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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 3

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


( This public address public address of Dallas, TX, March 25,1990 was delivered by Imam W. Deen Mohammed and also prepared by him for Muslim Journal's readers.)


Do Goodness

Allah further instructs us in the Qur'an: "Do goodness. Do works of decency, righteousness, and sincerity." The understanding is that goodness inside lives by growing and dies when held back from going outside in the form of good deeds with benefits for close and distant concerns. Do good in the spirit of sharing goodness. Promote enlightened behavior, refined principles and values.



In the defense of goodness, "Keep away from those things that are munkar": objectionable things, hateful things, low demeaning things, indecent things, things that corrupt, things that empty out the senses. To not resist that which is "munkar," is to invite moral defeat and become unfit for the moral life-function of desiring to do right and avoiding wrong doings.

In looking at the things this word "munkar" addresses, it includes stealing, lying, deceiving, abusing life and people, behaving rudely to others, depriving people of their rights, gambling, drinking alcohol, using drugs, etc. Anything adversely affecting moral goodness is munkar".

Committing adultery, using mates for pleasure and not being sincere to them is "munkar". That insincerity is fornication and adultery. If you are having sex but you do not really care for each other, you do not respect each other, you are not sincere to each other, that is "munkar".

Wasting valuable possessions is "munkar". To not appreciate the things that are entrusted to you is "munkar". To abuse or neglect your car is "munkar". To abuse or neglect the care of your house is "munkar". To let roaches and rats take over the area where you live 'munkar".


Fallen Standards and Jihad

When you are living around people who don't care for morals, have no moral sense for what is right and wrong or for what is expected of human behavior, that is "munkar". When you live around people who will pile filth upon themselves, while you are trying to keep the area sane and decent, that is jihad. When everything is pulling your children away from the religion and away from good parent advice - irresponsible T.V., bad records, bad street life involvements - and you are there trying against all of that and more, that is jihad.


Jihad in America

We have jihad here in America. Allah will reward this jihad more than He will reward the efforts of those who live in countries where they do not have to struggle so hard to keep up their Muslim life. The Prophet, the prayers and the peace be on him, said "Whoever sees or witnesses 'munkar' being done should change it." To change it means to prevent it. But "prevent" may bring the message that we have to take the law into our hands.

We are not to overlook the force of kindness. Use kindness and use intelligence. There are so many forces other than punishment to guide and correct behavior. And we are only to use force when it is necessary and other influences have failed. To change another's act or behavior with your hands sometimes will simply require responding real nicely and making the wrongdoer aware. A person may have wine in his hand, and you may say: "May I have this. Brother. I know you don't want to do this. You are not wanting to bring the wrath of Allah on you. Hand me this." You take it and throw it out.

Many times a simple and caring act reaches home and makes wrongdoers aware that Allah is kind to all. We can never be more caring and loving than Allah. We can never be more merciful than Allah. We can never be kinder than Allah. Allah is the Source of what little we have of all of that. So if we practice acting from caring concern and merciful goodness to influence one about to do wrong, Allah loves us for that. He shines goodness upon that person, and that person will have so much working for him \or her to bring a wrongdoer 'away from bad conduct.


Faith - Regulated Moral Commitment

The Prophet says, "But if you cannot find a way (to correct it) with your hand" — Sometimes to go up and ask for that glass of wine the brother is about to drink is to risk death — "...(correct it) with your tongue." In some situations that form of moral resistance will be dangerous. Hence, the Prophet said, "...then change it with your heart, and that is the weakest (expression) of faith."

Let him see you looking sad while he is drinking. Now, if he tells you, "Get out of my face looking sad!", remember a citizen has a right to be wrong in America.


The U.S. and Freedom of Religion

However, there are some things that we have to risk our lives for. And I thank Allah that when inviting Americans to consider Al-Islam, we are in a situation in America right now where we do not have to worry about having to risk our lives. There is no intent on the part of the Government of the United States to persecute Muslims because of our religion. If we are receiving hard times in America, it is because of certain elements carrying out their will against us. Or it could be that we are inviting problems.

Now, if certain elements are subverting the law, let us get together and bring those elements to court. At least bring them to the attention of the Law Department. Maybe sometimes all we will have to do is bring them to the attention of the police. Sometimes, if it is of such a nature, we may have to bring them to the attention of the FBI.


