(Reprinted from the Muslim Journal 10-4-02 to 11-8-02)
MAS Annual Islamic 2002 Convention Jumuah Khutbah
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following address was delivered by Imam W. Deen Mohammed at the MAS Annual Islamic Convention during its Jumuah prayer at the Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel, 720 S. Michigan Ave., in Chicago, on Fri., Aug. 30, 2002.)
With G-d's Name, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer. I witness that there is only One G-d; He is G-d Alone, and there is no associate god or partner with Him in the rule of the heavens and the earth. And I witness that Muhammed is His Servant and His Messenger and a mercy to all the worlds. The prayers and the peace be upon him and what follows in that salutation or salute to the Last Prophet.
Muhammed the Prophet is called the Seal of the Prophets and also the last Prophet. Muhammed the Prophet represents the conclusion of prophecy and the conclusion of G-d's Plan for mankind or for human beings on this planet earth. G-d says of him in the Qur'an, that he is enough for all people. These are the Words of G-d in the Qur'an. That he is sufficient as a leader for all people, people of all colors, for all nations.
The Prophets that G-d sent, peace be upon them, beginning with the earliest of the Prophets Noah and all of the Prophets after him up to Muhammed all came to give guidance and to be examples to their publics, so that their publics would be doing the Will of G-d, serving the Will of G-d.
Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, according to The Gospel as it exists with the Christian people of the world, said: "Not my will, but Your Will." He meant G-d's Will; he came to do the Will of G-d.
G-d is the One Who gives Guidance for Success on this earth, and if we go against His Guidance we will never have success. In the Qur'an, it is said: "You are The One Who has directed us to our paths." It is not one path but many paths. The path of science. The path of government. The path of culture. And then the science is broken up into many paths. The word is used in its plural, meaning "our paths" not one, but many.
We are taught by G-d in the Qur'an to say that G-d is the One Who showed us the way to our paths. We couldn't have found the paths like the path of astronomy, the path of the many sciences and of medicine had G-d not shown us the way to those paths.
His Hand is the whole creation, so whatever you have gotten from creation, you have gotten it from G-d's Hand. We get all sciences from the creation. Man has not invented or said "shazzam" and came up with the sciences. Man has gone to G-d's creation, the material universe, and there he has discovered and extracted knowledge and science and guidance for his life. He got it out of G-d's Hand. Who gave it to him? G-d.
G-d says that the whole creation, He holds in One Hand. If we can image everything that exists, it is like it is in the One Hand of G-d. Then man's future is in the other Hand. The Hands of G-d does not mean like our physical hands. It means His Controls. Our hands are our controls for doing the wonderful work that we do on the earth for mankind.
G-d has in His One Control everything that exists in the material world the skies and earth combined. Then in the other Control is the spirit of man man's destiny. G-d controls man's destiny and the destiny of the universe.
This is G-d. He has created everything to help man. He has made the whole skies and the earth to yield its utility, its service, its usefulness to you, man.
We know there was the great Prophet Abraham who faced the powerful Pharaoh. The powerful Pharaoh was trying to impose his authority, and the Prophet resisted. Pharaoh said in so many words, "How are you going to make it without me?" The Prophet replied, "The One Who created me shall guide me." Praise be to Allah.
Was Muhammed guided by a teacher? No. Was Muhammed guided by any except G-d? No. And Muhammed was created by G-d, by Allah. "The Merciful G-d taught the Qur'an and created the human person, Muhammed (SAW)." He is the creation of G-d's Word, the Qur'an. He was already a perfect human creation; that is why G-d selected him.
G-d had created him already from the people. G-d says that when He wants a son, He has only to take him from those He had already created.
G-d had already created Abdullah, the father of Muhammed. He chose one from those whom He had already created. And he was a perfect child, a perfect youngster and a perfect man. And G-d gave him the mission to be a Mercy to all the worlds at 40 years old. Prayers and the peace be upon him.
Muhammed was not guided by the world or any of the world's knowledge or any of the world's authorities. Muhammed was only guided by G-d. He was not taught by anyone. He did not know scripture. His people were not a People of the Book, until the Qur'an came. Then they became a People of the Book or a People of the Qur'an. Before that, they were not people of any scripture and were all called "ummiun."
