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Historic Atlanta Address: Part 3

Imam W. D. Muhammad


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


All praise is due to Almighty God, the guardian evolver and sustainer of all the worlds. The blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to us all.

O  Allah, guide us, forgive us our faults, and grant us the blessing of faith. I bear witness there is no deity except Allah and I bear witness Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. Peace be upon him, his descendants, his companions, the righteous servants, all of them, and upon us in America and throughout the world.

Dear beloved people, I want to go now to business. I want to give you an idea. I wish I had more scholarly knowledge to explain things to you, but I don't. But Allah has blessed me with enough knowledge to make myself understood by those who claim knowledge, so if you're here and you claim knowledge, I know you understand me — get busy!

They come around faking, pretending they got knowledge — with big badges on, sheepskin, camel skin, everything. You listen and listen and listen, and never do anything.

1 would like for us to have a capitalistic business community that follows the principles of Islamic socialism. What better economic order could we have than a capitalistic order following Islamic socialism? What do we mean by that—? A business society working hard for profit. We want money, we want material wealth, we want material power, but we want it to enrich the whole society and not to enrich any single person.

I don't care if he's got Jesus Christ's blood running in his veins, no man, no woman or child should be treated any differently. Don't treat my child any differently than you treat your child. I have five children. I'll hate you if I catch you favoring them, because you'll be doing wrong by the other members of our community and you'll be corrupting my child. I don't want any man or woman corrupting my children.

I believe in that. I believe in it with all my heart. I believe in it as a God-fearing man and it makes my heart bleed when I see someone poisoning the minds of my little children.

Don't make no capitalists out of my children, the community is a capitalist. The individual is a socialist.

Is there a better way to lift ourselves up? No indeed. We want the profit incentive because that's natural for the human being. The Muslim works to please God, but the Muslim knows that if he is to please God, he's got to get his material share of the material world.

God doesn't care much for us if we become holy saints, spirits floating in paradise and the world has gone to pot. God loves us when He sees the world growing with us. The houses looking beautiful with us, the lawns and the streets looking beautiful with us, the dress of the men aril the women are beautiful with us, the bank account is beautiful with us. Then Allah loves us.

But when I walk with all my piety to the welfare office and ask for another welfare check, Allah sees me and says there goes a soft man who has taken himself out of the contest. Get back in the contest!

We don't need everybody. We can't afford hangers on, free riders, lazy people destroyed by charity and welfare. We don't need you, you need us. If you don't shape up, we're going to ship you out.

We're going to make it and we can't make it by playing, compromising, we have to be serious. We have to make things work.

Long before you accepted me, I had made up my mind to fight the whole world with me and my son. At that time, I had one son and I told him, "Boy, when you get big enough, you're going to be a man, and like Abraham and his son Ishmael raised God's house, we are going to build a real masjid, a real mosque. If nobody else will help us, we have to do it with our own hands by ourselves."

That's what I told my young son and I kept it in his head, alive in his mind, and if this hadn't come about, my son and I would have, with the help of God, built the first nasjid. A real masjid in Chicago.

I don't need your great numbers. Al-hamdulillah, Allah has one. Everybody can walk out. Leave the place, say we're sorry we can't go along with you. Do you know what I would do? Make Salat, my prayer, and say, "Al-hamdu-lillah — all praise is due to God who has taken this burden off of me. I'd walk away from here in high spirits, knowing that Allah has removed a burden to give me better. Yes! To give me better.

The enemies during the days of Prophet Muhammad (peace and the blessings be upon him) would use a trick. They pretended to be strong supporters. They would come into the ranks, enlarge the ranks and show themselves as the strongest supporters.

As soon as everybody believed that they were the stars in the congregation, they would slip out and leave the community without their support to tear down the faith and the hearts of the Believers. But God showed the trick to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and he warned the Believers. That stopped that trick.

This Book is an eternal Book. As long as we're on this Earth, this Book guides us. There' s still the same old dog, the same old hypocrite who comes in to show himself to be the strongest in the faith until you begin to admire him and recognize him as the strength in the community, then he stops coming to kill your faith, to break your spirit.

There's a certain one who has been missing in Chicago for months, thinking that his absence is going to close the masjid. No! Allah has got a surprise for the disbelievers. They plot, but God rides above their plots and He is the best to plot.

No one should look to become wealthy in this community. If you want to be wealthy as an individual, you don't belong here. If you want to get wealth, and you can make a billion or fifty billion, good. But make it so that it raises the level of the whole community. If that's not your desire, you're not one of us.

"Well, Chief, you're rich." A brother told me that last week. "Chief, Allah blessed you, you're rich." I didn't even reply. He was too inferior for me to even reply to him. Let the fool think and go on with his sickness.

I would like to introduce an employment policy and I want it to be accepted. We're on the way to bigger and better things. We should never employ in one operation, more than one member from a family.

