Progress & the Burden of Misconceptions: Part 5
The Muslim role in promoting progress, the need for nature- supported attitudes toward concerns as religion, race, and business
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(On July 22, 1990, Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Newark, New Jersey and has prepared from it this article for Muslim Journal.
If we are in a right disposition and really think about what is being said here—think it over— we will find that "Islam" honors the common human person. As for the concept of man, the common excellence of the human person is where the focus is for man in our religion. Al-Islam respects the human nature and the need in the human person to be supported by the universal order of creation.
("...Bigger Than Man")
The universal scheme is more important than us (man). We could not come into existence without created matter. Allah did not create us in some invisible spook pocket (zone) up in space somewhere to have us fall down here to start walking about and doing things. There was no motion picture act with dirt and water coming together to form a "man" and a "woman" in some fictional or spooky fashion.
Allah created the universal scheme of matter. Allah created this universe upon a scheme (a plan) bringing it into an orderly system that can be altered by us (by man) in our view and in our perception. However, when we see ourselves in the working order of the universe, our little marks appear small and insignificant.
If we really knew what was going on, we would not be too disturbed. I said long ago we have air pollution and big serious problems and we have to face these things. We have the problem of our disregard for the ecology, but don't give up faith. Don't become so disturbed by this (genetics and environmental hazards) that we just fall down and don't want to have faith anymore. Don't be moved to "trip" off to some fiction idea of "sweet people" who don't want anything manufactured and who cannot take any food except breast milk. After a while those persons regress to exist as "bubble babies."
There Will Not Be Pollution
We (the Faithful) are not going to run from this creation and become bubble babies to escape the pressure of our problems. Have faith! Be assured that whatever we (man) do to burden this universe will be checked and defeated by Allah's Plan. Everything will be taken care of by Allah Who made the universe "bigger and more important" than man.
The late-to-alarm-us people are saying "pampers" are going to be here as a waste problem for thousands of years. Now we are told plastics are bad for the environment and the earth will not reprocess certain (specifically targeted) industrial products. We are told "pampers" dislike having to become a natural part of the earth again. Therefore the alarm is made for us to recycle. So that is for us in this time. However, leave bad industrial products around here long enough and there will be no pampers left and there will not be pollution. In time. The Merciful Benefactor The Merciful Redeemer (Allah) will bring rivers again as in the Garden of Eden and land again as in the Garden of Eden. Allah will have it all back in time. The polluters will be wiped away under their heedlessness and careless mistakes. Again it will be a time of paradise. The creation of the skies and the earth is a bigger creation than is the creation of man: (See Allah's Words in the Qur'an).
...Matter As "Evil" And Man As "God"
I know some of this makes some of you feel low in spirit. A lot of truth sometimes lowers the spirit of even the good people. If most of us were told the truth about our favorite parent, we would probably become low in spirit. On the other hand, if we are mature enough, we will recover from it. Again, if we are decent enough, we will recover from it. The positive and good things that endeared us to our parents and endeared our parents to us are stronger and more enduring than unpleasant and also painful memories that we may think of as being permanent.
Being told the universe is a bigger creation than man and more important than man can hurt as it brings our inflated ego down a bit. We have been given the idea in Western society that man is more important. In the society of the United States we are influenced to reject all authority over our behavior except the authority of ourselves as individuals (the authority of the individual). Those with Taqwaa will know this is the wide open invitation to deceptive authority.
Western religious thought makes man the original excellence and the end excellence. This religious thought says man before creation was "God", and man upon his return is again "God". A connection for this idea can be found in Oriental Mythology where man is pictured in a microcosm evolving from or free from (free of) the creation the "macrocosm" to become the illumination of all things for all things. Al-Islam (Allah, the Qur'an, and Muhammed) saves us from this devilish burden: Muslims are taught man is also Allah's creation. In our origin we knew nothing, and upon our return we will want to know and we will be informed: (the Qur'an).
The idea of "mind over matter" is confusion. The idea of matter as evil is confusion. The idea of "white" being "God" is confusion and devilishment. The coward reversal of this which says "Black" is "God" is confusion and devilishment in the same degree if given enough time and enough support. The idea that matter is "evil" is the tool of those who
have historically aspired to "world dominance" over the multitudes. The best human beings that Allah made were only natural creation. No one in human history made it up from the floor without help from parents or helpful adults, and no parent or adult has come from anywhere except from creation.
We can and we may imitate an unnatural creature or idealistic model. However, we will not be successful in the matter of progressing as far as our common nature and its inherent excellence can take us. The creation does not hold for us or present to us any unnatural model for us to imitate or follow. We (people) do this against the stronger urge in our behavioral nature.
I believe we (Western society) have become the most unnatural society in the history of the earth. We may still be able to say we are "the richest" people in terms of what and how much we (the West I have been able to produce and how much we have benefitted our people (of the United States) and the people of the international world. The West can boast of being the greatest material achievers in the life of man. This Western society grew and benefitted to become the nations' most envied benefactor. Others made significant contributions; however, the achievement was the endeavor of the West ("The White Man") and from the leadership of the West ('The White Man").
We (African Americans) can ignore the human obligation on us to acknowledge that but we should not. Regarding this obligation, we ("Black People") have been in error. Let's clear the mind and the soul and permit our (man's) world to live again. We must stop this excessive pretending among ourselves and before others. This credit is to be acknowledged for the European people and for the people of the United States. We acknowledge their courage to inquire into the nature.
To be continued...