Through samples, through peace meetings and through friendships The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has been speaking to Hip-Hop for decades. Today, with his health not as certain, Minister Farrakhan speaks to Hip-Hop.
Minister Farrakhans words at Saviours Day stressed unity of race and religion. Though the politics may not have changed, the walls that may have pushed some away come down with this perceived new attitude. Perhaps these new reflections stem from an 14-hour operation in January that had many, including Minister Farrakhan's family, concerned with the prospects of death for the 73 year-old leader and orator.
AllHipHop.com spoke to The Minister shortly after Saviours' Day, a February 26 holiday within the Nation, to honor founder Wallace Fard Muhammad's birth. Shortly after his Saviours Day Message - perhaps his last major speaking event, the Minister stressed the importance of health for all people, as he segued into the forthcoming discussion on Hip-Hop and leadership to people of all colors.
AllHipHop.com: It's amazing that given that all you have been through, you still had the strength to deliver the Saviours Day message.
Minister Farrakhan: That was a miracle. I did CNN the other day and in the middle of the interview, brother Don Lemon just laughed and said, Brother, have you been faking us out? You're voice is so strong and you look so well. And I had awakened that morning with the thought that people might think that because I looked so well and sounded so strong, that I was actually part of a ruse of some kind of game. But I wanted the world to know that is the miracle of the prayers and the answering of the prayers by the Almighty Creator.
And the people that prayed for me they weren't just Muslims. Muslims prayed for me all over the world, but my Christian family prayed for me and pastors took their congregations on prayers and fasts. Both Whites and Blacks prayed for my recovery. Jews and rabbis prayed for me. The Hebrew Israelites in Israel, Africa and America prayed for me. There were Buddhists and Yogis and their meditation, they prayed for me, all faiths and races prayed for me. I thank Almighty God that he has given me a message that is universal in its scope and universal in its power to heal the human condition.
AllHipHop.com: At Saviours day, you stressed religious unity throughout the world, but that religion was one of the reasons the world was at war. What is your take on the three religions and what is it that's driving them to fight each other?
Minister Farrakhan: From the perspective of The Holy Quran, which is the book of scripture for the Muslims, it teaches us that the religion of God is one. All the prophets taught the same religion. You can tell the sameness of the religion not by the name, but the principles that each religion practices. Belief in God, belief in the scriptures, belief in the hereafter, belief in the resurrection. Prayer, fasting, charity and the struggle of the human being against the evil of self and the evil of others. This was taught by all of the prophets, from Abraham to Muhammad. And The Quran teaches that we did not become divided until after revelation came to us, splitting up our religion into sects and parties.
At the root of the split is envy. One brother against another. So the Jews, the Christians and the Muslims are the three monotheistic expressions from the root, which is Abraham. And each one of these expressions has been split up by Satan. And it is written in The Quran that Satan would come to us from before us, from behind us, from our left side and our right side and he would make most deviate. So here there are Jews, but they have deviated from God's law taught by Moses and the prophets sent to the children of Israel. Here we have Christians and who have deviated from Jesus. We love his name, we love him, but we are not practicing the life that Jesus lived and practiced among us. Here we have Muslims but we have deviated from the path of the prophet Muhammad and we are not following the noble example he set for us during his life among us.
Today, the coming of one called the Mahdi; the coming of one called the Christ is the individual that will restore the purity of religion. And from The Bible's perspective, there will be one faith, one lord and one baptism. And if Christians and Muslims and Jews began to deal with the things that have crept in to divide us and clean up the religion and come back to the purity of the teachings of those religions, then we could establish the kingdom of God on earth and run Satan completely off the planet.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think there's a messiah upon us our coming?
Minister Farrakhan: The messiah we believe is present in the world. The second coming of Christ, which all the prophecies have predicted is upon us. Right now, among the Jews, there's division. Because some Jews want to sanctify by the law, gay and lesbian and same sex unions and to ordain gay and lesbian rabbis, while there are other Jews that want to stick by the religious law. The same thing in Christianity. We are being divided over moral issues and Satan has made immoral things fair seeming, so the house of religion is divided.
It's the same in the religion of Islam. There are those who want to go back to the purity of the faith and follow the Sunnah or the example of the prophet, while there are others who want to mix secular teachings with the purity of The Quran. These divisions show that the Jesus the world is looking for is in the world because he said Think not that I come to bring peace, nay, a sword. I come to set the mother in law against the daughter in law, the son in law against the father in law, the mother against the daughter and they of a mans own household will be their worst enemy.
