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"The Natural Elements Testify To The Truth Of The Quran And Muhammad": Part 1

Imam W. D. Muhammad


The following article is from excerpts of an address that was delivered by Emam W.D. Muhammad to the San Quentin brotherhood on February 29, 1977.

With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), The Gracious, The Compassionate.


Dear Readers,
It is a wonderful feeling to see that those who are most deprived in society (the masses) are not really lost or destroyed. All they need is the light of truth returned to them and they will take on a new growth. Today, I would like for you to think on something that is very close to each individual and very important for each individual—that is the natural and the unnatural, the natural and the grafted nature. I will begin by writing on the elements of fire, water, air, and land as these terms were used by ancient philosophers and religious teachers of old. From there, I will begin making connections between what we see in the nature of elements and what we see in the nature of human beings. Then I hope to share with you my understanding on the natural relationships that should be in the life of society.

I will conclude by showing that there are two natures in our society. There is a natural nature and there is the grafted nature or the unnatural nature that makes real human life as we desire it impossible for us. It is a nature that we have to overcome, shed off, and be transformed out of in order to come into our true nature. I hope to point out some of the serious problems that we have before us that we have to overcome
in order to establish healthy relationships in the home life and in the society before we can really realize the kind of life that all of us want. That life is a healthy life, a safe life, a truthful life.


The Language Of The Prophets

The ancient people, especially the religious leaders and the prophetic figures like Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of God be on them), spoke in a language that was a kind of picture language with much symbolism in it. There are many reasons for them speaking in such language. The main reason was that they were addressing the common people who were illiterate and unlearned. The masses in ancient time were more illiterate than the masses are today. Today the common people, especially in the United States can read. Most of them can write and they can understand language on the level of an eighth grader or a high school graduate. Because of television and other advanced ways of communication, many people can understand some college level science and language. We have in the advanced countries of the world masses that are literate and advanced, especially when compared to the masses of Prophet Muhammad's time, Jesus' time, Moses' time, and Abraham's time (may the peace and blessings of God be on them).


The Simplest Language

The language of the ancient people of scripture was put in symbols, secret language, or allegorical and esoteric language. This was done to protect those preachers of religion from the societies in which they lived that did not embrace their faith. The leaders of the society would have persecuted them if they really understood the language of their religion. Oftentimes the preacher of the faith would use the very language of the society in which he lived. When the society heard him, they would think that he was preaching a religion close to the religion of their society. Many preached a language that sounds, in its written form, like paganism and idolatry. They did that to protect themselves and also to get the message home to a people who were not familiar with complicated terms, scientific terms, or highly complex theological language. They had to speak from the simplest language and the simplest language is creation.


The Language Of Creation

When we study the development of the spoken language as we have it in written form, we find that man first used pictures when he wanted to transfer language into written form. The hieroglyphics of ancient Egyptian script and the hieroglyphics that are found in many societies of the world are the language of pictures. The birds, other animals, and all the symbols stood for something. The sun was put in a certain kind of diagram in which other characters were added to it or taken from it to say that the sun is rising, that the sun is setting, or that the sun is eclipsed. The first writing was the drawing of images that we see in our physical environment. We see the sun, we see the moon, we see stars, we see clouds, we see water, we see the effects of wind, and we see animals in their movements and the different shapes that they take. When people wrote the spoken language they fir-t put it in the images that we find all around us.


The First Knowledge

To understand our religion we have to understand its symbolism. We do not have that much symbolism in the Holy Quran, but in the Bible there is much symbolism. If we are to read and understand what the Bible is saying, we have to know what the "pictures" are saying. In this series of articles, I will use the elements of fire, water, wind and earth to show you how they were applied by ancient religious teachers and how they are applied today by many religious teachers to bring to our minds the kind of nature that works in the human being. How does this benefit you? In religion, the first knowledge is the knowledge of God — the knowledge that there is a Creator, a Force, behind everything. It is the knowledge that creation is not here for nothing and that human beings are not here for nothing.

Human beings have a great purpose. God has set this creation into form and into motion and everything that comes out of it is moving in its given nature as God has designed for it to move. Trouble comes only when we lose contact with the nature that God has put in His creation and when we begin to plan and act outside of it. The true knowledge of God and His creation will benefit each and everyone of you because it will help you to understand yourself better. God does not need us, we need God. God does not show us Himself first because He needs us to know Him or because He needs worshippers. No, He shows us Himself first because only He can serve as a real object for human life to move towards.


