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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

What Are The Conditions (Bases) For Muslim Unity?: Part 3

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed's lecture on "What are the conditions (bases) for Muslim Unity?" which was delivered in a public address in Chicago on September 3, 19S9, has been running on page 15. This is Part III and brings the lecture to the point where the #1 condition for Muslim Unity is given. It deserves headline attention.)

"Let there rise up a group of you." Qur'an. That is addressed to all the people, to the worldwide community of Muslims. A special group is called for out of the general mass of Muslims to be the best example for the rest. But don't be mistaken, Allah is asking that of all of us, that we cooperate by promoting and encouraging and supporting what is the best standards in the life and history of man as a civilized society. That we work against all that threatens to make that life void, empty, and of no effect. That is our duty.

So do not think that the Muslims are a passive people. We are meek and humble and non-aggressive. But before the challenges of the world we are active. We are to be active and assertive people. We are to be involved in checking the wrongs of society. We are to be involved in checking corruption. And we should start right with our own selves.

The first thing to do is look at self. Once you can tolerate yourself, then look at those in your immediate circumstances, even if it is your dog. If you have been letting the dog wet in the living room, then get it out of the house. Muslims are not supposed to have dogs in the house. This is of the teachings and traditions of our Prophet. It is okay for the dog to be in the yard to alert you. It is okay for the dog to be on the farm. But to make him a member of the family is not okay. To do th. to change the Muslim identity.

The basis for us uniting is given so briefly and clearly. "La ilaha illallah, Muham-medan rasullaltah." "No divine except Allah; Muhammed is Allah's Messenger." Muslims come together on that. We say that there is but One Allah, that Allah is God Alone, and that Muhammed, is His Messenger, and that is the basis for our unity. Once you have said that and after having said it, if we find that you are saying "La ilaha illallah," but you have a corrupt idea of what you, are saying, now we have to bring the matter to your attention.

If you are- saying, "Yes there is no God but Allah, brother. But Allah had a son,'' then we are to bring it to your attention that you-have thrown yourself out of the identity of Muslims by corrupting the concept of Allah (God).

Brother, if you have done this unintentionally, then let us bring you back to read the Qur'an. Let us see your fault. Let us hear what the Prophet says. Let us see what is with the learned and best of the Muslims in the whole international world. After all of our sincere efforts and you still cannot accept that you are wrong, although you say "la ilaha illallah," I will say bull! You are not accepted as a Muslim.

If you do not have the right knowledge, it is our duty to try and bring you the right knowledge. Once you get it and you still insist upon having that wrong meaning, then we should and have to reject you.

Some of us want unity without conditions. "Brother, we need to unite!" Yes, we know that. But your base for unity may be too weak (too short) for us. We want a strong base for unity, and Allah has provided us the strongest base for unity. That we worship none but Allah (One God) and do not corrupt the idea. That we follow His Prophet. That we obey Allah and obey His Prophet.

1 am not to sit off on the seventh hill in Washington Park and wait for a revelation to come down from the tree to me. To obey Allah and His Messenger, I am supposed to go to the Qur'an and to the life of the Prophet, That is where I go to find and see the light, how Muslims were guided, how the Prophet lived it, and how his followers in turn guided others. It is as simple as that.

The basis for Muslim unity is proper recognition of Allah and His Messenger. It is proper regard for the Lord and Creator and proper respect and regard for His Prophet. That is the condition, but again I must stress an understanding of what that involves. We have to understand the concept and the meaning of the term Allah for Muslims, We have to understand the meaning and the concept of the expression, "Prophet Muhammed as the last Prophet" as it is to be understood by Muslims. We also have to understand that Prophet Muhammed came to demonstrate the life that Allah intends for man in its total picture.

Our unity may be broken because somewhere down the line someone failed to comply with what is imperative, with what is a must, with what cannot be escaped in that short or brief declaration: "La ilaha illallah, Mtthnni-medan rasullallah." It is short and brief, but it involves much. It demands much. It requires much. It points to much. It includes much. It establishes much.

You cannot stay united with Muslims if you do not accept to treat all people fairly. That is a condition also. Allah says, "You are the best community brought out (evolved) for the people." Now if you are going to go against the people, if you are going to he-come an enemy of some race or ethnic group, then we have to bring your attention to the problem you are creating. Once we bring the knowledge from the sources — Qur'an and the life of our Prophet, from the best traditions — und you reject it, then we have to reject you. We reject you because you insist upon hating some people and loving others.

Some want to know what are the bases for our unity? When we hear the call to prayer five times daily — "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar" — what is it saying? That Allah is "Akbar," what is meant? It means "bigger." Bigger than what? Whatever you have on your mind! What else are we saying? We are saying that "God is more important." More important than what? Whatever you have on your mind! "Allahu Akbar!"

If you are going to forget that and start raising some other things up and qualifying some other things to be more important on me as obligations than my recognition of and duty to Allah, then I have to set you straight or part with you. It is because the belief in Allah is what saves us from slavery and from corruption.

