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Historic Atlanta Address: Part 2

Imam W. D. Muhammad


All praise is due to Almighty God, the guardian evolver and sustainer of all the worlds. The blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to us all.

O  Allah, guide us, forgive us our faults, and grant us the blessings of faith. I bear witness there is no deity except Allah and I bear witness Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. Peace be upon him, his descendants, his companions, the righteous servants, all of them, and upon us in America and throughout the world:

Almighty God has put us in this world as a test and where there is no opposition, where there is no resistance, there is no test. God wants a man to be able to take an animal, kill it, drain the blood out and eat the animal. Let the animal become a part of his body and not become an animal.

When we slaughter an animal we say, "Bis-millah," "Bismillah." We cannot take life without God's help. He is the one that has made us able to take life.

When we have slaughtered him we say, "Allah-u-Akbar," God is the Greatest. I have no power to do anything without God. In that spirit, the blood doesn't affect us. We don't become bloodthirsty. We can slaughter chickens all day long and remain as pious as the best monk.

1  don't think there is a heart out there more tender than mine. I don't like to see things killed, but I don't want to get out of the contest. I could drink honey and lemon water and eat yogurt, but I don't want to get out of the contest. While I'm here on this Earth, I want to prove that I have the ability to keep my human image intact while living in this fiery furnace of hell.

Put a man in heaven, what test is there for him? Some of these crazy people, they want us to put them in heaven. No blood, no violence, no curse words, no arguments — perfect peace. Let us have perfect peace? No. Let us have LIFE. Allah-u-Akbar.

The Muslim is one who accepts the challenge. God has given us a powerful medicine. We believe it will work on dope addicts, on prostitutes, on the habitual criminal, the violent man. It'll work on those who vandalize. It'll work on the sickest of people in our community. We don't put on a saint's robe and go up in the hills and meditate. We come down in hell and work.

The Muslim is a soldier. No one is exempt. Our women are soldiers, our boys and girls are soldiers. This Ramadan my little young son, 10-years-old, walked through 30 days of fasting like a grown up. And he was just one youngster among many others throughout this community who did the same thing.

We have to do our part to reconstruct human life in America. Our brothers and sisters are not responsible for their conditions. They have been deceived by the same devil beast that we were deceived by.

With the help of Almighty God, with his blessings, with our educated people joining us, not for dollars but to improve the quality of human life, we are going to produce schools that will be saviors for the poor masses. We are going to give education that reconnects the individual with the knowledge that is reflected in nature itself.

You Imams have to help us raise the level of social economic knowledge in the ghetto, among what we call the grass-roots, the masses. This world has hoarded knowledge.

You're not dumb because you are inferior, you're dumb because this world hoarded the knowledge. They kept you culturally deprived and locked up the knowledge in terms that frighten you, intimidate you, make you think that you're not capable of competing.

They frighten you with terms that make you say, "I can't learn it." But we've got the goods on them. We can put it in terms that won't frighten you and you will say, "I can." I can get a bachelor's degree, I can get a science degree. I can get a master's degree, I can get a Ph.D.

I assure you, if you have the faith and the courage that I have and if you listen to the simple teachings of Al-Islam like I have listened to it concerning human development, the natural process of knowledge, the growth of knowledge, I assure you that the intelligence level of the grassroots will rise.

After a period of 20 years you will be equal to any other people who has represented the educated, the elite class. In time, you will be above them if they keep their foolishness and you keep your sense. I've experienced this, I've seen it myself.

I have seen the common sense message of Al-Islam take people they write off as illiterate or having such low IQs they can't even achieve and turn the rusty wheels of their minds over, and in just a few days they are achieving whereas yesterday they weren't able.

Where do you think the learned men come from that started the world, that built this world? Do you think they went to Harvard or Yale or some other college or university? They went to Mother Universe.

There's more knowledge on one page of the Quran than there is in a hundred universities.

Let's prepare our own textbooks, not starting with mathematics; we don't have as many problems with mathematics as we have with the social sciences. Let's start with the real problem, social studies.

Let's prepare our children's textbooks as a Muslim, obeying the Principles of Al-Islam, following the knowledge of the Quran that's Divine, and I am sure that in time our social science textbooks will be accepted by the public school systems of the United States of America and all over the world.

The same problem is everywhere you go. The masses have been kept ignorant, the knowledge has been hoarded by the fat leaders who have grown thickheaded and ignorant.

If you teach others, they challenge you, but if you hoard knowledge, pretty soon there's no challenge and you grow thickheaded.

I'm ashamed of those thickheaded Imams in Asia and Africa who had to be pushed, threatened, many of them at the point of a gun, to stop hoarding the knowledge and give it to the masses.

"Well, Chief, we shouldn't look to Mecca, should we?" Yes! We should. We're not looking to Arabs, we're looking to God's signs, the Kaabah, the center He established for the unification of all people.

If an Arab walks away from the great wisdom that was given to him, if he leaves his perfect guidance and goes into the Western play-yard and becomes a playboy or a playgirl, should that hurt my faith? No! It makes me feel bigger and stronger because I know that my God is not going to save an Arab simply because he has Arab blood in him.

If the Arab wants to go to the hell, God says, "Good riddance." But I'm not going to hell, I'm going to the Kaabah. I'm not going to the Arabs, I' m going to the Kaabah .I'm not going to Arabism or Arab Nationalism, I'm going to the Kaabah. I'm not going to Shafiism, I'm not going to Sunn-ism, I'm not going to Wahabiah, I'm not going to Maliki or Hambali. I'm not going to Hanafi and I'm not going to Shiah — I'm going to the Kaabah.

