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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

December 31, 1993

Muslim Journal

The Islamic Climate For Business

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

Our business people have to see our roots in the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's call to financial responsibility, to business development, to some economic plan. We can't deny him that credit that he has earned. He was the one who excited not only us but the African American people or Black people. It was an excitement to have a bigger appetite for not only wealth but also for bigger responsibility that gives bigger respect to a people.

Business is a need in human nature. Social establishment aspirations need to mate with business interests. If it doesn't then you don't have much of a future for yourself in social establishment. The first and still the most important unit of social establishment is the family. Family is a social establishment.

When you go abroad you will find this more. I was in China and I was very much impressed with their belief that families were the best situations for the development of business. In Japan there is a model for that. In Japan the family works in business together and establishes itself as a business group. It makes for better business in the nation when families become strong in business. Strong business families make strong economic societies.

When we look at the African American condition, we find that we are very much deficient in business sense and in business establishment. It is because we don't have business families. We have to insist that God wants us to have families with a business sense. That is the natural way that man has evolved. Man has evolved as a family unit with business development because of the needs of family pressing on him. He has to take care of his wife. He has to take care to have food, clothing and shelter for his family.

There is no way to think of family and divorce that interest from business. The two naturally go together. If you have a family, you have to have something to supply their needs. So the urge is to go out in the field and bring something back home.

The problem for us is complicated because this world attracts us to influence us and get us to spend everything we made in the field before we get back home. As Muslims we can't allow that to continue. Our men have to bring that money home to momma. That is your religious duty and your need inside your life. We in Islam have to see business as an inherent need. By inherent we mean that it is part of our own nature and part of our own life. Our life needs that just like it needs to drink, to eat, to exercise, etc.

For a sense of social worth and social esteem in your family and in the society, for a sense of personal achievement in your family or society, you need business accomplishment. You won't have that sense of fulfillment or personal worth or achievement unless you grow in business. We have to see business as an aspect of life. And that is the way it is for the economist and the business world. They know that, but they have made it the life. And that is why we are so oppressed. They have made making money and getting profit the life. It should never be the life.

Al-Islam is always the life.