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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal

1986-August / September

Progressions Magazine

The Natural Man

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


"So set your purpose (O Muhammad) for religion as a
man by nature upright-the nature (framed) of God in
which He has created man. There is no altering (the
laws of) God's creation.   That is the right religion.
but most men know not."

Holy Qur'an 30:30

God tells us in the Holy Qur'an. "If is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation.)". We should understand mat all the Prophets of God were Muslim . This includes Adam, the first man, who is called our father.

We should also understand that the religion of Al-Islam builds upon the excellence that God has given every man. And just as the nature of all the prophets was Muslim, so is the nature of everyone in our religion. But what is Muslim? Muslim means one who submits himself to the Will of God, which is found in the nature of all things. Muslim is the major discipline for maintaining and advancing human life. It is the very nature of the Muslim to seek peace.

God has given every creature its nature, and that nature is Muslim. You may say, "Do you mean the nature of a snake is Muslim?" Yes. A snake wants peace. We also believe that the nature of the celestial bodies; the Earth, the Sun. the Moon, the many Stars and other planets is Muslim. Science tells us that if there is confusion or disorder in the universe, there is a force that brings about order and peace again. This in itself tells us that the nature of the universe is Muslim. Thus, A!-Islam is the religion after the very nature in which God created man.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, "Every child  is  born  a  Muslim,   but  it  is  the circumstances in which he is born that makes him Jew, Christian or other." God says that He has established man on the order of the pattern found in the universe.  He formed man to that pattern, and that is the pattern of behavior we call Islamic behavior.

It should be clear to the Muslim that what Al-Islam offers in terms of behavior is the kind of behavior God's creature should have. Al-Islam offers its adherents the kind of future God's creatures should look for in this life and in the Hereafter.

The Muslim life is not a life of conflict. It is a life of unity. The Muslim doesn't see spiritual life in any kind of conflict with community life, political life or economic life. But, because man is an emotional, moral and spiritual creature, spiritual life is a necessary condition for him if he is to make real progress in the field of material reality.

The essential life for man if he is to make real progress on this earth is spiritual life, and this life begins with a belief in our hearts, our minds, and in our souls that we are accountable to One God Who is superior, perfect, absolute and eternal.

All religious people don't see God in the same way, but if they are sincere in their beliefs, God will help them. And we believe that if they are sincere, God will one day bless them to see clearly. Prophet Muhammad has said that as long as you hold on to the One God, eventually that belief will deliver you even though you are in Hell.



"We have indeed created man in the best of molds,
then do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low,
except such as believe and do righteous deeds: for
they shall have a reward unfailing."

The natural conscience of man is excellent. God says that He has made man in the most excellent mold or form. Muslims reject the idea that human nature is gross matter, a situation for sin. We see the human nature as the base that supports everything else. Nature should be appreciated for its whole function and role, and should not be blamed for deviation.

Man has a very special nature that is human. He is not only Muslim, but he is also human: he is man. If someone displays behavior that is characteristic of a snake, that person is outside of their true nature because their specific natural form is man. And the same applies to any other creature.

If we imitate any other creature in our behavior, then we are stepping outside of our natural form, which is man. No one should say that nature is bad just because some men act like dogs, They should say that nature is good, but some men are confused, acting outside of their true nature.

If a dog acts like a dog in its nature, we don't say that the dog is bad. Nor do we say that nature is bad because we expect a dog to act in the form of a dog. But if man acts like a dog, there are some ignorant scientists who say, "Nature is had". A scientist should be the last one to make such a statement. He should understand the difference.

Nature is not bad, it is excellent. But, because of man's free will and free spirit, he will copy forms that are not his own if he is denied the right kind of learning environment. God has given us a great freedom, but it is also a great risk, and it puts the moral burden on society to see that the circumstances are good for the evolution of the creature that God has made.

The religion of Al-lslam brings peace to our hearts and to our souls. It reconciles the spiritual and worldly life within us. It brings unity so that we are not secular in one part of our soul, and spiritual in another part, causing war within our own soul against ourself. God tells us in the Holy Qur'an, "It is God Who has sent down the Book in truth, and the Balance (by which to weigh conduct)".

