'Muhammad's Economic Blueprint: Ending Poverty & Want (Part 2)'
BY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN | LAST UPDATED: AUG 12, 2013 - 11:01:50 PM
‘The time and what must be done’—2013 Lecture Series, Part 31
Editor’s note: The following article contains a distillation of the second part of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day keynote address he delivered at the U.I.C. Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois on Sunday, February 24, 2013 titled “Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint: Ending Poverty & Want.” This portion of the message serves as Part 31 of his 52-week Lecture Series on “The Time and What Must Be Done,” which aired on Saturday, August 10, 2013. Click here to order this message it in its entirety on MP3, DVD and CD or call 1.866.602.1230, ext. 200.
In The Name of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful.
As we closed Part 30: On pages 56-57 of Message To The Blackman in America, in the Chapter “Original Man,” section “Help Self: What Must Be Done With The Negroes?”, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad writes: “As a people, we must become producers and not remain consumers and employees. We must be able to extract raw materials from the earth and manufacture them into something useful for ourselves! This would create jobs in production. We must remember that without land there is no production.
The surplus of what we produce we would sell. This would develop a field of commerce and trade as other free and independent people whose population is less than that of the [now over 40 million] so-called Negroes who are dependent in America.”
The Future is in “our hands”! You don’t have to “beat up” on other people; you just have to do right by yourself!
Land requirements to build, feed ‘a nation’: What a Good Steward must love, calculate and implement
I was with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad one day when he said to me: “Brother, I want you to think for the whole and speak for the whole.” He didn’t want me to speak just for “the little” Nation of Islam, he wanted me to speak for all Black people—not only in America, but all over the Earth! He also said, “Here’s the way I want you to think: If we have 30 million people eating a slice of bread per meal, that’s 90 million slices of bread per day, 630 million slices of bread per week, 37.760 billion slices of bread per year. How much land must we have under ‘wheat cultivation’ to give our people their daily bread?”
Then the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, “Move on to milk: How much land must we have? How many cows must we own? How much ‘grazing land’ must we have to give our people a glass of milk with every meal”—and I’m not talking about this “poison milk” [being sold to us], I’m talking about real milk that the Holy Qur’an teaches us in Surah Al-Nahl (“The Bee”), verse 66:“And surely there is a lesson for you in the cattle: We give you to drink of what is in their bellies—from betwixt the feces and the blood—pure milk, agreeable to the drinkers.”
Treat the cow right: From between the blood and the dung, a pure drink—but you can’t get that kind of milk from today’s cows! The way The Enemy treats the animals is “for profit.” You have tolove your cows! How do you show that you “love” the cow? By giving them good grass to graze on: “Come here, baby… I want you to ‘moo’ on this.” (smile). Treat the cow right, then when you milk the cow, it is giving you back your “good treatment”; then you can drink the milk, and in that milk there are enzymes that help you! We are going to be Good Stewards of God’s Creatures. We have to love them!
Treat the Earth right: Oh man, I wish we could just go out and lay on the Earth, and just tell her, “Oh, Sweet Earth: Lord, how much we love you!” “Farrakhan, what do you mean you ‘love the Earth’?” Brothers and sisters, look at your hands, look at your nails, look at your body—look at what came from the Earth: If you love the Earth, and take good care of the Earth, then the Earth “loving you back” will give you health and longevity of life!
Now, if you like to eat steak once a week (you can’t eat it every day), well, you have to have grazing land for all your cows, for all your steers. How many sheep must we have? How much grazing land must we have to give our people a lamb chop? I didn’t say “pork chop”—lamb chops (smile). And consider this: Would you like a wool coat? Then the sheep is there! Take care of it; it will give you its wool. You don’t have to rob anybody, the sheep will lay down: Sheer it, take the wool and make it into a garment! You have to own “the means of production”! Then all your businesses will spring up.
How much land must we have to give our people a requirement of spinach, broccoli or carrots? Cauliflower, onions, garlic and string beans? All the things that help us to feed ourselves come from the land. But we are at 46 million people—how much land must we have? Knowing just what it takes to feed an entire people means that we are “independent”; we’ve taken our stomachs away from our Enemies! How much clay land must we have in order to make bricks to start building houses? How much forest land must we have to cut down the trees and make wood to build homes? Are you getting “the picture”?
