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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


A.M. Journal

Be Conscious Of Your Potential

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


{Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam W. Deen Muhammad's lecture, delivered at the AM-MCOP Artistic Clothing Show and Banquet in Houston, Texas on Nov. 26,1983.)

PRAISE be to Allah. I appreciate the opportunity you" have extended to me by inviting me(to address you on this occasion.

I want to speak on a point I think is a very productive point. I find this idea not only in the Holy Book, the Quran, but in the wisdom of the ancients. I believe it goes back to our ancestors whose father was Adam.

This very productive idea is a belief in staying in touch with your potential. Many people are successful in life because they are conscious of their potential. They live with a conscious awareness of what they can do.

POTENTIAL IS a capacity to produce, and the difference between the people who succeed in life and the people who fail is just that.

The failures don't use their potential, their capacity to produce. Allah intends for us to be aware of our potential, aware of our talent, aware of our capabilities.

Allah has told us repeatedly in the Quran, of our excellence, of our capability. Once we come face to face with the wealth of resources in our own being and really see them, no one has to motivate us, no one has to push us and drive us to where we have to go. We are a living soul from that moment on. We function without being driven.

YOU DON'T COME into that kind of realization by conscious effort. You just wake up one morning and it strikes you — there is potential -what you need to work with is right in your own hands.

People who have come to that realization feel a need to work, and  , don't  need  to  be  told. They say there's a need and I have some time  ' right now. They take advantage of this term they've learned and put it to good use.

People who are conscious of their potential do constructive work.

The Caucasian has succeeded in this world. He is conscious of his potential strength, of his potential resources.

The white man - I don't mean all white people; I say the white man -the  Caucasian  is  always  studying new  ways  to get more  out of his resources        human resources, mineral resources, spiritual resources. When we become like  that, conscious of the talent and the resources we have within ourselves, we're generally in the world of men.

SOME OF YOU say: what the Imam is suggesting is deep. We're going to need some money to go to school, attend Harvard and Yale — find a way to put this idea into reality.

When you get up in the morning with the energy, don't waste it. Put it to some constructive use. That's all I'm talking about....

If we are a higher species, if we are a higher creation, we should ask: where is that plan for myself?

Allah says, let there arise out of you a group of people calling to all that is good, prohibiting all that is bad. Believing in God. Needing Him. Not fearing the criticism of those who criticize.

To me, that says, let there rise up a special people. Special because they have a special vision; special because they have a special idea of what life is all about; special because they have a special goal, a special aim in life.

LET THERE ARISE a special people and let them be satisfied with their own company, not affected by what people say outside of their company. Let them be satisfied with their own company so they won't have to compromise their lives; so they won't have to shed some of their own characteristics; so when they run into criticism, they won't have to give up their own principles to be accepted.

Let there arise a group of strong people who figure there will be a world within themselves, where they won't have to feel lonely anymore. A world where they can live their own unique lives and pursue their own special goals.

BEFORE I experienced this, that was a heavy burden on me. I'm not Jesus Christ, but I figure I walked with that heavy cross, because I actually believed that what God has revealed must be given to everybody, and our responsibility and our duty was to work on everybody to get them to accept it. That was my belief. And believe me, that was the most miserable time of my life.

I talked to many people and told them: you're standing between light and darkness, between filth and cleanliness, between intelligence and foolishness - - and I wondered why they couldn't respond. And I had to keep trying, to come out and start all over again. And every time. I would find the people in the same shape I had left them.
I would preach and preach and get responses, and they'd say — yeah, teach! And go back home. ' Then maybe three or four months later I would see them and they would be right back where I found them the first time. The same dead folks. Then I would have to preach and preach again....

THEN ALLAH blessed me with insight from Quran. And I would repeat the verse ever so often. It (the Quran) starts off separating the people: This is the Book in which there is no doubt. Guidance for the God fearing.

I know everybody doesn't fear God. This Book is not for everybody! It's for the God-fearing.

That had been my problem, I was out there trying to get a response from people who don't fear God. I was spending more time with the people who don't fear God than I was with people who do fear God....

I said, my Lord -- this is wonderful. This takes a lot of burden off my back. I said I'm going to make a point of telling folks that I am not here to win the friendship of immoral people. I'm here trying to make friends with people like me, people who appreciate moral life and refuse to commit themselves to immorality.

Believe me, the burden lifted; I'm beginning to see the distinctions.

GOD DIDN'T SEND prophets to the wicked; He sent the prophets to the people who were in wretched conditions but were righteous in their hearts and just waiting for the light to come out of their wickedness.

In other words, God sent the prophets to relieve people, not to people who have fixed their hearts on being immoral.

You see, we have to separate people, because people are not all alike. Don't expect the masses to be the people we expect to find inferiority in. No — the inferiority is mostly in the people ruling the masses. That's why the world is in the condition it's in, because the weak people are ruling the world.

I said to myself, it's wonderful to be able to see what God wants, because we can be overly ambitious in our innocence. We want to just save everybody. We think that everybody should be able to see the right.

I'm here to tell you that your Imam is not burdened anymore. I'm starting to feel good (Applause). Praise be to Allah. Now let's get back to that productive thought.
You can be conscious of the fact that within you are great resources. Great resources  for great production! Use your energies wisely!

(To be continued)