A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON THE COURSE By Sister Minister Ava Muhammad

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By Sister Minister Ava Muhammad
In "The Will of God (Part I)", the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan writes:
"Everything in Creation is the manifestation of the Will of God...when He says’Be!' He summons
the Power of His own Being, His Creative Mind and Will, to bring about that which He Wills."
In light of these words, we can attribute nothing to coincidence (mere chance). The Course he
wrote, entitled "Self-Improvement: The Basis for Community Development", was first a
lecture, delivered in the city of Phoenix, Arizona, September 21, 1986, by the Honorable
Minister Louis Farrakhan. "Phoenix" is the name given to a legendary bird of extraordinary
beauty. Reputedly the only one of its kind, it lives more than 500 years in the Arabian wilderness.
At the end of that time, the bird burns itself completely, then rises from its own ashes, brand new,
to live another cycle of centuries. It's image is a symbol of immortality. Three months after that
historic speech, the Minister introduced an entire course centered around the study of self. Here
are two brief excerpts from his letter of introduction:
"The rising to life of the spiritually dead and the Great Resurrection are one and the same. And
the first stage of in our spiritual resurrection occurs through the stimulation of our self-accusing
spirit; that is, when the inner voice speaks, guides, warns, reproves, exhorts and accuses us of
going contrary to what is right... This phase of our development is designed, by the Help of Allah
(God), to bring about a transformation or complete change in our lives. This is done by
stimulating self-analysis and self-correction in us. Our Self-Improvement actually brings into
fruition the awesome power of Allah (God) to’make complete his (our) whole make'; {H.Q.
75:4}" (special emphasis added)
The image of the phoenix burning itself and rising from its own ashes is a mere illustration of
something even more extraordinary. Those who submit themselves to "this process of heeding
truth and right guidance" are destined to be transformed.
It is critical for us to realize that the Course is inspired. As its title indicates, the Course is a
teaching device; however, it is not an academic exercise conceived by the Minister to impress us
with his range of knowledge. Those who perceive it as that, fall off the mountain before the
climb begins, because they immediately begin to compare it with the work of various
intellectuals among us. When that happens, they become bored and abandon the Course for
something more "challenging". Alexander the Great wept because he had no more worlds to
conquer, but he died an alcoholic at the age of 32. When people are allowed to have power and
authority with no self-awareness, we all suffer.
Review the Minister's letter of introduction. The curriculum is explained "study sessions" on
both theoretical and practical levels. It is not a treatise written by a theologian sharing his
thoughts. It is Revelation to a servant of Allah (God) for the salvation of a people. This is a man

who is speaking through life's experiences. When he says, "there is a difficulty factor. attached
to everything of value”, he knows what he is talking about. Without practical application --- if
the student does not use the principles in daily life --- the Course will not produce thought
reversal and we will not experience a change.
However, if the student does apply the theory to life, then upon completion of the units currently
available, he or she will begin a new cycle but on a higher plane, at a quicker vibratory rate.
Let us take, as an example, the very first study guide, entitled, "Mixed Feelings &
Controversy: How Do We Handle It?". When Minister Farrakhan went to Phoenix in 1986,
mixed feelings and controversy surrounded his presence. At that time, he spoke in Plaza
Symphony Hall.
In 1995, he was again surrounded by mixed feelings and controversy, within a whole new reality.
He stood in front of the nation's capitol and addressed a gathering of nearly 2 million Black men.
Obviously, some growth had occurred in that 9-year period. He was back to Study Guide
Number 1, but this time the journey through the Course was measured in months instead of
years. Immediately thereafter, he embarked upon his World Friendship Tour, creating another
storm of controversy and moving at yet a faster vibratory rate. The time within which he was
able to execute Allah's (God's) Plan decreased even further, measured in weeks instead of
The only request the Minister makes is that the student apply the principles; use them. It is only
their use that will give them real meaning and confirm their truth.
More than one study guide grew out of a serious difficulty encountered by an individual. It will
come as a surprise to you that Study Guide 16, "The Law of God", evolved from a letter
written to a Laborer. Study Guide 14, "Respect for Authority", began as a letter the Minister
wrote to a young woman who had been wrongfully imprisoned. As I recall, she was in such
conflict with the prison officials, her sentence could have been lengthened. As a direct result of
the Divine Guidance she received through our Leader, she was able to successfully complete the
time and has rejoined our struggle for liberation.
Similarly, Study Guide 13, "The Price of Redemption" was written for a particular event in
the Nation's history: the repurchase of our Mosque, which the Minister named "Maryam".
I simply cannot overemphasize the power that is contained in this Course. Perhaps the Minister's
generosity in giving this Divine Wisdom away so freely has been misinterpreted. Is it possible to
make someone recognize the value of what he or she has deliberately thrown away? It is not
easy; the person obviously threw it away because he placed no value in it. Perhaps if he is shown
that his miserable condition is directly related to being without it, then he is allowed to see it one
more time, he may be able to change his mind about its worth.
More than a decade has passed since the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan presented us with
the first of the 18 units of study we have received thus far. It is known throughout the world that
Allah (God) gave the Minister the gift of teaching. However, I am not sure if we all realize he
first and always maintains the attitude and posture of a student:

