New Africa Radio Logo
W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Muslim Journal

Protecting The Future Through Sound Economics: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial Note: On April 25, 1992, Imam W. Deen Mohammed will be addressing a public audience and an audience of Muslims at McCormick Inn's Arie Crown Theatre at 22nd Street and Lake Shore, Drive here in Chicago. He will be addressing the subject, EARTH, OUR HOME — Projection for the Future. For more information see-advertisement on page 28 of this issue of Muslim Journal. This subject is the one Imam Mohammed had prepared to present at the Annual Islamic Convention during the past Labor Day weekend but could not due to a hoarse voice. The following article is Part II of his public address given in Birmingham, Alabama on February 23, 1992. Its context gives to greater anticipation for the upcoming weekend.)

We are assured success if we make ourselves obey what we believe to be Allah's Will for us. Sometimes people think, "Oh, I wish I could be a good Muslim. If I knew that Arabic like you. If I could recite that Qur'an like you. If I knew the Sunnah like you." No, all you have to have is a good heart like Abraham (A.S.), then you are going to get everything that everybody else is going to get.

Wealth does not always mean success, and knowledge too does not always mean success. You can get all of that know-ledge and be needing a psychiatrist everyday. Some people will let knowledge drive them out of their minds. It (mystical knowledge) will make them so strange that they think everybody else is strange. They will be thinking the earth is populated by aliens and they are the only humans.
Don't think any one thing is the answer other than the desire to please Allah. Everything else by itself is not the answer. Some will say, "Oh wait a minute now. There's the Qur'an." But by itself, it is not enough. "Then, there is Muhammed." By himself, he is not enough. "Then, Allah." By Himself, He (Allah) is enough. Allah says in Qur'an that any who holds on to Allah will be brought back again, even though he be in hell. Holding to Allah will bring us out of hell.

I bear witness, for I remember a time in my life when I didn't have Prophet Muhammed. I didn't have the Qur'an. I didn't even have the right "picture" of Allah. I am speaking of the idea in mind. But I had faith in Allah. I had a belief that there is a God. I knew I had to obey (a) God if I expected to be successful. I knew that He would get me eventually if I disobey. So I was obeying in the dark and believing that there was a God. That brought me out of all the confusion I was in. I am a living witness and you are too. We experienced it. Some of you were in the light you say, but I didn't see your light. "

Disciplines are very important for us. When it comes to success Allah tells us what it will take to make us successful. He tells us in so many ways. But there is a particular passage from the Qur'an that ties in business with hope for success. It puts business into the focus with the hope for success. The passage says we are missing the real thing when we are going away from Allah to the dollar for success. This is the way I am commenting on it, because this is the way I am getting it.

"Oh you who believe. Shall I turn you on to a business deal that will save you from a punishing affliction? Believe in Allah and in His Messenger and strive in Allah's path with your possessions, your wealth, and with your own souls, your ownselves. That is best for you, if you only knew." That is what God says in the Qur'an.
Now God used the term "tijaarah". Tijaarah means commerce, business, enterprise. The term means something that invites and promises profit, something that offers material gain. Allah says, "Shall 1 turn you on to a business deal? (Shall I turn you on to a business interest that will save you?)" He (S.T.) did not say, 'that will make you rich'. Many people are rich but they are lost. Then He tells us what to do: "Believe in Allah and His Messenger." He didn't just say 'believe in Allah'. It says, "...believe in Allah and in His Messenger"."

A celibate mystic Saint can be successful in this material world of wealth without a messenger. It is because he does not want anything from him as a complete human model. All he wants to do (celibate mystic saint) wants to do is just exist until God calls him back. He doesn't want a woman, is not looking for a wife. He is not looking for a family, does not want children. He wants clones. He is not looking to buy him a home or anything. He looks to occupy yours. He can sleep in a cave or in a tree. He doesn't want anything on a typical human level. He tries to hid that reality even from himself.

But this Qur'an statement here addresses people who want something in the world and it uses "tijaarah". That is, money, enterprise, commerce, and business. So we Muslims have to believe in God and in His Messenger (A.S.). Why? We have to believe in Allah and in ourselves. The Messenger is the model for ourselves. The Messenger is the type that Allah wants in us. Allah wants us to be like the Messenger. He (Muhammed, A.S.) is the ideal human model.

