Islam’s Climate for Business Success—Excerpts
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
The Climate of Tolerance and Balanced Revolution
Muslims have a revolution. Al-Islam is a revolution. It is the most
civilized revolution. We are not asked to go out and kill parents
and fight parents, because they tell their children to reject al-Islam.
Allah says, "Don't obey parents in false worship, but keep
good relationships with them in this world."
to be peacemakers. "Be not aggressors," and, "If
those who fight you incline toward peace, incline yourselves also."
(Qur'an) People attacked our religion. People attacked Prophet Muhammad,
peace and blessings be upon the Prophet. Peace and blessings be
upon the Christ-Prophet Jesus. They called Jesus and others "mad."
The Prophets did not come out and say, "Kill them!"
boycotted and caused Prophet Muhammad to leave Mecca, his hometown.
When the Prophet was able to really kill his enemies, he announced
a period of forgiveness and said: "All offenses of the past
There were people
there who had done cruel and horrible things to Muhammad the Prophet,
to his family, to his friends and to others of his followers. In
this same town, upon achieving victory, the Prophet said: "All
past offenses are forgiven. Let there be no more bloodletting."
also forgiveness, is the way of our Prophet. When we one-sidedly
follow his character, we present a one-sided view of the Prophet
and a one-sided view of the religion. I believe many of us do this
Many of us have
lived so long in a Crusade atmosphere where the "sword"
and the "crescent" are in conflict. We have lived so long
in that atmosphere that there has developed a kind of "cross
and crescent" fixation and phobia.
and Respect to Our Religion
I have been told that if one renounces his religion after saying
he is a believer, that person is to be killed. Agreed, if it is
referring to wartime and to turncoats. Civilized armies will court
martial and kill turncoats in these modern times. If a soldier supports
the other side, he risks being killed. Peace times are different.
What about a
situation where a person just came to a meeting, heard a sermon
on the religion and got excited and said, "yes, I believe,
and I would like to be a Muslim today." And that person recites
the shahadah or oath of faith without knowing the religion?
he runs into a preacher of another religion who says to him, "Come
to G-d; just say you believe." That person then says, "Yes,
I believe." Now, you want to go out and kill him?
We need people
with good clean minds and with love for humanity to see what Allah
is saying in His Holy Book and then give us the right understanding.
We need to be a bit cautious. Today many traditional authors think
they are products of the Qur'an and products of the life of the
Prophet. But many do not see a problem in their wounds and sensitivities.
They are victims
of the influences of centuries of foreigners who came to their lands
and changed their institutions, changed also their way of looking
at the Qur'an, and changed their way of looking at Muhammad the
Prophet. Many are victims of centuries of occupation and are not
qualified to tell us what Allah says.
When I hear
something coming out that does not sound decent for human beings,
I reject it. If I don't find any support for it in the Qur'an, I
reject it. I have read in a Muslim publication that the Jews and
the Christians are kafirs (infidels). We sent our complaints to
the country of the organization.
We are working
hard here to bring sense and respect to our religion, as it is viewed
by Americans. We want to appeal to them and show them the true picture
of our religion. We have worked and have accomplished a lot; we
have people now-looking at this religion and appreciating it. We
are living in a new time with new circumstances.
People of the
Allah says in the Qur'an: "Say we have no contention with you
people of the book. Our contention is with the idol worshippers."
That is the teaching of the Qur’an, and it is the way of the
When the government
was established in Medina, the proclamation came that guaranteed
the freedoms and the rights of the Jews to go on practicing their
religion the way they had before. The same was granted to the Christians.
civilized Muslim leaders and nations have carried on that excellent
tradition. Christians live in Muslim lands. Jews live in Muslim
lands. There are long periods of productive life during the history
of Muslim Spain. There in Spain were Jews and Christians and Muslims
all living together and working together and prospering together
under Muslim rule.
of the destiny for this continent has been called divine destiny.
They came here from Europe to realize the "manifest destiny."
What inspired it, I believe, was passages of their Christian scripture
and the wisdom of their great philosophers and teachers. And I also
strongly suspect that they had studied the great life of prosperous
It is a pity
that their (Muslim Spain) achievement was lost. It was lost because
of the intolerance on the part of European nations that were jealous.
They were jealous to the extent they fired up ignorant prejudices
to fuel the Crusades. What I say is not any criticism of Christianity;
they were not living their Christianity. They were still in the
grip of their ancestral savagery and ignorance.
been influenced recently to see certain Muslim leaders and Muslim
figures as monsters of a strange psychological make-up. I don't
see the Palestinian armed forces as monsters; I see them as victims
of monsters. In my opinion, these monsters were human before driven
mad by inhuman treatment. Human beings do not take on a monstrous
image until forced by circumstances beyond their control.
