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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

February 12, 1993

Muslim Journal

The Sure Reality

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


Be Free From Secrecy

We have to be free from secrecy to pursue our excellence. That is what it was about from the very beginning. Whatever mysteries were put before us was to attract our minds and excite activity in the head, to turn the brain on so that we could pursue our excellence that God created us with. Allah Most High says in the Qur'an that secrecy is not permitted in Islam, "unless it is for advancing honesty, decency, and righteousness among people."

Permission is not for advancing one people over another, and that cannot be used as a justification for meeting in secrecy. It is outlawed in Islam for African-Americans or for Blacks to meet in secrecy to plan our advancement so that we will be above or over other people. That is what Afrocentrism has in its soul and in its spirit, and that is why the old Nation of Islam "X-ism" can embrace Afrocentrism.

Allah also tells us in the Qur'an that it is given with two particulars: That which takes form in the rational and can be grasped by a rational mind and applied in a practical way. Allah says that is the basis or foundation of the Qur'an. I'm not saying that; this is what Allah says. The Qur'an says that there are some who are magnetically drawn to that which is metaphorical or symbolic. And Allah says, "In their hearts is a disease" and a deceit because they prefer that over the plain rational teachings.

Look at those of our community who preach Islam and cannot agree with me. Find what they emphasize in Islam. It is that which is symbolic and allegorical and mysterious. They emphasize not the practice of Islam. When they emphasize that which is practical, they do not give Allah in the Qur'an and Muhammed credit for that. They give themselves credit and call it "Mr. So and So's" and "Minister So and So's" and "Imam So and So's" plan for the Black man: They make their program more important than the Qur'an.

When I began teaching the Qur'an and I mentioned that God let some of us have insight to understand how to interpret that which is vague and obscure and mysterious, I was challenged by those who claim they were standing upon real scholarly authority in the world of Islam. They would say, 'The Imam doesn't know this. His intentions are good and he is well meaning, but he is not aware of this." And "no one knows the tajweel (interpretations) but God."

No one knows anything but God. When God challenged the angels to accept His new creation, the human man who would be caliphah to rule in the society of men, most of the angels could not do anything but acknowledge what God had done. They said, "God, we have no knowledge except what You have given to us." When we make Hajj or Pilgrimage to Mecca and to the Kaa'ba, we say, "Allah, You know. We know not." Certainly, all knowledge is with God. When you get down to it and actually begin to get technical, we don't know. Allah knows, and we can't know unless Allah creates us to know, guides us to know, and helps us to know of His Mercy.


The Best Interpretation

Prophet Muhammed in his saying and God in His Words in the Qur'an let us know that the "tajweel" is known by some. The Prophet himself is told to tell the people what is the best tajweel, what is the best interpretation. And the Prophet says, 'To be honest, to be righteous, to do good, to promote excellence, that is the best tajweel" — that is the best interpretation.

What the Prophet is saying is that there are a lot of mysteries to be known, but if you are not interested in advancing righteousness and in advancing excellence for man and for society, then you do not have the right tajweel or understanding or the interpretation. It is my belief and I get support for it from my history and from my religion and its history and also from the history of Western society in its pursuit of excellence. I get my support from both and from men of excellence.

The Qur'an is revealed to us to motivate us into our excellence that God created us for. That the world itself is destined to force us — and I am talking about the natural world phenomena and events, that which gets out of the control of man whether it was started by man or not. We may start something from Allah's creation but eventually it will get out of our hands if we don't serve God the way He intended in the ordering of creation and in the ordering of our own lives (spirit). Again, it gets out of our hands and it is my belief that eventually natural phenomena or natural happenings that are too big for man will force us to do what God wants, whether we belong to Christian religion or Islam or something else.

I believe that natural force is now upon us. The President of these United States cannot do his own thing, The President cannot do our own thing for us. He cannot do America's own thing. He cannot just look at what is good for America without seeing it is going to affect other nations, and whether it is good for other nations at the same time that it is good for America. This natural force is now upon the world, and it is forcing or dictating the course that the world must take.

