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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: Part 4

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 the United States of America as well as on the world scene.)

The devil is free to invite, and we are to invite to Allah's path. There is a craze in American culture of ignorant, reckless, and destructive lifestyles, and noise. If you are not used to it, you will be shocked and may have a heart attack. If you could make one room sound proof and go and stay in that room for three days, coming out of that sound proof room you may have a heart attack.

There is an easier situation to understand. Just let one of these average youngsters use your automobile. When he gets through with it, you get in there and turn on the ignition. When the ignition comes on, the radio will come on at the same time. And right there, you might have a heart attack. It will sound like an explosion when the radio comes on. Those youngsters are used to that and like it. They are in the car bouncing right along with that noise, and after a while they even try to look crazy. The whole facial expression is saying that everything is out of order.

In primitive societies they used to have witch doctors, magic men who would work tricks on the nature and behavior of members in the tribe, so that the witch doctor would have an obedient and fearful following. This fearful following would do anything be would bid them do. Sometimes the witch doctor's medicine and drugs would send some of them out of their minds permanently. And if he could not get obedience from one in the following, be would point to that one and say, "Beware of him, he's cursed. Do you see the curse? I put the curse on him." Those under the spell would see that person's normal human behavior as "cursed" behavior.

Now when civilized society finds that kind of thing existing, they will go in there and kill the witch doctor. Who is going to come into this society and kill the witch doctors who have our young boys looking insane? Who will find the witch doctor who has your child acting as though he or she is cursed?

Don't you know that kind of thing could not happen, that kind of evil could not have gotten to that degree if we had respect for building up the human person. Our religion of Al-Islam, our Holy Book Qur'an, and our Prophet obligate us, and Allah obligates us to work always to keep and protect an environment and situation for the excellent human life that Allah created and intended for the human being. We are obligated.

Whenever we see society falling off the great pedestal of human excellence, we should be troubled and alarmed to the extent that we become organized. And if we cannot make an appeal safely to get the respect of that society doing that evil, then we will have to meet even in secret and plan and work together. For what purpose? Allah says that most of their secret meetings are for no good. The secret meetings are only good if they are made for promoting righteousness, decency, fair dealings, and respect among people. So someone has been off the job.

Let us look now at the automobile as a picture with a message for us. We have to understand that just looking the part is far from being enough. That is what this world approves today: You don't have to be anything, just look the part. Muslims, we cannot accept that. The hollow vessel with nothing in it is good for nothing but the fire. That is our opinion. You must have the established substance that Allah wants and not just a picture of it.

You will look at a car and say, "Oh that beautiful car!" It may look like .it just came from the showroom, and you will admire how nice it is. Now if you go to start it up and nothing happens, if you grab the steering wheel and it is loose and is not connected to anything, if you hit the brakes and they are loose too and are not connected to anything, if you push the button to roll the windows up and get absolutely nothing, look how the worth of that car has fallen. It is the same way for a human being that looks like what Allah wants in picture, but when you try to communicate, you find nothing functioning under the covers.

Allah says that He will give us a good life. Allah promises us that. He promises that He will establish us in a good life. A good life is the promised destiny that we are talking about for a human person. That is the good life that we want. We are naturally going towards it, if we will just listen to our better motivations in our souls. We are naturally growing into it, but we need the help of Allah. We cannot realize it to our satisfaction without the help of Allah. And we will loose what we gain if we don't at some point turn honestly seeking the help of Allah. This is not any imaginary God; Allah is the Real God.

In order to have a functioning person, we have to have that which Allah intended for that person — the human properties and human nature have to be operating. They have to be working for him. A functional being has to be in this picture. Now if society will affect my behavior in such a way that my mind and my human sentiments are no longer suiting this identity or are no longer agreeing with this identity, then what have we here? We will have a foreign life created. No matter what we have, if we do not have the human type, the human being for all intensive purposes is dead. He is not there. He is just like that car. It is a beautiful picture, but it is a dead car. And no one wants a dead car.

By design we are human beings. What we mean when we say we are human beings is that we are creatures of intelligence or creatures with great potential for intelligent behavior, intelligent life, and intelligent aspirations.

Al-Islam values the human person essentially or basically for that excellence or superiority in him over other creatures. He is valued for his intellect. He is valued for his intelligence. Read the Qur'an over and over and see what is the language there. The language is questioning men's disrespect for the value of the human intellect or intelligence in human beings.

Whether we have 90 percent in this audience or 90 percent in our association who love stupidity and care nothing about education, that does not hurt at all or change at all our determination to bring to them and to their conscious thoughts the great value of intellect that Allah created in them. So our duty is to go to people who are behaving as though crazy, behaving like animals that have gone insane, people who disrespect things that should be respected and are abusing and destroying themselves, ignoring their obligations to their families and communities and neighborhoods. We are to go to those people and invite them to come back to human conscious behavior and see the human being in his true worth. We are to invite them to realize that everyone has the great possession. Every child is born in the world with that great possession.

We are to invite them and let them know that all they have to do is change their attitudes and ugly dispositions and get a spirit to follow good sense. Don't go and tell them, "You have to have faith in Prophet Mohammed, if you expect to change." Don't say, "You first have to believe in Allah before there will be any change." Don't say, "First you have to get some good morals in you before you have any change." Don't go that way.

Go to them and say, "You have already in you what is needed to make you better than the people you are associating with. You already have with you in your possession the equipment that you need to rise up from this low level and compete with the people that you are now dependent upon." That is the way you should talk to them.

Tell them, "Look, you were created to be a sentimental person with human sentiments, to be caring and loving. Yes, that is true. And you were created to be strong and muscular. You were created to display strength and authority and to feel good over power. That is true. But most importantly, you were created an intellect, with great intelligence. If you respect yourself as a creature of intelligence, you will have all the other changes you need coming as a result.

First we should appeal to people to respect themselves as creatures of intelligence. Here again is an overlooked role for Muslims in world leadership. When you think of world leadership, what are you thinking about? Are you thinking about industry? Are you thinking about the political philosophies and ideologies? Are you thinking about business opportunities? All of those are in the concerns of world leadership, but those cannot get anywhere until there is conscious worth established in people.

That is why America has fallen so much as an industrial power and as a leader among all nations. It is because this precious foundation that we are talking about has been neglected. It has not only been neglected, it has been warred upon. And that is why we have the big human problem. That is why we have the lost esteem for this country. That is why we do not see a quick turning point for this country, for there is no quick turning point for this terribly neglected foundation — the human foundation.

The Muslim should not be going about the world telling other nations that "you have to be free because God loves you". That is true, but not enough. Don't go out saying, "You should choose to be free, because you are a human being like everybody else." That is good, but not enough. Because when you say, "a human being just like everybody else," that crazed youngster says, "Yea man, yeah!" He has gotten attached to another meaning for human and is not in touch with the meaning Allah intended.

(To be continued)