August 19, 1994
Protecting the Future through Sound Economics Assisted by 'Regardfulness": Part 2
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Imam W. Deen Mohammed made this public address in Birmingham, Alabama on February 23,1992. He has now prepared from it this article for Muslim Journal's readers.)
Strive in righteousness with possessions
"That you strive in the Path of God. Do righteous deeds." You shouldn't be doing wrong in the Path of God. If it is warring, then the war is approved by God."... With your possessions." If you will practice this in your life and give your possessions and not be stingy - invest without fear, and just know that what you are investing in is approved by Allah. Don't go out half cocked. Give it a lot of thought and study what you are going to invest in. Get all the information you can on it and know what indicates to you that this particular move is going to be a successful move. In other words, be methodical, strive for accuracy, and don't be guessing no more than you are forced to.
A businessman doesn't guess unless he is absolutely forced to. That is the last thing he wants to do is guess. A businessman does not gamble. That is the last thing he wants to do. When he puts his money on something, he is not gambling. He has to have figures and statistics and something real and factual to support his decision. He doesn't go out and buy a tree and doesn't know the name of it. It might not be fit for construction or for anything. If you burn it, it might poison the atmosphere. He may buy something that he can't use at all and have to pay to get lid of it. A businessman thinks things out very carefully.
Home is the first business
Sisters, when you run your house, don't you know you are running a business? If it is an apartment, you are running a business. If you have children and a husband, you are running a business. If you have no one but yourself, you are running a business. A home is a business. Of everything in the world, the home is the first.
You have health care and hospitals but the first health care center was home. The first store was home. The first lab or science department was home. Everything came out of the home. The first government was home. The first governmental order was man's and woman's home. Home was the first government. The first school was home. The first bank was home. The first transportation center was home. The cabs and buses started out from home. Sisters, if you can run a home well, then society does not have to worry. If we get enough mothers running homes well, we do not have to worry about the state of society. The homes get the human beings first.
I remember once we were trying to stop a leak, and we said all we have to do is go back to the source of the water. We went back to the source where the water was originating and found the leak; it was way away from where we thought it was. We thought it was in the front yard because water had come up out of the ground in the front yard. But it turned out the leak was from where the pipes came up far back in the yard at the source for that house.
We should catch problems at home where it all started. Then we may not have to wait for problems to die of their own consequences. According to the Bible, Moses' people waited forty years for problems to die off. I don't think we have to wait.
We can save society
You sisters can get control of the home. We can save society. We have to have business sense. Sisters, together it is your husband's money or your personal money or both your moneys or the children's money or the welfare money; don't take that money lightly. Make yourself a good business person for your moneys and for your family. Don't go shopping with your tongue or with your nose or with your eyes. Stop with your knowledge of what your home budget can stand. If you have so much money at home in that budget or in that purse or in the bank, shop with the knowledge of how much spending it can stand.
You are to do justice by all of your concerns. You are not shopping just for the stomach or for clothes that dress the body. You have water bills and light bills and food bills and the rent and school cost for your children. You have all kinds of needs to consider. Be aware of all of these costs.
I see another reason why the Prophet said, "Paradise lies at the foot of the mother." If our women manage home properly, man, I am telling you only God would stop me from making sajda at their feet. I know Allah ordered us not to make sajda for any but Him. Sister, I would be happy to make sajda at your feet if God would allow it, if you managed your home. It (our success at home) means salvation for streets "and the whole of society.
Buy with discipline
What we are needing most (African Americans) is good business sense. Don't you know you are not doing anything but helping your enemies when you go out and buy with no kind of discipline. You buy on impulse "Oh, I like that. I want that." Someone can say, "Well, you have two of those at home." "But I like this one." "I think I will get some chicken." Someone will say, "Did you check the frig inventory? Did you check the freezer compartment? Are you sure you don't have chicken there? Can you vouch with your life there is no chicken in your refrigerator or in your freezer? You may be risking our financial life spending with no business sense."
If you don't have good disciplines internally, you may-forget about it. If you don't want to think right inside or feel right in your heart or obey what God wants of you, then you may forget about it. The first thing we have to do is want the internal life. Then we will show more respect for both, the life within and the life without.
Before we can have accuracy, we must have honesty. A dishonest person can't be accurate. A dishonest person can't be expected to be truthful. It is said, "Oh, don't ask him. He can never get it straight. "The first is honesty, and I am really translating faith as honesty. Faith and honesty are closely related. You can't be faithful unless you are an honest kind of person. You can't be a dishonest person and be honest or faithful to anything. So I am translating "faith" as '"honesty." They used to have an old saying from the business people of the West that "honesty is the best policy." How many still remember that? I remember it from my boy years. What happened to that?
Accuracy: The advancement of truth and patience
"And cooperate for the advancement of truth." I translate it (truth) as accuracy for this particular illustration. We have some words now that can fly in the world pretty well. Honesty means faithfulness and makes for good and strict behavior.
If patience is required of you, then it tests your loyalty. After all what are you waiting for? There is the big bully and the tough guy, who is looking at the girl who is tempting. And she will say, "Wait darling." Now, something is checking him and he is holding back something . It is his loyalty to his own self worth. He sees himself in his own eyes as being a man of a certain worth. He knows that if he goes to her like a beast, that self worth will be destroyed. So he is loyal to his own image of himself He waits and is a decent guy and is loyal to his own values. Without that loyalty he cannot be patient.
The dinner will be served. Your mother will tell you that she is not ready for you, but you go on and start eating. My mother would put something on you, buddy! We would not eat at that table until she says, "Now, come and eat." This calls on your loyalty and patience. Further patience points to sacrifice. "And cooperate for the establishment of patient perseverance." It suggests sacrifice, I have to sacrifice my appetite and protect something now and satisfy myself later. Or I will sacrifice my self-worth and receive bad consequences.
Sacrifice is a requirement in nature
What sacrifice God wants? It is taqwa. We don't understand that we are sacrificing all the time. Sacrifice is a requirement in nature. We are no more savages throwing our children in the "fire" or sacrificing our children to please a god that we have imagined or guessed at. We are not doing those savage or ignorant things anymore. But sacrifice is a requirement in nature.
The real meaning of sacrifice is to deny what you want now, because it is not proper to take it. It is unlawful to take. It is not the time to take it. It is not the condition for taking it. You must deny yourself now. until it is lawful. Some things are never lawful. Killing yourself is not the biggest sacrifice. To hang around hungry is the sacrifice