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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Muslim Journal

A Man

Imam W. Deen Muhammad

Among the philosophers, humanists, lovers of humanity, and the builders of the idea of democracy that has come to be America's democracy, are such men as Frederick Douglass, that we perhaps don't even see as a man that God blessed to have great philosophical insight.

But American history tells us of the development of democracy, contributions to it by Jean Jacque Rosseau who said, according to the book, The Social Contract: "Passage from the state of nature to the civil state pro­duces quite a remarkable change in man. For it sub­stitutes justice for instinct in his behavior, and gives his actions a moral quality they previously lacked. On­ly then when the voice of duty replaces physical im­pulse and right replaces appetite, does man who has taken only himself into account, find himself forced to act upon other principles, and to consult his reason before listening to his inclinations. Although in this state he deprives himself of several of the advantages belonging to him in the state of nature, he regains such great ones. His faculties are exercised and developed. His ideas are broadened. His feelings are ennobled. His entire soul is elevated to such a height that if the abuse of this new condition lowers his status to beneath the level he left, he ought constantly to bless the happy mo­ment that pulled him from a stupid, limited animal, into an intelligent being, a man.-

NOW HERE IN THE words of this man of great in­sight, is a definition for man. According to his words, if you don't have that characteristic, if you don't have that intelligent orientation in your life, if you are moved and acting upon instinct and neglecting to consult reason, and to follow the excellent or intelligent behavior, according to these words, you are not a man.

When we were brought to this country and reduced to brute savages by the cruelest system of slavery that ever existed upon the earth, we lost our manhood. And our masters called us boys no matter how old we were. There should be in your genes a yearning to be recogniz­ed as a man, and you shouldn't depend upon your short vision to know what is truly a man. You should listen to the wise, and hear what they say the definition for a man is, and then you should say, "Thank God. I know what a man is now. I'm going to try to be a man, because that is what was denied me.- Our situation is calling for men, and because of the moral neglect and the dis­respect in our lives, we are still boys.