The Muslim Journal
The Awakening: Part 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following are excerpts from the Jumuak Khutbah (sermon) given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed on Fri., Sept. 14, 2001, at the Harvey Islamic Center in Harvey, III. Imam Darnell Karim, Resident /mom, had asked Imam Mohammed and the believers to participate in a day of prayer for the victims and their families from the worst terrorist attacks on the United States that occurred on Tues., Sept. 11,2001.)
I knew that if you all were going to get to The Promised Land, you were going to have to claim your share of America.
Claim Your Share Of America
You cannot get your share of America until you first claim your share of America. You don't have the spirit to get your share of America, if you don't claim your share of America. Then you will have the spirit back in you and the courage and strength inside you to help you.
So I actually risked my life. I was born a follower of this community, as the son of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad who followed its teachings and of my mother, Clara Muhammad, who followed its teachings.
So I was born inside that teaching. Most of you came from the outside and once had another mind. I never had another mind. I only had the mind they gave me from a baby to a young boy to a young man. I knew what the Nation of Islam was capable of doing, because I knew what I was capable of doing if I saw someone really wrecking what my father had established or going against it and claiming that they were one of us. But I knew it was time for this.
I had talked to you long enough for you to understand what I was going to do. So I took the American flag that was on the rostrum and put it on my shoulder and I said: "If you won't carry this flag, I will." Believe me, I was under mortal fear, when I did that. I knew that one brother or one sister could set others off, if they yelled out and said something. I didn't know how strong your minds were, for I knew some of you were not with us - as it is now.
I took a dangerous chance that you all would beat me to death inside the Temple. I know the brothers who would beat you and me to death. But Allah saved us and no one uttered a word, not where I could hear it. And from there on we kept progressing to where we are now. We are home now as Muslims and as the citizens of America. That is a big victory.
The Role Of Government
We are not saying that the United States has become the Qur'an. We don't ask that it become the Bible. We depend upon good Christians to live the Bible, and for good Muslims to live the Qur'an. We depend upon the government to provide a place for us to practice our religion and not have to fear another group denying us that freedom.
We don't ask the government to do five prayers a day. We only ask that they live up to the responsibility that the citizens of this country have entrusted to them. That is to good government for the people, by the people, and to protect the rights of all citizens. We don't ask them to propagate Islam. We will propagate Islam. It is our obligation to give the true picture of Muslims in Islam.
If we strive to do our part to present our own life as it should be presented, we will win the respect of other religions and the U.S. government. And we have won their respect. President Bush met with religious leaders and pleaded to the American people to respect Muslims and the religion of Islam. They are doing their part. They can't do much more than that. So we have to do our part.
The U.S. flag, Old Glory, is New Glory for me now. This is my flag, and as I see what it stands for I will fight and die for. Any time a people are not ready to die for what protects their life, they need better education. We don't have a home anywhere else but here in the United States of America. Here is where we have come from being slaves in the South and subhuman in the minds of the people in the North. We are respected now and given equal opportunity to have life and progress in America with all other groups. No one can keep you out of that.
You can go to court and defend your rights and receive the support of the courts, if you are standing on solid ground. Your rights will be protected. Colin Powell is loved by the American people of power. If he wanted to run as a candidate for U.S. President or Vice-President, he could do so.
G-d Has Rewarded Us
He is an African American, For us as African Americans, not just as Muslims, we have paid a big price to be where we are today in this country. We have paid with blood, life, time, energy, unpaid labor, with our hearts and suffering souls. We have paid a big, big price.
Now G-d has rewarded us through good people of different colors. He has given us the benefit of a beautiful political order and Constitution that was designed for the best of people on this earth. He has brought us to be recognized as qualified to enjoy this with the best of people on this earth. When White Americans who have been watching us - the Hon. Elijah Muhammad and his son, W. Deen Mohammed, and also Minister Louis Farrakhan. They are thinking that we are the people now in partnership with them, and no matter what happens to this country, we are going to stand by it and make it better - but not leave it.
That is what others have done. This country was not always beautiful. But the idea, the promise was beautiful, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called it - the promise was beautiful. Now that the country is beautiful and you are awaken in your human excellence and you have impressed people in power - the President of the United States. I was invited to the White House not because of who I voted for but because of what I represent. We are living in a time when we have risen in great heights and the most powerful people in the United States of America are looking at us as partners.
Terrorists Not Looking For Guilty
G-d has given us angels to work with us and to live with us. I know this. And this is too much for somebody who only says they are Muslim to destroy. If I see a crazy animal running into traffic, I will feel sorry for that animal. But it is not for me to run out in the traffic too to stop the crazy animal. Mercy for it would be a "peaceful sleep." A crazy animal cannot do anything but harm itself and others. If it were my own son or daughter who had done something like these terrorists, I would want to get to them before anybody else and as easy as I could help them out of their misery.
