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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Conversation with Imam W. Deen Mohammed

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

The following represents a conversation held by Imam W. Deen Mohammed and Imam Muhammad Abdulaleem. In this statement, Imam Mohammed gives a summation of the purpose and observations of the Muslim-American delegation's recent trip to Saudi Arabia :

We are now getting ready to go to the United States by way of New York and from there to our destinations within the United States, after being in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for nearly a week. The purpose of our visit to the kingdom at this very risky time (we were not expecting the war to break out while we were here, but we did expect that there would be a war) was to demonstrate at this serious and very dangerous time our firm support for the position that the kingdom has taken.

We commend King Fahd and all the members of the royal family for the position that the kingdom took to appeal to Saddam to stop the aggression and withdraw his forces from Kuwait and to secure the borders of the kingdom — not only for the kingdom, and not only for the people of the country of Saudi, but for the Haramain (the two sacred places of Mak-kah and Madinah ). The Saudi Arabian government did that in the interest of all Muslims and to secure the advancements of the kingdom that benefit all Muslims and many non-Muslims of the international world.

We listened to the advice of the ulema after we had studied and consulted the Qur'an and the sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH), made our own position and declaration. Approximately thirteen imams contributed to the statement that was made expressing very clearly our firm support for the position taken by the kingdom and our condemnation for the aggression by the Iraqi army under Saddam. The purpose of our visit, therefore, was to restate that position at a time we felt was very critical. It was necessary for us to emphasize the sincerity and the firmness of our position.

We were told that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia did not take any measures before the rulers consulted the ulema (the learned scholars of the religion), and after making every effort that they could to get Saddam to be reasonable and not to attack Kuwait. We were told that Saddam did not keep his bargain, that he did not keep his word; he left them (the ulema) and to their surprise almost immediately attacked and invaded Kuwait. With all of this knowledge (and much more which I will not be able to relate to you at this time), we make our decision.

We came here and did not expect to have activities that would contribute to an even better collection of accurate information that puts us in a better situation to clearly state our position and to clearly state the position of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding Saddam's aggression. However, not only that, but we have been having so many activities until the other concerns that we have raised have also been discussed concerning the dawah in the United States. This has almost made us forget about this terrible war, because we realize such a peace here.

In fact, before the last two days of our visit we didn't see any visible presence of any soldiers (especially American soldiers). We haven't seen any presence of American soldiers anywhere near the two holy places; the Haram, the Kaabah and also we have witnessed that there is no such presence anywhere around the Prophet's Mosque in Madinah. We understand that they (soldiers) are far away — we don't see them. We haven't seen the presence of any troops in that area. We are told that they are about 1000 miles away from the area. Also to our surprise, the Minister of Defense was able to take time (at a critical time like this, right before the war was engaged) to meet with us. He showed perfect peace and calm, and was so patient and hospitable towards us.

Later we learned that he was under tremendous burden, as were all the leaders of the kingdom. This pressure continues. Then we met with Sheikh Abdullah-al Turki, who is head of higher education for the whole kingdom, who also exhibited that sort of calm- Allah's Mercy is definitely and obviously with these people who are working hard for Islam in this country and throughout the world. We became acquainted with an organization which is independently administered, but which is nonetheless a child of Rabita, the World Muslim League. I have really been touched by that organization.

I didn't realize that Muslims anywhere on earth would have a charitable operation that reaches 45 countries of the international world, that serves the suffering people of the world — including orphans, sick and needy people. This has been very encouraging to me, and I think that when Muslims and non-Muslims learn of the humanitarian and sincere dedication to these works by the kingdom, I think that they will have a much different idea about the Saudi people.

Regarding our relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, first I want it to be clear that I represent Muslims in the United States especially African-American Muslims in the United States. I've never had any ties to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia because of any other reality than the Kaaba and the Masjid of the Prophet in Madinah. Any other ties are no different than the ties we have to any other Muslim country in the world. Because of the excellence in the performance of their duties as Muslims in Islam (according to the Qur'an and Sunnah) we have been endeared to them.

If we saw this kind of achievement in any other Muslim nation we would be as committed to them and being as interested in having a positive relationship with them as we are with having a relationship with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I hate lo use the word "kingdom" because we find that there is evidence that the rulers are becoming dissatisfied. The rulers are becoming aware that that term is suggesting something to outsiders and to the Muslim world that is not good, so they are de-emphasizing that terminology. I have heard that the ruler, King Fahd asked some spokesperson to address him by a very humble title.

That is in brief my impression and I hope it is enough to show clearly what our purpose is in this visit.