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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Bases For Muslim Unity

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(The following public address was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed in Columbia, SC, on October 22, 1989 and is prepared by Imam W. Deen Mohammed for Muslim Journal.)

As-Salaam-Alaikum, and that is peace be unto you. The praise and the thanks is for Allah, Lord of all the worlds. I witness that there is but One God, and we say Allah. There is none with Him as partner in the rule of the Kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth. And I bear witness that Muhammed is His Servant and His Messenger, the prayers and the blessings be on Allah's noble and generous Messenger, and whatever is traditionally included in our most excellent salute to the Last Prophet of Allah, Muhammed (peace and blessings be on him).

We thank you for this opportunity. To Imam Omar Shaheed and to all who worked hard to make this last evening here such a success, we thank you, and we pray that Allah rewards you with all that is good for your efforts.

We are addressing the concerns for Muslim unity as "Bases for Muslim Unity." I will begin by saying that my feeling is that over those centuries that witnessed the authority and power and influence of the United States and the Western powers, Muslims have become reactors rather than having "the deciding purpose" before us. We are given more to react than to what should be the group conscience of Muslims.

This is something that we have fallen into unintentionally because of bad situations and bad circumstances for our Muslim life in most of the International world.

As you know, I am the son of the late leader, Elijah Mohammed, who led a great following called the "Lost-Found Nation of Islam." It was also called "Black Muslims" by one outsider, Dr. C. Eric Lincoln. Dr. Lincoln gave us the name "Black Muslim" that caught on and afterwards we were commonly called that. As a child of Elijah Mohammed, I was raised to believe that Islam was the right religion and that the Qur'an was the right Book and that Muslims all over the world were my brothers.

In this address I am not addressing the problems we had back then. We had many serious problems, but obviously there was enough positive influence in my circumstances to make it possible for me to take the stand that I have taken to be accepted as I am today. Still I must say that in total those circumstances were unfavorable. Those circumstances did not favor us being at peace and in unity with the Muslims of the International world.

Therefore, our unity has been hurt because of circumstances for us in America and because of circumstances that we ourselves were creating in what we called the "Nation of Islam." I should say, I hope that you do not see us as "Black Muslims" now. If you do, I hope you have a good surprise or an explanation that will satisfy us. The message broadcasted by the expression "Black Muslims" is that the Muslim world is also "Black and White," racist.

I want to say also that I have been blessed. And I say "blessed" because if any of us can come out of the dark, it is because of the blessings of Allah, The Almighty God. So as I have been blessed myself to come to the essentials of this religion and to discipline myself upon those essentials and to see the real essence and the real inclusive purpose in our religion, I have also come to believe that our circumstances here in the United States are more severe than those for Muslims of the International world. However, most of the Muslims of the International world are also in circumstances that do not favor them living at peace and in unity with their brothers all over this planet Earth.

I don't think it should be necessary for me to say that we have people who dislike us simply because we are Muslims. Allah told us that long ago, over 1400 years ago. Allah told us that with the Revelation to the Prophet in the Qur'an. In the Qur'an Allah tells us that we the Believers, Prophet Muhammed and his followers, were persecuted merely for saying "Allah is our Lord." The Muslims were persecuted for believing in Allah, for believing in the Creator, the One Lord of all.

We also know the history of good Christians who were persecuted for their righteousness and for their obedience to God. Muslims and Christians were persecuted simply because the world of wicked people and the wicked rulers could not accept and tolerate their consistent righteousness.

Whenever people believe in the One True God, whenever people accept the One True God, the Supreme Authority, the Upper Most Authority, the Highest Authority, their life is going to be disciplined by Allah and answerable to Allah. When that occurs, there will always be those who see that as a threat to their order of the world, to their system, to their establishment, and to their designs on the world. And those (Believers) threatening that order will be persecuted.

Muslims were persecuted, and before Muslims were persecuted Christians were persecuted. Before the Christians were persecuted, followers of Moses were persecuted. Every group that stands up to declare their obedience first of all to their Lord and Maker will be persecuted, until Allah establishes them in strength or establish them in the eyes of the majority of the people or before the strong of the people, people who will not join with the persecutors.

