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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

The Practical Application of Al-Islam: Part 6

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(On October 14, 1990 Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Imam Mohammed has now prepared from it this article for Muslim Journal readers.)

We cannot have our children benefit equally. We can do all we can to treat those children the same and to give them the same, but we cannot have equal benefits for those children. One child is going to benefit more. One child will excel. We are not going to have equal benefits in our family. How then is society to give equal benefits? The trends that we have allowed to grow in society, trends that take over and dominate, the bad trends, such trends have conditioned us to expect too much for nothing done to earn something. We have been conditioned to demand that consistent logic, good sense, and truthful reporting be removed from the court room.

We see on T.V. someone walking on a rug shoe deep. It covers the shoe and we have to have that carpet. We will see someone walk in the door and the television comes on, and we have to have that too. We see someone riding in a car with sixteen wheels and with a shower in it, we have to have that. We will make a demonstration for jobs or for government aid.

We sleep on the left and envy the right. We have class prejudice where the poor man discredits the upper class. It is not just the upper class rejecting the lower class, but the lower class also will shutout members of the upper class. We will reject him because he is rich. We will reject him because he is a Ph.D. We will reject a person who is learned. We will punish another of our circle of friends because that person they befriended was a better off person. I am talking about what I have experienced, what I know. We will hate you because you achieved and we didn't.

We follow Satan and suffer that sin. We are that way because of the status spirit parented by commercial greed. We are that way because commercial greed has been selling us deadening influences and wrong ideas. I am not supposed to be rich just because somebody else is rich. Everybody is not the same. Each person has been an individual in competition with others ever since time began. There has always been distinctions for achievers and quitters. It is going to stay that way forever. And there is going to be a few achieving something that the majority are not achieving.

What is the beauty and Allah's justice in this? If Merciful Allah made individuals that didn't need each other, if the children come up and don't need parents like some animals come up and can go out on their own within a few hours, there would hardly be opportunity to earn social merit. In fact there are animals that can make it on their own from the time they come from the womb. Allah could have stunted our maturity. However, Allah extends the rule of knowledge and mercy so as to bend all things (matters) by that rule. (Qur'an).

Allah wanted us to be more responsible with more responsibilities, and more caring than all the animals. If everyone has the same thing and all of us are equal, where is there room for any of us to earn credits for anything? But if the many of us cannot achieve what the few can achieve, then there is opportunity for the few to serve the many. There is opportunity for the many to appreciate the few and serve the common good. Appreciating while devoted to the common good, both the few and the many are in a perceptive situation to earn merits and benefits.

Some of us do not know that to say "thank you" is more rewarding to the soul than saying "take this". I have experienced both and hope that I will keep experiencing both. I feel good giving something and I feel good saying ' 'thank you". I need that in my soul. We need achievers. We need to benefit from others. Allah is the greatest Benefactor. To understand this as Muslims is to understand we are not beneath those who are above us in certain respects short of Taqwaa. Allah is above all persons, places, and things. Whatever the situation, all is a blessing and a mercy from Allah. My situation too, no matter how much I am bothered by it, is a blessing and a mercy from Merciful Allah.

Many times it is a poor person that enjoys a life of principles and values. You have heard great philosophers talk of these things. The poor can be blessed with values that many of the rich will never have. They are given the joys from Allah that many of the rich will never experience. Many of the rich envy the poor for the joys the poor can experience that may seem to be beyond the reach of the rich. Quality of soul: Here is where we find the equality for all units of life. There is equality of reward and punishment.

The amount of enjoyment that we have is not determined by any category of benefits coming to us. "I can only be happy if I have more money." Allah sometimes will let you get more money to show you that you were wrong. On the other hand, we are not going to reach a pleasing life by choosing to stay poor. We should be aiming always for satisfying (excellent) performance. Somewhere in the road we will miss it if we forget our souls.

Let us not envy each other. One of the major crimes is to be jealous or envious of the other person. Greed is another major sin. Allah says to us in the Qur'an to stay away from the major wrongs. If we get to nitpicking and busting our brains trying to find out every little item like, "How many times did I lie today?", we will be lost. But, "avoid the major sins". (Qur'an.) Take one look in the mirror or let someone else take a look at you and ask, "What did you see". If the answer is, "I saw a greedy burden", then get rid of the greed. You don't need a magnifying glass and a Sherlock Holmes looking for the crime. Give attention to major problems and you (we) will be alright.

This address is a focus on the role of concepts for the purpose of stressing Muslim life and our obligation to build respect for intelligence. I think this is the greatest need now we have in the Muslim life. We have to build a respect for Muslims as being intelligent people. Our religion (in my understanding and based upon my inquiries) is the religion that stresses the value of intelligence, the respect of intelligence, and the exercise of intelligence more than any religion that I am aware of. It begins with man being created as an intellect; that is the beginning of our creation from Allah's Words.

