Excel at what you were born to do

Roger Muhammad

During his lecture tribute to the late great Muhammad Ali (June 12, 2016) in Chicago, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan explained what  Ali meant when he said: “I am the greatest.”
He broke down how the meaning was not intended to be blasphemous toward Allah (God), who truly IS The Greatest. Rather, as the Minister clarified, it meant that because Ali was so connected to God, he spoke from that connection as one would do when: “boasting in the Lord” (2 Corinthians 10:17).
From that perspective, Ali was simply bearing witness to the greatness of the talent given to him by God, and that in expressing this gift, he uniquely became the greatest manifestation of that talent.
Every human being, as we learn from the Teaching of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, has a set of divine attributes of God which  they are called to express. In realizing this unique set of aptitudes we all have the potential to be uniquely great in some area of life. Very much like the fingerprints on your hands, you and you alone possess this specific greatness.
Consequently, one of the beautiful lessons from the life of our brother Muhammad, is that our gifts, when nurtured and cultivated, can take us to the very pinnacle of success. However, the precondition to achieve this greatness is conviction, determination and faith.
That’s why Paul in the Bible says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”
Notice the word ‘substance’. What is a substance? The word is from the Old French ‘sustance’, meaning “essential nature, real or essential part.”
If we go into the scientific definition of the word substance, it means “matter which has a specific composition and specific properties.” For example, iron or methane, would be considered substances.
Based on the above set of definitions, if we take Paul’s explanation of the word faith, we can conclude that faith is in fact the primary substance of that which we hope for out of life. Hence, it is also the main component of the materialization of our desires, that is, “things unseen” or yet to be seen in our lives, namely happiness and success.
Now, if only it were that easy, we’d all be in Heaven on Earth right now wouldn’t you agree?
The big catch in all of this is that faith alone tends to wither or shrivel if it isn’t rooted in the soil of patience, determination and perseverance. Without those three ingredients, the ‘substance’ of things hoped for will simply decompose.
We have to remember that we live in a world of duality and polarity. Therefore faith, by the very nature of this universe, must be tried and tested by opposition. Those who will materialize their greatness must therefore keep the faith in the process of trial and error that leads to victory.
Oftentimes, the principal opponent of faith is not the trial or the failure from our errors, but rather it is the discouragement that stems from the trial or failure.
Take for example Jack Ma, who is the creator of the website Alibaba and 22nd in the list of the World’s wealthiest individuals according to Forbes in 2015 with $ 29.8 billion. Read his own words about how many times he failed and got back up.
“I failed  three times in college. I applied 30 times to get a job but I have always been rejected. When KFC came to China for the first time, we were 24 to apply and I was the only one to be dismissed. I wanted to go into the police and {there were}  five applicants, I was the only one not to be accepted. I applied 10 times to return to Harvard University USA and I was rejected.”
One could argue that perhaps, the reason he failed at so many other endeavors was because he was not engaging in activities that would lead him to express his ultimate talent and purpose in life. But the process of trial and error forged him and prepared him to realize his gift and to manifest it.
Others, like our brother Muhammad Ali, found their path to greatness and their natural gift early in life (Ali started boxing at 12 yrs old), but just need the right mentor or coach, in this case the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, to guide them on the path to that greatness.
In closing, we can compare this entire process to the way we refine diamonds, gold or silver. There is a lot of digging and pressure and forging involved when you want to extract those precious and rare metals out of the Earth.
In a speech delivered by Minister Farrakhan on Oct. 20, 2002 in Philadelphia, Pa., he beautifully explains how God has used and is using the horrible experiences of Black People for the ultimate good of making us into a great people, as He did for the Children of Israel through their many trials under Pharaoh.

The Minister says:

“The Bible talks about gold and silver and their process of purification. When you are a purifying agent, you have to put that which is being purified into the fire and you’ve got to hold it there. You can’t hold it too long and you can’t hold it too short. You’ve got to watch it just right. When the dross is burnt off and it’s white hot but not burnt out totally, then you can fashion it and shape it into what you want it to be. Allah (God) wants to fashion a people to rule forever. This is what Jesus was talking about when he said if you follow him you will have eternal life. It does not mean that any human being will live forever. But, he will put you in a position where you and your people and your nation and your world will never die. We have been living in a world seeing nations rise and fall, seeing empires come up and go down. But, when Allah (God) makes a people after His own likeness, you will be like the sun: You will have permanence and you will be a light for the nations of the earth.”

Hopefully these words will encourage us to continue on with faith in the path of greatness, as Muhammad Ali did. In doing so, we too will be able to say: I AM THE GREATEST.

To continue this conversation, you can join our weekly Self-Improvement group discussion every Friday 8pm at L’Espace Urbain, 5926 St-Hubert street (near Rosemont subway) or join us for live webcasts on Sunday at 11am.

Thank you for reading these few words. As-Salaam Alaikum!