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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

August 27, 1999

Muslim Journal

Jumuah Prayer by Imam W. Deen Mohammed in Charleston, S.C., June 11,1999 - Part 2

Faith In The Abstract

Faith is very essential. (Now science has given us some idea of what G-d is talking about.) See how these heavenly bodies are held up in space with seemingly no props under them to support them, to hold them up there. (The Qur'an)

There are planets much bigger than our earth that we are on. Jupiter is many times bigger than this earth. And there are others out there many times bigger than Jupiter. Bodies held up in space and you see no supports under them. They are just hanging in space. There is an invisible force that explains how they are held together in space.

We are to believe in Muhammed the Prophet. G-d says believe in G-d and believe in His Messenger, Muhammed the Prophet. We believe in Muhammed the Prophet. He's a man. We are able to see him with our eyes. Those who lived in his day were able to see him with their eyes. But believe in him, trust him and have faith in him.

We don't see him as a 150 pound man or whatever he weighed and so many feet high. What we have is the knowledge of Muhammed. What kind of character he was. What he loved. What he didn't love. The life he preferred. The life he fought against. So we know these things about Muhammed.

We know Muhammed in his abstract, not in his concrete. We know him in his abstract, invisible presence and that is the true person. That's the real person. That's the person that lives eternally. The physical will go back to the earth. The abstract person may live eternally, if G-d has mercy on him and accepts him.

The real picture, the camera can't get it. The camera can never get my real picture. Cameras can only get what you are looking at right now. And believe me, there are some identical twins you cannot tell them apart. But if you know the abstract person in the two bodies, you will know them apart. This is true of everything.


Know G-d By His Attributes

We think: "Oh, I can't see G-d with my eyes, well how can I know G-d?" The same way you know your brother. You know G-d by His Attributes and what He stands for and what He stands against. You know your brother by his character, what he stands for and what he stands against. The same, yes?

And really you don't know this material world. That is why I'm saying all this you see with your eyes is deception. This is not the reality. To know the real mass that we call earth, that big mass we call earth, you need to study it as a scientist studies it.

When you study it as the scientist studies it, then you can see this earth. You can really know this earth. This earth is much more than just mountains and rivers and things. This earth has an abstract body, and the abstract body is its nature.

What makes it like that? What is its scientific nature? When you know what its scientific nature is, then you really know the earth. For the first time, you know the earth.

This is just common sense that helps us to understand faith. So it's easy to have faith, if you have the right rational composition and the right rational attitude. If you are composed rationally in the right way, and you have the right rational sensitivities, you can really appreciate faith.

And faith will be your strongest position. The strongest position a believer takes is his position on faith: Faith in G-d and faith in what G-d has ordered us to have faith in.

Man's knowledge is limited. That's why the true followers of the way don't claim knowledge for themselves, no matter how much they know. They say: "G-d, we know nothing. You know and we know not." Allahu akbar!

We witness that G-d is One; we associate nothing in worship with Him. And we witness that Muhammed to whom the Qur'an was revealed is His Servant and His Messenger, the Seal of the Prophets, mentioned in both the Torah and the Gospel or the Injil.


Without G-d's Guidance, There Is No Guidance

We ask G-d to guide us always, to forgive us our errors, so that we will be guided. Because if He does not guide us, we will never have guidance. Amen. The prayers and the peace be upon the generous and noble Muhammed and what follows of that salute to him. We witness that G-d is One, the Creator of everything, and that He created man to be His servant, all men, all people to be His servants.

G-d repeatedly says to us in the Qur'an, "Ya ibadul-lah." "O' servants of G-d," speaking to all people. "O' servants of G-d." Muhammed's most noble title, the highest title is Abdullah, Muhammed Abdullah: Muhammed, the servant of G-d.

Dear Believers, we are to practice our religion. To practice our religion, we have to know the essentials of the practice. One is shahadah, to witness openly, not just privately. To witness openly that G-d is One alone, and there is nothing that can be compared to Him. No comparison to Him. And I witness that Muhammed is His Servant and His Messenger.

This is the shahadah: No god but One G-d, and Muhammed is the Messenger of G-d. Why is this a practice? How is this a practice? When we really take that into our lives like we should, it forms our life all over again. It frees us. It puts us in a situation where we can have brotherhood.

Also, it humbles us. It conditions us to respect that there is one creation, that all matter is created by One G-d. It conditions us to respect that humanity is one creation, that all men are the creation of G-d, that we are actually one human family. It conditions us to stand upon Tawhid, Oneness.


Unity With Muslims, Unity With Matter

So, we have unity with Muslims and unity with the good people of the earth. And we have unity with matter. Unity with all matter. That is, we see ourselves as a part of this vast scheme of material things. We are hanging in space, in the skies with all that comes up out of the earth.

So, this kalimah is very important. God first, and then Muhammed. In some religions, for many denominations, the two are confused -- The G-d and the servant of G-d. The mistake is made that the servant of G-d is also a god. We (Muslims) have been protected against that.

Every time we say that Muhammed is the servant of G-d, we are saying Muhammed is not G-d. This is a witness for what was revealed before in the Bible. The Bible says in the New Testament, the servant is not equal to the Master, and the sent is not equal to the

This is the Bible. I have read it. So this is not a new declaration, really. It is a repeat. It's an amplification of a declaration before in scripture, that the sent is not equal to the Sender, and that the servant is not the equal of the Master.