There was a time when powerful men could rise up with their ideologies and could preach that and convert great blocks of men to accept. That time is out and gone. There is no individual or group to bring men together in great masses for conquering this earth. That cannot happen anymore, for that time is out. Knowing that, I now want you to see your own (spiritual) situation as a people. When I say you, it includes myself.


Dr. C. Eric Lincoln

Dr. C. Eric Lincoln loves what he believes to be the real interest and the real aim in the Nation of Islam as conceived by Fard and as established under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. And I love it too. Dr. Lincoln describes it in a way that I am comfortable with, when he describes what he sees as something trying to arrive although not yet there. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said "Your saviour has arrived," but he never said what you want as a life has arrived.

What I am talking about is what we want as a life. It is something that is coming, but it has not arrived completely. Dr. C. Eric Lincoln is the great Christian theologian who wrote the book on the Black Church which became a classic. He also wrote the book, "Black Muslims," that helped put the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his followers on the map. I give credit to Dr. C. Eric Lincoln for a number of things and most important among them is our popularity in high quarters.

First of all it was the Honor-able Elijah Muhammad's emphasis on business, for us to do something practical for us to have as a showing. After that it was his abled mouthpiece, and believe me that is what he was: Malcolm was a mouthpiece for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. There was no such thing as a Malcolm or no Malcolm was known until he became excited and enthused to be the mouthpiece for the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm was better educated formally and had a richer cultural upbringing in America's idea of culture.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a man who came from the worse history of poverty and deprivation than Malcolm. Malcolm came from a kind of intellectually proud family. His brothers and sisters were intellectually proud people. His older brother was the greatest influence, a man educated and proud of his intellect.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was proud of his intellect only because he had a great idea given to him by his teacher, Fard. But looking into his own past, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had nothing to brag about. He did not know how to read and write and taught himself after he was up North and a man. He was always curious and learned to read and write. Let us get the history straight and see the picture as it is and not as some of us blindly want it to be.


The Influence of Africa

I see certain things as being very important for bringing us on the map or into public view. Also to be included are the new and emerging independent nations of Africa. Egypt got its independence. Ghana got its independence. After a while a lot of nations of Africa were independent and soon changed the whole color of the United Nations.

Now when we look at the United Nations on television, we see a picture of color. Before it was "white." In 1945 it was a White organization with only 50 members and only one small one of color. Now there are over 175 members, and a big number of them are Asian. The change in the color of the United Nations had an impact on African-American or Black people. Malcolm played up that too.

The Reader's Digest came out with an article on the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam and in that article (back then) the writer called the Honorable Elijah Muhammad "the most significant Black man in America." Reader's Digest did not say it was Malcolm. Why is it now the Honorable Elijah Muhammad is insignificant and only Malcolm is significant? Someone has been working a thing.

I will be the last one to want to take credit from anyone and especially from Malcolm, because I loved him and admired him. He influenced me in many ways and certainly brought a new energy to the following of the Nation of Islam that accounted for us just growing in leaps and bounds. But we were growing in leaps and bounds from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's platform and foundation. And we were growing in leaps and bounds with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's message and economic blueprint and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's challenge to White America. It is wrong to steal from one Black man and give that credit to another Black man.

And lastly, America was powerful. Dr. C. Eric Lincoln's description of the Nation of Islam is "a proto Islamic" idea combining Black nationalism and religion. That is clear and simple. There are no X's now. Malcolm even put down the X before he died; he identified himself as El Hajj Malik Shabazz. Just so we don't get off on the wrong foot again. It was the Honorable Elijah Muhammad who gave Malcolm the name "Shabazz." He was Shabazz before he split with the Nation of Islam. He was no longer Malcolm X; he was Minister Malcolm Shabazz before he was forced out of the Nation of Islam.

"Proto Islamic" as it was used by Dr. C. Eric Lincoln was not an attempt by him to be insulting. He is really trying to pay a compliment, but what he is saying in a sense is what Allah is saying to us with the saying that "He created us from thick water despised." The great scholar and theologian did not want to say "sperm like" idea, so he says "proto".

I am proud to tell you that I came from the Nation of Islam's germ. Because I was sensitized in the right way, I have become a man and as the blues singer, Muddy Waters, sings: "A real man." Praise be to Allah.