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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Advice To Sister Clara Muhammad School
Students: Part 1

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: The following is excerpted from an address Imam Muhammad delivered August 16 to the elementary and eight grade graduates of Sister Clara Muhammad School in Chicago.)

With the Name Allah, the Most. Gracious, the Merciful. We thank Him and praise Him for the blessing of Muhammad, the Prophet, the Last Messenger of God, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his descendants and upon his Companions, and the righteous all, Ameen.

I want to briefly address the graduates on three concerns, perhaps four. The first is relations. It is important that we know the sphere of our relations and how far they extend. Our relations begin in the home with our parents, and the immediate family, but those relations extend outward.

Secondly, I will speak briefly on the qualities that are yours as Muslims, and how those qualities will help you to be successful in the world.

Thirdly, we would like to point out the concept of the world to you, so you will understand the difference between Islamic students and the many other students of the world who are not Muslims.
Lastly, I would like to speak to you very briefly on the ability to make distinctions and how important it is to increase that ability as we go from generation to generation.

But first, let me begin with Qur'an, the Holy Book of the Muslims, under the chapter titled. "Luqman". In Section II, in the 12th Verse, it reads: "And surely we bestowed in past times, wisdom on Luq­man: saying 'Show they gratitude to God,'; any who is so grateful does so to the profit of his own soul, but if any is ungrateful, verily God is free of all wants and worthy of all praise."

The 13th Verse reads: "Behold! Luqman said to his son by way of instruction. '0 my son.' Join not in worship any other with God, for false worship is indeed the greatest wrong doing."
The 14th Verse reads: "And we have enjoined on man to be good, to parents in travail upon travail did his mother bear him."

Travail is a word that carries the meaning of great hardship and continuous suffering. It suggests the labor pains of the mother when she is bearing her child. Labor pains come at certain intervals. They come mildly and get stronger and stronger until they are unbear­able. And as the mother gets closer and closer to delivery, the intervals become shorter, and sometimes the mother can hardly remain conscious: some pass out from the pain. So Allah. God, wants you to be mindful of the experience that your mother had to go through in order for you to come into the world, and the continuous burden that is on her, until she can send you away and know that you can make it on your own.

And in two years was the weaning. God says: "Hear the command; be grateful to Me. Show gratitude to Me, and be thankful to God and also to your parents, and know that to Me is the final goal of all things." We all have to return to God. It is the belief of Muslims, that in the end, we all must stand before Allah. We share this belief with the major religions, Christianity, Judaism, and some others.
The 15th Verse reads: "But if they strive to make you join in worship with Me, that for which you have no knowledge, obey them not; that for which you have no knowledge." Knowledge here is speaking very clearly of the knowledge of your religion. If you cannot find knowledge in your religion to support what a parent may suggest to you concerning the worship of God, then you are not to obey them, but remain faithful in your religion to God. Allah, and do not associate or make any partners of any other God with God.

Now if I may, I would like to tell you of my personal experi­ence with a relative, for the pur­pose of showing how attach­ments, especially to relatives, can help mold or shape your life. My brothers and sisters did not enjoy the privilege, pardon me, the blessings, of having our father — the late Honorable Elijah Muhammad—with us in the house. My mother was de­voted to my father. She believed in him with all her heart and soul, and she was good enough at home to make up for his abs­ence.

We never felt that our father did not love us. We never felt that our father had deserted or neglected us in any way; my mother more than did her job.

My father was at times, away, because he feared that if he would show up around our house, he would be arrested. Arrested for what? Arrested for the teachings what you perhaps know as the "Black Muslims", or the "Lost Found Nation of Islam", or the "Temple of Islam's teachings", when we were young.

They would use other ex­cuses; they would charge him with other things. They couldn't bring him to court on that charge, so they would find some other charge and would arrest him if they found him around the house. He even changed his name; he took his wife's name, and called himself "Mr. Evans". He lived in disguise for years. Yet he was propagating, or preaching the religion that he believed in. Our mother told us that he was working for the reli­gion, that he was out serving God and the religion.