The Family And The Community: Part 3
Imam W. D. Muhammad
1. O mankind! reverence
Who created you
From a single Person;
Created, of like nature,
His mate, and from them twain
Scattered (like seeds)
Countless men and women ,—
Reverence God through Whom
Ye demand your mutual (rights),
And (reverence) the wombs
(That bore you) : for God
Ever watches over you.
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali; Sura IV: Verse I
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,
We want to continue our discussion on "The Family and the Community," and how Bilalians (black people) must begin to think and act as true human beings in order that our community can come out of its death forms of ignorance and poverty into life. We in the Nation of Islam know that our people can come to life, but to do so, we must change our old ways of thinking, our old habits and our old lifestyles that we have been following for over 100 years of physical freedom, and from which each generation has suffered.
The Inner Person
God created the human being from a mind, from a personality, from a psychological makeup, and from all of the things that form the inner person. In the above scripture, God calls our attention to the importance of seeing ourselves as products of the inner person. He wants us to know that it is more important to think of ourselves as products of the inner person than to think of ourselves as products of the outer person (the flesh). As products of the inner person, we should strive to preserve its strength, and in doing so, we will extend the life of the inner person.
For human beings, the process of procreation is the way of extending human life. If we think of procreation only as the extension of flesh life, we lose the ability to procreate or spread human life. The human life is the real inner life.
The above scripture came at a time in the history of pagan Arabia when the man seemed to have forgotten the social meaning and the value of the woman to the society. He was treating her as no more than a work horse, or as someone to whom he went solely for physical pleasures. In this verse, God is reminding the man that the woman is a section of the human society, and that she is needed in order for him to extend his years on the earth. The man had forgotten the woman's place in the structure of his family life, and he had forgotten the function of the woman for his social life and for his community life.
In telling the man that he had forgotten his woman, God was informing him that he had forgotten the society with the social image of human beings. It was this social image that he was supposed to mate with to carry his energy to the womb in which he could reproduce the likeness of human life in the society.
The Holy Quran says that God created you from one "nafs" (inner person), and in the language of the Scripture, "nafs" means that that dwells, lives, grows and matures inside the physical body. God created man from one soul, and He created a mate from that soul.
The Prophet: Leadership For The Society
When we look at this verse .in terms of the growth of human society, we see that God created a prophet with the leadership power in him to generate life on the earth. He then created from that prophet a society like him, which was like his own mind. We have been wrongly thinking that God was saying that He went out into the field where there was nothing, that He brought some dust together, shaped it in His hands, blew into it and that that dust became a walking man. We have believed that after God made this man, He tore open his flesh and pulled out a rib, which He cultured in some freakish or unnatural way to make the woman.
The truth is that God is telling us that He has not made all of the people to be the leader, but that He wants all of the people to have leadership. God has made our leader one man, a divine mind, a servant, a prophet or a messenger. From the leader's mind, God made a society that that individual could relate to, in which he could find comfort and quiet, and from which he could reproduce himself (his mind). In reproducing his mind, the prophet is reproducing the mind that can carry on leadership for the society. In the scripture, God is also telling the man that not only has he forgotten that he has to work for the survival of himself as a human person or as a human soul, he has even forgotten that he must work for the survival of his flesh. The man was treating his woman as though she belonged, not to his own flesh, bat to the flesh of dogs. However, the man was not mistreating his woman because his flesh had gotten off the track, he was mistreating her because his inner person had gotten off the track.
The male needs a female to reproduce himself, but God was letting the man know that He was going to produce something that would have the ability to reproduce its mate out of itself. Therefore, although it functions like a male, it also has the power to act within itself and function as a female. This is the prophet who produces a society out of his divine knowledge, which then reproduces other human beings. An example of this language in the Bible is that sometimes the prophet is called "she," because he can function as both male and female. The main role of the leader is to function as a male, which is to give the germ of life to the society. When there is no society to receive the germ, he has to put himself in the society and feed himself.
You might ask, "How does the prophet function as both male and female?" Before one gives his germ, he gives his body, so that there will be a receptor to receive his germ. Before God's servant can give the people the knowledge that he has, he must give them his spirit so that they will have a willingness to receive his mind, and he must give them his moral sensitivity in order that they will have a place for the seed that he is going to put into their body. In this example, the prophet, in the image of God's word, is acting as both male and female.
Divine Revelation To All Levels Speaks
Brothers and Sisters, the Holy Quran is not a book that is just written for the physical person, it is divine revelation, and every word of the Book speaks on a higher plane as well as on a lower plane. If a book cannot speak to one man in his ignorance and to another man in his brilliance, then it is not divine. The Holy Quran is a divine book because it is able to speak to us on our general plane, or on our common plane, and at the same time, it is able to speak to the most potent mind among us. If that mind is awake, the message of the Holy Quran will strike his mind and bring him to life in order that he will become a leader for the rest of the society.
