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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Issues And Concerns Facing Muslims: Our Position And Direction: Part 1

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editor's note: This is the first in a series of articles that will carry the historical address Imam W. Deen Muhammad presented to an overflowing audience in Detroit's Cobo Hall.)

As-Salaam-AIaikum, and that is peace be unto you. Dear Beloved people, our life is for worship. For Muslims, every act of life is worship. What we do when we are alone, what we do when we are with our families and when we are home, what we do when we are out in the public, what we do in any and every situation is worship. Ours is a religion that requires the total life to be devoted to God.

This is the religion of the natural human being, the human being that God created. That is to say that it is natural for the human being, when he realizes that he has a Lord or God over him, to be concerned for every act in his life from the smallest to the greatest. It is because he wants approval from his Lord. He wants his Lord to accept him; he wants his Lord to love him.

Therefore for this occasion, for this day and for this address we ask the blessings of Allah. We begin always with His Name, with Allah's Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer. We have chosen today to select from the Holy Book, The Qur'an, the chapter or surah titled "Al-Lail." Our brother and my friend, Imam Darnell Karim beautifully recited this chapter for us today.

Before I go into the context of my address, I would like to introduce that context, or what it is I have to say today by giving to you in essence in the English language what is given in the chapter or surah titled "Al-Lail." "Al-Lail" means the night. Our interest for this address today is very broad; it is the total life of the human being, as he has to live in his own privacy and in the public with others. Our Lord, The Most High, says to us in the Holy Book, the Qur'an. that He is the One who began night and day. He tells us also that night is a cover for our rest, and that day is made for our activities. He also tells us that darkness oppresses, and the light liberates. But He, himself, is the One who created both darkness and light.

He says to us also, "Inna ma'al-'usre yus-raa." "Surely, with difficulty comes the ease." And we find that people who have been put under the greatest burdens eventually from them comes the greatest people. "Inna ma'al-'usre yus-raa." "Surely with hardship or difficulty comes ease." We know the message is that man should not try to escape difficulty that he has to face sooner or later. But he should know that even God, his Creator, intended for him that he should not live without trials, that he should not live without a challenge. It is because God intends for his muscles to be developed. And in developing his muscles, he has the strength for greater and better life.

"By the night when it enshroudeth, when it just covers everything. And the day when it makes everything bright, pleasant, magnificent." A bright, sunshiny day is a magnificent day. "And by the creation of the male and the female, surely your efforts in struggle are diverse." Diverse means differing. What you are struggling for differs from what I may be struggling for. And for the individual person there are many things pulling him or her demanding that he or she make an effort and a forward moving effort to accomplish something, to attend to something.

It is not only true for us who differ because we are separate individuals, but it is for us singularly also. Surely the things that we are striving for have diverse ends. And sometimes we are having great difficulty with the responsibility of personal life simply because we are not aware of this fact operating in the life of man and in society. So we don't get a desire or interest to really question our own life, our own motivations, our own aspirations to see if there might be, possibly, a terrible conflict going on in our own private world.

Then the words of the Lord Most High says, "But for him who is charitable and regardful..." These two words bring our attention to two possibilities or two properties or two principles in the life of man and in society. It is the principle of charity and the principle of respect — serious, deep respect or regardfulness. 'Then as for whoever is charitable and regardful, and who gives the truth or who says the truth..." There is an emphasis here on how the truth is operating in this person. "Sadaqa" means gave the truth. "Saa-da-qa" means great stress on how that is operating for that person "Wa sadaqa bil-hus-na." "And he gives the truth according to excellence."

Now many people will give the truth, but not according to excellence. They will give the truth as influenced by their concern. And their concern may be for something cheap and not expensive, for something low and not high, something of base value and not of high value, something of little consequence for human life and happiness and not of great consequence. And they will be speaking and giving the truth, but the way they give the truth will be influenced by their concern at the time.

But this is the one who gives the truth according to the demand for excellence. And God has created us for excellence. Again, He has created us for excellence! We come into the world not able to stand, and God has given us the nature to stand up. Then we get old or lazy or we get hip, and we don't stand well. "Hey baby, what's happening?" And now we stand hip. But, the stand that God brings us to from the cradle is always a good stand. That baby is not satisfied, until he manages to stand erect, excellent. The spirit of excellence is operating in the natural life to bring that stand to perfection.

And what is our religion all about It is about the "Stand of Abraham, the Upright." For that person, who is charitable and regardful and who gives the truth according to the demands on his life for excellence, God says, "He shall be eased on to a state of ease." That tells us philosophically many wonderful things. That is what the secular world also tells us, that man is naturally motivated towards happiness and towards pleasure. Life is created for happiness and for pleasure.

But that is a great, great trial without vision. It is a great, great trial without the help of God, Whose Name for us is Allah, highly praised and glorified is He. "But as for him who gives the lie. . 'bil-h us-na'.' It is the same thing according to excellence. How is a person telling or giving lies according to excellence? We want to tell the most effective lie, if we are a person given to lying. We want to be most effective with our lie. So that person is aiming for excellence also. And the worse of all liars is Satan, himself, the Devil, who tries to identify excellence and then gives the lie to it.