We are 46 million people; and when you add that to the 52 million of our Latino brothers and sisters, and then you have 224 million Caucasians, the point is this: In order to build “a nation,” the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had to give our people “a Vision” of what it’s going to take. We have to have land, and there is no compromising this.
The Science of Food: Learn proper ways to reap the benefits of what we eat
Good organic food that is never “genetically modified,” and is free of hormones, chemicals and other impurities is the type of food you should eat, because it is the best that there is! And that can only come from farmers who know, love and respect The Value of The Earth. You would never have to go to the drug store or the health food store again if we grow the food properly. And from the farm land, you set up a food industry that also deals with the proper way of raising and slaughtering the creatures of God that you intend to eat.
Brothers and sisters, you don’t run around after a chicken with an axe in your hand—the poor chicken’s scared to death … When you get “scared,” you release hormones that give you the power of “fight” or “flight.” Well, the chicken is running, because you’re running after it with an axe in your hand; and when you finally get the chicken and hit it, and you have to hit it twice: Then when you eat the meat it’s tough because you’re eating “the milk of fear.” No wonder you “scratch” when you don’t itch! No wonder you’re “shaking” in front of your Enemy…
You have to eat food that you know how to kill what God has given you authority over! You kill it “In The Name of God,” you kill it in peace: You slaughter it so quick, that it doesn’t even know it is dead! Then that steak would “fall apart” in your mouth—if you know how to cook.
My dear sisters: When a woman really knows what “cooking” is, which is “The Science of Food,”then the woman who is in the kitchen is either your doctor or your killer. Whatever problem that you have, it can be fixed with food; so if you don’t want to be a “killer” of your husband and your children, understand that a wife, or the person that is in the kitchen, is your doctor, your nurse and your nutritionist “all in one.” You don’t teach women “how to cook” by just telling them, “Throw this in and fry it up,” because “cooking” is an art and a science.
Sisters: Do know how lovely and beautiful you are? Well, you know how much time you spend “studying yourself” in the mirror? Imagine if you just spend a little time studying “food,” The Science of Food! See, you would never really be “obese”; you’ll be so pretty, so shapely, so appealing, so healthy, just from learning the science of “cooking food” and the science of “how to choose” the food that you are going to cook, for every illness can be cured with the proper intake of properly-raised food! That is why we have to own land; that is why the land that we get: We have topurify that land from all the poisons and chemicals that the former landowner put in it. And that can be done because The Science of “how to do it” is with us!
Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said: “Let food be your medicine, and let medicine be your food.” Once you know what to do with that kitchen, you’ll stay away from clinics and hospitals, and you’ll “hold off” the undertaker. Those who are in the “undertaking business”: They’re making money today, because of the madness that’s going on in our communities. Today, you have “health insurance,” but when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was here we didn’t have any “health insurance.” We thought Muslims didn’t die, because we never saw a lot of funerals in The Nation; one man could go throughout the whole country burying our dead. Our “health insurance” was “How To Eat To Live” by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad!
This does not mean that sometimes an accident would take place, and you need your hospital, you need your doctor… But my mother also knew what to do in that “bush”! [Anytime my brother and I became sick, my mother would go and get a bush (i.e. “something natural”) and make a tea remedy]. You know how Southern folk had that knowledge; and White folk will tell you, “Well, these are witch doctors”? Well, you’ll know “which” doctor we’re going to choose! The one that knowsThe Science of Food is the right doctor in your life!
Remember our brother, George Washington Carver? He took a yam and studied it; he took a peanut, studied it, and came up with 100 different products just from going into the peanut! That is an example of the skill that you already have inside you, brothers and sisters, if you had land to look at and work!
So when you don’t own any earth, when you don’t have any earth that you can call your “own,” you’re at the mercy of those who have it all. And those that have it all don’t like you; those that have all the land want to get rid of us—and the best way to do it is to feed us.
The Business of Food: Set up industries to reap the benefits of what we produce
“Animal husbandry” is the proper raising of animals not just for their wool or their hide, but for the milk and the meat. So as we grow and raise our own food, we set up a “food industry.” There has to be the proper packaging of these products from what we slaughtered to be sold in our supermarkets, so now you have “food processing” (canneries, packers and wholesalers of the poultry, eggs, lamb and beef). And once these things are processed properly, they come to retail outlets—our supermarkets, restaurants, bakeries across the country!
