Historic Atlanta Address: Part 6
Imam W. D. Muhammad
With the Name Allah, (In the Name of God) the Gracious, the Compassionate
As of today, (September 10, 1978) I am resigning from the position of Chief Imam. I refuse to accept the position of Chief Imam. The Chief, the authority is in this Council and that's what you have to respect.
This new Council of Imams that we have formed is your leadership, that's what you have to accept. They are responsible for seeing that this Community progresses in the role that we have put it in.
Don't come to me, go to the body of Imams. An Imam over a masjid will write me and tell me somebody committed adultery. What should we do? I have other things more important to do. You know what to do. Expose them. They committed adultery, put them on restricted punishment. We have already decided that years ago, but they keep asking the same questions over and over again.
Somebody sent me a package, that thick. I've got to spend hours reading something that thick. They want to ask is it okay to import shoe laces. Where will we get? Nowhere.
Brother Imams, you're getting ready to take this headache now. I'm going to tell you what I do when they give me something that thick....! see what the top says. I pick it up from the middle and see what the middle says. I look at the end and see what the end says. If that doesn't tell me it's worth reading, I take it and plop...right into the trash can. I finish two hours reading in two minutes, and that's what you have to do.
I have told you all, I'll tell you again, if you want to get attention for something, make it two pages at the most. If you let something go into three and four pages, don't expect an answer. And don't mail stuff to us expecting us to mail it back.
Get support in your own local area. If it's worth anything, show us what the community you are in thinks of it before you send it to us. We don't have time to waste going through pages and pages of proposals.
Some of us just like to come up with ideas. We can come up with a thousand ideas but won't put 25 cents in charity, won't come to one Jumah. won't make one prayer a day, but have a thousand ideas for the Community.
If you don't learn to read like me, Brother Imams, you are going to be in trouble. When they send you something with a cross, a crescent and some dots or some crazy markings on it, don't even read it. You know what that is.
I get a big letter, it has a verse from Eziekel on it. "Surprise" written where you open it up. "Eziekel Chapter 3, verse 20." Now you get some idea of what I've been going through?
Several of them write me and just curse me out, saying some of the most vulgar things. You'll have to read those sometimes because you want to know who's writing you and what they have on their mind. You might have to report them to authorities. I don't ignore those, I read them. You have to.
Sometimes you start it off and you know a sick person wrote it. Nothing but a lot of mess, so you don't go through it. You know what it is. Throw it aside. Throw it away.
My future relationship with the World Community of Al-Islam in the West, if you accept it, will be one of representative to the outer community. If you want me to represent the World community to outer communities, I accept that position. And as much as I can accommodate you, I will come and speak wherever you invite me.
At the present time, I hold a position on the Masjid Board in Chicago. I also hold positions in business organizations. If you have no objections, I will keep those positions until we can find better replacements.
What do I intend to do now with the extra time I hope I will have? I intend to read some of the precious books that I have been given as gifts by wonderful Muslims in the U.S. and out. I just haven't had time to look into them. I'll take some time to advance my own knowledge and understanding.
I will spend some time doing what I have always wanted to do and that is write a comparison of Bible and Quran.
I would also like to have time to work with educators in the community on a social science textbook for all grade levels — kindergarten through high school.
Kindergarten classes should get social science. They should get it on the level they can accept, in the form of symbols and figures. They can get it with little wording.
I can make a greater contribution to your community working on these things than I can being tied up in some room reading volumes of nothing and being tied up for hours listening to you tell me what you know.
They will ask to see me to tell me what they know. Sometimes I get something good, but that's very seldom. The average one of us wilt tell what you have already heard before. Every now and then a nice gem comes out and I say "Thank you, it was worth it."
I listen because I love to help people and I find that they feel better after they talk to me. But aren't there some people who have more time for this, who could sit down and listen to the brother and sister? That's all we want, somebody to talk to. One man can't listen to a hundred thousand people.
We all should be considerate. Love our brothers and sisters. Give our brothers and sisters a little time. Talk to them and hear them talk. Socialize with each other. Share burdens with each other. Listen to the sister's problem. Listen to the brother's problem.
Imams, you should spend some of your time doing that. But most of the Imams they put it all on me. They won't take time. We have some that will, but there is a great number that won't, they push it right on somebody else. That's not right.
Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful — no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.
O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.
Peace be to you
Your brother in service to Allah,
Wallace Deen Muhammad