Issues And Concerns Facing Muslims — Our Position And Direction: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editor's note: This is the third in a series of articles that will carry the historical address Imam W. Deen Muhammad presented to an overflowing audience in Detroit's Cobo Hall.)
So we are happy all the time, aren't we? We may be crying, but inside we are still happy. In fact, I was looking so sad once, a person sitting near me said, "Don't look so sad." And I said, "I'm sorry. Don't think that when I am looking sad, that I am experiencing something bad or having bad feelings or hurting. My sad look means that I'm thinking seriously, and I'm thinking way off." When we start thinking about the miseries and hardships and burdens and ignorance that makes the mission so much harder— and I am talking about the universal mission now and not just our mission, it causes our life to somewhat leave. The life will seem to just leave the outer person; the life goes out of the face, and we are far away and in deep thoughts.
But if we really love Allah and are righteous in our intent, it doesn't mean that I did no wrong today. Some of us do not know human righteousness. Human righteousness is not a righteousness that has no spots and blemishes. Human righteousness has spots and blemishes. It has defects. I don't like it when they no longer sell pencils with erasers on them and sell nothing but ball point pens. We weren't made for an existence like that, for we make mistakes. All of us make mistakes, except the dumb ones who are dead, dead, dead in their dumbness but thinking they are wise. Those ones make no mistakes, because they made that one big mistake that makes it impossible for them to see any other mistakes.
For us we have a righteous intent. We may have the whole world crumbling in on us —just falling and crashing down on us and tearing us to bits, and we may be crying, moaning, groaning, and screaming. But deep, deep within, way inside of us there at the core of the life, we are yet happy. We are yet in a good condition. And that enables us to get past that point of nightmare terror or to weather the storm, as people say. So we aren't worried. Allah says, "For those who believe in Him and do good deeds, there shall be no fear and no anxiety." That is what Allah says.
That I know, although I did not understand it. But now I know it. I have to say, "Hey, I have never been without fear! I have always been afraid of something. So how am I to understand this?" Then the more I gave myself to the mission and tried to advance righteousness in the world, the more I experienced anxiety. So 1 said I know God's Word is true, but I have to understand it. Then I said, "Hey, Wallace, there is the answer! It is your concern that is burdensome, and that is what makes you miserable. Your faith, your conviction, your soul is not disturbed." Why? It is because your fear has become singular. It is the fear of God!
So it is the fear of God, and then you really do not have any fear. Although you are afraid at the moment, you have no fear. When fear is not a cause for defeat, then that is not really fear. It is natural for us to fear. It is natural for me to be afraid to put my hand in the fire. When the devil tempted or threatened the Messenger of God to jump from the tower if he really was a person of faith, he was told to jump from the tower and see if God will save you from death when you hit the ground. And it was said, "Don't tempt the Lord in vain."
We know that is in Islamic teachings also, although it is just put into a different language or said in a different way. We also believe that you don't tempt the Lord in vain. And again we know that as much as man fears the fire, Abraham was put in the fire. Is that not right? And when those who put him in the fire came to see how he was faring or how he was doing, they found him there unaffected. The fire had not touched him nor had it bothered him at all. Instead of him experiencing heat, it says that God made the flames cool for Abraham. We also know that is metaphorical or symbolic.
But we don't need anyone to tell us that, really. The unlearned in the religion, when sincere will know better what is really happening than most of the scholars. Their faith tells them not to bother with that which you cannot handle. So before realizing or before having the curiosity to see if this language has another form, or if this form that I'm looking at is not just a provision of necessity and that really there is something else behind it that is real — before they get that kind of intellectual curiosity, they will accept things that God says that they can't handle as it is or without bothering it. They will say, "I'm going to leave that alone. I can't handle that, and I am not to bother that." But they go on believing it just as it is.
If Allah says that Abraham was put in the fire, then they believe and accept, that Abraham was put in the fire. They believe that God is saying to them that Abraham was put in the "fire." And it doesn't hurt them, it helps them.
It doesn't interfere with their progress, it supports them. "What are you saying? That we can believe in non-reality and yet be in a good condition?" Yes! Allah says that this whole material world is non-reality, and we have to believe in it in order to make progress here. Now that is above the head of even some of the scholars, but we have to accept it.
All of this we are looking at is non-reality. The only reality is God. That is what Allah says. What is the notion behind man's belief that this is real? The notion is that this will be here and that this will survive things that are not real And Allah says that nothing will survive. Everything is perishable, and everything is moving towards its end and will pass away, except Him and Him alone. Therefore He is the only Reality.
Isn't it wonderful that He has put in us a hope? And it is not only a hope, but it is also a spirit for eternity. I know I have it, and I'm convinced that most human beings have it. There is a hope and a spirit in us for eternity. I have doubted how I will exist in the afterlife. I have doubted it. I have come along the experience that most people come along who are curious. I was made curious by my father. He touched me. It was his finger that touched my head, as he touched most of your heads that followed him. It was his finger that touched my head and turned the clock on, the clock of curiosity that frees us in time.
Getting back to what I was saying, Abraham was put in the fire. And Allah says that when they came to see how he was faring in the flames, they found that the flames had been made cool for Abraham. That is so beautiful! And I don't need to tell any of you, that are righteous and that have righteous intent what this means. You know in your heart better than most of the scholars know, if they don't have your same heart. If they have your same heart, then they know also.
What is wanted here today is the improved ability in us for the business of life, itself. Many people will go to a psychiatrist, when they have a great burden on them. Educated people who go to a psychiatrist does not mean that they have a mental sickness. They will go to a psychiatrist, because they know that he has more knowledge of the mind in the way it behaves under pressures than they have. And if they go, they had better be careful. For if they are running for public office and it is brought out, they are going to be terribly damaged. That is not fair, and it is not right at all.
You should judge a man by his qualifications for the job. Don't judge him by what is bothering him or what his sickness was or what happened to him. Judge him by his qualifications for the job. Is he performing well? Has he performed well over the years that he has been doing this kind of work? Has it interfered with his performance in that office or in that capacity?
If it hasn't, then why should we even disclose it? But this is a dirty world, as you know. Sometimes the man was in perfect mental health. But maybe he called a psychiatrist, because the psychiatrist has help for everybody and not just for the chronically ill in the mind. Now, I am not telling you to go and see a psychiatrist.
In fact, what I am telling you is that most of us waste our money going to see psychiatrists. People go and pay psychiatrists a lot of money, when all they have to do is be serious about worshipping Almighty God. That is the condition for the human being's mind and spirit that enables him to go through great trials and hardship and terror in the household and in the world without going crazy.
Many people will come to my lectures and to my addresses and will say, "What good is this? What is the benefit of this? He is not telling me anything. I'm not being informed, and I'm not being educated. What is the good of going down there to hear him talk?" The first help that comes and the best help that comes is a climate for life. The world, with all of its complexities and confusions, is in the worse climate of life now in the history of man. I am talking about the present world.
When you come to hear my address, you are going to hear a person addressing you from a condition different from that of the world and its life. You will hear a person addressing you with a sensitivity that is different from the sensitivities of the world and its life. So a climate is going to be created while he is speaking.
A climate, if you favor what he is saying, is going to be created for you that is going to put you in a good situation again. Whether you see the philosophy or the wisdom or not, whether you see the methodology or not, it is working in you and for you. And you will leave here and perform better tomorrow and better next year and better for the rest of your life, as a consequence of being here.