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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Liberation Of The Human Mind For Muslims: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial note: This lecture was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed in San Diego, California, at the Sister Clara Muhammad School Banquet on Oct. 8, 1988.)

And finally Allah says in this connection that, "He has created you from a male and a female and has made you families and tribes so that you may recognize each other." Your most honorable before Allah is your most regardful. Now many of us know what "regard" is: It is to show respect. But regard, as many other words, may have in the dictionary more than one meaning.

So, regard also means a "deep respect" for something. So if we regard a thing, it means we have a real respect for it or a deep respect for it. And this term used in Qur'an means a very deep respect. And it is something that comes with nature and something that comes with life. The world doesn't have to give it to you. A good situation in the world can make it better, but you come here with it, and it comes with life, that is a certain regard for certain things.

And to kind of expand on or to extend this, there are certain things that God brings to our minds for us to give this particular regard to. first of all there is Allah God, Himself; Allah says, "Wa taq-qu-llah," from this same word for regardfulness or a deep felt regard. And it says "And hold God in the highest regard." Regard Allah.

And he says "And regard the family ties." Have a deep regard, a deep respect, and a deep appreciation for family relations or for family ties. And the most important of these is mother and father. If 1 were to follow the Prophet, I would say, "It is mother and mother and father, "because He put emphasis on the mother. He was asked by a person, "If my father and my mother need me, who should I respond to?" The Prophet said, "Your mother," He was asked again, and the Prophet said, "your mother," He was asked the third time, and the Prophet said, "And your father."

So, this regard goes on to other concepts and other things. God says, "And regard hell fire." Have a real deep regard or respect for hell fire. And God says, "Regard the day of doom, the end day." Have a respect for the end. This is not going to last always. Everything is coming to a conclusion. That is everything! And sometimes, depending on the situation you are in, the thing that is coming to a conclusion right in your life right now, today or tonight or next week is just like a judgment; it is just like dooms day.

I told someone that kept talking and talking and running around the bush, figure skating on and on, "Look, I am tired of this, and I am through with it. It is going to come to a conclusion. "Everything has to come to a conclusion sooner or later or one way or another.

Now, returning to God as the Creator for everything, it continues, "the One who gave everything its creation and thereafter guidance. Now this is in the Qur'an as put in the mouth of Moses in his addressing Pharoah. Now most of us, and especially you who are familiar with church teachings and Muslims who attend the mosques and religious meetings often, I'm sure you know about the story of Moses and Pharoah. That Pharoah was a great oppressor. But Pharoah also was one who claimed divinity. He claimed that there was no god other than himself, Pharoah.

Also for you who know something about Egyptian history and the Dynasty of the Pharoahs, you will know that they believed that divinity passed from one to the next. So the father would have it, and the son would have it for he is the son of the Pharoah- They thought of him not only as the son of Pharoah, but they also thought of him as the son of god in a sense. Because if divine was in his father, then divine would be in him. So they inherited the line of divinity as well as the line of kingship or pharoahship.

Moses, "Show me another god. Show me some other god. for I know (if no other god but Pharoah," And here Moses is saying to Pharoah that, "You have gotten your creation from the same One who gave me my creation. He gave everything its creation. So you have gotten your creation from the same one I got my creation from. "And he said that these are the words that God revealed to Moses to say to Pharoah. "And thereafter fie gave you guidance." So what is he saying to Pharoah? He is saying, "The name One who gave you your creation gave me my creation. " He created everything. And your potential or what you can do and what you can't do is determined by your created form just as mine is. These two words of creation and the possibility for that creation are tied together. You cannot be guided except as you have been created.

Can you guide a dog with cat instructions? No, and you can't guide the human being with monkey instructions. But maybe you can guide a monkey with human being instructions to a point. I saw on television that they were guiding the monkey with human being instructions to a point. But the forms are different, and whatever you have been created as or whatever behavior has been created, then right along with it your potential has been created. Our behavior, our potential, what we can be and also our possibility for failure are all determined by the creation itself.

Now, I am not talking about heredity and environment right now. I'm talking about what is the possibility of the created form. So what is that saying to us? It is saying that although Pharoah claimed divinity, he is not superior to anyone else. That everybody is created equal. And this is what we are hearing now in the language of Western society.

But this language is ancient. This language was revealed by God to the Prophet a long time ago, and even to the Prophets before Prophet Muhammad. It was revealed to Prophet Moses, That there is no superiority of any creature over another. They are all of the same species. We are of the human species, and there is no superiority of any one in the species over the other. This is what Allah revealed to Moses to say to Pharoah.

