Promotion of Basic Concerns and the Concept of Jihad
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(This first segment to the Public Address delivered in Dallas, TX, on March 25, 1990, and prepared here for Muslim Journal by Imam W. Deen Mohammed, is reprinted from last week to correct a punctuation error. Muslim Journal apologizes.)
As-Salaam-Alaikum. That is peace be unto you. Praise be to Allah, the Creator and Lord of the worlds. We seek Him for assistance and turn to Him asking for forgiveness for our sins, for our faults, for our mistakes. And we believe in Him and put our complete trust in Him, Who is Mighty and Sublime. We do not worship any other than God the Creator, being true and sincere in the religion though the rejectors of religion hate that.
Muhammed is in the Holy Bible
The prayers and the peace be upon Muhammed, a human mortal just like us. Our prophet, he is the last and the Seal of the Prophets. He is the unlettered Messenger who was predicted or given in both the Torah and the Injil (the Torah and the Gospel of Jesus Christ), The peace be upon him and all the prophets. He is more loved by the true believers than we love our own selves and our children. Allah sent him. The Most High God, Highly Glorified, has said of Muhammed, "We have not sent you except to be a mercy to all the worlds."
We give praise to Allah and make prayers to Him on Muhammed, the noble and generous Messenger of Allah, and we offer all of what follows in the most excellent salute to Muhammed the Prophet. The prayers and the peace be upon him.
The Purpose for Human Creation
Allah, the Most High says in our Holy Book, the Qur'an, "I did not create the humans and the jinns for any purpose except My worship (to serve Me)."
Those who will be strongest in struggle, that is in jihad, are strongest in faith. We Muslims believe that if the faith is sound and right, then our situation will be good. But if the faith is not sound and right, then we can expect a life of unhappiness.
All Muslims have the same Holy Book
Allah, Most High, says in the Qur'an, the Holy Universal Book which is the same for all Muslims whether we are in America, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Africa, or elsewhere. There are no two Qur'ans; there is only one Qur'an. There are many translations of the Qur'an into different languages, and many people give explanations or comments on the Qur'an, but there is only one Qur'an for all Muslims, Some may know our Book by the spelling "Koran." "Qur'an" is transliteration of the Arabic sound.
Allah Most High says in this Holy Book to us, "And strive in Allah's path with your wealth and with your souls." It is also translated "... with your own selves."
Jihad in the Path of Allah refers to struggle. I will be quoting a publication by Dr. Tabibi. who resides in Geneva, Switzerland and was a refugee from Afghanistan during the invasion there. His life was threatened in Afghanistan, and he has since been in Geneva and also supported by the Islamic Call Society based in Libya. Dr. Tabibi has written several publications and is the editor and publisher also of a magazine that we receive here in the United States, "The Firmest Bond."
The Muslims of Dallas
"Dawah and Jihad" is the name of the publication by Dr. Abdul Hakim Tabibi. However, this propagation, Imam Yahya Abdullah here in Dallas, Texas is so excellent at, along with his brothers who work with him, Brother Marzuq and the Muslim Committee here: their effort is not without difficulty. They are energetic, enthusiastic, and long-minded. Their dawah (efforts) is Jihad.
"And strive in Allah's Path with your wealth and with your souls." - Qur'an. Dr. Tabibi says of jihad, "Jihadin the Path of Allah refers to all around struggle. The Holy Qur'an has clearly pointed out that jihad denotes two kinds of strivings. Striving with the help of God-given faculties, both mental and physical, and striving with the help of other resources which man has at his command." This is jihad.
The most popular idea and meaning of jihad, especially in the West where they only hear of one kind of struggle by Muslims, is violent conflict- Consequently, jihad is given the meaning of war. But jihad simply and literally means struggle, hard effort, exerting yourself, making effort that involves sacrifice and hardship.
The Decent Poor
We here in this country, some of us know struggle. I call it the struggle of "the decent poor." The decent poor in this country know hard struggle, and we have gotten where we are today because of our hard struggle. I am sure that many of you have come into renewed struggle after becoming Muslim. Our struggle has been and is jihad.
The Ultimate Sacrifice
We know that the greatest price to pay in jihad is to put your own life on the line, to fight an enemy physically, to meet him and to face death. Those who sincerely fight in such a war or battle as Muslims and being sincere to what Allah has commanded or ordered of them, we believe that if they are killed in such battles, they go straight or directly to Paradise. This is our belief. And I believe that.
