"The Natural Elements Testify To The Truth Of The Quran And Muhammad": Part 3
The following article is from excerpts of an address that was delivered by Emam W.D. Muhammad to the San Quentin brotherhood on February 29, 1977.
With the Name Allah (In the Name of God), The Gracious, The Compassionate.
As -Salaam –Alaikum
In this, the third in our series of articles on this subject, let us look quickly at the element of wind. "Wind" in the human makeup represents the sentimental emotional makeup. Winds are gentle and they are also harsh; winds are destructive and they are also constructive. Cold winds hurt the tender life and strong, violent winds knock down weak structures. Gentle winds in spring carry the pollen and deposit it to help the development of life in the plant. Winds also bring clouds with water over places that are thirsty for water (dry land) and they drop water on that thirsting land. The same wind blows the land dry and leaves it thirsty again. So we find that the wind brings life and that it also dries out life. It brings fertility and it also knocks down the life that it has started to develop.
Gentle Winds, Harsh Winds
In the human being is a similar nature. Sometimes our sentiments and emotions flow gently to the receiver to nourish them, to comfort them or to bring them something that they were starving for in their life. That same sentimental or emotional makeup in the human being can bring destruction to the same receiver when it is turned against them. When it changes, it does not bring the receiver gentle care, compassion, love and charity, but it brings in destruction. We will turn on the person that we have been showing love and say that they did not deserve what we gave them. We turn in rage as a violent wind and destroy the very form that we ourselves have helped to nourish. If the space for this article was not limited, I could go on and show you how "wind" is the best word or definition that we can come up with to describe us in our sentimental and emotional makeup. The writers of dictionaries and men who invent new terms cannot come up with a better term to describe the emotional and sentimental nature in the human being than this natural sign given to us by God in His creation.
Water: The First Form
Now let us look at the natural element water. In the element of water, God is showing us our first form — the form that we should keep. If we keep it, we can continue to rise up the evolutionary scale of development to become the ideal society, the khalifah. Water keeps its form. We can heat it and convert it into steam, but that steam will spread out into the air. If the air is in the right condition, the steam will collect and the water will show itself again. Water is a form in creation that has endurance, longevity, or (as Jesus said) eternal life. This does not mean eternal life in any spooky, spiritual world away from the creation, but it means eternal life in a real sense. It is the ability to return again in full strength, in full purity, and in full composition.
Water may be filthy on the earth, but if the sunshine heats it, it will begin to evaporate. The small particles of water, which are so fine that we cannot see them, will rise in the atmosphere. They will rise and rise under the heating force of the sun until they come into cold regions in the higher atmosphere. When these small particles of water strike the cold regions of the higher atmosphere, they collect to form raindrops and return to the earth. The drops of water are lifted up from the impurities, leaving behind all of the slime, filth, and poison. They bring nothing up into the higher region with them but their own original substance (pure water). That is why you can drink rainwater far out at sea. The water that the sun brings up from the salty sea leaves its impurities in the sea. When the water comes down, it comes down as sweet, palatable, pure water that is fit for human beings to drink.
The Unique Element
What else do we find in the nature of water that is very descriptive in relationship to human nature? Water is the only thing in creation that does not continue to shrink when it is frozen. Cold affects everything else by making it shrink and shrink and shrink as heat is taken away from it. Under freezing, water does shrink and contract until it approaches a solid (frozen) state. But before this happens, water makes its final struggle against being made solid, concrete. Just before water becomes a frozen mass, it expands or pushes out to resist the force to solidify it. It is not the nature of water to be solid. It wants to be fluid because it can best do its job in creation in its fluid form. When we observe water, we find that it is the nature of water to find peace. Winds come and disturb the water, but as soon as the winds move back the water settles down peacefully. If we put water in a container, it will quietly rest in that container unless something disturbs it.
Life's Origin In Water
There are other things that do not like to rest. Wind is one of these anciently defined elements that does not like peace. It likes to be in motion, going here and there out of the boundaries that you put it in, especially when it is heated. When the wind is affected by Satan, it becomes unruly and really puts wrath or destruction in the life of society. Water is not like that. Although it can be disturbed, it will come to rest if you just leave it alone. If you leave fire alone, it will destroy everything—even itself. We as human beings should see all of these signs as contributing to our strength and worth as human beings, but we should try to keep our nature in accord with the peculiar nature of water. Genesis says that God formed the man of the dust of the earth. Then He caused a mist to rise up on the earth and rain back down on the ground. So God's plan was not complete until water came down on the earth. This shows us how important water is as a description for the proper nature in the human makeup. The Holy Quran tells us that God rains down His blessings on man and that He made us from a thick, watery substance. It also tells us that all life has its origin in water.
The Blade Of Water
Even when water is left alone at rest, we find motion in it. Water does not only keep its level, but water also penetrates. In fact, it is such a strong penetrating force that it can penetrate or cut its way into any material. What can be softer than water? But that soft form can cut through solid, hard forms that even hacksaws cannot go through. You would wear out many hacksaw blades trying to go through solid steel, granite or diamond. But water will go through them without wearing out its "blade" even one little section of an inch. Its blade never wears out and it cuts right through the heart of "hard" materials. With its strong penetrating ability that wears away anything that tries to contain it, it is still capable of movement. It wears away its container because it wants to seek its natural level and find peace. If it has to wear through walls of granite or steel, it will do so in time.
