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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Promotion of Basic Concerns and the
Concept of Jihad: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


 (This article for Muslim Journal is prepared by Imam W. Deen Mohammed and is based on his public address given in Dallas, TX, on March 25,- 1990.)


Business and the Clergy

The most populous Muslim country is Indonesia. And this so happens to be the country that became Muslim because of contact with businessmen from other Muslim areas. A good Muslim in business is a good representative for his religion. First of all a person who is strong in the Faith and devoted to his religion does not neces­sarily have to be found in the clergy profession.
Muslims have no "clergy." In this religion any brother can be our Imam. His qualification is that he studies the Holy Qur'an and learns it. That he measures up in terms of virtues and de­cency (good character), and that he knows the life of our Prophet. Anyone with that qualification can lead us. He does not have to go to any seminary or to a for­mal institution or religious order. Certainly, there is no priesthood.

No Mediator Between Us and Allah

Muslims do not address (call to) Allah through another. To this issue Allah says, "I am as close to you as your jugular vein." And, "Call on Me, and I will respond." Our Prophet re­ported that Allah said, "No­thing is between Me and the person who is distressed, not even a veil," not even a little partition as much as a curtain. Highly glorified is Allah, the Lord Creator, and the prayers and the peace be on His Mes­senger Muhammed.

Business, A Religious Deed

We appreciate business as an obligation on Muslims. The most populous country in terms of the number of Muslims in one nation (Indonesia) became Muslim because of its contact with good business people from Muslim lands. Business people, you have a jihad. Your jihad is more importantly a jihad be­cause you are in America (the United States).
Business is not a good word all of the time. In fact, most peo­ple expect the business man to have double standards. They expect him to have a law for business and a law for his family and friends. He is expected to he decent (straight) in his house with his family, but the same is not expected in business. There are exceptions and that is glad­ly acknowledged.
Right now, ethics is becoming a real sensitive concern in America. For we have seen so much corruption in the last ten years or more. We have seen so much corruption of the family. We have seen corruption in the government. We have seen cor­ruption in education. Our school grounds have become places for crime activity. The whole country has come under so much trouble from corrup­tion, that now the concern for ethics is rising higher and higher.

An Ethical America

We have to understand that we need a strong movement for ethical practices in the whole life of America. I take my hat off and salute the great American people who will not let their good aspirations, good values, and good virtues die. They will rise up again, will fight and struggle again, until the society is human again. I admire the American people for that. I am American myself. And I think that is why I like to say that (I am American).

Mixed Emotions

Some of the Muslims mis­understood me. I picked up the American Flag and said, "If you don't want to hold up this flag, then I'll hold up this flag." So I lifted up the Amer­ican Flag right in the face of hundreds of Elijah Muham­mad's followers. I did not know if someone would run up on the rostrum and break my neck with a karate blow. I did not know what would happen. But I was moved to do it and was too moved at that moment to be checked by fear.


I lifted the American Flag up to the extent of my arm's reach. The flag was positioned on the rostrum because the American law required it with our (Mus­lim) flag. I did not bring it up there for that demonstration. It (American Flag) was on the stage conveniently.
At that time I think the peo­ple thought I was trying to tell them that we had to be loyal to the government and patriotic citizens. I did have that in mind alright, but that was not what was motivating me. What moti­vated me was my knowledge of an ethical American people. I am a self taught man; most of my education has resulted from self study. I have read books on the American history and its people, and I have almost shed tears while reading about the sacrifices of Christian saints and political leaders who sacri­ficed their lives to bring decent treatment to be established in their society for human beings (all).

Human Kin

There was Martin Luther. But before his time, before the Renaissance and the Protestant movement, there were many sacrificing their lives to make the West human. That touched me. I know of American history and of how Christians strug­gled, fought, and died in Europe and here. Good Christians lost many lives just to keep human decency in the society. America is great because of Christians and social reformers who sup­port and promote the best ideas. Those people I recognize, be­cause my heart I believe is human.

My Message for You Today

I see a strong compatibility, a strong likeness where we can-come together, on common grounds, in unity, supporting the common values and making sacrifices together. We all have a jihad. And that is my message for you today. Though they (Christians) do not call it jihad, we have decent Americans who are also in jihad and have al­ways been in jihad and will al­ways be in jihad.

"Government by the People "

Because of this nature of America, America gives free­dom. However, freedom in America's life means several things. It does not only mean the freedom to live out the potential that Allah wants to establish for you (for humans). Freedom in America means to live out whatever your potential is.
If you want to live out a potential Al Capone, America gives you the freedom to realize your potential to be an "Al Capone". If you want to be a potential Marquis de Sade, the man who enjoyed inflicting pain on his women, if you want to live out that potential America gives you the freedom to do that. America gives you the freedom until the opposition against you becomes stronger than your force.

Morally Free

The American people are also free to work against wrong life. All of us are free. Now, if the decent American people do not work against the indecent sav­age, then the indecent savage may overtake all of us one day. So, that puts all of us who love decency and the long lived values in the same moral situation. By that, we acknowledge the jihad of good Christians and all good Americans.
I am speaking to African-American people. I want you to know that when I give an address in any city, I try to re­spect our concerns and interest. But at all times I am trying to do my best to address Muslims in the whole of the United States.

A Plurality of People and Religions

Some of us think that this is a Christian only country, and that Muslims are just not going to be able to do very much here. Now, I am going to tell you that I do not have to talk for hours to make my point convincingly anymore. Just look at Imam Yahya Abdullah. Look at the people working with him here in Dallas. Look at the Muslims of Dallas, and I think your mind should be changed.

That same good situation does not exist in all cities. I was in Chicago for many years. I don't think I hardly went three paces. In fact, I know I did not make three steps. I made about one and one-half or maybe two. It is a City for the game of ex­ploiting rivals. It is windy and cold. However, when I go back to Chicago and see its shoreline from the air, I see the most beautiful pattern of a city. If you fly over New York City, you will not see a prettier pattern. I wonder how that City (Chicago) got so out of line with its pat­terned beauty. Maybe it is be­cause Chicago makes too much of "Al Capone."

Central Point and Open Opportunity

Do you think to go back to the centralized control of Muslim business aims and interests? In time (15 years) we have come to realize more business growth for Muslims in America.
I met a brother recently who was a lieutenant in the time be­hind us. He was a first officer in the F.O.I., militant male unit under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. I met him in Miami this year. He is a man of ordinary education. I don't know if he finished high school. He was always a disciplined and productively aggressive person. Today, he is one of the most successful businessmen in Miami for our African-American minority business­men. He has his business in one of the choicest spots of Miami. He is making products for big name businesses.
Brother Talib of Miami, Florida helped three sisters open another business for themselves in Miami. They are also successful. With his pro­duct he gives instructions on how to conduct and operate the business. Brother Talib has his own businesses and will give the operation plan to others who accept his products. I am sure some of you know of him. Brother Talib would raise the ethnic value and pride of any people if he were one of them.