January 29, 1993
On The Nation of Islam
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
Let me let you in on this. W. Deen Mohammed and Malcolm X, who later came to be called Malcolm Shabazz, we loved the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we loved the nation of Islam, we loved our brothers and sisters in the Nation of Islam, we loved the aspirations of the Nation of Islam, we loved the achievements of the Nation of Islam, we loved the manners and the disciplines of the Nation of Islam, we loved the morals and decencies that were sometimes hard on us and would cause someone to be thrown out of the Nation of Islam for violating something that others just would ignore.
Malcolm and I were not boys we were men. We were not average men; we were extraordinary men when it came to wanting to exert our manhood. Not only that, but we also loved the food of the Nation of Islam, we loved our bean soup and brown (fried) rice and carrot pies and 100 percent cheese pies. We loved our bean pies so much that we had to tell all of the African American people about our bean pies. We didn't want to separate from that. It was three times that I was separated from the Nation of Islam.
The first time that I was separated from the "Nation," it was because someone said I was saying things about the concept of God that was not approved in the Nation of Islam. For we were told in the Nation of Islam that Fard was Allah in the person, the man who taught my father. So I was rejected when this (complaint) was forced on my father. And I say "forced" on my father, because my father knew that my mind was developing differently and he never bothered me.
It was not until someone made a charge against me, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a law giver and a law executer. There was one thing that he was more serious about than you are about getting AIDS, and that is having his position weakened or having the Nation of Islam weakened. If anybody threatened that, be it someone white or mamma or son or daughter, you were in trouble. Given the situation he was put in when the matter about me was brought to him, he said, "You know son, you know what I have to do?' I said, "Yes, daddy." And he did it.
Although I then stopped eating good and sleeping good (in comfort), I never stopped being happy. I was not thinking about those things; I was thinking about being right. Those who love what we were all about have the same history of obedience that I have. I never started smoking, never drank alcohol, never ate pork, never became profane or vulgar, and never lost my good standing and good character that my mother bred into me and my father encouraged.
I have to recall what the Prophet of all Muslims upon this earth said: "Those who were of good character in the days of ignorance (in the days before he became Prophet) are of good character now. And those who were of bad character then are of bad character now." And "never will the condition of a people change for them, until they accept to change what is bothering their souls." The Qur'an.
You don't have to come by the way of one path to God. You can come by any path to God as long as you have that fear in you, that tagwah or consciousness, to at least acknowledge that you are not your own boss. That you have to answer to some Authority one day whether in this life or the next. As long as you have that in you, then you are going to try to be of good character.
So let me repeat: In the Qur'an, the soul is the seed and the throne of both spirituality and intellect. Hence, a people make a handicap of themselves by their favoring invitations that invite them to look attractive but do not favor them being attracted to that which is intelligent.
I was not seeing a moral urge that caused me to differ with the theology of the Nation of Islam. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad conditioned me to differ with that theology. It was my own father who conditioned me to undo what he was so diligently trying to build, and that is the fact.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad conditioned me to question that theology. Those who were in the Nation of Islam for a long time know that he said, "Brother and sister, don't just look at the surface. Look under the surface. Study it. There are answers that Allah wants us to get." So he told me to study and look under the surface, and that is what I did whenever something did not look good to me (on its surface). When I did that, it helped me to deal with the surface. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad conditioned me to have those curiosities.
Malcolm also came under the influence of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's teachings. I say for Malcolm X or El Malik El Shabazz that he also was not moved by any awareness of any moral problem but by a natural need and a natural urge that was supported by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad's treatment of our curiosity. That treatment told him to follow his intelligence. And this speaks for most of those who have experienced a transition from what was then into what is now real (rational) and true.