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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


World Muslim News

Muhammad Speaks

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: This is Samuel Ayyub Bilal interviewing Imam W. Deen Muhammad on April 19, 1984, a few days after Imam Muhammad delivered two khutbahs and one public address in New York City.)

SAB: Brother Imam, I have gotten one phone call and two people have approached me saying there is a person in New York calling around and going around saying, spreading a rumor, that when you expressed your desire for AMMCOP to buy products weekly, as well as one Big Buy item per year, the person is going around saying that in that expression you were chastising Samuel Bilal and AMMCOP. He said we had been failing to buy every week, as though we had not been operating in the way you desired.

WDM: The weekly buy has been the masjid's "Collective Buying Program.1' Here in Chicago we have the same type of program where we buy produce, some flour, dry foods, you know -- paper products, etc. That's our weekly buy, and I was really introducing this idea to the community another weekly collective buying program — where people in the masjid (mainly males) who are unemployed can perhaps be doing something profitable by selling some items or articles they would purchase together collectively on a weekly basis.

I wasn't addressing any problem in the community or in AMMCOP at all. I was strongly suggesting that we look at the possibilities of starting that kind of collective buying program also on a weekly basis. But that would have to be done locally. And then, I would think that after we see the local support, we could determine just what the national needs would be. I would think that AMMCOP would be very helpful in seeing that work right.

Now, the other concern I expressed was actually a restatement. I was just restating something that 1 have said from the very beginning -- the main purpose, the main goal with this collective buying program is the Annual Buy.

I have talked to you on a regular basis, and what I said to them was not new to you, and I'm sure you didn't think I was in any way complaining about your performance or anything. What I was doing was restating that, because I think it is necessary for us to keep the big goal in our minds while we are building up for the Big Buy - - for bigger appliances and bigger things, even cars one day.

That was not the first time we mentioned that. We talked about that from the very beginning of the AMMCOP organization. We had already brought that before the community. We wanted to start with things that would be like a test program, and then after we see it working well, we wanted to go into purchasing the bigger needs of the community. We know we wouldn't be purchasing the bigger appliances as regularly as we would purchase small items, or less costly items. Most of the bigger appliances, I think have a life of about 10 years, so we wouldn't be doing that nearly as regularly
as we would be purchasing shoes or suits or something like that.

I hope this helps clear up the matter. And I want the community to know that when I have any problem with any official of the community whether they are working with me directly, whether it's our treasurer here, Bro. Mustafaa or you, the National Chairman of AMMCOP, Samuel Bilal, or anybody else — if I'm seeing you weekly, and seeing you on a regular basis, I wouldn't attack you or allude to you in expressing any dissatisfaction -- I would bring that matter to you. And 1 hope this oversensitivity in the community will disappear.

SAB: Just one more question, Bro. Imam, please. The regular buy, the person was suggesting that I was, we were, supposed to make regular buys, weekly or monthly buys, and that we were failing to do that. But I had told the people that we had already discussed that, and that we were already preparing to make interval buys before you made the speech. I told them that you were actually supporting what we had already discussed.

WDM: The only weekly, regular buying program that I have supported is the food buying program that we have in the masjid the Collective Food Buying Program. That was the first time I have ever expressed the desire for any weekly buying program.