The Muslim Journal
A Sense Of Self Makes Living Better: Part 6
Imam W. D. Mohammed
(Editorial Note: The following lecture by Imam W. Deen Mohammed was delivered in Atlanta, GA on December 11, 1988. It has been edited by Imam Mohammed. This concludes this lecture.)
We should note that certain behavioral trends make society very rude, discourteous, and unfair. There are individuals with ugly sensitivities and are addicted to false pleasures. They have an appetite for explosive, but small, cheap pleasures. Human creation is expensive, not cheap.
There are those who will say to you, "Please me, honey, and I will give you what you want." Here it has become a business deal now. Maybe I am not talking about pleasing me, and maybe that is not the issue between us. Maybe I am displeased because you are not pleasing the requirements of yourself.
Your own nature may be asking for better treatment from you. That you are not responding to your evolutive nature, that may be the issue between us. Maybe you are not respecting the children, or the house, or the order of society. Maybe that is displeasing me.
What will change this trend against intelligence in our society and get rid of this problem? It will occur when we change and respect and value the great edifice that Allah has made in forming us. We must come into the knowledge of its true self. We must know what is the true self, what is the true direction in the life of self, and what is the true aim in the natural urges of self.
When we return to functional intelligence, then we must appreciate it and respect it so much, that we cooperate with it and care for it. We must give of our earnings to help it grow and come into its excellence. It is of one's ascent to look at another human being and not see them so much as "Joe" or "Mary," but that person be seen in your own destined image, the same form that you appreciate for yourself. It is ascendant of your intelligence that you accept that Allah has created them with the same powers and with the same abilities for managing life at home and in society.
You should not want to spend just for yourself to get to the excellence that Allah created for you, but you should also want to spend so that Joe, Yusuf, Mary, or Maryam can also come into more of the excellence that Allah created for them.
"Love for your brother what you love for yourself," is what the Prophet said. And he says, "The Muslim believer is a mirror for his brother." We love our brother. We don't lie to him. When we see him going down, down, down and further and further away from the disciplines of Muslims, and giving himself to dissipations of the world, we "call him back" from that.
If we look at our brother and see him, as the Prophet says, covered with haram or things that are not permissible in the religion, the Muslim will not ignore that. Some worldly constituted members will greet him and say, Yea, you look good, man." That is not the responsible brother.
You should be conscious to see your responsibility and then say, "Brother, have you taken a look at yourself lately? I don't think you want what is happening to you. The image that I am seeing of you is not good." Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him said, "The believer is a mirror for his brother." So he is saying no more than we are true and reflecting helpers of one another.
We do not lie to our brothers and sisters just to beep their friendship. We love them like the good mother. The good mother will put pain on the behind of a child. She does not love to hurt and does not want to hurt that child. But she will make that little child's legs hurt because she truly loves that child. She will risk having that child crimp his lips up and look at her pitifully. She will risk the love bond for her and her child in order to save the child's good fife. And that is real love. Except Allah's love, there is no better love than the love of a true mother.
Many of us will have good hearts, but we have fallen into the ways of the world. Then we think that we will be out of place or won't be accepted if we risk hurting a person's feelings that we are friends of and love. If you are really a friend, you will risk not only hurting their feelings, but you will also risk losing their friendship to support their good life.
Allah says in the Qur'an to the soul that has come into its final and complete phase of excellence, "Return to your Lord pleased and pleasing." That is the condition for returning to your Lord and for being accepted by your Lord. That you are pleased with Allah, your Lord, and that you are in the order established by your Lord. You are pleased with Him. You are pleased with the order that He has established for your life and for the life of all. You are pleased with Allah's rule and with His Law and with what He has prescribed for you. And you are pleased with Allah's creation of you.
"Return to your Lord pleased and pleasing." When you are pleased with Allah, then you can become pleasing to Allah and pleasing to yourself. After which Allah says, "Enter you among my servants." And this is speaking of Paradise. Paradise is not only a beautiful place, Paradise is also a place where I am going to join other workers for Allah. A servant is a worker for Allah. Allah says, "Enter you in the company of My workers." And at this point Allah Highly Glorified says, "Enter you into My Garden of "Paradise."
The two conditions are then connected. There is the urge in man for pleasure fulfillment and proper regard for Allah and the Order that He has established. And there is also the urge for self-approval to be pleased with one's self. To which Allah says, "pleased and pleasing," I am pleased with myself, for I strove and succeeded in pleasing Allah. This heavenly state is bad when you are pleased with yourself, satisfied with your efforts that you have made and with the fruit of your work to the point of feeling and believing that Allah both approves of you and promotes you.