In explaining jihad as the all around struggle, Dr. Tabibi also touched upon the idea of our religion as a comprehensive religion. Our religion Islam as it is commonly called and Al-Islam in Qur'an is a comprehensive religion. What is meant by comprehensive is that it addresses the whole life of the individual and the society. It requires the individual to practice his religion in every aspect of life. That is, we are to practice our religion at home with our families, with our neighbors, in the mosques, in our schools, in our businesses. In all of our fields of activity and endeavors we are to practice our religion.
Behavior and Jihad
Our religion is always instructing us how to live and how to get the good rewards from God Almighty, Allah. Whether we be in business or in what we call the spiritual matters, I repeat, at all times our religion is offering us and giving us instructions on how we are to live, how we are to behave, how we are to receive the blessings of Allah.
To do that, our religion has not given us chapters or passages in Qur'an for establishing business. But it (Qur'an) established the principles that determine the limits on what we can do. It establishes also certain commandments from Allah addressing wrong and right, justice and injustice, good behavior and bad behavior, good intentions and bad intentions, good attitudes and bad attitudes, and on and on. It addresses all of these matters in connection with the whole of life, in connection with every aspect of life. Included are politics, business, education, etc.
Business and Jihad
One of our professional persons, an immigrant, asked the question, "Why don't we adopt
economics as a means of dawah?" Why would he ask such a question? It is simply because he knows that if we carry out business, trade, commerce, and what ever, in a way that pleases Allah, then we get rewards for that from Allah.
A Muslim believes that when he prays, he gets rewards from Allah. It is Allah Who asks us to pray. When he carries out that command of Allah's to pray, he gets rewards for that from Allah. If we fast the month of Ramadan, having good intentions, not doing it selfishly, Allah is going to reward us greatly. We believe that. If we make Hajj, pilgrimage to the Holy House, as Allah has ordered once in our lifetime if we can afford it and yearly if we can afford it, we believe Allah rewards us for that.
Charity and Relatives
We are to spend first on our family needs and take care of our closest responsibilities first. That is, family. I am talking about jihad. I am talking about us in America. The situation is about the same for the Muslims all over the world.
Business and Dawah
"Why don't we adopt economics as a means of Dawah?" I think we are beginning to do that. We have done away with that centralized control and ownership of everything, so to speak. I remember the time when the Muslim was afraid to open a restaurant. You could not open a restaurant, because you were supposed to support your nation's restaurant. Everything (efforts) was centralized. Now that we have done away with that and Islamized that idea of business, we now have many Muslims in businesses all over this country and some are also doing business outside America (U.S.). We have Muslims in business who I am sure understand this difference in ideology: centralized and free enterprise business.
We also have more Muslim women in business. And many of you perhaps know that our Prophet, the prayers and the peace be upon him, worked for a business woman before he was prophet. This was Lady Khadijah, may Allah be pleased with her. He worked for her and impressed her so much as a skilled and trustworthy business-minded person that she put him over her business. When you read Qur'an, you will read certain passages addressing the subject of business and the conduct of business transactions.
Good Business is Blessed
Our religion rewards us for all that we do if we do it in accordance with what Allah asks of us. If we do good business, we then believe that Allah is going to reward that
business. Isn't it wonderful to open up a business and say "Allah loves this, and Allah is going to reward this business." Isn't it wonderful to go into politics and say, "If I behave as Allah (God) wants me to, then Allah is going to reward my efforts in politics." The whole life is blessed by Allah, every good effort.
I have read that in certain religions, I will not name them, the way the subject of "sex" is treated has created many serious psychological problems in the adherents, the followers of those religions.
The Prophet (On Him be the peace)
Prophet Muhammed said: "If you have sex with your wife, Allah will give you a reward for that." His Companions asked, "How is it that we get a reward for having sexual relations with our wives"? The Prophet said, "If you didn't have it (sex) legally, wouldn't Allah give you a punishment for that"? They said, "Yes." Praise be to Allah. And believe me, it is jihad to keep your sexual life straight in the U.S.
This religion Al-Islam is so comprehensive. Our religion brings us to see Allah's support for all areas of life.