When the majority or when the power holders favor those persecuted, the minority will have to either work in the dark or stop their open persecution of the Believers. This same thing has happened in the new America. We have experienced this. Although there is still some persecution, it is now mostly subtle, deceitful, and disguised.

There are always those who do not like you and will not accept you because of your holding to something strong and enduring. They don't feel comfortable with you sharing the neighborhood with them, sharing their facilities with them. They don't feel comfortable with you even sharing the town with them. They do not like that you are sharing with them at all in what they believe to be theirs: "White world's accomplishments. They see our contribution as involuntary, an offer we "could not refuse."

We are prepared for persecution, prepared to accept there is persecution. But we do not invite persecution. We work for peace and harmony. We work for a situation where people differing will not be threatened by each other and will not feel threatened by each other. We work for peace.

We are Muslims. A Muslim is one who believes in obedience to Allah (God) which results in intelligent behavior and inward peace. A Muslim is one who believes in coming to a state of peace by submitting first of all to the Lord Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. A Muslim is one who follows the disciplines of his religion. This person becomes a Muslim and accepts to be a person who favors peace. The greeting that we give says "Peace." It is "As-Salaam" which means "Peace." It continues with "Alaikum" which means "be on you."

Still many of us do not understand that this is not the same as saying "Peace to you." Many people will say "Peace be unto you." What we are saying is "Peace be upon you." The key word is "upon" you. This means that 'The Peace" obligates you. Every time we greet a Muslim we are not only extending him peace, but we are reminding the Muslim that he is obligated to extend, support, and keep the peace. Every Muslim should be a policeman for peace's sake. That does not mean Muslims take over law enforcement. We are to be policemen (peace officers) within the law.

We should be policemen keeping the peace within ourselves. Let us first be peace 'keepers over ourselves. We are to be policemen for those over whom we have some authority: Our children. We should work to have our children grow into a mind to appreciate the "state of peace" and to love the "state of peace." We should be moved to feel uncomfortable and miserable when our children do not have peace. Accepting to live by that principle, as our children grow older they will be policemen for peace, peace keepers, peacemakers.

The family should love and work for peace. The house should be a house for peace. We should have peace in our houses, in our homes and we should want to extend that peace to our neighbors and have peace with our neighbors. We should want to share in the obligation of keeping the peace with our neighbors. And we should want our neighbors to feel and share the burden of sharing the obligation to keep the peace. If everyone would do that, think how wonderful the world would be.

For the Muslim, no matter how small or insignificant we may look individually: You might say, "I am of no consequence. I do not have any power. I do not have any position in the town. I do not have any wealth. I do not have any influence over people. Therefore, I can't worry about keeping the peace!" Let me tell you now, if you care nothing about keeping the peace, you may find yourself in hell soon, if not already.

I have to work hard at keeping the peace within my own kingdom, within my own self. Sometimes persons close to me appear to be working out just how they are going to upset my peace. They look to be at it all the time, twenty-four hours a day and everyday. They must be saying, "When I see him, I am sure going to destroy his peace." When I meet them and see the way they are set, I have to say it looks like they have been working on this a long time!

If it were not for the Mercy of Allah, I would not favor peace and love peace. I think I would be destroyed. Looking at our burdens and looking away from Allah, I think we have let these circumstances change our emotional constitution, and moods, and attitudes.

We are still hearing the same religion but are not behaving as we should. We are still hearing what is essential for Muslim unity — La ilaha illallah, that there is but One Allah; Muhammedan Rasul-lallah, that Muhammed is His Messenger. We are still hearing that. And that is what we all rally around, what we all believe and accept.

That pure monotheistic belief brings us together in unity with each other. We give our obedience to One Lord Who is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth (Allah). And we follow the Last Prophet, Muhammed, the prayers and the peace be upon him. In one glance, that is what makes for the bases of unity for us in America and for us throughout the world.

(To be continued)