Some of us would like to say that Allah created the heart first. No, Allah created intelligence first. All animals have hearts, and we have no superiority when it comes to the heart except upon superior intelligence. Hearts are desired for wise over foolish and good over bad. Animals have unimaginable courage when their young are threatened.

We don't have any more heart than animals. Many of us have experienced this. I was not bothering a bird's nest, for I just happened to pass near one. This bird's nest was for some reason on a low level; perhaps it had fallen. But just my being near this nest caused this bird to come out after me, and that little bird made itself appear as a giant. If you see something that usually takes flight at your approach coming at you and meaning business, it will frighten you if only for an instant.

Don't think that just having heart is where it is for us. And that is where this society went wrong. The idea of freedom that we have in this country bypasses our intellect about as often as it addresses our hearts. Society reaches a certain point in pursuing freedoms where the freedom becomes regressive in the life of people. In this history of America, we have reached the point in pursuit of freedoms where our freedom has become regressive and a rain of hellfire on us. We can't survive accepting to not call immoral freedoms immoral ("sins").

We have also to address the management of obligations and circumstances, both the favorable and the unfavorable. Look at the early life of the Muslims under the leadership of the Prophet, himself, the prayer and the peace be on him. The Muslims were persecuted. The Muslims were not allowed religious freedom in pagan Mecca. When the Prophet was detected for what he believed in, the savage persecution started. Those who embraced Al-Islam and accepted Prophet Muhammed were persecuted.

During the first wave of persecution Muhammed (A.S.) sent an envoy to a Christian country to seek asylum from persecution. It was in nearby Ethiopia in Africa. A lot of us do not realize that Arabia is so close to Africa that at one point you can jump out and in. The Red Sea separates the two land masses. Some discussions suggest that really these two land masses belong together. It has been said Arabia really belongs to the continent of Africa. This Muslim delegation was sent by the Prophet to Ethiopia, which has been called Abbysinnia and also "Habashi." This Muslim delegation pleaded the case of the persecuted Muslims in Mecca.

In this delegation there was one person without any schooling or class status. All of his education had come from the Prophet's teachings. This one among the persecuted Muslims impressed the ruler so much by quoting scripture from Qur'an that the Christian ruler was familiar with. The ruler knew the story given in the Bible on the Blessed Mary and the birth of the Prophet Jesus as the Messiah, peace be upon Christ Jesus and upon his blessed Virgin Mother. The ruler was so impressed upon hearing the Quranic position that his heart went out to this delegation from the persecuted followers of Muhammed.

The Meccans described as "jahiliyyahs" (uncivilized) soon arrived in Ethiopia demanding that the ruler return those Muslim Meccans for punishment. The ruler of Habashi (Ethiopia) refused. This was really the first alliance or political relations to be established for the community of the Prophet with another nation or outside government body. This was the first, and it was with a Christian authority and with a Christian nation. Friendship and security was given to these Muslims escaping persecution in Mecca. We should not forget this special relationship for us (Muslims) with this African Christian ruler and his Christian country.

We are obligated as Muslims to live our Muslim life. Some of us say, "Look at the circumstances. What can we do? The circumstances will not allow us. We cannot get a salaat break. Our jobs will not let us stop and observe the times of prayer. We cannot have halal foods. We don't have halal stores. We have no plan to invest in this non-Muslim city. This government and the Christians are not going to let us progress or establish ourselves here." We are so pessimistic and do not believe in the future. (Al-Aabhirah).

I am saying this in hopes to counter some of that. Our obligation is to believe in Allah and to have faith that with our efforts Allah will make a way for us. We are obligated too to use whatever the Prophet used in his day and time. The Prophet (AS) demonstrated his faith in another religious people. Why can't we do the same and not be called traitors? He used diplomacy. Those who represented him were diplomats and students of Muhammed's skillful diplomacy. The envoy did not go into the Christian country and read a chapter on "Kafirs". This envoy did not recite verses on hell fire to try to frighten the ruler into giving aid and rescue. Our Prophet best demonstrated intelligent diplomacy. Muhammed's envoy gave the ruler what the ruler should appreciate, being religious and intelligent.

What is wrong that Muslims are slow to use and demonstrate diplomacy to get ourselves in a better situation in America that is predominately Christian? I believe in following the Prophet. He led us in the appreciation for good sense. Do not make our minds so black we cannot see any other color. People do not have to like that position of mind, but that is my happiness. I want to share it with everyone that can respect it and appreciate it. Those who do not, I want to get the hell (hell's distance) away from them. Heed "the Comforter". The Comforter is the Qur'an as lived by Allah's Messenger. We are told our "Comforter" will be with us unchanged for all times.

(To be continued)