However, brothers and sisters, we’re just not doing anything to help ourselves. We could have a string of our own supermarkets! What’s the “No. 1” supermarket chain? Wal-Mart. Well, you could put Wal-Mart out of business—at least in our community. And if we were the grower of the food, then [in a “supply chain” process]: When we grow organic food, Wal-Mart sends their people to buy our food!
In both the Bible and Holy Qur’an, the scripture teach us about all the living things that are in the sea that are available to us; in Surah 55 Al-Rahman (“The Beneficent”), verses 10-25, the question is asked, “Which, then, of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?” and states that there are pearls in the sea, riches in the sea, and there is good food. So, we spring from “the land” intothe fishing industry by putting our ships out on the sea to fish for ourselves! Then we’ll need cold storage warehouses in various parts of the country to store your produce, your fish, and other perishable goods. See, there’s no “end” to what we can do, if we start putting our nickels, pennies, dollars together!
With the land, you have cotton, you have wool, and the hides of all your livestock that can be taken to make clothing and shoes. Didn’t we pick cotton for the master? I know why we ran off the plantation: We made them rich by picking their crops for nothing, or near nothing! Well, can’t we pick it for ourselves?
You could have your own clothing factory! You could have your own needle trades! You don’t have to buy sheets and pillow cases from others! It’s made from cotton: You grow the cotton; turn the cotton into lint, and the lint into cloth! Then those of you with money: Set up a “needle trade business”—that’s what the Jews did in New York!
[Study the history of Jews in the needle trades on pages 285-287 of The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews, Vol. 2, in the chapter titled “All About The Benjamins: The Ex-Slave Meets The Jewish Merchant.”]
Now, if this subject is bothering you; if this is a “subject,” maybe, wherein you would like more “fire and brimstone,” let me tell you something: If you don’t get up and do something for yourself, there will be plenty of “fire and brimstone”—and it’ll be on our backside!
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said on page 62 of Message To The Blackman, under the section “The So-Called Negro Must Do Something For Himself”: “We boast that we should be recognized as equals. Let us make ourselves equals. We cannot be equal with the master until we own what the master owns. We cannot be equal with the master until we have the freedom the master enjoys. We cannot be equal with the master until we have the education the master has. Then, we can say ‘Master, recognize us as your equal.’ Today you are begging the master, the slave-masters’ children for what? You are begging them for a job. You are begging for complete recognition as their equals. Let us be honest with ourselves. According to history, we cannot find where the master made his slave equal until the slave made himself worthy of equality.”
Brothers and sisters: The Enemy will never recognize us as an “equal” if we are in a begging position! We’re going to have to get up, go to work, and do something for our self.
Pooling our resources: Minimal investments make for a profitable future
Remember, in Part 30 we referred to what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote in 1965 of “A Sound Economic Plan I” that appears on pages 195-196 of Message To The Blackman. We mentioned what would happen if we “raised the economic bar” by contributing that same “nickel a day,” but we do it 7 days a week with the working force of 16 million (“5 cents a day x 7 days = 35 cents a week,” “35 cents a week x 52 weeks a year = $18.20 per year” and “$18.20 a year” x “16 million” = “$291.2 million”). Everybody can give “35 cent a week” as an investment in their future! Look at what these “pennies, nickels and dimes” can do:
There is a cattle ranch in Texas with more than 70,000 acres, and they’re asking $34 million for it. With the pooling of our resources, we could buy it after only 7 weeks—with almost $7 million left to work with!
There is a 4,000-acre cotton farm available in Mississippi for $24 million. We could have it inless than 5 weeks if we put those nickels, dimes and dollars together! Then we could grow our own cotton and make our own clothing, making jobs for ourselves!
Within 30 days: We would have enough to buy 135 of the finest farm tractors on the market! You could buy them from leading agricultural equipment companies such as Case International Harvesters and John Deere…
None of these people are going to turn you down! If you go with that kind of money, you’ll see them come to the door (with huge smiles on their faces), saying to you: “Yes Sir, Mr. Muhammad! Praise The Lord… How many tractors did you say you want?” You can stop the disrespect of yourself! We can go to Ford right now, and tell them we want 10,000 cars—don’t you think that man will “bow down,” and take your money, and give you those cars?
In less than 2 days: We would have enough to buy a shoe factory available in The Caribbean for only $1 million. And if we get that cattle company, we’ll have the leather to supply the shoe industry!