Prophet Muhammed is called the "Ummi" Messenger and Prophet, who would come to break all the bonds or heavy yokes off of the people. We think that he is just coming to help the common people, but sometimes the ones carrying the heaviest yokes are those who are leading the people.
There is a saying, where G-d says: "Oppress not and be not oppressed." This is not to the common people; this is to the leaders. If they oppress their masses or public and deny them the blessings of this creation, the many benefits of this creation that G-d created for all of us, their own actions, their own decisions will eventually oppress them. They will become the most oppressed of all the people in their kingdom, the leaders themselves.
We see this today. Leaders are in terrible trouble. They have so much trouble they have to face every time they open their eyes in the morning. Why? Because they have messed up the world for the people and have not given to the people the world that G-d gave not just for some, but for all. "Seek by the means that G-d makes possible for you the After Life. But don't forget your share of this material world."
This is the kind of teachings the world rulers don't want you to get. That is why Islam is persecuted in Islamic lands. Islam is persecuted in so-called Muslim countries and nations. Why? It is because if they let the people be free to have Islam, they will have to come down off of their high towers that they do not qualify to be upon in the first place. And they know that.
I like the saying from the Bible, that says: "Will a man rob G-d?" Yes, a man will rob G-d. Allah says to us in the Qur'an that they are cheaters: "They cheat you out you for." If they cheat you out of that life, they are robbing G-d, because G-d is the One Who perfects all of that. And He gave it to you to use for your own benefit. He trusted you with it.
Now those rulers take authority of it. It wasn't yours, only yours to use. So who did they take it from? G-d. They are robbing G-d. Another part in the Bible, Jesus says: "Before me, all were thieves." Jesus Christ is a sign of Muhammed, the Comforter to come. He was saying that before the creation of G-d is presented and made free for all, the world would be in the hands of nothing but thieves.
When you study history, powers have done nothing but robbed the masses. That is ail they have done and took the world as though it was their exclusive right to have it. And all people they decide to be out of it are then out of it. More and more, Muslims cannot accept that.
When I saw the wisdom, the beauty and the kindness of the Word of G-d for myself, studying the Qur'an, I made up my mind that no one would ever possess my spirit. No one would ever possess my mind. That is for G-d and G-d Alone. The Word of G-d frees us when we get it directly from Him, the way He gave it to His Prophets and Messengers. When we get it from Him, it frees us.
It makes us humble ourselves and we are happy to say, "I'm nobody. G-d is so great, that I am nobody. G-d is so high; I am nobody. G-d is so beautifully; I'm nobody." Praise be to Allah, it humbles you. That is what we need today. We need people who are not just our leaders, but they are also our brothers and sisters in obedience to G-d, the Creator of the heavens and the earth. Then we can have success.
Muhammed the Prophet also said that he came to guide us and to be an example to us of good character. G-d says of him: "We have seen you..." He speaks for all in His Service, the Angels, the Prophets and Messengers all. "We have seen you established on a mighty foundation of character," of good character, a man of great character, Muhammed the Prophet.
He came to invite us to pursue the best behavior, to choose the best behavior in human life, so that we can also be on a mighty foundation of human excellence and great character.
Also we should understand that G-d does not want us to suffer. Many people in the past and some even nowadays join religion and accept suffering. They say that religion is supposed to be suffering. "If my stomach is not paining from fasting, then let me whip myself a little bit. Hand me a whip or stick and let me flog my sinful soul, my sinful flesh."
They have to be suffering all the time, and then they think they are holy. "Please get that lady away from me. She will destroy my righteousness; she will pollute my soul. No, I don't want a wife. Don't offer me one."
The Message of The Gospel, of the New Testament, is against that idea. It confirms that G-d does not want suffering for His people; He wants ease for them. But look what they did. They put all of our suffering into one figure:
"He was put into the world to carry all of you all's suffering. You don't have to suffer. If you want the woman, take her. If you want the wine, drink it. Do whatever you want to do. Just say, 'I believe in Jesus Christ' and be saved." I think a lot of our troubles in the world, especially for the masses, is right there.
