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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

You Have To Get Prepared To Make It In The Land Of Plenty: Part 6

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Dallas, TX on March 19, 1989. It was Southern Texas that gave Imam Mohammed proper and due media coverage and recognition. This is the last in this Dallas series. Please know that Imam Mohammed now edits page 15 of the Muslim Journal.)

There are so many conditions that are necessary for improving our situation to make it in the land of plenty. We have touched upon some of them. I am going to close it out by giving you what I think is a rounded picture of this religion, following the Prophet who taught the religion, P.B.U.H.

Al-Islam has been built upon five pillars or basis or principles. The first is testifying or witnessing there is no deity but Allah, Muhammad is Allah's Messenger. And we have to be firm (brave) enough to say that to our friends who are not Muslims. We have to be firm (brave) enough to say that to our relatives who haven't learned that we have been converted.

We make our shahadah (testimony) even though we take the risk of being rejected from the house and turned away as relatives. Regardless, we testify to there being One Creator (God) Who is also the "Lord of the worlds" and Lord of all therein and to Muhammad being Allah's Messenger.

We don’t make that testimony or declaration just upon shallow faith or blind impulse. It is not for a person to hear the religion and just feel good and say — "I bear witness there is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is Allah's Messenger." We have to do more than hear the religion and feel good, We have to hear the religion and recognize it is good. Then, we should study the Quran and study the five principles. When we study them and they appeal to our intelligence and they appeal to our virtuous side and to our human side, when they appeal to our social ambitions and we love them, then we say, This is what we need." Then we are witnesses.

You are not a witness, until you can intelligently recognize the benefits in a thing. We do not want you to come up here just because you feel good and say you are a Muslim. We want you to sense with your intelligence that this is a good thing and that this is a good way for you and a good foundation for your life. Then you can witness it.

Muhammad, a man uneducated by the authorities of the world and did not go to the schools of the so-called learned of the rabbis, for he is a man that was unlettered or uneducated but had great and perfect virtues and perfect human excellence. His own natural spirit did not lead him to follow corruption. For Allah says of him, "He has already lived a lifetime among you." It is speaking of the time before he was missioned as a prophet and is saying in effect that that lifetime that he lived among you establishes him as a human being on the high standard of excellence.

Muhammad was so excellent in his nature before he was made prophet. The Arabs, although they were worshippers of idols, knew that such a man should be the one to trust. They called him "El-Amin," the trustworthy one. When they would travel away from their homes, many of them would come to him and treat him as if he were the bank. They would leave their precious possessions with Muhammad, because they knew they could trust him with them. We can go on and on to show how completely they trusted him.
Today, we all know him as "El-Amin," the peace and the blessings be upon him.

We are to testify that Muhammad's the Messenger of Allah. And what is the purpose for that? The first purpose we should see is that Allah did not give the religion to us directly. Allah chose a messenger and Allah chose the one whom He intended for that and whom He wanted for that. He chose Muhammad and gave Muhammad the message. Prophet Muhammad gave to us what he received from Allah as revelation as it was received by him.

Let us understand this first. And every time we say "La Ulab illallah, Muhammadan rasullullah'' we are saying to ourselves and to the world that "There is no messenger coming after Muhammad." We don't have to say it in any other way. Every time we say "La illaha Illallah, Muhammadan rasullullah" we are saying "He is still the Messenger of Allah." That same Muhammad is still the Messenger of Allah today and to the end of the world.

What else is this saying to this world that has made Messengers to be gods with Allah? The revelation (the Qur'an) to Muhammad is saying that "Our prophet is not a god; he is the Messenger of Allah." There is no god except Allah, not Muhammad, not your idol. There is no god except the Lord Creator, and Muhammad is the Messenger, not God.

The second of these principles upon which this religion is built is that we pray to that Lord. We offer prayers or "salat" to the Lord of the worlds. The third principle is "zakat" or charity. The fourth is fasting in Ramadan. We are charitable and spend for the benefit of self, family, friends, neighbors, and others. We are to practice charity. The fifth and last principle is Pilgrimage to the first House dedicated to the Worship of Allah and called "Al Bait." The House or the Kaa'ba is located in Mecca. We are to visit that House. This compliance brings Muslims from all nationalities and nations and from all around the world to that one place at that one House acknowledging One Lord Creator Who is over us all.

In this Pilgrimage we are presenting ourselves as brothers and sisters before that Lord. We are not masters of each other or lords over each other, for we are all brothers and sisters of one another with the same basic nature and same God-given excellence. We pray at that House in a demonstration of the unity of man, the unity of the human family on the planet earth. We pray there and go through the rituals there and return home with a sense of renewed life. We have the opportunity there on the most important day of that visit, the Day of Arafat, to rub shoulders with "brass" and "gold" and "silver": with all the finest in people.

On the Day of Arafat we also have the opportunity to hear the most resourceful people express their concerns on life and on family and on the world. We, ourselves, have the freedom and opportunity to address those same concerns. A man like me or a man without the position can speak and address concerns of importance. Social concerns and political concerns can be addressed there and the attention of the Muslim gathering can be called to those concerns. That is the great picture of unity and equality for the Muslim family which is the human family.

I have briefly mentioned those basic principles of the religion, and now I will give you these words of Allah from Qur'an: "The best preparation is reverence of Allah." And I return to my point that if you want to be situated best for success in the land of plenty, then hold in the highest reverence and in the highest regard the Lord Creator.

Also have the same sacred regard for those important things that He has established for us to give that sacred regard to. Among these is respect for our parents, respect for the relationships of life and society. And we are to respect the natural resources of the world. We have to have respect for the power in those resources and for the utility that is in the environment and also that is in us. We must have respect for everything that Allah has created and made deserving of our regard and respect.

First of all, however, before any other thing or any other person or idea, we must reverence the Lord Creator and regard Him with the regard that is due Him. And that will make for success in the land of plenty.

Success in the land of plenty is more difficult than success elsewhere or in the smaller nations. The richer, the more abundant, the more affluent a society is, then the more complex it is and the more challenging it is to the morals of man, to the spirit of man. to the intelligence of man, and to the nature of man. A highly industrialized commercial society challenges the nature and tends to give the nature of man its greatest battle.

We cannot make it alone, we cannot make it with our own little small resources. We have to turn to the help that Allah gave us for these terrible times and for these trying times and also for the times behind us which were less taxing on us.

If Allah revealed His Words as guidance for us in time gone by, when the world was not so complex and not so technical and not so perplexing as it is today, then we must understand that now in the critical time and in the time of plenty we have to rely even more strictly on the Guidance of Allah.

Dear Muslims, be happy to be Muslim and be happy with your situation as Muslims. You must improve your condition as Muslims all the time. Work to keep your virtues growing in better form. Work to keep your sensitivities and intelligence healthy. When the intelligence gets sick, the whole person is sick. Work for excellence. This religion motivates us towards excellence. Allah motivates us towards excellence with the Qur'an from the first page to the last.

The Prophet, the peace and the blessings be upon him, said "Allah prescribed excellence for every thing." The Prophet also says, "The Muslim, whenever he endeavors to do anything, be seeks to perfect it." We should have that quote on the wall of every classroom in the Muslim schools. That will motivate our children to aim for excellence or for perfection.

Look how the Japanese are going. They are winning because they are a people by the nature of their culture and their past life aiming for excellence. They are a well disciplined people aiming always for better efforts.

That is what it takes to make it in the Promised Land: The right sensitivities, the right alert in the mind and the right alert in the heart. As-Salaam-Alaikum.