A Holy Day of Atonement & Reconciliation: October 16, 1995 by Minister Louis Farrakhan
We believe that our 440 years of affliction and suffering in the United States as slaves, free slaves, and second class citizens is in fulfillment of Divine Prophecy. In Genesis, Chapter 15, verses 13-15 it reads, "And he said unto Abraham, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shall go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age."
We believe that the children of Israel and their 400 year bondage in Egypt was a sign of our slavery and suffering in America. Our time of servitude is up and Allah (God) has come to redeem us and to make of us a great people. However, we have been fashioned by those whose ways are strange and alien to the Way of our Father. Therefore, we have been shaped contrary to the nature of Allah (God) and self. We must be redeemed. We must be restored. We must be reconciled again to Allah (God) and then to one another.
There is a scripture in the Bible that reads, "The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few." If there are too few laborers at harvest time then fruit will fall from the trees and vegetables will rot in the ground and on the vine. So, the next stage from RIPE is ROTTEN.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught us that the first slaves were brought to North America in the year 1555 on a ship named Jesus, captained by Sir John Hawkins. The history books teach us that the first slaves landed in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 one year before the pilgrims landed in 1620.
From 1555 to 1619 there are 64 years of hidden history that transformed a proud and wonderful African people into the servitude slaves of a slave master. During this 64 years a new people were bred without knowledge of their names, language, culture, religion, God, and history. This made us spiritually blind, deaf, and dumb to the knowledge of self and others, thereby, setting up a need for a Jesus to come to open our blinded eyes, unstop our ears, unloose the knot in our tongues and raise us up from a dead level to a living perpendicular.
Many great leaders, male and female, have emerged from among us to fight for our justice, liberation, and freedom. Many have died or been killed due to our own ignorance, love of our slave masters and hatred of self which led us to acts of treachery against that which was in our best interest.
In the beginning when Allah (God) created man and woman His first act of charity after creation was to give us Power and Dominion. According to Random House Dictionary power is defined as, "ability to do or act; capability of doing or accomplishing something; the possession of control or command over others; authority; ascendancy." Dominion is, "the power or right of governing and controlling; sovereign authority; rule; control; domination."
In order to make us slaves the first thing that had to be taken from us was what Allah (God) originally gave us, Power and Dominion. When we were made slaves our power and authority was ruled by another and our sphere of freedom was limited according to the wishes of our slave master. This has been our condition, and sad to say, it is the condition that remains in most of our people to the very moment of this writing.
When Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, we were never given the knowledge that would have allowed us to take a free step, nor were we given anything from our former slave masters upon which to build an independent life. We were disallowed access to power and dominion to direct the course of our lives and change the realities under which we lived.
We were promised by government 40 acres and a mule. We received neither, so, the freed slave had to return to the master to work on the plantation for no or very little pay.
During the time of our slavery, with the destruction of our right to power and dominion, our women and girls became the "booty" or prize of conquest. There was no Black woman that had a right over her own body, more than the slave master and his children had over her. The abuse of our women and girls continues to this very moment, but, the saddest fact of all is that because of learned behavior from our slave masters and their children and self hatred we have perpetuated the abuse of our women and girls.
Our women have never left our side. They have fought for our liberation in all of our struggles for justice. Their greatest hope is that one day we as men would stand up and take our proper and rightful place as commanded by Allah (God) our Creator.
Since our 400 years from 1555 to 1955 ended our prophesied time to be servitude slaves in America, our actions from 1955 were seen as steps toward liberation; the work of Martin Luther King in the '60s; the civil rights movement; the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and a host of young revolutionary thinkers and writers came to fruition. The harvest was indeed ripe, but, too few of us knew what was required for the true liberation of our people. So, the condition of ripe became rotten. Our leadership, spiritual, political, and educational failed us. Now, the Black community has now turned in on itself by the use of drugs, guns, violence, fratricide, child abuse, and severe health problems, due to our faulty lifestyle. We missed an opportunity in the '60s to call our people out of the mind and way of our former slave masters into new way of thinking that they were ripe to receive, and, because too few of us understood the time and what must be done, ripe turned to rotten. Rottenness has now enriched the earth (people) and our people are again ripe.
The Bible teaches that after 430 years of the children of Israel's sojourn, they went out of Egypt (Exodus). 1995 makes 440 years of our oppression. Again, our people are ripe.
The question is, "who are the laborers to harvest and who is worthy to reap?" The present day leadership must not fail our people again. Failure to harvest this ripe field for Allah's (God's) Glory will lead to the chastisement and destruction of those who are referred to as shepherds, guides, and leaders of our people.
It is written that Allah (God) will cause the people to cease from listening to the voices of their shepherds. This is already happening to most in so-called positions of leadership.
In the book of Ezekiel, Chapter 34, verses 1-2 it reads, "And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?"
