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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

'Get Control Of Your Life'

Imam W. D. Muhammad


Dear beloved people, it is indeed a great honor and real pleasure, a special pleasure and honor for me to be guest speaker here tonight at this university that has long been a university highly admired by my family —the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, our late leader, and all of the members of my family.

The honorable Elijah Muhammad, as you know, used to stay here in Washington, D.C. for a few years, and during that time he acquired a special kind of admiration for this university. Howard University, a university with a good history, a university founded to give good education to free slaves. This is a good place, a very special place. I feel specially honored tonight.

I would like to also thank the Muslim community here, and the masjid for its assisting the Muslim students of this campus so that this occasion would be a very successful one for all. I have heard a lot of fine things said about me tonight and I am trying to sober up.

Tonight, while I am talking on one of my favorite subjects, that is, survival in America today, I would like for those that are listeners, who perhaps have not been acquainted with me, as the members of the World Community of Al-lslam are, to know that I am a Muslim; and whatever I say is going to be flavored, I guess, or influenced in some way by the religion of Al-lslam.

What I am trying to say is that 1 am not going to give you a sermon tonight but forgive me if sometimes it sounds like a sermon, I really appreciate those words that Emam Alim quoted from Dr, Eric C. Lincoln as the introduction that he had prepared- I appreciate those words because I have always felt that I was standing on the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's shoulders.

As you know he said himself no one would walk in his shoes and he was a very, very wise man with deep knowledge of the conditions, psychology, social problems, general conditions of the people — of our people. He had good insight into our problems and he was constantly watching the time, and he was a man racing with time. He was trying to hurry up and do a job.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad recognized the close of that season and he began to prepare his people to enter another season and he never said that anybody could walk in his shoes; no one would succeed him as leader of the tight organization or the tight religion that he, himself, had established.

He said that when he finishes, God, Himself — there would be nothing after him but God, Himself. And believe me if you know how to translate or interpret the language of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he was very very correct. His prediction was correct.

I am not, as the Emam has said already, I am not following the footsteps of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I am not walking in his shoes. These shoes belong to me just as his shoes belonged to him. But I am proud to say that his shoulders are very thick shoulders and very strong shoulders and if it were not for the great work that he had done to bring our people's attention and interest and the concern to get involved in doing something about our own condition and looking outside for leadership, I would not have had any big platform to stand upon in February of 1975.

Because of his thorough and great work in terms of waking up the need to pick up our problem in our own hands and do something about it and the strong message that appealed to our consciousness and brought us together and made it almost impossible for us to separate.

In fact, I don’t think we can separate. Some of us, we get lost from each other, or we go off and take a trip (you know), but we have to come back. We just... – ( can’t read text)—Believe me, I know because they give me so much hell, not you who are here, but some people who may not be here tonight - they give me so much hell until I take a lot of vacations, but I found that I couldn't leave. I could only take a vacation, I couldn't leave.

Really a vacation was not any good 'cause out there I'm so busy trying to think of how to get back into the position, a better position to realize some of the good things that I thought we all should have been realizing in those days under the teachings of unity, brotherhood, etc.

So it would be like every time I would go out, something would bother me and I would come right back. In fact, I never went out with the intentions to stay out and I don't think any of us go out with the intention to stay out. If we did we'd go out with our mind terribly upset.

But when we go out with calm minds, calm hearts, we don't go with the intentions of not coming back. They ask me how many Muslims are there? 1 say there must be two million They wonder where are these people. Well, they are all over. They don't have to be in the masjid, they are alt over.

On the T.V. today, Channel 7 here. What is that, WJLA? Yes, T.V. It said that 1 had dismantled the F.O.I. That was the military class, military rule in the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, And giving the feeling that somebody thinks that I came in and just drove the F.O.I, out and drew the captains out of the society.

So if that's the feelings of some of our friends and brothers, I would like to correct that, We have right here today, a captain, a large captain, an ex-captain. His name is Omar, Brother Omar. His name was Jerome X before. (They) thought we had phased the old F.O.I, unit into a new community life.

You know when we phase out something, you take an old phase and bring it into the new phase; it's not a destruction, it's a change for the better. So actually, I don't think of myself as somebody who has destroyed the F.O.I. I think of myself as somebody who has improved the male membership of our society.

There are several criticisms that we receive unjustly because the information goes out the wrong way and people come to conclusions, jump to conclusions and say this is so. For example, you have generally thought that I am opposed to business programs that were once going very strong under the leadership of  the   Honorable  Elijah Muhammad.

