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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Bilalian News

Our Internal And External Life: Part 4

Imam Warith Deen Muhammad


(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from a lecture delivered by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad it Masjid Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Sunday, May 24, 1981 — Continued from last week.)

You see how it's so important now for individuals to be free? How come it's so important, dear people, that that scripture be fulfilled where it says: "There's coming a time when every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree"? What is the meaning of that — sit under his own vine and fig tree?

We know a vine is something that grows out from its place, A tree grows within its place. So first. we should understand that tree means restriction and a vine means freedom. Then we could understand what is being restricted; it is the fig tree. The fig tree, the thing that is being restricted, is the freedom of thought. Without the freedom of thought. man can't even start to approach reason. He must begin thinking first. The thinking process has to start first, then he can finally come into the use of reasoning.

Dear beloved people, the scripture says that every man shall come under his own vine and fig tree, meaning that he shall have the freedom to think and he shall have the freedom of charity. What does that mean — ? Carrying for himself the fruit of his own labor.

The vine bears a lot of fruit in proportion to' its size. This is kind of descriptive of the rational process in the mind; it doesn't stand in its place, it likes to move out of its place. Thought likes to stand in its place. That's why the typical philosopher, the thinker, the typical free thinker — what does he say? "I think, therefore I am." This thought fell back on himself. He said: I think, therefore I am. Praise be to Allah.

Now look, dear people — here is one who is not thinking for himself, but he's thinking on others. The vine is thinking outward. The vine wants to go out, and for going out it gets a heavier proportion of products than the tree that stands in its place. Dear beloved people, let us reflect on what the Quran says:

By the fig, by the olive, by that that is revealed on Mount Sinai, and by the land, a town made safe. Surely we have created the human being in the most excellent mold.

Then, if my presentation of this knowledge is correct, the Quran is saying that to think is an excellent mold. The freedom to think is an excellent mold in which Allah has created you. It is saying that now the Bible is wrong.

"The Quran is saying that the Bible is wrong—? Not 'cursed be the fig tree, that it wither up and bear no more fruit'?" The Quran is saying, no — that's not right. The Quran is saying, no, that's something to do away with. Allah has created that as an excellent mold for human progress. It is a necessary step in the progression of the intellect, to take the mind from figment of imagination to truth and reality.

What did they say of Bilal?; "A worthless person." Do you know that the word Bilal is in the Bible? But it's not pronounced Bilal in the Bible; it's pronounced "Bi-li-al," and the Bible calls it a worthless thing. Look up the name in the dictionary for Bilal; it says, a worthless thing.

Now, let us look again. Doesn't the society's leadership and their attitude towards us. the common people, say to us we are worthless things? Why do they regard us as worthless things? Because we don't have science; we have it just as a habit; we have it as a training. We don't know how to master or how to chase the epistemological origin of the knowledge we use. We don't have any epistemological conception of the knowledge we use. In other words, we don't have the root of the knowledge we use. And since we don't know the roots of the knowledge we use, those who know the roots laugh at our ignorance and say we should trust them with the affairs of the world.

Allah created the atom and He told the hierarchy in the sky: I'm going to create a man, fashioned from below, of common earth. And I'm going to give him rule in the Earth. And those of the hierarchy said: What will you create other than this that wilt cause bloodshed?

Now the average one of us thinks that means the letting out of blood from the veins: but this has a double message, because "blood" in the scripture has a double meaning. It doesn't mean just the letting out of blood or the killing of people; it means the letting out of the sacred knowledge that keeps the life of the body, of the people, like blood keeps the life of the human body. Say, what are you going to create, some charitable nut that's going to spill the blood of the life of the world? God said: Nevertheless, I know what you know not.

The chief in the hierarchy upstairs said, I will not accept to pay respect to this thing that you are going to shape from the mud. the stinky mud below. The angels all submitted.
but Iblis did not. So the great Lord said, I have breathed into him of my own will; then you fall down and pay your respects.

Dear beloved people, can't we say. too, that was the beginning of Armageddon? The war for what was right. And Satan declared that he was going to wage war continuously without a stop, without relenting. He wasn't going to let up. He was going to pursue the common man's potential, to crucify him from the front, from the back from the right and from the left. And he said: When I am through with them. Lord, you will see that they are not deserving.

So here is the contention in the mind of the intelligent world contending that the common person is not created to be responsible for the state of the world; that only special people, those who manage to get the sciences and the roots of the sciences, only they are qualified to protect the affairs or to supervise the affairs of the world.

Now. can't you see why it's so necessary for the Bilalian-American, the African-American in this country who has been without any opportunity, to watch the people who ride the boat, to know where he's going, how he's going? Can't you see, now, why it's so important that the African-American people come into a semblance of nationhood? Not into nationhood, per se, but into the function of nationhood. Do you think that because we are no longer the Nation of Islam, we are no longer a nation? We still have a nation within a nation. If you accept and apply the Islamic life to your personal life, it automatically puts you into a nation.

What do I mean by that? I mean that your life is contained separate and independent of the life of the society. The Democrats can go up and down; the Republicans can go up and down; the politics of this country can go up and down; the culture of this country can live and die — I'm not on their boat. I am free at last. I have joined those who service the boat, I'm not a rider on the boat — they bring it into my shop for repairs.

(Editor's note: The following partial paragraph is reprinted from last week's article with the CORRECTION ADDED in capital letters.)

All right, now, getting back to this Armageddon, the war between right and wrong. It has become a racial war as well as a political war; it is also an academic war. We find that all of the important areas of human life and human need ARK IN THIS conflict.