(Reprinted from the Muslim Journal (3-21-03 to 4-18-03)
Celebrating the Victory of the Hajj on Eidul Adha
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave this khutbah address at Eidul Adha celebrated at the 45th Arena in Chicago, 111., on Feb. 11, 2002.)
We witness that G-d is One, the Lord, Creator and Cherisher of the worlds. And we witness that Muhammed to whom the Qur'an was revealed is the Seal of the Prophets and the one prophesied in the Bible to take off the heavy yoke of slavery that weighed them down and to break every bond of slavery.
It is given to us in the Qur'an that he is the one mentioned in the Torah and in The Gospel or Injil to carry out that responsibility. He is a liberator who liberates from all forms of slavery. And the best key for unlocking the locks of slavery is correct education.
The leader in Islam, Muhammed the Prophet, established for us the Ummah, the global community or worldwide association of Muslims. He established that for us under G-d and following G-d's Guidance, and he established it after the Order of Abraham.
A learned sheikh told me when I was in Saudi Arabia once, "Imam Mohammed, you know Abraham is a community." He was telling me that Abraham was not just an individual figure but that he was a type of a whole community.
And when we study Jesus Christ in the Scriptures that were given to the People of the Book and also in Islamic knowledge, we see Jesus' type also as a mysterious Sign of the community, the community of Adam, the community of mankind. We are after that order.
Muhammed the Prophet taught us and we know Allah says to us in the Qur'an that you will find the Christians, those who call themselves Nazarahs, the people of Nazareth the old name for the Christians, will be the nearest to you in the practice of religion. That is the Christians.
The Qur'an also says that the world, the People of the Book, will see Muhammed the Last Prophet and Jesus Christ, also G-d's Prophet and Messenger, and they will see them together. So let us keep our spirit correct by not seeing Islam in opposition with Christianity.
Islam is in opposition with any untruth, with any falsehood, with any indecency. Islam is in opposition to nothing but what Allah has ordered it to be in opposition to. Islam does not pick up any personal quarrels with anybody or any idea or with anything.
Our obedience is to our G-d Who revealed scriptures before and then revealed the Qur'an as a clear explanation on that which was revealed before. So we must understand from those Words from G-d in the Qur'an, that the Qur'an and Islam are G-d's last address regarding what He said or has revealed to man.
We are not to go to the Bible. We are not to go to the Torah or The Gospel or to any other religions for guidance. Our guidance is the Qur'an, and we would hope that the whole world of religion would get acquainted with the Qur'an, so they would know what G-d has said more recently on what is right and what is wrong, when it comes to what He said to mankind.
G-d has spoken to many prophets before, and He has spoken to females, we are told in the Qur'an, and He spoke lastly to Muhammed, the model man prophesied that his day would come. Jesus Christ pointed to Muhammed.
All the prophets pointed to Muhammed, and that was told to us in the Sign that was given to us in the Ascension and Travel of Muhammed in the Night Visit, when he was seen leading the prophets in prayer.
Here is a revelation to tell us, the Muslims, that Muhammed is the last one and the last one is completing what the previous ones were all about. Muhammed, addressing this particular point, said there was a house being built by the Prophets and Messengers and Servants of G-d. He said, but there was one stone left to be placed to complete the structure of that house. And he said he is that last stone.
We know the last stone is the cornerstone, the stone that makes sense of the whole structure. The whole structure is left without sense, until that stone is put there. That stone is the stone of universal brotherhood, the stone of universal truth, the stone of oneness not only for G-d, but oneness for mankind.
Abraham was all about that. He was prepared to make a great sacrifice, to sacrifice his son. We in Islam say "Is'mail," as it is said in the Qur'an. In the Bible, it is Ishmael. The people of the Book, the Jews and the Christians say it was Isaac or Ishaq, as it is said in the Qur'an.
As you study what they have with them, it is very doubtful that the Jews and Christians are correct. Not even looking at Qur'an, without even hearing the words of Muhammed, if you just study what they have their own records, it is very doubtful that the one to be sacrificed was Isaac. The truth and evidence in their own records point to Is'mail as being that one.
Arafat is from the verb in Arabic, which means "to know," arafa. Arafat means the place where you come to know your brother in Islam, where you meet leaders from around the world. Many of you and I have been there. And you meet based upon Islamic equality, the equality of Muslims in Islam.
