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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Historical Milwaukee Speech: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's Note: This is a continuation of Imam Muhammad's Milwaukee address on September 13, 1987.)

So He has given us this great Prophet, the last and universal Prophet, as a model. But He has also told us in His Holy Book, that we also have models in those who follow the example of the Prophet, his Companions, and that we should follow in the excellence that they established. So Muslims of America, understand that we are to join the Muslims of the world, in this sincere study of the life of the Prophet, and the life of his Companions, the early ummah, the early effort to establish the religion on earth.

Those who follow in the excellence of them, (those who followed Muhammad the Prophet), God says, "they have God's pleasure, God is pleased with them," we say that when we mention any of them, when we mention 'Umar, or even the women, when we mention Khadijah, or 'Aisha, we also always say, "radhiallahu-anhuum" may God be pleased with them, for all of them, the males and the females, because they were all models of the excellence that Allah wanted demonstrated in the life of His Creatures and human beings.

So if we want to continue this religion, if we want to further the religion, if we want to be a good contribution, a good representative, then we should know the life of Muhammad, the Prophet and we should know also the life of his Companions, and we should look to them, to their example and we should try our best to measure up to their excellence; first of all, the excellence of Prophet Muhammad but also we can learn from the many ways that excellence was faceted and presented to the world, through those who were in direct contact with the Prophet, and embraced him, and embraced the religion and also demonstrated the same excellence that Allah wanted through themselves, they demonstrated it, the same excellence.

And we should understand that we are human beings; we are not going to be the Messenger of God, we are not going to be the Prophet. We are not going to have a Qur'an revealed to us, unless it's the same Qur'an that was already revealed to Muhammad, and then it would be revealed to you, in the sense of the interpretation, not as a fresh revelation. So we know that we are not going to be Prophet Muhammad, we are not going to be any Messenger; our religion is the living religion. It is not a religion that comes to die, so that the secular world can live; it is a living religion, but it is also a constant religion, it is a complete religion, it is finished religion, and many Westerners have a problem with that. They say, well, there's no room for dynamism, no room for invention, knowing invention is forbidden. We can't invent, and the West has taken on this kind of mind, that's why the Pope has to come here and say hey, 'will you come back from all your makeshift religions, you Catholics, especially you black Catholics; will you come back from your makeshift religions, and again identify with the established religions?' I believe the Pope would love to hear the Muslim way of handling this.

What I'm saying is this: that when I do a thing, I try and do my best. If I come out to speak to a people, I try to give them my best.

So on that note, we say, that we have to understand, that Muslims are a people established by God in the Qur'an, in the Holy Book, to be motivated toward excellence. The Prophet, in agreement and in fact, only reflected the Holy Book, because his wife 'Aisha (RA), (may God be pleased with her), said, that her husband, the Prophet, if we would know and understand him, he was the living word of God. He was the word of God lived in the world, active and living out the meaning for human beings Yes. So what he has said is really nothing but a reflection; whatever He has said is a true saying of Prophet Muhammad and must be a reflection of the Holy Book itself, it must be a reflection of an ayat or something of the Holy Book itself. If not, it has no validity as a saying of Prophet Muhammad.

And Prophet Muhammad says: "And the Believer, when he engages in the work, when he enters the work, endeavors to do anything, small or big, he seeks to perfect it. "And he also said, "when you do the halal, (prepare the animals and slaughter them), see that your knives are sharp, because God has prescribed excellence for everything." That's what he said. Not for one thing, but for everything. Therefore a Muslim should be concerned how he goes to bed, at how he wakes up, how he speaks to the members of his family in the morning, how he walks through the house. He should be concerned about these little things, because many times it's these little things, that break up the family. Somebody so ignorant, they are not considerate of the other member in the household, can bring hell on a house or on a whole family.

You know, we have in the Western songs, "little things mean a lot." When they start piling up on you, you'll want to realize that.

So we wanted to stress that point, that Muslims are to be motivated by excellence, and the American society has that as one of its greatest national values: excellence. Excellence in education, excellence in the workplace, and the reason why this country has the blues now, is because it came through a period of moral decadence and lost its excellence, this pursuit of excellence. But praise be to God, the conservatives, (and I don't mean the Republicans, they are conservatives of a political nature), the conservatives who want to preserve the good life of the American people, have been working hard during the last five years or more, and they are bringing the mind of the Americans back to an appreciation for excellence. I've been right in there with them; I've been doing my part since, 1975. And even before, the best I could. But you all gave me room to work, so I have done a little more since 1975.

