Reprinted from the Muslim Journal 12-31-04
"Address at the "A Time To Be Grateful" Muslim Journal Fundraiser"
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave the following address at the Muslim Journal's First Annual "A Time To Be Grateful" Fund raiser Dinner, Dec. 11, 2004, in Burbank, III., at Cezars Inn.)
As-Salaam-Alaikum. We are very happy to see this gathering here. We are not surprised to see the numbers. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see ten times this number, when I know the history and value of the Muslim Journal.
I am sure many, many more wanted to be here for this occasion and could not be here. I believe their support will be coming in the mail, I'm sure.
First, I would like to say that just witnessing the comments of our brother (Kami Nashashibi), who just spoke to us, it was very encouraging for me.
I am getting social security now, and it makes me feel real good when I see the Muslim youth and young people standing up in the true spirit of this religion and working for the special needs that we have in our communities in America.
I am very, very touched, and I'm impressed. It makes me feel good, because we can't rest unless we know we have youngsters preparing to do our job even better.
The Muslim Journal is appreciated by all of us. We want to congratulate the staff, the editor Sis. Ayesha K. Mustafaa and the hard working staff who have stayed right with the job, right with the challenge and have made great sacrifices.
They have sacrificed their time as mothers, some of them, and as hard workers with many other responsibilities. They do more than just the production of the Journal.
They are persons who not only have made sacrifices, but in the face of opposition, sometimes unnecessary, uncalled for, unneeded opposition from us. They have continued to be faithful and persevere.
We appreciate them for their great faith, for their perseverance, for their sacrifices. And even more than that, they were unsatisfied just to perform with the resources that they had.
Ayesha, the editor, is the prime example of what I am presenting to you right now at this point. They wanted to upgrade their performance. They wanted excellence.
And they want that paper to always be growing in more and more excellence, both as a Muslim media and also as a paper belonging to the printed media in competition with newspapers of its nature throughout America.
I would say that they are in competition with the press or with the media, period. We are very proud of them.
Sis. Ayesha was always an excellent secretary. She served as secretary for years before she took on the responsibility at the Journal. She was an excellent secretary, an excellent typist, an excellent speech writer.
But she decided that since she was going to be responsible for leading her staff, she would go back to school and take up Journalism. She completed her courses in Journalism, while she was working on the job and while she was taking care of young children. We say "Allahu Akbar" and a big congratulations to the staff of Muslim Journal.
Now, I have come to the last point that I want to make and that is this. We are not aware of the value of the Muslim Journal to this community in our association. We are not aware of its value. If you were aware of its value, you wouldn't be satisfied when the paper comes out, unless you got it the first day it came out. If you appreciated the paper, you couldn't be satisfied without having a Muslim Journal in your home.
Everyone who says they identify with Imam W. Deen Mohammed and the work we are trying to accomplish in the best tradition of African American people and in the best tradition of the founder of the Nation of Islam and in the best tradition of his student and servant, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, and the best tradition of our people as African Americans and as Muslims, the value of this paper continuing that history, continuing that tradition, continuing that work, should read Muslim Journal.
There is no dawah, there is no effort to communicate what we are all about outside of our walls the mosque walls, masjid walls, temple walls nothing is serving us better than Muslim Journal.
And the little work that we are doing cannot be compared to the reach of the Muslim Journal. It reaches those outside of the United States. It reaches people in government positions.
It is very important. People in Muslim governments know what we are about. When they know what we are about and see Americans and Muslims through our eyes, that helps them. And when they know about us and pass on good words to others in their stratosphere, that helps us.
I'm now talking to the Imams. We need to do more to educate, really, the members of our congregation, of our jumuah about the value of the Muslim Journal.
The first word from G-d to our Prophet Muhammed was "Iqra." It says, "Read." But it also says, "Proclaim." Get this message and go out and deliver it.
So we have a vehicle, and we should appreciate it very much. And we should show that appreciation by at least obligating yourself to take the time, write a subscription or go and find the Muslim Journal every week and put it in your house and read it.
Encourage everyone in your house to read it. Maybe you don't have enough time to read it, but someone in the house should be reading it from cover to cover. I do.
I'm a busy man. But I always go through the Muslim Journal, when I get it. I start with the captions on the front page and go to the next page to see what my brother has to offer us on the history of Islam and the Sunnah of our Prophet. I go from there to the next important thing, and I don't stop until I have gone through all of the paper, the whole paper.
I can't rest, until I have familiarized myself with the contents of that paper. The Muslim Journal is very valuable. This paper can help educate us. We need the paper to help educate our community. You want to know more about Islam, read that newspaper.
Let us make great sacrifices for these great ladies, and1 have to mention that they have men with them, too.
We have Bro. Atique with us, our faithful servant who has been serving this community's interest in Islam for years now and has been making contributions to the content of the Journal. He has other jobs, too, other important things to do.
Let us show appreciation to all of them who make these sacrifices, in spite of
the unnecessary problems they encounter from those who want to complain but don't want to get involved in productive work. We congratulate each and everyone of them.
I can't leave out Bro. Monte Fateen, who works for the Journal doing different chores. And he also serves this community often, volunteering for years.
Sis. Ayesha, a big congratulations, and we are thankful. We are grateful. As-Salaam-Alaikum.