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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

How We Are To Establish Muslim Life In America: Part 4

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Imam W. Deen Mohammed's Phoenix, Arizona public address of January 21, 1990 is given here. We thank Allah for the opportunity to make this presentation to the Muslim Journal readers.)

We have to be aware that we are being fought against all of the time. There are people sneaking and conniving and maneuvering just to bring us (African-American Muslims) down. It is not only us, but we have more people at us than any other people in this country or on this earth. They would like to see us stay down and never get established. So we have to be aware of that, we have to work hard to protect our own vulnerability against such people who would take advantage of our weaknesses. If we work at that more, we would be more successful.

When you just relax before the invitation to drink liquor and to go to wild parties, you are building more weaknesses in the race. If you hear people talking about doing crimes, stealing, buying hot goods, selling dope, and you just relax in that environment and atmosphere, then you are helping to keep us (our people) down. If you feel relaxed when what most of our people are talking about on the weekend is a drink, going to a dance, going to a party, or a desire for limited animal pleasures, then you are helping the situation that the enemy loves in us, for us, on us.

We have to see our behavior as serious. Any people have to see group behavior as their vital concern. All of us who have good conscience and want to see some change for the better, whether Muslim or Christian or whatever, we (the conscious few) have to get involved in this duty of watching over the behavior of our people. Make sure the big majority are not a factor for carrying bad behavior to generation after generation. Make sure the numbers are being reduced that are contributing to the bad behavior of the African-American people, to that behavior that makes us fail as a people.

As a rule it is good and bad circumstances that influence the shaping of a people or a society, and act upon them until they come to be established or ruined. If those circumstances remain favorable, in time, they (the people) will become established.

Many times the harshest environment, the harshest circumstances can work to motivate a people towards establishment. Choosing to regard Muslim life above other life options will establish us (African-Americans).

Slavery was an ugly and horrible state or condition on us — slavery in America. But it (slavery) was also a factor influencing us to think ourselves out of our weaknesses, out of our deficiencies, into independence, into production, into resources. Therefore, while that horrible situation was hurting us and holding us back in every way, at the same time, because it was intolerable, it was also forcing us to want to get free.

Slavery was forcing us to want to have an existence above the beast in the Held, to want to be recognized with free and dignified human beings of America, and everywhere.

When a people come from such horrible and intolerable conditions and are able to enjoy a living where they have food, shelter, and existence without daily pain and misery, if they are not loyal to their life purpose, if they forget their higher purpose and accept to enjoy the more laxed conditions — in time they are going to be overcome by that laxed environment. That is what has happened to us as a people in this country. The non-serious environment has overcome us, defeated us.

Before the new environment became our main enemy we were struggling to overcome white rule environment. With the help of sympathetic Americans and the courageous astute leadership of Frederick Douglass and other men and women, we made it through. But now after making it we have relaxed and it is enough now just to know that I don't have to be hungry in the stomach and that I can have fun on the weekend or everyday, if I choose. I can talk tough and bad. I have made it now. That disposition which the many accept shows us to be under the force of the misleading environment. Before this Freetime break for us in the laxed environment, we were trying to get out of the clutches of the white rule environment.

Nothing will bring us out of the oppression of the environment except an aim or a purpose that goes beyond the circumstances presented by the environment. We need something that will carry us beyond. We need something that will carry us beyond the limits of the neighborhood and beyond the limits of the city. We need something that will even carry us beyond the borders of the United States.

What is meant by that? If we do not have something that is more precious to us, more valuable to us than even the entire United States, freedom will work against us and we will not be any longer people devoted and progressive. We will begin to be regressive. The people who continue to progress in the United States with freedom and opportunity have an uplifting, raised-high idea, and a spirit and purpose bigger than the entire United States. That is why the attention for those people has changed with the national and international major trends.

Their focus now is not trained on the United States. Their focus is on the international community. Their market now is not looked at as a market for the United States, but it is looked at as a market for a business activity that must recognize the new global economic situation and benefit from it. They are not now only going out hunting in the foreign waters and in foreign lands for goods and products to bring back to America to make America a more powerful nation. They (the business world) are going out now to see how can they establish what will no longer grow in the United States, not for what won't grow in Phoenix, Arizona. They are looking for a situation now that will favor what they want growing since reality in the United States now is not favoring their old patterns. They look for markets and opportunity for investing in developing areas beyond the borders of the United States.

Understand...the United States was not existing when big business came to the New World. What was existing for them was an idea and a vision. It was that idea and that vision that inspired the new comers and drove them to make this United States what it was and what it is. It was their highly focused ideas and vision.

Our African-American people, if you have nothing but church spirit and you do not have the New Testament vision, and you only go to church for your church spirit, then you may as well go to a psychologist and to the nearest liquor store. You can get as drunk and as crazed in the church when you are without the vision and the purpose and the idea of the religion. You can go and listen to some of these preachers, whatever the religion, and it will do more damage to your mind and to your behavior than you will do by drinking bottle after bottle at a liquor store. This is the truth. You have only to go to neighborhoods where preachers are passing out nothing but wine (preaching to excite and mystify). Do you see the condition? Such is found in Chicago, and I am sure you have this in all of these cities — streets clustered with 'happy houses' back to back. I don't know about Phoenix, for there is a small percentage of us poor here.

When you don't have vision, purpose, and direction in your life then any burdensome exaggeration can happen. The wildest and most foolish things can happen.

We do have some very important people here in Phoenix, for we recognized them and we were honored to honor them last night. I know we have some great people here, but they are not typical of the lot of our people.

We have to overcome adverse circumstances. I believe with all of my heart, mind, and soul that it is the Divine Will, Allah's Will — Christians will say God's Will, for it is the same God, and there is only one God (Allah) — I believe it is Divine Will that this religion Al-Islam and the book Qur'an or Koran are destined to be our Savior. This Holy Book demonstrated in the lifestyle of Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) is destined to be our Savior.

(To be continued)