According to Random House Dictionary Woe means, "grievous, distress, affliction, or trouble."
We, in leadership, must do all within our power to get out of this prophesied woe. Therefore, we are calling on the religious leaders in the Black community to assert our freedom by declaring our first Holy Day, A Holy Day of Atonement and Reconciliation. The religious leaders must lead the way in atonement.
Many of our people ask the question, "Atone for what and to whom?" First, it is Allah (God) who is calling us to come out of the mentality of a slave into the vast world of freedom of thought and action on behalf of self, family, and nation. Our failure to accept the call of Allah (God) to be the responsible heads of our families and community is our principle failure. Therefore, we as a people must atone to Allah (God) for our failure to accept the call to freedom. We, as men, must atone for the abuse of our women and girls, and our failure to be the leaders of and builders of our community.
We must atone for the destruction that is going on within our communities; the fratricide, the death dealing drugs, and the violence that plagues us. Our atonement is first to Allah (God) that He may return to us power and dominion to take control of our lives, destiny, and our community.
We must then reconcile our differences one with the other so that we may face our oppressors as a solid wall of unity. We have spent valuable time petitioning government and to a degree government heard us but now government is reversing the gains that our suffering and petition has brought about. We petitioned the wrong source. Our petition must now be to the Author of all creation. For, if we satisfy His requirements, then, He shall return to us the power bound up in His Spirit and Word and the dominion that comes from the proper use of His Wisdom, then, we would not need to beg any man for what Allah (God) has Divinely Ordered as the right of every human being. We will have the power to give these rights to ourselves.
Atone. To whom and for what? II Chronicle, Chapter 7:14 reads, "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."
The above mentioned scripture is the key to our deliverance, but, we cannot get Allah's (God's) healing until we fulfill the precondition. Therefore, Monday, October 16th, a work day, we are asking a million Black men to descend on Washington to present our bodies as a reasonable sacrifice.
In the Book of Romans, Chapter 12, verses 1-2 it reads, "I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
Our presence in Washington in unity is an act of atonement. Our prayers together is what is required. If we are able to fast from sun up till sun down, that is a requirement, then, we as a people must make up our minds to turn away from that which Allah (God) declares is wicked. If we do this, like the prodigal son, we will have made a step toward the Father and He will make two toward us, then, He will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.
According to the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia atonement means, "To cover, expiate, condone, cancel, placate; to offer or receive a sin offering, appease, propitiate; effect reconciliation by some conduct, or course of action; to cause to be friendly; to render other, hence to restore; to leave off, i.e. enmity or evil; to render holy, to set apart for; hence of the Deity, to appropriate or accept for Himself." We have to be at-one with Allah (God). We have to be at peace with Allah (God) and then we must make a concerted effort to be at peace with each other.
We are asking all those who have differences in their family to seek reconciliation. Those of us who have variances within our churches, mosques, synagogues or temples should seek reconciliation. Those of us involved in the struggle who have knowingly and unknowingly offended each other must reconcile our differences. All the religious houses in the Black community should be open so that those who have differences within those religious houses may come and reconcile their differences and pray for the success and well being of those in Washington and for Allah (God) to send His Spirit upon us and to heal our communities.
Let the bells on religious houses toll. Sound the ram horn and let the Muezzin at the mosques sound the call to prayer.
Those who are not able to make it, the men and the women, can support the March and Day of Atonement by our act of reasonable sacrifice. We should declare this Holy Day, A Day of Absence, from a racist system that refuses to recognize our contributions to this nation and to give us justice.
We all should register our dissatisfaction with the way that we are being treated. We should not go to work or school; none of us should participate in any shopping, sport or play; none of us should drink any alcohol or use any drugs or do any unclean thing during this Holy Day. We are asking the mothers to be with their children teaching them the value of home, self, family, and unity, reconciling differences within the family.
We are also asking the nearly eight million Black persons who are eligible to vote, but are unregistered, to go to their house of worship on that day, October 16th to register.
The most fateful election of this century will be held in 1996. We will, if properly instructed, hold the balance of power. No political party ever again will take our vote for granted.
America must be made to know her sins that she may, if she will, atone for her evils done to Black people, the Native Americans, and others. Whether America atones or not, we must draw our strength from Allah (God) through the fulfillment of the precondition laid down in the scriptures.
When you read this article take it and discuss it with others. Let us show the world that we are ready to receive the goodly substance that Allah (God) promised us after our sojourn, affliction, suffering, and death for 400 years in this modern land of bondage.
Will you join me in Washington and/or in the observance of this Holy Day of Atonement and Reconciliation.
May Allah (God) bless us to be in that number when the Saints go marching in.
This article was published in Vol.14, No.22 of The Final Call newspaper.
Minister Louis Farrakhan
Monday, October 16, 2006