from the Muslim Journal 7-7-06)
Annual Muslim Convention
Excerpts from Interview with Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Frames Convention Focus
following are excerpts from the interview with Imam W. Deen Mohammed
conducted on Thurs., June 8, at the Office of The Mosque Cares by
Imams Shaheed Abdul Ghani and Darnell Karim.)
Mohammed: With Allah's Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The
Merciful Redeemer. We salute the last Prophet Muhammed with The
Prayers and The Peace be upon him, and what follows that traditional
salute given to him by well over 1 billion Muslims throughout the
We are preparing
our Annual Convention that we have been identifying as "Islamic
Convention." We have changed it this year to read "Muslim
Convention," because an Islamic Convention puts religion in
Conventions that have been going on for a number of years are not
to put the religion in focus as much as it is to put the members
of our association in focus.
That was started
back in the 1960s and long before that by the Hon. Elijah Muhammad,
our late leader. We pray G-d forgives him his sins and grant him
Since that time,
we have been keeping the same spirit - the spirit of coming together
once a year to see one another, to be with one another, and most
importantly to hear what our leader has to say about the state of
affairs for our association and community.
I now go to the particulars for our Convention. Our Convention will
be having workshops on CPC, ComTrust, LLC - that is our Collective
Purchasing efforts to increase business for people coming together
with their small means, but will be great means when it comes to
character and virtues.
In my opinion
of what makes businesses successful, and I believe this is generally
accepted in the business world, is sticking to your principles,
establishing yourself upon good character and a virtuous life. This
is what we expect from our business people who have come together.
We have an
association of business people, who are independently doing business
but are collectively buying and making big volume purchases.
We will have
a workshop and conferences and Grace-line Fashion Show also sponsored
by the same business effort. The Fashion Show is headed by Binah
This will give an opportunity for the designers in our community
to put their designs modeled on display, to see what they are producing
in our community and show those who are excellent in their works.
That is the business side.
More than that,
I have to go quickly to the spiritual side. Jumuah will open our
Convention. Jumuah will be on the Friday of the Labor Day Weekend
this year at the Muslim Convention of 2006.
will be the Vendors Market. And it is exciting just to walk through
the Vendors Market and see all the fine products ranging from garments,
dress suits, women's and children's dress and other items in the
Market, including cosmetics, oils, incense and fascinating and attractive
jewelry I've found our vendors having in the Marketplace for our
Annual Muslim Convention.
will have what will be the State of this Association Address given
by myself. On Cultural Night we are expecting to have a guest speaker
and keynote speaker.
Our guest speaker
will be the President of a University in Indianapolis, who is an
African American man and a very down to earth person. He has a lot
of admiration for our history going back to the Nation of Islam
and especially for what we are doing now in the community.
We will have
a keynote speaker, and I hope we will have a lot of youngsters out
to hear her. She can really move or motivate youngsters.
I don't know
if both of them will be addressing us on Cultural Night, but I do
know that one of them will be addressing us on Sunday, when I make
my major address of the year, the Public Address on the State of
our Community and addressing the public life on how we can be more
productive as citizens and enjoying our life more as G-d has designed
this life to work for us.
our life to work for us. And those who have done the most in the
world have been guided by Scripture to know what G-d designed for
us in this world, what we are to do with our life and our opportunities
in the public.
I say we are happy to be preparing for our Annual Muslim Convention
and are expecting many more than last year to be present for this
I thank those
who recognize my 30 years of leadership and growth that we have
realized around the country and outside like in Bermuda and a few
other places. We are celebrating 30 years of my leadership.
Brother Imam, last year the theme for the Convention was "Human
Nature, Earth's Most Valuable Resource." This year's theme,
we have "Earning Freedom and Economic Empowerment, We are a
Friendly Neighbor Community."
How do you
see these two themes coming together to benefit us as a whole?
Yes. Last year, the subject was more on nature, to bring our attention
to the inherent human worth that we have, that most of us don't
realize because of bad circumstances for our life.
It is either
bad home conditions or bad neighborhood conditions or bad world
conditions. There was a time when the world was very bad for us,
and we had a hard time for surviving.
One of our
guest speakers to speak at the Convention this year said that when
we were struggling and all of us were hurting together, we were
So the attention
was given to the good nature that G-d put in all of us, to rely
on when pressure and bad times come.
was on that, and we have allowed everybody to benefit from that
but ourselves. Everybody is making billions on our good nature,
except ourselves. They are either getting benefits by appealing
to our good side or by appealing to our weaknesses.
They are corrupting
us, so we will buy things that we shouldn't buy and give our life
to things that we shouldn't give our life and our moneys to. They
will put us in hell, if we don't control our own resources. That
is what the theme was about last year.
we are looking more at the community than at the Nation and focusing
more on community life and how G-d also has made inherent in us
is born in and hungers for community life. The urge in preparing
ourselves is with the hunger in ourselves for community life.
- and that includes women - is never complete, until he finds his
life established in community. It is as inherent as the soul with
its righteousness, as the soul with its curiosities to develop its
intelligence for us.
That is why
G-d says, "You are the best community evolved for the good
people." He is telling us that we are inherently a people born
to come into community life. G-d has put that seed in us.
It will be
focusing on community life, so we can prepare ourselves for the
full community life, so we will have people representing us well
in religion or spiritual life, in business, in politics, etc.