April 5th 1991
Ramadan: A worldwide observance
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Note: The following addresses by Imam W. Deen Mohammed was given at Masjid Al-Faatir, 1200 East 47th Street in Chicago, IL during Ramadan of last year. This week, March 24,1991, Imam Mohammed will again address the Muslims and all invited guests at Masjid Al-Fatir for another Ramadan Treat. Everyone is encouraged to be out for the Noon (Zuhrl Prayer, after which the lecture will begin.)
"Islam," The Solution for America
During the month of Ramadan on the Islamic calendar Muslims will be found fasting in every quarter of the world. Our qiblah, our directional center, when making prayers and traveling for Hajj is established in the Middle East. We have also on the Peninsula called Saudi Arabia the home of the Prophet in Medinah, where he went from Mecca and formed a government. In Medinah is where we find the Mosque that Prophet Muhammed built with his own hands, although he worked with others in its construction. It is the Mosque of the Light, the Mosque of the Prophet. The city of the Prophet's home and mosque is known as the City of Enlightenment. We all focus there on Saudi Arabia, which is a government and a Muslim country. Its people there are respecting and observing the Islamic way of life.
In Indonesia, India, Pakistan, China, England, France, Russia, the Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Gambia, the Philippines, South America, North America, within the U.S.A. and Canada, Muslims are observing the Islamic practices. All around the world, there are approximately one billion or one-fifth of all people on this earth observing an Islamic life and practices. We pray Allah will accept all of our worship -prayers, fasting, charity and pilgrimage and reward us greatly as He always does.
"What is needed in America" is what we should first ask ourselves, before we think about Al-lslam or any religion or anything else as a solution to problems in America. We should first be aware of what is needed in America. Do we have any very serious needs as Americans? Before addressing that I think it is best for us to look at what we have presented in the topic of this chapter as an answer to the serious needs in America. And that is our religion, "Islam" as it is commonly called and "Al-Islam" as it is given in our Holy Book, the Qur'an.
Let us keep before us our view of problems in the society. I will start first with the idea of Oneness or Unity. If we can say that our religion, the religion of the Quran which is the last revealed Book, is unique or special among all the other religions, I think first we hav point to the idea of unity and oneness in our religion for the distinction. In our religion we say "God is One," and that is it The God that we say is One is the God that everyone accepts as One. It (Allah) is the God that the Jews accept as One.
Allah is the God that Christians accept as One. Allah is the God that everyone accepts as One. - The God that we accept as One is given in our Holy Book as "The Creator of everything"; everything we have, Allah created.
It may be said, "We have a lot of things here that man created." Yes, he did! But man himself is the creation of Allah. Whatever man is doing, it is because God, Allah, had created him to do it. Man could not be doing it, if Allah had not created him for it. And man cannot do anything, until he gets the resources that Allah created and also guidance from those resources (creation) that Allah created. Whatever man creates, that credit too is first owing to Allah.
For example, you open a business and provide all of the materials, and then someone uses your materials and extracts from your knowledge to create things. Can't you take that person to court and claim your property? So the Imam says, "With Allah's Name, The Merciful Benefactor." All of the benefits that we have are from His Mercy. Allah is The Merciful Redeemer. If we are ever to be redeemed, it is of His Mercy that we will be redeemed.
We believe in the Oneness of Allah, and that Oneness cannot be compromised. There is no compromising the Oneness of God for Muslims. "Say, Allah is One Alone. Allah is Eternal," all the times existing. We cannot go back in time to find His beginning, and we cannot go forward to find His end. But He is not only eternally existing, also everything that is existing has its tie to Him and cannot exist without Him. "Never did He father a child. And never was he a child fathered by any father." And "there never existed anything comparable to Him." This is Allah the One God for all. The concept of God is the distinct uniqueness for Muslims. We believe in the Purity of Oneness where the Concept of God is the issue.
The Surah of the Qur'an just recited is called The Purity. It means that this Concept of Allah is complete and perfect. No corruption of its ideas has crept into it. It has been given by Allah and remains as revealed to Muhammed for us and for all times. That Oneness is unique for us and is the purest of the ideas called Monotheistic beliefs. That is not to say that others do not believe in One God. I believe the Jews believe-in One God. I believe that Christians believe in One God. But we have that special uniqueness where we do not compromise that Oneness. It is not confused. It is not weakened. I do not want to offend anyone, but to me a God that has a progeny is weakened by a progeny. I am the one saying that and I accept responsibility for that.
First of all, the idea of God is different from the idea of man, woman, and child. Man can hope that his work will be improved through his progeny. This is because man starts off unfulfilled and incomplete. Allah has always been as He is. Allah is perfect always, and for Him to extend Himself by a progeny would say that He needs help like we do. We need a progeny to extend our existence and to give us another chance through our sons. We need a progeny that will perhaps do better than we did, in hopes of having a better society through them. The idea of progeny, in my opinion, weakens the Concept of God.
We are offering Al-Islam as a solution. Therefore, we should see Al-Islam clearly. Prophet Muhammed, the prayers and the peace be upon him, has said, "Al-Islam is structured upon five essentials." The first is there is but One God, and there are no two gods or multiple personalities. There is Only One. "And Muhammed is His Messenger," a human mortal just like you" -referring to Prophet Muhammed (Qur'an). Muhammed, Allah's Messenger, is not divine and is not an angel. He is human mortal just like we are.