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W. Deen Mohammed Weekly Articles


Progressions Magazine

America’s Dilemma: Faith & Corruption

Imam W. Deen Muhammad


Is the man who believes no better than the man who is corrupt? There is no comparison (Qur’an 32:18)

In the above verse we find faith and corruption compared to tell us for certain and without any doubt that faith is against corruption. These are clear words from the Qur'an, the Words of Almighty God as he revealed them to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

We should keep in mind that we live in a society that is filled with faith and corruption. Western society is a society of people who believe in God, most of whom belong to some religion, and attend some kind of religious service sometime during the year. Thus we may safely say that most people making up Western society are not atheist, but people of faith. However, at the same time we find a sharp contradiction in the lives of the people of faith in the western hemisphere, especially in America. The glaring contradiction is the extent to which they go in the way of corruption in such things as alcoholism, dope addiction, prostitution, homosexuality, lesbianism, etcetera.

If we follow the Qur'an, we cannot accept such contradiction in our life. We cannot accept that faith and corruption go together, because they do not go together. There is something wrong with the faith when there is corruption in extreme among people who profess faith in God. The problem in the western man's religion is that there is an idea that excuses him from his daily sins. He is told on the one hand that he is accountable to God for his sins, and on the other hand that Jesus Christ died for his sins. So on one hand he is told that he is accountable under law or under the Judgment of God. and on the other hand, he is told that the law is no more; there is only redemption or mercy. Christians say, "We are not under law, we are under God's mercy through Jesus Christ." Therefore they go on committing un-Christian things in a Christian society, yet believing they are people of faith.


Muslims Warned

Muslims have to be warned against such behavior, because they live in this lake or ocean of western society. In this society, Muslims are the minority, while Christians are the majority. What you see when you awaken in the morning is not the world of Al-Islam, but the world of Christianity. Muslims must always be on guard against the influences of any society that bears the ungodly contradiction where faith and corruption are allowed to exist hand in hand and be acceptable.

Any Muslim who is living a life of violence or a life of filth, cannot call himself a Muslim indeed. He is certainly not a man of faith. He is not a believer nor is the sister who accepts corruption in her life. The believer is one who resists all corruption, sin and wickedness. He resists and battles them. He sees this kind of corruption in society as being poisonous to his life, and poisonous to his system.

Just as you fight away a chemical you know will do serious damage to your body, the believer in Al-Islam fights the corruption in the whole society that is in the atmosphere, in the media, in organizations of the people. He fights against corruption at all times, because he knows that it does not agree with him. Every Muslim should fight corruption in every part of his life — in his household, and in the general society.

We have heard western psychiatrists, sociologists, and others who are doctors in different fields of knowledge say, "everything that manifests in a human being is natural." They say it is natural, that it is basic in the human being to have a tendency to do perverted things. If we kill each other on the street, they say, "Oh, that is a basic instinct in the human being."


Human Beings Desire Excellence

We know that the human being is a creature that is part of all the matter which makes up the universe. He is born out of the material world, but he himself is a unique being within this material world, a being that aspires to live higher and higher in his own conscience, in his own self image. He wants to improve upon himself. If we can say the human being has some basic nature or basic instinct which characterizes him, then we must say that particular drive or want in our life is not a want for corruption or immorality, but a want for excellence. If we are to describe the human being's true character, we must say that it is human excellence.

If an individual is running loose and mad in the society, beating up people, robbing old ladies, snatching purses, corrupting the youth with narcotics, or drinking liquor and making themselves drunk, and being a burden on society, we don't say he is a "typical" human. The typical human life in our religion is the life of excellence. We are not looking for just any kind of life. We are looking for the best life, the typical human life.

The ideal human is motivated towards greater excellence, better value and conduct in his life for himself as a person. This is the true human movement in the human being. Any movement that goes astray from that line is perversion. Therefore we say that any individual who goes against the movement for excellence, for moral character and decency in his life has a tendency to move towards perversion. After all, perversion is nothing but a deviation from the norm, a deviation from the typical human being's character of aspiring for greater improvement, greater excellence, greater moral character, greater intellect. Any movement from that is a deviation from the natural line of human progression.


Morality and Nature

We must understand that in Al-Islam, morals are not thought of as something that comes from heaven. Morals are of our own nature just as reasoning is of our nature. We don't think of rational thinking as being a foreign gift to us. We don't believe that some womanly finger struck down upon the earth and gave man the power to reason. No! Man thinks that reason is a part of his make-up, that it is his natural inheritance. After all, man is a rational being. He naturally inherited the ability to think sensibly, the ability to reason, to find the better course in the most decent way. If I say that I am a rational person, I mean that I have the power to arrive at better conclusions. And if I stick with this process which is natural in me, it should lift me up to a better posture as a human being and to a better conduct as a rational person.

