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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

August 6, 1999

Muslim Journal

Jumuah Prayer by Imam W. Deen Mohammed in Charleston, S.C., June 11,1999: Part 1

We witness that G-d is One, we worship nothing with Him, associate nothing with Him in worship. He is One G-d, and One G-d alone. And we witness that Muhammed, to whom the Qur'an was revealed over 14 centuries ago, is Allah's Servant and His Messenger. We pray the prayers and peace be upon him and what follows of that traditional salutation or salute to Muhammed the Last Prophet, the Seal of the Prophets.



The prophet mentioned in the Torah and in the Gospel, as Allah, G-d, revealed to us in the Qur'an is Muhammed. The Torah refers to those scriptures or those books that were revealed to Moses and other prophets, collected for the people of Judaism. The Gospel or the Injil refers to the essence of the New Testament or that which was originally revealed to Jesus Christ, peace be upon the Prophets of G-d.

On Muhammed the Prophet, G-d does not leave us wondering or guessing how he is mentioned. He is mentioned as one coming to break the bonds of servitude or the bonds of slavery. And G-d says He will take the heavy yolks off the backs of the people and will break all the bonds of slavery.

How is he to free people of slavery? And what form of slavery is this referring to? All forms of slavery that take people, individuals or persons from proper worship of G-d. G-d says of Islam in the Qur'an, the revelation in Islam, that this religion has come, this message has come and this religion has come to relieve religion itself, to free religion, itself, so that religion will be free for G-d.

We know that in many countries, and in many lands now, the people are not free to practice Islam as they would love to practice their religion. There is a lot of government control over how the people live their religion or practice their religion.

Religion can be acknowledged, but religion is not always free. Islam came so that religion would be free. When you study the life of Muhammed, the Prophet, prayers and peace be upon him, you find that the main job of liberating or taking the people from slavery is the job of taking them from false worship.

False worship, the worship of idols that they made with their hands, their fathers, their ancestors. But not only that, servitude, slavery to another human being that denies or prevents human beings from practicing the religion as G-d intended for the human being to practice the religion.



As we know, Bilal the Companion of the Prophet, from the black people or African people, the Habashee, was himself a slave. When he first heard the call to Islam, he was a slave. And he accepted the call to Islam while he was yet a slave.

His master punished him severely for embracing Islam, for accepting the One G-d and Muhammed as the Messenger of G-d. His master punished him severely, put him in the hot sun, in the heat of the sun, and placed a heavy stone upon his bare chest to get him to give up the faith, to renounce the worship and faith in One G-d and Muhammed the Prophet.

But he refused to do that and finally he was freed by Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, who freed Bilal by paying the price to the slave master. From then on Bilal was a free man, may G-d be pleased with him and the Companions of the Prophet.

The religion of Islam has to be followed as a religion that is in the world to free mankind from bondage, that prevents mankind from being free to practice religion as G-d intended for us to practice religion.

So the religion of Islam is about the freedom of religion. It is about the freedom of religion. And not just the freedom of Islam, it's about the freedom of religion. How so? We know that, because the Prophet stood firmly against any mistreatment of Christians and Jews. Any unjust mistreatment of the Christians and Jews, the Prophet stood firmly against that. And Jews and Christians will call it the freedom of religion.

When Prophet Muhammed, (SAW) prayers and peace be upon him, established Islamic order in Medinah, he became the governor of that state or the head of state. He mandated that the Jews would continue to have the freedom to practice their religion. And he made it clear that there was no interference in the practice of their religion coming from Islam.

He said they would be permitted to continue to practice their religion, as they had previously done. And also the Christians, as you know, were permitted to continue to practice their religion as they had previously practiced it. And the proof of this tradition can be found today in Egypt and in Syria and in many countries of the Middle East.

You will find churches there. These churches have been free ever since Islam was established 14 centuries ago. These churches have been free, and Jews too have been free.

We know that with the Jews of Medinah, there was kind of a special situation or an unusual situation was created because the merchants, the Jewish merchants of Medinah didn't like that Islam was changing their situation. They actually aided the idol worshippers in their efforts to try to prevent Islam from being established and from spreading.

So  the Jews  became  a party to the idolaters in their attempt to stop Islam. That is what brought about the problem, the serious problem. Except for them participating in the wars against Muslims to prevent Islam from being established and from spreading, the Jews present no particular problem when it comes to recognizing them as a People of the Book and their right to have their religion. So, you will find Jews free to practice their religion in many Muslim countries.



