Imam W. Deen Muhammad's Oakland Address: Part 2
Allah also says in the Holy Book, "Cannot they see that the heavens and the earth were once joined as one, before it was split or severed." Now that might have many meanings for different people. But I am stretching my imagination. Again the religion says, "When they enter the heavens — the best ones, the fortunate ones," and believe me, it will be the fortunate ones. Don't think you are going to plan your way into heaven; there is no way for you to plan your way into heaven. You will be one of the fortunate ones. In our religion we are taught that all would be lost; if it wasn't for the Mercy of God.
We are told that when we enter Paradise and behold it, we will say, "These are things like the things we knew before." Isn't it wonderful? It is wonderful because I don't know anybody that wants to go to a heaven that doesn't have something in it that they have been missing here, unless they have Alzheimer's disease. Then that is something different.
I am the kind of preacher that likes to fuss at you, attack you, to shock you if I can, to reason with you, but most of all I just want to provoke thinking and thought. If we can get the thinking mechanism going, there is hope. So you say, "What he is saying is that all of us are fools, and that we have to learn to use our brains." No! There are men and women with PhD’s. but in this particular business that we are talking about now the brain might be completely numb. It has to be revised; life has to come back to it.
Total Universe Is Beginning Of Man's Environment
Man is a creature of his environment, and the environment begins with the total material universe. Again, it is the total universe. Everything there is the environment. We believe that Allah created us and put us in this environment, and this whole environment is home for us. We say earth is our home. Yes, earth is our home, but the things beyond the earth are also part of the environment that God put us in. We live in the universe, too. We live on earth and we live in the universe.
We believe that God wants us, just as man explored the new regions that he discovered here on earth, He also wants us to explore the regions beyond our reach today. What am I saying? I am saying the white man did a real Islamic thing, when he advanced the sciences and began to want to reach out to utilize what was beyond the earth and out there among the stars. He did an Islamic thing, and I haven't had an Islamic scholar or scientist to check me yet. And I have spoken to all Arab audiences; we were in the few and were their guests. I have spoken to a large audience of so-called learned men, and I will say they were learned men and I have said these same things. No one has checked me. It may hurt, and it is a bitter pill to swallow, but they know that Allah created all of this to be of service, even the stars out there beyond our reach. It is to be of service in the life and in the world of man.
Now if I believe that as a Muslim or as a Christian or whatever, then I am in a good situation right now. You go and pay $50 an hour to get your brain put into some kind of order, so that you will believe in yourself. If you would just believe in something like this and see how quick it is, it will be all over. There will be 'no more rejected me!' I don't walk around with my head hung! That can be understood logically. I am a creature of the environment, and God put me in this environment. If I am the only person here, then who does all this belong to? God says, "I don't need any of it. I have no need of the creation." Well, I am the only one here, then it is mine. God put Adam here and all of this belonged to Adam. Adam said, "Look at my sun come up this morning. Not that he is the real owner; God is the real owner, but God does not need it. It is not for God, it is for him. So it is in his charge, and it is to serve him.
If we can see just that one idea and accept it, then we are in good shape. But we don't want to stop just there. Now when man knowing that he is not bigger than all of this that is out there for him to use, he knows that eventually he is going to have to go the way of the dead. He is going to leave all of this; he cannot keep it. He is going to leave all of this. So the world eventually consumes him. The big thing out there for him to live on and to live off of is eventually going to consume him and will take him back or will take him into it.
Man Is A Thinking Creature
So man looks for answers and looks for understanding, that is the thinking man — that is one of the definitions of man in our religion and also in science. "Thinking man — homo sapien." Homo sapien is thinking man. In our religion it is "z’kr" (or thikr) and it means the same thing, "thinking man." It is translated as "one who reflects." But "to reflect" just brings home the message that this is not just thinking, but it is serious thought. So man is a thinker. And Allah in revealing to Prophet Muhammad made a point to use the same description for females, and not just for man. "Zakirah" is in the Qur'an. "the thinking women." It is not only for the thinking men, it is also for the thinking women.
We go back into the history of philosophy and it begins with "the thinker." This is the first movement towards what we call the exact sciences, it begins with "the thinker." And some men thought that they were some special creature with some special make-up that the woman didn't have. They did not think of the woman as having that. The thing that distinguished the male and the female was not the thing that we see with our own eyes and understanding — the physiological differences and differences in the roles in the home, etcetera. It was not just that, for they saw another difference. A difference in terms of the essence, the intellect of the two. That one had a nature to know, and the other one just had a nature to perform.
Al-Islam Gives Female Rights Through Education
As a consequence of that kind of thinking, women were denied the right to be educated by most of the civilizations before the coming of the Islamic civilization. It was with the Islamic civilization that women were given the same rights as men through education. Allah says in the Qur'an that higher knowledge is a lost property of the Believer. It is not male and it is not female; it is the Believer, though male or female. And the Prophet said that education is an obligation on everyone, male and female. Then he even put out some incentives for the men. He said whoever will educate two daughters will earn Paradise; whoever spends so that two of his daughters will be educated will earn the Paradise. There was really a strong movement by the Prophet to bring justice to the woman or the female that had been denied the right to higher knowledge or the right to be educated. Not to digress, but I think that goes right along with what we are doing today, with our purpose here.
Religion says that man is a devotional creature. When we are making a nice drawing or a nice painting, if we do it devotedly we are doing it as a servant. If we thought we were going to be the only one pleased with that painting, we would have no spirit to do it. We want that painting to please people, to please the beholders. So whatever we do in the spirit of devotion is service. And if we understand that the requirement in us is first of all for Allah, then our performance will be much greater and will be much higher. We can then perform on a much higher level and do much more, again if we do it for Allah.
This is what made great civilizations. Men believing that they were working in the plan of The Great Planner that planned the universe. Whether they were called prophets, philosophers, or just revolutionists those men thought that the> were serving the great plan of The Great Planner. Because of that, they did not tire, and their minds expanded to do unheard of work to render services not equal before. This is what the common people need. We need people to preach to us religion as it was preached in the day of Adam, in the day of Abraham, in the day of Moses, and in the day of Jesus. Most of us don't know Jesus. So we need it as it was preached in the day of Jesus, and especially as it was preached in the day of Muhammad.
We need people to preach to us, because God's prophets in their lineage or in their train of coming one after the other represents the growth of humanity along the plan that God made. So the Last Prophet, Prophet Muhammad, said, "There was a house being built by the prophets, and there was only-one brick missing. And I am that one brick." Something was missing to complete the house, and he came and put it there. He did not claim, "I built the house."
(To be continued)