Masjid Saahir Dedication
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam W. Deen Muhammad's Talim lecture held at the dedication of Masjid Saahir, Inglewood, Calif, on Sunday, Dec. 30, 1984.)
THERE IS opportunity here for us. In this place here, physically, and in the whole world today. The whole world has undergone a shaping that has turned things upside down for them. Many people who used to be well-established, and felt that they were in control forever feel themselves now as insecure. And they are looking for new foundations to start all over again.
So you have come to a time wherein you are no worse situated than most of the people on this Earth. In fact, you may be better situated than most people on this Earth, but you have to do something—you have to get up and take advantage of the new time and the new opportunities.
WE HAVE TO work some every day. If you feel bad inside, most likely it's because you didn't work any today. Work makes you feel good. Work some everyday. And you don't need an employer for that, you employ yourself.
That's the difference between the poor and the rich. The rich employ themselves; the poor are employed by others. You are resources, they say-labor resources. You have to employ your own resources; not that you shouldn't work for somebody else, but even if you work for somebody else, you know in your own heart that you are employed by yourself.
Don't go to a job because you feel, "I'm going to this job because I have to go/' what do you mean you "have to go"? Go to a job because it's your choice, because you "choose" to go.
But they make work seem so bad and ugly. So the average ignorant person buys the idea of work given to them. They say "Well, I have to go to work.1 No—you don't have to go to work; you're going to work because that's your choice. You could have made a different choice.
BE FAITHFUL. Be a people of faith. Saying "be faithful" is another way of saying "be loyal." The Imam from Soledad yesterday left us two principles, two keys. He said "faith and loyalty." Faith and faithfulness is another way of saying faith and do good works, or righteous works. And Allah says in the Qur'an: "And He has created you that you should grow.11 That is, be productive.
Faith and productive lives—that's what makes people happy, that combination.
Faith in sitting at home and just waiting for something to happen is spooky—makes you miserable.
THE PROPHET, (PBUH) when he was presented with a person for that person's excellence, in religion, he was told that person kept all the devotions, praise, faith in prayer and fasting, etc. But they didn't tell" the Prophet anything about his productive work, his livelihood—only his spiritual devotion and religious strengths. The Prophet asked: "Who takes care of him?" They said "We do, O Messenger of God." And the Prophet said, "You are better than he is."
So the people who are responsible for life supports—the means of survival, the means of life: food, clothes, shelter, transportation, etc.—those people are more useful to society and are more beautiful in the eyes of God than those who just devote themselves to just spiritual discipline.
Be faithful and productive. I really plead to this community, because we are not getting younger, we are getting older. I'm 51-years-old, and I thank Allah that I lived this long, because many people die before 51. I would like to see another 51, but I can't expect it. I expect to go like my relatives go—they go at around 70 or so.
Some of them lived longer, but if I live longer than that, I'll still be gone as far as you are concerned. 1 will be retired unless a miracle does happen in my life that I know nothing about right now.
OUR PEOPLE have to stop this sitting and waiting for something to happen, spookedly. Those who have ability, go ahead, move out, do something, show something—join those who have better qualifications. Lend your help to a stronger person and you will share in the blessings. Have more than just mere faith or spirit—have production, have establishment. That's what makes a people feel good—when they can look at their establishment.
This particular facility here represents an establishment —an establishment of a pretty good size. If the believers owned this, it would be a source of inspiration, strength and encouragement for those whom we can't reach with mere Dawah.