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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Muslim Journal

What Are The Conditions (Bases) For Muslim Unity?: Part 2

Imam W. Deen Mohammed


(Editorial Note: The following is the continuation of Imam W. Deen Mohammed's salatul Jumuah Khutbah (lecture) delivered at the McCormick Center Hotel, Chicago, Illinois. This address established the pace for the weekend of activities that made up the First National Convention, September 1-3, 1989.)

He have to understand our concept of prophet and prophetic office. When we talk about prophets, it is not like the ordinary, emotional, and spiritual notions. We are not looking at spiritual and intuitive make-up in matt as qualification. We have a spiritual make-up and intuitive powers, and we are going to see things. Sometimes we wilt see so much that we can't come back home. We go out and keep going and never get back home. That is not what the real prophetic office or the real prophethood is all about.

If we look at man and man's potential without relating this to historical and developmental factors, we miss the idea. We have to think of Allah's Will and Plan in historical (chronological progression for the whole humanity. If we are going to come into our spirituality and our mystical mind and nature and have some burst of intuitive energies, it should be answering a need in our historical evolutionary life planned by Allah, our Creator. Allah is the Planner, not you and not me. We did not plan the creation, and we did not plan the human life. Nor did we plan the human needs. Allah did that.

Allah, in advance, decided what prophet would be raised up to serve a particular need developing in man's progressional life. Allah planned the beginning, the progression, and the conclusion: the first prophet, the progression of prophets, and the prophet to conclude it. That His" whole plan will be manifest in historical man. Once that is done, it is sealed. You can't take anything out and cannot put anything in. It is concluded. We are to see the prophets and prophetic office in this light.

We say, in expressing our common way of looking at important matters—especially in religion, "AHahu-Rabunna." "Allah is our Lord." Lord means Cherisher, Nourisher, Developer, the One Who cares for me and watches over my growing and coming up. He provides for me my needs until I reach maturity and can stand on my own. Then He is available and ready to aid me if I want Him for assistance even after He has done all of that for me. That is my Lord. We believe that Allah is our Lord and say, "Rabunnallah." "Our Lord is AJlaa,"

We also say, "At-Qur'an kitabunna." "The Qur'an is our Book." This is distinguishing us from others. Allah is the Lord of all people, but some have added lords. We also say of Prophet Muhammed, the peace and the blessings be on him, "Muhammedun nabiyuna." "Muhammed is our prophet." Now, we are seeing some specifics in our identity. We say, "La illah illallah." That is in brief. Do you also accept what Allah is? That He has no partner, no son, no father. He created all and is not created Himself. That He serves all but needs nothing to serve Him. Is that the idea that you have of Allah?

Just to say Allah is not enough. "Allah" in Arabic means God. The Christian Arab also says "Allah." Although we know that the term Allah has an inclusiveness for us; it is all inclusive and cannot be corrupted. We know it is special, but Christians will use it too. A Christian will say "Lord" and be referring to someone other than Allah. This will be an Arab Christian.

We also have to understand that when we say the Qur'an is our Book, we are saying more than "the Qur'an is our Bible." It is because the Christians say the Bible is their book, but many of them will feel no obligation to seek guidance for their total life from the Bible. You will ask, "What is your book?" And they will answer, "The Bible." But they do not think of the Bible as the book to guide them in their total life.

When we say, "The Qur'an is our Book," we mean that among books the Qur'an is the Book to decide the worth of all other books.

In other words, it is the Book over faith. It is the Book over deeds. It is the Book over spirituality. It is the Book over my mentality. It is the Book over the branches of knowledge that we have, ft is the all inclusive Book. It is the Book that qualifies other books to be accepted or rejected by Muslims. .Vo matter what description or what content they hold, the Qur'an is the Book to either say those books are acceptable or not acceptable.

Some of us may come up with a good book on faith. We may write a book on faith. But for us to accept it as Muslims, it must be acceptable in light of what Allah says in the Qur'an, We may come up with a good book on politics, on government. In order for that book on politics, on government to be accepted by Muslims, it must qualify in light of what is established in the Qur'an.

Now we have to see the gravity of these things we say. We are getting to the gravity of these things that we say. "I'm a Muslim, brother!" The way you have said that may be wrong. You don't say it in a jive manner. "I'm going to party, brother. I'm going out tonight, brother." Mentioning our being Muslim calls for a spirit of respect, honor, and appreciation.

