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On Quran and Prophet Muhammad: Part 1

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


(Following are excerpts from a lecture delivered by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad at the Kedzie Street Masjid, Chicago, III., Sunday, April 19, 1981.)

Bismillah Jr Rahmanir Raheem. With the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Compassionate. I bear witness that nothing deserves worship except Allah, alone; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

It is indeed an honor, a pleasure, for me to be invited to address the wonderful Muslims of the Kedzie Masjid. I was invited to speak on the life of our Prophet (Salli Allahu Alayhi WaSalim).

I have decided to just speak mainly from Quranic versions of our Prophet with some general mentioning from history simply because I know that your Imams here are well versed in Hadith and the Law and the Shariat and the history of Al-Islam. I don't feel that I could make a contribution to you speaking on the life of Prophet Muhammad, speaking from the Hadith, from history, so I will leave  that to your leaders and I will speak in general terms.

I will begin with a verse in the Quran beginning with Verse 155 of the 7th Chapter of the Quran. And it reads: "And Moses chose seventy of his people for our place of meeting. When they were seized with violent quaking, he prayed, *Oh my Lord, if it had been Thy will, Thou could have destroyed, long before, both them and me. Wouldst Thou destroy us for the deeds of the foolish ones among us? This is no more than Thy trial, by it Thou causeth whom Thou will to stray, and Thou leadest whom Thy wilt into the right path. Thou art our Protector; so forgive us and give us Thy mercy, for Thou art the best of those who forgive.

'"And ordain for us that which is good in this life and in the Hereafter: for we have turned unto Thee." He said. 'With my punishment, I visit whom I will; but My mercy extendeth to all things. That mercy I shall ordain for those who do right and practice regular charity, and those who believe in Our Signs.

" Those who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own scriptures—in the Law and the Gospel; for he commands them what is right or what is just, and forbids them what is evil or unjust. He allows them as lawful what is good and pure and prohibits them from what is bad and impure. He releases them from their heavy burdens and from their yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him that honor him, help him and follow the light which is sent down with him; it is they who will prosper.”

In my self-study, I have researched Bible and Christian materials and I am convinced that these verses speaking of the mission given to our Prophet, as a mercy to all people, is an answer to Christian scripture and Jewish scripture wherein we find that God has promised a certain deliverer, a certain emancipator—that he would come and relieve the people of their burden, their unjust burden, their yoke of slavery.

We understand this to mean not only the physical bondage enslavement, but also the total enslavement of the individual—the spiritual enslavement, the academic enslavement the total enslavement of the individual. And there is no doubt that Prophet Muhammad is the fulfillment of those earlier scriptures referring to a Savior, one to come and take off the bondage, the heavy yoke of bondage from the people.

And again, we know of Prophet Jesus (upon him be peace) also praying. And the Christians  have Jesus also praying in these words: '!r said, "Give us this day, our daily bread," and it goes on, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven."

Here are two major prophets, one to the Jews and one to the Christians, praying to God for something very, very special to all the people of the book. And here in this Quran, we find very clear verses that clearly indicate to us that our Prophet is the fulfillment of that hope in the people of the Book. So we should not be confused when it comes to understanding the special distinction of Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace). His special distinction is seen in the progression of scripture.

Let me go on now and read further. There are many verses in the Quran addressing the prophetic role of our Prophets. Allah the Most High says, "And surely, indeed you are of those sent." And again, "Muhammad is not the father of any of your male people but he is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets." And again, speaking of us— the Muslims, that is; the Believers—"We do not make distinction among His messengers; we don't reject some and accept others."

But again, the Most High says in the Quran that He has sent messengers, some of them excelling others; they had degrees, whereas some has excelled others. So we know that though we are not to make distinctions among the Prophets as to their validity, to the validity of their mission, but we are to understand that Prophet Muhammad is not only the last of the Prophets, but Prophet Muhammad is the completion of that prophetic progression (Allah-u-Akbar) and therefore he must be the leader for all the others. And again, the Most High says in the Quran: "And surely this, your community, is one community."

And again, "And we have not sent you to be other than a Messenger to all the people."

Prophet Muhammad, then, we must understand, is a mercy and a leader for all the people.
He's not only a leader for Muslims, he is a leader for all people. The Muslims have an obligation to follow the example of the Prophet, while at the same time, non-Muslims are also benefiting from his presence in this world.

This world wouldn't be as advanced, socially, it wouldn't be as advanced morally, it wouldn't be as advanced spiritually, it wouldn't be as advanced economically, it wouldn't be as advanced academically if it had not been for the mission of Prophet Muhammad (Salli Allahu Alayhi Wa Salim). (To be continued)