Imam W. D. Muhammad
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.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
The teachings that we are giving in the Nation of Islam in the West today are food for human life. Wherever there is human life we will see the results. Human life is everywhere, it just has to be resurrected from the dead. The Bible says, "I set before you the way of life and the way of death.” (Jeremiah 21:8). This kind of very strong statement that appears in the Bible has contributed to the wrong understanding of life and death. We hope to correct this problem by showing just how religious people are supposed to relate to death.
Look At Death
This Bible verse is saying that God has set before the people the way of life and the way of death. The mind that has not really studied the activity of life and death in creation might be led astray (off the path) by such a statement. Most people only see death when it is near to them, but few people look at death when it is a distance from themselves. In order to understand the activities of life and death in creation, we have to look at death when--it is at a distance from ourselves as well as when it is near to ourselves. We think of physical death coming to ourselves and to our relatives.
The loss of a dear one like a mother, a father, a son, or a daughter leaves an impression on our minds that is deeper than any other impression. We see death as the thing that takes away from us those things that are dear and close to us. This way of seeing death causes us to lose sight on the real meaning of death in creation.
Many Forms Of Death
When we are talking about death, we are not just talking about physical death — we are talking about all forms of death. When the property in a city or a community becomes neglected, when paint is peeling off the buildings and the plumbing has gone bad, when pests are taking over the property and bad weather is tearing down the property from the outside we call this condition the "death" of a community. Once the sign of death is really strong in the community and it cannot be resurrected, we say that the community is "dead," Pretty soon, the bulldozers come and bury it. There are many kinds of "death."
"Paradise "Turned Into Death
The Holy Quran says, "Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day, — there are indeed signs for the possessors of understanding, —." In order to understand the creation all about us, we have to be able to read the signs (messages) that are being given to our minds from creation. If we have not been put on the right path by a servant of God or a messenger of God, we have to be taught divine guidance in order to understand the signs of God in creation. The modern world of industry has been working with creation (earth, atmosphere, water, sun) for generations, yet they do not understand creation. They have worked with the physical creation for years in order to advance and to strengthen society. The Western world promised that it was going to give its people a life comparable to a life of paradise. They said that nothing was out of their reach and that they were going to provide the people with all kinds of material comforts.
In spite of all their accumulations of material wealth for physical enjoyment and convenience, look what has happened to the world. All of a sudden the great leaders of industrialization are saying to the world, "Something went wrong we let things get out of balance. The lakes are polluted, the rivers are polluted, the air is polluted, the cities are overcrowded, our material conveniences are too many, we have to cut back." They have amassed nothing but mountains of destruction. If they do not start right away to begin checking the situation in order to bring it back into some kind of manageable dimension, the world will face death. It is not a death that will be brought about by God decreeing that the wicked shall be destroyed because of their physical sins. It will be a death that will be brought about by those people who promised the paradise of the physical life to the world.
The True Victor
This tells us that it is not enough to study creation as a scientist studies it, having only the knowledge developed by his own mind. The scientist may be more in love with his wife than he is with humanity. He may be more in love with wealth than be is with humanity. If anyone moves selfishly to explore the wealth of the world, he will not have God's protection or guidance. The scripture says that God makes the physical things available to everybody. He causes some people to excel others in different talents. Even though the wise man may excel in wisdom, be can be physically killed by the man who is stronger in physical muscles. Almighty God ha s given some people physical muscles, others brain muscles, others m oral muscles, and others spiritual muscles. He has blessed people with talents in different areas so that they can excel each other. The only one who is truly victorious is the person who is properly balanced. In order to be properly balanced, you must have God's guidance.
The First Life
The Holy Quran says that every soul shall have a taste of death. It is very clear that there is a kind of death that every soul must experience — nobody can escape it. Do not be so foolish to think that you can live on earth and escape the common death that all of us know and recognize as working in creation to promote life. That process, which must continue, eventually overtakes everything and everybody — but we should not fear it.
57. It is We Who have
Created you: why will ye
Not witness the Truth?
58. Do ye then see? –
The (human Seed) that
Ye throw out, -
59. Is it ye who create it
Or are We the Creators?
60. We have decreed Death
To be your common lot,
And We are not
To be frustrated
61. From changing your Forms
And creating you (again)
In (Forms) that ye know not.
62. And ye certainly know already
The first form of creation:
Why then do ye not
Celebrate His praises?
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura LVI: Verses 57 – 62
The Holy Quran says that those who doubt that God can bring back (resurrect) what He has already created should remember that everything now in existence was brought back from a previous life — state. There was a time in the history of the existence of creation that the things we now see did not exist. The Holy Quran says when the unbelievers ask, "Who will give life to the dead?" we should tell them, "The One Who gave them life the first time”. Almighty Allah is the powerful Life-Giver Who brought out of nothing worlds spinning about that before did not manifest any life at all. Then He caused those worlds to evolve life out of themselves that could stand up, look at the world that gave it birth, and say that it is greater than the world and the forces that are in the world.
A Gift From Allah
Even though the human being has the power to develop into the form of ruler of creation, we still go astray. To keep us in the proper balance, the Holy Quran calls us to remember that we are a special creation. Certainly man is the crown of creation because he is God's custodian (caliph) on the earth. Allah has made man in the best of molds. He dignifies us and gives us beautiful praise. After letting us know that He has given us a special favor and that He has done a special work on us, Allah reminds us not to forget that the creation of the heavens and the earth is a bigger creation than our own creation. He has given us something to rule that is really bigger than ourselves. Our ability to rule creation does not come from our superiority and power over creation, but it comes as a gift from Almighty Allah. As long as we remember that God gives us custodianship in His creation, that it is He who created us from the very beginning, and that He is the One Who gives us power to rule in the creation — we are safe. No matter how much scientific knowledge or rational knowledge we get, we will go down to the bottomless pit if we get off the right path and start following our own mind.
Your Brother, W.D. Muhammad