If you want to divide yourself somewhere in Moroccan fezes, somewhere in Pakistani geni caps, somewhere in Arab desert dobbs — if you want to divide and mess up yourself, go on brother, I'm staying on the straight path.

Prophet Muhammad, himself, forbid us to even make over his grave. He said, "I hope you will not make over my grave like the Christians have made over the grave of Christ Jesus."

And you've got some Muslims who go and make over not only the grave of Prophet Muhammad, but go and make over the graves of people they call saints — using the Christian term.

Has Allah told us to call our Imams saints? No! They're Imams. Those who protect the religion of Allah. But is he a saint? That's not an Islamic term, that's a Christian term.

But you read, coming from the Islamic society outside the United States, "Saint. The great saint. The great Islamic saint." Pretty soon you get spooky and pray to the saint.

We have history as a lesson. When the great Saudi family took over the rule of Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina and the precincts, they found people there who had gone back to an infidel kind of religion. Who had become primitive and superstitious, making over the graves.

In Arabia, at Mecca and Medina, they had introduced foreign things into the religion of Al-Islam. Isn't that enough to keep your eyes open? If the people of Mecca and Medina fell back into un-Islamic kinds of religious rituals and began to pray to the dead, isn't that a lesson for you?

Because I don't recite or speak to you in Arabic, the first man that comes in looking un-Bilalian, or looking Bilalian, but foreignly-Bilailan. right away you walk behind him as though he were your God.

"Yes, yes. What can I do for you?" you say. You're so obliging. You're so righteous. You become so holy. "Hamdu-Iillah, Hamdu-iillah," "Subhan-lillah."

And your Imam — I'm your Imam, you made me your Imam. When I come it's "As-Salaam-Alaikum, Brother Wallace." "How are you doing Brother Wallace?" "Would you like to have a pair of thikr beads?" "I have a good book on the great saviors of humanity."

I told you not to call Dr. Fard, savior — not to call any man, savior. Allah is the Savior. If you have faith, you are saved by your faith. If you don't have faith, you're doomed by your own rebellious ways, by your own rejection of faith.

"He's a savior, he's a savior. Here comes the holy one. Brothers, this is the holy saint, this is a genius, this is a geni, this is a supernatural creature. Be quiet, Brother, don't speak; the great saint is in our midst."

And who is he? A human being. If he were given a test like all of us are given tests, he perhaps would prove to be average. But just because he walks ghostly and carries victory beads and speaks nothing but Arabic in an English society, we think he's a foreign god. You should be ashamed of yourselves!

I can see people who didn't come through the Nation of Islam behaving like that, but you who came up under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad should be ashamed of yourselves.

Haven't you learned enough from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad? Didn't you learn enough from Dr. Fard Muhammad? Didn't you learn better than to make a god from men? Haven't I forced you not to make a god of me?

Haven't I fought you tooth and nail to keep you from making a deity of me? I'm a human being. I have no sacred rights that you don't have. If you don't like what I'm saying and doing, you have the right to question me. If you don't want me, you have the right to leave me. If you get enough support, you have the right to kick me out of here. This is Al-Islam.

We can solve our problems. Even with the looseness we've had since the death of our great leader the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we still have more strength and more unity than most of the communities outside our own.

But we can't seem to progress. We're crippled. We're held back. We can't move economically or socially. We can't increase the ranks. Why? Because everything is placed on the back of this one frail human being. Why do you want to do that? Why do you say you love me and you accept me as your leader and you believe I'm the best leader on the Earth — as many of you say — then don't shoulder the burden with me?

Why do you let things go out of order and wait on the Imam to come all the way across the United States to where you are and straighten things out? You know what should be! How come you don't make things what they should be? I'm talking to you Imams.

To keep down expenses, we want to limit the amount of Imams on this Council to those who are over the six regions.

We want to appoint an accountant as financial adviser to this Imam Council. We also want to appoint an attorney, legal adviser to the Council of Imams. We also want to appoint one of the heads of our schools to advise the Imams on education. And, lastly, as advisers to this body, we want to appoint at least two of our Imams from out of the country who head Islamic Studies Departments.

We will have as extra support and protection for the Council, every Imam in good standing with a good record. He can write in his criticisms and it has to be accepted as though he is a member. While he won't be officially a member, he will have the power to question, to criticize and to demand reprise.

What is our number one concern in our religion? It is to serve as the protection of this Book. History tells us that if we don't stay on the job, people in ignorance or who have bad intentions will come in and twist and distort and present us a form of Al-Islan that is not Al-Islam.

We cannot do it alone in the United States by ourselves. We will do all we can but any time we're in doubt or if there is a question to arise, we will consult the high standing leaders in the Islamic world whether they be in Pakistan, Egypt, Arabia, Mecca, Medina, Kuwait, Sudan, any where, no matter where they are. If we know them to be good healthy authorities who have devoted their lives to the service of this message, this mission, then we will consult them whenever we are in doubt.

This is a sign of a strong people. A strong people will go to a strong people for help. A weak people shy away and put up excuses for their weaknesses. "They're not as good as we are. They can't tell me anything." No! Your problem is that you can't hear anything.

A human being who has his own good senses and doesn't have any perverted things in his intentions loves to have people advise him. He loves to get the advice of other people, because their advice enriches him.

As they say, two heads are better than one, even though one be a mule head. Even from the mule head you get something. So take your mule head to someone and get their advice. And if you think their head is nothing but a mule head, take your learned head to the mule and get some advice.

Dear Beloved Imams and community, what I am putting to you today is a request that I hope will be accepted as a resolution by every one of us to live and uphold with every bit of strength in our bodies. This is the way we'll be successful.

Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful — no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.

O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.

Peace be to you
Your brother in service to Allah,
Wallace Deen Muhammad
(To be continued)