces, not the physical.
EM: I was told that the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that as for His followers the Hereafter is now. To me that meant that once you raise your hand and accept these Teachings, accept this Truth and come out of ignorance you have, at that time, entered into the Hereafter.
IM: That’s exactly right! Truth is destroying the falsehood and the premises for such. Before the Minster makes his ascension and even in that, the believers will realize that his ascension is followed by our ascension. You have to see; you have to be given the hope based upon what’s written. Not just false hope but the real hope that you will be with Him who sits on the Throne, and it’s there. So we must come behind it and preach the whole prophecy. It’s like saying, “Brother Minister, we know you have to go, but we know that you leaving only means that we are shortly behind you”. Now that’s a whole different attitude. There’s so much despair, I don’t really hear a lot of hope.
How many of us really believe we’re going to see Master Fard Muhammad? If you ask by show of hands how many would like to, hope to, or find firmness in that reality of seeing Master Fard Muhammad, you’ll see the number of hands decrease. Some of us would begin to question ourselves. We must begin viewing the Minister’s ascension, not as a loss, but as a gain for all of us! Jesus put it like this, “Your hearts should not be troubled but you should be glad. Where I am you may be also”.
EM: Thank you so much for your time!
IM: Yes ma’am, thank you.
Ebony S. Muhammad is a Certified Thanatologist (Grief / Loss) and Lifestyle Coach helping others change the way they view themselves.