Bases For Muslim Unity: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following public address by Imam W. Deen Mohammed was given in Columbia, SC, on October 22, 1989 and is prepared by Imam W. Deen Mohammed for Muslim Journal.)
How are we going to come to bases for our Muslim unity? Can we do it by saying "La ilaha illallah, Muhammedan rasul-lallah"? This is the key for our unity. However, this involves much more. So the answer is no. We have to now teach and educate Muslims all over again in matters of this far-reaching kalimah. For now it has just become formal language and habit of expression for too many of us.
When Prophet Muhammed gave "la ilaha illallah. Muhammedaa rasullallah", it was not just formal expression. It impacted as a great belief and a great liberating principle. It was and is the first and most essential principle of religion for us Muslims. It carried a message to the mind that was more than formality and taqwa. For most of us now it just reminds us that there is One God and that Mohammad is His Messenger. There is a lot connected with Muslim belief in One God.
The belief in One God leads to the belief in the oneness of Allah's creation and in the unity of Allah's creation. It leads to the belief in the unity of man, the oneness (one essential identity) of the human family on this earth. If Muslims believe in One Allah (God), one creation, and one humanity, then we have the Islamic basis for Muslim unity. Because the mighty kalimah has not had the impact that it should on the Muslim world in the centuries behind, we do not have the unity we should have and the unity that is ours.
We have preachers going around preaching the brotherhood. But that is not enough. They are preaching that in Al-Islam you cannot hate a black man or look down on a black man. But that is not enough. Why is it that we should not look down on a black man? Our religion teaches us to look at effects and to find causes. Our religion teaches us to be men of logic, to think in a logical way and look for solutions in a logical way. Therefore, we don't say emotionally, "The black man is to be treated just like our white brother.'' We don't do that from emotions only. We have to go further than that. We have to connect with the intelligence and with the logic for that statement.
The Christians who discriminated against us said the same thing. They too said, "It is a sin to hate... Love all people. "The Christians now have accepted that blacks should enjoy this country with everybody else. But we find many of them with the same attitude that they had before "equal opportunity." And there are still those who do not want to sit with us on transportation or in fine hotels or in fine restaurants. There are many European (white) Americans who still do not want that. Their hearts have not been changed. It is because their thinking has not been changed. And you cannot change a person's thinking just by giving them an emotional statement. Those "white" Americans that have been influenced to think good about us can feel good about us.
Let us first find out what has happened to put a person in the situation he is in just because of his blackness. If it was his black skin that got him into that situation, let us find out how it happened. And once we find out how it happened, if it was not justified, then let us tell all the Americans: "Here is how the black man got into this situation and came to be looked down upon. These are the true circumstances in his life and in our life that brought this 'black' man to be looked down on by us." Once that is known and condemned, then we all will be in the clear.
After this is done there comes to be a new condition and a rational environment that permits the healing of the heart. Hearts cannot heal where knowledge is confused. So it is for Muslims.
A Muslim brother will say, "Yes, you are my black brothers. And Prophet Muhammed was a great man. He embraced the black man!" Now I am saying what I have heard; I am not just making up something. Is that what made our Prophet great, that he embraced the black man?
What made our Prophet Muhammed great was that be was qualified to receive the Last Universal Message from Allah. He was qualified to be leader for humanity. That is what made him great. And his embracing a black man was just a small part of his greatness.
So this person talking was revealing something about his own mentality. As he was talking I began to see him. I said to myself, "To be near me is a big thing for you, isn't it?" He was admitting that for him it was a big thing to embrace a black man. And it tells me that the problem was not solved and the confusion is still there for too many Muslims internationally. It tells me that we are just acting emotionally to situations and are not understanding what has happened and the wrong that was done. Therefore we cannot solve problems and cannot heal ourselves.
Dear Muslims, we cannot just formally say, "La ilaha illallah. Muhammedan rasullallah" anymore. We have to teach and educate Muslims again on the meaning and connection, on the implications and ramifications of "la ilaha illallah, Muhammedan rasullallah". We have to teach them what leads to other important conclusions.
We made this conclusion, that there is One God. With that conclusion established for us, we will go to the next conclusion, and we finally go to the end in that logic. Allah wants us to carry these conclusions on and on and on, until we have peace and harmony and respect for each other supported by our intelligence as also by our hearts or emotions.
We want situations where we can work intelligently with each other and support each other intelligently. We want to be moved and motivated by decency and intelligence. We don't want to only be motivated by good feelings of the heart. We want to be motivated also by the intelligence to respect each other, to progress and progress without the coward of racism. That is the desire we should have as Muslims.
Muslims are the best community. Allah says so. "You are the best community raised up for all people." It is also translated as "...brought out for all people." This is what Allah says of us, and Muslims need to be told that more and more. We are one community, the Ummah, and we are one brotherhood and one international nation or international community of Muslims. But the purpose for which Allah brought us together and established us as one international body is that we work for the good of all people. Read the Qur'an for yourself. It is as plain as that.
We are looking for powerful and big solutions. We are looking for a mujeddid, saint, genius to be born among the Pakistani or in the family of the Sudanese or in the family of the Saudis. We are looking for a person who will solve great complicated problems for us. All we need is a person with good common sense to say, "Let us not be hypocrite by each other. Let us accept One God, one creation, one people, and let us work for the good of all people." It is as simple as that.
Are Muslims all over the world ready to accept the above? If we are ready to accept that, then we are ready for the basis for our unity. Natural urgence in our global life urges us to get back to what appeals to the natural man and his spirit in him to follow his aim towards more and more excellence and towards bigger and greater establishment, towards bigger and greater achievements in the international world.
In order for man to be prepared for that, he has to be universal in his heart, universal in his thinking, and universal in his aspirations. He has to include everybody in his dreams — not only in his works, but also in his dreams. Allah included everybody in the dream (the future) for Muslims. He said, "You are one nation brought out for the good of all people."
Peace be unto you. As-Salaam-Alaikum.