Legality and Our Religious Ties

Whatever the situation, let us not sit around and take abuse, because we are as free in this country to practice our religion as anyone else. That includes everybody. This country was not established to be a Christian only country. This country was established to be a fair country, a decent country, a country protecting the religious rights of all its people.

At the time of its establishment the Christians were in the great numbers. As Jews, and now others and Muslims have come to this country, it is a country of religions and ethnic groups.

The burden is on these religions and on all ethnic groups to respect the laws and to be law-abiding in our treatment of each other. We are to go back to Allah and back to our prophets we have in common, and from there get the best advice on how we are to live with each other. Though we are separate and distinctly different, yet we have common grounds of religious values.


Life Will Not Be Without Some Pain

Let us take a lot of burden off ourselves. We can never expect that all Muslims or all Jews or all Christians are going to be happy in America, with or without each other. Allah invites us to become Muslim, but Allah also makes us aware that all of us are not going to behave in the same way. Many of us who are invited to become Muslim are still going to accept and carry bad behavior. This is no less true of other groups.


A Jihad for Halal Foods

Not long ago, officers did not read you any rights inside jail. Arresting officers would read you rights when you were arrested, and that was to be mum and make a phone call to get an attorney. The arrest meant you were on the way to jail. That has changed a lot now. Now some convicts even have "halal rights" in jail.

The Muslim will say, "I'm not going to eat that meat. I don't want that meat on the serving line. I am a Muslim, and my meat has to be killed properly." We will join him; the Imams and good Christians will go and help him. Jews will also help him and say, if we have the right to have a "kosher kitchen" in prison, they should have a "halal kitchen" in prison.

Now all of these people pleading your case many times will succeed and get halal food in prison. Often as soon as he (a Muslim inmate) gets out of jail, we catch him going into fast food restaurants just eating away everything. Say to him, "Hey brother, wait a minute! This meat has not been slaughtered properly according to halal rules!"

To keep strictly to halal requirements on us in America, that is also jihad1. I want to emphasize the responsibility on us (Muslims) today. We in America do not have proper (halal) foods available to us. Most of the time I am eating seafood to stay away from the land animals that were not slaughtered properly.

Even now you will say, "So the Christian beef isn't any good for you anymore?" No, it is not any good for me when I learn that Allah says I should not eat it. It is only good for me if you slaughter it as Allah says it should be slaughtered. Then the same Christian beef will be good for me.


Kindness To Animals

We do not like slaughtering by hitting cows in the head. When I was a boy, the main center for slaughter was Chicago. We (Chicagoans) used to go out to the stockyard on visits. They would hit the cow with a big sledge hammer to knock him out. Later, this changed. Electric stunning gained popularity. That is also kind of cruel. I think they stun the cow by hitting it with a big electric charge.

Some will think that to slaughter with a knife is cruel. A quick cut with a very sharp knife is done in the spirit of kindness to animals. Some have gotten cut real quick with a very sharp object. If you do not see the cut, you will not even know you have been cut. Someone will have to tell you that you are bleeding. That sharp quick cut is the most merciful way to slaughter. That form (open-wound bleeding) is the most merciful. As you lose blood, you become unconscious.

We want the business people to really give more attention to the need for halal food business. Maybe Allah has given the African-American people the answer. It is hard to compete with dry goods or jewelry business, etc. Halal is something that cannot be taken from us by non-Muslims.


A Common Duty on Muslims

A Muslim has to slaughter for Muslims. The Jew has to slaughter for Jews. It is no different for Muslims. Halaling animals (food of the waters is halal) is very simple to perform. Anyone can be taught how the Muslim is to slaughter. You are not to abuse the animal. You are to say "Bismillah", use Allah's Name. Then as soon as you make the stroke that kills, say "Allahu-Akbar". That is all.

We do not need a halal college like McDonald's College. This is all of it. Halaling is for every Muslim to know and to perform. Muslims, get into halal business. Until you can do the volume that is required to serve your area, go to immigrant Muslims who are doing halal business. Go to them and buy with them, then your dollar will go further.

For starters, they are dealing in big volumes. Buy with them to get lower cost with increased volume. You will get the benefit of buying with a bigger purchaser or with a grower-producer. Do that until we (African-Americans) can have it independently. That is my advice, and that is an imperative for our jihad in the United States today.

To be continued....