Imam W. Deen Mohammed Addresses The Conference On Finality Of Prophethood
As-Salaam-Alaikum. Dear Brothers, Muslims, organizers and supporters of this Conference and our distinguished scholars and learned representatives of this religion from the international community, it is indeed an honor for me to be invited to address you for this occasion.
I want to lend every possible support to this Conference on "the Finality of Prophet-hood and the Significance of Hadith." It is mainly because of my own personal experience with the problem. I was born to parents who gave me the wrong belief. We were influenced and converted by Fard and his Messenger, Elijah Mohammed. We were taught to believe that my honorable father was "the Messenger of Allah". Owing much to Elijah Mohammed's dark-side and bright-side preachings, I grew to reject the wrong religion. This right turn was to the Qur'an and the Prophet in the Qur'an. I wish I could go even beyond my means and resources to support this.
For us, this Conference is very important, especially here in America. Being also aware of the Qadiani Movement, I know the importance of working very hard to present the pure truth of our Prophet as the Seal of the Prophets and the last Messenger of Allah in other parts of the world.
I share the concern of our brothers from Pakistan. I have had personal contact and acquaintance with persons who presented themselves to me as sincere propagators of the religion, but who were associated with Ahmadis. Some of them identified themselves as Ahmadis, and some of them did not. They were my acquaintances, and I took them as brothers. But those in close acquaintance never identified themselves to me as Ahmadis. I learned of them being Ahmadis from other persons, some of those informing me were themselves identifying themselves to me as Ahmadis.
I have not prepared a presentation on the Finality of Prophet-hood and I ask that I just make some comments for this occasion. I will concentrate on two concerns.
The first concern is the Concept of Prophet in Qur'an should be understood. The Concept of Prophet in Qur'an is what we support. In America, we were told by the Honorable Elijah Mohammed — whom I loved and still love and pray to Allah for his soul — that Fard (Farad) Muhammed, my father's teacher, was Allah in the person of Fard. Over the years, Elijah Mohammed wrestled with Fard's words and came to change and to present mew emphasis over the old dark-sided message, lam convinced Elijah Mohammed lived to reject privately the wrong idea of God and prophetic station.
However, that does not excuse the confusion over the Finality of Prophethood. We still have that burden, and some few people who were converted by the Honorable Elijah Mohammed still hold to that position, that Elijah Mohammed is the last messenger of Allah.
I recall as a minister in Elijah Mohammed's ministry then known as the "Black Muslims" and "the Nation of Islam" being in Philadelphia with a few years of experience in teaching and preaching for him and for the African American Muslim Community. Once I was invited to Temple University to deliver a speech there. I made my speech, and afterwards I accepted questions. I was questioned by Muslim students at Temple University who were from Africa and from the Arab world. I was then a firm believer in what the Honorable Elijah Mohammed had taught concerning himself as the Messenger of Allah. I was also believing Elijah Mohammed to be religious, sincere, and deeply devoted. Because of Elijah Mohammed's affect on me I studied very hard to defend his position.
These students at Temple University asked, "How can you say that Elijah Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah, when it is clearly stated in the Qur'an that Muhammed, peace be upon him, is the Messenger and the Seal of the Prophets?" Back then I was feeling my cheerios and thinking that I was more qualified than I really was, I stood very boldly in front of them and told them, "You are not understanding it correctly." I said, "Certainly Muhammed is the last prophet, but the Honorable Elijah Mohammed is the last messenger."
Now today (in 1989)I find that someone is doing that and he is not African American, and he lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is saying the same thing. I have received a message from him sent by him also to other workers in Al-Islam, native and immigrant Muslims of prominence. This person from Tucson was saying that he is the last messenger of Allah. His is the same argument that my father gave. This person from Tucson says Muhammed is the last prophet, but that Muhammed is not the last messenger. He goes on to say, "I can prove this." Further this person in Tucson asks that we come to him to be convinced, and he signs "Khalifah" and puts with it, "Messenger of Allah".
I am simply stating that most important for this matter is to understand the Concept of Prophet and Prophetic Office in Qur'an. Now I will address the second concern.
My second concern is that human nature, spiritual nature, is the same for everybody. Some people will be stronger than others in spirituality, in spiritual sensitivities, and even some will have greater intuitive powers than others. Some are clairvoyant and can see and anticipate what is going to happen in the Future. Sometimes this will be our poor uneducated relatives who can sense something has happened or is going to happen. They might say, "You had better call such and such person. Something is going to happen." You call and true enough find that something did happen. They knew this and are very sensitive and perceptive souls.
The problem is complicated by language and meanings. In America anybody can be called prophet. I have been called a prophet by Christian admirers. I will say, "I am not a prophet." I was in a meeting attended also by the Reverend Jesse Jackson and someone came up and said of Jesse Jackson, "He is our prophet." We know that in America this word "prophet" is used very loosely. It has no set (strict) definition. Prophet to Americans will mean somebody who is intuitive or highly spiritual or who preaches warnings. And that person does not have to know something is going to happen. He may be wrong ninety percent of the time when giving predictions.
We have even made jokes about a certain person that we admired, that he was wrong every year but finally one year his prediction came, and he was right after missing many times. It is important that we understand human nature and that somebody will always be jumping up thinking that he has a revelation.
In ignorance or upon a non-classical definition, they claim to be a prophet or a messenger of Allah. They will never be able to change the fact that Allah created, missioned, and established Muhammed as the Prophet, as the last Prophet, "the Seal of the Prophets". Muhammed is the Last Messenger of Allah.
We know angels are messengers, but can anyone claim to be an angel? We have Muhammed as the Messenger, that we know. We have to come to the conclusion that all of us can be messengers, but not messengers in the context of the scriptures. I am the messenger tonight in my spot on this program giving comments. I am bringing you a message. Your son may be a messenger for you when you get home; he may have an important message for you on your return.
We have to understand also that some presenting themselves as "the Messenger of Allah" are blinded by ambition and by their ignorance. They lack foundation in this religion and in the knowledge of this religion. If they had the knowledge and still were doing this, I think we should kill them. If we found them to be truly knowledgeable and are doing this to embarrass Muslims and confuse Muslims, I think we should kill them. And I am being straight with you.
But who can prove a case against their conscience, whether they have the knowledge and are doing this intentionally or not? Unless we know that, we do not want to go out and kill anybody. I think most of these people are doing this in ignorance, and I think many of them are touched in the head. That is common now in the world. Insanity is very common. I am convinced, Brother and Sister Muslims here tonight, that we do not have to worry. We only have to stay on the Islamic job. Whenever they attack the truth, we have to defend the truth. But do not worry that anybody will establish themselves as the last prophet or the last messenger. That will not happen. It hasn't happened in 1400 years. Our Prophet in the world view still is the Prophet, and the world knows that. In the world view our Prophet is the Prophet of "Islam", the last Prophet and the last Messenger. The claims made by others behind our (classical) Prophet is rubbish and goes the way of trash.
We pray that Allah grants the ignorant but sincere ones the goodness of heart to see their mistakes, to confess their faults, to fight their own wrongdoings, and come to the right position, so that we can embarrass them as Muslims and pray Allah forgive them their sins.