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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Liberation Of The Human Mind For Muslims: Part 3

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial note: This lecture was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed in San Diego, California, at the Sister Clara Muhammad School Banquet on Oct. 8, 1988).

Now, Allah also says that any who does wrong suffers the burden of that wrong. And any who does good gets the reward of that good. And there is a saying for Muslims that the potential for good and harm, or for good and bad, or good and evil is from God. What does this tell us? This tells us that all of us have the same moral capacity and the same moral potential. One race is no different than the other when it comes to moral nature. The Blacks can be as bad as the Whites; the Whites can be as bad as the Blacks—and I am talking about White people and Black people. I don't want you to go way out in your esoteric thing and come back with something from way out in the twilight zone. And we still have people who like to come from the twilight zone. So there is no difference in the morality of the people. Whatever I am capable of doing morally, then you of a different race it is likewise for you.

This is according to my understanding of the religion, and this is plain and clear. And we are seeing today the evidence of this. The Blacks that I am associated with, the poor common Blacks or African-American as I like to call them -we used to think, not from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's teachings, but from our own understanding of white people in America that white people were more reckless with their morals, that they could go to extremes that we never could image and never could think of going to.

But over the last twenty-five or thirty years or more of so-called social equality and "Black power," I have seen our people come into the same kind of bad moral behavior that they used to put only on white folks. We were not known to behave that way.

This might be touchy for some of you, but I don't mind. If you mind, then it is different But it should be touchy. A lot of things need to be touchy, and in fact, life is not life without some things being touchy. I was in prison. But the "touchy part" is not me being in prison, now. Although I was touchy while I was in prison. And I had better tell you what I was in prison for, for it is no telling what is going through your mind. It was for refusing to go to the war.

I was in Sandstone, Minnesota Federal Correctional Facility, and it is near the Dakotas. There were a lot of Indians up there, and there was this Indian named Left-Hand who told me once after we had gotten acquainted, "You are alright. But 1 don't like many things about the white man myself." You know, the Muslims were known then to be advocates of separation from the white race and preached a Black superiority psychology to deal with that inferiority in us. So he knew of that and right away saw me as one of those people believing in that. Although my father had sensitized me with other types of influences and therefore I wasn't so excited about that idea of Blacks being superior to whites.

So Left-Hand, the Indian, said, "once we were having church, and the priest started speaking to some of the Indians with disrespect. And two of us went and got him by his Black dress and threw him out on the road. You know, we knew nothing about oral sex, until the white man came over here." So that Indian was thinking the same way that you were thinking. That the white man had bad moral habits that we couldn't even think of ourselves as doing. And now, although I don't know about the Indians, but these Blacks have gone to all extremes. You are afraid to hug one too close right now. You have to say, "Wait a minute."

The point is that all people have the same capacity and same potential and the same nature with the same possibilities for behavior, for advancement, for failure, and et cetera. Further God says in our Holy Book, "by the human soul." And the term that is used for soul in Qur'an is "Nafs," and it also is used for self. If I say my soul, then I will say, "Nafse." If I say myself, I also say, "Nafse." So depending on how I am using it, it is understood that I am speaking of myself or of my soul. It can also mean personality and a lot of things depending on how it is used and with what context it is put in.

The Holy Qur'an continue^, "by the soul and how it is proportioned. And God has provided for its enlightenment and its regardfulness. Certainly whoever spends on it succeeds, and whoever neglects it fails." Now this puts responsibility in everybody's hands for the fate of their own souls and for the fate of themselves We know that God plainly says to us, "O you who believe, you are responsible for yourselves. " And the word meaning spend on it means to care for it in a proper and decent way. Give the soul what it needs for its proper growth and refinement. Whoever looks out for the proper growth and refinement of his own soul, he will be successful even if he is male or female, black or white. And whoever neglects it will be assured to fail.

