The Life of The Human Family: Part 1
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(The following address was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed on Sun., May 28, 2000, at the CPC Memorial Day Weekend Event at Kennedy King College in Chicago, 111. For this upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, Imam Mohammed has advised that we Muslims consider feeding the poor through fulfilling any obligations on us who may not have been able to successfully complete their Ramadan fast, for whatever reason - be it due to ill health or other reasons.
The Qur'an allows the Muslim who cannot keep the fast to feed 60 people as compensation for the uncompleted month of fasting. As we now read the address given by Imam Mohammed during the last Memorial Day Weekend event, may we as Muslims begin now to plan to feed 60 people and make that compensation to do so via ComTrust, c/o Imam W. Deen Mohammed.)
Peace be unto you. As-Salaam-Alaikum. We praise G-d. Al-hamdulillah rabbil al-amin. The Praise and the Thanks are for G-d, the Creator of man and Cherisher of all the worlds. We witness that He is One, the G-d of all people, the Creator of all things. He is the One Who sent Messengers and Prophets after one another, following each other until He sent Muhammed the Prophet, The Seal of the Prophets, The Last of the Prophets, with the Last Revealed Book, the Qur'an.
We witness that that prophet born in Mecca, in what is called Saudi Arabia now - it wasn't called Saudi Arabia in that time - the land of the Arabs on the Peninsula of Arabia. He was born in Mecca, the very important and sacred city to all Muslims. It is because of the House there built by Prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, their names in the Qur'an - the father and the son, prophets, peace be on them.
We know that before Prophet Muhammed began his mission as a Mercy to all the worlds, as G-d says of him in the Holy Qur'an, that Mecca because of that House was the Venerated City.
Islam came and revived the understanding and meaning for the people of that House. And Muhammed The Prophet, as you know now, is the one who G-d chose to speak through to reveal the Last Message for all mankind, The Qur'an, and to direct all the believers, the Muslims that is, to face that House in prayer and to go to that House at least once in a lifetime as a pilgrim or Hajji.
Muslims Are A World Community
That is to say to you, believers, Muslims, and if there are non-Muslims here, it is also to acquaint you with this. That is to say that Muslims are a world community, an international world community. And Islam is a message for all the worlds. Islam is a message for every nation, for every people. Islam is not a family of one color; Islam is a family of all colors. All the colors of mankind are in the human family of Islam.
Islam is a prescription for the whole life of the human being. No important human need is left out of Islam. They say, "You shouldn't reinvent the wheel." Well, that is correct. But if the wheel I am looking at is not the wheel that G-d revealed, then we have to have another wheel. That is not reinventing the wheel. That is giving the wheel what you suppose to have.
That is to say, Muslims all over this world are responsible for the smallest thing that you need in your life to the biggest thing that you need in your life. For me, G-d knows, I don't have to have all this. I do appreciate it and thank G-d for it. It is a great honor that I am the leader that I am and have your faith and your trust. That is a great honor, but G-d knows that is not what I have to have.
I am happy as a private citizen with my life and my children, my grandchildren and my great grandchildren, with a cool glass of water and a good movie, to get a vacation every once in a while with my children if I can afford to. This is all I need, and I am happy with that. But that is not the way it was to be.
I am the son of Elijah Muhammad, and my life was cut out for me before I even knew I had a life. So it wasn't for me to decide my life; it was already decided for me before I was old enough to even realize that I had a life. I am very comfortable and grateful. We not only are to work to have good leadership, we have to work to have good leadership after that good leadership. We all should be working for that.
Man Gets What He Strives For
This is the Memorial Day Weekend, and memorial means that this day honors somebody or persons who should be remembered. They are the people who fought and lost their lives, so we could have this peace and security that we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America. We honor them and pay tribute to them on this day.
Also we must take full advantage at every occasion, when there is a holiday that gives us time off from work, to meet together for every important interest that we have as a community, to study and strengthen the situation for our schools and masajid, for our business people, for our financial needs.
The sick have to be taken care of. The little ones without parents have to be taken care of. These are all obligations spelled out for us very clearly in the Holy Qur'an. The weak have to be taken care of, not to mention that our investments have to be protected. As much as possible, we want to qualify to finance our own investments. So we have to work at that.
It is not going to happen, unless we work for it. Allah says that there is nothing for the human person, except that he strives for it, that you make a real hard effort - you have to strive for it. It is very difficult, and you are going and going but it is not with ease. It is with difficulty. That is our history.
We are a people who have come up from slavery and now are free. That is what we had to do -struggle as slaves. Those enslaved had to struggle to keep their life, struggled to not be killed by their masters, struggled to survive that ugly rule over that part of the world, until a kinder more humane rule came into existence.
When the opportunity came for them to be free of the plantation confinement - confined to a certain piece of land, like a prisoners in a work camp - when time came for them to be free from those circumstances, then they had to strive and struggle more because no one, except a very few that you would meet accidentally, every once in a while in the lifetime of just a few of us, you would meet a White person - male or female and more likely female who would sympathize with you in your situation and wanted to help you in that situation, so that you could have a better life.
I would say that 95 percent of us could not expect that. Even though we were free, we still knew that there is someone who may take everything from us after we accumulated it: Knowledge, skills, professions, businesses. We know in the history of slaves who were freed and they built a printing business, and that business was destroyed by White hate mongers. That is just to name one business, but many would work hard to establish a business and knew there was a risk that it would be wiped out in just a few minutes by some hate monger or stolen from them, lost to somebody else who was scheming and plotting.
Those times are gone, but there is still the need to strive and struggle and be aware that there are some around who don't want you here and don't want you to have anything. And now they are not all White folks; they are some of your own folks and may be living right next door to you or living in your own house sometimes and certainly in your own mosques and in your own communities. There are those who don't want to see you succeed, and they are planning and scheming and plotting to see that you don't get what you are after or that you lose it. That is life.
The Need For A Contender
Now that I understand life, I welcome it. If we don't have people to aggravate us, we might go to sleep. It might get so quiet and comfortable, that we might go to sleep. Allah chose that life for us, a life of struggle. That there is something always contending with you, especially if you want to be right. Even your own nature or your own soul, that tendency in yourself to say "I'm tired." Be tired when you are finished.
What is this all about? Why is religion so important for us? Religion for some people is a past time, a recess from life, something to do when there is nothing else important to do. Or it is something that you just do for pleasure only. For some, religion is a deception; they have their religion to hide their true life.
The religion does not have the power or influence to correct their chosen life - the life they choose to live. But the life they choose to live has the power to affect how they regard their religion. That is why I say that for some religion is a deception. For us, religion is The Life.
(To be continued)