Brothers and sisters, we have 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that are just “scraping by.” With that “$291 million” in the first year, we could match the endowment figures for 37 of those institutions, making these institutions free to determine 1) the direction, 2) curricula, and 3) staffs to provide our children with an “education” which will surpass any on our planet!
In order to produce capital from the land, we need developed human capital; and that is whyproper education is “the key” to developing a sound economic base! The HBCUs must become a part of a system, where they are functioning for a bigger purpose than just to “confer degrees.” We want our HBCUs to be “ours”—and they can never be that unless they are financially independent!
Do you know our schools [and the curricula] are controlled? The Enemy does not want you to learn what will make you free from dependency on others! But with money in our pocket, we tellthem, “No! This is the curriculum that has to be in here: The Curriculum that will make students that will build not only a “nation,” but a world!”
One of the greatest mathematicians in the world, the great Brother Dr. Abdul Alim Shabazz—amaster of “Mathematics”: He is a “gift” not only to Black people, but for anyone who understands that “Mathematics” has no “color.” And when you master “Mathematics”: You have “The Base” of everything you need to build your world! He is an example of the people we have to elevate!
Elevate your Black scholarship! Elevate those Blacks that we need to help guide our hands to build a nation!
These are just a few examples of what we can do with our pennies, nickels and dimes, because America is “For Sale.” “Five cents” is really nothing at all; “painless,” as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us—and we can get our children involved!
But nowadays, if you give your child a nickel, they’ll “spit” on you: “Mommy, what is this? A nickel? What can I do with that?”—babies will tell you that! What we are saying is that we would like you to get our children involved by teaching them the value of “saving and investing”: “Sweetheart, I’m giving you 50 cents today, but I want you to put 5 cents away in a National Savings Program.”
We must start teaching the babies, and begin to regenerate a culture of “purposeful saving and investing.” This is what Jewish people teach their children. This is what The Indians from the subcontinent of India teach their children. This is what The Chinese and The Koreans, and others, teach their children. So, we must start!
‘Muhammad Farms’: A model of what The Nation of Islam’s Economic Program can achieve
Look at what we’ve already done with The Nation’sEconomic Program in the South of Georgia onMuhammad’s Farms; it’s small, but it’s a beginning:
We bought back 1,600 acres of our farm in Georgia in 1991, and became the largest Black-owned and operated farm in South Georgia. We transformed worn-out, weed-infested, hard-rock clay land into arable land andworkable soil—and brought back many of the birds and wildlife!
We purchased over $250,000 worth of farm equipment and trucks: We have our own flour mill and commercial sifter, where we can produce 800 pounds of flour in an 8-hour day.
We produce “the best-tasting watermelons in the country”—so we are told! On a yearly basis, we produce 8,000 pounds of flour, 400,000 pounds of watermelon, 12,000 pounds of different vegetables, 100,000 pounds of wheat, 100,000 pounds of field corn, and 200,000 pounds of peanuts.
We deliver produce to eight states; and whole wheat flour and other goods to 35 cities.
We also have provided jobs in the area…
That is what our farm managers, Dr. Ridgely Mu’min Muhammad and his wife, Sister Anne, are doing on just 1,600 acres of land!
Now, we also have a little farm in Michigan; and even in the midst of the worst drought in years, we had our greatest yield of navy beans since we’ve been planting beans since 1985! That is Godsaying to us: “I am with you! Even though others don’t get rain, watch: You will survive! I will heal your land…”
Brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that rain comes from The Scientist that can make it rain; rain and good weather! So if righteous people come into the ownership of land: America, even though your land is cracked up under drought, let us have it! We’ll show you rain falling from the sky! Crops growing from the earth!
The Righteous have to be “the stewards” of God’s Land; then we’ll feed ourselves—and feed White people too! In Our Saviour Has Arrived, Chapter 24 titled “God Helps Those Who Help Themselves!” on page 138, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said we need 100 million acres of land as “a start.”: “You will not even go out of the enemy’s house; nor from the front of his gate to do something for yourself that he will allow you to do. We need as a start a hundred million acres of farmland. You say: “No sir! I do not want to farm.” The White man is one of the greatest farmers there is on the earth. America’s farms can feed many nations and people — even you and me. Why should not we here, with such industrious people, learn to do the same for ourselves?” To give you “a picture”: 100 million acres of land is about the size of the whole state of California.
