Monday, June 10, 2013

New Stewards of the Earth Part III

      The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s Saviours’ Day 2013 keynote address was a monumental paradigm shift in the approach of Black leadership toward true liberation and salvation for Black people in America and throughout the Diaspora. The foundation of Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint is more than saving and investing money. The underlying solution to the multiplicity of economic, political, social, and physical problems facing humanity in the 21st century can be summed up in two words: spirituality and morality.   
       The Minister’s spiritual insight regarding our economic plight is backed up by proven scholarship. Preeminent Black psychologist Dr. Naim Akbar wrote the following in his observations regarding Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint: “The brilliance of the Program is that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad prophetically and insightfully sees that Black people have come under the 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.” Dr. Akbar went on to conclude: “Implementation of the Economic Plan becomes achievable only with a preliminary transformation in the minds of Black America.” This is made perfectly clear by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan as he painstakingly revealed the immoral and perverse manner in which we spend our money and how we are being manipulated into doing so.

The Minister said: “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 far too foolishly and recklessly; and we spend our money 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! It cannot be just economics with us – we have to attack “The Spiritual Problem” and “The Moral Problem” that facilitates our economic demise.” The Minister offered some sobering statistics from Target Market News: The Buying Power of Black America 2010 (16th edition) to back up his premise.

Here is the mirror of truth the Minister put before us: Blacks spend $3.3 billion a year on tobacco, $3 billion on whiskey, wine and beer, $2.8 billion on non-alcoholic beverages, $3.1 billion on leisure time spending, $3.5 billion on toys, games and pets, $19 billion on telephone services – (54% of Blacks own a “smart phone”) $10 billon gift buying,  $29.3 billion on clothing, $65.2 billion on food, $23.6 billion for healthcare, while only spending $321 million on books. He also estimated that the Black share of the $100 billion a year spent on gambling in America is $13 billion. The Minister focused like a laser on the root of our problem stating: “When we analyze all of this, we have to agree that our whole way of thinking about money has to change…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 are financially illiterate. The problem is that we are not really “God centered.” How can this be, given the level of religiosity in the Black community?

We have been “conformed to this world” following occidental, westernized, industrialized, northern hemisphere practices rooted in Aristotelian-based scientific philosophy that finds no intrinsic value in nature except that it can be used for man’s pleasure. This utilitarian and hedonistic philosophy undergirds the made man’s approach to nature, politics, economics, and human relations. His scientific approach to nature is amoral and his usurious banking system and valueless fiat money is immoral.  The ‘wicked husbandmen’ are destroying the environment and enslaving the entire human race with debt. What the modern day Apostle Paul, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, has called us to do is to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds.”

As Muslim followers of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we must exhibit “quickness, fast moving, cleanliness - internally and externally - right down to the modern times.” Our modern Islamic thought and practices as it relates to the environment, whether as farmers, ranchers, or businessmen, should be based on Quranic principles. Fazlun Khalid, in an essay entitled Islam, Ecology, and Modernity: An Islamic Critique of the Root Causes of Environmental Degradation identified four principles that form the basis of an Islamic model “to help human beings to function within the natural pattern of creation.”  He identified: Unity (Tawhid), Creation (Fitra), Balance (Mizan), and Responsibility (Khilafa).

Here are some scriptural references for each principle:  the Unity Principle - Holy Quran 112:1-2 and 25:2; Creation Principle - Holy Quran 30:30; Balance Principle - Holy Quran 55:1-13; and the Responsibility Principle Holy Quran 6:165 and 24:55. As the new stewards of the earth destined to replace the wicked husbandmen, we must now forge a new relationship with our natural and built environment based upon the eternal principles found in our faith tradition. We must also lay the base for our own banking system or medium of exchange rooted in equity, justice, and actual value, not usury which is forbidden by the Holy Qur’an in Surah 2:275-276.

 In Romans 8:22-23, Paul writes: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Celia Deane-Drummond wrote in Eco-Theology: “The proclamation of the good news [Gospels] cannot be detached from concern about the natural world in which people are placed: people and planet form an interwoven community that needs to be considered together, rather than separately.” In other words, our Christian family members also have scripturally mandated ‘new stewardship’ responsibilities to the creation. Time is dictating the agenda of what must be done today. Who will heed the “final call” and accept the universal mission of stewardship being proclaimed by the National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad?

Are we the new stewards to replace the ‘wicked husbandmen’? We certainly can be if we follow Allah’s guidance coming through the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and recognize that our problem is moral and spiritual before we attempt to implement Muhammad’s Economic Blueprint to end poverty and want.

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