Many may not believe it, but yes it is official: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is tweeting.
With the use of this modern technological tool, Min. Farrakhan is instantly reaching tens of thousands of people with timely guidance, warning and inspiration.
“The young people around me have dragged me “kicking and screaming” into the modern use of technology. (smile) And I am loving every minute of it,” he tweeted in response a question as to why he decided to launch a Twitter page.
For those unfamiliar with Twitter, it is an online social networking platform that enables users to send and read text-based messages (tweets) in 140 characters or less. The popular site has approximately 200 million users including everyday people, celebrities and businesses looking to engage clientele.
In its early stages of development, its founder came across the word “twitter” which he said meant in part “chirps from birds,” thus the bird logo.
Min. Farrakhan’s favorite aspect of Twitter is answering questions from those eager to learn more about the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He does not review the questions prior to answering because he likes the spontaneity of seeing what Allah (God) will bring forth from him in responding.
People are increasingly excited about having this kind of accessibility to the “78-years-young” leader who has a non-stop schedule and has always managed to stay fresh in accords with the time.
“I will admit that I didn’t believe it was really Minister Farrakhan because he is such a globally known leader with so much on his plate,” said 29-year-old Tiffany Washington of New York. “But once I started seeing the responses to the questions I said this sounds like the words of Farrakhan. I’m happy to be following him on Twitter versus all of these celebrities who (are) not tweeting about anything of value. He keeps me motivated.”
From the rostrum to the dinner table, people can bear witness that he can speak for several hours at a time, yet he is mastering the art of delivering short Twitter responses. Some responses have gone beyond 140 characters, but the followers don’t mind because it’s all valuable.The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with his iPad prior to his interview with radio host Cliff Kelley on Oct. 25. Photo: Ashahed M. Muhammad
‘I didn’t know much about Min. Farrakhan until I saw a few rappers that I listen to started retweeting some of his quotes. He’s a deep man and I’m going to continue following him plus check out some of his speeches.’
—17-year-old Brian Jackson of Los Angeles
“His presence on Twitter has provided a spark that is unlike anyone else that is tweeting because he’s giving correct guidance and solutions,” said Troy X, 25, who manages a popular YouTube account that features videos of Min. Farrakhan past and present. That page has accumulated over 8-million upload views over a four year span.
Min. Farrakhan’s quotes, responses, recent speaking engagements and radio interviews have been heavily retweeted (reposted) by other users to their own Twitter followers. Many have signed up to have his tweets sent directly to their phones.
“When I’ve done online searches of Minister Farrakhan’s Twitter page, the stats showed that his words are being overwhelming retweeted by so many people,” said Brother Troy. “Because of the type of man that he is, I’m not surprised that he takes out the time to answer so many questions on Twitter. That’s the kind of love he has for the people.”
The growing popularity of Min. Farrakhan on Twitter was even more evident the night of Nov. 9 when he addressed thousands of students at Prairie View A&M University in Texas. His name became one of the top trending topics on Twitter in the Houston area. Trending means that a particular topic is the most tweeted about, capturing most people’s attention at any one time.
Min. Farrakhan’s Twitter chats are now recognized by the hashtag #AskFarrakhan. A hashtag is a phrase prefixed with a “#” sign and allows users to group posts together by topic.
Over the past nine months, Min. Farrakhan has engaged and responded to questions about Libya, the Obama administration, the Nation of Islam, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, land ownership, marriage, youth, leadership, Malcolm X, division in religion, education, sports, politics, setting priorities, scripture, parenthood, the weather conditions, music, technology and more.
In response to a question about the proper use of social media, the Minister tweeted, “Social media should facilitate the cause of friendship and the passing of knowledge. Create bonds and brotherly love.” He also tweeted, “The advancement of technology can be used for evil or good. We make it valid by the way we use it.”
In more personable questions, people have asked him about his childhood, biological parents, health condition, work ethic, the success of his marriage to Mother Khadijah, how he handles failure, how he prepares for lectures and his upcoming album.
“Yes, like most young people, I wanted to be a boxer. My favorites were Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Henry Armstrong. I’m sure most of you may not know these great ones,” he tweeted. “I had very tender skin so when I boxed, even if I won, I looked like I lost. So I knew that was not for me. (smile)”
The founders of AllHipHop.com and rappers Big Boi of Outkast, The Game, Bun B, Trae the Truth and Paul Wall are just a few of the popular music artists who have supported Min. Farrakhan’s account by sharing his quotes and encouraging people to follow him.
“I didn’t know much about Min. Farrakhan until I saw a few rappers that I listen to started retweeting some of his quotes. He’s a deep man and I’m going to continue following him plus check out some of his speeches,” said 17-year-old Brian Jackson of Los Angeles.
Demetric Muhammad, a student in the ministry class at Muhammad Mosque No. 55 in Memphis, sees Min. Farrakhan’s tweets as a gift to the toolbox of teachers, pastors, ministers and motivational speakers.
“These tweets constitute bite size chunks of guidance that can be unpacked to lay out a complete message for knowledge hungry audiences everywhere,” said Demetric Muhammad, who has turned a few of Min. Farrakhan’s tweets into messages.
In Surah 27 of the Holy Qur’an, Solomon is mentioned as one who understood the “speech of birds” and scholars see this as a metaphor for his ability to convey messages from one place to another. Min. Farrakhan is without a doubt a master communicator who speaks the language of the people that they may soar to a higher plane of thought and action.
Follow Min. Farrakhan at www.twitter.com/LouisFarrakhan.