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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

A Sense Of Self Makes Living Better: Part 3

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial Note: The following public address by Imam W. Deen Mohammed from Atlanta, Ga. is here continued. The central theme of this lecture has been "The Progressional Sense in Man as Given to Him by His Creator." Please keep in mind that Imam Mohammed is now editing his own lectures for print in Muslim Journal, which constitutes any change of the original lecture.).

It is a saying of the wise men' who study and value history, that "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." I bear witness that I have seen that in my short life. They forget history and find themselves unknowingly repeating it. There are forces out there now doing the same things that were done one thousand years ago. They have not changed.

Their way of keeping things under their control is essentially the same today as it was one thousand years ago. They have prepared for you "seasons and garments to wear." And if you forget history, you are going to find yourself in their garments and under their seasons.

Allah says to this man Adam whom Recreated, "Inform them (the angels) of their names." What does this tell us about Adam ? And also understand that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) has told us that every verse of the revelation has an applied meaning — that is to be applied directly, and also it has an implied meaning. It is broadcasting from two directions and in two veins of communication. Such is the nature of communication.

When Adam had informed them of their names, Allah said to the angels, "Did not I tell you that I know what you know not." Here is Allah clearly separating man's identity from angels, and He is raising man in a distinct way above angels. The angel is Allah's creation, but the angels are not so special in His creation that He can't create something even above angels.

Allah created man and then challenged the angels as if to say, "You thought I could not do better than you. But look here at what I have done. I have created a mortal subject to defects, subject to error, but with a perfect nature and urge to perceive all that exists. I have created an intellect!" That is what Adam was — an intellect. Allah created a curious intellect. Every child is born a curious intellect. If accepted, he has to grow to be intellectual. But he is by nature created as an intellect. That is every creature — male and female — is created as an intellect with intellectual curiosities and for enlightened destiny.

So you may ask, "How is it an intellectual curiosity, when he has not yet become an intellect and has not been exposed to the higher knowledge and learning, et cetera?" What makes all of that possible? You may be a Ph.D. doctorate, but you can be so stupid, you cannot stay out of jail. The Ph.D. doctorate cannot stay off drugs. So what is the proof of someone coming into that intellectual life?

The wise among these doctorate leaders know that it is not possible for them, unless it comes by a way beyond them and out of their control. What must accompany and assist rational thought in the intellect of man? The wise will say, "A God-given natural urge." A certain man has written a book and entitles it "The Intuitive Edge." In this book he goes forward to establish that what has made the difference between poor performing societies and great performing societies is this intuitive edge. He establishes that you don't get this intuitive edge from books. You don't get it from your professors. They cannot give it to you. When you have it, you are not in control of it. You, yourself, cannot even control it. It works for you, but you have to wait on it to work for you. It is something given to you by Allah — the intuitive edge that man gets that puts him in a better circumstance and a better situation than those who have not yet come by it.

Some have called it "the sixth sense." Many of us have confused things that have a resemblance. We will think we have it, when we do not. We will think that we have witnessed it in other people, when we have not. But if you really know what we are talking about, it is something that you cannot get at your own command. You cannot give it to somebody else. Allah has to create you with it, and Allah must make available the
possibilities for you to realize it. Allah must bring you into this power of the intuitive spirit, this intuitive activity in the soul and mind of man. And when I say "man," I am referring to male and female.

Allah told Adam to inform the angels of their names. This tells us that the first urge in that progressional line of developmental life is the urge to "know." I have studied babies for myself. I have learned that babies do not come here with foolishness on their minds, no matter how foolish the parents, no matter how foolish the household. The new baby does not come liking and favoring foolishness. Others will work with that baby daily and all day long talking foolishness. The baby will look back as if to say, "What in the hell is going on?" After being worked on for days and weeks, then the baby may give in to that same silliness of mind. The baby comes here as Allah created it, with an intelligent mind and with a sense for what is intelligent.

Now I am still addressing the great edifice or building of the individual human person. I will now turn to something else that science has brought to our attention. That is difference between maturation and gestation. For different creatures this period of gestation differs. For some it is long and for some it is short. Gestation is the time spent in the womb from the time of conception to the time of delivery.

