The Freedom Movement Lives!: Part 2
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), the Gracious, the Compassionate
(Editor's Note: Following are excerpts from Mujeddid Wallace Deen Muhammad's 4th Sunday address delivered at Masjid Elijah Muhammad in Chicago, March 25, 1979 Continued from last week.)
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:
Selfhood is another loss we have suffered. A comfortable existence with yourself and the ability to manage yourself, that's selfhood.
We want to come to a comfortable relationship with our inner-self so that the conscious mind recognizes and satisfies the dignity it sees in the inner-person. The inner-person has to have the tools of knowledge to be able to manage itself—to direct and challenge, the inner-life, the spirit, the intellect, the whole life as God has ordered us to, to make the self obey what God has commanded.
We have to be able to drive the body to obey God. But more importantly we have to be able to drive the mind to obey God. The body serves the mind, the mind should serve the spirit, and the spirit should serve God. That's the only way.
We want to restore selfhood to each individual. We don't want individuals at the mercy of the manipulators of society, waiting on the new fad or a new record or a new girlfriend or a new hippy role to come out and dominate their lives.
We want individuals that see themselves above these kinds of things. Individuals that value their human conscience, their inner-beings so much that they won't submit to the influences in the society, only to God, and to the guidance of God as it is in the Quran.
Another great loss that has the African American people weak, divided, despondent, unable to stand on their feet, unable to rejuvenate their community life, unable to build economic power, or have real political power, is the loss of a central or common cause that all the race can hold on to and be united.
We have lost that common bond. Some of us are going to black nationalism, most of us are going our own carefree, individual ways, some of us are going political, some are going after money, some after good times: but we don't have unity. We don't have an awareness of the common responsibility to build on the dignity of the race.
We are not a unified ethnic group anymore. Our leaders are just campaigning for big paydays. They have given up. You have frustrated them. They don't believe that they can depend on you to follow anything worthwhile.
Shouldn't it make you feel that you owe something to Almighty God to know that He is not fed up with you? God still feels that there is enough goodness in the community of the African-American people for Him to inspire and bless and keep giving you good leadership. That means that He still has faith that there is goodness in this society. But how long is this going to last? Once the light is shown on the problem and you don't act as you should, who knows what will happen?
I hope Allah doesn't take his blessings from us, but it can happen. Allah can quickly take me out of this society and raise up someone better than me elsewhere.
He could give me to another people. Don't think that's impossible. Overnight I could become an Imam, a leader for a different ethnic group.
Allah has intended it for us. But look at you. Those who say they saw good should respond accordingly, and that means to give due justice to what you have been told. You have to be serious at home. Some of you go back to your silly street ways before you get out this door. You don't get out the door before I hear you insulting each other, acting ugly to each other, or using the cheap, ugly language of the street-right back to slave mentality, slave-day thinking. It's a shame!
When you leave the masjid you should leave like I leave. I leave here thanking Allah. I can't forget that quickly. In my car my mind is on Allah; even though I am thinking about other things, Allah is still on my mind, this work is still on my mind. I go to sleep with this work on my mind. I wake up the next day and I have to do something for this work. If I see my children drifting away from appreciation of what we are doing, I quickly call their attention to what they are doing.
Some of you watch the children going crazy—giving their minds to a bunch of cheap destructive music, or silly T.V. programs all day long and won't insist that they be saved from these adverse influences that take your mind and development away from what Allah wants.
We will never be a strong community until you get the same kind of courage, dedication and devotion that I have.
Prophet Muhammad was successful because he was given strong men like himself. They were not his equal but they were strong like him—Abu Bakr, Ali, Uthman, Omar and many others. We won't get help like that until you have the feeling I have, until you feel the pain and suffering inside because of the absence of such help. Then you will struggle like I struggle until such help arrives.
There is a term used in academic circles for the kind of glue or central bonding material we need to bond us together. It's called ethos. When a race or community loses that, it's finished. You don't have anything to hold you together.
What held us together during the freedom struggle? Belief in God! All of those leaders had belief in God. What held the followers of Noble Drew Ali together? Belief in God! Marcus Garvey's people? Belief in God! The civil rights movement? Belief in God! The Honorable Elijah Muhammad's great movement to dignify the race, economically and socially? Belief in God. That's what has been holding us together—God.
Everything else was just additional support. The belief in their own dignity or the dignity of race, the desire to get freedom, the struggle to have equal opportunities in this land—certainly all of this was in us, but the strongest thing holding us together was God. People didn't come to hear Dr. King because he only had a great philosophy; they came because they reverenced that man, they believed he was inspired by God.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad didn't hold us just because he called us to racial superiority or to money and all of that. He held us together because we believed that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was a God-inspired man.
Frederick Douglass, the articulate orator, a student of government, political science, was a highly spirited, God-fearing man.
If it wasn't for the presence of God we wouldn't have had the unity, the solidarity we had. Now we have given ourselves to reefers, cocaine, shake the booty, extravagant living, Superfly, flamboyant lifestyles—a superficial show of human achievement that amounts to nothing. Without God as the central binding force, we've become dog-eat-dog race of people, each one preying on the other one's weaknesses.
Don't think God has disappointed us, we've disappointed Almighty God. We have failed Almighty God.
Don't think that our leadership disappointed us, we have failed our past leadership.
Don't think we don't have the present leadership that can carry us forward. It's us, we are failing to give support to the leadership we have.
This common binding material a race needs comes in the collective goal they're after. It's usually successful when there are some sacred principles they hold to. And those sacred principles are best established by God.
We believe in America, we believe in the sacredness of the individual. We believe in the sacredness of human dignity, the sacredness of the privacy of the individual, the natural rights of the individual. We have a sacred appreciation for the individual in America. But that too is being confused and being smothered by all of the wild kinds of things we're going after in this present world society.
We can't come together again unless we have something strong, like belief in God, sacred belief in human dignity, and a belief in the will of God and the will of God for the people.
Each individual has a goal or a destiny that God is influencing. To reach for those high goals, those high achievements that your collective conscience has inspired you towards, you should have sense of a sacred destiny.
Any time a people have been reduced to a level lower than that of any other cultural group on the pages of known history, that people, if they have any belief in God, should think they have a sacred destiny.
The children in bondage in Egypt didn't believe their suffering was without an answer. They believed that they had a sacred destiny, that God was going to send them a deliverer before the word Messiah was even in the language.
They gave birth to the word Messiah because of the need that was in them. They said God must send us a deliverer directed by Him.
They knew that God is just, that God is all-seeing, all-knowing, ever-present, and that He would answer their needs. It is binding on God to do justice to every cause, and those people cried out "God send us a deliverer. Send us a Messiah. Send us a messianic leader." They had hope and waited until God raised up from them a Musa, a Moses.
They followed him out of Egypt, out of a land of oppression, national arrogance, and slavery. Look how perfect it is for us today.
Isn't that a wonderful revelation?
What have we wanted—? Unity, solidarity, collective power.
We know we have been too spoiled and despoiled, robbed and diminished to have any individual or small group power. We know that our only hope is in having the combined force of the whole ethnic group behind a movement for progress.
Only with that collective strength, we can be successful. Common sense taught us that a long time ago.
Marcus Garvey asked for unity. Before him Noble Drew Ali asked for unity. Frederick Douglass asked not only for unity in his people but for a spirit of unity in the nation. He was a predecessor for the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
All those men saw that the race had to remain unified. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad called on us to unite and we are still in need of that cohesiveness. With that we could do wonders, uplifting the dignity and status of our people in America and all over the world.
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 A Hah, Wallace Deen Muhammad
(To be continued)