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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

On Man And Woman In Society

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts front Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's appearance on "Hotline," a Chicago call-in program heard on radio station WVON and hosted by Ranee Pruit. The program was aired Jan. 28, 1981.)



We see women and men in their social roles in society, but we also see woman and man in the symbolic language of scripture.

Scripture, as I see it, uses woman and man just as a symbol through which to speak or express a certain knowledge. When I read about "woman" being made from a rib of man in the Bible, that is not woman as we understand woman, but it's society.

I see the Quran, our Holy Book, in some of its verses depicting society in the image of women also. We have on one side the concern for our life—for the form of life that we will take; how it will be influenced by elements and factors in the environment. On the other side we have the need to express our human form —our human nature. We see that urge to express being depicted in male form. The need to defend ourselves against bad influences—things that will influence us out of form —we see as being a mother's role or a woman's role.

What we are hoping for is that men who had given up their responsibility to support society, who were just becoming satisfied with welfare, or satisfied just being idle, can be encouraged to become the supporters of their women, their wives—their sisters —and supporters of the family. We are hoping that women will see the need for them to assume a leadership role in bringing society back to those fundamental things—those things that make for a good life, things that made good supporters for life over thousands and thousands of years.

What we are referring to is the moral content of life, the quality of life, the concern that human beings should have for each other. We believe that these sentiments are first formed in society because of the mother nature and what she offers society, what she gives her children.

We believe those are concerns that are basically nourished by females. But in public life men begin to speak for those concerns. We think men lose their vision, they lose their sensitivity and there comes a time when women have to lead us back to protect the fundamental things that make for good life.



You don't just say it that way. What you have to do is explain that that language was extracted from scripture. The language that the white man is the devil was borrowed from scripture.

The statement that the white man is the devil was not just an empty statement. It was given scriptural support. We were told that the Bible and the Quran both support the idea that the white man is the devil.

We were also given a story of the creation of the white man. We were told he was created in some diabolic way, in this story by a black man whose name was Yakub. So the idea was made very factual, very real.

But I believe the sincere people accepted that the teaching regarding the white man as a devil — coming in some kind of scriptural form, so to speak — should be subject to interpretation, like scripture is subject to interpretation.

Accepting that those things were subject to interpretation, it was easy to bring most of the members to see the interpretation and reject the literal language.

Actually this man who taught my father and gave him his mission, Fard. was giving his version of Genesis. He added a lot of foreign things from Oriental mythology into it and gave it his own special touch. He was actually giving his version of the Genesis of man and he depicted the evil tendencies in man in white form — as the white man, as white people — and the good tendencies in man as the black people.

He used a lot of symbolic or metaphorical terminology. For example he said that in the black man there are two germs; one is a black germ and the other one is a brown germ. And if you graft the germ out of the brown to Us lowest denomination or to its weakest degree - most recessive point — you would have a white person.

This is what he taught, and he said Yakub used this process to bring about the creation of the white race. Yakub would mate brown Lo brown, and as he got a lighter color he would mate the lighter brown to the lighter brown and he continued that process until he got a white person.

If we really study these concepts in scripture we find that colors have always represented certain dispositions in their personality or mental makeup of people.

"I am looking at a red bull there and it means something": it means anger—fiery passions. Brown in Arabic is so close to red sometimes you give the same word for the two.

I am sure he was playing upon that same idea. In the man are these strong passions, and in the man is the nature — black representing the spiritual nature of man, and red representing his passions. If you can separate the nature and kind of encourage the passions to get farther and farther from the nature you can create a person of blind or reckless passions.

When we explained this to most of the people they were happy to see the explanation. They felt relieved and many of them told me they felt free, that now they could really understand it and they felt that they were free for the first time.

Nobody in the Nation of Islam, as it was called in those days, was truly comfortable with the mythological teachings of the grafting of the white people