We are trying to go briefly over a lot of things, so I won't take time to elaborate on this or to bring it out in different senses or in different situations. You know yourself what you have been doing. You know if you have been regardful of your own soul. You know if you have been sacrificing to bring into it a great sense of regard for the things that are valuable in the life of the human being that should be regarded. And we mentioned some of them, the most important of all being God, himself. Also there was parents, and et cetera.

God also says, "certainly we have created the human person in the best mold," It means in the best Stature or in the best mold. And it continues, that at the consequences of his own bad doings, he is brought to be the lowest of the low. He can fall lower than any creature. And there are the monkeys, dogs, and everything, but he can fall lower. I heard one human being calling another human being, "you dirty dog!" And I knew both of them, but I didn't feel sorry for any of them. I felt sorry for the family of the dog. And I said, "boy, a dog has never been that bad!"

And God says, this is the bad fate of those who give themselves to the habit of neglecting their own good human welfare, except for those who have faith or who believe. They will trust in something. Do you know that there are a lot of people who have given up trust. They don't trust anyone and don't have faith anymore. And the Qur'an continues, "and they have good deeds. And for them is a reward that shall never be cut off." So we know our faith, as long as we believe in God and do good. For us we will always experience a good future. Tomorrow is going to be good. Next week is going to be good. Next year will be good. And one hundred years down the road, if I live that long, will be good as long as I keep faith and believe in good works.

As soon as I give up faith and stop believing in good works, then we will begin to deteriorate and fall down morally. And it is not the accident that I have physically that makes me unhappy. I have seen many happy people with no hands and no arms. They were very happy and were going about doing something that pleased them, They had even some kind of occupation, although they didn't have arms and didn't have legs. So it is not the physical loss that causes us to be miserable. It is the moral loss or the spiritual loss that causes us to be so miserable and to give ourselves to self destruction and to bad behavior.

This reference from the Sura entitled "The Fig." It goes on to say that Allah created our self dignity and revealed in the Qur'an that the claim to this inherit dignity is the right of all people. We have the same dignity. There is no such thing as race pride for you and it is not also for men. That would be based upon fiction, fantasy, and lies. I fit is based upon reality of our creation, then you can not have any greater pride or dignity in your own self worth than 1 have — if my mind is right. If I am given a chance to partake in the environment that God has given to me.

Furthermore the fate which is tied to man's dignity, for this dignity is creation-based, affects us all equally. It says also that the heights of self worth to which one may rise and also the depths of inferiority to which one may fall have the same possibility for all people. It is the same possibility for all people. So we speak about nobility and the noble race or of the noble English people and the noble this and noble that. Our nobility that is created is inherit in all of us. And some of us are favored by many situations in terms of the physical environment and for others in terms of the social environment. But man has been able to create and to develop for himself. We are favored by those environments.

Now that doesn't mean that we are always going to be in that favored situation. In fact, the good situation may continue, but some other factor may come into the picture that will cut off that growth for that people, I can remember when I truthfully could say that the American conscience was of a pretty good conscience in terms of respect for refinement in the life of human beings. From the time I was a young boy until I got into my mid twenties, I think that kind of feeling was prevalent throughout the United States. You had the bad feelings and you had the low life people, but they didn't feel the world belonged to them. They felt that they were in the minority. Now the bad fellows and low life people feel that the world belongs to them. They feel that they are in the majority.

There is a greatly different climate. But I am not saying that I am dissatisfied with the climate in America now. For the last five years or so the climate in America has greatly improved. The thinking on the part of the people in terms of moral behavior has greatly improved I think. So I am not expressing any real disappointment. What I am saying is that we have cycles and trends. And no matter how advanced we are in terms of material power and even in education, it does not mean that we are always going to be a fit people for the life that we call human life.

For that reason we see now Asians and others coming over here and getting jobs and are taking over. They are getting themselves established. And many of the Americans are wondering why is this happening. It is happening, because you didn't spend on your own soul in terms of its enlightenment and in terms' of its moral natures.
(To be continued)