We want our homes to have breadwinners in them. We want people in every home earning income. Is it justice for us to employ two men, or a man and a wife, or a man and a daughter, or a man and his son into one business operation when there are many families with no man and no woman working? It's not justice.

In Chicago, my son-in-law was hired in the bakery. When I knew anything, his wife, my daughter, had been hired part-time. I told them, "No." One of them has to quit or be fired. There are many other families who need the work. It would be different if nobody else could do the job, but somebody else can do the job.

I know that this is hard. It's hard for me. Do you think it's easy for me? What is the test if there is no suffering? It hurt my heart, when I had to tell my daughter that she couldn't work at the bakery.

I didn't ask somebody else to tell her. I went to her myself and told her and I told her to tell her employer, that "you cannot work at that bakery unless your husband leaves the bakery."

"Oh," she raved. She was terribly hurt and upset. I had to stand there looking at my daughter thinking I didn't like her, thinking I was trying to hurt her because she doesn't attend the masjid regularly. I don't care, she could attend it every day, stay there day and night, that doesn't change the justice.

I learned that another member of the family was being hired and there was already a member there; this was a person also in my family — not my immediate family, but in the family. I told them, "No. It can't be."

"Oh," she raved too. "You're out to get me. I can never do anything, they're out to get me." That's too bad.

We have to do things and be successful.

Now, I understand that in this little time, another member of the family — not my immediate family, but in the family — said, "Well, can I keep this job — my daughter and I in this business until two months when the job opens at such and such location?"

They're waiting for an answer. What do you think my answer is going to be? My answer is going to be, "Follow me. If you love justice, if you want to help all of our people, follow me." That's right.

Some member of the family came to me and said, "I need a new car." I said, "Sure." And that's all I said. Lots of us need cars, "period."

This is the way we'll be successful. If we get the community and the area employed and there's enough room now without hurting a family to employ two members, we will select a family that needs the extra income and allow two family members to come in, but first, get the thing equally distributed.

Now, dear Muslims, here is another problem for us. You know that there are different schools of thought and there are different sects. Shiah and different other sects, and each sect wants to enlarge their ranks. The Shiahs want more Shiahs, the Ahmahdayyas want more Ahmahdayyas — the Wahabiahs, I think they are satisfied now; they have gardens under which rivers flow — the wrong kind of rivers, though.

We are in an advantageous position. Allah has favored us. We have come from nowhere and we've been put on the map of Al-Islam by the grace of God. Are we going to waste this by becoming Shiah or something else? No!

All of the Imams, especially the Council of Imams, pledge with your life that you will never become a sect within Al-Islam; that you will never follow a particular school in Al-Islam; that any Muslim, whether he comes from (name the different schools) Hambali, Shafii school, Maliki — whatever school he comes from, he will have a home and a welcome place wherever you are. And that's whether he's Shiah or something else, as long as he says, "La-illaha illallah. Muhammadan-Rasool-ullah," and he believes in this Quran, that's all to-it.

The moment he says, "Walk with me down the Shiah road," say, "Sorry, Brother, I have to go the straight road. The road walked by Prophet Muhammad without the Shiahism." Yes! The moment he says "Oh, let's take the Ahmadayyah road," say, "Here is where we part."

Now I know some of you Imams, even before I came, were already believing in some sect. Don't think I don't know you. God has shown you up. I know some of you have your own sect that you follow.

Accept God and Prophet Muhammad, you don't need anyone else. Allah says if there is a matter, refer it to God and His apostle, and he said obey those who are in authority over you. He didn't say refer it to God and His apostle and also to the priesthood of the Aulama or the priesthood hood of the Saviors of humanity. No! There's no priesthood in Al-Islam. The Aulamas are not a priesthood.

Let us pledge to keep a neutral position regarding sects and schools of thought. Let us also pledge to keep a neutral position regarding Arab nationalism. We don't want to favor any Arab nation, not even Saudi Arabia. If there is a political conflict and the Saudi Arabians are against another Muslim body, we don't take either side. We let the guidance of God decide who we should support morally. That's the way we remain safe and we make progress.

Even though this nation be a non-Muslim nation, we might even call it a Kafir nation. The only national flag you have is the flag of the United States. The only citizenship you should have in a political government, is the citizenship of the United States unless you have applied for one and got it elsewhere.

This is the way to make progress and be successful. We have to be citizens of the United States of America and if there is an issue between the United States of America and even a Muslim country, we don't rise up and say, "That's a Muslim country, I'm on their side." We rise up and say, "I'm an American citizen, and if America is wrong, I'm going to work within the government and within the civil laws and put pressure on my wrong government. But I'm not going to jump out of my government into some other government." This is the way to make progress and be successful.

Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful — no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.

O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.

Peace be to you
Your brother in service to Allah,
Wallace Deen Muhammad
(To be continued)