Imam W. Deen Muhammad
QUESTION: When one who has professed faith allows corruption, ignorance, and false self-glory to ruin oneself, how does that Muslim submit to sound authority and achieve the pleasure of Allah?
— Saginaw, Mich.
IMAM: Professing faith, and believing or having faith, is not the same. If one accepts corruption and does wrong in society— to give themselves over to the impulse to do wrong knowingly — that person has not accepted faith. That person is not a believer. A believer will not knowingly give themselves to the tendency to do wrong and will never become supporters of corruption in society.
How can you correct people like that? If they really desire to be right, if they profess this religion and sincerely want to be Muslims yet give themselves to corruption, the problem has to be one of ignorance.
Any time a person makes a decision to live a Muslim life, they are making the decision to live a life that requires them to fight corruption. If they, themselves are a cause for the spread of corruption and yet want this religion, they have a serious problem.
All I can say is that we have to be sincere with ourselves. We have to make decisions with our eyes open.
If we are not ready to be a Muslim, we should just accept that. If we are not ready to be morally upright people, we should accept that. I f we are not ready to fight corruption we should accept that.
None of us can be saints or angels without spot or blemish. We are human beings. But we should be ready to get in the battle to fight off or ward off the influences of evil and corruption and keep our lives as whole as possible in terms of moral soundness.
If we can't do that and we know we are going to serve corruption more than we are going to serve righteousness, I think we should admit to ourselves that we are not ready to be Muslims and ask Allah to help us.
If we have the desire, we are Muslims. If we have the desire to be Muslims, we are Muslims. But we should ask Allah to help us, that's all I can say. And those persons who witness such persons in our society should understand that none of us have the power to convert anybody from corruption. We can only live a good Muslim life ourselves.
We can only invite them to come to the masjid to join us. If they are our friends, perhaps we will be an influence to get them to visit the masjid more often.
We can only be a help to them. We can't lead them. We can't be responsible for them.
Only Allah can turn the heart of a corrupt person from corruption to His pleasure.