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


Bilalian News

On Titles and Traditions

Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad


With the Name Allah, the Gracious, the Compassionate.     

(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad's masjid lecture in Miami, Flo., Oct. 20,1979.)

"Here is a question about the title 'president'?"
Please don't call me president. Do you know somebody called me "Brother President"...?
Titles like this are needed for corporate documents, papers and for communication across the waters, to other communities and other countries.
It is not necessary for you to call me president, I'm your Imam. But if you have a problem with me being WCIW president, something is wrong.
The Council is the ruling body, but the Council needs a director.
I think some of us are making a bigger problem out of Hadith and Sunnah than should be. If you listen to some outsiders who are dissatisfied with this leadership, who are jealous and envious of this Community, who would like to take it over themselves, who want you to follow them, you will be kept in so much unnecessary foolishness you will never see the light of day.

The Community is to follow my leadership as long as my leadership does not go against the Quran or against the example established by Prophet Muhammad.
If my leadership goes against Quranic teachings or against Prophet Muhammad, the life he lived the example he established, then the Community is to correct me. And if I can't be corrected, they are to reject me.
An argument for or against should first be Quranic. This is the main authority. Then Hadith. Some Hadiths should be given back to the Jahcubites. There are counterfeit Hadith that are among us to corrupt Al-Islam. The authentic Hadith that most Muslims respect is by Bukhari and Muslim, and many of those need someone with understanding to teach them.

Do you think the Hadith was made to be placed in the hands of all the Believers? If you do, you are wrong. The Quran is a book to be read, to be propagated. This is what Prophet Muhammad gave to all the Believers: The Quran. The Hadith does not equal Quran when applied universally.
Prophet Muhammad said, I leave two things with you — the Quran and my Sunnah. Where was his Sunnah then, was it in a whole lot of volumes?
His Sunnah was what they had witnessed. They had witnessed his living, his actions, his deeds, Sunnah does not mean everything somebody reports. The term refers to the nature, character, moral direction and principles.

Sunnah refers more to his way of doing things, not to every word that came out of his mouth, because that can be reported falsely. It doesn't have to be by bad intention; by mistake, a false report can reach us.
I don't beg anybody to stay under this leadership. If you want to follow some other leader, that's your business. I'm just trying to serve Allah and help people come to the right way. I 'm looking to Allah for blessings.
So if you want all the Hadiths, then you should leave this Community because I'm telling you right now, I don't accept all the Hadiths. They have made too much trouble and confusion in the Muslim society. Everybody you see that's always arguing over Hadith but don't have too much knowledge of the Quran, watch them. They are superstitious, walking around like a native savage from day one B.C., carrying Rosary beads, but lacking in real Muslim content.

Do you think Prophet Muhammad carried some Thikr beads? Do you think Prophet Muhammad went around like a Catholic priest counting beads?
Don't go to the extreme with these things. We are to think on Allah. There's a place for Thikr. There are set times for salat. There's a place for everything. But don't carry things to the extreme and make an idol god out of your Thikr beads.

(To be continued)