The Muslim Journal
Plans for a Better Future: Peace, Inclusion and Universal Brotherhood
1999 Annual Islamic Convention: Part V
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
"To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good. Wheresoever you are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah has power over all things." (Qur'an 2:148)
I wonder how many Imams have really read and heard what they were reading. G-d says for each one of you is a direction, so turn all of you to this qiblah. G-d wants to preserve your individuality.
G-d is saying, "I want all of you to be on the path that I have shown you, all of you to be united in the humanity that I created for you. But I also want all of you to get your individual blessings for yourself on your own by your own choices."
So as I go there (to the Kaa'ba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia), to the great crowd of the multitudes, I see people from all over the world of all colors, faces and nationalities. As Malcolm said, the White, the blue-eyed, everybody is there.
And I see that many cultures of the people are all there - many nations, the weak, the tall, the short, the fat and the thin are all there. The females and the males are all there. The female who is walking ahead of me, I can't say to her, "Sister, get behind the brother." That would break the rule of the Hajj.
I cannot say, "Let my Imam lead the prayer." All of you can lead the prayer. Here, everybody can pray, and there could be a million Imams all leading whomever will follow them. You may look around and nobody is following you. But keep leading yourself; that is the place for it and what a wonderful sign.
People are coming there with interest that is different from each other. The interest of the Chinese may not be my interest. We have different interests, but we're united in one common interest. And G-d wants us to have our separate interest, our differences.
You have individuals with separate interests. The carpenter, the soldier, the general is there too, the banker, the garment maker, the chemist - all are there together. All have their individual interests, individual aspirations, careers or professions. And they are accommodated there by the Lord of the Worlds.
We ask G-d to accept us in His Presence and we want G-d to be there for us, present there for us. We say: "Oh G-d, I obey You. Here I am G-d, here I am." Isn't that wonderful.
So brothers - leaders - if a brother walks in a Nigerian outfit and you wear whatever suit you like, feel no different by him than you feel by the brother who comes in wearing your choice of clothing. We have individual tastes, aspirations and choices that are not going to disturb us.
Maybe it is G-d's intention to take this United States of America and make it a model of what He wants the whole world to be.
The Pakistanis don't come here and take off their dress - most of them. They come here and wear Pakistani clothing. And so it is for many. The African comes here and wears his African clothing. So maybe G-d wants this to be the place for all of us to stand in our individuality, and at the same time stand in our unity.
I think that is beautiful! I think that is what we all should want in our hearts. This might be the Day of the Gathering of Mankind. This might be the Day right now. The Great Gathering of Mankind is where we will stand before our Lord. And those who are blessed to keep their souls as G-d created their souls to be will be rewarded. They will get the benefit of this time.
HEAVEN AND HELL ARE NOT FAR APART
I use to think that hell and heaven were far away from each other, until I listened to what G-d was saying. He said that Abraham was put into the fire, but when they opened the door it was cool for Abraham. If the devil was there with Abraham, he would have been burning up but Abraham was cool.
If you are looking for hell, hell might be right where you are. Hell might be right inside of your body. And if you conquer the flames there, let faith cool the flames, you might rid yourself of hell.
"Everything will perish, except the Face of G-d...." (Qur'an 28:88)
We have to believe in the conclusion of things. Everything is perishable. The world of science tells us that the sun will not survive forever, that it is slowly dying. We don't expect it to happen in our generation and we can't even look into or count into the future to say that it's going to happen at that time. The time is so far away that we can't measure it. But science has proof that it is perishable; it is not permanent.
While the sun is living, it is our protection as a center It is a center and we are going around it, held by universal gravitation. Because of our nearness to it, the balance is created where we are not pulled into the sun and we are not pushed far away from the sun. We are kept at a certain distance of safety.
But if the sun were removed, we would be lost in the heavens, lost in the solar systems. We would have no more family unity and would be thrown helpless into space.
Isn't that a sign then, that your soul has a sacred core and in that sacred core you listen and G-d speaks as long as you respect that sacred core in the center of your soul? You will be protected to go freely in your orbit, to roam the world, but stay in the law and under the law; respect your center, That is a sign, praise be to Allah.
So we believe in the conclusion of things. G-d says there is a coming of time when He will roll up the heavens, as if it were nothing but a scroll. He says again in the scriptures that everything is perishing, except the Face of G-d.
The Face of G-d will never be removed, but everything else is perishing. G-d says again that "what is with you shall pass away, and what is with Us shall remain everlasting."
The invisible, the higher reality - not only for the mystic but also for the rational, practical person -the abstract is the higher reality.
Right now I am speaking to you from this body that is a little overweight and I am working on it! I am speaking to you from this frame, from this physical flesh, but this physical flesh is no more for me than the trumpet was for the great, great performer and enter-tainier, "Satch Mo" Louis Armstrong. His trumpet carried the beautiful music, the beautiful communication from the artist to the audience.
This body is doing no more than that for me. It is carrying my communication to you and no part of it will disobey me. While I am talking to you, my lips, my tongue, my teeth are working. But my eyes, my eyebrows, my hands, my feet cannot stand still. My flesh quivers sometimes; my bones become rigid when I say something that strikes the bone; the whole body responds to the invisible that is working in me to convey something to you.
However, you are sitting there and your body is dead; you are not aware of your body; the invisible is communicating with the invisible. The higher reality is not the reality that the camera takes. The photographer says, "Oh, I've got you!" But you didn't get me.
Let us believe in the conclusion of things. G-d has created these things as perishable and with a temporary life to test us and try us in our souls that are eternal. If we want to live with G-d, it is eternal. To test us and try us, it is to see if we will latch onto the permanent.
It is to see if our thinking, our rationalization, our minds will lead us to the conclusions that are good for us. Or will our bad intentions take our minds astray.
There is nothing wrong with your mind; nothing has ever been wrong with a human being's mind. It is something wrong with your intentions. Make your intentions right and your mind will go right. This is what we are told in Al-Islam: Matters are judged by intentions."