Freedom Demands Proper Education
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate
As - Salaam – Alaikum
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Mujeddid Wallace Deen Muhammad's address at the 1st Annual Awards Benefit held by the Sister Clara Muhammad Elementary and Secondary School in New York, N. Y., April 13, 1979.)
All praise is due to Almighty God, the guardian evolver and sustainer of all the worlds. The blessings and peace be upon Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah to us all.
O Allah, guide us, forgive us our faults, and grant us the blessings of faith. I bear witness there is no deity except Allah, and I bear witness Muhammad is His Servant and His Messenger. Peace be upon him, his descendants, his companions, the righteous servants, all of them, and upon us in America and throughout the world:
I believe in what Allah has revealed in the Quran. It says of the people who follow Moses that there are some who follow guidance and they are true to it, and there are others who change the word of God. They take the word out of its place; make the word of God a trick, a tool, a scheme that they can use to establish their corrupt ways, their corrupt plan.
Allah tells us some Jews are good, sincere, and others are corrupt. That's what I believe, that's what I've seen with my own eyes—that some of them are sincere people but others are terribly corrupt. They are the Satan themselves.
And who has been running the show? The Satan has been running the show.
Let us keep on in the direction that we've been going and keep looking for our own place in this world. We've been trying to find a place in this world for ourselves.
We've been trying to depend upon self—our own vision—for the future. Keep doing that. Don't put your faith in the outside world or outside people. Put your faith in yourself and work hard to please Allah. Work hard to be a Muslim as Allah created the Muslim in Prophet Muhammad.
Prophet Muhammad was a Muslim. Allah created the ideal Muslim leader in Prophet Muhammad. The Quran tells us of that. The Hadith tells us of the life of Prophet Muhammad. Let us be ideal Muslims. Let us give ourselves completely to the guidance of God, accept Prophet Muhammad as the Universal Messenger and follow the example he sets.
Did he give himself to the influences of society? No. He gave himself to the guidance of God.
Look what he did for education. God inspired him to make education an obligation on every male and female.
In his day and time education wasn't even an obligation on every male. If you wanted to be a nut, you could be a nut. There was no encouragement for the people to become educated. Only a select few had access to education. The great multitudes did not.
In the days of Prophet Muhammad, education <was established as an obligation on every male and female; even the slave subject, the servant, had to be educated—and not with an inferior education; you couldn't discriminate. The instruction was that the servant get the same education you give your son.
You had to give the servant the same food, the same kind of clothing. What did this do in effect? It made the slave the equal of the freed-man without even saying slavery is outlawed.
It brought the woman to a high station that she had not known in history. It gave her the right to own property, the right to education. Every female child had equal rights to education with the male child.
Don't you know that alone is the key to equality? If the Muslim world just accepts and honors that every female must be given equal education with the male, eventually the females will be equally prepared. The female will be dignified and equal in intellect with the male if that is done.
We Muslims don't understand our own religion. We have many people here who are not declared Muslims. I say declared Muslims because you are Muslims whether you say it or not.
And we can prove it. Everyone of you, whether you say you're a Christian or whatever, is a Muslim. If you're not Muslim you don't love yourself. Muslim simply means one who yields their will to Divine law, to Divine will.
Muslim means one who is not arrogant or devil-like. So I am sure all of you would like to be Muslim. And you are Muslim by nature.
When you really look at this religion of ours, it is an ever-growing light for the world. It was given in Arabia in the form of the revelation called Quran; but it wasn't given to stop in the mental growth that it experienced in Arabia. But the mental growth of the followers hasn't kept up with this religion. If it had, the Muslims would be ahead in the world today.
The women would have more dignity in the Muslim world today. The servants would not be slaves anywhere. Although there are no slaves in the Islamic world in the sense that we know slavery, there are people who are held down. They are not given opportunity because the Islamic world has taken on the mind of the un-Islamic world, and hasn't kept up with Islamic progress.
Al-Islam is a religion that goes by the principle of gradualism. Al-Islam doesn't come in and suddenly knock down things. Islam comes in and intelligently deals with problems. You can kill slavery better using the Islamic method than you can using the Western method. The Western method was simply to say, "Slavery is wrong. We've had it for so long, we've justified it—now its outlawed. Nobody can have slaves."
The Islamic way is to say the slave is your brother. If you have a slave you give the slave the same food you eat, the same clothing you wear, the same education you get.
If I do that for my slave, my slave will not be a slave all the time. And history shows that many of those people who were in slave status rose up to become kings in Islamic society.; When the Holy Quran tells us that you all are the slave of God, that is the Divine way of outlawing slavery.
For most of the history of our enslavement in America, we couldn't even read the Bible. We weren't allowed to learn letters. But in the Muslim society every man, even the slave— Bilal, who was a slave—learned Al-Islam before he was freed. He began to learn the religion before he was free and as a Muslim he would be entitled to get every revelation of the Quran. And if he got that revelation from the Quran that tells him what he is as an individual—that God has made him dignified! and excellent, equal to all other creatures.
Al-Islam is the only thing that can satisfy modern man. Al-Islam gives the woman her dignity without robbing the man of his nature.
Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.
O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.
Peace be to you
Your brother in service to Allah,
Wallace Deen Muhammad