The Family And The Community: Part 1
Imam W. D. Muhammad
1. Have we not
Expanded thee thy breast?
2. And removed from thee
3. The which did gall
4. And raised high the esteem
(in which) thou (art held)?
5. So verily,
With every difficulty,
There is relief :
6. Verily, with every difficulty
There is relief.
7. Therefore, when thou art
Free (from thine immediate task).
Still labour hard.
8. And to thy Lord
Turn (all) thy attention.
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura XCIV Verses 1 -8.
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen.
There is no god but Allah; Muhammad
is the Messenger of Allah.
As -Salaam –Alaikum
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In speaking about family problems and family relations, we have to talk about the need for all of us to struggle hard to improve our financial condition. The habits that the Bilalian (Black) people have inherited as a people have been, for a great part, habits that destroy any hope of financial growth in the life of the individual, and especially in the life of families. The cost of these habits have resulted in the necessity for us to make drastic changes in our life.
Develop Individual Talents
Sometimes many of us just barely can come up with enough money on the weekend to get a burger and a shake, and many weekends some of us cannot get anything. Some of your clothes are looking bad and you are buying the cheapest things, but most of those extremely cheap things do not hold up. They wear out so fast that you are constantly buying the same items.
Now if the brother who is having a difficult time just getting five dollars extra on the weekend to treat himself to a burger and a shake would take a hint from someone who saves on haircuts by cutting his own hair, he could get that weekend burger and shake treat.
All of us cannot cut our hair as well as another brother may be able to cut his hair, but we can practice, and practice makes perfect. If you continue to practice, allowing time to develop your skills, you can give yourself professional haircuts.
We all need the kind of mind which seeks to develop our own individual talents to help relieve financial pressures and to improve the condition of the family and the community. We have to find ways to meet our financial needs without going down and joining the people who are walking with the dead. We do not have to join the company of people who have become dead in their hearts and minds. We do not have to walk with such vultures and monsters to stay in human society, but we have to think of dignified ways of providing for our needs so that we will not be destroyed.
We must think as leadership thinks in such fields as industry, manufacture and research. They are thinking for the future and they are looking at conditions and trying to think of ways to better conditions. They are looking at the opportunity for investment and they are trying to think of ways to take advantage of these opportunities. They are studying human needs and human problems, and we need to think the same way.
Bilalians: Underdeveloped People
As Muslims, we must not wait for other people to think for us or wait for them to come up with solutions for us. As long as you let other people do your thinking , they are going to have control of you. if you want to have control of yourself, you have to start doing some thinking for yourself.
For over 40 years, the teaching in the Lost - Found Nation of Islam in the West has been that you must think and do for yourself, so this is not new to the Muslim community of America, but we have take it seriously. We talk but we do not get down to serious business. Whether you realize it or not, the Bilalian people of America number from 30 to 40 million, yet by financial (economic) description or classification, we fall into the class of poor people.
You are right in the class of underdeveloped people, and in an underdeveloped nation, the people do not live like "big fish." They live within their means and they work and plan together. These underdeveloped people have found that they can progress and do more working together than they can progress and do working as individuals, and that is what Bilalians in America must also learn.
Welfare Corrupts The Society
In this time when we need family strength more than any other people in the world, our family strength is dying. The families have to get strong, your community has to start seeing itself as a family and the community has to become a family. You have to see yourselves as brothers and sisters of one family and you have to see your leadership as mother and father. Then you must work hard together in the spirit of a family, feeling each other's needs, sympathizing with each other, coming to the rescue of your brother and sister, and sitting down together to plan for tomorrow.
When the snow begins to fall, how many of us will be hit by the cold? How many people need more milk and bow many people need more rice, more beans and more flour on their shelves? How many people need better clothing in their wardrobe in order that they can withstand the cold of the winter season? These are the kinds of questions that we should ask and this is how we need to think because we need to be concerned. If we do not think and move in this manner, we are going to stay apart and we are going to remain people depending on handouts such as welfare.
There is no dignity in welfare because welfare is corrupting our society. Any time you give people something that they are not earning (handouts), it feeds their immoral tendencies and it makes these immoral tendencies get stronger.
A Human Being Earns For Self
The human being knows that he was not created to be fed like a baby in a cradle, who has to have someone to bring him a bottle when he is hungry, stick it in his mouth, and change his diaper. He knows that he is not supposed to be treated like that. Nature tells the human being that he is supposed to be earning something for himself. If somebody gives a person a check all of the time, subconsciously or consciously, the individual is going to begin thinking of himself as a crook.
Brothers and sisters, when someone loves you, he does not want to see you sit down and just get handouts. You love your children, but do you want them to depend on you for everything and to do nothing for themselves? What father or mother who loves his or her children wants to see those children grow up just eating, sleeping and playing? If you love your children, you do not want them to grow up like that because you realize that sooner or later in life a test is coming and they are going to have to stand up to that test. If your children have been milk fed and pampered all of their life, they will not be able to stand up to the test of life. Any society that is satisfied with simply giving its people charity checks and food stamps without being bothered by this is a society that does not really care anything about its people.
Religion: God's Open Door
Brothers and sisters, no leadership can come out of a camp of charity recipients, leadership has to come out of a camp of workers. If there are not enough jobs in the society for all of the people to get employment, it is the responsibility of churches, synagogues, and mosques to find a rescue for the people. Religion is not only for the poor, but read the Bible, the Holy Quran or any other scripture and you will see that God's door is an open door for the people who cannot find a rescue anywhere else. All scriptures tell us that religion is the leadership of the poor, the rejected and the deprived. The door of religion is mainly open for those persons who cannot find an open door anywhere else. This is a natural creation, and it is an answer to the social needs. While society cannot fulfill the needs for all of its people, a different kind of leadership (religion) can organize and mobilize those people in the spirit of charity, put them to work, and bring the community to life.
Thank you for honoring us with your time to read these few words.
We will continue this subject next week.
Your brother, W.D. Muhammad