By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Afrika is the mother of all “hue-manity” because it’s the birthplace of all “hue-man” creation. As such, I’ve come to recognize that much wisdom must be hidden within the very soul of this magnificent continent’s noble people.
Over the past five decades, I’ve studied many proverbial offerings from this vast, ancient seat of knowledge, and it has enriched me tremendously in so many distinctly different ways. So, for today’s rap, I’d like to share some of these intellectual gems with you from the universal mindsets of the Afrikan people’s heritage that has helped me understand and deal with the living process a little better.
I trust that you’ll get something from them, and I want you to realize that you don’t have to be a self-connected melaninated individual of color to appreciate the wisdom that came from the Motherland because knowledge, wisdom and truth can also come from any and everywhere, especially, if you’re not biased to receive same. Please enjoy what is to follow, and remember to put your thinking caps on when you try to decipher and comprehend what the Motherland’s ancient proverbs are saying.
I firmly believe that if you studiously sit back and patiently digest some of these ever-so-subtle proverbs and intuitive maxims, if not all of them, you’ll be better off for doing so. I’ve selected them from a 1993 published book by Guy T. Zona entitled “The House of the Heart is Never Full,” and they come from many of Afrika’s diverse ethnicities, cultures and religious traditions.
I’ve found them to be stimulating informative and positively thought provoking, and I believe that you’ll get some benefit from reading them too. Hopefully, you enjoy them as much as I have and do.
Please remember that “knowledge is only useful if you seek to attain it and then use it properly.” Therefore, I challenge you today to carefully, and selectively, read through each and everyone of these adages and maxims thoroughly in order to elevate your knowledge game.
Listen, life is a fleeting experience. We must always be “forever students,” constantly take advantage of every single opportunity we have, by he Most High Alone’s mercy, to get our knowledge “A” games together, if you know where I’m coming from at this precarious moment in time and space.
That’s a fundamental realization in understanding how precious the living experience is and why it is such a viable moment-to-moment learning process. Take nothing for granted. Politely, I highlight that thought for you to calmly take in as much as you can as you read “The Voices of the Motherland Speaks” because its proverbs, etc., are not to be taken lightly. And now I begin with:
* “The plant God favors will grow even without the rain.”
* “The mouth is the heart’s shield.”
* “He who is dressed in other people’s belongings is naked, and he who is made satisfied by other people’s belongings is hungry.”
* “The greatness of love obliterates conventions.”
* “People do not count what they are given but what is withheld from them.”
* “Friendship is like a tailor’s seam; it is the undoing that causes trouble.”
* “One achieves more with patience than with anger.”
* “No one can leave his character behind him when he goes on a journey.”
* “Never follow a beast into its lair.”
* “He who waits for the moon waits for darkness.”
* “Even a large ship may be wrecked in darkness.”
* “Medicine that is mixed with food, even if it doesn’t cure the disease, will cure hunger.”
* “God portions out blessings; if a man distributed them, some would go without.”
* “He who betrays you is not one from afar.”
* “If you have much, give from your wealth; and if you have little, give from your heart.”
* “Know yourself better than he who speaks of you.”
* “Cruelty is the strength of the wicked.”
* “One may go around a ravine or around a hill, but one cannot go around God.”
* “The news has been heard all around, but the party it most concerns is deaf.”
* “If one could not make use of gold dust, it would merely be called sand.”
* “Don’t try to get blood from a locust; God didn’t put it there.”
* “It is best to let an offense repeat itself at least three times: the first offense may be an accident, he second a mistake, but the third is likely to be intentional.”
* “Noise and hunting do not go together.”
* “Choose the neighbor before the house and the companion before the road.”
* “There are three things that a man must know to survive long in the world: what is too much for him, what is too little for him, and what is just right for him.”
* “He who has children has blessings.”
* “Instruction in youth is like engraving in stones.”
* “Friendship that is kept up only when eyes see eyes does not go to he heart.”
* “There are only forty kinds of lunacy, but only one kind of common sense.”
* “He who betrays one that betrays him not, Allah shall betray.”
* “It is the heart that carries one to hell or heaven.”
* “The Afrikan race is a rubber ball; the harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.”
In concluding this article, I’m going to end on the theme of universal respect for one another with two final sterling gems from “The Voices of the Motherland Speaks,” which solidifies where my soul is in that vein, states boldly that, “Let your love be like misty rain; gentle in coming but flooding the river” and “Mutual love is often better than natural brotherhood.”
I hope that you understood that and that you never forget what the in toto aforementioned proverbial wisdom that came from Afrika spoke about. I trust that you truly comprehended it because it is pure guidance for a real student seeking spiritual harmony and sublime knowledge. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”