Honest work is self-fulfilling! You do not get great happiness, you do not come into that real ecstasy or the highest idea of self unless you appreciate work and service. Life needs an appreciation for work, a commitment to please your Creator by doing something to improve the state of affairs. Thereby you come into a great sense of fulfillment and happiness. This disposition favors a life of productivity, a life of work and responsibleness. It is Allah to whom respect must be paid for everything.
"Enter you among My workers. Enter you into My Garden of Paradise." I think that clearly tells us the condition for us to be accepted into the Garden of Paradise is to fulfill work requirements in nature. This aim and purpose comes like a three stage rocket — 1) the urge to realize self in nature, 2) the urge to realize self in conscience, and 3) the urge to realize the establishment of self in society, in the environment. Those are the three great urges in the human life. Self under the weight of functional demands of home life and community life operates to ignite our rocket fire.
At one time or another, you must come upon Allah or the devil! You will end up in one or the other's charge. You have to pursue human destiny, for Allah has clocked it into your very nature. You also have to pursue it by a certain route. And it may be before you get to step two or after it, but in that route at one stage or another in that three-stage venture you are going to go one, two, three and will meet Allah or the devil. The outcome will depend on your disposition, your attitude, your respect, your make-up, your sensitivities.
Important for this part of this writing is another reminder from the Word of Allah in the Holy Qur'an. Allah says, "Why do you not respond to the Prophet?" It is referring to Muhammad, the Prophet, peace be upon him. It continues, "... when he invites you to that which will give you life?"
"By the sun and its brightness, by the moon whenever it follows it. And by the day whenever it illuminates it. And by the night whenever it enshrouds it." Now comes the verse that brings to eye view the vision of self. "And by the sky and how it is structured": which says according to my understanding, the skies hold for us many mysteries, even after science has attempted to take out the mystery. It is still mystifying.
We know of the laws of universal gravitation, but still for myself as a student of science (and I'm sure it is the same for many of them who write the sciences), I am amazed at how those great balls of mass material many times greater in size than our earth continue to float up there with seemingly nothing supporting them. Not even is there air out there. Out there is airless space.
This holding in place the bodies of the heavens is explained as universal gravity or attraction. We know of invisible attraction called magnetism. The crane operator in the scrap metal yard will let down an electromagnet which is nothing but an electrically charged flat disc of metal that will pick up thousands of pounds of metal by no visible means. It is done with an invisible grip. Whenever the charge is turned off, the disc is dead and can pick up nothing. Although I understand it in the light of science, it still amazes me.
Allah speaks of the heavens and how it is structured. On the other hand, we have a spiritual component- They work separate, and they also work in conjunction with each other. It is like the husband and wife. The husband and wife have their separate lives, but they also 1ive together especially to reproduce themselves.
So we have this spiritual component or dimension of the human life and form, and we have that material component and dimension. This spiritual component and dimension also amazes us and mystifies us right today. Mysteries still lure our senses after the sciences have come to explain everything in a material context. I have read the words of scientists acknowledging a mysterious side of creation (matter).
The side that we cannot clearly understand, Allah wants that to be put on solid basis. He wants that to have rational support in us and intelligent behavior. Allah invites our rational senses by telling us to look at the heavens, for it is as mysterious as we are. But see how Allah has made it work in orderly systematic obedience to Him? It obeys Him, and see how wonderful it is and how much it satisfies the ecstatic needs in our Life? See how it inspires a sense of order and wondrous beauty in us.
It is such a great influence in this respect that the Prophet Jesus prayed, according to their reports of what he said, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in the heavens." So what was he responding to that he saw in the heavens? The great vast order of harmony, of agreement, of brightness, of goodness, of beauty, of peace, and of independence in that unity.
The heavenly bodies share unity and are all working together but also have separate governments and separate working space. They have their separate orders but work in conjunction with the other heavenly bodies and systems.
Why can't I be trusted to look after the future of this home, this neighborhood? 1 want my body in the heavens too.
One spokesman (Marcus Garvey) for the African black man's recovery said, "I believe the day will come that Africa" — meaning that African people and children and all of us -"will take its place in the constellations of the heavens." He meant that we would have that lofty place in the eyes of man and society. We would have that independence in the eyes of man and society. That one day we will be respected as a disciplined order of stars, with orbits of our own, with fields of command of our own, with territories under our command. Why not?
Thank you very much. We pray for Allah's Mercy and Guidance.