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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Bilalian News

On Moral Conduct

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate.


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad's masjid lecture in Miami, Fla., Oct. 20, 1979.)

Sisters should be left alone to rear their children as long as they are not going against the Quran. As long as the sister is following the teachings of Al-Islam, we should help her only with what she doesn't know, if she will accept it from us.

No father should take over the rearing of the little children from his wife. Once you do that, you hurt your relationship with your wife and you also hurt the development of your children.

Let the sister raise the children. If you have to discuss things with her or contribute to her own knowledge and child rearing knowledge, then do it when you know the child can't hear what you are discussing. Don't ever advise a sister and correct a sister in front of your children.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said that Paradise lies at the feet of the mothers, and he taught the Muslims to leave child rearing to the mothers and the womenfolk.
I interfered with my own wife's raising of the children, but the older I got, the less I interfered. She's doing a much better job now that I'm not interfering. Believe me, interfering makes it worse.

What you think is hurting a child, is not hurting the child: the sister knows better. Allah has made her, she's sensitive to the child and to the needs of the child; she knows better. Don't think all the time that what you want is best; Allah has given her mother-nature and mother-knowledge without books.
We don't know what way Allah is directing the house. Leave the sister alone, she knows what she's doing. If she doesn't know what she's doing, that means you didn't know what you were doing. So just suffer your own big mistake.

In Chicago we have mostly sisters teaching the elementary school because the children need the mother image before them when they are young like that. So we keep the woman image in the classroom. They need that until they get older. Once they get to be 16, 17 or 18 it's different, but as long as they are youngsters and early teens, they need the sisters before them.

Brothers, we just support the sister. Not that we don't teach; we teach, but the sisters dominate the faculty. And we have a sister over the school, and we, the brothers, just help the sister. We make our contribution within their role, we don't take the role away from them.

What is the method to remove all racial effects from the worship of God? The method is simply to let the word that we have given reach the conscience of the people That's the method.

We've asked the question..."What do you think would happen to the mind of Caucasian children if they had to go to churches and look at a Bilalian image called God or the Son of God? If they were raised up under that kind of image, how would their minds be affected?

Then we ask about the little Bilalian boy who sits under that for generations; what do you think happens to his mind? The question is enough. Just carry the signs and let the people read the question and let the questions hit the conscience.

We should do it in a polite way. We should do it in a civilized, respectful way. Don't block the church traffic so the people coming to church have to walk around you. Stand out of their traffic, let them see your signs. Don't get in their way. Don't block the church.

If the preacher says, "We don't want you on the steps in front of the property," then leave. That's the way we do it. All we want is for the message to hit their conscience. We are not to go and disrupt their meetings. We're not to cause disturbances. We are not to block their traffic. We are not to force our presence on them.

Get out of the habit of thinking that a democratic order means a bunch of warring factions within a community. We don't want warring factions in the community — a committee against another committee; a committee against the Imam; a committee against the Public Relations Department.
You're not supposed to be against anything that's in your community; you're supposed to be for the Imam, you're supposed to be for the Dawah, you're supposed to be for everything in your community.

You're supposed to be helping the leadership to serve the best interest of that community. If you're not satisfied with your leadership, that should show up when we take the vote of approval. When the vote of confidence is given then we will know. If that's the wrong Imam those hands should go up — "No. We want a new Imam."

As long as you trust your Imam, you should respect his leadership and you should let the Imam have the last say in the matter. Wherever the problem is, this is the way it should be handled.

The people should let their will and intentions be known. If you're not sure what's acceptable or what should be, let the Imam make his comments. When he comments, be inclined to look for wisdom and for guidance and understanding in his comments instead of looking for flaws and defects.

You see only what you're looking for. If you're looking for nothing but flaws, you won't see any of the good. I'll give you a practical example: haven't you seen people looking for their keys, while they had their mind on something else? The keys were right under their nose and they couldn't see them. Why? Because their mind was on something else. They were looking for their keys, but their mind's eye was on something else so they couldn't even see the keys right under their nose.

That's how it is with criticizers, people who tear down and don't build up anything. They are looking for faults and they can't see all of the good right before their eyes. They can't see it because in their minds, they're not looking for good; they are looking only for bad.