from the Muslim Journal 2-16-07 to 3-2-07)
Good and the Common Destiny”
Imam W. Deen
W. Deen Mohammed gave this address at the Ohio State Capitol Reception
in Columbus, Ohio, on Nov. 11, 2006, titled "The Common Good
and the Common Destiny.")
We praise G-d,
the One G-d for all of us. We are told in our religion to say to
the People of the Book, the Christians and Jews, that "Your
G-d and our G-d is One in The Same G-d." I begin with that.
I want to say
that we, as Christians, Jews and Muslims, are having the same Guidance
from G-d for our human life. G-d intends for us all to have life
and have it better and better all the time.
We have the
life of our Prophet Muhammed, the model for human life and behavior
in excellent form. G-d wants a beautiful and excellent life for
all of us. Jesus Christ, as I understand him in Scripture, also
is a sign and model of the best human life that is possible for
us on this planet earth.
Jesus Christ invite us to the same, the best possible life we can
have. And we don't believe we can have that life without G-d Who
created it. He Who created it knows best what is good for His Creation.
I have felt
so wonderful since I have been in this town (Columbus, Ohio) meeting
so many of my friends and fellow leaders of my association, and
the Christians and leaders from other faiths. The honorable leaders
here behind me, I have been made to feel so good to be in your presence
and to know what you are all about.
It will be the
Believers who will make the world better. Leaders can come from
unexpected places and people, or families and neighborhoods, etc.,
if they are touched in their hearts the way G-d wants them to be
If they are
motivated and sincere, eventually G-d will bless them with the light
and enough support to get help from many other people in their area
and outside of their area - from the whole world. G-d can do that
for us, and G-d has done that for us.
is no different from Christianity and Judaism, in this respect,
it wants to promote the best. Even the Scripture, itself, has variations,
when it comes to what it can produce for us. Some parts of the Scripture,
the Qur'an or the Bible, if you take it, it will give you only so
of the Scripture, if you take it, it will give you much more. Even
the Scripture varies in what we can do for human life, how we can
serve human life and how we can promote the excellence that we all
want for our life on this earth.
G-d says, "Take
the best thereof." This is Qur'an, our Holy Book. You know
you can open the Bible and the Qur'an and your eyes might fall on
a certain page that may not move you at all. It might perplex you.
It might confuse you. It might make you say, "I have to get
away from this page and open another page."
That is with
any Scripture. The Scripture is given to serve life on all levels
- intelligence on all levels, sincerity on all levels. Some of us
are not as sincere as others, so it is designed to serve all levels
of life and the whole of life -life for the individual, life for
the family, life for the community, life for the world, life for
a person in a particular profession or aim in life or ambition.
Judaism and Islam, you will find men of all professions, who believe
in these faiths. G-d says, again, "Take the best thereof."
And G-d gives us a human model. He says of this human model, "This
is what I want in all of you."
of him He said, that he spoke to his people and said, "I in
You (G-d), and You in me." Christians will tell you that Christ
is in everybody.
"Every human being born is born a Muslim, until the environment
they are put in makes them otherwise," a Christian or other.
and Sister Muslims who are here, our Prophet is pointing to the
same excellence, purity and goodness that G-d put in Christians,
Jews and Muslims.
call it the Christ-nature. We call it Muslim. We are talking about
the same thing. We have been created for the same thing.
We are to be
conscious of that life and have respect for that life and build
on that life, so that it will grow and become more useful for ourselves
and more useful for mankind.
said, "The best of you are the ones who are most useful for
mankind, for all people." We are not as separate as we think
we are. We are essentially one people.
We have concepts
in Islam called Taqwa and Tawheed. Taqwa is a consciousness that
brings small minds into the open universe, with our minds and our
hearts. Eventually we arrive at Tawheed, the way of the Prophets
who guided mankind to the Oneness of mankind and the creation, the
unity of mankind under One G-d.
If you were
to hear Muslims say what is their Articles of Faith, the important
statements of Faith, and then listen to the Christians say what
is their important Articles of Faith, you will see that they are
It is the same
for any human being who is motivated to embrace goodness everywhere
and acknowledge that goodness everywhere.
The Muslim says,
"Surely, G-d is all good, and He does not accept anything except
that that is good." We are to appreciate good and want good
for our own life.
It is our own
short view or opinions or perceptions of what is logic, what is
rational, what is true that separates us.