The Guidance of G-d is The Guidance, and without His Guidance we all are lost. We are going to miss the mark. We are going to lose the way. We are going to come to a bad end, in time. We will be doomed to come to a bad end, if we don't have the Guidance of G-d.
"He Who created me shall guide me." We know that the Christians won the West, and it is supposed to be the manifestation of the New Jerusalem. It is supposed to be the New Destiny, in other words the answer to G-d's Promise to Abraham. But it is not through Abraham but through Jesus Christ, peace be upon the Prophets. This is their claim.
But their progress in the road to The Destiny had stopped, and they were not able to make any progress on the road to Destiny, until Muhammed received the Qur'an from G-d and began preaching it and awakening the intellect of the intellectual men and women, who had been resting and sleeping without any stimulation, until the coming of the Qur'an.
G-d says in the Qur'an. "Everything exists and extends itself, multiplies itself, with knowledge and mercy." Everything that G-d has created will extend to man, if he obeys and respects G-d, not only knowledge and science but also mercy.
We know that with the Qur'an coming into the world, sciences were revived. The intellect was reawaken and science began to flourish again in the communities of mankind. This is a reality; this is a fact of history not a myth, not a religious claim only. It is a fact of history.
So where was The Destiny for the People of the Book? It was lost, until the Qur'an came to Muhammed and Muhammed's preaching the Word of G-d awakened the intellect of men and excited the interest in the material universe for positive and good benefits, and they became the new generation of scientists. Who led it? It was the followers of Muhammed, the Muslims.
I have been in international meetings for peace with Jews and their leaders, their rabbis, and I have heard them say in my presence that it was the work of the Muslim scientists who made it possible for them to work side by side with Muslims of Spain. And that they owed that enlightenment the credit for their revival, for that type of interest within the Jewish people. It was not just for the Christians.
Think about that now. What is missing in the Message of Islam today? Why don't we have that kind of presence in the world of science today? We are getting it, slowly. But not only is it us. The Hindus are getting it. The Chinese and many others, like the Russians, are engaging in the work of scientific study and are contributing.
The universe is not for white folks or for black folks or for yellow people. The universe is for all people, and if you don't block the way, you will have all people making their contribution to science and to the society of mankind, so that we will have conveniences.
Then when you have conveniences, you also will have mercy. So when G-d says that He has caused all things to be extended to us with knowledge and mercy, He is saying to us: "If you want a more merciful society, if you want a more merciful human life on this earth, pursue G-d's creation for its knowledge and its sciences. Then when you get it, you will bring comforts."
Look what came to replace the donkey and the horse. It was the Mercedes Benz and all the American cars from General Motors. But something is missing. Muhammed, the Prophet, didn't get with the brightest people he knew. He got with all the people who were ready and enthusiastic and excited about being good Muslims and working to advance the Cause of G-d. He included all of them.
And he obligated those who knew more to teach those who didn't. He started a public school long before we had public schools in America. Every citizen had to be educated, both males and females. It took centuries for us to come to that same civilized position that all human beings are entitled to the knowledge that G-d made possible, when He created the world.
If we had that kind of recognition and that kind of willingness to give knowledge like that and to point to the truth and share the sciences with everybody and to excite the minds of everybody poor as well as rich to get the benefits that G-d has given you in this created or material world, you then put yourself in the position to be replaced by somebody else.
And those who want to have power and authority don't want to ever have a situation where someone can rise up as high as they are and replace them.
But I insist that the Muslim American Society be against that and you take down from positions of authority all "Big Headed Negroes" who want to control your life and decide how much of this and that you are going to get. Nobody but G-d should decide how much we are going to get.
You should believe in Freedom, Justice and Equality. You have to qualify for freedom. The more you qualify for freedom, the more freedom you can get. If you want to qualify for the maximum amount of freedom that a human being is created to have, then please, you put a limit on your own freedom.
