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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

“As The Light Shineth From The East”

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's publication, "As The Light Shineth From The East, "has received massive acclaim throughout the country. In that the response has been so universally overwhelming, Bilalian News takes this opportunity to provide its reading public with brief glimpses of this historical work. We not only recommend that everyone purchase a personal copy, but additional copies for friends and relatives as well)



Freedom is like the driving privileges. When you go to take the drivers test they give you a permit, not a license. If you prove that you are Responsible and know how to drive, then they jive you a license. But while we are preparing For the test, we are going through a discipline. The Holy Quran says, you are formed in the wombs of your mothers. And Allah instructs as in the Quran to revere the wombs of our mothers. While we are being formed in the wombs of our mothers, is that freedom? No, that's discipline.

The womb of our mother is a prison. We're formed in the prison, and in the prison there is darkness.

Every child, male and female, is formed in darkness; and their forming is kept from the eye of the father and the mother. The father 3r the mother can't see what is growing in the womb. They have to wait until the time. And then if God blesses them, when the time comes, the baby is delivered. They say, we have been given a girl child, or we have been given a boy child. That child was born in the dark. That child was born in blackness. Whether it was Caucasian or whether it was Bilalian (African-American), in blackness it was born. No one can boast of anything over the other.

While the baby is being formed it is in a prison cell undergoing discipline. You can't do what you want in there. When the baby gets about 7 or 8-months-old, sometimes you see that baby rebelling against the prison authority. An elbow tries to push the stomach out . . . God says, you've got to wait. I'm clocking discipline into your cells, into your genes. I'm teaching you how to respect authority. That baby comes out from the womb of the mother willing to accept authority, not rebelling; and then we with our crazy selves, we forget the direction that God gave us in the physiology.



Discipline, God put it in us first. He formed us not in freedom, but under discipline in a cell. And only when we get the form complete does He let us out into the world. Even then He's got a rope on us, and we can't take the rope off. Those who have a license, cut the cord, and separate us from our mother, and we grow up as a child under the discipline of our mother. Then we come up under the guidance of our father or the society.

A long time ago the father used to educate his children. He used to teach them a trade and establish his child in society. But now the school takes the place of the father. But still we have the same thing there. It's just a bigger body doing the same job. You go there and you get a permit. After you've gotten enough knowledge to master your field of interest, nobody's going to watch you—you are on your own. Before you become free to do those things you've got to take a test to see if you are worthy of a license, and after the test they say you are free to practice.

The human being is born from two. His form, his body comes from two. Where does he get the right to say I don't owe anything to anybody? Not only his body, but his mind comes from his mother and father and his home environment. When he gets out into the society, the society helps contribute to the development and enlargement of his mind. So your mind doesn't belong to you, exclusively. Your body doesn't belong to you; it came from the same. Your sentiments came from the world. What gives you the right to think that you have a special right to do what you want with your body?

We, Muslims, don't believe that. If a member in our society begins to abuse their body we punish that member by bringing them before the congregation and showing this crazy thing to the congregation to shame him out of his crazy ways. We will put him in a restricted class, we will deny him the full membership activity. Limit his voice and restrict his activities in the Community.

Why? Because we know that if he treats himself like that, some ignorant grown-up or some little child will see him and may be influenced by his conduct; and pretty soon this independent germ, who claims an independence that never belonged to any individual, will corrupt the whole society. You don't have any rights to do what you want with yourself. Society is supposed to correct your behavior.

We have the right to correct your behavior. Who is teaching you that kind of crazy stuff? The American establishment! They teach the citizens that you are an individual with individual rights. They tell us something about the autonomy of the individual. What does the autonomy mean? Self-rule of the individual! And they interpret this to mean an independent, unrestricted freedom of the individual.

The autonomy of the individual is self-rule. It means that each individual is obligated by the nature God has put in them to take responsibility for themselves, to discipline and check themselves; to make themselves conform to the good life of the society even when mom and dad are not around to check them.

That's what autonomy of the individual is, that you should be given the dignity to enforce good principles, morals and good discipline into your own life. But if you don't have the ability, strength or the respect for yourself to take that kind of charge over yourself, then we should write you off as one that was disqualified for any autonomy, so the society had to Lake charge of him and see that he doesn't destroy himself.

We're born to ,be free, but that freedom is also told in the natural development of the human life. That freedom is not a permissiveness; that freedom is a freedom to grow—a freedom to grow intellectually; a freedom to grow emotionally and mature as a full grown healthy being in society. It is not the freedom to do our own thing. It's a freedom to do the right thing.

The only way we are going to change our condition and really put ourselves in the proper image and get respect from the world is that we are going to have to deal with all of our problems, not from the emotional point of view or position, but from a rational, scientific point of view. We're going to have to approach everything with the eyes of a rational scientific thinker. That's the only way.