Imam W. Deen Muhammad's Oakland Address: Part 3
(Editor's note: This is Part III of Imam W. Deen Muhammad's Taa'leem address in Oakland, Calif.)
He said there was a house being built by the prophets and there was one brick missing and he was that brick. What was missing? The universal application of the knowledge!
In order to stay within a manageable size and within the time I have, I am just going to use three prophets or three figures that are in scripture — Adam, Abraham, and Muhammad the Last, peace be upon them. Adam is a man. Now if we can see these major movements in the progress, then we can understand that between those major movements there had to be a lot of continued movement also. And Adam in his figure or in his type represents us. And this is no new thing; I am talking nothing but what is common knowledge among the learned in the religions.
Adam, in his type, is us; we are his son, but we are also him. Whatever Allah made Adam, I am myself. Whether I know it or not, whether I am living up to it or not is another thing. But again, whatever Allah made Adam, I am that now. Nothing has been lost. Some religions in their esoteric or symbolic teachings speak of Adam as a perfect, pure, and shining human being. That is before the fall in Christianity and in Judaism. Before the fall, they say he was a perfect and shining being. But now in the western world among Christians the only perfect and shining being they know of is Jesus, peace be upon him. They say, "Jesus was the perfect. Adam was not perfect."
Adam was perfect! Can imperfection breed perfection? I don't think so, unless perfection was there before imperfection. Imperfection will not breed perfection, unless perfection was there before imperfection. So Adam was "perfect being." What he represents is the behavioral nature that God made. God created man for a certain behavioral nature, and Adam was that. So the story of Adam tells us that God made us with the behavior that He wanted, and something happened to bring us or to seduce us out of that behavior. And we know the story of the serpent, the devil, and all of that.
Now the difference between our religion and some other religions like Christianity, where Adam is recognized, is this. We don't see Adam's fall as a sin of admission. It is rather a sin of omission. He did not do it with the intent to do wrong; he was tricked and seduced. That is different. According to the Bible and according to what the preachers preach, Adam did not conscientiously do wrong. Adam was outwitted. And he wasn't in a good situation, when he was approached. It says that he had fallen into a deep sleep. But that shouldn't make us dislike our beginning. They say, "Our father was a sinner." How is he a sinner? Some of us have our eyes wide open and get trapped. And we are told that Adam was in a deep sleep, when the most powerful trickster that ever existed came to him. I don't think I have been met by that powerful trickster, and I have slipped a few times.
So Adam was a great man, and that is Father. And in our religion we have to speak of Adam with that kind of respect. We say "Father Adam." Prophet Muhammad taught us that. He said, Tour Father Adam. "We greet him with peace, As-Salaam-Alaikum — Peace be on you, Adam, our Father.
It all begins, then, in religion with man being responsible. And he is responsible, because God created him with the correct behavioral nature and gave him a conscience to know better. If he slips, then he is not perfect, he is not an angel. He is not perfect when it comes to the power of intellect; he is, though, perfect as a human being. A lot of us can't understand tjiat you can be perfect and at the same time imperfect. To be a perfect human being is not to be a creature incapable of making mistakes. To be a creature incapable of making mistakes is to be other than human being. Isn't that clear. I see someone here as though they have a headache, but it is clear. To be perfect as a human being is not to be a creature incapable of making a mistake.
That idea comes from the false notion and false religion that man is god or that man is ascending to god. "In order for me to be a perfect human being, I have to be like God. And I can't make a mistake." But that is what makes me perfect, that I can make a mistake and repent. That is a perfect human being! Praise be to Allah. And this is the religion that they used to sing about, "Give me that old time religion."
Long before the slaves of Georgia and in the south, there were oppressed people in the history of religion. In fact, a thousand years or more before us, and they were crying too. They said, "Lord, I know this can't be the end. God didn't create me to be treated like this. You tell us what God is, and one day I'm going to see His Face. And when I see Him, I will know Him." That is what the oppressed said a thousand years or more before we were oppressed in the south of this country. Something inside tells us that Truth is recognizable. And when it comes, the most ignorant will know it.
Now, God created us as perfect human beings with the behavioral nature that He wanted for us, then what caused all of the problems? Was it Satan, the Devil? Yes! But it was not him directly, it was his works. There is a teaching in our religion that goes like this. And it is reported by the Companions of the Prophet, that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, told them of the beginning of God's great plan of creation and how God introduced that plan. Before it was actually brought into reality, He introduced it to the angels.
God said, "Behold My creation. "And when it was seen, the angels said, "A marvelous creation! How can any creature go wrong in such a creation!" And then God showed them in something like a time machine, I guess, the creation after it had been influenced and affected by Satan. When He beheld the creation after it had been affected by Satan, the angels said, "How can any creature go straight in such a creation?" So that is the difference.
The behavioral nature, if it is put in the right environment, will fare well. But if it is put into an environment that the devil has rigged, it cannot fare well. It is going to have great difficulty. But didn't God create us for just that? God wants us to develop our muscles.
God could have created us with the physical ability of the horse or some of the other creatures that come here from the womb much sooner than we do. They come out and can manage and get around much quicker than we can. We come out and lay up sometimes for a year, and everything else has jumped out of the bed and gone.
But the intellect that God has made for us, He wants it to be given a lot of time, and it has a lot of questions to ask. So He created us. Allah says in the Holy Book, He created us for toil, for hardship. He created us for these things. It doesn't mean that He desires that for us, because in the same Book He says, "And I have desired not hardship for any of My creatures." He doesn't desire hardship for us. He says, "But I desire that you be purified "
We know that putting the metal into the fire purifies it. They even beat it; the blacksmith will look like he hates what he is doing. He beats it and takes it and sticks it in the fire. And some of us have been through just that, haven't we! Then it goes right from extreme heat to cold. Then he has the nerve to put cloth over it. I have worked in the steel mill, and they carry that metal through some kind of torture. Then after they get it all like they want to, they drape it over with a heavy cloth, and say, "We don't want it to cool too fast. It may cause cracks in it."
And in everything is a sign. If you believe that, then you have to believe in God. Because that is too big for us, that something could happen and make everything with big detail or minor detail a sign. That is too big for us, so there must be a God behind it.
Now we come to the idea of the environment, itself, being oppressive. It is not Satan, now, but we know that Satan started it. But the environment, in itself, is oppressive. You put the seed in the ground, and you oppress it. Don't you? You put that seed in the ground, and then you put dirt on top of it, so it will have a hard time getting up. You are oppressing it! But if you don't oppress it, it won't come up strong.
Really, I feel like I can go now. Because all I want to see is my people free. Now if you love it and care about your seed and care about the work that you are doing, like the farmer, he will take them and wrap them up and put them in a special bin to keep them dark and the light away from them. He cares about those seeds! He will then take them out and handle them like they are precious nuggets of gold. He will start putting them out, digging little holes and will come back and kick the dirt over them. He oppresses them, but he cares about them.
He didn't put them six feet below, because he wants to see them come up. He put just enough oppression on them to make them strong and able to survive on their own feet. So God, Himself, brought about oppression — yes He did! The symbol for it is "thun-mun." He created the darkness, and then the light. He did not create light first. He created darkness and then light, according to our religion. Then He says that the intent is to bring you out of the darkness into the light.
So He sends a liberator to bring us out of the darkness into the light. You say, "Oh, the white man is an oppressor." Well, maybe
(To be continued)