America: The Beautiful and the Beast: Part 1
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's publication, "As The Light Shineth From The East." Bilalian News takes this opportunity to provide its reading public with brief glimpses of this historical work. We not only recommend that everyone purchase a personal copy, but also additional copies for friends and relatives.)
The Constitution of America is influenced by Quranic teachings. Even the capitalist concept of business is influenced by Quranic teachings. The idea of human dignity that the Constitution expresses is more in accord with the concept of man in the Quran than it is with the concept of man in the Bible. And many wonder why the Chief Imam now wants to save America. I want to save America because I see two lives in America. The life blood of truth and the life blood of lies. And I think that all we have to do is just separate ourselves from that life-blood of lies and we will have a beautiful America, indeed.
The good high-reaching spirit has always been in the life of the American people. Some of us rejected it, but the great majority of Americans have always identified themselves with it. We have the spirit to go to the Mt. Everest of human dignity and social progress. All we need to do is take this anti-human out of the Bible life, out of the church life, and out of the social life of the American people. And we should do it as the statesman. We should do it as the doctor of science. We should stop approaching the problem from a basic ungrounded, un-stabilized, un-rooted, sentimentality and emotionalism.
Dr. Martin Luther King did a great job preaching love for your fellowman but it reached the point, of diminishing returns, and it began to produce more hatred between people until even his own people began to reject him a.* their leader. The Civil Rights Movement began to produce more hatred. His own people whom he led and who worshipped and idolized him broke off from him and said, no — we can't get it this way.
Dr, King finally recognized that an emotional remedy is short-lived, and you have to know when its time is out and start feeding the people a program of good sense. Teach the people to understand in rational logical language their crazy human problems. Dr, King recognized this and he took the emphasis off the brotherly love doctrine, and started preaching opportunities and equality in jobs. You see he recognized the end of that but he left us without direction. He didn't point out the problems to us. He just merely started taking another course....The answer is to deal with human problems with the strength of the human being, and that strength is moral excellence and human intelligence.
A beauty of the human being is human sentiments. Oh, human sentiments are beautiful, but human sentiments cannot design the world. They can only influence the design of the world. It takes intelligence to design the world. You can become oh, so sentimental but as long as you are contained in a sentimental womb you will never come up with any mathematical design for solving problems.
Once you come out of the sentimental womb and come into a rational womb and start approaching things with the tools of intelligence, then you can use the great reservoirs of beautiful human sentiments to influence the colors that you put into the scales and into the diagrams. But let mathematics design and structure the thing, not sentiments. By mathematics, I mean, an exact, calculated thing.
What do the sentiments calculate? Sentiments can't calculate. Sentiments can't fine point; sentiments don't know degrees, longitude and latitude. Intelligence knows that. Sentiments don't know the nature of a disease. They know the effects. Intelligence knows the nature of a disease, a doctor knows the nature of the disease, and a doctor is the one who cures.
You tell me we're going to have black studies, ethnic heritage celebration and we're going to ignore the great place that this Qur’an has had in the life of Bilalian people? Study the African-American history. Trace it back to those roots before they were severed and we were separated from family ancestral life. Trace the history and you will find more Muslims in your roots than Jews or Christians.
Not even the blind forces of the human beings in the Bilalian community would rise up and show life in the face of the evil attempt of the racist and the prejudiced people against our religion; to challenge them and say, "Why are you saying these things?" Why are you Bilalians denying Al-lslam the dignity it Deserves in the Bilalian community? Is that a history that you don't want? Is that an identity that you don't want to be a part of? "Well, the Arabs, they're the ones who sold us into slavery."
Is that what you believe? Who told you this? Did Frederick Douglass tell you that? Maybe it was Nat Turner? Did Nat Turner tell you the Arabs enslaved you? Who told you that? It wasn't Dr. King. It most certainly wasn't Minister Malcolm X. It wasn't David Walker, it wasn't Marcus Garvey. Who told you that the Arabs enslaved you or sold you into slavery? I think it was the same ones that told us God is dead.
Wake up. The day of your great victory is here. Don't sleep. Do you think an intelligent man — even if he knew for certain that some Arabs were in the slave trade business — would separate himself from the great past, from his great history and dignity in Al-lslam simply because some Arabs had a part in the slave trade? No intelligent man would do that kind of foolish thing. Did anybody ever try to make you believe that a man, simply because he accepts Al-lslam, becomes pure and spotless, safe from doing any wrong? No. Allah says in the Quran that the righteous people are not to be identified by skin or by their religious labels.
Allah says, in the Quran, that righteousness isn't turning your face East or West. Righteousness is in being God-fearing, in obedience to God. Righteousness is in carrying out the wishes of God. Righteousness is in believing in God, His books, His prophets. His angels, His promises to His people or to the faithful — that righteousness is in kind, charitable treatment of the next of kin, to the near relative. And also to the widows, to the orphans, and to the person in the road who has no place to stay tonight. All of that comes under the definition of righteousness in the Quran.
(Continued next week)