TABLE TALKS; NAMES, POLITICS, L/F WOMEN DRESS, & BIG NUMBERS
TABLE TALKS WITH MESSENGER ELIJAH MUHAMMAD
On Names, Lost Found Sisters Dress, Politics, & Success Does Not Depend
(Unless otherwise specified all answers listed as answers are made by The
Honorable Elijah Muhammad, The Messenger of Allah.)
QUESTION: What should a muslim name his child? I’m sure you get many
letters every day asking you what name should I have my newborn child?
ANSWER: Give them a Muslim name if you want but the fact about it is you
should have one too. You should apply an independent name of God to an
“X”. No, because this means any name that I would take that is an
attribute of God should have nothing else attached to it such as “X”
which is an unknown quantity or an unknown name because this (the
attribute of God) is known. Say for instance that I would name myself
Abdul X Johnson. I’m qualifying Abdul by X and Johnson.
QUESTION: Is it acceptable for one to decide to take a full name? For
example Malik Muhammad?
ANSWER: It is not given for you to choose names of Allah according to
your wishes. You were dead and out of his names and under the names of
enemies of God and yourself and didn’t know it. You could also make mock
of His name the way you would choose and try to link them up according to
your wishes. The meaning of these names for example; one name could have
several meanings. It doesn’t just stop at the one meaning, several
meanings may be there and you may be choosing a name that nothing in your
qualifications demand that you should be given such a name. Then you may
choose one in which you should have choosen a different one because of
your better qualifications or future life. He (Allah) named me first
Karriem. Then later He changed my name to Muhammad. He told me He wanted
me to have a bigger name. He referred to a more honorable name as a
“bigger” name. He wanted me to take Abdul Muhammad. He wouldn’t force it
on me after I was too dumb to know what Abdul meant (smile). So I
rejected Abdul and held on to Elijah but I didn’t reject Muhammad because
I liked that name. Then, at that time I didn’t know the meaning of these
names. That was when I was first being taught. Since I learned the
meanings of Abdul, I wish I had taken it. Karriem is a lesser name in its
meaning than Muhammad. Muhammad has the highest honor of any of them.
QUESTION: Isn’t there a sequence in which these names should fall? For
example Karriem isn’t a first name is it? Could someone be named Karriem
Abdullah? Would that be correct.
ANSWER: Yes. You could also be named Karriem Allah.
QUESTION: How about Allah Karriem? Are the first and last names
ANSWER: No. You don’t put anything behind Allah. You can say Karriem
Allah, not Allah Karriem.
QUESTION: That’s important to know because some times you find persons
have choosen themselves a name and they stick them together any old way
in any direction.
ANSWER: Yes, that’s like a man trying to put his head down on his feet
(smile). The name has too much meaning to it. Karriem for example we
could say is merciful or for a person with saintly qualities. When it
comes to Allah that means the one hundred attributes of God. Therefore we
should not put it in front of a name that means less.
QUESTION: Some parents will give their children a name totally different
then the names they themselves carry. I wonder if this would create a
legal problem for them in the framework of this society?
ANSWER: Yes, and it is an insult to the Holy name to apply it to a name
that does not have any Holy meaning to it or is not a name of Allah. If I
had to take a name while I’m at it I would take the whole thing. I’d take
two names. I wouldn’t go and apply one of these names of Allah to little
or nothing like a slave name. That I wouldn’t do. I think the Muslims or
believers should be content with just adding an “X” to their salve name
because this tells the world you don’t just yet know your name. Its’ yet
pending, and it shows you are “X” out of your name. And then again Allah
knows, and He has promised you a name and I’m not the one to go to work
to give nationally to my followers names of Allah. I was not given that
authority. It never did arise as such but in a way that He told me I know
its according to the scripture. He Himself will name them. He told me He
had a name for all when the time comes and the book teaches that the
works will step up a war until He did name His people. In the Revelation
where it says that He stopped the Angels from executing a judgment on the
country, on the beast until he could seal them in the forehead with his
name because its in the head that is the faith. alright and thats already
sealed; but giving them a name would come – like the Book said there in
revelation, He give them a name written on stone that no man could read
it save he who received it and all like that because He give it in Arabic
and there was non-speaking Arabic people there. Those whom He was naming
were nonarabic speaking therefore they couldn’t read the name in Arabic.