Look how widely it is speaking. It is not like us who would say, "You ain't no better than me, sucker!" Then we have made an enemy and have excited people to anger and have gotten them all stirred up. Then you don't go anywhere. But if you speak calmly and quietly, but very firmly, and powerfully to the intellect, you get better results. However, Pharoah's head was just too big and too high in the sky. So even trouble developed after that, although he did get quiet for a little while.

In fact, Moses was able to quiet him on several occasions with what God instructed. But he just couldn't rest. He would think about it and say, "I can't take that. No, I'm not going to take that from this man." It was because Moses was from a subject people, and also a people who were subject to Pharoah at that time.

Let us continue now. Not only are we one creation and form, but our capacity and potential, our natural worth, is equal for all of us. Again God says, "I have not created the human or the jinn except for My worship, for My service." And the word comes from the Arabic word. "abd." This verb, "for My worship," comes from the word "abd." And "abd" simply means a servant.

''Abd" at one time for the Arabs meant "slave." The common term for slave was "abd." And imagine how the Arabs hearing this new revelation and the term that they used commonly for their slaves has now become the term in the religion meaning "Worship of God." It tells those who want slaves or approve of slavery that you should not slave for any except the Creation. That you should not accept that position to any except the Creator.

I was giving a talk like this once, and the sister said after I finished speaking, and had caught me on the way out, "I just can't agree to say that, Allah doesn't want to have any slaves." And a thought came to me like a flash, and there was the tendency for me to kind of reason with her. But the stronger tendency was the one I acted upon. And I told her, Yes, He does!" And I kept walking. Now, Allah doesn't want any foolish slaves, but Allah does want slaves.

What is a slave? A slave is one who accepts the absolute authority of another as his master. Now that is a slave. And the only one that we should accept as an Absolute Authority over us is Allah. Therefore, Allah reveals in the Qur'an the same common term that was used for slaves. In fact, it is the saying of the Prophet, Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him, in his telling one of the Arabs who called one of his servants and said, "Yeh nbd-bi." Prophet Muhammad corrected him by saying, "Don't call him, Yeh abd-bi! Call him 'Watt-di.'"This means "My son or my boy." This is "Wali-di."

If you go into Saudi Arabia right now in those parts, then you might hear a boss calling his servant, and he will say, "Yeh Wali..." Now over here we were called the same and we took offense. The White people used to say to us or address us as, "Boy!" But the attitude was different. They didn't mean my boy like my son; Prophet Muhammad meant that you call him your boy like your own son. For ''walid" is used in Arabic not only to say 'boy'. For we don't usually say, "This is my boy." Although sometimes we will say that, but we are getting away from that now. The country people used to say that often. That 'This is my boy." And in Arabic it is said, 'This is my boy."

And in Arabic the Prophets are called "Waled." It comes from the verb which means to be born. And the one who is born is "Waled." So this term is a nice term, to use for another who is working for you, to call them "My son." Believe me, I do think I understand this religion. And if the Prophet was: here on earth today, I am sure the Prophet would say, "Yes, I told you that then. But now don't call them 'boy.' This world has different ideas.'"

The Prophet's habit was not to say this himself, but he was correcting these people who had a superior attitude towards their servants and thought of themselves as masters over their servants. They also looked upon their servants as inferior. This was used to correct that problem by using this wisdom and the gradual application of that wisdom.

When the Prophet, (peace be upon him ), addressed someone he addressed them all the same. He addressed them by their first name. I know many of you will say, "I don't know. The Prophet wouldn't address you as "Yeh Wallace.' He would say 'Brother Wallace.'" And you are wrong. The history of the Prophet does not have Him saying, "Yeh Ahki Omar"or "Yeh Ahki Uthman." He said, "Yeh Omar" or "Oh Omar.'1 And sometimes to really stress what He was saying, He would say, "Yeh Omar Ibn Khattab." He was saying "Oh Omar, the Son of Khattab." He would give the full name of his father.

We have a lot of habits that are just our habits. The Prophet addressed people simply by their names. But we will say, "You don't know me that well." And that really is ugly. For once I know your name why should I go on with something else. En fact, one man I knew didn't like his family. So I didn't call him by his family name, I called him by his first name. He was a businessman, and he liked it, too. For sometimes your family may not be too good.

Now, Allah also says that any who does wrong suffers the burden of that wrong. And any who does good gets the reward of that good. And there is a saying for Muslims that the potential for good and harm, or for good and bad, or good and evil is from God. What does this tell us? This tells us that all of as have the same moral capacity and the same moral potential. One race is no different than the other when it comes to moral nature. The Blacks can be as bad as the Whites; the Whites can be as bad as the Blacks—and I am talking about White people and Black people. I don't want you to go way out in your esoteric thing and come back with something from way out in the twilight zone. And we still have people who tike to come from the twilight zone. So, there is no difference in the morality of the people. Whatever I am capable of doing morally, then you of a different race it is likewise for you.