Muslims Should Look To Qu’ran In Its All Inclusive Scope
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's note: The following is excerpted from an address Imam Muhammad delivered August 17, 1985. at the American Muslims' Second National Political Awareness Convention held in Cleveland. Ohio.)
As Muslims, we should look to the word of God, the Qur'an, in its all inclusive scope. We should look to that source, the Qur'an, to see the Muslim life, the Muslim identity — what God want us to be. And we should look also to the history, personal behavior of Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, to see the model, and how it is demonstrated in the life of the human being.
We should know what we want. Many people don't know what they want. I think really, we are still behind in America. And believe me, don't think Johnson & Johnson. Johnson's publishers, or Getty or any supposed to be rich and powerful African-American's individual situation can change the situation for us as a people. We are still a deficient, poorly represented people on this continent. WE WANT OUR fellow members in America to accept us on the basis of our worth. I'm speaking for Muslims. I can argue with Muslims because I know what we should be standing for. But if a non-Muslim should stand up and say, "Well mister, you didn't express what I want. When you say 'We', speak for yourself.” So I am letting you know right now, I am speaking for myself.
We believe we are qualified U.S. citizens. Those having the best qualifications for U.S. citizenship are the citizens with a contribution to make to the national composition of America. The Latin expression, E Pluribus Unum, one out of many (expresses the makeup of the U.S. populous) America is a nation composed of nations. America, where different nationalities arrived to grow more freely into their separate visions of themselves and people; America, where citizens live separate, but also united beside this nation's commitment and its tradition of opening its spacious arms to people attracted to it from other nations. People denied freedom in their native land.
AMERICA WELCOMES all who come to complement and to contribute to her pluralistic national character, and to her beautiful and special pluralism. Our soul yearns to join those who want to qualify to be included in this special pluralism.
We don't want to lose ourselves in America. We don't want to lose our identity in the history of our ancestors. We don't want to lose our identity as Muslims among the first natives, the American Indian, or among the new immigrant to this country.
Among many of us children of Africa, long ago lost to slavery, and now lost to the patronage system of today's big citypoliticians, can be found those having the rights to citizenship, qualifying, truly qualifying as American citizens. But having also a lingering and depressing feeling of loneliness, a burden of being different.
We would like to be counted with those who chose to live in the tradition of the striving poor, no matter the national origin, color of the skin, or the ethnic background. A sense of being one of the striving poor is the energy for overcoming that burdening sense of loneliness and rejection.