A Unique Creation

We find that everything in the creation gravitates towards something. The earth that we live on rotates around the sun because the sun is a bigger mass and because it has the power to attract the earth and hold it a certain distance from itself in an orbit. Not only our earth, but the family of planets that we belong to all revolve around the sun and they are all fed by the sun. The human being is the only creature that goes outside of creation to be fed. It is important to know that the human being is a peculiar (unique) creation while I am trying to show you the nature of elements and how that nature compares with human nature. What do we mean by unique and peculiar? The animals, the plants, the inanimate world, and the entire physical world are all governed by laws. These things have their salvation guaranteed to them. The earth as a physical mass does not have to pray for salvation. The earth has its salvation. God saved the earth by putting it under natural law. The laws of rotation, gravitation, etc. keep the earth safe and protected. The things that grow out of the earth, like plants, do not have to pray for salvation. The plants are saved. Their salvation has been guaranteed to them. They can do no more than follow the natural law that God has put in their nature.


Who is "A Dirty Dog " ?

The   animals   that   roam   the   earth sometime seem to us to be in disorder, but they are also given protection. They can only go so far and then they are helped by the natural law that God has put in their natural makeup. The law that governs the animals is called instinct. Seldom will we see an animal attacking its own species to kill it. Even though they will fight over meat or over a mate, the fight is hardly ever a fight to the death. When human beings are angry with each other or when they dislike each other, we compare ourselves with animals. We say, "Oh, you dirty dog." But when we think about "a dirty dog," how many of them leave other dogs in the street dead from a wound that they have inflicted on them? We have to train dogs to kill each other. Without outside influence by man, dogs usually do not kill each other. Most animals do not fight each other with the intent to kill, they only fight to get their way. They will not keep pursuing another animal on and on to kill it.



The human being is a creature that is under the law of the natural world (the law of instinct) to only a small degree. He has been "freed" by God because God wants the human being to evolve into a dignified and high position of self-mastery, authority, or custodianship. This does not mean that we are going to "own" creation or that we are going to be God. No, we can never own creation and we can never be Almighty God. But we can evolve so high and progress so much, rising above all of the elementary forms of life, that we can rise to the position of custodian of all the creation. The Bible calls this position the crown of creation. The Holy Quran calls it the khalitah. Khalifah means one who is in charge of creation, in charge of his environment, in charge of the natural environment, in charge of the human environment, etc. He is in charge and he is executing God's judgment in his society as an authority in the society. This khalifah is not one person. The khalifah is an order but one man has to receive God's guidance and then begin to direct the society in the movement towards the high position we call "khalifah."


Representative Of The Total Creation

It would have been senseless for God to have made the human being and ail of this creation for nothing. In the creation we see a repetition or a cycle. We see things come up beautiful and then the beauty is killed. We see things flowering into richness and the richness is destroyed. We see things develop into purity and the purity is destroyed. If there was not a plan for all of this and if the human being was not the khalifah or the crown of creation or the total creation in a human type as we are taught in religion, the creation would not make very much sense. In mathematics there is a law which says that the total is equal to the sum of all of its parts.

If we can see this physical world as the whole and if we can see the human being as the whole, then any part of that whole that did not have its representation before the human being certainly has its representation in the human if that human being can become a type for the whole. If he can become the example for the whole creation, the whole creation is represented in him and in him every member of creation is represented. How does a dog have higher dignity and worth? A dog has higher dignity and worth in a human being. How does a snake have greater dignity and worth? A snake has greater dignity and worth in a human being?


The Greatness Of Yourself

How in the world can a snake have dignity and worth in a human being? It can do so because the human being is a higher development of the creation than the snake. Do you identify the greatness of yourself with just your toes? No. Do you identify the greatness of yourself with just your arms? No. You identify the greatness of yourself in your mind. Now look in your own body. Have not your toes been dignified because of the high evolutionary development of your mind? Your toes now have dignity in your body. Your hands now have dignity in your body. The parts of your body are not called just an animal leg, an animal knee, an animal toe, an animal hand, an animal mouth, or an animal tongue. They are called members (organs) of a human being. So every member in your body has been dignified because of the high development of yourself internally. Every creature in creation, every molecule of water, every atom of matter has been dignified by the high development of any single part of creation. If any single part of creation reaches a high peak in worth, in value, or in dignity— all the creation is dignified and all the creation is lifted in value. If you can understand this point, we will continue this subject next week.

Thank you for honoring us with your time to read these few words.

Your brother in service to Allah,
W.D. Muhammad