New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Muslim Journal

Muslims Can’t Isolate Themselves From Community Concerns: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: The following is excerpted from an address Imam Muhammad delivered November 2, 1985 at Masjid Felix Bilal in Los Angeles.)

Other ethnic groups come into this country and they don't busy themselves with just praying to their Buddha or whatever name they say. They busy themselves also in progressing their community economically. And they are willing to do it the hard way. They are willing to struggle hard and pay the price to get the blessing. Most of us want it too quick. They say. "Oh brother Imam, I like your ideas, but I want something right now. How can I get a million dollars right now?"

I CAN GIVE IT TO you and you will be without it this evening. Yes, maybe I can go and sell a piece of property of ours and get you a million dollars cash and put it in your hands, but with that kind of mind, it will be out of your hands within a few days. Maybe in just one day. You might meet a con man who will convince you to invest that million and you might lose it in one hour. They say a fool and his money are soon parted. Is that why we are so poor as a race? I don't know, but I know something is wrong.

The President of these United States, when he came into office and started receiving pressure from the black com­munity, what did he tell some of our leaders who went to the White House? He told them, "Get your dollar to at least make two circuits in your community, that is the answer." Your dollar is going out of your pocket and going away and it doesn't even come back to you one time.

Now that was harsh. Some of you may say it was cold. "Reagan's cold.” But maybe it was, but it sure is beneficial if you will heed it. If you would follow that ad­vice and find a way to control your own resources to the best of your ability, and not be satisfied with your present ability, but work hard as hell to improve your ability and control your own resources. That is the answer. Let us manage our own resources better. Let us start right with our own pocket change, and stop wasting it foolishly. Start with the check that we get once a week or every two weeks or every month, and stop wasting it foolishly. Value the future of your children, and put some of that money up.

Don't be ashamed not to have a car. If you can't afford a car, don't have a car. Take the city transportation or walk. Get a bicycle. Don't be afraid. Join the Third World peo­ple in their situation, and show that that you can be a leader in the United States for them in the Third World, because they don't have this kind of sense.

The communists come in and put restrictions on the peo­ple. They manage everything, and make un-established people shape up and start doing something productive. But the Third World on its own — and I am talking mainly of Africa and the Caribbean now — haven't got that discipline. They don't have the spirit to bring their life in­to some kind of control and work harder than hell with a plan, a five year plan, a ten year plan that is designed to take them out of these terrible straits into a more livable situation.

They can't do like the Cubans. They can't do like the Arabs who come to America from overseas and live in unbearable conditions, for us, at least for blacks. We look at them and say, "Hey, that's a shame the way they live." And after awhile they are gone, and you are looking at them and saying, "Hey, that's a shame they got this business in our community and are not employing us."
You're not fit for them to employ. Their work ethics and their work discipline are too strong for your weakness. They can't hire you in their business. You're not disciplin­ed enough businesswise. You are not disciplined enough morally to strengthen their business. So they can't hire you. When they hire you, they make a great sacrifice.

This is the reality. This is the teaching your black leaders are afraid to give you, but this is the teaching that will make us shape up and be a strong people. Get your life into some kind of control. Don't look for immediate reward. Work hard for the future. That is the Islamic life...''