If we follow
our natural urges coming from the purity of our essence, we all
would be in agreement. We are here for the same and all want the
same for the future, an excellent life. We want our families to
be in good shape. We want our children to be safe.
Our babies come
here speaking baby language. They don't come hear speaking Yoruba,
Arabic, Swahili, Chinese, Japanese or Russian. All of them come
here speaking baby language and have to learn all of our separate
gave us one and the same life and made us one and the same people.
Then there come the differences, the different histories, the different
languages, the different ethnic make ups, etc. But all of these
are additions put on the baby, born in the family of human beings
as one member.
locations put a dress on the baby, an addition on the baby. It takes
the baby and makes it different. Then he looks around and sees how
different he is.
But if we could
go back, return as Allah in the Qur'an says, "To G-d is your
When we return
to the baby, we return to the original Muslim, the original innocence
of the baby, the innocent nature and life of the baby. For the Christian
returning to that, it is returning to the first Christ nature.
as we learn to express them, separate us. But if you can research
and go back in history and find the original language, the language
of the original nature in its purity as G-d created it, we find
that we all want peace and the good life for ourselves and for our
families, our children.
We all want
heaven. We don't want hell. We will have hell, but we don't really
want it. Everybody wants heaven. This is the common life, the common
good, the common destiny.
The common destiny
is the destiny that G-d has created for us in our very human composition.
G-d has composed us naturally, originally, to want goodness, to
want heaven not hell, to want peace and decency and respect. We
want to feel that we are with people who care about themselves and
We cannot have
this without respect for the better. If the followers of our leaders
would return to their better nature, listen to their better nature,
and choose leaders with that better spirit and better nature, the
world would improve so much. Misery would be taken out of our lives
and out of our neighborhoods, if we would do that.
the environment that we live in, in these times, is not as conducive
for us collecting our better senses, coming back to our better minds,
as it was for man before industrialization and accumulation of money,
and things that give us pleasure, cluttered the neighborhoods and
cluttered the buildings, cluttered with dead things.
It is not like
the original environment before man built his world and made his
environment and made it so cluttered.
We need leadership
to keep us aware of what is best for the original life that G-d
made. We know this environment that we come out in everyday, with
the liquor store across the street and on the corner and all other
stuff in our view when we walk out of the house, is not what G-d
wanted us to look at when we wake up and go out from our private
G-d wanted us
to see the beautiful world of living things, trees and animals and
how beautiful fall is with all of its beautiful colors. See how
G-d made the green things to grow strong and beautiful. But before
they go to sleep for the long period of time before spring comes
again, they give us the beautiful colors of fall.
Not only beauty,
they give us substance for our life, fruit and grain. And it gives
it to us abundantly. They just drop the fruit down, generously.
They give us beauty generously.
G-d said in
Scripture that He gave the parable of human life as the parable
of a plant. So that says to us that G-d wants us to give our best
before we die, before we take that winter sleep. He wants us to
give the beauty of life.
If we could
be motivated as the Seers, the Prophets, the Messengers of G-d -
motivated by G-d's Handiwork in His Universe with all of its possible
views - we will have a power to overcome a lot of these weaknesses
we have and the trends that we have become set in. We would have
the power to overcome.
G-d said in
our Holy Book, "Oh man, don't think that your creation is a
bigger creation than the Universe." The Universe is bigger
than us. If we become separated from it or unrelated to it, we become
smaller and smaller.
If we wake up
and began to appreciate it, and say, "Let me look at G-d's
Work, at what G-d did!" as you look at it and start appreciating
it, it will start increasing your own worth.
G-d's Work will
increase your intelligence and most of all increase your decency.
But in man's world, we have not the original environment that G-d
intended to support your life and open up your life to a great future,
that would make a Paradise on earth for us, if we accept it.
We want the
same things. Science tells us that we are all human. That is our
first identity. That is what connects us all together. We are human.
We are not dogs, cats, tigers, trees - we are human. That is our
we recognize that as our true identity, we can be served by the
same doctor. The doctor can serve a black man or a white man. He
only wants to know if it is a human, for he was taught to treat
humans. He has the science and the medicine and skills to treat
Life would be
so much better, if we would just close our eyes to everything we
think we know and then ask G-d to open our eyes again.
Thank you and
may G-d guide us to His Purpose for human life on this earth. Ameen.