We have to believe in God and also believe in the good possibilities for ourselves. And the possibilities for us are best seen in the possibilities demonstrated by Muhammed himself. That man (the prayers and the peace be upon him) was successful in every respect. He (the Last Prophet) was an all around achiever. He (Muhammed) managed the material world and the spiritual world and was successful doing both of them. So it is not enough just to believe in God. No, we Muslims are to believe in God and believe in His Messenger.

Another condition is that we struggle in the path of God with our possessions. Anybody going into business for nobody but himself is going to be a failure sooner or later. But they of importance are going into business to help a bigger cause; they are going into business to help somebody they are not expecting to get something from.

If you go into business and create one hundred or one thousand jobs, surely you will get fame. But when it comes to money, you are not going to get back all the money. Those employed got a share, and they don't owe you a thing out of their share. Those workers are spending that money on their families, on their cars, and some of them will not even
know the boss or the investor.

Your satisfaction grows from your helping all of those people. But when it comes to yourself actually getting all of what you are producing, no. Your share (total production) is going to be given to many people and you are going to get a small share. Your share will not be all that you produce, for most of what you produce will be going to others. Many of you will never see or know in your lifetime those people. Your money (your production) will go out from you to employ them and you will not be knowing all of what is happening. You will not even live to see its limits. But it (your wealth and production) will be benefiting others.

You can have that kind of mind to not expect all the fruits or profits, the harvest, in your day and time. There is a saying in Arabic in a little children's textbook that speaks of a man who was planting a tree. It was a date palm I believe, and the children questioned the old man. "Old man what are you doing?" He said, "I'm planting the date palm." They said, "For what?" He said, "So it will bear fruit." They asked, "Will you eat the fruit?" He said, "No, it will not bear fruit in my lifetime. But those coming later will eat it."

Now, I wonder what would happen to date palms, if they were all left to most African American dollar-chasers. I am just wondering and don't know. But the way we act sometimes, it is hard for me to see African Americans today planting date palms. I imagine there would be a scattered date palm here and there. Most of us don't want to do anything unless we are going to get it all for ourselves right away.

Do you think I would be coming to Birmingham and doing what I do and spending time all over these United States, if I were just doing this for myself to get a dollar? No, I can't even do that until I first want to see something come to somebody generations down the road. I can't even do that just for you. It isn't that necessary to do that just for you. I can do what I want to do for you over the telephone or radio or through the paper in one day. But we want this to be around here for the generations to come, and that makes a difference.

When you have the mind to invest in something to bring benefit to more than yourself and to people after you are dead, you really have the ambition or the aspiration that will get you not only help from intelligent people, but you will also have God and His angels on your side. This is because above yourself you are helping God's Cause. That is what God wants.

God does not just look out for us today. He looks out for our children to come way away generations down the road. Allah is not interested in just us in this room. He is interested in all of the people out there. When you get that kind of interest, believe me, God is going to be with you. You will be successful.
This is philosophical, and a lot of my talk to you is philosophical. If you open your mind for the vision and open your heart for the sensitivities that Allah wants, you are going to be successful. It is guaranteed. Amen.

Our prayer is a call to success. "Hayya a'lal falab" which comes after "bayya alias salat". "Salat" is prayer. "Hayya a'lal falah" is translated by most as "Come to success". Now, I have said that if you obey the disciplines that God gives us, you are going to be successful. God says if you come to prayer, you are going to be successful. And that is only one discipline. Salat is only one of our units of discipline.
Some will say, "No, brother Imam. Allah didn't say that. Some of the Companions saw that in a dream. It was two of the Companions who saw it in a vision, and that is how that call to prayer came about." But the Prophet also said it. When he heard them say what he had also seen, then he approved it as Allah's intent. If you can't look beyond me buddy, then I am way ahead of you.

Some of these "holy" sheikhs and "sufis" don't want me to talk about worldly success. You can see the difference between real religion and guess work religion. One calls you to success after you are dead, and the real religion calls you to success here and after. And nobody is going to change my mind about this religion. Amen.

Malcolm was not the only one looking at communism, I was looking at it at one time too. The more I learned about the Qur'an, the less attractive communism became. I had no knowledge at all that the Soviet Union would look like it is looking now in the grave. I had no knowledge that would ever come in my lifetime. But I thank God that He had mercy on me and I made the proper choice: Islam over communism.

(To be continued)