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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Productive Ideas For Us In Religion: Part 6

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial note: The following is Part VI of Imam W. Deen Muhammad's lecture as given at the McCormick Place public address in Chicago, III, on Sunday, September 4f 1988 — a serious and studious presentation.)

Jihad does not miss any evil. It starts with the major ones and goes all the way down to the least. And when there is no evil, and that meaning we are coming to now, I am still supposed to conduct jihad. Because it is a straggle. So if I do a kind thing in the privacy of my own room, or a good thing, and if it is difficult for me, than that is jihad.

If I am sleepy and just worked eight hours, then drove the car through heavy traffic for four hours — two hours this morning and two hours this evening — and I am tired and worn out. My body is just pulling me down, I just can't lift myself up. So I say, "Oh, Allahu-Akbar. Allah is more important. He is more important than my need for this rest. He is more important than my need for the life in this body." And with the strength that Allah will give me for recognizing that He is more important, I begin to pull up against the gravity of that body.

Then I will pull that old dead body up that is more tired than hell and has me almost crying internal tears, because I have to do it. So I pull myself up and manage to get to the wudu station; I don't care if it is the sink. Allah didn't say that you had to go to the bathroom. I came to the sink first, and I am tired! So give me the sink for wudu. And 1 don't want anyone in the house saying, "What are you doing ablution in the sink for?" My response will be, "Go to hell'." It will be because I am already messed up, and I'm not going to even be nice. "1 am too tired!* And I will keep doing my ablution and putting my foot in that sink. For Allah is more important.

Now, brother, please, please, please do not go back home and put your stinky feet in that sink out of "selfish self-interest." Don't do that! You will be thinking of the sister and saying, "She is always fussing! The Imam said it, and I'll do it!" That will be Brother Bismi-raabik Al-hamdu-littah. Sometimes he will even start out with "My name is 'As-Saalam-Alaikum Bismi-raabik Al-hamdu-lillah Raabil Al-Amin.!" And just like his name is put together, that is how his mind is put together! He will go right home and put his foot up in the sink and be looking for the sister to say something — he will hold it there, although he is through washing it. That will be that selfish self-interest.

Allah wants us to have self-interest, but not the selfish self-interest where we act only in the interest of self and blind to the interest of others and abusing the interest of others. That is where rights and responsibilities come in as Judge Harris so beautifully said to us last night.

So jihad is struggle. And the Arabs have a beautiful saying, as kind of a gem of wisdom, 4 'If you want to succeed, then struggle!" So we need the principle of jihad, the operation of jihad in our life, whether there is an enemy confronting us or not. The enemy is the temptation to be lazy, to be idle, to be inactive. So we need a spirit to meet challenges every day.

And what did Allah say in this great Revelation? "When you have completed or finished one task, then immediately accept another task." It is because this struggle, this interaction of the muscles of man is what keeps the man living and progressing. It keeps him strong and fit for the things he has to do. Then that sister will even appreciate you more, if you stay busy at the right things. And that brother, will appreciate you more too, sister, if you stay busy at the right things.

Allah has made wonderful creatures of us, male and female — honorable pairs to be respected, "Karriem." We are to respect each other and value each other. And no matter how much the other shames himself or herself by wrong behavior, we will still treat them as God's creatures. We will turn to them out of pity for the abuse that they are inflicting upon themselves, and we call them as our sister and brother in the religion away from self abuse, away from harming themselves or from harming others. This is the Muslim way.

This is a beautiful religion and a powerful religion. This is a religion for giants. This is a religion for strong men and strong women. This is a religion for healthy minded people and sincere people, for strong and pure thinkers. This is a religion for people ready to accept responsibility for their own selves, for their families, for their neighborhood, for the house for the lawn and for the garden. Ft is a religion that covers everything. It covers the city, the state, and the world! We are not to hear what is going on in the world that is hurting and burdening the world and we not register the hurt. We are to register that hurt, and if we can do something about it in our small situation, we should make our small contribution to the improvement of the whole world for man.

We should answer the cry out of South Africa. Allah has inspired His Prophet to tell us that if you cannot act against the wrong with the hand, then act against it with the mouth. If you can't act against it with your mouth, at least act against it with your heart. Your heart should be turned against it, and you should be at war with it in your heart, if you can't with your mouth. But the Prophet also said, "The weakest form of faith or jihad is that battle with evil just from the fortification of the heart. So, we should speak out against wrong and hope for an opportunity to even do something physically to make some material contribution to the weakening or to the end of that evil that is being done on this earth. So we are to work against evil.