When you see your freedom is too much and causing trouble for you and others, you withdraw and say, "No, that is too much freedom. I don't want all of that freedom. That is destruction I am asking for." Then you will have not only freedom, you will also have justice. You will be a man not only of freedom but also of justice.
The equality is the equality of our creation. There is no equality for rich and poor. There will always be those richer than others and those who have to depend on others to open the way for wealth and material development. There always will be that; you can't change that. That is the way of creation, the Way of G-d.
So let us not follow the Western world in their thinking and put the poor against the rich, so that the rich will be against the poor. Let us condition the poor to be friendly and appreciative of the rich, so that we will have the rich not fearing us and not hating us for envying what they have.
This world wants to create the breach and keep the breach growing bigger and bigger. If you know the Guidance of G-d that was revealed to Muhammed, you will want to heal every breach that G-d did not intend to be there. And G-d did not intend to divide people on class lines of wealth and poverty, etc., of those who know as professionals and those who don't. We are all brothers and sisters.
In Islam, the habit and I won't say tradition, because we are not consciously doing it has remained and when we meet with Muslims of different nationalities and ethnic groups and different status in the society or in the world one is high and one is low, one is a doctor and one is not we meet and greet each other and are one and the same.
The doctor will be looking up to the little man without one degree, because that little man will have excellence of character a little more than the doctor or professor has. The professional will be looking up to him and praising him, saying, "Make du'a for me and my family, brother." This is Islam. Praise be to Allah.
I strongly emphasize to you the need for you to fall in love, firstly, with G-d and then love G-d's Work. G-d is a Worker. He says that at every time in time, any little part of time, He is at some marvelous event or marvelous work. Scientists have discovered with their long reaching telescopes that the world is not at rest, like they used to believe that G-d created the world and then rested.
Now know that new galaxies are coming into existence as new creations, exploding out there in the distance. New worlds are being made with new suns and new moons and new planets. They are generating just like people are generating; we are not rested, we keep having children. And the creation is not rested; it keeps having more and more suns and moons and stars, etc. Science has discovered this. G-d has not taken a rest.
Islam says, "There is no sleep for Him or slumber." He does not even nod. He is awake all of the time. The Prophet said, "One day He shall bring in a new heaven and a new earth."
When Judgment comes, do you think G-d is only going to gather people from the earth? No. He also says that He will gather those in the sky. Those in the heavens also will be gathered. For what? They must have done something wrong, and that is why we need a new heaven. It is so we can have a new earth, too. If we get a new heaven, we can have a new earth.
Understand this, I am not going beyond my authority given to me as a preacher of Islam. I am to obey G-d's Word, the Qur'an, and to obey His Messenger, Muhammed. G-d says: "Obey G-d and obey His Messenger." I would not be qualified to be your Imam, if I were disobeying G-d or disobeying His Messenger.
Muhammed the Prophet said that for every Word of G-d is an expressed meaning and one not expressed. There is an obvious meaning and one that is not obvious; it has a shrouded meaning, one hidden. You will have to use your intelligence to find it. And if you are pure at heart, you will be blessed to find it.
When G-d tells you about heaven, there is not just one heaven. He says that there are seven tracts in the sky and a like number in you. There are seven in the heavens and seven in you.
For the learned, the intellectuals, the inspired to seek the knowledge that is hidden in the universe, G-d says to them, "Don't you observe that this world, heaven and sky, was once a continuous whole, once connected before it was separated?"
Muhammed comes, the mercy to all the worlds, and reconciles spiritual with material. He brings back the wholeness and the purity that G-d created, when He created the world before the Satan decorated it to deceive us and to make us go into the wrong path. This is from Muhammed, too, the prayers and the peace be upon him.
Understand this. I would not dare give you something if I didn't have firm belief that it was the right thing approved by the Qur'an and approved by Muhammed the Prophet's Sunnah, his tradition, his teachings, his behavior, his ways. That is what I seek. I'd rather be nothing, destroyed and burned up eternally, than to go against that. G-d knows it. I told G-d that, and if you tell G-d that enough, He will make it so,
We praise G-d and we thank Allah for His Mercy. We know we are not to disassociate ourselves from the work of developing the material community. All of us, no matter how poorly we are equipped, there is somebody who can pick up a brick or carry wood or somebody who can turn on the motor to start up the machine.