The one who meets you there may be the Custodian of the Kaa'ba, the King of Saudi Arabia, or he may be the President of Egypt, or he may be the highest scholar recognized by the Muslim public. When you meet him there, he may carry airs or show self-importance. But the spirit there will be against anyone showing self-importance
The spirit on Arafat at Hajj will be to recognize brothers as equals. A little man like me, the son of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and Clara Muhammad from Georgia and who were not educated people, I was welcomed in 1967 when I made Hajj with the Muslim Student Association of Canada and the U.S., under the leadership then of Dr. Ahmad Sakr, who lives in California now. He was their president.
They invited me to join them to make Hajj, and I told them that I didn't think I would have enough money. And they said it would only cost $500, and that was a long time ago. So I talked to my wife, Shirley, and she was happy and wanted me to make the Hajj. So with her permission, we all sacrificed and saved money from other things. It was me, my wife and only my daughter Laila at that time.
We made the sacrifice from our home needs and I saved the $500 in time to make the Hajj. They were very kind and generous and were handing me food and offering to pay for my ihram, and the brothers were just so loving. But I managed out of my own pocket.
I knew something about the Hajj from reading, and I felt that G-d obligated us individually to do that. And I didn't want anybody carrying my cross. So I carried my own cross and accepted my responsibility to myself under G-d. I paid for everything, and I would offer dates to others.
At that time, I realized that the Hajj is a connection for us to all people. This is the most important thing we need to know. Abraham is called the Father of the Many and in Islam, he is called the Imam or the Leader for the Nations. That means that his Sign was bringing all people into the one community of man under G-d.
And Prophet Muhammed was ordered or commissioned to order that again. In fact, it was never established. It was a hope, and that is why it is called the "millah" of Abraham. They translate "millah" to mean order, but it also comes from the word that also has a play on the "Hope of Abraham, the Upright in Faith."
We know we also have during the ritual of the Hajj to pray two rakats standing very near the Kaa'ba, after making our seven circles around it. We stand in a place called "Maqaam Ibrahim." It means where Abraham stood and it is understood that it is meaning where he stood in prayer. We follow him making two rakat of prayer.
Now did Abraham make exactly two rakat of prayer? The way we do prayer was only established in the time of our leader, Muhammed the Prophet. We know they made sajdah, for that is in the scripture that came before the Qur'an. But it is not in those scriptures that he performed salat like we do.
Although I know he didn't make two rakat like we do, in a sense by interpretation he did. The first two rakat in our Jumuah Prayer, which is just like the Eid prayers except for the takbirs, represents salat. And what happened to the other two rakat of the midday prayer? The education we give, when we give the khutbah, is the other two rakat.
Our prayer is the prayer of nature and nature prays not only for discipline, nature prays for growth increase. And nothing increases us more than knowledge. "Our Lord, increase me in knowledge" is the prayer of the righteous.
Abraham should connect us with education that was established by Prophet Muhammed, who was fulfilling the obligation of Abraham, the covenant of Abraham with his G-d.
Education should be made available to all equally. If you are poor, you should have a way to get education as much as you want. If you are in the community of Muhammed, the Ummah of AlIslam, you should be able to get education as much as you want.
"This sounds like the socialist program," you may say. Well, a lot of good that you find not only in the socialist program but also in the capitalist program was in the Qur'an and Muhammed's teachings before it was in the world and in the West. So Islam wants liberal education and public education for all citizens in the Ummah of AlIslam, that is for all members in the global community of Muslims.
We don't have that yet, but that is what we should be after. That's what our leaders should be helping us get. They should help us to get closer and closer to that goal of having education available to all members who are Muslims and have it available to them equally.
No one should be held back because they don't have enough money to get the education. No one should be held back because he is ignorant or dumb. He should be not only encouraged but also inspired. People need to be inspired sometimes and have someone to turn on their interest.
Islam is not only here to tell you where to go. Islam is here to prepare you to want to go there, to turn your interest on, so that you will want more knowledge and better education. This has happened to many in our association, since I have been the leader. And it happened to many before I was the leader.
I have had many to tell me, "It was your father who inspired me to go back to school, and I went back and got my degree." Isn't that wonderful? And many have told me, "Brother Imam, it was you...." I know what they mean; it is not me personally. They mean what I
teach, and what I teach i? from Qur'an and from the guidance of Muhammed the Prophet and that which agrees with the Qur'an and with the guidance of our Prophet.
