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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


March 15, 1991

Muslim Journal

"Islam": The Promotion Of Business & Race; How The Conflict Is Resolved: Part 6

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

 (On September 2, 1990, Imam W. Deen Mohammed made the above titled public address in Atlanta, GA. This article has now been prepared from it for publication.)

Question the informed Christians. They are among the witnesses. Accept no death except the death of Muslims. (Qur'an) Muslims are in all seasons obligated to resist Satan. We are not to think to imprison Satan when it is "good" business and release Satan when it is "good" business.

In the Qur'an creation is put in context with the word message, "We gave you your design". Again quoting from Qur'an one Prophet was challenged by the disbelieving arrogant ruler (Pharaoh): "Who is this god you represent?" The Prophet responded with a powerful statement. He said, "God is the One Who gave everything its creation and thereafter gave guidance". He was telling the Ruler that although you claim to be god, God is the One Who gave everything its creation, you (Pharaoh) included.

The Prophet did not tell the Ruler, "You too", for he was a diplomat, a skillful man, one who could go into the camp of the violent mighty, unpredictable enemy and come out with his shirt still in tact. This prophet did not address the powerful menacing Ruler directly. He said, "God is the One Who gave everything its creation and thereafter its guidance". "Thereafter its guidance" says there is a necessary logic for connecting creation with guidance in a natural bond. The Prophet did not go by four steps, for he was addressing an impatient and threatening Ruler: Also, in the Qur'an, Allah Glorified says, "(Allah) created, then regulated justly; empowered, then gave guidance". It was more appropriate to address this Pharaoh's need to see all people with one and the same origin in matter.

I wish we could all appreciate this equally, but that is not how it happens when we are invited to dinner. I have seen some people eat like the food was torturing their jaws. They could not enjoy good food. Then there are the many others who will smile and offer more food or ask for another serving.

The conflict for business and race is materialism. Allah intended business, big business. Are you going to put some limit on how much money you want? That is just like a Muslim saying he is going to put a limit on his potential to father children. It is something wrong with that.

Allah says to the boastful disbeliever, "Do you think we were at play when We did all of this (marvelous) creation?" "Look at the sun, moon, stars, galaxies, the wonders of earth and all creation. Do you think We were playing games?" Praise be to Allah. Materialism is the evil. We have to purify the motive in business. In our religion matters are judged by intentions, and intentions are only accepted when they are innocent, not devilish.

The motive in the Western idea of business is to make profit. It is called the "profit motive". A few generations back theorists informed policy makers of the Western World of how the business future could be brightened by a bold and different treatment of the principle of "supply and demand". It was suggested that the answer was that they not be disciplined by the innocent law of demand and supply. The role psychology can have in the creation or in the forming of appetites was given as the lifeline of business. Any appetite could be cultured. They came away from that meeting with the idea that anything could be popularized and given strong commercial appeal. Now sales promotion is determined more by the role of manipulative (behavioral) psychology than by the innocent rule of "supply and demand".

That was a wicked turn for the worse in what was already a morally troubled business world. Policy makers also learned there were still people who had an intelligent respect for consumers. There were those who could stay clearheaded through it all and never accept a business world using a morally dead tool of psychology to promote in consumers appetites for any and all sorts of things. And so, they (the policy makers) think to rest all burdens on the shoulders of Christ Jesus (on him be peace). "All is made clean by his blood". They establish what they think will be accepted and rewarded in the judgment only to be disappointed in hell. (Qur'an)

They have the expression "disposable income". What in the Name of God is that? 1 don't have any income to dispose of, that is to say, throw away. I know what disposable diapers mean. When the business world is talking about disposable income, they are talking about money for investment. Among them it is money for investment, but among us it is money for appetites of animal level existence: Compulsive consumer spending. The evil is the hidden "motive" in the business. Let us make business "halal" by obeying the motive Allah intended.

Don't think that pig is the only thing not halal. The worse pig is the pig in man's blinded spirit. Allah wants us to know that we are not to eat pig, for we are what we eat. The conflict is materialism and materialism has to be understood as "greed" in the Western idea of economics. It is a "greed "built into, promoted, protected, and used as the main economic resource. Again, the main resource in the Western economy and business is promoted greed. If you take out promoted greed, it falls. Western economy is morally doomed to fall until Western economic principles repent.

This greed promotion factor means sell you what I know you don't need. And if you don't want it, if your intelligence tells you that you shouldn't have it, in the name of "business"! am to come up with a psychology for promoting in you a belief that you have to have it. With enough money I come on television to show you that everyone is buying my product. The persons you want to be in your dreams are buying it; why not you!? Then you start feeling like you have mistreated yourself and must treat yourself to it (to the product): Greed is promoted by fear, love, vanity, etc. This is the evil in the business life of the Western economy.

Western economy is profiteering. Profiteering means to go after something without any respect for moral obligation. The thing that heads the undermining of the social life is this profiteering. Now big and small media tells us that we are not the only ones who have collapsed, destroyed, fragmented family sense. Other races are suffering the same evils. "What goes around comes around." Allah puts it this way, "Your (policy makers') evil will hem you in. "You can send out your evil in one direction, but Allah has made the universe to eventually move it (your evil) in upon you. Your works will get out of your hands.

It will be the children of those with the controls going out and shooting the innocent as play and target practice; shooting with guns and dope. That is the justice of Allah: What evils you send out on others eventually come spreading to hem you in.

Where do we find equality? Allah has created an equality for all. Allah said, "Certainly he is successful who spends on his soul. And he is in loss who debased his own soul." He invests that which is cheap, inferior, poisoned, polluted, corrupt and chokes out the life of his own soul. He deforms his own soul. The other who feeds the excellence of his soul, spends on his own soul only what is halal and meets good standards. He establishes himself.

Allah says that he has "approved commerce and trade." (Qur'an) It means Allah approved supplying legitimate needs. He has approved supplying legitimate needs and making income from business. A profit is approved. In the real sense we are exchanging values equal. We are not to sell someone something that is worth less to us than the price we ask. When we say we are going to make a profit, that is saying something in business language and something in plain simple language. A profit means more out of this than what was paid as a purchase, but not as a total investment. So, really we are not supposed to make "profit". That is the price is supposed to be no more than the legitimate value. The intelligent market should be the standard. Fools may be sold anything. The fool may not know the market price or the market value. It is not legitimate business for Muslims to be unfair.

The many of you here are business people and I thought you would come for this special address. Someone told me, "They don't look at you as having authority in business. You should just go there and read the Qur'an and Hadith to them." But I refused. I really believe that the best of our business people want to hear what I have to say about business. The business people are my main focus for combating poverty.

I believe in you. I have faith in you. Let me tell you quickly what this involves. The business people who came in the early life of the International Muslim Community, the Ummah, among them were powerful instruments for dignifying and giving a good image to the religion of Al-Islam ("Islam" as it is commonly called). I believe that you are going to be the instruments to attract a higher caliber and a more successful circle of people to this following with me. Your success in business will do it. Business value and business guidelines are our greatest need now. We are not only needing business sense and business mindedness in the business people. There is need for business sense and business mindedness in the consumers, with your business excellence, you are going to be a powerful tool of DAWAH.

We live in America and have citizenship here. You do not want to separate yourself from your great dignity past, present, and future. I am a member of one billion Muslims. They will ask, "What is your name?" Tell them, "Muslim. " Do not let this world intimidate you and make you feel small or awkward. If you want to know what geography I am in, America, U.S. If you want to know what center I attend or what ethnic group I will have no problem saying, African-American. What religion? Al-Islam. What organization?: We will not be identified under organizations, even if we belong to organizations.

(To be continued)