Again, we have something we share, and this concern that we should stress, for Muslims in America, today, whatever we stress for today, looks toward the future. You know, men should be aware of time. God says be aware of the hour, the Gospel of the Christian book says be aware of the hour; the Old Testament says be aware of the hour. We are called to be aware of the hour, of time that is going to bring different situations about. So don't be ignorant of the time today, because the time today is an indication of what's coming tomorrow. Man should always be considerate of the time. Regarding the time, the hour, "surely humanity is lost, except those who are faithful, and have good works, and cooperate in the advancement of truth, and cooperate in patience."

Look how God has presented it to us. Faith. If you look to the natural workings of things, like the ancient thinkers did, and like the People of the Book are called to do, for God asks us to reflect, and look at the great works of the universe, the artistry, the great, marvelous work of Creation, to look at it and learn from it, get signs and understanding from it. Now, when you look at situations for human life, the physical life itself, the moral life itself, on earth on land, we feel best, don't we? Even the swimmer in the water, he feels insecure right away, when you throw him in the water, and the situation of water is similar to the situation of faith. A lot of us don't like to live in faith, because it's not as comfortable as living with practical reality. "Oh, man, don't tell me about that, that's too heavy, that's too much on my mind." Well, you need to develop your muscles that you are not using, that's what you need. You need to be put in a situation where you have to trust more than your knowledge, more than your intellectual ability, more than your rational ability, because your rational ability hasn't done too much for the world.

I'm speaking of the average one, we do have those exceptional men and women, whose intellects have done marvelous things for the world of man. But for most of us, our intellects haven't done much for the world, hasn't done much for our families, and many of us, it hasn't done much for us, as individuals. And we're going to put that up and say hey, this is more important to me than faith. I think you should look at it again. You ain't no Einstein, you should look at it again and weigh your little pea of intellect and knowledge, weigh it with the benefits of faith, and some of us need to go and get a complete baptism. We need to jump in the water and go under it completely. We need to get a baptism like the Baptists. Get in the water and get it all over you, and don't have no land or no materials supporting you; just hang right there in mid water, until you learn respect, until you learn fear, until you get a sense of insecurity. You know, sometimes it is a sense of insecurity that saves you from insecurity? But many of us, we live in a world, in the most insecure situations that a human being can live in, but are not aware of our insecurities. We go on like everything is OK, and we are just about at the last step in our road.

Well. So much for that. See how these elements, these situations, they really make us see ourselves in the world. Some of us like to play with fire. Now you need a whole lot of sense to manage fire. You tell little babies, 'don't play with fire; gimme those matches.' ; Right? 'I better not ever catch you with matches again.' But here we've got so many among the common masses of America, who have just gone crazy, over playing with fire. 'Let's do the funk; let's get way down, let's let it all hang out, let's love until we die.' That's playing with fire, isn't it? That's what it's doing; you're playing with fire. Children playing with fire. After a while, man looks at you, and has got more sense than to play with fire; he looks at you and says, well, hell, we got to go out and stop the children from playing with fire. This thing has gotten out of hand. And if you aren't prepared for the time, you haven't been watching the hour, you're going to be lost, you're going to be left out, discarded as something that can't be used.

Then some of ourselves like to give in to emotions. We think the "holy ghost" is the wind of human beings. The "holy ghost" isn't that kind of wind; the "holy ghost" is an intelligent wind. It's a peaceful wind, it's a wind with a direction, with a constant direction. That's the "holy ghost." The "holy spirit" is a wind with a constant direction, and we think this old emotionalism takes over blacks and some other races, some other minorities, occasionally, but keeps us, we are always under it. We can't go to the White House unless we are all geared up in emotions. "Wanna talk to you, Reagan! You better listen to us now, or you'll listen tomorrow!" The wind won't even let him go to the White House correctly, in a decent manner. He embarrasses himself and he embarrasses all of his people, because of his wind.

God says he breathes into His man of His Spirit. And Allah says in the Holy Book for Muslims, that He created the man, and the angels looked at him, and some of the angels weren't impressed with him, God says, "wait! until I have breathed in him of My Spirit," and then God says, "I have given every creature something of My Spirit." So we have to have a wind in us superior to our own winds, to save us from the destruction of our own wind, because some of us live in a constant tornado. Emotional makeup is nothing but a constant tornado, a tornado that won't spin itself out. A hurricane that doesn't know it's supposed to stay out in the water, it keeps coming on the land, drowning all of the things that people are trying to construct.

So this brings us to another part of our address today, and that is the burden of human life itself. Allah says in the Holy Book, that He created the universe, He created this marvelous creation, and He invited the angels, and the mountains themselves, to accept the responsibility for upholding the order that God has made.