Many, males and females, and some 80 years old have gone back to school and got a degree, after being out of school for a long time with only a high school education. This is marvelous. This is wonderful. Islam doesn't war as much and as meaningfully with physical weapons as it wars with truth.
And truth is not just a moral issue; truth is a community issue. Truth has to be whole, and the Whole Truth cannot leave out any truth that we need to support our life in the community or in the society or in the world of mankind. We need leaders who are firstly leaders for good moral life, but also who are leaders for social life for man's life in "community."
Islam is the religion of brotherhood and sisterhood. Islam is the religion that makes all of us one family. This was the purpose of Adam, the first father. And it was advanced by those who followed after Adam: Noah, Moses, Abraham before him, Jesus and finally Muhammed. There are many who are not named and some of lesser importance than those I've named.
They came to advance the good life of mankind and to make knowledge accessible or available to all members of society, to bring mankind into one public the public of humanity. They came to bring mankind to see himself as one family the family of humanity. That is why we have two fathers Adam representing the natural man and Abraham representing the enlightened or educated man.
Praise be to Allah and let us accept this religion. It is clear and plain and easily understood. Let us also get benefits from G-d's Signs to us. In the Qur'an, G-d says that this Qur'an is not only guidance, but it is also medicine. It is healing for that that is in the heart or in the breast of mankind. It is a healing.
We glorify G-d. We praise Him with our whole being mind, body and spirit. And we worship none with Him and associate nothing with Him as G-d, for He is G-d Alone, the Creator of everything in existence, including His Prophets and Messengers. Praise be to G-d, and they cannot be equal; the created and the Creator are not equal.
Christ Jesus said in The Gospel, "The sent is not equal to The Sender." It is still written there in the New Testament as plain as day. I don't know how anyone misses it, for it is there as plain as day. It is saying that Jesus Christ is not equal to G-d Who created everything.
Praises be to Allah. G-d gives us Signs. And the signs are the sun and the moon. And G-d says, "The sun and the moon make sajdah, prostrate, in obedience." As I said I don't think Abraham actually did two rakat as we do them, following the tradition of Muhammed the Prophet. But nevertheless I believe he did two rakat.
Abraham's stand in prayer was for the nature, for the human life in its moral excellence. And his stand in prayer was also for education to come to the ignorant, liberal education to come to all the children of Adam.
His prayer was two rakat, and our prayer is two rakat, on the most sacred days and happiest of days. On Friday our prayer is two rakat. And on the two great Eids, our prayer is two rakat giving time for education.
Our training under the Hon. Elijah Muhammad was a big help for our understanding the great, big, wide field of Islam, which we came into with my leadership. His teaching was a big help. He taught us that we should be educated, and he taught us that religion is knowledge not just shouting and singing.
He turned us on to being students of religion. Nothing turned me on to that before my father. My father was the one who turned me on to being mentally curious, rationally curious to understand religion. I am a product of his influence, the influence of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. In spite all the erroneous things about G-d and religion and man that
were in his package, the intent was good. And if you were sincere, the result was good.
I read in the Bible where it says that one of the great prophets gave the people an invitation where they could go in two directions they could go left or they could go right. But if you read carefully what he said, their best choice was not to go left or right, but to go straight in the center keeping a healthy balance away from the extreme right and extreme left.
He said, "I give you two ways." And then he said something else to them that made it clear that you have to guard yourself from going to the extreme in these two ways and keep straight down the middle. What he was saying is that "righteousness is your salvation, though I give you these two paths."
Is this in the Qur'an? Yes. And we are called "The Midway Community" not going to the extreme right and not going to the extreme left, keeping the correct balance. This is the Ummah of Muhammed the Prophet.
Other signs are the sun and the moon. These signs are not just in the religion of the recent people in history or of the Medieval Age. These signs go back to ancient times; Ancient Egypt had these signs, the sun and the moon. Ancient Egypt had the sun as a god and the moon as goddess or daughter of the sun.
The sun was called Osiris in Ancient Egyptian religious myth, and his daughter was Isis in the Ancient Egyptian religious myth. And Allah says the sun and the moon "sajudan." So don't follow the dumb and the blind who will lead you to more ignorance, where you will never discover the inheritance that G-d created you for.
