"Islam", The Solution for America: Part 4
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(This address was given by Imam W. Deen Mohammed at Masjid Al-Fatir on Sunday, March 30, 1990. It has now been prepared by Imam Mohammed for Muslim Journal's Readers.)
From One Muslim, One Billion Today
At the start of his universal work, Prophet Muhammed was without any Muslim following. Prophet Muhammed addressed the people of his native City (Mecca) who were worshipping idols. The environment at that time was worse than what you see in the most uncivilized neighborhoods of America. Their religious rituals had them "circling the Kaaba in the nude".
"The Arabs at that time was a society of rival warring gangs." One gang would dominate a territory and another gang another territory. There were these territories dominated by rival tribal gangs, each with its own border regulations. Your safe passage through their territory would be with their permission and most often requiring a "toll fee". There was the dread of highway robbers. Before our Prophet purified ("civilized") the region, one traveling in "broad daylight" risked having to pass persons in the sex act.
At that time of our Prophet's advent, polygamy (custom allowing more than one wife) was unchecked. Wives were mostly regarded to be on the level of chattel property of the men. A divorce was with the utterance, "Be to me as my mother's rear." (Qur'an.)
The Dark Age
It is not that they did not have any excellent people. The first supporters for Muhammed (Allah's Messenger) were indeed excellent people. But at the time of our Prophet's birth his native land and the rest of the world had long been under the darkness of ignorance and savage behavior.
It is reported in the history of Al-Islam ("Islam") that our Prophet attracted those of rare character to his side. There was Abu Bakr, Omar, Uthman, AH, and many others who were the first to accept the religion. They were excellent figures to start with. The Prophet himself never followed the corrupt way of that dark-age society. He lived an upright life. "He never prayed to idols." He "never indulged in any immoral things".
That is why Allah says in the Holy Book (the Qur'an) to Prophet Muhammed, "Say: I have already lived a lifetime among you." These words of the Qur'an address the historical fact that even before revelation came to the Prophet, he already had a lifetime — 40 years established — of human excellence.
Nature's Urge For Excellence
Isn't that the one clear minded persons would think Allah should make the Prophet? Should Allah pick a man who was worshipping the idols or going with whores or fighting in gangs for territorial expansion? Should He pick the one who was insulting women with the utterance, "Be to me as my mother's rear"? Should He pick such as those, or the one who stayed away from all of that — the one who followed the direction of excellence in his nature?
Allah gave to all nature's urge for excellence and social maturity. The one staying with the God-given direction in his nature is the one Allah should make the leader for all the rest and for all times to come. And that is established by Allah in Qur'an.
We want to see how this religion started. It started with one, and that one began to call others. The first time the Prophet introduced himself as "prophet", he was at the Kaa'ba. He called to them. And mind you that he was so excellent they all knew him. He was well known and a member of the most noted of tribes, the tribe of Quraish. Our Prophet was known for his excellence and was called "El-Amin" — the honest and trustworthy one.
Muhammed's "Created" Excellence
Muhammed called to them and said, “ If I were to tell you that an enemy army was approaching from the distance, would you believe me?” They said, "You are El-Amin." It meant that they would accept what he said and would believe it upon the faith his character earned. So our Prophet said to them, "La illa-ha illallah": There is "no divine except the One God".
From that moment as Allah gives it, "Peace there is, until the rising of the Dawn!" (Qur'an.) Allah had the angels descend down to him in the night, and Muhammed was so peaceful with his new lofty experience. However, when "the Messenger" told them, "There is but One Divine, Allah, the Lord Creator of everything", the trouble started and increased and increased and increased. Trouble increased until they exiled him and put him out of the town (Mecca) of his native birth.
