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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

The Truth About Al-Islam: An Overlooked Role For Muslims In World Leadership

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this historic public address on September 3, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois at the First National Convention. It was carried into millions of homes by C-Span. We wish that it be recorded in the printed media as well, for it is one that will cultivate the way for Muslims to progress in this country called United States of America as well as on the world scene,)

As-Salaam-Alaikum. That is peace be unto you. We witness that there is but One Lord and Creator, only One God, One Divine, that is the Creator of the Heavens and Earth.

We witness also that Muhammed, the Prophet, is Allah's Last Prophet and Messenger. We believe in Allah and we believe in His Messenger. We strive to obey Allah and we know obedience to the Messenger is obedience to Allah. For Allah has established the Messenger, Prophet Muhammed, and Allah established his life.

Allah says of the Prophet that he is a most excellent model for any who believe in Allah and the Last Day. Upon recorded history and the Qur'an we accept him, believe in him, trust him, and strive always to live the life of the Muslim in this religion of Al-lslam.

We pray the prayers and the peace be upon Muhammed the Prophet and upon his descendants, upon his Companions, and the righteous all. We also pray the peace and the blessings of Allah be on us.

This address today is given mostly with the Muslim community at large in mind, that is the International Muslim Community. We also hope that this address will reach many in that International Muslim Community population on this earth. You have already heard that there are about I billion people or one out of five persons on this earth identified in the world's Muslim population.

We are addressing the need for us to recognize an overlooked role for Muslims in world leadership. There are many ways to see the most important concerns for Muslims. I have heard different qualified speakers speak on our most important concerns, and I have enjoyed and appreciated what they have to offer. However, sometimes it is the thing that seems to be not so important that is the most important.

When our Prophet Muhammed preached the religion and lived the religion, he worked hard for growth in individuals. He had a number of companions and associates most of whom were his companions and associates before he became prophet. They were either associated with him as friends as with Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be please with him, or they were relatives like the great Ali Ibn Khataab, may Allah be pleased with him. This supports the position that the Prophet had an interest in people as persons and as individuals.

He was seen building up women, building up men, and building up children. He would talk with the youngsters. He had an interest in building up the individual. But ordinarily we do not look at him in that way. It is not the habit of us to see the Prophet in that light or that role. Our habit is to see him as leader of the multitudes, which he was and is.

He is still leader of the multitudes today. "How can that be?" In as much as we obey and follow him, he is the leader where we are leaders. He is leader today present in our obedience to him and in our love for him. That makes him still the leader, and he is the leader forever until Judgment. We think of Prophet Muhammed as the leader of the multitudes and of his main work being the work of trying to build a nation or the community, the ummah (the international community).

But if you will study the Qur'an, you will see that the Qur'an does not show an effort or a plan to build a political community. The effort and plan in the Qur'an is to build people individually.

The ummah is mentioned later, and when it is mentioned it is in connection with people who first must be built up themselves. If you build up the people, then you will have a community. Allah says, "You are the best community." The individuals who had received attention had been motivated, had been made aware of the individual's role for both private and public life.

You (the Muslims) have been brought out to be a community. How were the Muslims brought out? Was there a call, "Community of Muslims come alive"? "Community that Allah wants come alive, come into existence"? That is not the way it was done.

The appeal was made to individual concerns, the individual's problems, the individual's interest, and most of all to the individual's nature. The address was made to awaken the individual and to get the individual turned on to regardful and productive life. Once the individual is turned on in the way that Allah wants us to be turned on, then everything else follows of natural consequence.

So what are we overlooking in the world? With the passing centuries, we have become too much excited about competing with others. We know we have to be aware of inter-religious (between societies) competition and opposition. We have to be prepared for opposition and competition, but that is not what the Muslim's life is all about. The Muslim life is about establishing the person that Allah wants standing, walking, and achieving on this earth. That is what the religion is about, establishing persons in the role given by their Creator (Allah).

We begin with one. Allah created Adam, one person, one map. And from that one person, He made mates-male and female-and from the two of them, He made all of us. So how did the community of the world start? It started with an interest in one person, and that interest in one person was Allah's interest. It started with Allah's interest in one soul and from one soul comes the whole humanity, the millions and billions now populating the earth. The focus was on one.