Mother: Your First Relationship
While the above Holy Quran verse is speaking of male and female in physical flesh form, it is also speaking to a higher knowledge. The human being is being told to reverence, to respect and to hold sacred God, His prophets, and the society of righteous people. At the same time, the Holy Quran is telling the human being that not only must he reverence God and hold Him sacred, he must reverence his mother and the world that bore him, and he must hold them sacred.
The closest relationship to you is your first relationship, and your first relationship is with your mother. When you came into the world, you were tied to your mother for milk from her breast. Even before that, when you first became a being you were tied to her inside of her physical body. Your life cord was connected with her life system, and she was pumping blood through your body and breathing with her lungs for your body. Her system for excreting filth and waste matter was performing the same function for your body, therefore, at one time, you were one life with your mother. When God deckled that He did not want you to be one life with your mother, but that He wanted you to have your own life, He brought you out of your mother's womb. But He left you hanging by a flesh cord to let the world know that you belonged to one body, and that you do not have a life of your own until that navel cord has been cut. Then God taught the midwife, the nurse and the doctor how to cut and tie that cord so that you could go out and start living on your own.
Reverence God And The Wombs That Bore You
With every birth, God is telling each and every one of us that we did not have a life of our own because our life was feeding on another life. This is a perfect description of human society, because every child that is born into our world gets his start from our body. Children do not come into this world with a mind of their own, they come into the world with an empty mind, and the first thing that comes into their minds comes from the parents' world. Our children were living inside of our body, not only physically, but humanly, mentally, morally and spiritually. After they live in us for so long, God says, "I'm going to cut the navel cord," and then they go out into society and live on their own. In this, God is telling the human being that when he gets up and walks out into the society on his own, he must remember to reverence Him, the Creator, Who made it all possible, and to reverence his father and his mother, who are the life and the world out of which he has come.
God wants us to remember that once we did not have a life or a world of our own, because our life was our mother's life and our world was our parents' world. Our mind and our heart fed in their world, and we became sensitive as a mind and as a human being in their world, on their life and in their life. After he goes out into the world on his own. the man should not say that he does not have a God, a father or a mother, because God can trace his steps backwards to show him that he does, and that his life was not his own.
Protect Orphans And Your Children
2. To orphans restore their property
(When they reach their age).
Nor substitute (your) worthless things
For (their) good ones; and devour not
Their substance (by mixing it up)
With your own. For this is
Indeed a great sin
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali; Sura IV: Verse 2
This verse speaks to two relationships: in referring to orphans, it is not speaking directly to the person that is your own flesh and blood offspring. It is speaking to the person over whom you have charge, who is not your direct offspring, but it also speaks to your direct flesh and blood offspring.
When some people have somebody else's child, they look at the child in terms of any wealth that he has been left by someone, or they look at his value at the welfare department. Such people use the child as a means of bringing more money into their house and into their life. The same sickness that existed in the world 1400 years ago when this scripture was revealed also exists in the world today. There are people who begin twisting things, corrupting the truth and mixing up that which belongs to them with what belongs to a child in their charge, so that it will all look like one. They tell the child, "We are all one family, and everything is everybody's." When the child gets big enough to use his share, it is gone because they put his share into the pot too soon. They made it a community treasure before he even got old enough to use it. All that the child was using out of his share was fifteen cents per day, and they were using fifteen dollars per day out of it.
Even with our own children, we neglect to safeguard their share of what the family owns. We spend all the money that we make. Sometimes you find both a husband and a wife, with children, spending big sums of money, not realizing that the children who have come from their own body have a bigger share in what they are making than what they themselves have. We must understand that since our children's future projects for a much longer period than our own and that since our children are our flesh of the future, they have a much greater demand on our earnings of today than we have. The Bilalian people of America must come into this understanding in order for us to come out of poverty.
We do not have a sense of family togetherness or family cooperation, and we think of ourselves as individuals rather than as a family or community. Many of our people are married and they have children, but they are still thinking of themselves as single men and women. They are going out and spending up their money on fancy wardrobe? and buying fancy cars.
Come Into Civilized Knowledge
Brothers and Sisters, how much have you put out of your check for today for your children? This world has taught you how to kill yourself, abort your life and deny yourself any hope in the future, and you have been following those ways blindly. We must get out of that old slavery way of acting, and come into civilized, human knowledge. Every time you get a pay check, count your children. When you want a new suit, ask yourself how many new suits have you bought for your children, and how much money have you saved for the suits that they are going to wear 5 or 10 years from now.
Many of us say that we want our children' to go to college, but how much money have we saved for books and tuition, in order that our children will not have to start working with dust? We must save so that our children will have five dollars to buy a bag of corn seeds, a tool box, and money for education so that they can earn more than we are able to earn right now. We must want something better for our children. The people that lead and rule this world practice these things, and until Bilalians institute these practices, we will never come into power (life) as a people.
Thank you for honoring us with your time to read these few words.
Your brother, W.D.Muhammad