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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

Progress & the Burden of Misconceptions: Part II

Imam W. Deen Mohammed

(On July 22, 1990, Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Newark, NJ and has now prepared from it this article for Muslim


Saves Man's Natural Life

Most important for us is to know that this religion Al-Islam saves man's natural life. This religion values man's natural life and makes as its focus the care and preservation of that natural life. We believe that Allah intended first for us this natural life. Whatever He gives to us afterwards as revelation and guidance is only a compliment to that natural life. It is not in conflict with the inherent excellence of that natural life. It is not in any way negating the natural life.


True Christian Life

There are many concepts in other religions, which is the topic we are dealing with first, that present great problems for us. But we know the intent in the major religions is good and from Allah. We know that the spirit of true Christian life is good and is the effect of their receiving guidance from Allah (God) through Jesus Christ, the Christ Prophet, in the Gospel (Injil). We know that their good spirit and their good life is the direct result of that, and they are the product of God's word just as Muslim believers.

For the Jews, to the extent that they obey the purity in their teachings from Moses and from their prophets, which are also our prophets, they too have a life that Allah intended for them. Their spirit will be the spirit born of Allah's Word. We recognize the excellence and goodness that Allah created or approved in all religions. While we do not accept other religions in their entirety, we do respect all religions that respect Creator and truth. This includes other religions which are not mentioned in this address.

The reason why we find this religion attracting common people or small people — and I put "small people" in quotes for I do not buy their being small. Anytime anybody responds to something so big, they cannot be small, People want to know why is it the average ordinary "blacks", the down and out African-Americans are attracted to "Islam". Rivals opposing us want it to be accepted that the people who are turning their attention to this religion (Al-Islam) are only the prisoners, ex-offenders, the down-and-out, and our worse-off.

It has happened before. Our Prophet, the peace and blessings be on Muhammed, did not say that he was the Prophet or the Messenger of Allah to the Arabs. He said what Allah revealed: that he is a worker and the Messenger, and a mercy to all the worlds. Allah says of him in the Qur'an, "You are sufficient (enough) for all people."


Muhammed... For All People

Prophet Muhammed never allowed himself to be taken out of the role that Allah put him in or out of the identity that Allah established him in as the Messenger of Allah to all and as the last Prophet. He addressed all people and attended the needs of all people. Muhammed carried the message to all people and for all people. The result was that this religion quickly spread from his home town Mecca and from the peninsula that came to be called Saudi Arabia. King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud was the one to do so much for the Arabs of this peninsula to bring them back to purity and clear way of the religion. Because of his success as the student and champion of Wahad's reform the people honored him to have his name 'Saud' given to the peninsula (Saudi Arabia).

I am happy to know that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's book, "Message to the Black Man" is selling well out here. I was recently told it is one of the best sellers here on the East Coast. That is wonderful. However, I want a chance to talk to you sometimes. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was the most significant man in my life till the day I met in the knowledge the Prophet Muhammed.

I agree with all who say I could not have possibly come into this role had I not been the son of Elijah "Muhammad" and Clara "Muhammad". They endeared me to the best and made me love the best. They endeared me to you, whom they loved, and they endeared you to me. Without that having occurred, I would not be. That came from Allah. We believe Allah intended that. I am not saying that I am anything other than what I am. I'm no Messenger of God (Allah). I'm no Prophet. I am not worthy of any title you cannot wear. I know my circumstances and my life.

I know there are some of you who care so much about my father and me as his son; you do not like to hear that I am not super. You like to hear that I have something no one else can get. Maybe that is so. They cannot get the special and unusual circumstances I had and have. They cannot be born Wallace D. Muhammad, the son of Elijah and Clara. That came on October 30, 1933. That is over. This is history.

But as for properties and abilities and capabilities, the same that is open for me is open for everyone else. As for what I can achieve, you can achieve the same. Believe me, I feel very good over so many of you now being able to represent this religion. Let me explain. My co-workers and others will know what I am talking about.

Ministers, and later Imams, would push off on me responsibility they did not accept. I think I have said enough.


I Said, "I Resign"

There are certain things we are in the habit of and have difficulty getting out of. I had to say, "I resign". I told a non-Muslim reporter, I have no administrative office or role except my own ministry. I have my own separate office which is in Calumet City and that is it. I see myself as a Muslim leader with obligations to people whom I have grown up with in our struggle and cherished experiences. But it is as their "spokesman", as a Muslim supporting our religion and propagating it, and volunteering advice to the best of his ability. Muslim individuals and groups do not have to accept me. They can disagree with me and should when they believe me to be wrong.


Mistakes In Our "Islam"

I was asked about certain people who may think different from me. I said, they are entitled to think different and to have their opinions. I was asked about some few of us favoring the Shiite School of thought- They have Islamic freedom of choice. Do you think I am going to tell someone favoring the Shiite School of thought they cannot identify with what 1 am doing? No. I am not Shiite and do not favor Shiite extremes. But I also know that a lot of them are very good and excellent Muslims. I also think they are burdened by mistakes similar in a less confused way to our mistakes: "Yacub's History" the "twelve Imams," the "twenty-four scientists", the man embodied God who lived for 500 years, the mother plane (also called "Mother Ship") and the like.

We are going to try to present and keep in true focus what we believe, what we believe to be the best for Muslims. All of us are not going to accept that equally. All of us are not going to be in agreement with that to the same degree. Don't you have children who measure up better to what you want of them? Don't you have friends and relatives who measure up better to what you want of them? Then the same applies to an organization or to a thrust for the betterment of a people.


Earning More Merits

You should never begin to treat each other different because all are not measuring up to certain requirements. First love Allah and the Messenger — and good Muslims. This is what we should emphasize and it is in accord with the true nature. There are some of us who will be more dutiful in prayer and will think of Allah all the time and will get great merits for that.

However, when a person dutiful on prayers is out of touch with the needs of other people, then according to the teachings of our Holy Book (the Qur'an) and the sayings of Prophet Muhammed, people who are not as dutiful and impressive by that particular requirement may be earning more merits. People taking care of their families and doing constructive work and making a contribution to the betterment of other people are "better" than empty-life prayerful ones.

Carrying the burden of society begins with the family, our first society. Some of us who are carrying the burden of society may not be praying as often as others. But if we still have that consciousness of duty in us and love Allah and the Messenger and appreciate the God-fearing, although not as often in prayers, when the one only emphasizing a life of prayers gets to heaven he may be disappointed. He may find himself in a much inferior room to those who were not praying as he but were working in the bigger field of comprehensive religion ("Islam").

To be continued