Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's note: This article is reprinted from last week with CORRECTIONS shown in CAPITAL letters.)
QUESTION: My wife and I ordered a set of your tapes and we especially liked the one entitled "Understanding Symbolism in Religion/1 I feel that you are the greatest leader today, Your tapes are a positive inspiration in our lives, but we live in a community where Bilalians seem to be dead as far as progress is concerned. There are no black businesses — there is no black business growth, no sufficient place for young people to enjoy themselves in a moral environment. I would like some ideas on how to raise their consciousness and awareness.
IMAM: I find the greatest motivation in my life to be Allah and what He asks of us, and the Quran and through the life of Prophet Muhammad.
I believe there is more than enough, more than a sufficient amount of material in the religion of Al-Islam to use in any presentation or in any program for motivating people to come out of their lazy or idle habits, negligent attitudes or negligent life and become more industrious; to lift themselves up above the degrading kinds of things we see in the society today and become decent people, clean people, industrious minded people.
I don't think we have to strain ourselves too much to find assistance. The assistance is in the teachings of this religion.
This religion says God requires of us that we SEEK the promise of the Hereafter, and He also requires that we attend all of the related matters — material needs, etc. In other words, we have TO become fully responsible as people, we have to become spiritually and morally responsible; we also have to become responsible in the material world and in the political world.
So if they are Muslims we are trying to motivate or trying to invite into a better way of life, all we have to do is to bring these principles and teachings of our religion, in our religion, to these people.
That's what I'm trying to do and that's what many of the Imams are doing in the community. I would advise the writer — who obviously has a big burden on their heart because of the situations or conditions that they are witnessing in their area — to just take up the crusade, the moral, religious crusade to change the material state of our people or the poor people and have faith that Islamic instructions will motivate people.