On Moral Consciousness: Part 4
Imam Warith Deen Muhammad
With the Name Allah, the Gracious, the Compassionate.
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Imam Warith Deen Muhammad's Feb. 17, 1980 Sunday address at Masjid Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Chicago, III.—Continued from the last three weeks.)
Good Believers would come up to me and tell me, "You have to help your father. You should come on back." Even a non-Believer, a Caucasian once said to me, "Your father — after getting acquainted with you — your father could really benefit by having you with him. How come you're out here? How come you're not with your father?"
I told him, "Well, there is a difference of opinion— conflict." He said, "Is it that serious?" I said, "Not for me." It wasn't that serious for me; I didn't think it was that serious for a man to put me out of his house and tell me not to come back, never speak to him anymore. Don't talk to your mother; don't call on the phone. I didn't think it was that serious. Well for him, it must have been.
Thanks be to Allah, we are back together — with the approval of my father, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. That's something that we all should be proud of and happy with.
I remember the day that I was given time lout for the fourth or fifth time — I don't know I how many times — and as I was leaving the I house my mother said, "What are you going to I do, Wallace?" But she said it with more concern than that, and I said, "What do you mean, Mamma?" She said, "How are you going to live?" I said, "I'll live." She said, "Don't you know you can't find any job out there?" I said, "I'll make it alright, Mamma." She said, "Son, you ought to go back there and accept your I father — what he said — and give up that idea you've got." She said, "I know our Saviour! I ! fed him,-myself."
I'm telling you exactly what she said. I was getting ready to leave, I was out the door, I was almost all the way off the porch. But she° was holding the door open and talking to me through the door.
She said, "I fed him, myself, I know him." I said, "Mamma, did he ever tell you that he was Allah." Her expression changed; she said, "Well, no, but he told my husband." I said, "But did he tell 'you' Mamma." She said, "No, but in fact one day I called him Prophet and he said, 'Sister — that name is too big a name for me.''
See, Allah brought that out. I didn't ask for that; I didn't know that was coming. I said, "Mamma, a man who told you 'prophet' was too big for him, how can you try now to make me call him God?"
She didn't say anything else, and I greeted her and left. Before she passed, she was happy and smiling. In fact the last I remember seeing my mother alive, she was smiling the big smile that she gave me on better days. She was just happy. She said, "Son, I'm alright." She was smiling with a big smile that she often gave. That's the last I saw her alive.
I'm going to tell you what she told me, before even the Honorable Elijah Muhammad told me "Go, Son, and preach that Gospel." He told me this at his table. Sister Velora was there; Sister Shirley Hazziez was there; Minister Yusuf Shah was there, and a host of others were there when he told me this. That's a little bit too much approval to give me; none of them will come out and tell it like it was. At the table that day, he was looking at me and he told them, "I wish I was the man my son is." That's what he told them at the table.
So you listen to what you want to listen to, and go in the direction that you want to go in. I'm putting it to you as it is.
Anyway, I lived to see my mother very happy and pleased. She told me, "Son, your father is sick. You go on out there and lead the people - they'll follow you." That's what my mother told me a few months before my father passed.
Why did she tell me that? She wouldn't tell anybody that. My mother was 100 per cent a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, her husband. She would die, you could shoot her down with a gun or cut her or burn her and she wouldn't give up her allegiance to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. That's how strong a follower she was to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Now why would she tell her son, "Your father is sick. Go on and lead the people — they'll follow you"?
What made her think that they would follow me? You all didn't think it — some of you did. Some of you had the same feeling my mother had, but you weren't known. Those who were known had a different mind. They would say, "how in the world did he get to be the leader? Nobody knew him. We thought Farrakhan was going to be the leader, or Raymond Sharief or Elijah II or Muhammad Ali or Herbert Muhammad — anybody but this dude. Where did he come from?"
They didn't read carefully the autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm X didn't say somebody else other than myself. He said, "If anybody can, it's Wallace D. Muhammad." But he, himself, says in his autobiography — you can read it for yourself — that I am the one who told him that the future of the Nation of Islam depended upon it coming upon the course, the path of what he called in his book "Orthodox Islam."
So without a shadow of a doubt, I-am the leader, recognized by those people who were at the top. Malcolm was number one to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and in his own writings he points to me. And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was not so sick that he didn't know that I was leading this community before he passed. He was not that sick; he was in charge of his wits. Just because you're sick doesn't mean you are crazy. He was sick, but he was in charge of his wits.
(To be continued)