When we are talking about the human being as a moral creature, we are saying that the human being is a natural creature. We are not to separate morality from nature. Morality and nature for the human being are one and the same. And the highest nature for the human being is moral nature, simply because he is a rational being. He is by nature a rational being, and this process is to lead him to higher steps in moral excellence.

Muslims cannot accept the idea that morality is something given from a spooky world, and that human beings are basically sinners — wild people given to violence, sexual perversion and crimes of all types. Basically the human being is given to moral excellence. It is only when we go against the natural grain or true human nature that we give ourselves to moral corruption, and that is not easy for us. If it was easy for us, you would find more people doing it. But, it is not easy to go wrong, to be insensitive to the moral needs of society. That is not natural in the human being.

The average person has to really struggle with himself or herself in order to commit great crimes. They must force themselves not to think. They must suppress the thinking process in order to go on doing wrong. This alone tells you that God has made the thinking process for righteousness, and not for perversion or corruption. Don't let the world fool you into thinking that it is basically right to do wrong, that it is basically your nature, your natural human instinct to be filthy, to be a liar, to be a murderer, to be a thief. When you do those things, you are other than yourself.


Ingratitude To Others

You wonder why we are not better people, why we cannot get along better, work together or support each other. You wonder why our families are in a chaotic state. It is because we have become a very ungrateful group of people. Allah tells us in the Qur'an that He does not like an ungrateful person. We should be appreciative. Don't follow the mood of the society. Don't follow the trend of the people.

As Muslims, we have our example in Prophet Muhammad, and our guidance in the Qur'an. We do not take our ways from the people in the street. It is popular for them to turn away kindness. Do you know that some people hate your for being kind? If you are kind to them, they turn and look at you as though they want to kill you. And for what reason do they want to kill you? You are only trying to assist and make it easier for them. They have never seen you before, yet they want to kill you.

What has brought about this kind of behavior? It is that this society has been led to so much corruption, so much false and unreal thinking that any good deed or clean act knocks on the door of the people's dead conscience. They know that if you knock hard enough, you are going to be heard within themselves. And if you are heard, they know that they are going to have to face the state of their lives, and this they hate. They want to believe that it is all right to go on being insensitive in society, only going for self and not looking out for the other fellow. They tell themselves, "If this is to my advantage, I will take it no matter how much it may hurt the other person. It may hurt the person, or it may hurt the children of that person, but I don't care. I have to get what is best for me. I have to make it. I have to get over." This is the attitude in our society.

Many people are turned on to the kind of things that justify being insensitive — not being concerned about the cares or needs of others. This kind of thinking has actually taken over the American people to such an extent that you can hardly get a decent greeting from members of your own family. Not everybody is motivated to show kindness. As I stated above, God has made the thinking process for righteousness, and not for perversion or corruption. Therefore, if you think the way God wants you to think you must do all you can to fight such thoughts.


The Muslim Role in America

A Muslim is first of all a person who accepts the Will of God. Once you know the Will of God, you are obligated to follow His Word. A learned person in Al-Islam cannot just be a Muslim. He must also be a believer, a man or woman of faith. Knowledge is not going to come to you just because you want knowledge. Knowledge comes as a result of your faith. Where there is no faith, there is no real knowledge. In the final analysis, people are divided between believers and non-believers. And on the non-believers' side you find the corrupt people, while on the believers' side you find people organized to fight corruption. You do not have to enlist in the army to fight corruption. The battle is fought everywhere. The front line is in ourselves, our families, our households, our neighborhoods.

Muslims are obligated to promote and provoke the people in their families and neighborhoods to be good. A Muslim must move out and accept this responsibility in the broader society. If your home is nice, demonstrate your goodness. Let your neighbors see how goodness has rewarded you and your family. If you see your neighbors going astray, you are obligated to find some way to provoke their conscience to come back to right thinking.

Muslims are a people who have been raised not just for Muslims alone. Allah says in His Qur'an that you are the best community raised up for human kind. You have an obligation to yourself, your family, your neighborhood, your Muslim community, as well as to non-Muslims living near you or at a distance, to promote good. That obligation goes throughout the whole humanity.


It is those who believe and confuse not their beliefs with wrong that are (truly) in security, for they are on right guidance.  (Qur’an 6:82)