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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


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Our Global Responsibility: Part 5

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


With the Name Allah, the Gracious, the Compassionate


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's Sunday address IWJPC live radio broadcast] at Masjid Honorable Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, IL, Aug. 24, 1980 — Continued from the last four weeks.)

Let me come back to the idea of a structure upon which there should be a dome. Here, I want to use the term that I believe some of us are very much familiar with, the term "oriented."

"Oriented," in the dictionary, means directed eastward. It also means directed towards a definite direction, given some definite or special direction. Oriented! In acquainting new members with our community, we have had what we call "orientation class." That orientation class is to give them a sense of direction in our community. That's what the orientation class is all about, to give each member a sense of direction, a sense of feel and direction in our community.

Now let me say something about this term "oriented." If we go on through life without finding knowledge that is oriented, we will never realize the fullness of life that America promises us as citizens in this country. We have to have our lives oriented.

We know that most of the houses, and especially religious houses, show a definite direction, a definite pattern and direction or structural pattern, and they are usually oriented towards some direction. Churches, they tell me, are oriented towards the east.

Masajid or mosques—Muslims' houses of worship - - are oriented towards the Holy House, the Kaabah, the Qiblah at Mecca, the Holy Center for universalizing all humanity; that center at Mecca, that's where we are oriented. We are oriented towards that house. Our Masajid, our houses of worship, should be oriented towards that house.

Now we find that that house has four corners — four principal corners. We know that we speak of community life as being influenced from four directions. When we think of a community life, we want to know which way is east; which way is west; which way is north; which way is south? So we are principally concerned with four directions in structuring or in patterning a community.

We know then that the concept of "house" is really symbolic or represents a need for some orientation — some orientation in one's life or in society. We know that it represents a need for us to be aware of a need for direction and protection against influences. We need direction and protection against influences because if we are not aware of influences this unawareness will rob us of our direction.

So in ancient times — and we have a native Egyptian here with us today — the people built the Pyramids, aligned the Pyramids so the Pyramids would get the best out of the universal influences. They lined them up with certain stars, so that the gravitational pull of the stars — the gravitational effect or influence of the stars — would help sustain, would help keep that building in check.

Now this is a science that the Caucasians in the West have studied and learned from ancient Egypt, and they treasure it very dearly. Now, shouldn't your own life be centered universally? Shouldn't it be oriented universally so you can take the best advantage of the influences in the overall environment? So the wind from the southwest won't knock you down? Or the wind from the northeast or some other direction won't knock you down?

If you center your life so that it is given the best protection against the influences in the environment, you have the best protection for your life.

But that life also must have a direction — a direction and the same respect we give the open environment to structure our life so our life won't be harmfully affected by the environment, or so we'll have the minimum harm in our life from the environment.

The same respect for the environment should also dictate that we realize that the mind must expand. The mind must grow from narrow viewpoints to broader viewpoints. The mind must grow from personal responsibility and family responsibility to global responsibility. These are the keys for success.

And I'm telling you this in a language that you might say, "Oh, that young man — did he go to college?" No, I didn't. You might say, "Oh, that man — he must be an intellectual." No, I'm not. Then where have I gotten this understanding—? Who has taught me—? Our Holy Book, the Quran has taught me.

The Quran has taught me how to think scientifically; the Quran has taught me how to analyze human and global problems; the Quran has taught me how to center my life and center society so society won't be toppled by the wild influences out there in the world. The Quran has taught me that, praise be to Allah. Shouldn't I tell you where I got my knowledge? Would it be scholarly of me to not connect you with my notes?

Let me give you an extra incentive for studying further what I'm presenting today.

A Bilalian man, an African-American, who is not a Muslim — he doesn't belong to our community, he doesn't belong to any Muslim community; he is a professed Christian. He wrote the first book that popularized the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. That book was called "The Black Muslims." The term was his, not ours. He called us "Black Muslims."

This same scholar and professor, who at this time is in the capacity of a college professor, said in a recent presentation to a most distinguished body of educators, scholars and educators, that he believed that there is something in the genetic bank, in the genetic makeup of African-American people — that there is something in our genetic life.

Let me explain. The life you live is not totally your learning. The life you live has something also to do with your genetic inheritance or your genetic memory. This Dr. C. Eric Lincoln says that there is something in us called an "Islamic memory." An Islamic memory!

If a people remain involved or occupied in a discipline for generations, that discipline is clocked into their genetic memory. They can't come from their mother's womb and recite Quran. They can't come from their mother's womb and make Adhan, that is, the Islamic call to prayer.

They can't come from their mother's womb and tell you the Five basic Principles of this religion, but they can come from their wombs and with no direct 'contact with that past memory, they can show in their personal behavior some connection with that past memory. It will happen subconsciously. It won't be a conscious awareness, it will be happening through their deep subconscious.

(To be continued)