But as the speaker again said last night, "charity starts at home and spreads abroad." Don't you go looking for a battle front a thousand miles away, and the roaches have taken over the house, liquor is in the medicine cabinet and no one has a prescription. There is also another hadith of a certain man that was seen approaching. He was holding up his hands crying out, "Oh Allah, why am I not helped? Oh Allah." So the Prophet said to such and such man that this man crying out, his clothing is haram, not permissible for Muslims. His behavior is haram, not permissible for Muslims. He has been all loaded down with the things that are haram, that are not permissible for Muslims." And the Prophet (PBUH) continues, "Then how does he expect Allah to answer him?"

In fact most of the people who are trying to make Allah suspect are those who are not fit for anything anyway. I don't catch people who are trying to do something to manage their lives in a good way always questioning Allah and questioning the perfect concept of God. No! They don't suggest that Allah is weak or that He can't give help. What they are meaning to say is, "Maybe there isn't any God." They will try to pass on the thought to you that, "I've been suffering all of my life, and nobody has helped me."

I think I can sum this up in this way. We have mentioned in this talk the value of trust. Now the condition for promoting trust in society is the right respect for the self-interest of every member in society. That is the condition for promoting trust. You will say, "How can we have a society where we really trust one another? How can we have a society where the people out of office will trust the people in office? How can we trust the people that we elect?" We are encouraged in this country to not believe the people that we elect. They may choose one for us to put in office, but as soon as he is in office they begin to gear the public up to suspect him.

This society of ours seems to thrive upon and to promote suspicion. Not trust! But we know that the true nature of our American democracy is "trust." This democracy is based upon the society being allowed to build bonds of trust between every unit in the society. My friend and I should be able to trust each other. My wife and I should be able to trust each other. My neighbor and I should be able to trust each other. The policeman and I should be able to trust each other. So this is in a true democracy. And 1 could go on and on, but you can carry it on also. You see where it is going. It is going to every unit in society. There should be trust between them all. This is the condition for greatest, maximum or optimum prosperity.

If we want to have the most prosperous society or to reach that ideal degree in excellence, then we have to promote trust between every unit of society. But there are the money makers and the commercial world that will break up all relationships. And they will even put it on God and make you think God is going to destroy all relationships. They go around saying, "Oh, when God comes He is going to do Judgment. He is not going to care nothing about moma, nothing about baby; family is going to be turned against family and child against its parents. The brother will be against the sister. The family is going to be all broken up and there will be war against each other."

That is not the teaching of our Holy Book and that is not the spirit of the Holy Bible. That is in there, but that is not its spirit. That is inconsistent with the spiritual run of the Bible. If some feen or monster like that comes up, I will say, "Are you God? Well hell, you are going to have to prove it, because I am going to try to get something and knock your butt off the planet," I will never accept a god like that. A god that will care nothing about family relationships and will tell the soldier to have no mercy on the fruit of the womb, to take the knife and split the belly of the woman and to drop her seed or unborn child upon the ground. That that soldier is to have no fear and to have no regrets. This is what I've read in the Bible. I read the Bible, and I say that that is not consistent with the pure spirit of that Bible.

There are many parts of the Bible that you Christians can't stomach. You can go on and stay Christian if you want to, but please think like me. You don't have to make the choice that I have made, for my choice is Al-Islam. You don't have to make the same choice, but it sure would help society if a lot of you Christians would think like me. When I say me, I don't mean just this person. I know there are a lot of people who think j ust like I do who are Muslim and non-Muslims. There was the Christian preacher that was campaigning for the presidency that ended so quick. He got off to such a good start, and it looked like he was really going to do something. But over the months the people had time to think and begin to say, "Oh, 1 don't know what kind of Christian he is. If he buys all of this Book, then we are in trouble."

If a President of these United States comes into that position and buys everything in the Bible, then we should try to get rid of him as quick as possible. Now I stand on what I say. And I consider myself a good man, a tolerant man, a reasonable man, a man that likes to embrace all people who believe in God. I value highly all of their Scriptures — the Bible, the Torah, the Gospel, I value all of them and also the Buddhist Scripture, I have great respect for all of them.

So I conclude this with the note on the relationship or the tie or linkage for trust and the right self interest. If we will advocate the right of every person to pursue its own good interest, the condition then will be brought about for us that advocated that and accepted that for the growth of trust for every unit in our society.

If we accept that and practice that, then the people won't be suspicious of the Imam, and the Imam won't be suspicious of the people. Then it will be because we have a common bond that will put us all on an equal footing. We will all value self interest and will all feel entitled to it and will all feel that all among us have the right to it as in equal title to it. So no one will be afraid of another one, We are going to grow. That is the idea of this democracy as it was given by its Founding Fathers. And that is also the idea of the best Scriptures that man have on this earth. Thank you very much. As-Salaam-Alaikum