G-d created you for your rights and inheritance, and we know that man will rob man of his rights and inheritance. And the Bible says, although we don't accept it that it is charged to a prophet of G-d, that a certain one who became a prophet of G-d robbed his own brother of his birthright and also of his inheritance.
So we know that man will rob man of his birthright and inheritance. Your birthright is the right to be a full human being with a complete mind and a complete soul, with an appetite not only for spiritual things but with an appetite also for material things.
We have in the Qur'an, "And the family of Quraish, G-d has secured them against hunger and fear, referring to the material and spiritual. It is a sign for us to not accept this world of spirituality or spiritual leaders who invite you to spiritual existence and don't encourage you to have material establishment and social strength and stability.
You can't have it without the whole life. You have to have it with some of this good earth, as the Hon. Elijah Muhammad said. That was his language. And you have to have knowledge of the earth that G-d created and knowledge of yourself.
This is what put suns in the heavens and hung moons for the night. Not the moon that you look at to see when the Eid or the next month starts. It is the moon of your own intelligence and the sun of your own intelligence. They are only signs that G-d put out there in the physical world to direct you to your own makeup.
That, "Just as I have hung a great light up in the sky to light the world, so you can find your way around and work and grow in knowledge and in mass, I have given you an intelligence that if you let it come on, it will light up your human world and will make you productive in the world, just as the sun makes the world productive from the things that grow in the earth."
You will be a source of energy, enlightenment, light and warmth. The light does not only shine, it also warms up. The light is not just guidance alone, it is also healing. Man discovered that a long time ago, that if you don't let the sun shine into your house, you will have more diseases. Have good windows and open the windows and let the sun shine in; it kills bacteria and harmful germs.
When you make sajdah, you reconcile your intelligence with the creation of G-d. Put your head on G-d's creation and let your head agree with G-d's Laws in creation. Then you can stand up again as a man. Allahu Akbar. And for G-d is the Praise.
We celebrate and observe the Greater Eid of Eidul Adha, and we wanted to be right with the Hajjis, to do it.
When the pilgrims are celebrating on the tenth day of the Hajj, we want to join them here in our Eid celebrations. Also I want to bring to your notice this. The Hajj starts with the New Moon just as the Fasting. But the celebration of the Fast comes at the end of the month, when the New Moon of the next month is sighted.
It is different for the Hajj, in that the Hajj starts on the first sighting of the New Moon and ends on the tenth day of the month. So the great celebration is on the tenth day of the month.
This is the day that animals are slaughtered and cooked and prepared deliciously. It can be beef or lamb or camel, which they eat in Saudi Arabia and is a good "workout" for the jaws!
They have delicious milk and plenty of food. And I knew that no matter how poor you are, you can't get over there and tell anybody you can't eat. You will have to turn down food. Although I have some criticism for him, let me tell you this about the Custodian of the Kaalaa, the King of Saudi Arabia. On a certain day of the week, anyone from the public can come to his table and eat.
During Hajj, if they know you don't have food, almost anybody who has food will share it with you. But also the administrators of the Hajj Saudi Arabians are in charge will see that you have food and are fed.
But so much food is bought and slaughtered by the Hajjis, that at the end they have a lot of waste. They try to give it away, but there still ends up to be a lot of waste. And it is very difficult to avoid waste, because they want to have more than enough. They don't want anybody to say, "I wish I had some more of this or that." But don't ever worry, you will be fed.
Going back to Abraham his sacrifice was the sacrifice of his son, "Isma'il." He was ready, prepared for that sacrifice. But it really tried him; it tried his soul and his mind. He, was convinced-and his son was too, that "if this is what G-d wants of you, then do what He wants of you." So his son Isma'il agreed to be sacrificed.
When Abraham had him on the alter or chopping block, G-d spoke to him and said, "Abraham, you have already fulfilled your obligation. You have done your sacrifice."
So the sacrifice that Allah wants from mankind male and female is that we be prepared and ready to give up anything, including our own life wife, mother, father, son, daughter and our own life even if we think this is what G-d wants of us.
We have to be prepared to do this. Some ask, "Why would G-d want me to give up my mother?" Maybe your mother is the enemy of G-d who is helping the Shaitan. G-d does not ask that you take her away to kill her, but G-d does ask that you be prepared to accept that she be killed. It could be a child who is a threat to the way of G-d.
G-d does not ask that you do it, personally. And how do we know that? Because Muhammed came to make everything more compassionate and softer for us. He would not permit a relative to go in the battlefield and kill another relative. He would tell the relative to let the non-relative do battle with that person.