So it’s pretty well put in the Book but it has to be understood. In
Isaiah it says bring everyone that is called by my name and the next few
words gives us the knowledge that He did name them Himself. He said
because I have chosen them for my glory. Therefore He is demanding that
there be given up all that is called by His name because He gave them
QUESTION: Recently the Muslims here in Chicago actively supported a
political candidate for office. Does this indicate a change in our
attitude about voting? Along these lines how closely should the local
Muslim minister observe the shifting political scene in their own areas?
And lastly, what part should they play if any in trying to help shape
policy of the active black candidates? This seems to be cropping up all
over the country; many black men are running for office and they are
asking for the support of the black community including the Muslims.
ANSWER: I will let you know whether or not that we should enter the
political field myself, personally (Note: there was no further
explanation or ramifications of this point at that time. The statement
was bluntly put and that was that).
QUESTION: Recently a policy change was inaugurated by you whereas
Lost-Founds (women) were not to be permitted to enter the Mosque if their
dresses were above their knees. What effect do you think this will have
on recruiting women to the ranks of Islam in view particularly of the
fact that in some areas the Ministers have reported a fall in the
attendance of the women? When the women are turned away due to dress
length, what explanation if any should the official who sends them away
give to them?
ANSWER: That we will not have people coming in our Temple with a
disgraceful style. We can not stay in the field of reforming our people
from wearing such indecent styles if we are going to permit them to sit
in our Temple with us. We must lock the door on such styles.
QUESTION: This then is the way you recommend the official tell the person
ANSWER: Exactly without any explanation further. Here, some time, they
take the hem out of their skirt if they are interested. Sometimes they go
home and change their skirt and come back. I will never permit them to
come into the Temple with mini-dresses on. If we don’t have one sister
coming to us, regardless to how it diminishes the number of visitors, I’m
not going to yield to their wishes of indecency disgracing the Temple of
Islam. Could they go to heaven like that? If not this is the door to
heaven, That’s what the Mosque is — a door to heaven. Over here we honor
no style of the devil that is an indecent style. And if not one of our
sister will accept coming to the Temple because of the prohibition
against wearing such styles, o.k., they can stay home forever! You can’t
please two masters. With such dresses on she tempts menfolks. Especially
when she sits down because she has nothing to hide herself. If you’re
going to bring temptation into the Temple where you’re suppose to be
reforming them, you’re a poor reformer, in fact you’re no reformer at
all. I did dismiss one Minister who was permitting such acts. (Note: At
this point the M.G.T. Captain at No. 2 entered. Coincidentally we pointed
out to her, we were just discussing the questions of sisters and their
dress and she, (The Captain) was asked how she was handling the situation
at No. 2 and what were some of the responses like…)
SIS. CAPTAIN: We don’t have any difficulty there. The sisters respond
well. When you tell them that we have a regulation here that all
followers of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad carry out, that is for a
sister to be allowed inside our congregation they must have a garment on
that is at least 2-1/2 inches below her knees and when she sits down we
can not have her garment riding above her knees. After we explain to them
it is a form of respect for themselves and for the teachings we don’t
have any problems, not argumentative. We had one sister go home and
change and came back and her dress was still too short. They seem to
understand that we have to stick to our laws. They are not argumentative
at all. Some of them turn their skirts down lower.
HOLY APOSTLE: Some of them take their hems out?
SIS. CAPTAIN: That’s right. We’ve had that happen many times. (Note: The
conversation went on in this vein and the Holy Apostle then made the
HOLY APOSTLE: This shows that they want to come in and hear the Truth! I
don’t think any sister with a decent mind would argue with you about not
permitting any indecent style into your Holy place. Then if they do begin
arguing with you, you know that if you had allowed her to go in you would
not have a fit sister anyway. Some of the Temples, they like to have big
numbers to report regardless to what they look like. The Holy Qur’an and
Bible teaches that it does not take numbers to accomplish great things.
It is the ones that are sincere. So it is with us. this is warning us,
that if our number is small remember that it is like all other great
things in the past that came about; it was a small number that brought
about such things. Even fighting the enemy, the Holy Qur’an teaches us do
not be afraid to go before the enemy because we are small in number.
Kingdoms have been taken with a small number. It’s the faith that you
have from Allah. We may not have a world of people to fight the enemy but
be steadfast in Allah for Allah is sufficient to take care of them alone.
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