Imam Muhammad In Washington, DC: Part 1
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's note: Speaking at Dunbar High School Auditorium in Washington, D.C., Imam W, Deen Muhammad opened with remarks on a speech he had heard by Dr. Abdullah Naseef, the recently elected head of the Muslim World League or Rabitat Al-Alam-Al-Islami, whom he met in Newark, N.J. on the way to Washington.
The Newark meeting was held at the invitation of Dr. Fard Al-Nassar, newly appointed director of Rabita's New York office.
The meeting also was to reconstruct the Continental Council of Masajid
for North America, on which Imam W. Deen Muhammad sits. A full report on this meeting will follow in the next issue of A.M. Journal.)
Following are some of the powerful remarks delivered by Imam Muhammad at Dunbar High School.
SO WE went, and what we heard was good. We had to leave short of the occasion of that program. But I trust Allah everything went well. And I hope that other persons who represented different groups in the country also contributed to some solution. Because any time any Muslim stands up and admits -especially Muslims from overseas in a position...admit that Muslims are in trouble -that's a good start.
Muslims are in trouble all over this world, and that's the first thing we should acknowledge. We have a problem — a big problem. And the first thing we have to do, and I think the only way to do that is to go back and kind of question what we've been following, because something is wrong.
IF WE had been following what Prophet Muhammad taught, then we'd be successful. So something is wrong.
I hope that I will receive word sometime soon that the other speakers gave support to what the head of the Muslim World League said, and that they are calling for a meeting of American Muslim communities to come together and see how we are going to tackle this problem.
None of us can solve all of these problems by ourselves. It's going to take a United effort to solve the problem.
IF WE COULD just come together to improve our own situation as Muslims in the Muslim community — whether it's Chicago or anywhere else — that would be the first step. I think that would make the other problems easier to solve.
I have been thinking about so many things - I said, "Maybe you should be a little bit like your old self sometimes with these people?" But I just don't like to go back into the past unless I'm researching it. I don't want to relive it.
Somebody asked: what if you could be a teenager again? That's a horrible thought. There's nothing back there I want to see again. Maybe it wouldn't hurt - I don't know.
BEFORE I GO into Quran, let's do something Quran says most people don't try to do. Most people don't try to get meaning out of the order of things. We just accept the order. Right here, I' m talking to the microphone. Don't destroy or wear out your brains on this, but I'm going to give you an example.
Somebody made this microphone and later, somebody thought about the thing and named it — "mike." Why? They could have named it "Joe," but they didn't. They named it "mike."
Some people don't think to look at a thing and try to get a message out of it, try to see a message in it.
ALLAH TELLS US in the Quran that everything that exists is throwing off messages, throwing off signals. It's signaling something to the mind and the mind is an eater — it eats up things. And everything the mind sees, it needs to digest.
But the burden sometimes is so heavy that we don't even let the mind sit at the "dinner table."
"Oh no — I'm not going to be bothered," we say. and cut off the thought right away -the easy route.
Sometimes you can get great rewards; in fact, God says, "And surely there is great benefit in reflecting" - great gain in reflecting.
We must think over a thing, ponder. See what's in it, see what it's saying. See if there is a hidden message there, a quiet message.
I WAS THINKING about the sun; the sun has meant many things to many people. I said, just think — the sun rises in the morning and it just goes up. reaches its zenith — the highest point — and sets. It goes steadily over a regular course and it repeats the same thing day in and day out. It can be dark, and the sun still moves.
They say the sun "sets." The sun never sets, "sets" means to rest; the sun doesn't rest. It's just gone from that point. The sun is still moving where it is. In fact the Earth is rotating.
The Sun is moving and the Earth is moving - the earth is rotating. And the Earth rotates into the Sun and out of the Sun. And in the rest it's still doing the same thing. What we call a rest is a waiting period — for the Sun to complete its course, or for the Earth to complete its rotation and bring us back into the Sun.
Well, what brings us day and night is a motion that's constant and regular, it's working all the time. It can get stormy, the sky can get cloudy — the sun doesn't slow down for the storm. I don't need an astronomer to tell me that; 1 know that because some days a storm has come up and lasted for two or three hours, (and afterwards) the Sun wasn't where I saw it when the clouds formed. The Sun was right where it was supposed to be. It didn't lose a bit of time.
NOW SUPPOSE we could be that regular with our lives. Now think about this: the Sun is the source of energy for the Earth. The energy we have in our bodies came from the Sun. The energy that's in the food, the coal that we burn, the oil that we use as fuel — the Sun. All of this energy has been fed by the Sun, So energy is for work, energy is for production.
Look at the Sun — it is regular, or is going to head a school or whatever — if he could just...take that as an example for himself: "That's the way I'm supposed to be."
The sky gets all upset. Somebody's going to say, "See what the Imam did? That mike rolled — the Imam went like that, brother, and it cut off."