It is beautiful how he prepared the way for the healing and the future solidarity of the Muslims. If I had to stand in prayer next to a brother who killed my father, I don't care if my father was a disbeliever, that is not a comfortable place to be in. Rather, it is simply that he lost his life in the war, not like a family member killed him.
This is a very sensitive religion and at the same time a very strong religion. That is the best. What did Abraham sacrifice in actuality? It was a lamb. What is this saying? It is saying his son, Isma'il,. was a lamb, a lamb in his passions.
A lamb has very peaceful and loving passions. Isma'il represented the peaceful and loving passions in Abraham's following, which he was ready to sacrifice. This was spiritually based, because Isma'il was in the wilderness and his mother did not have food for him.
Isma'il, the son of Abraham, represented the peaceful and loving passions in Abraham's following, which he was ready to sacrifice.
This was spiritually based, because Isma'il was in the wilderness and his mother did not have food for him. She was panicking and running in desperation. She left her child, because she did not want to see him die in that state, without water in the desert.
After she came back to him, after panicking and running around, she saw that a well had sprung up at his heels. This tells us that Isma'il's essential nature and character were spiritual, but not educated.
Water coming down represents education, but this wasn't water coming down it was water coming up out of the ground. So this was his natural spirituality that G-d gave to him, before his spirituality was educated being rain.
Abraham built wells, as the Bible or old scriptures said before the Qur'an was revealed. He, the father of Isma'il, also had natural spirituality. We call him Abraham, the Upright in his nature; he had the natural, pure spirituality.
Water doesn't just come pure from the sky; water comes pure from the earth. The earth and sand beneath the ground filter water and purify it.
Abraham was willing to sacrifice this natural spirituality for social advancement. He was ready to sacrifice that child or nature of the society for the social.
G-d told him, "Don't actually kill the boy, but kill this nature in him, this nature to follow naturally the urges of his soul or his spirituality, and educate him. You don't kill him and throw him away; you kill him and feed him to the poor."
Don't sacrifice that nature. Feed that nature to the people. In other words, educate the people regarding the natural makeup of mankind. Teach the people their natural life and natural makeup, how G-d has given them wonderful urges for their establishment in their own nature. Teach them, so they will be enlightened regarding that that is in them as a created being.
Is there any support for this in scripture? Jesus Christ is the biggest support I have to offer to you right now. Jesus Christ is called the body that is to be eaten on the table. It says, "Take this wine representing my blood and drink it.
Take this bread representing my flesh and eat it." It is a sign that we are not actually to eat his flesh, but we are eating the body of his knowledge that has its basis in his flesh in his natural body.
Educate the people and teach them the natural makeup of mankind, so that they will have the many sciences the sciences of the blood, of the skin, of the bones, of the muscles, of the nervous system. There are a lot of sciences in this body.
So here is religion coming and inspired in common people. Muhammed was a common man, not educated and did not know anything about religion. Jesus Christ was a common man; he came from the people who were looked down on.
The Bible said, "Could any good thing come from the place where he comes from?" The^ people from whom Jesus came from were disregarded; it was thought that they didn't have anything to offer others. But out of that place came the leader for them, Jesus Christ, peace be upon the Prophet. He was a Sign to the world.
When G-d says, "the sun and the moon make sajdah," He is saying: "You, man, with your sun and moon should make sajdah. With your social light and with your spiritual light, you should put your head on My Earth I created, because I brought you out of the earth, like I did your first father Adam.
"Your origin goes back to the earth, My Creation. Whatever you are, you owe your existence to Me and My Creation. So make your obeisance, your submission, your sajdah to the Lord of the heavens and the earth."
Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar. La ilaha illallah. Allahu Akbar. Allahu Akbar
wa ilahilhamd. And for G-d is the praise. We thank G-d. We glorify Him. And we hope to enjoy the Eid today, and if there is any celebration for us for three days, we hope that
all of us enjoy our Eid.
Know that Muslims are bonded together as one family. We are to love one another,
and we are to put that love into practice.
The best proof of our love is that we want for our brother and sister what we want for ourselves. That we seek advancement and seek growth and progress, not to be selfish with it, but to share it with our brothers and sisters.
Peace be unto you, As-Salaamu-Alaikum and Eid Mubarak.