The Nature Of Solids
We find that all matter, even metals, has internal movement. When we look at them by themselves, they appear to be at rest. We find that if we put certain solids together they will rest, but there will be an attraction between them. If we put them surface to surface, we find that they may mix with each other. The molecules of one mix with the molecules of the other and pretty soon you will have two bars of a compound metal (mixture) that were once bars of separate metals. It is important to remember that metals will mix and that the molecules of one will go into others forming a combination of the elements. In our physical makeup we are the same.
Once the molecules of the metals become combined in a compound, they will not separate naturally. When water gets mixed up with impurities, the effect of the sun shining on it will lift it to purity again. But when metals become mixed up, a new, permanent material is formed. The metals are mixed and they cannot be brought back to their original form by natural means. We, as human beings, do not want to take on the nature of solids. We want to take on the nature of water.
In the human being, we call these things "traits" that I have been pointing to as descriptions in the human makeup. Traits are descriptions of behavior that are formed by habits. We do have to have certain traits. We can reorder our life, transform it, and take on healthier habits. Brother and sister, you have the power within yourself to develop natural, healthy human traits. So far in this series of articles, I have been trying to make clear to you the thought that we in our human makeup are designed with the same nature that is revealed in the nature of the natural elements. Because of the limit of space, we have just touched on this important idea. Not just the elements of fire, water, air and land, but everything that comes out of this creation also gives us messages of the kinds of things that can form in us. These things can either ruin our lives or they can conform in us to guide us on to our higher development. Now I want to deal with the second part of the thought in this article— and that is the importance of human relationships.
Attraction For Reproduction
When I speak of the human form, I mean the human being in totality —all that he or she identifies as himself. We should understand the divine message that God has established in the natural order of creation out of which we gain our own form. In everything of this creation, there is attraction. Some things are attracted to other objects more than others. In those things that have stronger attractions between each other, we will find the strongest and the closest relationship. Because the human male is attracted to the female, most of us think that this attraction is because of unlikeness: ''I'm attracted to her because she is not a man like me." No, you are attracted to her because she is flesh like you and your flesh wants to reproduce itself.
It is the nature of human flesh to want to reproduce itself. On the surface there is the sex attraction, but the real force that is working in us is God's law: In order to reproduce itself, that which is incomplete must come together with its part (mate). Can anything in its incomplete form reproduce itself? No, only that which is in its complete form can reproduce itself. So the male is not complete without the female, nor is the female complete without the male. We come together to reproduce ourselves. God always attracts us with something that satisfies the hunger that He has put in our nature. The hunger in our nature is not the object. The hunger in our nature is the bait.
The Hunger For Completion
God wants to continue His creation so He puts in the incomplete male and in the incomplete female a hunger for the sex food. The males must go to the female to satisfy his hunger. Do not think that the sex act or that sex power is all of it, it is only the bait. If God did not pull us by some force, all of us would become like monks and nuns and the human society would die. God has put in us the nature to have a hunger for each other. So when we come together God "pays us off" by giving us satisfaction. We have also served His purpose which is to keep human flesh here long enough for the person to develop in his flesh the higher human life form. Sex is not the important thing in our life. When we get old, God begins to reduce the sex drive and the sex power in the individual, but He keeps us alive as human beings.
When you really want to see compassion, love, and the real human form in the person, look at the person in whom the waters of sex have begun to subside. When the young man and young woman rush at each other in their youth, they hug each other with a strong grip. The flesh is excited, but the heart is ignorant. That young man and that young woman have been driven together by the power of sex forces. As soon as they get a serious problem in their life, they are ready to go to the preacher or to the court and say, "Look, we want a divorce." They forget about the great things that have started taking place in their relationship as husband and wife. They forget that their family is a new, small world that will be a unit world in the greater society. The forget that their union should carry out the works of; society, and that it should carry on the works of khalifah. They forget about their great destiny. They forget about the happiness that has been formed in their parents, in themselves, and in their little children by their relationship. They destroy their future together and break up all the good that has already been established. Look how the strong forces of sex made them rush blindly to each other. But as soon as they have some problems in their love relationship, they let everything go down the drain.
God wants to raise us up above the base (elementary) form and keep developing us until we take on the nature of a higher force form—rational knowledge. We come out of sense into sentiments, and out of sentiments into moral conscience. We rise up as a moral conscience to rational knowledge, then we rise up from rational knowledge into rational morality. Morality alone is not good enough. The morals differ here and there, but truth is universal. If we can read from God's law in creation and if we can understand the divine revelation that He has given to His prophets, we will see the form that God wants for moral society. He does not want just any morality. He wants a natural, divinely revealed morality which comes naturally from His message in creation "Deen Al-Fitr" is the religion, the order, or the society established on the pattern reflected to man's mind in creation from the very order that God has established (the very pattern that governs creation itself). In. next week's article, we hope to conclude this subject by looking at the important matter of the value of relationships.
Thank you for honoring us with your time to read these few words.
Your brother in service to Allah,