"I am a Muslim, brother, praise be to Allah." Just the mentioning of the name and the awareness of your identity should make you shape up. You should not slump down when saying you are a Muslim. The Qur'an is our Book.

There is the "Qiblah," the House in Mecca. That is our "qiblah." Qiblah means "direction." It is something that serves as a means of directing or of orienting. It is the center for us — the center for directing and orientating all of us in our daily prayers. It is also the direction (destination) for Hajj. We all turn towards that House in prayer no matter where we are on this earth. Allah has said of that House and that duty that we perform, that it is also the support and a kind of an assurance for our unity.

He says, "If you turn your faces towards this House (qiblah), wherever you may be scattered, Allah will bring you all together."

We may be scattered because of migrating — that is the first idea that comes to mind. We may be scattered because different interests have pulled us out to America, and another interest has pulled us to France. We are pulled in different directions by different interests. All of these interests may be acceptable for Muslims, but they send us in different directions.

Still we have a central human interest that unites or unifies us and brings us together in agreement, in harmony, and in unity with each other. That is that we recognize the Kaa'ba as our qiblah. We say, "AI-Kaa'ba qiblatuna.rt "The Kaa 'ba is our directional sign for us in prayer, in worship." In distinguishing ourselves, we also have to realize that we are a special community. Allah says of the ummah, "Vmma-tukum, ummatun wahidah.'-' "Your community is one united community." "Wahi-dah" means one and united. "And I am your Lord, One Allah." There is One Allah and one community. "Therefore worship Me.'' Obedience comes from the same word. We could translate it. "Your obedience is to Me." And that would be an excellent translation. Obey is a simple word, but it is plain and leaves no questions. Allah says the purpose for which he created us is obedience to Him. "He neither created Jinn nor men except for his worship"

Allarrhas stated our purpose for existing very plainly and simply. Often the translation for "worship" will be "obedience."

Whatever we do in disobedience to Allah hurts our unity, weakens that unity, and makes us liable to be identified as outside of the ummah. I just cannot conduct myself any kind of way and expect to be recognized as a Muslim by intelligent and decent people. What are we talking about today? It is our basis for unity. What are the bases for unity? That is what we are talking about.

Allah Most High says in His Book, the Qur'an, "Allah will not leave the Believers in the state of which you are in now, until He separates the corrupt from the good.”

Now our identity is the good; it is not the corrupt. Corruption in us hurts the identity and threatens to separate us from the Muslim Community, the Ummah. A brother that will sell liquors just for the business money, maybe he will never drink liquor himself, or a brother who will sell pork — they have taken on corruption. It may not be corruption for non-Muslims, but it is corruption for Muslims."

As one saying goes, and I believe it was the great philosopher of Persia, Sa'di who said, "Corruption begins with just a little bit of bad. And the higher you are up. the greater the threat is from your little bad.” If the ruler does a little bad, then his officers are going to do a bigger wrong. When the general public gets it from the officers, they will go even further in wrong behavior. It can start with the important person doing a little one, and it is magnified as the news spreads out that the one the common people look up to did this little wrong. So now he (the ruler) has to his charge the big corruption that is spreading all throughout his society or dominion, because he started that.

We have to be aware of this, and that each of us is a personality of influence on somebody. Each one of us, no matter how small or insignificant we may think ourselves to be, have the power to influence somebody. We have to be concerned not only for ourselves as Muslims, but also be concerned for other Muslims and others who will copy our ways and take what we do to be something that is sanctioned as okay. The saying will be. "Such and such person did it." It will mean that if he did it, it must be okay.

From this community Allah wants that we promote all that is good, all that is of the best standards in the life of society. He wants us to encourage and promote the best standards that we find in the history and life of society. He also wants us to work against, to resist, to repel, to protest, to struggle against all that is demeaning, degrading, and has the threat of corruption. He wants us to work against that — the debasing behavior that brings you down.

"Munkar" not only means objectionable, but it also means void. If you have something of value, then you do something to void it out. Isn't that what ugly, bad, and ignorant behavior does to my good reputation? It voids what was there before. Pretty soon you can do so much until you void your whole good life out. We do not want the great standards and values of society that Allah encourages and that His Prophet encourages in us to be voided. In order not to be voided, we all have to cooperate in an effort to resist those corruptible things, degrading things, demeaning things, and ugly things to save the fine quality of life that Allah wants for us.

To be continued...