For the human being it seems that the period of gestation is about midway. It is in the balance. You cannot say that be is the one representing the shortest, and be is not the one representing the longest rest. It seems that his period is a representation of the midway. And Allah has said that He has made you "a midway nation. "He also tells us that He has put everything in a balance. You must face the scales one day! The period of gestation for the human being in the womb according to the information that we get from modern science is 275 days. The huge animal, the elephant, has a much longer period of gestation — 645 days.

Look at the gestation for the opossum, which our people in the South learned to eat and love when steaks were out of the question. Let me stop to say that some of us don't realize why we love some things that the doctors say are bad for most African-American people. They will tell you to stay away from certain foods. We do not understand why we have a love for what means bad health.

If you take a little poison, you may get by. But if you keep taking a lot of it, then you will be in serious trouble. And because we did not have better food available, we had to eat unhealthy foods. If you eat it long enough to answer strong hunger, "fat back" starts to taste so good! You are hungrier than hell, and fat back is good! Chitterlings, which are hog bowels, become good and are called delicious. Why would that be so delicious? It is because you were hungry like hell and hog bowels were seasoned down with salt, sage and pepper. Now you are eating salt, sage, pepper, grease, and bowels of hogs (pork). It is a shame that we had to ever be put into such circumstances.

Soul ... culturing a taste for garbage. It is said that a taste for a thing can be cultured. Then you can culture a taste for something bad. This simply means to overcome a natural hesitation and bring about a habit. When the habit is established, then the thing becomes one's culture. Now we have soul food as the culture of the soul folks. We are getting help to learn more about the Muslim diet and the Islamic eating habits and also the Islamic benefits. An excellent book for children was put in my possession recently by Brother Atique Mahmood of the Muslim Journal staff.

Brother Atique Mahmood, the photographer and who does graphic arts and writes for Muslim Journal has become a great addition to its staff. This is one I had nothing to do with getting him on the staff. I am very pleased with Brother Atique. I have told the Muslim Journal, "We all have to manage our responsibilities- I am not responsible for your organization." They are proving capable of the management of their organization.

They have done wonderful and have gotten some excellent help in Brother Atique Mahmood and in Sister Ayesha Mustafaa, who is carrying the responsibility of Editor right now. I think very soon she will even have a better future with us. She deserves it in that she is outstanding. I have observed Sister Ayesha over the years as a hard and serious worker. She is a professional worker and very Muslim-like in her person. She is dedicated and committed, alert and sensitive. And she will, as meek and soft as she appears to be, stand up when she has to.

Let us return, as we were talking on the gestation and maturation periods of the human being! The human being has a gestation period that is about middle of the range of all such gestation periods of various creatures. And this gestation period of the different creatures according to science tells us in its observations that these created forms have clocked right into them the influences for their survival and for their livelihood.

The outside and the inside environments challenge all. When we are born from our mothers, the outer environment is too much of a challenge. After the period of gestation, Allah brings us under the mother's care directly, where before we were just living in and on her system. Then He delivered us out from her system and made negligible the umbilical cord. But that now separate system cannot survive on its own. Allah has put mercy, love, and caring nature in the mother for the weak child. Eventually with much help the child is trusted to the outer environment.

The other period called the maturation is where you go from delivery to maturity. It is said this growth process for us is about twenty years before it is completed and we stop growing. Some may stop earlier and some will grow a little longer, but for the great majority it is about twenty years.

Although for the other creatures maturation is much shorter, some of them have longer periods of gestation than we do. As science explains they have to be prepared for the wilds. They have to come out of the womb and get up quick and go. We know certain animals that come right from the mother, as educational television is so good with showing nature series, Animals come right from being delivered, stumble a little and soon are running right with their mothers. They do not have to wait for long periods of growth and maturity to be able to perform as does the adult animal.

While the human is special, we are also delicate. Allah says, "He has made signs in the skies and signs in the earth, and also in you...." But how many of us go along not caring and not paying attention? (To be continued)