The Muslim Journal
Justice In Islam: How Close Are We Muslims To Western Democracy?: Part 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed gave the following address on June 16, 2001, in Detroit, Mich., at Orchestra Hall.)
This is also the language of the Founding Fathers: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator...." Here is the language of the Founding Fathers recognizing G-d and recognizing the Creator and recognizing all men as having inalienable rights....
Rights that the government cannot give to them. You were created with those rights - inalienable rights, and "among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
In my studies, I have come to see that statement as one of strong faith and allegiance to G-d. So the writers of this language were building an idea that would tie man to G-d and .would insist or force government to recognize that tie between man and G-d. It is a tie that government cannot make and it is a tie that government cannot break. Government has to recognize that tie and treat all citizens as the creation of G-d and that G-d gave them certain rights that man or the government or the world cannot take away from them.
This is the beauty of that idea. And this is what makes for a true democracy. A true democracy must recognize that there is an Authority higher than man. That is a true democracy. And that people are accountable to their Maker, to their Creator, the One Who designed their life and gave them life. This life that we have is a very precious life. We perceive G-d as the Creator of everything, yet G-d did not tell Muhammed when He gave him revelation: "I am Allah." Prophet Muhammed later came to know the name Allah. It was not in the first revelation to Muhammed.
G-d introduced Himself to Muhammed, firstly as the Creator - not by the name Allah. And every religion that recognizes G-d as the One responsible for what we see in the skies and for the earth that we live on and whatever comes out of the earth and for man's own existence, those religions that recognize G-d as "That," those religions can live together. They can co-exist together. Those religions can do more than co-exist together. They can work together and cooperate with one another for the future of mankind.
That is the precious idea that makes it possible for us to make progress with our human life in society. That there is a Maker, that this did not happen accidentally, that there is a Designer for what is in the skies of what we see -this system of matter with stars, etc. There is a Designer behind that, and it is the same Designer Who is also the Cause for our human existence.
And just as that Designer has designed the course for matter in the skies, that Designer also has designed the course for man's life, for human life on earth, and it must be lived in community. The expression, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in heaven,** is another way of saying: "As G-d has ordered the universe and brought it to exists in a certain order and design, He has preserved it with that design - that says the sun must keep going the way it goes, the moon must keep going the way it goes, and the stars must keep following the courses they follow, etc."
The Qur'an, our holy book, and the Bible address that - the book of Christians and the book of Muslims. So the same G-d that designed that also created and designed human life to follow laws, to follow definite patterns of behavior, definite patterns of discipline, so that the life will continue and make progress. "Thy Kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven."
These people were visionaries. These people were deep thinkers, philosophers, who believed in G-d. They had a spiritual devotion to a G-d, to a Creator, and they were working to have man's life conform to the universal laws. The same G-d that made that up there made this down here. And as He made an order and a plan for that up there, we have to discover the order and the plan that He made for this down here.
America recognizes that. The government recognizes that. That is the strength of our Constitution. That is the strongest glue or adhesive matter holding together the idea we call Western Democracy. When we appreciate this as Muslims and identify that language with our language or our language with that language, we are in a good situation to make progress in this society.
This progress is not just for the public, but it is progress for leaders. No Muslim should be satisfied just being a member in another public. You also should be contributing to the lifeline of the society that you are in. You should identify its lifeline and you should join the guardians of that lifeline and make contributions to that lifeline for the better future for all. This is where Muslims should be.
We still are talking about Democracy, and insha Allah (G-d Willing) we are going to appreciate this Democracy more as Muslims after I am finished. I know some of you appreciate it already. And some of you are afraid of it and are so spooked up, the boogieman has you. But insha Allah, we will get the boogieman out of your life one day.
We want our Christian friends to know how we see America and the idea that preserves this country and this way of life of the American people. We want them to know that we are not that far away from them. In fact, we should not be apart from each other at all; we should be together.
Muhammed did not say just as breath in the air: "One day the world will see Jesus Christ and me together." He said that as a prediction that Christians and Muslims are going to come closer and closer together.
If the world comes to see Muhammed and Jesus Christ as closer and closer together, then the Christians will appreciate Islam when they see that their Christ and Muhammed the Prophet are closer together. It means that the two communities are going to come closer together, because of those two figures being seen close together. It is happening now in the world, and it is growing.
I began by saying the Muslim Creed: "There is but One G-d, and Muhammed is His Messenger." Muhammed is a man, the name of a person, who is a human being. More importantly than that statement saying that person is the Messenger of G-d, more importantly it is saying that "a human being, a man" is G-d's Messenger. That restores Adam. That restores mankind. That restores Black people to their proper respect in the order of creation.
It is to know that the G-d Who did all of this made man His Messenger. So every man should identify with Muhammed in that honor, that G-d chose man to be His Messenger. And that is why Muhammed is told by G-d in the Qur'an: "Say to them, 'I am a mortal human being, just like you.'" It is also saying, "G-d has chosen me to be His Messenger, and I am a man, a mortal person, just like you. So you should identify in this high honor that G-d has given or paid to man."
You should not just say that Muhammed was chosen to be G-d's Messenger; you should say that man was chosen to be G-d's Messenger. And the same worth that G-d found in Muhammed was put in you when He created you. Muhammed didn't discover his human worth as Muhammed. He discovered his human worth as a son of Adam, as a human being created by G-d for a high place in the universe.
Jesus Christ said to the people: "I in the Father, and the Father in me." But he also-said: "I in you, and you in me." It was restated 710 years later, that statement was made again by G-d: "Muhammed, say to them, (I am a mortal human person, just like you.'" What is in me is in you, and what is in you is in me.
We have to see this common life that G-d has created and honored. And it is not the priest or monk or it is that essence that G-d has created. For the learned can fall from the high pedestal and be of no help themselves, not to mention to society. Those with two or three or several Ph.D.s are found sometimes to be on skid row, and all of their doctorate degrees cannot pick them up out of the gutter.
It has not been those educated by the world, but those who have not been educated by the world who are outside of that privileged circle of people with the common people, having no credentials at all. And G-d took them and revealed to them because of their human excellence, and they became the leaders of a New World Order. Moses was one. Muhammed was one. Jesus was one, and there are many others. They became leaders of a New World Order.
To be continued