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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

The Value of Family in "Islam": Part 4

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


Nashville, Tennessee; May 26, 1991

Natural Evolution Block by Man's Construction

When we come into the "enlightened" world of man and man learns psychology and invents a new environment, original nature is shut out. The walls of man's constructions shut out the lights and the pure voices of nature. In a situation like that, we don't have something to provide a security for us to keep us in touch with the best of our human nature. For nature wants to achieve (evolve) and we have to have something as a set discipline of keep us going in the achievement line and direction of nature. If we don't have it and once greed-motivated man closes us in with his commercial environment, we will become lost and shut off from the natural direction that Allah intends for human life.

Our society is not quite in that bad shape, but too many of us already are living just for ourselves individually and have no family sense. We go out to earn money and spend wastefully on ourselves, on a new car or new wardrobe or on some entertainment. We tend to think that is all okay in the world today. I have heard it said, "That is just normal now." Some of our women are saying, "I don't need him to survive. I'm educated and can make my own living. I can buy me some pleasure." This is the way the world has been going.

We also lose the appreciation for work. The family is evolved naturally to appreciate work. And I would like to say here a few things about work itself. Work is not supposed to be a bad word; it is supposed to be a good word. Work is not supposed to be a word that lets down our spirit. Work is supposed to lift our spirit. In natural life play is work in the womb of social development, trying to be born. When you see a child playing, that is work in the womb and wants to be born. When he gets to be twenty-one, thirty-five or forty and is out there behaving like he did when he was in the womb unproductive at play, something is wrong.

Now if he starts finding joy and production from play-promoted skills, then he is working. He will be doing something and constructing something.


Family: Cornerstone of Society

Everything promising starts right with the family, "The family is the cornerstone of society," as noted by Imam Shua'ibe of Los Angeles. We know what the individual symbolizes; the individual is a symbol of not just one man but the social man. That is the cornerstone of society. We believe that if we work for the good establishment of your family, you are going to get great benefits in every direction. We are also going ID be politically alert and politically aware. We will not be happy with just anyone becoming the precinct captain in the area. We will not be happy with just anybody becoming the congressman or the mayor or the councilman or the president of the school board or the principal.

If we have that family concern at heart, we are going to be a factor for insisting upon good life and excellent performance everywhere that touches upon our family. We are not going to be non-productive materially and financially. If we really have that family concern at heart, we are going to be a people with a "work ethic," who appreciate work and value work. Family value is a value that every other value can be set upon and concern for family will hold it up.

If we are a religious family, then we are going to look out for the good of religion. We are not going to be satisfied with religion losing its traditional and true vision or losing its direction or losing its virtues. We have seen many religious groups lose their virtues just in the last twenty years or more. They have started putting importance on politics and making money. They are desperate because of the confusion of immoral culture and the mix up and the mess up of city life in our neighborhoods.

Peace be upon Muhammed, the Prophet who established the Muslim family about fourteen hundred years ago. He said, 'To marry is my tradition." He said, "Whoever is against marriage is not of us." That means that anyone who starts promoting celibacy in our community is to be cast out of our community and not to be regarded anymore as a Muslim. Prophet Muhammed also said, "To marry is half of faith, half of the religion."

When we accept marriage, we accept a social institution. Marriage is supposed to be a social institution. Everybody should like you now. For if you are true to your family obligations, you are going to help the economy. You are going to be a great help to the moral life of that bigger family that you are in, whether it is your ethnic group or neighborhood or city. You will be an establishment and a contribution.