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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

April 17, 1992

Muslim Journal

"Steps to Success": Part 6

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

(Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave this public address in Poughkeepsie, New York on December 29,1991. From it he has now prepared his article for Muslim Journal's readers.)

Allah is my witness, I have never asked for unemployment compensation. I have been out of work. I have been denied by my family. I have never asked to get on welfare. I suffered and went from door to door knocking and asking, "May I wash your rug? May I clean your rug?" I knew I could do that, and I got some rugs to clean. I would ask, "May I wash your windows?" And I got some windows to clean. I got enough money to get me a machine and then I would do the carpets with a machine. Before I was doing it with a scrub brush and a sponge. I started to making a little money.

Now I am only repeating what "Raj" said last night. Don't let anybody tell you that there is no money in America. There is plenty money in America. You just have to have a little industry in you to get it. Our religion makes it a religious duty to be gainfully and legally and in an honorable way employed. It is a duty on us in our religion. You are not measuring up if you are not trying to get employed by legal means, halal means.

Another condition is to believe in the Qur'an, It (Qur'an scripture) did not say "Study the Qur'an rationally and accept it when your own intelligence has proven it by your own calculations." "Believe in it" means to trust God! God revealed the Qur'an. If you accept that God revealed it, then trust God. I have never disbelieved in any part of the Qur'an. I have had dark areas in my mind that I didn't understand. And I still have dark areas in my mind; I don't understand some parts of it to my satisfaction. But I won't disbelieve in it, because I am a Muslim. This is my Book. It is from God, and I believe that. To not believe that is to not be a Muslim.

Many times after I get around what was a dark area for me and the big pit and everything that was there for me to fall into because I didn't have the knowledge, I turned the corner and meet the bright light that satisfies me.

Having the patience of the faithful is human, and that is what makes life beautiful for us. We don't know everything. If we knew everything, we would lose all of the pleasures of human life. Only God can bear that kind of heavy responsibility and existence. He (Allah) is of another dimension, of another reality. He is not of this human reality. If we want to be happy, we have to accept that certain things are too big for our limited focus. But our heart is big enough. Don't tell me your heart isn't. Your heart is big enough.

"....Believe in what was revealed in the Qur'an and what was revealed before it.... And such people who believe in (the whole of the Qur'an) have assurance of the Hereafter...." Also remember what I said about the future. God requires of us that we believe in "al-aakhirah". Allah says, ".... and the better things." And although God says don't neglect our share in this world, which means our share in things of the world, Allah also says, And the better things are the things of the end", al-aakhirah, the future, the Hereafter".

That belief is to be applied or practiced in principle as every instruction in the Qur'an is to be applied if we are to get the benefit. The Prophet has established that everything in the Qur'an has an explicit and implicit meaning that we get by surface reading and by interpretation. The "hidden" is absent but not without its logic to support our believing it.

Faith or belief has an application in this world and has an application in the world that God promises us. I am addressing both of these meanings when I tell you that Muslims are supposed to believe in the future. We are supposed to gear ourselves up for the future. We are supposed to have plans for tomorrow, a plan for the week, a plan for the month, a plan for the year, a plan for the years.

I am going to conclude this by pointing to some general things. Dear Brothers and Sisters, to be successful we must stay away from sin. We as Muslims have our definition of sin. Christians have their definition of sin. Jews and others have their definition of sin. And I am telling all people, although the majority of you are Muslim here, to stay away from sin.

Our religion does not tell us, "Don't commit adultery. Don't have sex with a woman that is not your wife. "Our religion tells us, "Don't go near it." If you start walking towards it, you are weakening yourself for the temptation. Every step you take makes you a little weaker for the temptation when you get there. And when you get there, "Ohhh!" With each step you took, you lost a few ounces of moral muscle. When you get there you only have one urge.

If you want to be successful, check the first impulse to sin. Don't entertain those impulses, for you are making yourself weaker for the situation. Once you get there, you are finished. I am speaking to all the brothers. And I talk to you a lot, for we all have problems. None of us is superman. We may be superman before we get to her, but once we get to her we aren't supermen anymore. I am speaking for all the brothers:

We love you sisters. We love our wives. We love our children. I don't believe there is more love for a wife and children in any other people's heart than there is in our hearts. But we have just been damaged so terribly.

Thank you very much. As-Salaam-Alaikum.