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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

January 23rd 1998

Muslim Journal

Response & Solutions For Progress

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


Q: What kinds of things should the whole society, Muslims and others, focus on in terms of building the community?

IWDM: The first thing to focus on is a support in your life that will stand up to the test of everything that man and beast can throw at you. Focus on religion, that is number one. Once that is in place and you have that help, plan for family.
The Ka'aba is in the focus when we pray. It represents the home of humanity. It puts our minds on the concept of home. It is called "bait" (home). It could have been called "dar" (home), but that has political connotations. The term "bait" has strong domestic connotations for families.

Hence, we should desire a society that accommodates individuals, families and people, with the same interest in them that a parent would have if they were trying to accommodate the needs of their children and all members of their household.
We want the best for people. Those who assume, inherit or are given responsibility for designing society and managing or leading the efforts to establish and maintain society should accept to regard the members of society just like they regard the members of
their own family.

We should have that as encouragement in our lives to build a better society and insist upon people accepting more responsibility. We should insist that we care about every member living in society.
That is how we should approach it initially. After that we should start providing the needs of families. Families need work. G'd gave us the earth and it already had food on it. He gave us the ability to work, to go to the fields where there is no food growing and make increase and production. We can take the seeds from one area and plant them in areas where there is no food growing.

G'd created us to be industrious and to produce wealth. So it is important in serving the needs of families to plan employment for them. This way we will help everybody. If you have neighborhoods without production, it takes away from those neighborhoods with production. The neighborhoods with production will be appreciative that others are not putting their responsibility on them, but instead are trying to be a self-sustaining neighborhood as much as possible.

Whether Muslim or non-Muslim, neighborhoods should concentrate on having human excellence, treating their neighborhoods the same way as they treat their own family households, and having that life under G'd. We lose our sense of what is civilized, if we don't have a higher authority in our lives. G'd is that Higher Authority and He gives us Revelation, divine guidance.

After the effort to produce a greater income in the community, neighborhoods need people with vision. Today we live in a one world global economy.
We are linked together in such, serious ways, that what we do financially in one part of the world has to respect what is being done in the whole world. If we don't, then we are out of line with what is happening in the global economic order.
We are living in a one world economic society. The cultural environment has also become one global culture. I mean people are affected by each other's culture. You will not be able to escape experiencing some interaction with other cultures while living in America. When you go to the store, you will see products from many lands, and you are exposed to other people's cultural image, dress and taste. There is a one world society forming us over again.

In such a society it is all the more important for a people when they are planning their establishment to be respectful of other people's interest. We can't have a Hitler in the world again. There is no situation for a Hitler to even develop, where one person or one people can take over and dominate others. Whatever we plan, we should have respect for all humanity, all nations, all established religions and cultures.
Wanting to help people, we should want to plan the future, plan the future of our neighborhoods. And that plan should respect the sensitivities of all people. It should never say to others that we reject them or that we are "anti" others. It should not offend any visitors who would come from the Far East, Near East, Africa, Europe or anywhere.

In America you have people moving into neighborhoods of their choices, and in an Islamic community or neighborhoods we should make others feel comfortable and welcomed. We can't keep a particular religion out of the Muslim neighborhood planning. If non-Muslims want to live in our planned community, we shouldn't keep them out; we should want people of faith as our neighbors.

Q: What responsibilities and strengths do we find on the man and the woman for
the building of the family life?


IWDM: The strength is having a religious foundation in our lives. As for individual strength, what man looks for in women is devotion to marriage and desire to be responsible wives and mothers.
A man looks to find in a female companion a sign of early training, teaching, education for family life. If females did not get that start from their parents, it is not likely they will have what family oriented males look for.
The institution of marriage is so important. It serves not only the married couple but it also conditions the couple to prepare their children to look forward to marriage with a mind, spirit, and appreciation for it, and to make it work and contribute to guarantees of a better public domain.

We find most southern -small town people's lives have not been invaded by the influences and ideas that tend to undermine the traditional family life values. Their lives have not been bombarded or invaded by negative things that go against the grain of what has been the civil foundation of society for thousands of years.
Seeing the parents together gives the children a picture of the life they will grow up to have to avoid the picture of the life that is not acceptable. A life of moral decency, honesty, truthfulness and working together as lawful and loyal partners increases the strength of the family and contributes to a good public.

If the parties have not been exposed to the negative things in the modern environment, they are going to have the support of their good nature working for them. Religion in their lives is the best support. The "picture most important is the picture of decency, honest work, moral strength and consistent intelligent behavior. A belief that we are accountable to G'd and G'd is aware of everything we are doing is what makes a strong marriage and family.

When parents are conscious of family from a sense of the good nature and not just the church (although the church has been a great influence in African-American families), they are not spoiled by artificial pop culture life. When pop media and commercial institutions promote single parent households, they are promoting artificial and not natural families.


Q: How does Al Islam address the questions of single parent homes of choice?


IWDM: That family concept is unacceptable. It is out of the question. Marriage is Islamic sacred tradition.


Q: What is the Islamic view on artificial insemination practiced by women whose biological clock is running down and they want a baby but not a husband?


IWDM: I see no support in Al-Islam, in the Qur'an or in the life example of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) to support a person who makes the decision to have a baby by artificial insemination. That would be condemned as a perversion and a corruption of the natural relationship of marriage.


Q: What is the Islamic view of genetic manipulations (cloning) to one day produce the super human being?


IWDM: G'd says in the Qur'an: "Do not alter the fair nature created by G'd." If genetic manipulation seeks to alter the natural patterns that G'd has established, it is prohibited. Based upon what G'd has revealed, that would be condemned. Genetic manipulation aimed at cloning would be a thing that Muslims must be against.


Q: Should science pursue genetic intervention for health reasons? They say they can take out a disease in the gene or fix it so that you won't get that disease.


IWDM: If the scientists are seeking cures, that is not genetic manipulation. If they are seeking information to improve what goes wrong and not change nature, that is permissible and we would support that.


Q: What is the Islamic view on abortion?


IWDM: Abortion is not accepted. If G'd says to us, "Do not kill your children because of the fear of poverty and want," what reason could there be to kill children?
In pre-Islamic times men took pride in having sons to work and grow up to join the men also as warriors. Society was seen in the male's worth more than the female's. The men prided themselves so much in having sons that they would be ashamed to be seen with nothing but daughters. The habit was to kill daughters to make sons more in number. They would "bury them alive." (The Qur'an)
That term, "bury them alive," means to bury them while they have life and a future. "Bury them alive" for materialism, production, political clan power.