Even among the gangs, the gangs are split up. They are selling drugs and we are even killing ourselves over a convoluted sense of what's right and what's wrong. Since I am talking to my beloved young brothers and sisters, you see the record executives don't give a dog gone about right and wrong. They will make you a multi-millionaire calling your women the B name and the whore name. And using MF and using the N word, because they want to promote our degradation and make it so, lucrative to do it, that you have a reluctance to change, even though the people are hungering and thirsting for something better. So when Kanye West did "Jesus Walks" and it became a hit, it's because there's a hunger, there's a thirst and most of the rappers don't know that there's a vacuum of leadership in the Black community. The Black people are not listening to their preachers, theyre not listening to their politicians, theyre listening to their rappers.
AllHipHop.com: How is your health?
Minister Farrakhan: I am doing much better than I was prior to the operation.
AllHipHop.com: I read that it was a lengthy surgical process you went through. You had prostate cancer, correct?
Minister Farrakhan: The prostate cancer was destroyed by the radiated seed implantation. But there were so many seeds implanted that the radiation opened up a fistula or a hole that connected the urethra with the colon. That hole, we tried to patch in 2000, after The Million Family March and we thought we were successful. But four months later, we found that the patch did not work, so there was urine coming down the anal channel. I wanted to have a colonoscopy in order to see how my colon was doing; unfortunately, the radiation had made the tissue so weak that the probe more than likely is what caused an ulcer to develop in the anal channel. So as long as urine was coming down across the ulcer, the ulcer would never heal. And then of course with communication between the colon and the urethra, I constantly had E-coli bacteria from the colon in the urine and we had used up every type of antibiotic to kill the E-coli except two. We had 16 antibiotics, and I had become resistant to 14. We only had two strains left. And after you exhaust those, death is natural. I was in so much pain and was losing so much weight, that I was forced to take the serious operation, otherwise I probably would have died sometime this year.
AllHipHop.com: Do you think that high level or implanted radiated seeds were deliberate in your surgery?
Minister Farrakhan: I can't say that for sure because that would castigate my doctors and the memories of them. I think that may have been sincere, however when the cancer came back they put so many radiated seeds there the effect of it is my destruction. It bothered me when I went in the hospital in 1999 and CNN, The New York Times and others were planning to release my obituary. I wanted to know what they knew, that they thought for certain that I was going to die. Even this time, it was like a deathwatch. So many people, Greg, prayed for me all over the world. God heard their prayers and our prayers and brought me back. My doctors were quite conservative. They knew the operation went well but they were concerned because with such a major operation that was so complex in its nature that held me on the table for 14 hours, they thought there might be a glitch were I develop a fever, or internal bleeding, so they didn't want to declare the operation a complete success.
They told my family that they were cautiously optimistic. So when I went for my six-week check up after the operation, the doctor said they watched my recovery and it was nothing short of miraculous. I still have issues that I have to be watchful of. They found another cancer in the colon as they were removing the prostate. They cut that cancer out, but they want to make sure there's no cancer anywhere else. I thank God for bringing me thus far along they way. I thank all those who prayed and fasted for my recovery.
AllHipHop.com: Prostate and colon cancer is high in the Black community. What were the signs that made you notice something was wrong? What kind of advice do you have for young males who may need to go and get checked?
Minister Farrakhan: When I was 42 years old and I was the minister in New York City, I went to my doctor for an examination. And he said, Farrakhan, have you ever had a prostate examination? I said, No. I never did. He said, Well, I better give you one, because you are at the age where you should have a prostate examination. So he did a digital examination, which is to put the finger in the rectum to feel the prostate. And he said, Oh brother, your prostate is like 16-year-old.
I was 42 then. And I never had another until I was 58 years old. And when I went to my doctor for another problem, he gave me another examination and I could see in his face that he saw something. He said, Maybe your prostate is a little swollen, so I am going to give you some medicine and come back in three days and let's see if your prostate has gone down. When I came back in three days, the prostate had not gone down, so they took the blood test, which every young Black person, or White person, should take at the age of 35 years old. I wouldn't advise you to wait until 40, because if you catch it early, you can overcome it.
Too many of us are dying from prostate cancer, because we feel a little timid about letting a doctor put his finger in our rectum to feel the prostate. But I say to all my young brothers, early detection could save your life. I was 58 when they discovered it and I took the necessary steps. Our great brother Kwame Toure (Stokely Charmichael) found out early that he had problems with his prostate, but he did nothing about it until later on. But the cancer began to spread, and so he took all kinds of medication and what not, and it was too late. And cancer robbed us of the brilliance of Kwame Toure.
And I would say to all my brothers and sisters, go and get tested. Instead of paying so much money for what we call 'designer shoes,' 'designer clothes,' the nicest this and that, just get a cheaper pair of shoes. And once a year, you spend some money to get a full examination. The same with the sisters. The moment you find you have something and deal with it, the greatest chance of our survival. May God bless us to develop the strength and the courage to save the money to get that kind of test at least once a year.