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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

The Muslim Must Oppose Injustice

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: The following is excerpted from a lecture Imam Muhammad delivered recently at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich.)

I believe that the Muslim life is not only an answer for us as Muslims but an answer for all people. But the Muslim life is at odds, with such a great number of things in this environment that we can hardly count them, but most of all the Muslim life is at odds with injustice. The worst injustice to man is shirk, the Qur'anic term meaning worship of 'false god.' To give a man a false god is the worst form of injustice. To do it knowingly and with intent is unforgivable, and to believe in such falsehood knowingly, is unforgivable. This is why God says He forgives all sins except shirk.

The kinds of interest we find in our society today has changed since I was a boy. The moral concern is missing and we are struggling to hold on to what little moral life we still have. American society and the world in general, because of the great influences of America's popularity and material life, goes far beyond our own boundaries to lands and people all over the world. Even the Muslim land is not safe from the bad mental influences of America's unidentifiable culture.

Falsehood is an injustice, and the Muslim is opposed to falsehood, therefore we have to struggle against all injustice. The growth of obscenity in this society is an injustice according to the teachings of our Holy Book and we are in conflict with it. We have to contend with it and resist it; our struggle must be against all forms of obscenity and corruption.

Denial of universal basic rights is an injustice, therefore the Muslim community that is aware of itself and its responsibility must struggle against such injustice. To deprive any descendants of our father Adam of honor is an injustice. Allah says in His Holy Book that we are all descendants of Adam. He further says. We have made honorable every child of Adam. Therefore every human being is deserving of respect and honor and the measure of honor we deserve depends upon the measure of our intellect. As our intellect expands we demand more respect and more honor; we won't accept being treated like we were treated when we had no sense.

To deny knowledge of God's creatures which He has revealed for all of His creatures, is a great injustice and the Muslim has to be against that.

To treat as trivial what is sacred in the Universal Religions is an injustice and Muslims also have to fight against that. Allah Most High says in the Qur'an that our contention is not with the people of faith, our contention is only with the oppressors; the wrongdoers. Muslims are not here to fight or oppose people because of the religion that they have chosen or because of their national life, no, the question we ask is are you oppressing people or are you just to the people. If you're not just you are an oppressor and we must be against you. One of the notorious characters in the scriptures is Pharaoh. Why was he challenged, because he was an oppressor, he was a notorious oppressor.

To deny man the honor of responsibility, for the conscience and for the sake of his own community is an injustice. That community could be as small as his own family at home in one room or apartment; to deny him the honor of having the responsibility for the conscience and faith of his community is a terrible injustice.

To confound and confuse his senses and prevent the fruitful ordering of his life is a terrible injustice. All that I'm mentioning here is being done, in America. All these injustices are done in America.

To treat him as though he has no responsibility for authority: to treat him as though he is not entitled to authority is a terrible injustice. Allah said He's made you rulers on the earth, inheritors to inherit responsibility for government for supervision for rule. God said He created you for that. But any man or any force or combinations of forces which deny you that, is being a terrible unjust to you. Our Prophet Muhammad says, each of you is an authority and God is going to hold you accountable for how you are carrying out your authority. He is not speaking to a particular race he's speaking to every man everyone has been made an authority and God is going to hold us responsible for how we have discharged that authority.

God says that He neither created the human being nor the Jinn for any purpose except His worship. That's the great revelation. But most of the people they will miss that great revelation. God is so independent He doesn't need anyone to feed Him, He feeds. He needs no riches; He is the rich. He provides riches. So there is God. He is so big and beyond our grasp, that we have to think and think and think and think over and over again, to understand how He relates to us. God never (I hope I'll be forgiven for using this expression), pats Himself on the back in addressing us. God never pats Himself on His back in Al-lslam when addressing man. He’s too big for that. He says He neither created man nor jinn for any purpose except to serve Him.