"We shall certainly ease him forward to hardship." His destiny is not happiness; his destiny is not a good life. His destiny is more burden. As God eases him forward according to his own posture and according to his own disposition, He will be moving him on forward or easing him on — he goes easily also — into greater and greater hardship and into greater and greater difficulty and into greater and greater misery. And don't we see lies and falsehood in the world moving those who champion that into greater and greater misery, greater and greater difficulty, and into greater and greater hardship. They have to tell a bigger lie the next day, and a bigger lie still on the next day. They have to work harder to cover it up the next day, and harder and harder the next day. They are working themselves deeper and deeper into hell, and they think they have us in hell.

"And he shall not be enriched, he shall not be made comfortable by his wealth. He shall not find his wealth to be of profit for him, when he is made to return." Oh yes, he has to return, for everything has to return. "Surely upon Us" this is God speaking — "is the responsibility to guide." Again, it says, "Surely upon Us is the responsibility to guide." Now if you understand the Arabic language and grammar and effective speech and affective speech in the Arabic grammar and in the context of the mechanics of language, you will understand that the "Nay" here meaning "Us" does not at all indicate that there is any God with God. It does not indicate that there is another helper with Him. No, no, no!

It means only that when God speaks. He speaks as a Sovereign for the sovereignty. That means that He speaks as the King for the kingdom. He speaks as the Absolute Ruler for all that has to be ruled over. And when He says, "Nay," that is what He is saying. What ever is operating over you, what ever man respects as being a force or power over him, it all belongs to God. It is in the hands of a single Lord. For that reason, the "Nay" is used.

It is likely the Kings, who don't say "I." They say "we." "We make this decree." It is the king making the decree; he perhaps wrote it with his own hand with no one helping him. But when he gives it, he doesn't say "I." He says "we make this declaration." It means that he has the authority for whoever else you may be respecting or whoever else may have an interest in the matter. He speaks for all.

When Allah says "We," then He is in the greatest and best position to say "We." For nothing else can operate without Him, and therefore He is the One most entitled to say "We."

I have heard people saying, "I don't want you speaking for me, Brother Imam." I have met some people who look at me one-sided, and they don't like me. So they have told me to my face, "You don't speak for me, Brother Imam." That is okay, but occasionally I will say "we." When Allah says "We," it indicates authority. But understand, we should not be caught up in the problem of not being able to understand the Oneness, Singleness, the Unity of God.

We are Muslims, even though we came through an experience that pluralized the idea or concept of God. I am talking about our experience under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, our great leader of the past. Under him we were given an idea of Allah that made us think that He exists by taking on many persons in a long line or in a long train of history. And we were told that is some sense all of us were gods. So when we heard "We," we thought that that meant in the Qur'an the gods in one single godhead. But now thanks to Allah and thanks to our sincerity and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's sincerity — for don't forget that I am not here by myself. I would not be here I don't think, if the Honorable Elijah Muhammad had not welcomed me in my attitude and in my belief that I had then and that I have now that he knew of. He was not in the dark.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad knew my belief. He had put me out twice, when it was brought to his attention that Fard Muhammad or W.F. Muhammad or W.D. Fard or Wali Fard Muhammad — he had a lot of names: when it was brought to his attention that I didn't believe that person was God, he confronted me. And I had to answer, and I answered truthfully. I said, "No daddy, I don't believe he is God." I didn't say it to him like that; see, I am a psychologist. I said, "Daddy, I respect your position. I understand your saviour." And he said to me in anger, "He is your saviour, too." I said, "Daddy, you are more important to me than he is. And that is what I meant when I said your saviour."

So my father's eyes dropped and his whole countenance dropped. And when he lifted his face back up, he said, "You know what this means, son? I said, "Yes Sir." He said, "You have to be put out. There is no communication to be with myself or your mother." I returned and was there for a few years, until somebody again brought it to his attention. And the condition to come back never was that I submit to that idea. Never! He accepted me without even bringing up what I was put out for. So the second time he did the same thing. But this time he asked me to give my position on the idea or concept of God. And I did.

When I did this, my oldest brother was present in the room. That is Emanuel. This was in my father's bedroom, when he did this. He did not have me out in the open, when he was doing these things. So Emanuel got angry, when I began to state what my concept of God was. I told him first, "Daddy, this is the Holy Qur'an, the Book that you have and the Book that you gave us." So I began to give him my concept of God, and my father was not pleased with it. Or if he was pleased with it, it was hurting him to hear it. And my brother, Emanuel, as always was ready to the rescue. So he is going to rescue my father now from the agony of my explanations. Emanuel says, "Wallace, shut up or I am going to throw you out of here." Now that was really his spirit talking. Because all of my brothers are pretty good fighters, and all of us know it is not easy to throw one of us out. But my father could not stomach this artificial show of bravery. He looked at my brother, Emanuel, and said, "You shut up. And you are not going to throw him out of here." That was the second time.

The third time was just a few days after the assassination of the great Malcolm Shabazz or Malcolm X, Then I made contact on my own, because I had refused to obey that law of his that said no correspondence, no communication, and no contacts. Whether he would reply to me or not, and I knew he wouldn't because he had to obey his own law. On his birthday I would send him birthday greetings. On his Saviour's Day I would send him Saviour's Day greetings, whether he replied or not. Now, he accepted me the third time.