New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

December 6, 1991

Muslim Journal

"An Indirect Approach (to Family Problems)
to Getting a Better Situation at Home": Part 3

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

 (Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Dayton, Ohio on September 29, 1991. From it he has now prepared this article for Muslim Journal's readers.)

"Islam" provides an environment for us to facilitate our retaining that essential nature for growth benefits and prosperity. Our religion gives us an environment to enrich us.

When Allah said that He made us from one single soul, that is Adam, that does not allow for racism. The revealed idea says our dignity is to be traced back to our originality. Our real dignity should not be traced back to a land. That is a mistake on part of Muslims. Are we looking for our dignity in Ancient Africa? Are you looking for our dignity in some "black" ancient civilization? We are not to first look for our dignity in history.

We are to look for dignity in our original nature and essence. We are noble upon creation. We are noble, esteemed creatures, so says Allah, our Creator. Allah made all of the children of Adam noble and honorable, with great esteem and great value. At the same time we have to accept our simple beginning. This is what sobers and humbles our spirit that might otherwise grow proud. The Muslim accepts that Allah made him a creature of nobility and great honor, but also accepts that Allah made Adam (man) from dust.

This way to recall or locate our dignity counters the ego tendency to go off and trip and become too tall to live on this earth. We have to accept, too, that though Allah gave us the creation that makes us honorable, noble, of great esteem, He created us from dust and ignored fluid. So, we give praise to Allah and always respect and honor Allah, and we do not let our worth go to our heads. Remember that we were a fluid shunned and Allah made us noble and honorable. This is the sober way to look at the origin of man and his identity. We are not to see ourselves through the eyes of race minded people.

When I was a young man in the ministry of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, may Allah forgive him for his shortcomings and his sins and grant him Paradise, I used to see the ways of our people back then. We don't see it that much now, and we thank Allah that times have changed and are changing for the better.

I would see our women, our mothers with their little children. They would be my color sometimes and sometimes the family would be as black as any black can be with nappy hair sometimes. They would have their little child carrying a doll that was typical Caucasian. It would have white people's hair, pale skin and blue eyes. That hurt me so bad, and you can understand how that hurt me back then. But it still hurts me, and I hope you understand that. Thank Allah, we don't see this problem as much now.

People, if you want a better situation in your homes, let me give you a little story from an Arab primer book. The mother was about to go out, and her little girl asked, "Momma, will you buy me a doll?" She said, " me?" "Will you buy me a doll like me?" The mother was so thrilled that her little girl asked for a doll like her. So the mother promised to get her little daughter a doll like her. When the mother returned from shopping, she brought the little doll back looking like her daughter.

You know, I play with my children sometimes. Once my daughter at age four asked me to buy her a doll. So I went out and found a doll that looks pretty much like she does. Thank Allah for the changing times. She asked me for a Barbie Doll. I knew Barbie and right away had problems — instantly. But I was lucky to Find one that looks just like Barbie made by a company called Flare. That doll has hair like hers and is dark like her.

Another day she had another doll, and thank Allah it was also looking like her sister. So I asked, "Where is your doll?" She said, "It is downstairs." So I told her, "You are my doll. You are a real doll." That goes a long ways. Brothers, tell your children that when they are playing with their dolls. They know their dolls and identify with their dolls and have an attachment to their dolls and love their dolls. There is a natural mother instinct in them to want to be mothers even at the baby age. When I said, "You are my doll, and you are a real doll", oh, it thrilled her so much! I did not know it was going to thrill her that much. I thought it would be taken well but not as much.

I have to find something that will work like that with the wife. We don't want to leave her out.

There is much to be said about what is happening in the home. But don't forget that I said we are addressing the problems indirectly. So I don't want to talk too much about the things we experience inside the home like the wrong dolls. Therefore, I am going now to faith and how we see faith in this religion.

We have to understand that whatever Allah has invited us to is not something superficial. It is not something shallow. It is something very profound, something very deep and meaningful. Allah invites us to faith. And the Prophet invites us to faith. Most of all, Allah says of the Prophet that he is a Caller to Faith. We know he calls to many things. But it also says, "We have beard a Caller calling to Faith, and we have responded and have believed. " Of the many wonderful descriptions, Muhammed the "Seal of the Prophets" is "a Caller to Faith."

It is most important to know that Muslims are a people of faith. We are believers. I take it that most of us here, at least 98%, are Muslims. I doubt if there are more than a few non-Muslims here. But for those few who are not Muslims, I don't think that I am ignoring you. If you are Christian, then what I am saying to the Muslims is important for you too. It is important for us to know that religious people are first people of faith. And Allah has not given us that concept that we are people of faith without it having real meaning in our total life.

Faith in the Islamic language also means "trust". The same word (term) that we get faith from, we also get the word trust. It is not a different word; it is the same word. Faith and trust in our religion are the same, it only depends on how the term appears in context or in a group of words. We cannot fair well at home without trust in that house, without faith in that house. Allah wants us to have faith in Him. Such faith is natural for us. Allah has created us, and it is natural for His creation to trust Him. Just as it is natural for mother's child or infant to trust her.

The infant will come into the world from its mother trusting its mother. Right away, it clings to its mother and right away learns, "This is my mother, this is my security." Now, I don't think it says, "This is momma", even in its heart. It has to learn that language from us. But it knows that momma is its security. It clings to momma. It learns or it comes to know that it will be fed by momma. It knows that it will be protected and cleaned when needed by momma. Allah has put it in the child to trust the momma by nature.

But after we get up, we tend to stop trusting each other. The child stops trusting momma. Brother and sister stop trusting each other. You have to have trust between the members of the house in order to have a healthy family. Trust each other. You have to forgive each other. And do that, forgive each other. Don't be hard on each other. Tolerate each other. Share burdens with each other.

When I say, "tolerate each other", let me give you an example: Some people are more fit for certain things than others. If someone does not like to wash dishes and only two in the house, let the one who likes wash the dishes. Maybe there is one who doesn't like to mop the floor, but the other one does not mind it. Then let the other who likes it mop the floor.

Don't insist, brothers and sisters, that a child does everything that you want it to do. Some things the child will not want to do. Find out what the child likes to do and give it that to do. Maybe the child does not like doing anything but reading, then let the child read! That will help him and you in the future. Now, I am not saying that you should not put a little fire under them every now and then, when something has to be done. But I am saying be a little more lenient, a little more tolerant, a little more understanding of the nature of people (humans), the nature of children.