No matter how small the job is that you can do, you help us to take responsibility for our material environment and do something with it. That is where African Americans are the most lacking. I think when the Satan inspired the English word to be formed BLACK, he knew he was going to put it on us eventually. He singled out a people to be called inferior and spelled the color he chose for you not for a black Cadillac and it says in it lack LACK.
He was saying, "We are going to see that the Blacks are lacking lacking in intelligence, lacking in spirit the spirit that G-d wants for people, and lacking in knowledge." They made the situation and circumstances so we were not as opportune and advantaged as they were to get knowledge, to know what is G-d's Way for us, etc.
They took our lives and made us lacking. Now G-d has brought His Word and Muhammed to us, our brother Muhammed. a man just like we are. He was not a priest or monk. He was not a knowledgeable man in scripture. He couldn't read their scriptures and understand it, because he never had their scriptures. He was dumb in their scriptures.
But G-d took a man who was uneducated and educated him. He took a man who was worthy of great honor and gave him great honor and lifted him above all other men in character and also in mission.
He gave Muhammed the mission to be a Mercy to all the world. And I repeat what I said earlier, Jesus was a sign pointing to that man, Muhammed, peace be on both of them.
Dear Believers, dear Muslims, males and females, the world today has many, many serious problems. On the one hand, we see the world and we begin to think that it is hopeless. But on the other hand, we see the world and we have great hope; we are optimistic. We cannot look at what is presented to us as news and let that dull our spirit or influence us to think that the devil has the upper hand.
The devil has not been in as much trouble as he is in today, since he began his existence in creation. He is in more trouble now than he has ever been. And he is so desperate now that he is doing his thing like he is not a professional. And he is the first of the professionals.
Don't let the bad news deceive you and influence how you feel about your life and what you can do with it. G-d has brought this world to a state or position now where this world cannot watch poor people. G-d has busied them like they busied us; they use to work us from sun up to sundown and then tell us to go to bed to be rested for the next day's work at sun up.
Now they are so busy or occupied, they don't have time to watch us. So let us get busy — not doing the master's thing, let's do G-d's thing, the Real Master. Let's get busy and do G-d's thing, our Master. I remember reading and reflecting on the Prophet in the Bible. It says he came to the widow's son and they wanted him to help the widow's son; they thought he was dead. The Prophet said, "Oh no, he's not dead. He is just sleeping."
Well, this world has had us sleeping but not really dead. Dead to our responsibility, yes. Dead to our honor that G-d created us for, yes. Dead to our love and respect we should have for one another, yes. But not really dead — just sleeping. Then the call comes, the adhan.
"Hayya alas salah." Be alive for prayer and worship. "Hayya ala falah." Be alive for community development. You can ask any peasant in Saudi Arabia or in any country where the people know Arabic, what does he understand "falah" to mean. He will tell you that he is a "falahee." It is a farmer, a cultivator of the land.
The Hon. Elijah Muhammad before he died established Progressive Land Developers, as a sign: One day, Maybe it won’t work because of our situation; maybe the courts will take it all – that is what he said. "Maybe the courts will take it all," he told us.
But he was also saying, "I have already put it in your mind to be Progressive Land Developers." So let us not look at just the corporate title, but let us also look at the message in that title — the progressive land developers.
"Hayya ala falah" is said two times — to cultivate the soul and to cultivate the neighborhood. "Hayya alas salah" is said two times — to educate the' soul and to educate the intellect. Become wise in spirit and wise in the world.
What do you want other than a religion like that? Anyone who wants a religion other than the religion of Abraham makes himself a fool. That is what G-d says in the Qur'an. And it was Muhammed who came to the world as a mercy for all the worlds to guide us to the promised land of what G-d promised to Abraham, our father.
May G-d have mercy on us and forgive us our sins and grant us guidance for only He can guide. Without Him, we have no guidance, ameen.