"I met a man who taught me and I am not the same old Negro I once was. I am a man now with
healing in my wings and yet I am a student of another man... We have got to give credit where
credit is due. I met a man and that man is a doctor. He doctored on me, so that I could doctor on
you. That man is Elijah Muhammad." (Saviours' Day, October 9, 1993)
Many people love to teach, but care little for learning. Over the years, I have watched the
Minister as he listened intently to clergymen, physicians, lawyers, educators, politicians,
businessmen, artists and athletes while they answered his sincere questions about the details of
their field or profession. Long after others have become bored or distracted, he remains alert. He
loves to learn. He does not envy achievement, he admires it.
Those who desire to be successful should also take note of yet another rare attribute the Minister
possesses. I have been in the Nation of Islam for 16 years and have worked closely with Minister
Farrakhan for 11 of those years. I have never, ever, known him to engage in idle conversation of
any sort. Yes, he is pleasant and he has a sense of humor. But he is committed to the Work of his
Father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.
Time is never wasted in his company. He is completely devoted to Allah and His Messenger. I
have spent hours at a time, alone with the Minister in his office, and he has always been the most
excellent example of proper conduct -- in speech as well as manners. This is a man who not only
respects women, he teaches women to respect themselves. I can declare without fear of
contradiction: anyone who would ever charge this man with indecency can only belong to Satan.
If asked to describe the Minister's ‘aura’, in one word, I would choose "serene". Even in the heat
of battle with the most vicious enemies of our liberation, the serenity remains. The Peace of God
cannot be shattered. The question for us is, how do we achieve the peace and tranquility our
Minister possesses?
Beloved, we marvel at the Works our Minister performs but where is the "complete change" in
our lives? Can't we see that he teaches us only to make us greater than himself? Yet, we lag so far
behind, we have become a burden to him as well as ourselves. How long will we be permitted to
ask for what we already have? The study guides are the means of our transformation!
What will finally bring an end to the long, dark winter of our disappointment with life? Where,
when, how will we find real love, spiritual fulfillment, success and recognition? The
gravitational pull of "what is" makes it very hard to implement "what ought to be". Moving out
of the darkness of ignorance into the Light of Knowledge is not just a step, it is an odyssey.
After engaging in this study, we should want to "rise above Emotion into the Thinking of God".
Emotion will not change our circumstances. When all is said and done, only faith, hard work,
and the Holy Qur'an's assurance that "Allah is with the steadfast”, will get us to our goal.
The Thinking of God is unbound by space or time and embraces an appreciation of the value in
each and every one of us. Never underestimate the power in your own ability to perceive worth
in every human being --- particularly yourself. It will absolutely determine the extent of your
success in life. This can be proven in no limit of time.

In the aftermath of the Million Man March, the most blind among us can see it was Divinelyinspired.
Nearly two million Black men came together in nearly perfect love and peace. Many of
our most virulent enemies have acknowledged that were it not for Minister Louis Farrakhan, the
Million Man March simply would never have happened. Just as the number of persons who
argue that Jesus was a Caucasian has steadily dwindled, only the insane will fight against the
Even more significant for us is the reality that no one else could have thought of the Million Man
March. How do we know this? Because there is nothing within the framework of the white man's
world that would allow any of us to have such a thought. Therefore, we know that it was the
Thinking of Allah (God). In order for Allah (God) to use us as a conveyor of His Thinking, we
have to have the kind of thoughts He has.
One way we can measure our progress in life is by calculating how long it takes to complete our
various goals and objectives on a daily weekly, monthly, yearly basis. A spiritually and
intellectually developed person is effective in dealing with people and getting things done.
Again, as pointed out in the beginning of this Commentary, look at how long it took Minister
Farrakhan to carry out Allah's Idea for the Million Man March. Two years? Five years? It was
accomplished in a matter of months. His World Friendship Tour was accomplished in a matter of
What are your thoughts and feelings about your future? What are your plans for tomorrow? Next
week? Next year? Are you struggling with painful personal problems? Are your relationships
(spouse, parent, child, friends, etc.) what you want them to be? Is there drug addiction, illness or
disease to contend with? Financial instability? Now expand your mind to include the concerns of
our community, our Nation, the world, It is difficult and confusing to even acknowledge the
existence of these problems, so most of us don't.
We depend upon Minister Farrakhan to lead us, guide us, teach us, think for us, single handedly
protect us from the enemies of our liberation. Is it rational to expect our blessings to flow from
him or are we guilty of being unjust? Many of us will not even make the effort to develop
spiritually, intellectually and materially, though he has given us the resources we need directly
from Allah Himself.
We are like a man in a house where another has brought in good food and cooked it, but the man
still starves to death because he is too lazy to eat. Many of us have been exposed to the
Teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for years, without any improvement whatsoever
in ourselves or our circumstances. Some of us are actually a burden to our Minister and the
Nation. How long do we think Allah will permit it?
"And the judging on that day will be just, so as for those whose good deeds are heavy,
they are successful. And for those whose good deeds are light, those are they who ruined
their souls because they disbelieved in our messages. And certainly We have established
you in the Earth and made therein means of livelihood for you; little it is that you give thanks!" Holy Quran 7:8-10

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