The Truth About Al-Islam: An Overlooked Role For Muslims In World Leadership:
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editorial Note: Imam W. Deen Mohammad made this historic public address on September 3, 1989 in Chicago, Illinois at the First National Convention. It was carried into millions of homes by C-Span. We wish that it be recorded in the printed media as well, for it is one that will cultivate the way for Muslims to progress in this country called United States of America as well as on the world scene.)
We should be promoting concern for the establishment of the human nature and the human person. That means so much! Yet, that is not clear enough. Any service that fails to favor growth and promotion in the intellect fails to respect human growth. Man is valued first of all for his excellent form among the many forms that, Allah created. The human form is seen as the most excellent. That excellence is mostly defined in terms of possibilities for the human intellect.
I don't want to be of any other form. You may find someone that is dissatisfied with their form, but I would not like to have any other form. I know about angels, too. I value them and love them in Allah's scheme, but I do not want to be an angel. I would like to be angelic in many of my properties, in my thoughts and especially in my behavior. I would like to be angelic in certain respects, but I do not want to be an angel.
For an angel is limited. If angels had not been limited, they would have been able to name the things. But when Allah asked them to name the things, they could not. Allah did not choose the angels to be khalifahs. He chose the human, Adam, to be the khalifah.
We know the khalifah, that great type that we all hope to grow into for the fulfillment of our needs inside and outside, that khalifah is to really be seen in Prophet Muhammed, the peace and the blessings be on him. If we understand, Prophet Muhammed is for all of us the fulfillment of that great type.
The khalifab, himself, was in evolution. He was in the process of becoming, as it is said. Khalifah had to gradually be brought to completion. Prophet Muhammed is the final prophet. Adam was not the seal of the prophets. Muhammed is the seal of the prophets. None of the other prophets represented the seal or completion or conclusion ofprophethood. Only Prophet Muhammed. Hence, in the heavens it was our Prophet Muhammed who led the great prophets in prayer. Muhammed the Messenger-Prophet, be is the leader for all.
Those earlier prophets represent progressions toward completion. That progression began with the first step, and then the second step, and on and on. The first man representing a type and a feature in the complete person was a long ways from the completion that Allah wanted. However, the first man in his soul and aspirations was aiming and reaching for what Allah wanted. Adam, himself, was reaching to become Muhammed. And every prophet to follow in the nature of man was reaching to become Muhammed. Finally Muhammed comes and is the human destiny and destiny for the khalifah. Muhammed is the end product, the completion for all.
We are not prophets, but that urge is common and is inherent in us to live the fullness of the identity that Allah created for us. We are to come into that identity and live the fullness of that identity. We are to come completely into it and be the complete person, the complete human being that Allah intended us to be. Allah intended for all of us to reach fulfillment. We will not be prophets, but He intended for all of us to reach fulfillment.
If He didn't, then He would not have told us that "You will find in Muhammed the Prophet, peace be upon him, an excellent model for any who believes in Allah and the Last Day." This says (to me) that Allah has raised up Muhammed, the Last Prophet, as the model, the end product that He wants to put before all of us and draw us by our inherent needs to that end product. Historically, we all have been growing into the sunnah of that end product.
Praise be to Allah. There are Arabic terms for the complete man and the complete man is also called the perfect man. That is one thing we can be — we can be perfect humans.
A perfect human being does not mean that we won't make a mistake sometimes. A perfect human being does not mean being god. We can never be anything but a small and illegitimate god, but all of us can be great human beings.
In my opinion the thing that is hurting us most is that we are putting too many things over the greatest concern. And that greatest concern is the promotion of the established human person and the promotion of growth in the intellect for all people.
Some societies will be failing because they are not promoting established human persons. Again, by "established" I mean "evolved". It is the evolved human person or the human person in his natural aim or inherent aim. That evolved person has come into his natural, inherent and native aim. It is the human being in his evolved concept, not in his growing or baby or feeble or weak state. Allah says that we all were born (into the world) weak, and we know that. We are born as babies, but that is not the end product (maturity) that Allah wants.
When we look at the seeds we sow as farmers, we are giving those seeds to an environment, and we hope that in time we will get the end product we want. Someone will say, "What do you care about all of those trash-like pebbles?" Seeds look like little rocks! And if they do not know what comes from those little rock-looking things, they will say, "Why are you wasting your time throwing those little pebbles over the ground? Why are you going all day long throwing rocks?"
