November 22, 1991
"An Indirect Approach (To Family Problems)
To Getting A Better Situation At Home": Part 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Dayton, Ohio on September 29, 1991. From it he has now prepared this article for Muslim Journal's readers. The Nashville public address article was completed in our last issue, and this Dayton, Ohio address began.)
I feel it necessary to talk about some misconceptions, because I think these misconceptions have a real and direct bearing on the behavior of people in their homes. Matter or the material world is one of these misconceptions for Muslims. Why should Muslims have these misconceptions when the Qur'an is so clear? One of its attributes is "clarity." It is a Book of Clarity; that is one of the title names for the Book. The concept of matter itself is a big confusion.
We Muslims must understand that by "matter" is meant "all material things" we see all about us in the sky and on earth. The earth itself is a physical entity, a physical ball or globe that we live on. It grows physical things from it and the material things that we have to have in our life in order to sustain the physical body. Matter is all material things, and I am talking about all material things.
Our human flesh is material, and all material things belong to one material system. This is "Islam" and science. Now, for us to think that material is evil or that there is an "evil" in material is wrong. That is not necessarily so. Allah created everything excellent and good. This is "Islam." That means that the heavenly bodies that are physical up there and the physical earth down here are all good and excellent. There is no evil in the material. My human flesh is good. We don't believe in any concept of original sin. The sin comes later when we go away from the path; it is not original.
Sin is not original. We go astray from the original way God intended and then we sin. Sin comes later, and this concept of original sin is condemned in Al-Islam. The material world is good. And if we can believe that, it will help us in our homes. Our attitudes can hurt our homes. If we are thinking the world is bad and flesh is sin, know that your flesh is not sin! It is your misunderstanding that is sin. Sin comes in the misunderstanding, not in your flesh.
Allah did not say Adam (A.S.) was originally a sinner. Allah says Adam slipped and he did not do it intentionally. He slipped from the way because he was deceived by the Satan. He did not follow the Satan, the Devil, willingly. He did not follow the devil knowingly with his eyes open. He followed the devil unintentionally.
Wealth Is Not Evil
Wealth is not evil. Wealth is good. The ignorance of it is evil. If you misuse it and abuse it, that is evil. If you use it for the wrong things that is evil. But wealth is good. Poverty is bad. I know you have heard that said by others and I am saying it too. Allah does not want us poor; Allah wants us to have the means and Allah wants us to have plenty. It will be said, "Oh yes, you know the poor in the religion are so great in the eyes of God." Certainly, if you can be poor and still be good, you are so great in my eyes too. But that is not the condition Allah wants for us. Allah invites us to a good prosperous life. He wants us to have money and economic dignity. Allah wants that for us. And don't say "the earth weighs six sextillion tons" again; that is wrong!
Muslims Are Not Racists
Let me come now to race. A big problem on us that makes life a problem at home is the way we see race. Muslims are not racists and cannot be racists. Anyone who harbors racial hatred or racial dislike for another people is one stepping out of the line of "Islam." He is following some other influence, not the Muslim influence, not "Islam." Allah identifies us all as one people. He created us from one single soul (Adam) and made from that it's mate and spread from those two all men and women on this earth. That is what Allah says. Therefore we are one family in one human origin.
Your African brother may be closer to you, because all of us shared one continent. But you must accept that your brother on the farthest continent from Africa is also a member of that family. Allah says it. If you want to be a Muslim, you must accept that. Allah says He started all people from one single soul, and made from it its mate, and spread from the two many men and women to populate the whole world.
We identify not only skin or flesh; we identify with the spirit of man. We share one spirit, one human spirit with all people. We share one human flesh with all people. We share one human disposition that is natural for the human being with all people. We don't all respect it, and we don't all stay in it. We fall out of it and the world pulls us out of it, but originally we had one human life. We share one flesh, one spirit, one intellect, and that is what is meant by "one soul." The human personality was the same for everybody in the beginning. Allah created one human personality.
An Essential Environment
Migrating and getting into, different circumstances, we take on different personalities. Our religion says it is because of changed circumstances. But still we share an essential nature, and we should have an environment for retaining that essential nature. "Islam" provides an environment that nourishes that essential nature, that original life, that original soul, that original intellect, that original spirituality, that original morality. Everything was original and it was good and excellent.
(To be continued)