Man… With that much land—and with The Help of Almighty God—we can finally begin to do something for our self.
The ‘spiritual and moral problem’ that facilitates our economic demise
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew that we had many enemies that profit from our oppression, who are dedicated to our remaining that way; but he also knew that our condition was partly our own fault. On page 173 of Message To The Blackman, under “An Economic Blueprint”he wrote, “…The truth must be recognized by the Black man, for he himself has assisted greatly in creating this serious problem of unemployment, insecurity and lack…”; so let us look at this in “The Mirror of Truth.”
It is we, the Black man and woman, who are disunified and distrustful of self; with discord and conflict rampant within all our Black organizations. We allow envy and jealousy to dominate our relationships with one another. We criticize and condemn everything “Black-owned” and “Black-operated.” It is we who refuse to patronize our own. We refuse to pool our resources to address our own needs. And, it is we who have failed to truly analyze and follow the successful models and strategic examples that other ethnic and religious groups have followed to benefit their own people. We are the only members of the human race that deliberately walk past the place of business of one of our own kind, and spend our dollars with our enemies! So before we can achieve “success,” we must confront and overcome these self-destructive behaviors—these are the things that we are going to have to do!
We sent the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint to Dr. Naim Akbar, who is a Muslim, and the premier Black psychologist in the country. For many years, Dr. Akbar has studied the mental condition of Black America, and he has written several books addressing what he calls “The Chains of Psychology Slavery.” He responded to us with a beautiful and thoughtful letter about the “challenges” that we would face in bringing an Economic Program to a people whom hesays are actually “in worse condition now than we were 48 years ago when the Honorable Elijah Muhammad first introduced it”: “The difficulty we face today is that we not only have to overcome a crippling financial illiteracy, but we must also make fundamental behavioral changes in order to achieve ultimate success. Implementing such a Program would require us to restore the moral conscious that is in a downward spiral in our slave-ish imitation of everything and everybody that is unrighteous. The brilliance of The Program is that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad prophetically and insightfully sees that Black people have come under influences that represent deterioration in our self-determined and morally-guided behavior. And the result of this behavior is that our economic condition will similarly decline as we become increasingly like the immoral role models that are before us.”
What Brother Dr. Naim Akbar is saying is that our condition calls for a Solution that is more than purely “economic,” it is a specific form of behavioral economics that only “The Messenger/Messiah” has The Divine Authority to address. Dr. Akbar said: “It was striking how the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had a profound understanding of this long before the world’s top economists could even grasp the concept! … Implementation of The Economic Plan becomes achievable only with a preliminary transformation in The Minds of Black America.”
Dear pastors, imams, religious leaders: How do we begin this “transformation of our minds”? What behaviors must we confront—and reform—so we can finally achieve the success that has eluded us under every other plan put before us? Let’s start by taking a look at our crazy lifestyle.
We think we are “poor,” and we are, but that is either the result of “oppression” or our own behavior. It is reported that our annual “spending power” amounts to $1.1 trillion. But what do we spend it on? Scientists have studied our spending habits and our buying habits, so they know how to market their goods to us; and their data shows that we spend our money far too foolishly and recklessly on products and services that are leading to our own self-destruction. We have to cut back on the things that are killing us!
That’s what makes Dr. Naim Akbar’s words to us so fantastically wonderful, because we have to “attack” the condition of our people morally and spiritually in order for us to become “strong”economically! In cannot be just “economics” with us, we have to attack “The Spiritual Problem” and “The Moral Problem” that facilitates our economic demise.
Tell me if “we agree” on the following: According to a study titled “The Buying Power of Black America” by Target Market News: We spend $3.3 billion a year on tobacco, $3 billion per year onwhiskey, wine and beer (and, not to think of “reefer” and “crack cocaine”; that is $7-8 billion right there!). And while we spend more on alcoholic beverages, on the non-alcoholic beverages we spend $2.8 billion a year! What if we were more “thrifty” in our leisure time spending, which is another $3.1 billion? We spend an additional $3.5 billion on toys, games, and pets.
And Lord have mercy… Look at what we spend on “telephone services”: $19 BILLION A YEAR! It is reported that 54 percent of Blacks own a “smart phone.” Do we need to talk so much? And by the way, what are you talkin’ about? No wonder the F.B.I. knows everything about us; if you don’t already have it on Facebook and the iPhone… You’re sure not talking about “God” for “$19 billion”!