Let that same person come back a month or so later, and the sower will be eating from those "little rocks". He will be feeding others. He will have a business and trucks and cars and processing factories. Then it will be said, "I understand now."
It is the same with people: We look at the human being in his weakness, in his undeveloped state and we may estimate him to be nothing. Some of us will say of them, "Just trash people, a worthless people." History will tell us that this* was the attitude of society, to look at certain individuals who were non-productive and call them "trash" and "inferior"." Worse yet, they would abuse those people and take advantage of them and suppress them and keep them on a level of trash. This was because they had no regard or respect for them as potential complete persons.
The sower appreciates that seed and values it for its potential. He will say, "I know this is nothing but a dry dead seed. However, it is a potential cornstalk, and one cornstalk can keep me from being hungry for one day. There will be several ears of corn on that one cornstalk from this one seed." Allah, in the Qur'an, gives us such a parable. "On each ear of corn, there will be one hundred grains." The farmer looks at the seed not for what it is at a particular time but for what it will become.
The fair and open promotion of man's potential is something we are overlooking. And when I say "we", I am not just talking about us here in America or certainly not just here in this place today in McCormick Inn Hotel. When I talk about what we are overlooking, I am talking about the nations, the societies of the world.
Moreover I am aware of those responsible for the behavior of the societies of the world. I am aware of the so-called established people. For Muslims, we are talking about the heads of Muslim States. We are talking about the heads of strong Muslim institutions, the institutions of learning and whatever. Those are the people we are hoping to reach today to let them see that there is a greater purpose and a greater role Muslims are overlooking. Muslims left it centuries ago. This did not just happen.
Prophet Muhammed came and worked hard to build up the human establishment, to build up the dignity and worth of one single person, male and female equally.
It will take too much to go over all of the history, and that is not the objective today. The objective today is to point to a great concern being overlooked throughout the Muslim world, throughout the international Muslim world. We have given other things more priority. The concept of the evolved person and its open and fair promotion should be given the greatest priority.
Dear beloved people, don't you know that war zones are made because that particular duty is overlooked? If we work hard to build up the human person, we will have less trouble and less war zones. If we the Muslims had been working in the Middle East to build up the natural human person in his human excellence before 1947 or before Palestine was claimed for the invaders, there would never have been a state of Israel imposed upon that population there.
Because those human beings would have been so excellent in their human form and in their human nature that there would have been a great number of them, although a minority, that would have commanded respect. Should that have been the situation, the whole international world would have said, "No, you cannot do that to the Middle East," We would have had support throughout the international world to say, "No, you cannot do that to the people of the Middle East." A case in view is Ethiopia and its ruler's support given to persecuted Muslims.
It is when we fail our responsibility to attend the establishment of the human excellence that Allah wants in us, that we fail as a people and invite all kinds of trouble. When that happens, we will not have the sympathy of the majority of civilized people. They will say, "You have neglected your human life. And because you have neglected to establish your human life, we will not be inclined in your favor.
Human life is not play and fun and foolishness and making babies or having sex. Human life is the excellence of human intelligence. It includes so many other great concerns and aspirations. Human life is the first building block for civilization.
We were talking about a farmer with his pebble-like seeds. For those who might not recognize what he is throwing (sowing) to be potential produce, it is trash. Place a human life in its right form and in its right environment and the result is a valuable product. If you value the human person, you are going to make the environment respect that human person.
A man u ill go and work hard to build a pleasant home. He labors and sweats in the heat for perhaps months to build a pleasant home. What is he building the home for? Why is he sweating day after day? Why is he scraping up all of his money? He wants an environment for something he values. That is his wife. That is himself. That is the children that they hope to have.
It is our nature to regard civilization and its members in that way. When we appreciate the individual and value the individual, we will build a great house we call the United States of America. Don't you know the ideas, the beauty, the worth, the power, and whatever we find of value in this great nation we call the United States, don't you know it was built, it was requisitioned! Do you know what requisition means?
Requisition means that something is here asking that we get something else. So it was a certain focus on the idea or on the conception of the human person that the Founding Fathers wanted to protect. The founders wanted to give opportunity to and protection to that human type or human person. They saw man inherently worthy of freedom and prosperity here on this earth, on this land called America. The governmental order was requisitioned in all of its laws, in all of its beauty, in all of its values and in all for the human total person.
That is the simple but powerful truth. It is in Al-Islam also.
(To be continued)