Our Global Responsibility: Part 6
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah, the Gracious, the Compassionate. As-Salaam-Alaikum
(Editor's note: Following are, excerpts from Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's Sunday address [WJPC live radio broadcast] at Masjid Honorable Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, Ill. Aug. 24, 1980—Continued from the last five weeks.)
They wonder why the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was so successful in getting so many people to listen to him. It was because we have an Islamic memory. Deepdown in our subconscious we recall that there was Allah in the past, but we can't explain it. I’m not speaking from witch doctor terminology, I'm speaking from Dr. C. Eric Lincoln's terminology. Deep down in our subconscious we recall that there was Muhammad. Without even knowing it, we've got a deep interest in this man.
He said, "God is not Jesus Christ, God is Allah. Jesus Christ is a Holy Prophet. God is Allah." We didn't know. We couldn't recall, but from the genetic bank, from the genetic memory of our ancestors—what they left in us—weknow deep down within, without explanation: "Oh yes—there is something about this; go on Elijah, preach."
Now let me tell you something. I believe if I were called to task, to show by rational experiment that this idea is scientific, I believe I could meet the task. Why? Because I have had experiences in my own life that I can relate to the experiences that other people have had, maybe even the questioner. And I can bring the questioner to see that the thing we are talking about is not only rational, it's scientific.
What in the principal weakness in us, then? The principal weakness in our community is this tendency to misinterpret the role of leisure in our lives. We use leisure time like the fallen Greeks whose minds had gotten tired of exploring the world and just rested on their shoulders in material affluence or plenty. Dear people, we can't give ourselves to the influence of pleasure and allow our precious hours and our precious intelligence to be given to pleasure seeking only.
The greatest pleasure is in knowing that you are responsible to your Creator, and that you are doing something creditable in the eyes of your Creator.
It may not offer any tangible rewards at the moment, no monetary gain at the moment, but just knowing that you are fulfilling your human dignity role that God gave you, that your Creator gave you; that you are moving a bit further, a bit closer to your God-given excellence, even though you are sweating and toiling and bleeding and suffering, and don't have a grape tobite or a banana to bite, you still have pleasure. You have pleasure because you realize a sense of dignity in fulfilling or moving towards your role that God gave you in this life.
Now dear people, we need to learn the principle of the Quran—"Seek the pleasure of God, first." Seek the pleasure of God first. In seeking the pleasure of God, brothers and sisters, we arrive closer to our worth and dignity as a person or creature of God.
There is much I want to say, but in concluding this—pain and pleasure are our first governors. Pleasure. We can quickly show you some examples of how pleasure operates in our lives, how it functions as a support for life. We eat and we enjoy the taste of the thing that we eat: we sleep, and we enjoy the sleep.
In eating, our bodies are revitalized; in sleeping our bodies are revitalized. There is a kind of a lure, a kind of a bribe, a kind of a pay; there is a pay dangled out for you to even perform the natural functions. Sleeping is natural. Sleeping revitalizes your metabolism—right?
But look, you go to sleep liking it. No one wants to face death, but we all could die at night. Yet we know sleep is not permanent, we know it's going to feel good.
So we don't go to sleep to restore our bodies: nobody says."I'm going to sleep, I need to build up some more blood cells; I need to build up some more energy in my arteries and my corpuscles—I need to revive so many cells that have died today." You don't go to sleep like that. You go to sleep with a feeling that you are going to enjoy it—right? With a feeling that you have to do it: "I've got to do it, because I'm tired, enjoy it."
So God has put into you a pleasure incentive. And the purpose of that pleasure incentive is to keep the life support operating.
Even in discharging waste matter, if you recall, if you will give it a thought, there is a pleasure involved. Why—? Because that is a function that is vital for the support of your total life.
I can go on and just name the principles of pleasure operating in your
metabolism, operating in your life, to show you that the pleasure principle that God established in your life operates not to make you drunk in your mind, not to dissipate you vital forces. It operates to support life, to give substance and strength to your vital forces so that you will remain strong and able to deal with the oppositions, with the things that contest your life in society.
Now dear people, if we give ourselves to wine, to narcotics, to dance all the day long: if we play the juke box all the day long; if we carry these radio sets up side our ears all day long and give ourselves to wild crazy culture, to tempo, to leisure that's draining our lives, we are not following the pleasure principle that God established in the natural makeup of the man. So I say, let us have pleasure, but let us have pleasure that supports life and not pleasure that dissipates and undermines Life.
Peace be unto you. As-Salaam-Alaikum.
I hope we concluded in time to give peace, the greeting of As-Salaam-Alaikum to our WJPC Radio listening audience. And we hope to see them again on the next 4th Sunday of the following month at this same time-12:00 o’clock