World Muslim News
Imam Warith Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: What is the meaning of "support leadership"?
IMAM: Well, first, "support leadership" simply means support what you profess to follow. If we profess to follow this religion and the voice of that religion in the community, then it requires that we show that in our speech and in our actions — in our overall behavior.
For example, there are some who say they accept the leadership of Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, but by their own behavior and conduct we see them in opposition to the leadership of the Imam. Sometimes this is unintentional and sometimes we are made to believe that it is intentional.
But we excuse almost all of it because we realize that there is yet a slave ghost in our people that's haunting them and we still have those fears — plantation fears and plantation jealousies — where the house group, the house staff of blacks were competing with each other for favors from the master.
Many times they would work against each other because they had that primitive slave jealousy in them towards each other. They couldn't see they were a unit and that when any one individual of their lot excelled it contributed also to every other individual in the lot or in the unit. We hope to get that kind of Islamic perception in our community life where we see — in the words of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) — the membership of the community as members of one human body.
The hand is not the head, but the hand does the worthwhile service and the hand is-dignified with the whole body though it's not the head. When we can feel that way — that though we are not the head our contribution is just as vital to the body, because what could the head do if it had no hands? It would be crippled. What could the head do if it had no feet — ? It would be crippled. What could the head do without a heart — ? It would be dead.
So if we could see ourselves as members in a body like that, we could get out of that slave sensitivity, a plantation sensitivity where we were competing with each other for favors from the master so we could get in a better personal situation. This is a community situation that we're trying to improve and it requires that we play down personal importance for the sake of community dignity. And when we encourage support for leadership, actually we are fighting the slavish tendencies in our people to tear down good leadership out of no more than envy and jealousy.