New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Moral Responsibility

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam W. Deen Muhammad's address at the Borough of Manhattan Community College in Manhattan, N.Y., on Oct. 17, 1984. Imam Muhammad was the guest of the Student Government Association)

I HAVE looked into the faces and eyes —which are a reflection of the soul of students and representatives of student bodies, and the staff members in the various states and on the campuses where I have gone— and I haven't seen more sincerity than I have here. That's what's going to help all of us and enable all of us to improve our state, change our bad situations— sincerity.

I would like to mention a concern that our leader, the leader of about one billion Muslims, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), pointed to after he had been blessed by God to establish a community and a strong group of people who would help work and preserve that community in Medina. {He was blessed to do this) after being boycotted by his own people in his own native city, Mecca, He was exiled and rejected. Actually he migrated, but that was in response to persecution.

In Medina, he said to his followers, the Muslims, "... no more fleeing—from here on, it is Taqwah and Jihad”.

NOW IF WE CAN quote such men as George Washington and others, I think we can quote Muhammad, the Prophet (PBUH). And what he said should be respected, too, and taken for the value that we find in it and accept it. He said, "Taqwah, and Jihad."

'Taqwah" means the purity of the spirit, respect for superior authority, a sense of responsibility to a superior authority and a moral commitment to do the right thing.

"Jihad" means struggle, constant effort in the ways of righteousness, excellence, community service-under God.

MOST OF US DON'T have the patience to listen to an address on moral responsibility, yet that's the very thing that's going to change the state of our life for the better.

It is an interest in moral responsibility, a desire to know what is right—not right in my limited scope, not right in my race, not right just in America, but what is right everywhere. What has really liberated man is the moral strength to accept what is right, to move from his narrow vision, his narrow interests, into a greater responsibility upon the belief that what he is doing, what he is perceiving, what he is pursuing, is morally right.