The Muslim Journal
Two Portions of G-d’s Mercy – Part 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following Jumuah khutbah was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed at the Taqwa Islamic Center in Chicago, IL., on Oct. 19, 2001 It is here presented in excerpts.)
I was not a special brain. My father had no education; he went no" further than three years of elementary school in Sandersville, Ga., in the South. He told us that he had to teach himself how to write a good hand. He educated himself. And when his teacher came along, Mr. Fard, he inspired my father to want bigger and greater things.
Mr. Fard made him a higher student and a more broad-minded student than he was before, struggling to write a good letter, and the man became a genius. The challenge that my father was given by his teacher challenged his mind and brought out the genius in that man who didn't have good circumstances in the South and in the North.
I remember the Hon. Elijah Muhammad saying many times in the Temple: "When you become a member here, you automatically become a member of every Islamic nation." No matter what we thought of what he was saying and doing, we have to admit that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was sensitizing us to be united with all Muslims on this planet. And thanks be to Allah, it has happened.
We now are part of the international ummah, out of the United States of America. Our obligation here is to work with all that we have, fearing G-d, loving G-d and seeking G-d for forgiveness of our shortcomings, of our sins, and asking Him for Mercy and Guidance. It is not just for me? but also for my children to come, for my brother's children to come, for my loved ones and my friends and for the whole of mankind. It is for every human person on this earth.
That is what is in my heart and stays in my heart. That is what drives me to want to do more and more and reach wider and wider areas of understanding, of knowledge, but also of opportunity to contribute to the betterment of my neighborhood, of my community, of my city, of my state, my country and the whole world.
We don't have to have 100 percent of us with that strong motivation moving us every time we wake up and go to bed. We only need a very few people like that, to keep the right thing on the rest of our minds and to keep us going forward in the Path of G-d. And G-d says "strive in His Path with your wealth and with your own souls, your own selves."
The poor man may think that he is not being spoken to, but he is. You may not have wealth in the terms of U.S. currency or of some other currency, but if you have a strong moral constitution, then you represent a wealth of resources in terms of moral life and moral influence. And you are supposed to spend of your own soul. So you can't go into your pocket, but G-d says to spend of your own soul. If you have these qualities, these riches in your own soul, then share them with others.
Muhammed the Prophet said we are obligated to fight against injustice, against wrong. He said the first and the best fight is to fight with your hands; that means to get involved physically. And if you can't find the wherewithal or circumstances won't permit you to do that, he said, then do it with your tongue - to speak out against the wrong. Sometimes you can't speak out against it, because you may lose your life and your wife and children will be killed, your house and whole family burned up. Sometimes, there are some extreme conditions in the world.
So we are allowed to save our lives, not to speak out when you know you are going to get killed. Then it says, at least have it in your heart to dislike what is going on. Let your soul and heart be opposed to what is going on. This is a very sensible religion. It is a Good Sense Religion, a religion for the best of the human nature. It is the religion of the origin (nature) of human beings, of the pattern or order or form of human life that He (G-d) evolved man upon.
Man evolved and progressed upon the purity of the original nature that G-d created for him. It was that nature that made him want to know "Why?" Why is it this way? Why is the sky as it is? Why does the sun rise on time and repeats the rising, and I get up for work and the night comes on time and makes me sleepy? That is how the thinkers and philosophers were born; they wanted to know "why?" That is the original nature given to them by their Creator, G-d.
The original nature of the human being is what G-d patterned the whole of mankind upon. If the Turks became great people, if the Irish became great people, if the Chinese became great people, if the Africans or whomever became great people, it was firstly because G-d created them as a special, precious, rich, resourceful vessel with all of those possibilities there. If they followed the best of their human aspirations, then they gave birth to leaders who led them into great heights of society and civilization and the sciences.
Allah wants us to think rationally. Allah wants us to think with respect for His creation and the laws of His creation, so that we will gain great knowledge and sciences from His creation and get His Second Mercy, the Mercy that He says will give us comfort. "And He has expanded or extended everything for knowledge and mercy." The sentence in the Arabic is so exact in its expression; it would take a lecture alone to explain what that is saying.
Allah is saying to us that if we get the science that is in His creation, it will make your life more comfortable and that will be His Compassion on you. That is His greatest Mercy, His greatest Compassion on you; that He gives you His sciences that He puts in His creation. In the winter you can be warm, and in the summer you can be cool. And you can travel without hardship. Isn't that mercy, love, compassion? But man gets it and then gives himself the credit.
