The Muslim Journal
The Truth About Al-Islam: An Overlooked Role For Muslims In World Leadership: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this historic public address on September 3, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois at the First National Convention. It was carried into millions of homes by C-Span. We wish that it be recorded in the printed media as well, for it is one that will cultivate the way for Muslims to progress in this country called the United States of America as well as on the world scene.)
We have talked about the human person in his (inherent) design that Allah wants. Maybe when he first comes here, he does not impress us very much. But Allah says, "Wait." There was a certain number among the angels, and Iblis was the great rebel, the most notorious for looking down on what Allah was going to create. Allah told the angels, "Wait until I have breathed into him of My spirit."
What is that spirit? "Of My purpose, of My will. Wait until he is inspired with My will and My purpose and is motivated by My will and My purpose, then make your bow of submission to him (Adam)," .
The Declaration of Independence, the premise to which the Constitution of these United States was formed is saying what Allah (the Creator) said of our common inherent worth. The formers of this enduring document (the Declaration of Independence) held that every person is born qualified for what we are granting the citizens of the United States. It is saying that every person by nature is born, birthed into the world qualified for the tight to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The Founding Fathers saw themselves as the defenders and the promoters of our inherent properties (rights) and not as our benefactors. The Founding Fathers supported by their own inherent virtues point us to our "Creator," and the language, "endowed by their Creator," points us to the Creator (Allah) and hence says Allah is our Benefactor. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. That among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
Now do you think that is not Islamic? That is Islamically focused. May I repeat that? That is Islamically focused! I have studied the Bible and have found great signs of this high wisdom in the Bible that speaks of this great plan. I have studied other religions and books by great writers and philosophers, political idealists, and I have not yet come up with anything that is as clear as the Qur'an in offering guidance and the great vision of the Founding Fathers of these United States.
I am sure they read the Bible, and they read Plato, and the Greek philosophers. But I am also sure that they had to stumble down that road, until they met with and researched the Quran. We are not talking about something that we cannot prove. It is proven by history that the Qur'an and Prophet Muhammed's demonstrating of it made possible the rejuvenation of the fallen nations of Europe and the Medieval world back then at that time.
Before the advent of our Prophet, those worlds had fallen. It was the presence of the Qur'an and our Prophet demonstrating that revealed knowledge and its life which made possible re-awakening, revival, renaissance, the return of civilization and excellent standards for those who had fallen. It was the Qur'an and our Prophet that broke the darkness, that provided the initiative and served the new burst of energy and enlightenment in the intellect of Europeans (and others), resulting in the rise of the West to power.
Allah says He has brought us out of the darkness into the light. Do you know what that means? It means out of ignorance and out of savagery into civilization and higher learning, into a great intellect and higher education. The work of a prophet is the work of a civilizer, especially when he finds his people without civilization. The work of a prophet is the work of a civilizer, and the greatest civilizer in the history of man is Muhammed, the Prophet, the prayers and the peace be on him.
Look how tactful Allah made our prophet. The Prophet tells us certain things to do in cleaning up ourselves, in just having good hygiene. He tells us what is just common sense, good decency, and good hygiene. He tells us to do this in order to be prepared to perform prayers. Then he says, almost apologetically — for he knows the weakness of the un-established person that is not in his evolved excellence — "Allah does not want to burden you, but He wants that you be purified." Isn't that so nice and from such a loving Creator, Who with revelation established Muhammed, the Prophet of "Islam," the last Messenger, as a man, wise and tactful!
You will hardly find that kind of kindness and love and consideration typical even in the best mother. Sometimes she will manifest it, but I said it is not common and typical. The average mother will say, "Look here boy, now I have been teaching you to wash your face and to clean your stinking self up for years. And I still have to tell you to go to the washroom! Get to the washroom and do something about your stinking self!"
There was a whole peninsula of stinking people, a whole world of stinking people. You would have had to search with a Sherlock Holmes looking glass to find the ones that weren't stinking. And look how kind Allah was in saying, '"Clean up. It is not My desire to see you burdened, I only wish that you be purified. "That is beautiful, Those are words of Allah, preserved for us in His Book, the Qur'an.
