Elijah Muhammad: Interview with Buzz Anderson
Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
P.O Box 44261
Detroit, MI 48244
The Messenger Elijah Muhammad on Educational TV:
‘My Mission is to give LIFE…’
Reprinted from the December 18, 1964 edition of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
THE MESSENGER of Allah, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (r.) in his
Phoenix, Ariz., home where unprecedented interview for hour-long TV
documentary was made for distribution by National Educational Television
channels, Dec. 7 and Dec. 21. Interviewer is Buzz Anderson of station
KQED, San Francisco
(The following is the second section of excerpts from an unusual
exclusive interview granted to the National Educational Television
Network by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, The series of interviews took
place in Phoenix Arizona, and were conducted over a period of several
days, by the staff San Francisco station KQED. They are scheduled to
be presented over Network stations on Dec.7, and Dec.21.However for
Muhammad Speaks readers, we have been granted permission to bring you
excerpts from sections of that historic interview.)
QUESTION: How would you describe your mission?
Answer: My mission is to give life to the dead. What I teach brings
them out of death and into life. My mission, as the messenger, is to
bring the truth to the world before the world is destroyed. There will
be no other Messenger. I am the last one after me will come God
Himself. I do not say I will live so long as that, but when God comes, if
it pleases Him, I may be with Him. However. if I am not with Him, this is
the final. This truth I bring will give you the Knowledge of yourself
and of God
Question: Earlier, When we spoke of defections, you mentioned
something about the fact that Jesus had similar defections-would you
explain? Answer: Yes . Such defections are nothing. The public should
not think it’s strange, this time in which we live. We have God moving
among the people. Question: Well, now if in time, sir, your
grandson, Sharrieff or your son, Wallace or Malcolm ever expressed
the desire to return, to follow you again, would you accept them?
Answer: There is nothing unforgivable, the Holy Qur-an teachers you.
The only thing that is unforgivable is this: that you will not accept
Allah as God and not accept His Messenger as His Messenger. These two
things are one, we say, the belief in Allah is the belief in the
Messenger of the Prophet of Allah.
The belief in the Messenger or the Prophet of Allah is a belief in
Allah, if you disbelieve in one you disbelieve in both.
You cannot believe in one and disbelieve in the other. This is the
knowledge the world has not realized, and this is what God wants the
world to know.
When God chooses His representative for the people, He speaks to the
people through that representative and if the people will accept that
representative (we call them prophets,apostles or messengers),then they
are accepting Allah.
But if they reject him,and still say they believe in Allah,they are
considered enemies of Allah and disbelievers. Because that is Allah in
that representative and you cannot accept one without rejecting the
other. You have got to accept both. You cannot get the blessing of
Allah if you reject His Messenger.
Now, these boys that you were referring to,they do not worry me. I do not
give my time arguing with them or talking about why they believe or
I do not even argue with them because I knew these things in the
beginning. I knew they would act like this, some of them I was told
about 34 years ago.But they did not know these things and I am not
excited, as the public would be, or as the public might like to see .
In some cases, if the son disbelieves in his father, his father must be
wrong. But that is not so when it comes to a Messenger of God.
If we say that is true,then it stands true in the common life of the
There are some children who never sincerely accept their father as they
should. There are some fathers who never accept their children as they
should. So this is the nature of the human family of the earth and when
it comes to spiritual teaching, it is also the same. Not all of the
family of a Messenger are completely with him. Even some Prophets had
disbelieving wives such as Noah and Lot.
They do not always have true believers, but that did not detract one atom
of his messengership.
You do not take advantage of that unless you get into war or trouble with
You do not say, “I do not believe in him because his own wife or his own
son does not Why should I follow him?”
You would be getting yourself in trouble, because that is given. I do
not care anything about those who fall away from me after I have pointed
the truth up to them and despite this they get wrong and go away from
I am not responsible for them, for whatever they say against me, it is
against themselves. What they preach and tell the people in order to get
the people to disbelieve in me is much like Absolom was by his father,
Absolom stole the affection of the people because he thought he looked
better and was probably better and younger than David. He thought,
therefore, the people would follow; that he could steal the people over
to himself and get rid of his father as king and be king himself. But he
was not to be king. The man that was to be king, had yet to be known:
that was Solomon.
These facts are all put there to deepen our knowledge, and time repeats
these things over again and again.
And so this is what we face today and I am not surprised the public is
surprised, some of them, at the deviation of Malcolm or my son Wallace. I
am not surprised. But they cannot yet say that I am not the Messenger of
Allah. They cannot take that away from me.
QUESTION: Mr. Muhammad, would you make some statements about Dr. Martin
Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement?
Answer: Yes, I think Rev. King has been doing a good job, according to
his knowledge. He has been trying to do his best to get our people some
justice in the way of civil rights. I believe that he means well and I
believe he would have done better if he had known more about the time and
the people and the history and what must be done in such times.
He desires to see his people dealt with according to justice and not
according to injustice. But he does not know that he is living in the
time when justice is bound to come to his people. However, it is only
through Divine and not through civil government. And that goes for most
of the groups who are trying to do something for the betterment of our
They, most of these leaders, have good intentions, but they just don’t
have the right instruments to work with and they do not know how to use
the instruments, since they were not appointed to do the job.
But all of our people today have the desire to do something for
themselves and first of all, to see injustice removed from the whole.
We have suffered injustice at the hands of the white people for 400
years, and today some want to be called ‘Citizens of America’ but all of
this without the qualities that go along with freedom. We are today, I
repeat, imbued with the spirit of justice for our people and something
must be done. This oppression cannot go on forever.
What the civil rights movement is trying to do is just another effort to
bring home to our people a better life. But this is the time when our
people should and will get a better life on a permanent scale, NOT on a
The political administration may change every four years. The
Constitution is looked upon as the legal guide, but is has never been
enforced, insofar as we are concerned. We have never enjoyed such rights
as the Constitution gives to the people of America. And if we understand
it, well, it was not written with the so-called Negro in mind. It is
written for the white citizens of America and not the slaves.
The slave is not mentioned there and it was not in the mind of these
lawmakers that he should share equal justice with the master. No, he was
considered to be the property of the master. Therefore, the servant or
the slave cannot get justice — equal justice — with the master unless
the master wants to give up his position as master.
If the master gave up his position as master, the slave would soon become
his equal and the slave would probably vote for equal justice, go to the
White House or become ruler of the country, if the equal justice was
obtained the way through as it should. But the Constitution was written
by white people, for white people and not for you and me.
We were under the slavemasters at that time, and again, I would like to
make clear: I am not fighting those leaders who are trying to do
something good for our people, or get something better for them. But I do
oppose them in their way of opposing that which is good and which would
be just and permanent for our people. For we now have come to the time
when we want justice and equality. We want freedom equal with other
people. They have never made us citizens and under their law, we cannot
be made citizens. We could never be citizens, as stated in their first
If we want to go into the facts about it, we are not the equal of the
American white man, nor are we a citizen with him, here. We are in alien
country. We are aliens and not citizens.
And this is proof that we have to admit and not try to hide, to make some
black brother feel good. To tell a black brother that he is a citizen and
has equal rights, is like telling a child to go to sleep on the 24th
night of December and on the next morning, awaken and the Santa Claus
will leave a present in your stocking when THAT is the Santa Claus
talking. And the child, when he grows up, he learns that. Well it is the
same thing with us. We have had a lot of Santa Claus teaching and now we
are growing up because we know a lot of these Santa Claus teachings were
nothing but a lot of pacifiers. We are no longer satisfied to be
pacified. We want something permanent…