Man's Proper Role: Part 3
Imam Warith Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah, the Gracious, the 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, III. Continued from the last two weeks.)
Prophet Muhammad would remind them that they were talking about those things that they made with their hands. They were charging Prophet Muhammad with bringing enchantment. Enchantment means spiritual: "All these spiritual ideas — you're trying to enchant people. We know what you are, you're an enchanter."
He pointed right back at them and said, "You're spooky." He said, "All these physical things you worship, you're not physical you're spooky. You're superstitious." He said, "I call you to logic and you want to hurry to your superstition."
Now aren't we a modern day, 20th Century example of that? "Oh, you Christians believe-in that spook god. We don't believe in no spook god. The only god is man. Ain't no spook god." And the Brother faints on post — "See what Allah did to him, Brothers." Or he comes to the Temple on Saviour's Day and somebody has an accident on the way — "You see that Brother; I told you that Brother wasn't right. See, his car ran off the road. Allah wouldn't even let him see the Messenger, Brother"
"Oh, Brother — I ain't worried about a thing."
"I thought you said they were going to put you out of your apartment?"
"Yes, they said they're going to put me out of doors — I ain't following them."
"Brother don't you have a wife?"
"Yes, I've got a wife, Brother. My wife's got to obey the Honorable Elijah Muhammad."
"Don't you have little babies — aren't you afraid? It's winter time, they're going to put you out in the street."
"I don't care what they do. I'm going to see 'the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Brother. I've got this $400 and I'm not going to give it to no goddamned devil; I'm going to take this money and pay for my trip to see the Honorable Elijah Muhammad."
"But your children may be put out on the street when you get back, Brother."
"Brother, Allah will take care of that."
"See how beautiful it was today, Brother. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke. You see how Allah wouldn't even let the snow fall on us."
"You Christians believe in a spook god." And if it snowed until he was in snow up to his eyes — "You see how Allah slowed up the traffic with the snow. Now the Lazarus lost-found ain't got nothing to do; he can't even drive his car. He's got to come to hear the Honorable Elijah Muhammad today. Allah has snowed him under."
I want you to see how spooky some of you were.
Some of your would-be leaders want you to think I'm spooky. "Be careful of the Imam. You know the Imam — he's okay. He's done a lot — he did a lot of good, he's doing good. The Imam ain't — he's a holy man, he's a spooky man. We're for real, Brother; we've got to be for real. He can live like that, Brother; we've got to be for real. We've got to do this work to do this job."
It's a matter of what we worship.
Let us come to another very important term for us in religion: How come the unity of the Muslims is so great? It's because they have an unshakable authority in their lives. A Creator, a Supreme Being who decides and controls everything. They have accepted that idea in their minds. They have an authority over them that they can't contend with. The true Believer does not wrestle with his God.
The true Believer, if he speaks to God, speaks to God as a humble soul. He asks questions with fear, he chooses his words very carefully when he's praying to his Lord. This is the sign of true faith. He has accepted an authority in his life that he believes is responsible for his being and for the being of everything. He believes that he cannot escape the judgment or the wrath of his Lord.
He is committed to his Lord also out of love for his Lord. He sees his Lord as the Benefactor, the True Benefactor — that everything has come because of my Lord. That kind of idea in the individual makes him obedient. We do it out of love for God; we do it out of love for the way of God. We do it naturally. We are obeying Allah sometimes without even a thought to that fact that we are obeying Allah.
Some people can't obey then- superiors while the superior is standing right there looking at him and they are looking at then- superior. The Believer who accepts Allah, obeys and loves to obey. He hates to disobey; he corrects himself when he finds himself disobeying. We have to have authority in our lives — unity. But unity won't be anything unless there is authority. Allah unites us because He is an authority that we all can accept. He's not prejudiced; He's perfect in all of His judgment. We can accept Hun, and in accepting Him, He unites us together as brothers and sisters.
Then Allah shows us that it is in our nature to respect authority. He sets up authority in the subordinate position to Himself. We also have to respect those authorities. Number one j is His Prophet; to him Allah gave the mission and charges him with the responsibility. His Prophet is number one. "Obey Allah and obey His Messenger," that's the Quran.
Then comes those who are charged with authority. They are not the authority, but the authority has been made their responsibility. An Imam is an authority. Not in himself but in his charge; in the responsibility that he's charged with, he becomes an authority. "And obey those who are charged with authority." Those are the Imam's or the people we select to be over us. These people that you selected to be over you in the committee, they are charged j with authority.
(To be continued)