Another thing we overlook is the part of Al-Islam that appeals to our strong human sentiments. By doing that, we are overlooking our role in advancing that. If we were sensitized as we should have been for that role, we would not have waited for the United States of America to progress its democracy and grow to where its people had the conscience to look for suffering people and try to bring aid to them, to look for the sick and hungering people, to look for the neglected and uneducated and to try to bring information, intelligent behavior, and education to them. We would not have waited. Moreover, we Muslims of the international world would not have been resting in our own neglect.
We would have been working hard like Prophet Muhammed and his early followers. We would have been working hard to go to the aid of our own and anyone who had fallen from the pedestal of the established person or the established human being. We would not have waited for the Civil Rights Movement. We would not have waited for the protests and demands on this civilization which was half savage itself and posing as the savior of the world. We Muslims would not have waited for Americans to grow up from slaves and slave-making, from classifying all "Blacks" subhuman, to tell us about the superiority of "Islam" and Muslims.
We (the international Muslim population) would have found some strategy, even if we did not have the material might. If we had been sensitized as we should be sensitized throughout the international Islamic world, our leaders, our people in government positions, our people over institutions, our people over the nation, our people over the economies, of Muslim people in power and with power would have insisted that an attempt be made to shame America and to bring America from its ignorance and from its abuse of people, African-Americans, "Blacks," and all.
There would have been a voice coming out of the Middle East saying, "Our Prophtet came and had a great strategy for correcting this wrong in society. May we share with you this strategy?" If they could not get any results, then the Muslims should have made an even stronger appeal even more embarrassing for America.
Muslims should have said, "Look, rather than see those human beings treated worse than animals, we want you to allow them to come here. Our country is open. Send them over here, for they will be better off over here living with us and less material might and wealth over them than living in that misery you have them in. May we have an opportunity to take that burden off the African lost people and off you as well? May we invite them to become Muslims? May we invite them to join us in Muslim lands where they will not be treated as subhuman?''
There was no effort. Why? It was because they, the Muslims, had lost something. When and wherever Prophet Muhammed found people mistreated like animals, harshly and cruelly, his anger went against those responsible. He invited them to Al-Islam ("Islam") and wanted them to hear the message, the Call of Allah and Al-Islam, so that the abusers would be enlightened and civilize their hearts, and so that the abused would not accept to tolerate abuses they were receiving.
The great and appealing message of Al-Islam to the dignity and to the great worth of the human being, to his inherent worth, honor, and dignity ringed into the ears of Belal while he was yet a slave and changed him. Although the slave master hardened his heart more and made slavery worse for Belal, Belal had changed from a dejected person to an uplifted person. He was no more a slave in his own eyes and could no longer accept slavery. He refused to obey his master in things that he knew were beneath his human dignity, that were beneath what Allah intended for him as a human being. He (Belal) now refused to worship false idols.
His master was so embittered that he began to cruelly torture Belal. Finally, one of the followers of Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon our prophet, came and did not say, "I am going to kill you for cruelly enslaving his man who is a convert to our religion." It was not a crazy radical step taken to give Belal his freedom. Abu Bakr said, "How much do you want for him?" He paid the slave master for Belal's freedom. Belal was of our color and much darker than I am.
We have here a real example of what is given in the words, "Allah never changes the state of a people, until they change what is in their hearts (or what is in their souls)."
None of us can really say in truth that our souls are not bothered by the way of life that the average one of us is living in America. The way the average one of us lives and what he or she gives- him or herself to in America is a heavy burden on consciousness (psyche). But since the great many accept it and the establishment or the super culture supports it and promotes it, we have little or nothing to prick our conscious or to remind us of the shame. And most of the time we cannot think or be in privacy with ourselves to even hear our own individual voice and its complaint against this state of cultural craze on us in America.
Because it's grown so popular and its big media magnetism, we can only hear the approval coming from the many: the television, movies, and newspapers. We can only hear the approval and would have to fight like the dickens to insulate ourselves enough to hear what our own souls are whispering. Many of us would have to cut off the television and record player. We would have to even leave the house.
If a prophet had to leave the city and go up in the mountains away from everybody to hear his higher nature and better voice in hopes that Allah would speak to him through it, then you know we have to do something extreme. I don't think there is a mountain far enough away from all of this craze in American culture, trouble and confusion: To be with the best in ourselves, we may have to make a big move.
To be continued...