Proper Societal Development
Imam W. D. Muhammad
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate.
To those who believe in God and His Apostles and make no distinction between any of the Apostles, We shall soon give their (due) rewards: For God is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.
- HolyQur'an 4:152 — Yusuf Ali translation
The Holy Quran, which is the Holy Book for the Muslims, teaches us that jews, Christians and Muslims are all identified as one community. Of course, we the Muslims have our own individual community, but we are children of the same revealed knowledge of scripture that the Holy Prophets brought to the Christians and the Jews. Christians, Jews and Muslims all recognize Prophet Abraham as the Founding Father, or true leader for the religious community. Prophet Abraham is regarded as the ideal leader because of his great faith in God and his unselfish work. In fact, Abraham's faith in God was so great that he was willing to sacrifice even his own "son" (sacrificing human logic for spiritual life). But instead of slaying or sacrificing his "son" to God, he sacrificed a "lamb" and fed it to the poor. (Lamb means practical help on the one side and intelligence, kindness and understanding on the other.) This is the beginning of the true idea of charity for us. Abraham learned from Allah (the Creator, God Almighty) that true religion goes further than the possession of faith and spiritual discipline. Such faith is best fulfilled by serving human needs in the total society. Complete devotion to Allah removes selfish motives. The elimination of selfish motives destroys greed and false-mindedness. This victory and only this victory provides the substance for preserving leadership and for redeeming fallen society. The ideal "father" is the ideal leader. This person cares for all in his charge and shares his possessions in an effort to meet all just needs in the community life.
We were once a community that preached many strange things. We preached things so strange that many of our brothers and sisters could not accept us as a legitimate religions community. The doctrine that we preached was from an emotionally charged position. We were moved to preach the doctrine of "money" in a feverish battle to overcome the problems that were biting at us—the problems of racial discrimination, of color consciousness, and many others that we inherited from slavery. All of these problems were stirring in us, driving and moving us to accept the expedience of a shock-effect doctrine.
You cannot get respect from everybody if you have your own self-tailored idea of what is good or what is bad. Our work now in this "new" community is to preserve the good works that we were taught: that is, to preserve the good works and develop as the "butterfly" develops from the cocoon. The first home or womb that the "butterfly" (catepillar) puts himself in for the transformation is called a cocoon. Our job is to come out of the cocoon (mentality) of the old leadership, but we do not want to kill the life that is a good life. We want the good life to live and become a higher evolved life as the butterfly over the worm. This is exactly what we are doing. We are evolving the worm mentality up from the prisons of materialism into the level of righteous conscience and one-world consciousness for a richer and more meaningful life.
How much a people will produce is tied to how much responsibility they will accept for the betterment of the world as well as for themselves. The Holy Quran says that, never will God remove what is bothering a people until they remove what is bothering their hearts (their souls). There are some people who never seem to be bothered in their hearts or in their souls. These are people who have lost true human consciousness. They have lost feelings in their conscience for what is happening in the world. They have lost feeling for the misery, the suffering, and the denial of opportunity suffered by others. They neglect to give proper attention to human life or to the development of that life. God says in the scriptures to those people who have no charitable conscience, "I am not the God of the dead. I am the God of the living." This means that God is not going to help people who are without the cherished universal human sentiments. But, if you have an atom of true charity in your conscience and you feel something healthy in your heart, regardless of how sinful or corrupt you are or how far you have strayed from the truth and righteousness, God says to you that He is the God of the "living."
If we want to benefit from the great blessings that God has created for us without and within, we will have to make up our minds to take a stand. To take a stand doesn't mean you are going to be prepared for everything. It doesn't mean you are going to be in perfect condition or that you are going to be without faults, without flaws, without problems, without inclinations to evil or sin. God has never asked any human being to be perfect before coming to Him. God says, "just take the position." Take the position on truth and righteousness that you are going to follow the good conscience and fight the bad conscience.
As long as we hold that position, we have hope. There is a chance for us that we are going to make improvements in our lives day by day. We may be tripped up, or we may fall and be out of it for hours, days or even weeks, but when we wake up, that healthy good "seed" will be waiting the spring-day of our return to God-fearing obedience. The good conscience (Christ) can survive the death of logic and willpower to raise reason up to truth and willpower up to self-redemption.
Yours in service to Allah, Emam Wallace D. Muhammad