Some wonderful people gave him refuge. The first people to give him (Muhammed's envoy) refuge (an escape from persecution) were Abyssinians, which are called Ethiopians now. The good Christian people there under the rule of the ruler called Negus accepted the Prophet's followers as persons of excellence and gave them refuge. It (Ethiopia's open door) is a great story in itself. Those Muslims seeking refuge brought nothing but the plain truth Allah had revealed to Muhammed concerning the birth of Jesus Christ and his virgin mother — peace be upon them.
This envoy had for its spokesperson one without prior learning or diplomatic skills. The Abyssinian Ruler was impressed so much he said, "No. We will not stand for these people to be put out of here or given back to those bad people from whom is their escape." Those embittered Meccans who came to ask that the followers of Prophet Muhammed be sent with them back to Mecca were refused by this Ruler of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
Traditional Diplomacy Of Muslims
So there is a parallel here: The early ummah (community) of the Prophet has this tie with the Christians. Now we want to demonstrate that same good diplomacy that brought benefits by the Grace of Allah from a Christian ruler. We want to have that same intelligence to introduce ourselves to Christian societies in today's world.
As Allah's Messenger advanced the invitation to "Islam", hostilities against the Prophet increased greatly. Two of his relatives were the main villains. He had two uncles, Abu Lahab ("Father of the Flames") and Abu Jahal ("Father of Stupidity"). Now you can see a whole lot of "Abu Lahab" and "Abu Jahal" in the world today.
The one you are trying to help or offer refuge is often constantly rebelling against you and your help offered to him. "Leave me alone sucker! I don't want that! I don't need you! I will knock you down! I told you to get away, now!"
Don't be creatures of "ignorance". Don't be creatures of "the flames". Others will say, "Prove it." You may say, 'The Sun is shining today, and the sunshine is hot. I have to use my sun visors because the sun is too strong for my eyes." Their response is, "Prove the sun is shining!" You can say, "Aren't you sitting here with me? Isn't it bothering your eyes too?" The "Abu Jahal" says, "Prove it's shining!"
You can say, "Al-Islam made it possible for the West to come into modern sciences." The response is, "Prove it!" You can present proof. "Here is what the history says." The response is "That means nothing to me! Prove it!" You can say, "Here is what the New York Times article says." He still will say, "You haven't proved it to me."
The hostilities against the Prophet increased and increased and the Muslims with their Leader (Muhammed) were boycotted. Our Prophet lost his wife, Lady Khadijah. may Allah be pleased with her. During all their (the Muslims') suffering, they held firm. The Muslims were eventually forced out of their homes and forced into the cold and damp weather. Lady Khadijah died in this cruel expulsion and boycott. The Meccans refused to sell them food. In her old age, Lady Khadijah could not survive that severity. In Allah's Mercy she was taken.
However, the Prophet and the Muslims survived but not without great loss in comforts and lives, precious lives of close relatives. They eventually got refuge in Abyssinia. Occurring somewhat later a friendly-hand envoy came from Medinah to invite and promise the Prophet a home and welcome for him and his "Call to Faith".
The Prophet accepted the invitation to go to Medinah. The rest of the history is a history of hard struggle, brotherhood, and astounding progress. It was eleven years before that bright opening came. Within twelve to thirteen years the whole Peninsula (Arabia) was brought to Al-Islam (Islamic Society).
Know that the Prophet came back "triumphantly" into the City of Mecca from which he was exiled. He returned with a big victorious army. Now did he go and hunt down his enemies, among whom were those who mutilated Muslims — very dear and close friends to the Prophet? Did he hunt down the enemy to take revenge? Did he say, "First we are going to seek out those cruel and brutal people who drove us from our homes, boycotted, and took our Muslim men and cruelly mutilated them"?
No, he did not. What he said was, "From this day there is no revenge of bloodletting. What has passed, let it be passed." All required from the defeated was to accept to live in peace (by the rules of Islamic society).
That forgiveness answers prophecy and opens a door to peace. Allah blessed Muhammed the Prophet and his followers to see the whole Peninsula within about twelve to thirteen years convert to the religion of Al-Islam.
(To be continued)