On Unity And Social Life
Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate.
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Wallace Deen Muhammad's masjid lecture in Miami, Fla., Oct. 20, 1979.)
It is not accepted that you eat without pronouncing the name, Allah. You are supposed to say, "Bismillah." You don't have to say it aloud, or audibly, but at least say it in your conscience. If others are eating with you, one in the group should say it so everyone hears and follows silently.
A Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is that we should prefer to eat with others rather than to eat alone. This is important for a community. In some houses, every family member eats by himself. Such attitudes destroy the unity and the social life of the family. Eat together, and let the father lead Du'ah, if he is there; if he is not there, the mother leads Du'ah, or the oldest brother, or the most mature and responsible member in the group.
Show unity and some social sense in your life—respect for members in the household— and this will make you have strong family lives, and you'll be happier.
In spite of the criticism that comes against the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, he practiced that himself. He practiced much of the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.
The things that he is really loved for are from the life of Prophet Muhammad.
Don't harp on the problems or the shortcomings of others. Excuse, pardon, and forgive. A Sunnah says we should not let bad feelings keep us from speaking to each other for more than three days.
There are going to be some members in some families that will differ religiously. Because we are Muslim that doesn't mean the house is going to always be all Muslim.
The attitude of the Muslims is not to destroy families. We want to keep families together. We don't want to harp on the problems and break up the family. Let us try first to show reasonableness on our part. Allah says in the Quran, "Sometimes the good act has the effect of producing change for the better" in the person with whom you may be experiencing hostility.
The goodness on your part, not harping or dwelling on their defects, may serve to bring that person closer to what Allah asks of them.
As for the child of the father who's a disbeliever in Al-Islam, Allah says in the Quran that if parents strive with you "to make you worship something other than Me, don't obey them, but keep good company with them in this life." Even if my parents reject the religion and try to get me to come to Christianity, or to some other persuasion, I'm not to obey them, but I'm to try to keep good company, good relations with them in this life because Allah doesn't want to see family members broken up.
If you can't live under a parent, then you have to seek some other way. However, you should still remember that these are your parents and keep good relations with them. Visit them, call them on the phone, correspond with them. Let them know that you are their child and you love them.
Your dislike is not for them, it's for the problem that exists between you. This we have to understand.
I think the question here would be: Are there enemies to us in our families? Not necessarily. In some families you're going to have enemies to you and to your religion.
Another question might be: What does Quran mean by cover faults? This is an English expression meaning to overlook small faults in others. That is not to say encourage the person to be wrong. But don't harp on it, or dwell on it, and don't be so quick to point out every fault of the other person. Faultfinder are not the kind of people we want in Muslin, society.
We want people to build upon the good, and only dwell on the bad when the bad is threatening the good community. Don't be faultfinders looking for every little mistake in a person: "You did this wrong, you did that wrong, that was wrong." Don't be that way—Allah doesn't like that kind of person.
(To be continued)