That belief in Allah saves us from being stupid. It denies would-be-masters "us" as slaves. What man can be a slave to any man or to anything, when that man truly accepts our Concept of Allah ? No man that really accepts our Concept of God can be a slave to any except Allah. That is the end of slavery! Tauhid, proper worship and devotion in obedience to Allah, the One Lord, the Creator, ends all forms of slavery.

Returning to the nature and character of religion: First of all, we are a people of faith. And right faith will bring about the condition for right conduct. Do you want to understand why some people believe so strongly but their lives are still corrupt and bad? To understand that, know that they are believing strongly, but their faith is wrong faith.

You can believe strongly, but that does not mean that you are believing rightly. Once you believe rightly in accordance with Allah, the Creator and Designer of creation, then your behavior begins to reflect that excellence in you of sincere faith. The excellence in the content of faith is reflected in deeds and in actions. We then have beautiful behavior because of right faith. Also, it will not be weak behavior, it will be strong behavior.

We will have courage! Don't you know there is no people more courageous than the true Muslim ? No people can be more courageous than the true Muslim! No people can be more productive in doing good, in fighting enemies than the true Muslim. You may ask. "What explains the state of the world?" It is that we have lost the basis for our unity. We have confused and corrupted and played cheap the basis for our unity. Too many are weak and just want to have an association with somebody. Out of weakness we will let them come in and identify with us and be a member with us, and we will know good and well that that person is "full of it" with insincerity, corruption, vulgarity, and all.

You will tell such person, "Just make shahadah, and you are a Muslim now, brother." I have heard this. "Brother, you are a Muslim now." Why do you have to tell him? He should be telling you. He will have reefers in his pocket and cannot wait to get out of the meeting. He wants to hurry and get back with the dope fiends and reefers. Then you will tell him just because he made two rakats of prayer with you that he is a Muslim now.

Present the religion straight. Do not pressure people into declaring themselves Muslims. Invite them and then wait until they respond properly. It is okay if you see a sign that a person wants to declare but needs a little help or encouragement. You may want to say, "Brother, it looks like you are denying yourself what you really want. Sometimes you have to go on and be strong and do what you have to do." It is nice to do that, and we are supposed to strengthen each other.

We are one community of Muslims. Understand that. We are an international community. There is no such thing as a community of the West, like we used to say. We are one community. Allah says. "You are one united community, and I am your Lord." There is One Ruler over us. And obedience from all of us is to that One Ruler. Our worship is our obedience and it is for Allah. That is what we have to understand.

Even though we see more faces to be African-American, whether it is a meeting of African-Americans or mixed, we are always an international community. The Hajj is the best focus for showing us the beautiful and great international community of Muslims spreading all over this globe. Muslims are in Europe, growing fast in England and in other places as in Asia. As of late the Russian Muslims are allowed to be more free in practicing their religion. We are meeting Muslims of the Soviet Socialist Republic on Hajj. There are Muslims at Hajj coming from Africa, the Philippine Islands, the United States of America, and from all over the world.

We look at the Kaaba and it is a place that is called "home"— "bait." One of its names is "Baitul Ulah"—the First House. When you see the beautiful assemblage of Hajj, the multitudes coming from all corners of the world and from all racial descriptions and national descriptions, you might look and say, "Hey, this really is home." When you belong to a family and love your family, in time members will go out in different directions. You lose family contact. You were a beautiful and loving family and you recall the early days in your soul— "Yes, we were once a beautiful family. "One day there is a family reunion and you get that good feeling and might say, "This is really home!"

Allah tells us in our Holy Book, "You were once one community. But you disbursed and became separated (because of differences and circumstances)." Then when you come back and see your relatives, you say, "Hey, all of these are my relatives." They all have joined together in one place there, and you might say, "Oh Boy, I have that home feeling again."

What makes the home feeling is not the physical walls of the house, it is being with family members and they all come together, those who have been away so long, when you all get back and are happy with each other, that is really a great home feeling!

That is the home feeling that Allah gives us, when we accept the international family. We cannot stay, I repeat, on the basis of our unity if we are going to insist upon writing off some races, some ethnic groups, some nationalities. That cannot be accepted.

Some will say, "The Imam's father taught us to separate from that white man! Now his son has gone to the other extreme. He always wants to remind us that we can't look at the white man as the devil anymore." You are wrong this time, for I did not have that on my mind at all.

I have on my mind the way some of you treat immigrant Muslims. You look for an excuse to write them off. And that is really ugly. We are no better than the other weaklings in our African-American group here in America who aren't strong enough to meet the challenge of living in competitive America, so you may hate every newcomer that comes in and shows you your weakness. Someone comes in and runs the store successfully and does something progressive in the same physical environment that you couldn't progress in, you may hate them simply because they have shown up your bad record. That same weakness may be motivating us to say, "Brother, don't trust those old Arabs!"

We are to be the mirror for our brother! Isn't that what our Prophet said? "Arabs run bad business operations." If that Arab is a Muslim, then try to reach him and remind him of his Muslim life. Go and try to help him. The Prophet said, "If you see your brother doing wrong, then help him," It was asked, "How do we help someone who is doing wrong, Oh Messenger of God?" He said, "Help him by holding him back from wrong." We are supposed to be brothers by each other, and it has nothing to do with the color of our skin.

(To be continued...)