Since I have come into the position of Emam over the World Community of Al-lslam in the West, I have been working desperately to improve the business management of the community so that we can get ourselves on solid ground. We bring in the new... pull in the loose strings and tighten up our management.

The problem was poor management, disorganized management and over extending of the financial operations. We were constantly in debt of money to build more business and more business; to buy more land and more lard. But we weren't giving good attention to the land and to the businesses that we were producing. In very few places were we giving proper attention to those businesses.

In many instances the Emams themselves were the managers of those businesses. The Emam had to run the community, he had to handle charity and he had to be the manager of business. And often the business was saved by charity, and people thought that business was doing great things, was doing a great job, realizing a great boom. In many instances those businesses were just shells that were fed by charity.

Now, who wants a situation like that? Who wants a show of business success at the extent of poor people, the earnings of poor people who need their money to buy better shoes for their children, to get better living conditions for themselves, to get better education for themselves, to keep themselves owning an apartment and not be thrown out on the streets?

So it was my judgment that these business operations should operate on their strength and not on the charities of poor people. For that reason, I said let us spin-off these businesses, let us sell these businesses.

"... The Emam is giving away the businesses — he is giving away the businesses; the Nation is going out of business." That was a false statement and I believe that it was done intentionally to make people lose faith in our community. We were looking for members who would be able to take over those businesses.

The very plain fact is that we have more faith — that is myself — and 1 say "we" because I had support, I couldn't have done these things if 1 didn't have support.

I said that we have more faith in people, individuals' ability to run businesses than we do in ministers and secretaries scattered all over the country trying to run a business.

Many times miles, sometimes hundreds of miles, sometimes thousands of miles away from the business they are trying to run.

And the poor person who is right at that  business  seeing  that  business daily, working   with the business problems daily, he had to take orders from someone who was a thousand miles away, and that person who was giving those orders many times had no knowledge at all about the business he was running from a thousand miles away.

1 want to make it very clear before I even get into my talk for tonight that we are not giving up any good thing that was achieved under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, not a single good thing that was achieved under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad are we giving up.

I would never give up any good thing that we have achieved, We still operate businesses. We have a brother struggling right now with Salaam Restaurant in Chicago, and believe me we are better off now than we were before.

That business is being operated by an individual who is struggling, but we don't have to take our charity of welfare people and people who are underemployed or people who are desperate; feel that they are so desperate — ,the community is so desperate that they have to stick up a bank or sell some narcotics to bring some money into our community so our face will stand up — business face -- to keep the business face standing.

So all of those ugly and hard conditions have been removed. I don't know of any situation like that existing anymore. We have a few pockets, small pockets of trouble like this but we are giving them the kind of treatment, putting the kind of pressure on them that I am sure is going to make them conform. In time they will have to conform; if they don't conform, they are going to be severed from this community. That's the only way.

We are a people who were trained by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to speak the truth, to live an honest life. We weren't trained to be hypocrites. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Sister Clara Muhammad raised me to be an honest person, and to be honest means to be Muslim. And to be Muslim means to be morally upright person, a civilized person and not a criminal savage.

We can't have that kind of behavior in our community if we respect the kind of things that we worked so hard for under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad for forty-something years. And again how can we move into the Promised Land that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad pointed to us, if we are going to bring in the sins of the world that persecuted and destroyed us?

So that's what you are witnessing; you are witnessing a battle, a battle in the World Community of Al-lslam to save the good I if e that was established under the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that's what you are witnessing.

We are trying to save that good life, and to save it we had to destroy the leadership that had become corrupt, that had failed the higher standards that were once established by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, That's not all to it, there's more to it than that.

When the Honorable Elijah Muhammad passed, there was but one step for us to take and that step was a step towards the full acceptance of this Book, the Holy Quran. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he lead us, but he always pointed to the Holy Quran. He established nothing to succeed him but the Holy Quran.

He spoke of me; he spoke of me in Chicago at one of his annual meetings as being a son to him like Solomon was to David. And he told this to me that I would lead his people one day. But he would always say, "No, professor, no one would succeed me." Meaning that no one would carry on my work after I pass.

The calling of the Caucasian race,, a race of devils; the work of calling them devils by nature or devils by birth, that work went out with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. The work of teaching you a symbolism, allegory or vague message about the origin of black and the origin of white, that went out with the teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad.         

(To be continued)