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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

On Religious Symbolism

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate.


(Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from a Miami radio broadcast entitled the "Robert Hall Report, " aired live on Saturday, Oct. 20, 1979. On the three-hour program over radio station WMBM, Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad responded to questions from host Robert Hall and numerous callers.)

QUESTION: I would like to know what is the ultimate reward from Allah that I would get for being a faithful and lifetime Muslim?

WDM: Many Muslims are trying to be Muslims, and many Christians are trying to be Christians. I think you will find many who say, "I'm doing that—I'm believing in God, I'm accepting God." But they still do not have what we call, a good life.

First thing, you have to be sincere—the intentions have to be right. The intentions have to be pure, honorable and sincere. We cannot fool ourselves because we cannot fool God. We have to be sincere and we have to be willing to accept whatever Allah, the Almighty, asks of us. In Quranic teachings, we find that maybe our capacity to fulfill what God asks is not as great as the capacity of another person; certainly not as great as the capacity of Prophets. Some of us might be able to come near that but most of us can't.

We at least should be sincere and do the best we can and never offer empty excuses for our shortcomings. If we do that, God promises us everlasting life, but He also promises us the benefits of that in our present life on this Earth. He said there will be no fear or grief for you.

QUESTION: How closely related is your teachings with that of the Holy Bible?
WDM: Very closely related because our Book is actually the correction of the Bible scriptures and the completion of prophecy of revelation. Our Book is not a separate and distinct body of doctrine from Bible and Torah—Old Testament; it is a continuation and a completion of those scriptures.

QUESTION: I look at the Book (Bible) with much criticism, because in the Bible God was a violent God who delights in human suffering...

WDM: Well, I used to be very disturbed by the Bible. In fact, I can't tell you what I said about the Bible as a young man, but later I got a new interest to study the Bible, and after studying the Bible with a new outlook—a different kind of approach to the Bible and to the study of the Bible—I gained great respect for the Bible.

The problem for us in reading the Bible is the code language. Most people don't know it, but the Bible is written in code. The Bible is a book of symbolism, esoteric, secret language. But it would help to go to a school of theology or a seminary and learn of how to read the Bible. The Bible doesn't say God—the violent God.

The Bible gives that impression, but if you knew the language of the Bible, you would know that many places where it seems to be talking about God, it's not talking about God at all; it's talking about the people who were, then, supposed to be representing God.

QUESTION: I would like to ask Mr. Muhammad to comment on the Pope's visit to the United States.

WDM: The Pope's visit to Chicago called attention to something that I think should be important to all of the religious people—Muslims and others—and that is the amount of respect for religion that still exists in our society.

The years of Viet Nam and the evils that grew out of that war separated us from the facts about our own life. We lost sight of our own life with the war, so to speak.

Now, I think more of the true nature of the American people is coming out, and the Pope really brought that out.

When he came here, many people came out to meet him. It really surprised me that so many people came out to meet him in Chicago and in the cities of the United States where he toured.

I think that speaks for the respect that's still in the people for religion and a religious figure who devotes himself to nothing but representing his religion, Catholicism.
If more Protestants and more Muslims would stick more strictly to the concerns in their religion and not get involved in conflicting concerns; if people see more true leaders in their religions, the more we'll see true followers of our different religions.

I think the Pope's visit just verified something that most of us religious people believe, and that is that the strongest force in human beings is worship, the worship of God. Although I don't agree with Catholicism, in my opinion the Pope is just a good, religious leader and I think the more they undo the wrapping of mysticism about the Pope, the more they're going to see Catholicism come back to life.

I think he came here to revive the Church too, and I think he can revive the Church if he just unshrouds himself.

(To be continued)