Allah says in the Holy Book, the Qur'an, "Your life and resurrection is like that of one soul." That is saying to us that if you want to resurrect a whole people, then concentrate on the individual {the human soul). Because a group is divided individually but united upon one essential type. They are single and different bodies in a group. But if you address the units (individual interest) you will reach the community or the whole group. If you can excite the unit (essential type), then you can excite the many.

Although they are distinguished one from another by their names, by their levels of ability, by their sex, by color, or race, there still is the essential type that represents "self* for all of them. There is an essential type we call the essential human type which Allah wants. If you address that type that Allah wants, you will be addressing all of them individually and equally.

You will not be favoring any of them or overlooking any of them. You will be treating them all as equals if you address the essential human person or the essential human type that Allah wants in all of us. This is the type, the soul, and the nature that Allah created in all of us. He made all of us from "one soul".

In the Declaration of Independence the herald of our United States and the United States Constitution, we find an identity for man-not all men, for American man, for the citizens of America, we find an identity. And that identity, although expressed in masculine gender, is for females also. "We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." There the Declaration of Independence recognizes a sameness for all people and for all individuals.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator." This most important document is recognizing a Creator, "...are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights." That is with certain rights that should not be violated and cannot be denied as their rights. It goes on to say, "Among these are life..."

The Constitution of the United States does not base itself upon the identity of a race. It does not base itself upon the identity of a nationality. It bases itself upon the common and universal type, the person that all of us are.

I have read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It is not supported by any racial identity and does not give any racial classification for the man (the persons or the citizens) that it is written for. It is not written for a particular racial man or any particular nationalistic man. It is written for the universal man. It is based upon the life needs and aspirations of the universal man, the common type, the person that is in every one of us the same with no differences.

That is the man (the first man or self) that Allah created. That is the man that Allah wants in all of us men. And Sister, if understood, that is the same person Allah created in you and wants in you.

It so happens that in time man gets off the natural track. Although Allah created him on that natural track. He then loses his original behavioral nature and loses his original form of life. Allah has to re-establish him. He will repent under burden. He cries out for help, and Allah answers him every time he turns to Him. Allah answers him and establishes him again.

So what is that precious role for us that we should be aware of? It is to guard, to work for, to support, and to promote the establishment of the human person, Now what do we mean by "establishment of the human person?" By "establishment" I am referring to the evolved human person.

When we look at something as simple as the .wheat plant that we make bread from, we see it as a plant with roots, with a stem, with a head. But how is it identified? It is not identified for its root. It is not identified for its stem or the blade. It is identified for its product- The root comes and the blade shoots up and grows up, and after awhile the last thing to be seen is its product. It is the wheat seed.

Now all plants are not identified for their seeds. An apple tree is identified for its fruit with the seeds inside. But a wheat plant is identified for its seeds. It is because man appreciates a thing for its worth, and Allah gave man the capacity and power to give names to things. We know that in the story of Adam.

Allah created Adam (our father) and empowered Adam to give names to things. Man gives names to things according to the worth of those things to him. Therefore the apple being desired for the whole apple and not for its Reed and core, the tree was named "apple tree." We think of the apple and not of the seed when recalling that fruit and also its tree.

Man valued the seed of the wheat plant more than he did the other parts making up the foundation or roots and other parts. Even its grass looks pretty, but man did not name it for the grass. He named it for the product, the seed. The wheat seeds are taken and made into bread. We value that plant for its wheat seed, for the bread that we make from those seeds.

Study the things that man has made. Sometimes things go off course, and that is why we are talking on this subject. Sometimes it looks like something went off and man did not follow the same logic. Just like now we are called "black people." Something has gone off. Are we valued for the color of our skin? If that is so, then we are cheaply valued. If that is the worth that people see in us, we have a cheap value on us.

You may ask, "What about other people? What about the Chinese?" When you say, "Chinese," right away you think about a people in culture and a people in history. But when you say black, you think about a people in racial confrontation. You think about the burden on those people.

When you say, "Chinese," you think about the achievements of those people. "I know they make china and discovered gun powder. They were great warriors. They have egg foo yong and fried rice." You start thinking of what they are known for and what they do and the positive things and their worth.

But as soon as we say, 'black,   racial vibrations go all through the audience. Something has gone wrong.

To be continued.