On Quran and Prophet Muhammad: Part 2
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from a lecture delivered by Imam Warith Deen Muhammad at the Kedzie Street Masjid, Chicago, IIL, Sunday, April 39, 1981 ( continued from last week.)
So we have an obligation to follow Prophet Muhammad and to live as best we can, the human example in him, The other people at the same time are benefiting indirectly Jews, Christians and others from the presence of our Prophet on this Earth. And they have benefited tremendously. And it's a pity that in these late centuries we haven't been as awake as they have been to the treasures that our Prophet left, by the Grace of Allah peace and blessings be upon him.
The Quran is the Book for rational people, the Book that was given to Prophet Muhammad and this Book is his miracle. Did Prophet Muhammad receive this just for nothing? Had he established something before revelation came to
You all understand in this masjid that Prophet Muhammad had lived for 40 years before he was missioned to carry the revelation to the people. He had lived among the Arabs for 40 years, and those were 40 impeccable years. He had established character that could not be matched anywhere, even before he was given the mission as a Prophet to go among the people.
So we are not talking about a man, (just) any man who God blessed and gave revelation to. No, we are talking about a man who from a young child all of his life, during his manhood even before he was missioned by God exemplified the best in humanity. The Honorable Aisha, what did she say when she was asked about Prophet Muhammad? She said he exemplified what is in the Quran.
I don't think that Muslims should question or challenge Hadith that have been verified, that have all the necessary verifications needed to support that those Hadiths did come from Prophet Muhammad (Salli Allahu Alayhi Wa Salim). But, as we know there are many Hadiths that we all question. We are told there are degrees of soundness and un-soundness, but however, I feel that we should be very hesitant to put more emphasis on Hadith than on Quran. We should be careful not to put more emphasis on Hadilh than on Quran.
We should be careful and very sensitive to this particular pitfall that 1 am addressing now: that is, to come into a blind competition with Christians or into a blind competition with Jews. Many Christians have long ago left the purity of their religion. Many may never even have had it. But we do know that they have gone far from the purity of that message that was given from Allah to His Servant. Jesus (on him be peace).
Now, what is this blind competition? Many Christians have separated themselves from the devotion commitment to stress the essence of their faith to a kind of crusade to sell off to all people, a personality. So they don't tell us much about what Christianity is; they tell us what Christ (Jesus) is. They tell us of Christ's attributes. They don't give the meat of their religion to the society.
Prophet Muhammad was missioned to give the meat of the faith to the people. He didn't give the people water and milk and no meat. I hope you understand the language, the symbolic language I'm using. He gave them the meat of the religion. He preached to the people and he opened their minds, he gave them rational teachings, he qualified them to stand upon their rational footing as well as upon their footing of faith.
Whereas the Christian would as we know does not qualify Christians, as a mass, to stand upon any rational footing, they qualify them only as standing upon a footing of faith. This is not our religion. Their strategy is to sell a man, to sell a human being, to sell a personality as being so much above an ordinary human being that we all should look up to him and worship him.
I'm not asking you to believe me, you would have to believe me with your own heart. But I am saying to you that I believe I am as strong a follower of Prophet Muhammad as any of you, and I love him with the same love that the best of you have. But at the same time, I am aware of a problem we have in putting him, in selling him, in stressing him "The Prophet, the Prophet." What about what he taught - - what about the Quran that was given to him?
Let's teach Quran and let's let the people know that the Quran didn't come from the sky, it came through Prophet Muhammad. The greatest tribute that we can make to Prophet Muhammad is to tell the people that this great, vast Book of knowledge, universal knowledge that is timeless, came through a human being who is the Prophet. That is not to say that we can forget about Hadith, that is not to say that we should forget about the glorious history of Prophet Muhammad who paid a great price, who is in symbolic representation of Christ, who suffered and paid a great price to deliver the truth to the people. We know how he suffered in Mecca at the hands of his own people in Taif; when he went to Taif, he was stoned, he was mistreated, and how he came victoriously back to Mecca and then pardoned his enemies, ended the blood feuding.
We know all of this and we know how beautiful this message is to the hearts of a free people, how it touches the hearts of the Believer, but that will not bring people to Al-Islam from Christianity because they have such "exciting stories" that they tell (of the personality of Jesus). We can't match their exciting stories, but we can excel them in telling the truth because the Quran tells more truths than they can ever come up with.
Now this is my little talk I have for you and I hope I see you again. Peace be unto you. As-Salaam-Alaikum.