We spend $10 billion buying gifts for one another, and more than $17 billion in charitable contributions. Where is your charity going? Is it going to the Red Cross? Well, unfortunately, the people in Haiti don’t know anything about that! They never got the money! Are you giving to your churches? It could be… But now, churches are “screaming” that they’re not getting enough money; and their grant money is drying up! Now, there are banks in every city that are foreclosing on churches! There was a time that they wouldn’t foreclose on a church, but not today; they can’t wait for you to miss your payment. You know, we are so “competitive”: If one builds a big church, then across the street says, “I’m going to build one bigger,” and now you have to fleece your congregation to pay the bill. “We need more money!”—every week it’s a “building fund drive”; and every time you “drive,” more people leave the church! They love the choir; they love the preacher, but they’re thinking, “Man, I can’t stay there! I don’t have enough money!” See, if “money” is your goal, rather than saving a person’s soul, then that kind of hypocrisy will have to end, “reverend,” “imam,” “sheik,” “minister.”
The gambling of Americans is “$100 billion a year,” and our share of that would be $13 billion. We believe the Lottery people telling us: “Win $300 million if you just get the right numbers!” And then when you add up what you threw away on gambling, for money that you did not win: They get millions, while the people who spent their money on these “games of chance” lose their homes.
Now if you go and look at the amount of time you spend on a phone talking foolishness, suppose we just cut a little of that? And drink wine maybe a little less? How much does a pack of cigarettes cost? You smokers: Just “take a little [puff]” from the cigarette; if you “have to smoke,” then smoke a little less! But consider what you can do if you can break these habits altogether! So if some of the money that we throw away was added to that “35 cents a week,” look at the money you’ll have in your pocket!
When you add up all of the statistics just quoted, we’re up to $75 billion that we all can agree could be spent more wisely. This is “$75 billion” being spent by a people who, they say, are “the most poverty-stricken of all people.” And you wonder why everybody, from all over the world, sees us as their “big mammary gland”—something to “suck on”? Everybody comes to America, and finds their way to you and me. We are spending $29.3 billion on clothing. How much money do we pay in traffic tickets every year, just for speeding and parking illegally? Everyone targets us to drain our wallets dry.
And while we spend $65.2 billion on food, what kind of food are you buying? …And after spending that kind of money on “food,” then how much is your doctor’s bill after all of this bad food that we are eating? We spend $23.6 billion for healthcare; that means almost half the money you spend for “food” you spend on doctors’ prescription drugs. This is painful! And after all these things that we spend in the billions, do you know how much we spend on books? We spend $321 “million.”
Dr. Naim Akbar is correct: We must follow the moral and financial guidance of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to unlearn the behaviors that keep us poor, and the merchants of other communities rich. When we analyze all of this, we have to agree that our whole way of thinking about “money” has to change.
Restoring morality to ‘the economically corrupt’ through The Principle of Moderation
The scriptures teaches, “Be ye not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,” so regardless to what religion we belong to, our “religions” are obviously not informing us on how to spend our money; so we think we are “God centered” while we arefinancially illiterate. The problem is that we are not really “God centered.” We have been deceived into thinking we are “God centered,” but we can never be “God centered” if we do not know: 1) Principles of frugality and 2) Wise spending of what God gives us.
Allah (God) tells us in the Holy Qur’an, “Spend out of what We have given you,” not spend “all” of what We have given you. The Holy Qur’an says that we should not be niggardly (“ungenerous,” “miserly”)—but don’t “stretch out your arm” in such a manner that after you spend you have nothing left! We must adopt the principle of “moderation.”
How can a poor man or woman with bad habits save anything? I know that some Muslims think we are “God centered,” but we are broke; living “from one week to the next.” And I have to tell you: When I became a follower of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and gave up show business, I was making $45 a week. After 90 cents in taxes were taken out, I brought home $44.10—and out of that: I fed my wife, my family; paid my rent; and always had something to give in “charity.” We did not have “a lot,” but the necessities of life we did have because we did not violate moral teachings. So, there has to be a “moral component” to the building of anything of value! And what made the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s Teachings so significant to us is that we could live for less, and accomplish more, by just being what he asked us to be!
It is our deviation from that which has “sunk us” economically. That is why there has to be a moral component to help us with an “Economic Plan.”
To be continued.