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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Bilalian News

Victory Over Self: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from a Khutbah delivered by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad at the Washington Masjid, Friday, Feb. 20, 1981—continued from last week.)

This community of ours should feel obligated to conform to what is best, and reflect that in its life, in its attitudes and in its activities. Belief in Allah means trusting Allah over everything else. Belief in His Messenger means accepting His Messenger as the most honorable and noble of all creatures as our leader and example. Belief in the books that the Messenger brought requires of us that we question all books in the light of what is revealed in the Quran. Belief in His angels requires of us that we seek to understand the mysteries and the phenomena operating between our vision of reality and the truth that Allah has revealed.

It requires of us a belief in the Law of God operating in creation, in our lives to give us the benefit from our good work and the consequences of our bad deeds. It is to believe that we cannot escape justice. It is to believe that we should not despair when our goodness is not appreciated—Allah rewards all goodness.

It is a belief that this whole life is going to terminate one day, not only our individual lives, but the world as we know it is going to be terminated one day. Everything will pass except "the face of Allah." A belief that when Allah brings the new creation, we will have the opportunity then to realize the fullness of all good aspirations.

A belief in the Day of Judgment or in the Last Day is a belief that this scheme as we know it is on time, for a purpose; it is a training ground, it is a testing place where we prove ourselves. But there is coming a new creation, and there we will have an opportunity to realize the fullness of our good aspirations. That is cause for hope. It tells us that we should never despair.

This community should reflect also on the duties of Muslims. We have duties to perform. We have a duty to testify. We have a duty to give testimony —openly. We have a duty not to hide the fact that we are Muslims, that we believe in One Allah, who created everything and who cares for all. We have a duty to tell the world that we follow Prophet Muhammad to whom the Quran was revealed, that we accept him as the last and universal Messenger in the context of that scheme we call prophethood.

It is not to say that people won't have psychic abilities or people won't be inspired or people won't have vision and foresight. Certainly we are blessed with that kind of human soul and spirit, and many of us can predict what is going to happen. But it is not scientific. We miss sometimes. The best of us miss. That's why the Prophets said, "We have no power to assure tomorrow." Tomorrow is in Allah's hands, only. Let us not feel offended as a race that is not Arab when we are reminded that Prophet Muhammad is the Prophet, the last of them. We should find some kind of satisfaction in Allah's Word, that "There never was a community that did not receive a Messenger."

I have descended from a great continent called Africa, I'm a new people, I'm a new group here, but my ancestral roots, my origin, my history is also back in Africa. No Muslim man can say with truth in his heart, with respect in his heart for truth after knowing the Quran, that there was no African Prophet. There were "African" Prophets. That's enough for me, especially in the light of what is happening today.

Today at the end of prophethood, a new community from the descendants of Africa is growing up in this darkest quarter of the world and showing signs they are going to be the ones to lead the great revival of faith. A revival for which "Bilal" is a sign.

Prophet Muhammad predicted a time coming when his community would sleep before its responsibility. Nevertheless, the hope is there, for Prophet Muhammad said (peace and blessings be upon him), "A sign of the Judgment is when the slave-girl becomes pregnant with the child of her mistress." We are a community that has become pregnant with the child of our mistress societies. We have become pregnant with the child of leadership suffering sterility. That is to say the new leadership hope is in us, and new leadership is our responsibility.

How, then, are you jealous? Is that too much for you? You should be afraid to compare yourself with the Prophet and with his companions.

Dear beloved Muslims, we have to understand prayer in Al-Islam is not just a private matter between an individual and his Lord. It's that, but then it is more. The most important prayer is the prayer that we do in group, the prayer we do together. We must understand that charity is not merely a private matter. We must understand that in this religion, it is also a social institution. We have to understand that the duty of fasting, though it is a matter too between the individual and his Lord, it is supportive of social institutions. We must understand that Hajj, though it too, is a matter between an individual and his Lord, it is also supportive of social institutions.

Dear beloved people, we cannot appreciate this religion until we understand that the best religion is the religion that incorporates the members of society in a work to advance the good of the whole society. And that is Al-Islam. May Allah forgive us our sins, save our hearts from deviating back to the corruption and ignorance that we are blessed to come out of and grant us the blessings of peace in His company. Amen.