Religion Is Sincerity
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
I have seen Elijah Mohamed my father, in all respectful situations of a fattier and son. and I am telling you that the man was sincere! He sincerely believed in what that man he called W.F. Muhammad or W.I). Fard taught him. He believed in it and put his life on it. He lived it in obedience in practically all of his life from 1931, or even a little earlier, until the early 70's. He believed it and lived it. He built up his community and built up his works and was waiting on his Saviour to come and approve his works and take us from there.
The point is that the late1 Honorable Elijah Mohammed was sincere, and why is it I am making the point that he was sincere? It is because if he wasn't sincere, he would not have attracted so many of you who are sincere! And I know you were sincere also. You were sincere then, and you are sincere now.
Prophet Muhammad said, peace be on him, that religion is sincerity. "Religion is sincerity, " Now, it you are a Christian, just by you saying you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, peace be upon the Prophet Jesus Christ, does not make you a true Christian. Your sincerity is what makes you a real Christian, and so it is for a Jew and for anyone else,
Prophet Muhammad said, religion is sincerity. And further, to drive this point home, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said, ''Matters in our religion are judged by intentions." If the Honorable Elijah Mohammed's intention was to follow truth, to be right. to lead his people into a better life — if he really believed in that and was really sincere, then his intention was sincere. So be should be judged by his intentions and sincerity.
Likewise for you who came to him. Some of you came to him just because you wanted to show off and talk about being important — "I'm black and I'm the god!" But those who are with me now like Marcellus Jordan and Albert Karriem both of Chicago are here tonight, they were the stars then and are even bigger stars now. When I see them I want to go and salute them. They are like my superior officers. They are old on the calendar but young in real life. Look at the youth on their faces. They are extraordinary men and are the example of many throughout this land that have that great life in them. They were true and natural Muslims before, and they are true proper Muslim? now.
Praise be to Allah. Please, do not forget my point. My point is to say that we recognize in our religion two states of the Muslim — the natural state and the proper state after revelation came to Prophet Muhammad. We believe that all prophets brought the same religion—Al-Islam. The prophets would come with revelation, and then the people would become conscious of what God wants in those who follow the natural urge to goodness. Nature's aim is excellence.
So if matters are judged by intentions and religion is sincerity, then you deserve credit, as the Honorable Elijah Mohammed deserves credit. You labored under the name Muslim back then. And now that you have come into this and have consciously and publicly acknowledged the revelation from Allah, The Qur'an, and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and you have become now a proper Muslim in the international world, an avowed Muslim, a declared Muslim, you have made your "shahada," then you represent the best of Muslims on this earth!
I do believe that! There are no Muslims on this earth who are more precious than you of that history who are sincere. Remember that I have made a distinction between those who came because of sincere curiosity and a sincere urge to come into what Allah wants of them and the others, those who come to show off and say, "I'm a black god" or just to be different or special in an FOI uniform.
Let me make another point for us who have come through this life and this history together as Muslims. You should remember that the House towards which we turn in prayer, and towards which all Muslims over this globe turn in prayer is called the Kaa’ba or the 'Ancient House.' It is the House built by Prophet Abraham and Prophet Ismail, his son, peace be upon them. This House was in Mecca before Prophet Muhammad came. It was under the guardianship of people who had not received the revelation.
Listen! These people's life as they were living it was not what Allah wanted, far from being what Allah wanted. It so happened that one or two of their better ones were usually the guardians of the House, though they did not know consciously what Allah wanted them to do. They just had a natural respect and a natural fear and regard for that House. They felt compelled to respect it and protect it with their lives.
A great ruler named Abraha from Ethiopia decided that he was going to bring everything in his sight under Christianity. He brought a herd of elephants to march against territories that weren't Christians. He was going to make the non-Christians, the "heathens," and idolaters Christians. So he brought the elephants to attack the holy precincts. But those elephants refused to march against the House. I know some will say, 'This is superstition." But let me tell you something that I have seen.
When you go to make pilgrimage there, the pigeons seem to make pilgrimage also. They fly around the House while pilgrims walk around. When Ha-ijis (pilgrims) finish making circles of the House and go outside the circling, some of the pigeons will fly out of their circle too, and the others will keep circling the Kaa’ba. Maybe they are following the habits of the people, for this has been going on there for over 1400 years. We can rationalize and put some kind of science to this. However, whether it is because of that or not, it is still happening.
I believe whatever Allah has revealed. Allah says in the Qur'an that the elephants came, and the elephants were turned back, I am a believer, for I know that I don't know everything. Therefore my being unable to make everything to fit my logic does not discourage me at all. I trust that God knows more than I can image, and so 1 accept on faith what I cannot clearly understand. You do too. no matter what it is you are following.
Abraha's army "beat and tortured" the elephants to make them go against the House. But the elephants bulked. Abraha was approached by one of those from the precincts who was a custodian of the House. One of Abraha's people had taken some property of that person. He asked Abraha to have his property returned to him.
Abraha, said to him, "Who is going to protect your House (shrine) ? You are talking about this little property of yours. What about the Kaa'ba ? Who is going to protect that?" The guardian of the House from the precincts said, "I am but one person. I can't protect the House. The House has protectors. It will be protected. What I want is just that you return to me my property. I am coming to you with my personal matter — give me back my property."
Abraha had the man's property returned and warned him that he was still going to march against the House. What the custodian had believed came true. The House had invisible protectors. The elephants did not go against the House. When they tried to force the elephants, they bulked and birds came with small sharp pebbles which were dropped on the attackers. This caused poison from the pebbles to go into the skin.
The soldiers became all disarrayed and confused. They were whipped into confusion and the whole army was finished, and could not carry on their campaign against the House. This is the story of what happened in the year of the elephant.
A writer named Dr. Hamidul-lah asked the question, "Why the non-Muslim Arab did not challenge this story." There must have been agreement among them. Moreover Prophet Muhammad was born in the year of the elephant, himself! 'The Year of the Elepehant," began a new calendar. Now if there were not other witnesses to that, how did they allow that kind of calendar and that kind of history to be established without complaints being in history against the so-called fable? This only gives added proof that this actually happened, although perhaps not in every detail as tradition has it.
We know that revelation gives us things in a "broadcasting" way, in a way that broadcasts an even greater message with a greater significance. But in truth, we also accept that story, and we believe that it has true basis and reality. Abraha was a mighty leader, and he was stopped by forces beyond his control.
Holy Qur'an Sura 105 "The Elephant"
With the Name Allah, Most Gracious, Most Compassionate
1. Hast thou not seen
how thy Lord dealt with
the possessors of the elephants?
2. Did He not cause
their war to end in confusion?
3. And send against
them birds in flocks?
4. Casting at them
5. So He rendered them
like straw eaten up?