Protecting the Future Through Sound Economics Assisted by "Regardfulness": Part 4
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Birmingham, Alabama on February 23,1992. He has now prepared from it this article for Muslim Journal's readers.)
Our prayer (salat) is a discipline. We can't say what we want to say, we have to quote Qur'an. Our prayer also disciplines our physical body. We can't move when we want to, we have to move when the discipline says move. We move down to ruku, the bowing position. We come back up to a standing position. We form a position with nose, forehead and palms touching the floor. Our position (sajda) resembles a baby with the head too heavy for him, so he rests his forehead on the floor with his nose touching too. Don't put your mouth to the floor.
The Prophet stopped some people from praying because they were doing it improperly. That is how serious it (salat) is. It is a discipline. We have for the morning prayer two sections called rakats. A Muslim also prays sunnah prayer, because he feels that although it is not a strong obligation, he obligates himself. He wants to do the sunnah of the Prophet. So really he prays a total of four -two sections of obligatory and two sections of sunnah which means after the practice of the Prophet.
You count the number of times that you put down your forehead and nose and hands, the number of times that you are prostrated on the floor like a baby. In the two rakats you make four sajdas or four prostrations. That is a discipline. Now when it comes to the Noon Prayer, you double that number. You do four sections, and that doubles also the prostration like the baby to eight times. And Allah (S.T.) says eight holds up the throne. And don't we want the throne to be successful too? There is a total of eight sections for fard and sunnah noon prayers.
What is the throne? The throne means the rule. Man wants to preserve the rule that he has whether it is over the town as the mayor, or over the state as the governor, or over the nation as the president, or over his household as the daddy or the momma. Now if you want to preserve the rule, then break that day or stop in the busy part of the day. That is hard for many people.
In the beginning of the day, most people will say, "Oh God, help me today." And at the end of the day, most people will say, "Oh God, lay me down to sleep in peace." But in the middle of our day we are busy working and having coffee breaks and lunch. Most people will not interrupt that work day or busy day to remember God.
If you want to hold up the throne, then interrupt that business. I don't care if it is your retail business or your wholesale business or your political business or whatever. Interrupt that business and give God the respect and the attention that He asks. Then you will hold up the throne. I believe that, and we are talking about the keys for success in business. In order to be successful in business, I am saying that you have to first be successful as a believer in God. Be a successful Muslim, and that means being successful in business.
Look how successful the Muslim world was in the early days of the Islamic society under Muhammed and the great Companions of his. They became the greatest society on this earth. This is history. They led other societies back to civilization. Even the West will admit that it owes its regeneration to Islam, to Muhammed, to the scientists who followed that revelation called Qur'an. This is history, and we cannot deny it.
Arnold Tornbee, perhaps the most popular and most respected historian for the West, pays great tribute to Islam in his report on history. So what happened to this society that was so successful for a few centuries? They lost what we are trying to get right now. They got too busy with the world and lost Allah and consequently lost the world.
The proof exists that by obeying the commands of Allah in the Qur'an and following his Prophet will bring success. We have people who came from backward life, from idolatry and were tribes similar to the American Indians as a bunch of independent tribes, even called nations, with no national unity. They were not recognized by any civilized order. The Qur'an guided them to become the leaders of nations on earth during that time.
The proof that the Qur'an will give you success is that they (the early Ummah) got success. The proof says Allah is the key, obedience to Him is the key for that success. When they stopped that obedience to Him they lost it. Allah (S.T.) says, "Never did a society fall, until they first neglected prayer." Do you see how important prayer is for us, brothers and sisters?
I don't see why any of you brothers don't like to pray. Aren't you men? I know I have a little bit of rooster in me. 1 get up and exclaim. "Allah n Akbar!" Man, that awakens a whole lot of male genes for me. I feel all kinds of ancestral manhood coming into my spirit when I do that (the adhan).
Let me tell you, if you want to have a better relationship with that woman, then do some flopping of your arms (wings) like that rooster and call out "Allah u Akbar!" But mean it, because if you are faking man, the first person to know is that woman. Prayer will strengthen us and condition us for carrying other disciplines — all of them.
There is a small surah or chapter in the Qur'an that reads: "Concerning the time down through the ages, surely humanity is lost. Except for those who have faith, and their deeds are righteous. And they cooperate for the advancement of truth. And they cooperate for perseverance and patience."
There given are four conditions: They believe. They practice good deeds. They have as their aim truth. And they cooperate to encourage each other to be perservingly patient. In the passage I read, "Shall I point out to you a business deal, a commerce, that will save you from a punishing affliction?" The first condition was to have faith in Allah and in His Messenger and to struggle in the path of God.
Can you see the resemblance here to what we just read in the chapter called Al' Asr? There is a resemblance. To believe is the first condition — to believe in God and in His Messenger. Then after belief have works, struggle. It cannot be just any striving. It has to be righteous striving in the path of God. It has to be with your possessions and with yourself. You cannot be successful with the worldly things, unless you follow or pursue what is truthful.
To hold success you have to be definite. You have to be correct. There is no way to do mathematics half way. You have to do it all the way. It is either correct or incorrect. There is no way to run a business gambling. Some of us believe that we can go into business as gamblers, and all of our disciplines will be the disciplines of a gambler: "Well, I'll start off buying $500 of goods, and I'll spend $1000 on this, and then I will sell these items." That is not the way you do business.
You have to first find a source to supply you and a market for your supply. You have to identify a market. You have to know how much you can get out of that market or at least have a pretty accurate guess. You have to play it safe. Business is not based on a gamble. Business is something that demands accuracy. And truth is another way of saying accuracy. If you are not working for accuracy, then forget about the material world. It is not for you. Go up in the tree and just swing in the sheet that you make into a hammock.
But if you appreciate the discipline of wanting to be accurate, you will be successful. Success will come not only in business but practically in everything. That is important. Try to be accurate. I think I can draw pretty well, and a good drawer strives for accuracy. I think I used to fight (box) pretty good too. And a good fighter strives for accuracy. A good computer operator strives for accuracy. A good anything strives for accuracy. A good march in the Army, requires accuracy. Accuracy is another way of saying truth. Truth requires a desire for accuracy.
If accuracy is a must in the world for success, then truth is a must in your soul for success. Believe me. these two things are the same. Whatever makes for success in the world makes for success in the soul. Whatever makes for success in the human soul makes for success in the world.
I heard an African American professor who did not know too much about real Islam once say, and I never will forget it, "Islam is not vain imagination or superstition. It is reality. " Well, I can stand here today and say ameen (amen) to what that professor told me when I was a boy in his class. Islam is no superstition. It is not vain imagination. Islam is reality. We say God is Reality. We say Hell Fire is not a superstition; it is not a myth. We say the Hell Fire is reality. Qur'an.
(To be continued)