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Our Internal And External Life: Part 1

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad


(Following are excerpts from a lecture delivered by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad at the Elijah Muhammad on Sunday May24th 1981)

Bismillah ir Rahmanir Raheem. With the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Compassionate. I bear witness that nothing deserves worship except Allah, alone; and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

ALLAH WANTS for us a true life, a good life. Not just a rich life but a life that is truly rich in that we are able to enjoy that life. Do you know that if a person has the material wealth and all the material advantages, but is without internal peace, they haven't accomplished much. Their accomplishments are almost nothing.

We don't want that, we want the balanced life. We want the internal development and the external development. Allah has made that possible for us in revealing this religion to Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace).

In the Quran we have the guidance, sure guidance, without any doubt, that guides us to see both sides of our life or both area of the human need. The need for internal improvement and for external improvement. The Most High says in the Quran that he formed the darkness and the light.

How many of us understand that the state of our life is a matter of the way we think? Did we think incorrectly? Thinking correctly will eliminate problems.

How many of us understand that the promise of freedom to religious god-fearing people is the promise of understanding. When a person understands his life, his purpose in life or his place in this creation; he is free. Darkness is oppression and light is freedom. This is the way we should understand freedom.

We should understand freedom in terms of what is best for the internal person as well as what is best for the society without. You can't have true freedom when there is freedom to move about and do whatever you want to do in the open society but internally you are yoked you are chained.

A man who's imprisoned within or oppressed within — good Is he to himself or to society? He's a burden on himself and he's a burden on others. We don't appreciate fully the liberating truth of Revelation. We seem to think that the better things and the more important things are done in the political arena in politics.

We look to the political mountain for our freedom and for our progress. But look how often we have been disappointed. In fact, the general population are constantly dealing with disappointment. If we look at the shape of the world today and then look at the shape of the world in World War II and World War I we see the masses relatively in the same position!

Do we consider how far national leadership was ahead in World War II and how far behind the general masses were; consider that also for World War I and consider what exists today and you may say that we are worse off today then we have been since the world wars started.

Yes, because the individual is less prepared today to deal with the circumstances that affect his life than he was in time gone by. But that's not true of the believers. The believers are making progress. The believers are not in the shaky boat of the world. We're on our own feet, trying to follow as best we can the commands of God. We are not a part of this constant, regular thing of disappointment behind disappointment.

Do you think I'm disappointed? I'm not disappointed, I feel fortunate, I recall when I was a little child in this community under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's teaching and at that time I didn't feel lost. Why, because I was on a vehicle and was able to see the driver. Praise be to Allah, I'm still '-n a vehicle and I'm still able to see the driver! And I don't have any days in my life of frustration, despair. No! I've been hopeful all the days of my life. And that's what going to make our people come to life, mentally, intellectually and socially. When they get on a vehicle where they are in touch with the driver.

Now let's go back to what God says in Quran. That He formed the darkness and the light. And if we understand scripture. darkness is before light. The word for darkens in the Quran, the reference that I am speaking from now, is zulma-t. Another word related very closely to that word is zulm. One means darkness, the other means oppression. Then we may come to the conclusion that actually God gave birth to man in an oppressive environment, that man is born in an environment that oppresses his intellect. Can you imagine how life would be for you if you were the first person on this Earth? And you hear the great roar of the beast in the wild and you've never seen one before and a tornado comes along or a hurricane or an earthquake or a volcanic eruption or a bolt of lightning; can you imagine how that would affect your mind?

You would be terrorized. But can't we then, see that the universe in its natural order oppresses the mind but at the same time it challenges our rational faculties so much so that the mind gets often tired and worn out, trying to understand what it all is.

We hear the thunder and see the lightning flash and if that's the first we hear it we might fear it as a God.

We imagine  that when primitive man first saw the cap of the mountain blow off
and dust and smoke and fire shoot up into the sky as high as clouds he must have fallen down on his knees trembling like a leaf. And he probably said "that's a God."
Well you see how creation oppresses us.

Well the very same thing that oppresses us is responsible for freeing us. For God has put in us an urge to understand, and the more pressure our opposition to that understanding the stronger the urge becomes. Some are eliminated in the process, some survive. Yes, the more the environment seems to press upon the intellect and suppress it or intimidate it the more determined the intellect gets to deal with it. And I say the strong survive. The weak are in the mental institutions, or wasted in the dope den, the prostitute bin, the bars or the city, but the strong — they survive.

Praise be to Allah, dear people look where Allah says (in Quran) prayer is a hard thing on the individual. It is a hard thing on the individual except those who believe and are steadfast. It's not hard on them. Why? Because of their unquestionable faith and undying determination to please their Lord — knowing that this is not all there is to it. The road is hard right now, but that's not all of it, I have to meet my God. No it isn't over I'm going to have to meet my God.

See how belief in the judgment is so important to a believer. He who has a faith in the judgment has a power working on his side to endure in this world. But he who believes in nothing ahead gives himself quickly to destruction. He says what the heck, Let's eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. That's not the believer. That attitude brought down great nations, (i.e. Roman Empire). That attitude brought down great nations.

We don't say let us eat and let us drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. No, we say with the words of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be on him) Live as though you are going to live forever and live as though tomorrow you are going to face Allah.

(To be Continued)