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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles
Reprinted from the Muslim Journal


Progressions Magazine

Hagar's Children

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


The white man refers to the African-American as "Hagar's children," and so far, our history makes the white man look like he is telling the truth or that he knows something about us that we are unaware of. It looks like he's got some insight into our life that most African-Americans don't understand, since he seems to be labeling us correctly all of the time. The white man believes that God has doomed and destined the African-American never to be functional in world society in any position of significance other than that of Hagar's children.

When he refers to us as "Hagar's children," he is not speaking from the Qur'an. He is speaking from the Bible, and what he means by "Hagar's children," is someone that doesn't know how to establish himself, so he sells himself to somebody who is already established.

Hagar was not established. She had no home or husband. So she sold her services to Sarah (Abraham's wife), who had a home and a husband. Sarah was established. But in order to grow, Hagar had to be put out of Sarah's home. Sarah said to Hagar in effect, "Look here maid, I'm the one that approved this, and I'm the one that brought you in here, but I can't stand looking at your glory in my house. You get out into the desert away from my establishment with this thing that is being produced in you."

When the white man says, "Hagar's children," he means that you are following in the tradition of the African girl called Hagar. Hagar didn't have the courage or the vision to go and shop for a decent husband and to require of her husband that he build her a house. She was just, a beggar woman. She went to Sarah, and said in effect, "Look, my survival is threatened. May I do something for you," and Sarah said, "Yes."

Look at the situation of the African-American community, and you will see that they are Hagar's children. The African-American is not talking about establishing their own neighborhoods or establishing business people in their neighborhood. They are only talking about getting something from the white man's house, crying, "Whiteman, you have a whole lot. Give me some of what you got." Whiteman, I'm no father to my children, take care of them for me." That is the African-American's situation, and it is pitiful.

The situation is pitiful, despite the preaching from the time of slavery until now, and despite all of the sacrifice of men being betrayed and worked against by the powerful white society, and by the people they tried and are still trying to help.

African-Americans don't have the courage to establish their ethnicity like the Irish, the Italians and others, including the recent immigrants who are now coming into this country from Asia, Cuba and elsewhere. African-Americans don't have the courage to let the white man know that they have a concern for their own kind, and are not depending on him to direct that concern. They are afraid to talk like a man within the hearing range of the white man, even though they know that they would be doing nothing but accepting the responsibility that would bring them into the admiration of the American people.

I say to the Muslims, let us be more responsible for ourselves, our family members, our neighborhoods, our personal property and our people. Let us show America that we are not of the common run; we are special people with our own sense of direction, and our own sense of responsibility. And believe me, if we do this, we will go forward and become leaders of our own destiny in America overnight.