Out of History: Southern Man vs. Northern Man
I have grown to look differently at the Southern White European
American man of the once cruel South. I have grown to look at that
time and the circumstances to see also Whites as victims. I have
grown to lay blame on the Northern man and on the Southern man.
As long as we
have the explosive sensitivities most of us have, we are not going
to make it in the land of plenty. The reason why we have troubling
and crippling sensitivities is that we ourselves are victims of
our plight. We should know that many were rejects of Europe who
were established over us in the South. Many were let out of prisons.
If they would agree to work for landowners in the New World (America),
they were freed.
Much of this
abused lot of the Europeans settled in the South. The better educated
and the more wealthy settled mostly in the New England area. America
grew upon the New England area and the Southern states. The less
victimized were settled in the New England region. The victims of
Europe's more horrible abuses settled in the South.
When we study
their history we see many Whites were abused in the way they abused
us, their African slaves. What they inflicted upon us was inflicted
upon them in their European lands by those of their race who were
their masters. Many of them were unprepared to treat themselves
or others as human beings. They were often themselves criminals
and social rejects in the eyes of other Whites.
There were great
minds among the Southerners, but the majority were victims of a
horrifying past. I look at them now and have a different attitude.
It is amazing that this mistreated lot of Whites did as well as
they did. Both are survivors retaining our human nature's goodness.
A deeply scarred people while yet festering should not have been
given charge over our race. Babies born to slavery were put in the
custody of these victims of Europe's cruelties. The South (its masses)
was at the mercy of a monster formed by the hands of its history
Period in Slavery
Have you heard the story of the lost boy who was found in the woods?
He lived and survived among animals. When they discovered him, he
was behaving like an animal. He could not speak. It was the same
for a, child born into America's "peculiar" slavery.
If you know
the history of that "infamous" period, you will know it
was forbidden for anyone to give a slave any literature. Slaves
were not permitted to read a Bible. They were not permitted to have
anything come to them of true history. Nothing was permitted to
come to the slave except what would serve to keep the slave in subhuman
the circumstances which had a role in shaping the Southern man and
knowing the circumstances which favored the Northern man, I have
come to know how the Northern man played the "master"
against the "slave" and the "slave" against
the "master." The Northern man did that for his own selfish
I know how the
Northern man won the Civil War, occupied his Southern brothers'
land and then used Blacks in Reconstruction to rub salt into his
brothers' wounds by putting the slave in a position of authority.
The Northern man made the slave the soldier-in-command, and the
White man of the South had to come to the freed slave to get permission
for certain things.
When the North
occupied the South, the Northerner put members of our race in positions
of authority over Whites. We may be foolish enough to say, "That
is what they deserved." But the White man of the North planned
for the African American and for the "White" South. He
knew it was not good for our future to put us over Southern "Whites"
suffering the bitterness of defeat.
White man was already saying, "Our own people have killed us,
wounded us, dominated us and occupied our land." The real reason
for the Civil War was the freedom of the free enterprise system.
knew that putting "slave over master" would make any relationship
for the freed slaves with former masters impossible. He knew they
would never be able to live together in the South in peace. The
Northern power holders had to eliminate all risks of "Blacks"
and "Whites" ever uniting for a strong South.
of Northern Factories
The Northern scheme was to get us ex-slaves up North for the labor-hungering
new plantation of Northern factories. Study the early history of
America's factories; they presented bad health risks. Working conditions
in many early factories gave us to similar humiliation, hardship
and brutal existence. More lives sometimes were lost in the factory
situation than were lost on the Southern plantations. But the slave
only saw freedom.
We have to grow
with experience, and our senses have to become more sharpened with
experience. It is not too late to look back at those circumstances
and extract from them the lesson we need for today.
The lesson is
to never let the people who victimized you and dominated you and
abused you decide your future while you take it easy. We are going
to study our social situation. We will then be in a better situation
to study our political past.
It doesn't make
the scientist less human because he is not dealing with this matter
from his emotions. He still goes home and grabs his tender little
baby and kisses it. He feels good and holds his child while watching
television. He is no less human because he has divorced his stormy
feelings from the problem at hand, and African Americans have to
be able to do that.
must mature to the point of having sharpened sensitivities. We go
into new areas. Don't go into the White man's neighborhood with
no caution. That is not your neighborhood. Also be cautious going
into your own neighborhoods. Be cautious to respect the residents
of those neighborhoods and not be hurt by them. There are dangers
in the world.
You can't expect
100 years of so-called freedom marked all over with decades of lynching
and terrorist Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow Laws to disappear for African
Americans to drop our guard.
Be humane in
your neighborhoods at home with your own, and with outsiders of
all nationalities be humane and constituted to serve your own protection,
should the need present itself.