Man's Proper Role Part: Part 2
Imam Warith Deen Muhammad
With the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Compassionate
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's address to the Regional C.R.A.I.D. conference held March 15, 1980 in Chicago, Illinois. Continued from last week.)
We need worship because everything else fails to unite us. Man has idolized objects of creation. He's created things out of his own imagination to idolize. Nothing has united humanity like the worship of God. We have some powerful ideologies — democracy is a powerful philosophy. Look how it has failed to unite the free world. Even the free world is not united. Karl Marx's Manifesto, the great philosophy of the Communist Party -- look how it has failed to unite even the communist people. Those who come to the proper worship of Allah, they are united.
No other idea has united human beings to make them feel as though they are from the same mother and father. Nothing can offer you the kind of comfort with your fellow human being like that bond that unites us under God. Unity is important, because human beings want peace. Can't you see how all of these important terms in our religion are tied together? Human beings want peace, and peace suggests unity. How can there be peace, until there is unity? Minds must meet and agree.
We have unity as the central idea, unity as the nucleus of all our ideas. Whether it's the worship of God, whether it's brotherhood, whether its moral — it could just be a need for moral respect, but it implies or it suggests unity, how is there going to be anything without unity?
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a faithful soul. He was a human being like all the rest of us, but he was a faithful soul. What I mean by a faithful soul, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was not his own boss. Most of us like to be our own bosses. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad was not his own boss; he followed a faith. Even though sometimes he didn't measure up to what he thought, he followed it. When he saw that things were going wrong, he got right on the job.
In the last years of his life the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was trying to save our lives. He saw that we were losing our lives to the wild mind of the society — walking around acting tough and ugly; abusing human beings; robbing and stealing and following the ways of crime; taking advantage of the innocent good brothers and sisters among us.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad saw that the idea he gave us of God failed. He began to try to bring us back. I say "bring us back" because what he gave us really wasn't to last always. In the first stages of its work, it performed wonders. It attracted people who came for the worship of God.
They didn't come because they wanted to be black and proud, they came because they felt that here is a religion that's right, and "I've been a Christian because I wanted to be right. Now here is a religion that speaks for justice louder than the Church speaks, so it must be the better religion.''
They followed the Honorable Elijah Muhammad because they felt that it was a better way of worship. They didn't come for money, they didn't come for a big show-off image. No — they didn't come to rip somebody off or try to get into a power clique. They came for the worship of God and true fellowship.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, knowing the life that he had bred in his people, in his last years he tried to save that life. He even stopped saying "Allah."
I remember one time when he told us not to say "God." In the late years he started saying "God." Well, he said, these people have gone astray. "Maybe if I say God, they will remember what this is all about. Yes, God will do these things for us." That's the way he began to talk near the end of his life. He hardly ever said "Allah" at the last years of his life, even to the Imams. It's an Imam that was "really* close to him that is here now.
Even to the ministers — they were still ministers under the Honorable Elijah Muhammad at that time — he would tell them, "Brother, God will, He will help us." Yes, he was telling them something. "Your idea of God has gone way out. I didn't mean for you to go that far. I don't want to face my Maker with this on my soul."
He tried to help us, you know. A man who will undo his own works to make things right, that's a man who's worthy to enter paradise. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his last years intentionally worked against his own works so things would one day be made right under this Community. He cried out with courage and fearlessness and brought dignity to our mind and to our hearts and our race. We've got to give him credit.
Christians were talking, but they weren't talking the talk to make a Black man feel proud. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad did that. He followed others who were doing a good job, but they didn't bring it to bear fruit for all of us. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad brought it to bear fruit for all of us.
There are people walking around in this city now, and in other cities throughout this nation, who feel proud now; they are not burdened with an ugly concept of themselves as human beings. They are proud and relieved, and if they would tell you the truth, they would say, "Yeah, well I think the Nation of Islam had the greatest influence on me."
Remember how spooky some of us were: "That Brother ain't right. That Brother ain't right, man! You see how Allah made him fall out there while the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was talking."
The pagan Arabs said to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), "There is nothing after this life.- Die and you're dead." Prophet Muhammad was trying to tell them to believe in God Supreme, above the human dimension. They said "Our fathers told us who God is. We know, we have our own Gods."
(To be Continued)