Muhammed is the Messenger of G-d. And we say that Muhammed is a servant of G-d. So, it keeps the perception of the picture correct. G-d only is G-d and man is not G-d. If Muhammed is not G-d, what man can be G-d? And Muhammed is the model man for all people. No man is G-d. Not in any measure. Not in any degree is man G-d. G-d alone is G-d. This is a wonderful declaration.


Now That You See Correctly, Worship Correctly

After shahadah is prayer. We worship. Now you can pray correctly. Now that you see correctly, you can pray correctly. Your prayer is to the right G-d. We have to make salat five times a day. Why? Because its a religion that respects our five senses. It respects the human being's intelligence; it respects his five senses.

We have five prayers. Is this something new? Has Qur'an brought us something new? No! No! The Bible says that Jesus fed people with two fish and five loaves of bread. Put your bread on your water, and you will see it comes back to you.

Saum, Siyam: Fasting and Ramadan. Fasting. You are consuming too much. Just fast a little, then you will have more to give in charity. Fasting is prescribed for us mainly to bring us closer to G-d. In fact, everything that we practice in Islam is to bring us closer to G-d.

But fasting also is to open up our hearts to give in charity. So, fasting comes to really support zakat. G-d says give in charity. Fasting is going to help us to be prepared to give in charity more, by teaching us to love fasting and to fast for G-d. We feel the pain, as one of my professors taught me (Jamil Diab from Jerusalem), who lives in America now.

My father, Elijah Muhammad, had him to teach us Arabic. Professor Jamil Diab told us young students of the University of Islam, fasting makes us feel the pain in the stomach that many poor people feel, when they can't eat. They have to carry that pain and suffer that pain. Many of them have to go to bed night after night with that pain.

Fasting Ramadan teaches us the pain of the poor people and makes us feel sorry for them. Believers right away will feel sympathetic and want to go next door and take bread, meat or whatever. This is no more than a decent human being.

We know that is the practice of many in the South. Our people in the South, Whites and Blacks, if they knew some neighbor was hungry, they'd come to your door with something for you to eat. They would bring you some food to your door. They can't stand to have something and know that their neighbor was hungry, and this is Islam. This is the
teaching of Islam.

After fasting, then Hajj. We go and make Hajj for G-d, too, the pilgrimage to the Holy House, the Kaa'bah. We make our Hajj there for G-d. I made umrah (out of season visit) very recently. It was one of the best umrahs I've ever had. We make Hajj to visit the Sacred House built by Abraham and Ismail, his son (PBUT).


All People Equal Dependents On G-d

We perform the rites of Hajj and umrah. We come to see that G-d wants all people to respect each other as equal dependents under G-d, Who is the Caretaker, the Keeper of all of us, Who loves all of us just like a good parent loves their own children. So we have to accept each other and embrace each other.

"People were originally one community." Human beings were one family, one community. We have the same ancestor, the first man, Adam, peace be upon Adam. And Christians, the faith community of Christians, Jews and Muslims, we are now united as children of both Adam and children of Abraham.

The above are the five essentials of Islam. If you accept them in your heart and mind, they will influence the way you live and the way you shape your life. Your life will become a new life, because of you having the worship of One G-d and obedience to Him and to His Servant, Muhammed, the Messenger of G-d, and because of your praying the five daily prayers.

Also give in charity for the betterment of society. To help the poor, to help the widows, to help the orphans, etc. There are so many recipients of charity who are mentioned in the Holy Qur'an. And you will find them also mentioned in the Bible.

Charity is for the needy, and those who suffer misfortune in the world. When you have this discipline in your life, your life becomes a new life. Your life takes a different form. You become different. The Muslims should not resemble everybody else.

You should resemble the Believer in G-d and His Messenger, Muhammed. You should resemble the follower of G-d, the follower of His Word, and the follower of Muhammed the Messenger. Muhammed the Prophet, peace be upon him, says: "Those who take on the behavior of others are not of us." So you shouldn't behave like everybody else.


Belief In G-d Means Trust In Man

Don't behave like the people on your block who are not Muslims. Behave like the follower, like Muhammed the ideal model, follower of the revelation of the Qur'an. Try to mold your behavior after his behavior. And as much as you can, try to practice Islam, not just believe it but put it into practice.

You will see your life take on a new shape, a new form, a new picture. I know this is a long khutbah, I know. I didn't intend it to be long. I intended it to say all that I am saying, but I didn't intend it to be this long. So I thank you for your patience, I appreciate your patience with me.

I am going to conclude this by saying, a Muslim is first of all a believer in G-d, then a believer in the Messenger of G-d. This tells us that we should believe in G-d, but we also are to believe in man. You find people who believe in G-d, but don't believe in man; they can't go far in this world.

Belief means not only believing, it means trusting. You must trust G-d, but also trust man. We trust G-d and we trust Muhammed the Prophet, peace be upon him. And we must trust our excellent people in our community.

Trust the sister and the brother who have shown us they are excellent in their practice of Islam. Build strong bonds of faith and trust between you and your brothers and sisters, and you will be able to do wonderful things, great things together.

That's key, and that's what Muhammed came for. Muhammed came not only to bond us with G-d, but also to bond us with each other.

I thank you. We pray to G-d for forgiveness of our shortcomings and our errors: Forgive our sins, our Lord. Grant us mercy, and Your guidance always. For without Your guidance, we would never have found guidance. Amen.