Anyone of our sons could have been killed in the places attacked. Those terrorists were not looking for guilty people, they were just looking for people, American citizens, and targeting places where they could send a big signal. Any one of us could have been there. There is a strong possibility that someone from our community died in one of those attacks, explosions.
Do Not Swerve From Justice
Allah, Most High, says in this Qur'an, the holy and sacred book: "Do not let the hatred of a people to you cause you to do wrong and swerve from justice. Be just (at any costs), for it is the closest to taqwa - the consciousness’ that G-d wants in the believer." We sometimes call it piety, that justice is next to piety. It also suggests that justice is the strongest position you can take. It is the closest to righteousness, to piety, and is the position that requires great strength.
G-d says be just, though it be against a near relative or a person big or small. Sometimes you can't help it and have to defend the person who pays your bills or who gave you a job. You feel you owe him something. So you don't want to go into court against him. But a Muslim can't do that. The Qur'an says there is only one right. When you leave right, then you are wrong.
Some will say in regards to this case that G-d says if you are starving that you can eat pork in moderation until you can get something suitable to eat. But is their behavior in moderation? Let us say that this is a desperate time for those who can't get justice. Is the behavior that we have seen in New York, in Washington, D.C., in Pennsylvania, that of someone doing only enough to survive and in moderation? No.
Then, there is no justification ever for killing or mistreating innocent persons. Never. If we were to ask the peaceful Muslim or the one who has resorted to terrorism, no matter how extreme we were, "Would Prophet Muhammed kill women, children, men, elder people, just to get at the enemy?" The worst of us would say, "No!" So we are not allowed to do it. We can't do what the Prophet wouldn't allow himself to do.
I come to join you today in prayer, praying for peace and the souls of those people who have been murdered. I'm praying also for the victims suffering in hospitals and in other places. I am praying for peace for the Palestinians and Israelis. We know that that perhaps is the situation contributing and motivating these people, more than anything else, to do what they are doing.
Let's read from Qur'an: "Blessed is He Who sent down the Criteria." Criteria is the rule or logic that we must apply when trying to form judgments and make decisions. It is the standard. "He sent down the Criteria to His Servant, Muhammed, that it may be an admonition or warning to all the worlds." Warner is one of the names of prophets. Prophet Muhammed was not just sent as a warner to Muslims.
This is Prophet Muhammed's day. His leadership is leading the world today. The respect for public education did not exist in the minds of rulers before Islam. It was Muhammed bringing public education as a requirement that all citizens be educated. He led this movement. He led the movement for the freedom of religion. He freed Christianity and Judaism. And he had the Muslims to protect the sacred places and relics of Christians and Jews. Muslims had to protect those places in their territory and under Muslim government with their lives.
You can go to Muslim lands like Egypt and other places and will find churches that have been there ever since the day of the Prophet. They are still there. Muhammed is a warner to all the worlds and a mercy to all the worlds. So Prophet Muhammed is not just for Muslims, he is for humanity. He is the Last Prophet from G-d for all of humanity. So who should have the beautiful constitution about human rights and the dignity of the human person? Their right to have their life, freedom, liberty?
Lives Of Innocent Not In Vain
I am not afraid to speak. We have to speak. What will come out of this? This is an awakening for the great powers that be. It is an awakening for our beautiful and great country. It is an awakening to help us come back to our better selves. This is the time coming when we can lose a lot of our good qualities as American people. But this great tragedy where lives of the innocent are sacrificed should not be in vain.
I don't want to think that this was just in vain. I would want to think that the innocent ones were unwilling martyrs. The innocent ones who died were not prepared for martyrdom, but nevertheless their deaths are going to affect this country and the world like the deaths of saintly martyrs, They were innocent, even if there were a drunk or gambler among them. They are no more a drunk or gambler, they are persons innocently killed and their lives are going to make America a better America. It is going to make the world a better world.
Their deaths are going to wake up the people in power and many others to research and look back to see if there was something that we could have done better here in America, in the Middle East, Do we know how to feel for the people? Are we willing to take a risk for human capital, not just material capital? If we were thinking in those terms, then things wouldn't have gone to this extreme. But this is a wake up call.
But don't think I am soft on the terrorists. No. A lethal injection would be the easiest way. People of that mind are no good for themselves or for anybody else. If G-d has willed that they be used, then G-d has not willed that they be respected. G-d put a lot of things here for us to use but not to be respected.
If they had listened to the Qur'an, they would not have gone to those extremes. If they were followers of Prophet Muhammed, they would not have gone to those extremes. They really are out of the circle and framework of Islam with their conduct. So we are talking about terrorists, not Muslims.
©MUSLIM JOURNAL, THE MOSQUE CARES, W.D.M. PUBLICATIONS &