Some people run from the worldly reality of their form to build the spiritual reality, and some run from the spiritual reality of their form to build the worldly or material reality. Such people are in trouble. But the Muslim should be united. His life should be reconciled. He should be at peace with himself, and most of all, at peace with his nature.

Though nature is excellent and is the beginning place if we expect our lives to grow or develop, it is not enough. It is not until Revelation comes that man really finds his purpose on this earth, his purpose in the universe, and has true satisfaction in his heart and soul.



"You have in the Messenger of God a beautiful
pattern I (of conduct), for anyone whose hope is in
God and the Final Day."

When we study the life of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), we find that he was excellent in his nature even before he was given the mission of Prophecy and Revelation. He was admired and trusted by his countrymen. Even before God missioned him, they called him, "The honest one, the trustworthy one," translated, "Al-amin" in Arabic. People saw something in him that made them feel that whatever he would say would be for the good of all that everyone could accept.

Since we know that Prophet Muhammad was already established in the excellence of nature before he received Revelation, that speaks for the religion being after the very nature in which God created man (din al-fitra).

If anyone doubts that nature is a good base for establishing excellence for man in society, then they should look at Prophet Muhammad. In him we see that he was trustworthy and morally upright. He refused to worship more than One God, even though all of his countrymen were bowing down to idols.

Even though Prophet Muhammad was excellent in his nature, admired by his countrymen, and trusted by everybody, still he was unhappy. In his moments of heaviness of heart, he would go to the cave of Hira at the top of the mountain called, Jabal Al-Nur (Mountain of the Light), which is on the outskirts of the City Mecca. There in the opening of the cave would he sit and think on the condition of his people, the condition of the world, and in his soul he would cry out to God. And it was there that God responded to him and gave him the first Revelation of Qur'an.

It was with Revelation that Prophet Muhammad became the Messenger of God, a new man, a leader for his people and for all people. Revelation enabled him to lead his people out of darkness and ignorance into moral excellence, knowledge, the sciences, ethical life, strong community life, economic principles, political principles, etcetera.

A world was formed, and it became the most dynamic society in the world at that time. Even today, scientist and historians marvel who study what took place during his life and mission. They admit that no other person has been able to accomplish so much in such a short span of time. He turned his people around from an idolatrous, a scattered, disunited warring people of small factions of gangs and tribes into one united community under God.



Let us understand the excellence of nature. Let us also understand that God rewards us for obeying the excellence of our nature. Prophet Muhammad was rewarded to be the model for all men because he obeyed the excellence of his nature.

In this society, it is very important for Muslims to know that God approves human nature. There is no ritual or exercises in our religion to train, strengthen or prepare us to disengage our life from our nature. On the contrary, there are influences, teachings, etcetera, to encourage us to embrace, to accept, to appreciate and to understand that our nature is excellent.

To tell people that their nature is bad hinders and burdens them unnecessarily. It becomes very difficult for them to be good. If someone tells you your nature is bad, you should ask, "If I am bad by nature, what is the use of trying to be good?"

It is natural for people to want to be themselves. God made us that way. If you give somebody an ideology, philosophy or theology that says to them that their nature is bad, then you are telling them, "If you want to be good, you can never be yourself." Actually, you are telling them that they have to go outside the nature in which God created them, if they arc lo be good.

It is the unnatural condition in the mind of men that has led to the extreme kind of deviation we have in the behavior of man on this earth. God did not create the situation for man to go to the extremes that he goes in being a deviate, a pervert or some kind of weird creature.

God did not create a situation for extreme behavior in the deviate line or deviate direction. It was man experimenting, dreaming and acting outside of the voice of his good nature that brought him to such a conclusion which brought about the introduction of the false idea that says man must free himself from his nature. Such teachings say that man must first die to his own nature.

The truth is that if you must die. then die to your own foolishness, and not to the nature in which God created you. And once that happens, then you can live in the truth.