Although man will make the computer and still give himself the credit, not the computer - although the computer is doing wonders and running the factory and guiding the plane. He doesn't say, "Thank the computer." He says, "Thank me, for I created it." Well, he should thank Allah for creating the computer in his head. Know that man is not the creator of that computer, Allah is. Man could not even find anything to put in his computer, until G-d created it.
Praise be to Allah, "You are the best of the society or community brought out or evolved for the good of all people." We have to now be aware that we are again beginning to grow in business establishment. The material world is a test, like many other things. It is a test for our spiritual life. It is a material world and it will deceive us. It will take our souls on the path to greed and selfishness and arrogance of power, if we don't obey the guidance of G-d and follow the human model that He wants us to be.
Understand that we got our first and great start from the teacher Fard, and his student, Elijah Poole Muhammad. Great wisdom was put in the language that he left with us, and thank Allah, his son was blessed to find it. Now again, we are coming into business, and we will be tested like we were tested before, But this time we won't fail. I have assurance in my soul, heart and mind that this time we will not fail. We are going to grow bigger and bigger and bigger in business.
The motivation is the same as it was then. Do you think the Hon. Elijah Muhammad wanted you to support business so he could ride around in fine cars and live in luxury? No, he did not. I know him better than that, and my brothers and sisters know him better than that. And you who knew him personally knew him better than that. He wanted to see us have a better life, a better future, that we have the promise of good homes, plenty money and friendships in all walks of life.
How can you have friendships in all walks of life with plenty money, if you are a crook or a criminal? You will have plenty money, but you won't have friendships in all walks of life. That tells us that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad wanted us to be decent, upright, honorable people. Not materialistic, greedy for money.
He wanted to meet our needs or necessities to have better Islamic schools, better mosques, Muslim places of worship and better material environments for our elderly and young children, for our wives bearing our children. A man should never think of having a house for himself before he thinks of having a house for his wife who is going to bear his children.
We are a people who think about community first, and the first community is the community of family. That is what Allah, G-d, wants us to do - take care of our families and feel for the brother and his family. Let your charity go outside of your own family and help somebody else. That is what Allah wants for us. This is a simple religion.
We are challenged again, and it is no different than what it was before. The challenge under my father was jealousy, envy, selfishness, resenting that someone else has a few dollars more than you, resenting that someone else has a position bigger than yours with more prestige. The same old things that brought nations and ancient people down were in the Nation of Islam and are here now. It never changes. The excellence of the people stays, and the cancer that was in the people stays.
Some people don't care about material things. They get material things only so they can have power. If they can get power without getting material things, they will do it that way. They will be bickering and arguing and undermining each other. We have to work for business. We have to work for the cause. We have to see our life as Muslims more important than everything else.
I hear this expression: "I love this community." How can you love this community, if you don't love me? How can you love this community, and you don't support me? That is a liar who does not love this community. It makes that person burn inside when they see me go up and people loving and admiring me. If you loved the community, you will love the person who is helping the community and making a contribution to the community.
You aren't going to love someone who is giving the community nothing but mosquito bits and bad air. How can you love those who are doing nothing and not love those who are doing something? How much are you giving to the community? Or are you just living on it like a leach. Brothers, your obligation is that you be a soldier and know the imposter among you. Know that he is not a soldier.
If he is always talking community and not giving anything to it, that is the imposter, the devil among you, the snake in the grass. If you love your leader, how can you undermine my best help? It is like you are cutting away my right arm. This is not going to be easy. It is never easy to do something big. Community life is a big undertaking. It is a big challenge to establish your own community life and have your own selves responsible for it.
Don't think the devil and greedy ones influenced by the devil aren't going to be eyeing what we are doing and see how they can capitalize on what we are doing for their own benefit. They want to see how they can cipher something off for themselves. They want to see how they can turn the tables from what we want to have on the table to what they want to have on the table. This is no small challenge.
G-d has chosen us to be responsible for community life. Everywhere in this world, no matter what nation we are in and whether the circumstances will permit them to do it or not, they should at least have it in their hearts to build a model of how G-d wants man to live on this planet.
We thank you and we thank G-d. We ask Him for His Forgiveness and for His Mercy and Guidance.