If that happened, the Imam didn't know it I’ll just get back off it a little bit then you can holler - aggravate it. The sky could be just roaring — get dark, shoot fire and sound like cannons, roaring; so much noise it sounds like being near the battlefront. It's what they call an electric storm. If you could watch what's happening in the universe you wouldn't see anything change.
That's happening up there in the clouds region. That's the cloud trouble, but the Earth and the Sun are continuing their motion, not breaking their stride in any degree. They're just as constant.
THAT'S WHAT the African-American needs. He needs to fix his mind on a goal and then be constant. Regular. Say: Let the clouds take care of that, the Sun must keep moving. The Earth can't slow down.
We have to have people, we have to have some force. Some commitment that will continue. Darkness, war in the heavens? Don't slow up.
At night the sky is black — real black on a real dark night. But you hardly ever see a real night because you live in artificial light, A real night is when the sky is black. The sky is blue when there is a little light in the sky. Then it's bluish. It goes from baby blue to midnight blue to black. Real dark sky is black.
Some people in their language call the sky the black board. And the stars are the writing in the sky. But before it gets that color, on a setting side it turns pink. So on one side you have baby blue and on the other side you have baby pink. Baby blue and baby pink.
I even look at the flag and 1 say: I wonder why we have midnight blue in our flag and the British have baby blue in their flag? See, I wonder about these things, because God says think, reflect. I say: I wonder why?
England is the father, and America is supposed to be the child. The father has baby blue in his flag, and the child has midnight blue in his flag.
My daughter said, Daddy you named me "Laila," and Laila means "beauty of the night." I thought about that and I didn't like being called night: "beauty of the night/' She said she likes being called "beauty of the day." So I said, Laila — remember, the flag of the United States has stars in it and the blue at the top of the flag, so it must mean something.
So I told her that in the day. the sky is blue, clear blue, and you don't see anything up there but the Sun, At night when the Sun sets, you see the universe. When the day sky is the blue sky, it hides the universe and there is only one thing up there to be seen. Sometimes the moon, maybe a star — the Morning Star or the Evening Star -- will show but at that time the heavens are hid and there is nothing up there but the lonely blue.
So Laila perked up. I said. Laila — the men who pass wisdom down to us didn't study the sky when the sun was up, they studied the sky when the sun was down.
YOU BLACK FOLKS ought to appreciate that. How come you don't liven up? You're black. You aren't blue, you aren't white — you're black. And when the white man calls you black, he's not calling you black-skinned; he's saying you're original, you are nature's child. He's saying you're nature's child and he's saying I'm white, I'm my own child.
What do you mean by that?
When you wake up in the morning you open your eyes, the black goes away and the light appears. When you were asleep you were under the force of nature, and when you're awake, in the white, you're under your own supervision. You can bear witness if you have any sense. If you don't have any sense, I don't know what you going to do.
When you're awake, you are under your own conscious supervision. When the white man calls you black he means you haven't taken your own life into your own control. Nature still dominates.
THAT CAN BE good and that can be bad. Tell me — who gave the world all the wealth of science it has? Wasn't it the man who was under his nature? It was the one who was under his nature; he saw in the darkness of nature the potential for the white man's world. He saw the white man's world in nature and the white man got it out of nature.
And then won't even tell the people. He won't even tell the people, "look — now don't you give me too much credit because everything I have is already in nature." If he has science, he has fiction, I don't care what he has. he got it out of nature. And nothing comes to man except through nature out of nature. Everything comes out of nature.
And this is the natural religion — deen al fitra. the order on which He has fashioned man according to the words of God in our Quran. These ideas free you, thinking this way frees you.
Do you know who gave us the idea of freedom —? The natural man. The natural man reflecting on his nature saw that he was bigger than what met his immediate grasp.
THEY HAVE A LAW in science that says the whole is equal to the sum of all of its parts. Now man is a part of the creation and God has blessed him with consciousness with an awareness, with insight that brings into his mind, into his reach, the concept of the whole, the nature of the whole, the purpose of the whole. What do you have in man, then, that has this idea? You have a man, that's what you have.
What I'm saying is that in each of us who call ourselves human beings is everything that's in that universe. And you don't have to stretch your imagination if you've been following what I've been saying.
TO HELP YOU out in case you have a problem, what is this universe but a material body? And where did you come from but this material universe? What do you live off of —? This material universe. You eat its minerals, you breathe its air. This universe is going in you and out of you all the time. You're like a conveyor — it's coming in and passing out.
I would rather say a strainer, a filter — the best is supposed to stay in you. You're like a filter or strainer for the universe, and the matter is coming in and passing out. It's wonderful if you can conceive of yourself in that kind of design.
Who are you then? You're superman. That's who you are. When you start thinking that way, you aren't just ordinary man -you're superman. And remember -- don't throw you hair in your eyes ~- push it back.
Superman could get all of his hair to stay back except for a little peak that hang down. And that's what made him crazy. They finally had to give us a series that showed he went nuts, because that which was behind him got in front of him. Praise be to Allah