New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

April 12th 1991

Muslim Journal

The Practical Application of Al-Islam: Part 1

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

(On October 14, 1990, Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Imam Mohammed has now prepared from it this article for Muslim Journal's readers.)


Ms. Mable Little

First I have to say that I got more than I expected last night from attending the Appreciation and Fundraising Affair for the Tulsa Community Masjid. I didn't expect that I would hear words of strength and encouragement coming from a lady who was I think 94 years old. Ms. Mable Little moved me very deeply. I want to bring something to your attention before going into my address. I share the concern that is expressed here in a book by Ms. Mable Little.


Influential African Americans

Ms. Little mentions in her book a respect she has for Booker T. Washington. I don't know how many of us are aware of the life and principles of Booker T. Washington. Please know that he was one of the two personalities in the opinions of most African American informed leaders to father the movement of the African American people "up from slavery."

Booker T. Washington's language can be heard in statements of black nationalists and "Black Muslims." Influencing the course of political thought and race more so than any others were Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois founded the N.A.A.C.P. Later it became the organization we know today. Du Bois was established as a "Black" or African American intellectual. He was a graduate of the prestigious Harvard University and was popularly known as "Dr. Du Bois."

On the other hand, Booker T. Washington was educated also. The Tuskegee Institute was his achievement. He put emphasis on the common trades ability of his people acquired during and after slavery. He emphasized that we should build upon what training and skills we then had. As a result of that approach Booker T. Washington got a great following. Also, he was more patient with the White establishment than were those of the N.A.A.C.P. thinking. He was a man of wisdom and wiser by his diplomacy in dealing with the establishment.

This is not to put Du Bois down, for both were natural formations and were very necessary in my opinion — the intellectual view of Du Bois and Booker T. Washington's more down-to-earth treatment of the urgent needs of his people of the time were exaggerated as two opposing viewpoints to fork what should have been complementary parallel struggles in the life of our oppressed.

If you can cook for the White "master," you can also cook for the public. If you can do his wife's hair, you can do hair for the public. That was part of Booker T. Washington's philosophy, and I have a lot of respect for that. Such good common sense characterized both the teachings of Booker T. and Elijah Muhammad. Ms. Mable Little says, "I believe more than ever today that Booker T. had what the Black race needs."

I thought it important to bring that to your attention. The woman that spoke to us last night here in Tulsa is a very special woman and obviously a strong believer in God. She, at 90 years plus, acknowledges that God has been her source of strength all of her life. She is also a kind of preacher. She did not just acknowledge God. she asked us to accept God. At 90 years of age, Ms. Mable Little begged her young "daughters" of her race to "turn to God for strength."


Concepts Shaping Life

I want to begin with a focus on the role of concepts in shaping our lives. 'The Word" of Allah to us is the Qur'an, which I will be referring to. Because I know the make up of the American audience, I will not be giving a lot of Muslim language, because I do not want to ignore the many for the sake of the few. We don't have time to teach Arabic on this trip. I mean for this to be a public address. If it is one hundred percent Muslims, it will be a public address. I am speaking for myself personally, I intend that it be a public address.
I would be happy to see the majority being members of the public. I want to see all of the Muslims, but I also want to see the general public. I have made it an obligation on me to know our Christian public. Because of a sincere desire to know the Christian public of America, I have a better respect for the Christian citizens of this country. I have a two-fold purpose in addressing them: One is in the hope that they will see the beauty and value of this religion, and perhaps if they are wanting more in their lives, they will select this religion. At least, maybe they will try "Islam."


Try Living "Islam"

Our religion is a religion that invites the interested or curious person to try living "Islam." Our religion permits you to try living the life of the Muslim. When you are ready to become a Muslim, say, "I bear witness that there is but one God, and I bear witness that Muhammed is Allah's (God's) Messenger. " This religion allows you to try it.

The Prophet invited many people to try this religion. He invited them to investigate it and to study it. "The Last Prophet" did not just tell them to accept it. Prophet Muhammed, Allah's Messenger, invited them to get acquainted with the religion.

What is suggested here? Learn how we pray to Allah, and try praying as Muslims pray. You don't have to make a confession before you try behaving as a Muslim. When you are convinced you want to be a Muslim, make the testimony. Bear witness. Scholars in this religion will invite you to try "Islam."


Concept of the Beginning of Prophethood

We now want to look at certain concepts. The "concept of man," the concept of man's origin, the beginning of man, a definition for "man" comes to us from the Qur'an. Also the beginning of prophethood tells us something about prophets. The Prophet Muhammed, the prayers and the peace be upon him, received five verses from Allah. Those five verses came as the first verses of the Qur'an to be revealed to him. "Read!" was the first word to him, and he was not a lettered person; he was not one who was taught "reading." So he replied, "I am unable to read." The order came the second time, and the third time. Then he began to recite what Allah revealed.

"Read in the Name of your Lord Who created, created the human being (man) from a small congealed clot of blood. Read! And your Lord is Most Generous, Who taught man to use the pen. Taught man what he did not previously know." (The Qur'an)

So here is a concept of the beginning of our Prophet's prophethood and a definition of what the Prophet is. The Prophet is one educated by Allah to teach others. Prophet Muhammed was the teacher educated by Allah to teach the multitudes, the whole humanity.


Concept of the Beginning of Man

When it comes to the beginning of man in the Qur'an, Allah says of the man we under-stand to be the first man (Adam), on him be peace, Allah informed the angels that man would be created to exercise free will. This disturbed angels. (Qur'an) The angels do not exercise free will. The angels only obey without any free will to disobey. The angels were disturbed by the frightening possibilities opened to man. Angels said, 'There will be killing and bloodshed," as the report goes in the Revelation. Allah told them that he was the Knower and not them (not the angels). The angels submitted and said, "We have no knowledge except what you have given to us." That was the angels' reply. See the Qur'an, Chapter Two.

We know that the beginning of the creation of man was also the beginning of Satan. One who was of the jinns was leader over angels began to differ, refused to obey Allah and grew bigoted. Their leader was given free will and was capable of free will. He opposed Allah's plan. Allah then said, "Wait until I have breathed into him (into man) of my spirit, then make submission to him." The idea and message is that freedom of man in the ordinary human form and with ordinary human capacity will frighten the rulers in charge of law and order.

However, Allah is saying, we should not fear. The creature (man) you fear will accept to obey the "Will" of his Creator and Lord, Allah. Allah's "Will" and "purpose" would have come into man by Divine plan. It is that the man of free will being Allah's creation will in time choose to obey Allah. He will choose Allah and will choose Allah's Will and purpose. Others will have to accept it, for Allah is going to back (support) him.

To be continued