Morals Make The Difference
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God) the Gracious, the Compassionate. As-Salaam-Alaikum
Editor's note Following am excerpts from the guest appearance of Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad on "Sunday Morning Live," a weekly radio program hosted by DeAnn Collins on station KMJQ, Houston, Texas, Sept 2, 1979
I havebeen to Saudi Arabia several times. I've been to Hajj twice and I've made the trip by myself which is called Umrah, which is a visit for the same purpose — for spiritual development., spiritual benefits — about four or five times now.
The visit there for me was heavenly, because I believe strongly and I was looking for spiritual meanings. Many people go there looking for material significance, but when you go to Arabia you don't find material significance. To us, a materially developed society is a kind of paradise -- we expect to see paved roads, a lot of greenery, fountains and springs — you expect to see this because America has a lot of water and a lot of life. Arabia has a lot of desert and you don't see that.
Right away you gel disappointed if you're looking for a material paradise. You don't find a material paradise there, although since I made my first Hajj the Arabs have come into a lot of money. But the material standards there are still below our standards.
I went there looking for spiritual significance and saw in the Hajj a concept of society that I know is the answer to the Bible people's hope of a new Jerusalem descending from the sky.
There is nonation on Earth now that really lives up to what the concept or hope is but at least a sign of that concept is in the Hajj where people come together, men and women, and no man or Sheikh or religious leader can step ahead of a woman, ormove a woman out of her place. The women, at that point, have the right to pray where they want to - even in front of a man. All races come together not respecting color, nationality or social standing in the world. Class, wealth— nothing like that is respected; everybody comes before God on an equal basis....
I am not anticipating war. I believe these nations - especially American and the Soviet Union — and the weapons in the stockpiles, are a deterrent against such a war (global) breaking out.
But there might be some small wars, conventional wars, fought and it's possible that America will go to war again.
I hope we will keep the kind of leadership in the White House we have now in President Carter. Despite the criticism directed toward him by media and by people, he's working for peace. Itseems as if the SALT agreement is going to be passed and we expect more agreements. We want to see the time when people put down their weapons and use all that revenue to better human life.
So I'm not looking for war myself, but if war should break out, between America and some African country or some Muslim country, I'll be on the side of the morally right forces. But won't join an army other than the United States Army, and I won't encourage anybody to join any other army.
If we have to fight we should fight within the system; we should use our voice, our influences and whatever resources we have within the system—to exert some kind of pressure on our leaders to make them move in the right direction.
I'm inspired by the concept of nationhood that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad established. The dangerous thing about it is that some of us thought we were actually going to divide the country and force America to give us a separate state in America.
But I still believe that the mind and soul of our people, the African-American people, and perhaps many other Americans, need to grow along the lines of nationhood.
What I'm doing now is encouraging our people to become more knowledgeable and understand that human life moves along the pattern of government as well as along the pattern of morals, spiritual life and economics. When weunderstand that, I think we'll have more people participating in the political processesof this country and more people corning out to the polls.
QUESTION: In the future will we be hearing the voice of the World Community of AI-Islam (In the West) on some political issues?
Certainly ‑ I feelthat. Andrew Young (former United Nations ambassador) is quite right; the nation can't go on ignoring the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO).
Those people who have been displaced have lost their homes just recently—their mothers and fathers' homes. They can still look at them across the line of discrimination. They can still see their homes from a distance.
The Jews are talking about homes they lost a thousand or more years ago, and here are people who lost their homes just recently.
The Palestinians are out of doors, living in tents; many of them are living on the bare ground with nothing over their heads. These people have to be considered, and I think United States Ambassador Andrew Young hasgiven the right kind of jog to the conscience of the leader, to the government and the American people, to get us to at least have some kind of just and balanced policy in the Middle East conflict.