Prophet Muhammed, prayers and peace be upon him, is to free the people. The main instrument in freeing us is the Qur'an, the Word of G-d. And Qur'an is not just revelation. The Qur'an is teaching. The Qur'an is education. The Qur'an, itself, is teaching and education. The Qur'an produced what we have as Islamic education.

What we have in the world as Islamic education, it was the Qur'an as recited by Muhammed the Prophet and taught by him that produced. It excited the intellect of followers, men and some women. And it made scholars out of them; they became scholars. And in time, great universities sprung up in Syria and Iraq and all around Morocco and Egypt. Great universities sprung up and gave us the Islamic sciences and also secular knowledge.

All of that was a result of the teaching of Qur'an. The Qur'an inspired all of that. The Qur'an was the herald that opened the way for all knowledge, higher education. The Qur'an, itself, is education and it liberates. Muslim society depends upon education more than anything else to liberate, to free society. Education is the main tool in Islam for freeing society.

And we find that in civilized parts of the world as here in America, education is the main help for freeing people. You can free them from physical bondage to a slave master, like we were freed from physical bondage to our slave masters. But we were not able to exercise that freedom. It took education to prepare us to exercise that freedom.
The more education we get, the more fully we can exercise our freedom. Many of us are half slaves right now. We have been free for more than 100 years. But many of us are half slaves and have freedom right now. It is because we don't have the education to know how to fully exercise our freedom.

So education is really the liberator in Islam and in the civilized world. Liberator, that is what we should see our Prophet as, firstly. We should see him as a man promoting the freedom of religion sent into this world to free religion for G-d. To free religion so religion will be for G-d, not for the national order, not for the government, not for the king, not for the president, not for a particular group of rich people who will be controlling things, no. It will break all those false bonds.



G-d is responsible for all we see in the skies and all we see in the earth. We didn't make that. We couldn't create ourselves. We can't create ourselves. And we are not the makers of what is in the skies and what is in the earth, that grows naturally or was here before man or here before man influenced or got involved or tampered with it and changed it.

We know that G-d is responsible for everything that has happened on this earth that amounts to good for mankind, and that amounts to progress for mankind. G-d is responsible for it. G-d is responsible for the system we are speaking over. G-d is responsible for the TV and everything else.

Why? Because He made you. If the computer makes something, you don't give the computer credit. You give the designer of the computer credit. He made us and whatever we do, G-d gets the credit, because He designed us to do whatever we can do. And He gave us the power and the capacity and the skills and the knowledge, etc. All comes from G-d.

The ability to develop the talent, the ability to develop the skills, all given from G-d. G-d gets the credit first, then man gets the credit or something else gets the credit. But G-d gets the credit first.

We know that this religion is a religion of faith. G-d says in the Holy Qur'an, the people heard a caller calling to faith. That's Muhammed. They said we have heard a caller calling to faith, saying believe in your Lord and we have believed.

Muhammed is a caller to faith. He's essentially a caller to faith: Faith in G-d; faith in life in the hereafter; faith in the resurrection of the dead; faith in angels; faith in revelation; faith in the books, all of them that G-d has sent - the books of Moses, Jesus and all the prophets; faith in the power of G-d, the ordinance of G-d to regulate good and harm -Al Qadaru khairihi wa shar-rihi. The power to regulate good and harm is from G-d, Most High.

This is our faith. But our faith also includes faith in the known. We believe in or have faith in the absence, that that is absent; we may say the unknown. And we have faith in the known. We have faith in G-d. We know G-d. G-d is not unknown. Yes, we know G-d is gaib, which means not attested, that that has not been witnessed with our eyes, our senses, our intelligence or whatever.

But G-d is also Al-Zhahir, the knowing, that that can be witnessed, that that can be attested to, that our senses can know. Al-Zhahir wal batin, Allahu Al-Zhahir wal batin. G-d is the manifest, the obvious, and He is the hidden. And we believe in Him, bil gaib: We believe in Him without evidence, without proof, without proof for the rational senses. We believe in Him without proof for the eyes; we believe in Him without proof for the rational senses or human reason. Religion offers evidence in big quantities, but leaves room for faith and complete happiness.

(To be continued)