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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


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Historic Atlanta Address: Part 8

Imam W. D. Muhammad


With the Name Allah, (In the Name of God) the Gracious, the Compassionate

Leadership is not the worship of a personality. Leadership is respect for an office, and if the man dies the respect is not diminished for that office.

The office is leadership of this community and this community is not worth five dollars, this community is worth $500 million and much more. I'm not talking about finance. In terms of what we have been able to survive and achieve as a social group, as a human group, as a spiritual group, we are worth billions.

Sociologists, psychologists, doctors of the science, and educators will be writing about us a hundred years from now. You can't see it, but believe me, a hundred years from now what has happened over this three-year period they will be writing about it a hundred years from now.

You don't know your value. Do you think this little man with a high school education — I have about six hours of college, that's all, two courses —just a high-school education from what they called an inferior school. We didn't even have master-degreed people at the school when I was there. This man, from what they called a freak movement — they called us pseudo-religious; you remember they put it in the paper and in the magazines, — pseudo-religious cult.

Now the son of the leader of the strange cult that preachers laughed at, that educated people frowned on, that greedy people used - the son of that man now goes to Mecca and King Khalid comes out and says "No, I cannot stay sitting. I have to walk and meet you brother." He had just come out of the hospital with a bad leg but King Khalid said, ' 'No, I can't stay sitting, I have to get up and walk and meet you brother."

Do you know who King Khalid is? That's the king, the ruler,-of Saudi Arabia 1977-78. The one who comes to America and sees only a very few, select, high people in the government of America. The man who when he comes to America, Americans feel they have been blessed, because that man does not come to America very often.

How often have we had the ruler of Saudi Arabia come to America? As often as the Pope comes to America. But the man told me whenever I'm in the country, I have an invitation to come see him. And every time I've been there since I've been the leader of this Community, I have been taken right to King Khalid, without asking.

Not only that, been introduced to all of the ministers, all of the ministers in the government. I went to all of their offices and was received by them. President Carter received me and treated me as though I was a great, great leader in the society. He opened up the agencies and said, "Whatever we can give you let us know. We like what your Community is doing. Our agencies are open to you." He gave me a state visit.

We visited the Commerce Department, got a briefing from the State Department -the State Department briefed your Imam and asked your Imam to advise them; saying, "We welcome your advice." Not that they don't welcome others' advice, but look who this is!

This is Wallace Deen Muhammad, the son of Elijah Muhammad, from a "taboo" organization, suddenly dignified and raised in stature and received by heads of great powers.

Doesn't that mean something to you? It should. How many of the Bilalians have had that kind of treatment? How many of the Bilalians from our history in America have had that kind of treatment?

I went to Communist China with a delegation of outstanding figures from America — who did they sit next to the chief officer? This man. "No," they said, "you don't sit there," and they put me next to the chief officer. They let all the delegation know that this man is worth more to us than your whole delegation.

Turkey and Greece invited your Imam to come there and lecture publicly to the Turkish people and to the people of Greece -the people of Cyprus.

I went to a bishop and told him I had a desire to visit the Pope. He said, "I will contact the Pope and you can visit the Pope." I said, "I only want to give him greetings and say a few words." He said. "You will get an audience with him, you can sit down and talk." A Catholic priest stood up and praised your Imam and said that God is showing through your Imam the direction that we all should take.

If I were a Jew I wouldn't have a problem. They would be doing a job. Every Jew would be working most of his time just to see that the Imam's message is carried everywhere. His bonds, his savings, he would be giving them to the Imam because he knows that his dignity and his future is in advancing the strength of his people.

Am I the strength of your people? You have to understand this. I am the strength of the Bilalian people in America. Not by my choice, by good faith, by God's choice.

It doesn't matter who it is, it advances your worth to push the best of yourself forward. I don't mean to worship me. The best way to help me is to do what I want done. I don't want to have myself admired and worshiped and praised and flattered. I don't enjoy that foolishness. I want to have the message of the Quran propagated. I want every Bilalian to know what we have received from God.

I don't want a single Muslim to miss the opportunity to introduce Al-Islam to their fellow Americans. I want you to champion the causes that I champion. That's all I want. I want to be an evangelist for Al-Islam. Not singing and carrying on, but taking advantage of every opportunity to spread the word of Al-Islam. Not only in America, but anywhere I am invited or have the opportunity to go.

I have been invited to India — to be the guest of the Muslim community in India. I think they number about 80 million. That's in India, not Pakistan. I've been invited to come to their community and to go on a speaking tour.

Being an American, who has become a Muslim following the clear path of Al-Islam in the way that Prophet Muhammad gave it to us, I offer great inspiration to the Indian people because they know how hard it is in this society to develop as a Muslim and keep your Islam. So when I come from America where the temptations are so plentiful — the devil's nets are everywhere — when I come there unsnared, not captured, still free as a Muslim, brother, you'd be surprised how much they love you. They love you, and you are a great inspiration to them.

Society in India is like America, a society of mixed religions, all kinds of different cults and sects. The Muslims there are a minority and in some ways oppressed. They feel like many of us feel in some of the communities of America, like your Islam is an unwanted thing. So we need to go to people like that.

I have been invited to go to Nigeria. We should go to Nigeria.

Right now, Brother Tijani is talking with the Sudanese Government to invite us to come to Sudan. We should go to Sudan. Not that they don't have Al-Islam, but it helps their morale to see an American Muslim surviving in America, so strong, so high spirited. Shouldn't we help our Brothers and Sisters with our inspiration? Certainly!

There are many places we should go. I was invited to come to New Zealand. I was told that if I come to New Zealand that they would take care of my stay there until I've reached every New Zealander.

They said, "And after you've finished New Zealand, we will go with you to the countries of the Caribbean." They said, "Chief Imam, being an American with the message and spirit you have — that is the evangelistic kind of spirit and message — we know that you can convert New Zealand and the islands of the Caribbean."

Insha-AIIah, we don't know, but shouldn't we be interested? Certainly, Places have invited us and we should find time to go. At least once a year I should be somewhere outside the country to help raise the Islamic spirit and morale in other countries.

Believe me, I've been told and I know it is as difficult for some Muslims to live their religion in so-called Muslim countries as it is — maybe even more so for them — than it is for us to live our religion in the United States.

Why? Because they have spoiled leaders who are out of touch with the Islamic language, Islamic teachings, and they just go through the formalities but know nothing. respect nothing — they are afraid that their power and wealth will be taken from them so they use oppressive methods to keep the religion from flowering and being seen so the masses will respect it. If the masses see it and respect it, they will demand that their leaders see it and respect it.

So we can't think just of America. Allah's Will will be done and I feel strongly that Allah intends for us to be a fire of inspiration for Muslims and non-Muslims outside of America. I believe it's going to be our efforts outside of America and the recognition of those efforts that will get Americans to join-in great numbers.

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 is service to Allah,
Wallace Deen Muhammad
(To be continued)