[Editor’s note: The following text is excerpted from "A Torchlight for America" by the Honorable Minister Farrakhan.]
Neither male nor female can fulfill their relationships to each other until they are first properly connected to the source of all creation, which is God. This is why the divorce rate is so high, and the dissatisfaction rate in relationships between the sexes is even higher. The natures of male and female are different, but they are meant to complement each other. In the absence of knowledge, the different natures of male and female can work destructively against the self and against the union of both. The fundamental knowledge that is absent in male/female relationships is the knowledge of how we should relate to God and each other.
It is our disconnection from God that is at the root of failing and improper relationships between man and woman. This is a very deep problem in the relationship between black men and women. One of the major crimes perpetrated against us when we were brought into slavery was that a true and proper relationship between us and God was severed. The slave master stood in the place of God and made us relate to him as master in the place of God. To this very moment, no matter how much we say we believe in God, Jesus and Muhammad, many of us subconsciously relate to whites as master, and “God” is just a word that we use.
Every human being has the potential to be a reflection of the Most High, but we also have the potential to be the very opposite. We have taken the lower desires of self, the urges and the lusts, and made them our god in place of the true God. Sometimes we talk about wanting to be right, however, until we earnestly desire to be right, we will never move toward right. We have to earnestly desire righteousness for righteousness’ sake, not for the sake of some reward or for fear of some punishment.
Being righteous will give us peace of mind and power. When we act in accord with what is right we can lay down at night with the peace of mind that comes from knowing we haven’t done anything or anyone wrong. This is where the true and real power of our minds comes from. The ability to focus on something and summon the power of our being to bring into reality our vision, in this time period, is truly based upon our striving to be right.
After a negative relationship, part of healing has to be that we be removed from the environment that facilitates our doing wrong. Most of us are not strong enough to fight against wrong influences when we remain in a wrong environment. It behooves us to make a change when we face circumstances like this.
It’s counter-productive to flirt with trouble. A woman who wishes to stay away from fornication or adultery cannot spend too much time around an old boyfriend. He will only want to use you until he is reformed. He may try to get you in the wrong place, at the wrong time, under the wrong circumstances, so you will do the wrong thing one more time. After you do the wrong thing, you feel dirty. God is trying to make a new mind in us. If we are fortunate enough to hear and accept God’s truth, it will take root in us and wrong won’t seem right anymore.
In the Holy Qur’an it reads, “We certainly sent messengers to nations before thee, but the devil made their deeds fair-seeming to them. So he is their patron today, and for them is a painful chastisement.” (Surah 16, Verse 63) We have lost the criteria for judging our own actions because the standard of good has been confused and evil has been made to look “fair-seeming.”
The human being has a grand purpose. It is wrong to take a woman or a man just for pleasure. Responsibility goes along with intimacy. Caring and sharing goes along with intimacy. Every time you engage in intimacy without responsibility, without caring, without commitment, without sharing, without honest communication, it lowers your self-esteem, self-respect and your self-worth until you begin to see yourself and others see you as a person without value. This is because every time we submit to our lower desires, we actually are beginning to make nothing of ourselves, while Allah (God) wants to make something of each of us.
If we cannot be strong alone, then we have to be among those who are strong. If we attach ourselves to strength because we desire to be strong, then we shall become strong. Allah (God) is the source of strength, goodness and purity. So your first connection should be to God, then connect with the strong and keep away from the environment that produced your weakness lest the forces of weakness and death destroy the new life that is trying to bud in you. When we are strong enough, then we can go back to the environment of our weakness with the strength to change it.
You don’t need a mate until you find out who you are and what you need and hope to achieve in life. When thoroughbred horses are mated, the breeders carefully examine the stud and the mare with an eye for what they hope to breed from the two. We can learn a lesson from the mating of horses. We should learn that in order to get what we want in a relationship, we have to first understand who we are and how to identify in others that which we need to help us in our development into Divine.
Eliminating rape & molestation
Two million women are reported to be beaten by their spouses each year. Three-quarters of a million women are estimated to be raped each year. The resulting psychological damage is of enormous magnitude because you corrupt a nation when you corrupt a woman, which is why God set up strong laws to protect women and to protect the family.
Rape is the murder of the essence of a female. It’s no wonder that many women who have been victimized by rape or incest have difficulty in relating to men and their own families. Women are created to provide heaven, consolation, comfort, peace and quiet of mind to their mate. What she provides she is meant to give freely, but men must earn the right to this gift. When a woman is raped she may never again be able to give of her essence, unless God intervenes to heal her. When the nature is killed, only God, Who created our natures, can revive it again.
After a woman is raped or molested, there is often no such thing to her anymore as a decent man. She could lose all faith in men and become a lesbian, which is very prevalent, or a prostitute or a free-for-all woman who will give herself to any man who asks.
We regard crimes against women as extremely serious. Rape and child molestation are not only crimes against the individual, they are truly crimes against the society and nations. The people must be taught properly and given guidance for conducting themselves among their fellow man. Then, if they refuse to abide by the laws that are designed to protect women and the family, harsh punishment can be given.
In Saudi Arabia we have a society that is relatively free of the pervasive crime and many of the violent crimes that plague America. The strong Islamic law and exemplary punishment of transgression of the law has helped in making Saudi Arabia a country with less crime and savage behavior than any other nation on earth. In my travels to Saudi Arabia I have actually seen open safes, with untold amounts of money, yet no one would dare to attempt a robbery. Merchants can merely cover their merchandise with a cloth while they go to pray, without the fear of being burglarized. This is, in part, because the punishment for such crimes – the threat of losing a limb or your life – is so severe that no one wants to take a chance.
In order to correct savage behavior, knowledge must be imparted to the people and the society’s institutions must be corrected. This would give the people a fair chance to become civilized. Then, for those who still transgress the law, harsh penalties including the death penalty can be justifiably used.
However, this society has failed its people. The institutions are failing the people. Therefore, knowledge has to be imparted and the institutions must be corrected before the death penalty can justifiably be established. When you have a society as wicked as this one is becoming, where the behavior of the people is so savage, the strong law Moses applied to Israel must be used to bring the people out of savagery until love of the law could be nurtured. That same strong law of the time of Moses may have to come to America.
For those who have suffered a sexually violent crime such as rape, incest or molestation, healing starts with justice. The problem is that very few women raped in this society get justice. The worth of women has to be restored, at all costs. The woman’s worth has to be reestablished. Women must help to reestablish their own value by never giving themselves to any man unless there is love and commitment. And society must do a better job of teaching the people the value of human life, and correct its economic, penal, educational and spiritual institutions.