A Taste of Death
Imam W.D. Muhammad
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; peace and blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad, forever. Amen.
There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters:
Remember that there is a compensation for every lost thing, but there is no compensation when you lose Allah. We know that we can remember things that we taste, even after the physical experience of tasting them is gone because our mind has the power to recall the taste. The Holy Quran says that every person shall have a taste of death. It is telling us that death is not the end of all things. Because this thought is different from what many of you have been taught, you may think that it is in opposition to reality. I am teaching you these truths so that you will keep your balance and remain in reality. If you think that your physical life is everything, you are already outside of the realm of reality. You should realize that physical life is physical life and that physical death is physical death, but there is also another life and another death.
It is the teaching of the Holy Quran that we live twice and that we die twice. The physical life is just a womb, a shell or an environment into which another life can come. The other life that comes into the physical shell (first life) and takes its form can also die. There is only one life and one death for the true believer. Once he comes into life, he does not die again. The people who die again are those people who get weak, who drift off the path, and who fall victim to the pressures of the world after being brought to the truth and after coming into the real life. The people who live are those people who remain steadfast and who do not fall victim to the world.
Life Out of Dead Matter
Physical death cannot destroy the life that is superior to it. The superior life manifests itself in the physical life and it even manifests itself out of physical death. As proof, many of the believers who are now morally alive and spiritually alive were once physically dead. They were not physically dead as a dead human body in this life, but they were dead in their human form. Even in your physical essence, however, you were once physically dead as a human body. In the history of the evolution of life, we all have been physically dead. But Almighty Allah has the power to manifest life out of dead matter and then give that life form a new life.
The new life raises the being above the physical container to see itself as free and independent of the first life. The second life can master the physical body, riding it like an experienced horseman rides a horse. It has the power to make the physical body stop where you want it to stop, to go forward when you want it to go forward, and to turn left and right as you please. How, then, is the death of the horse going to be the death of the rider? Belief in the Hereafter in the spiritual sense as well as in the physical sense is a
necessity for Muslims. After we die a physical death, Allah brings life back and we see physical life coming back out of the material that was dead matter last year. Muslims also believe in a spiritual life after death. Things die spiritually but Allah can give them new life.
The Face of Allah
88. And call not, besides God
On another god. There is
No god but He. Everything
(That exists) will perish
Except His own Face.
To Him belongs the Command,
And to Him will ye
(All) be brought back.
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura 28: Verse 88
As Muslims, we also believe in Allah's promise that everything in existence will eventually pass away except the "Face" of Allah. The person's face tells us something about his personality because human character is reflected in the face. The Holy Quran uses the term "Face" of Allah to let us know that our individual personalities will not survive unless we make them agree with the "personalities" of Allah. If our human characteristics are grown in a similitude of the attributes of Allah, we will survive. We will then have the characteristics of the personality that is reflected in the "Face" (attributes) of Allah.
Meet the Court
185. Every soul shall have
A taste of death:
And only on the Day
Of judgment shall you
Be paid your full recompense.
Only he who is saved
Far from the Fire
And admitted to the garden
Will have attained
The object (of Life):
For the life of this world
Is but goods and chattels
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura 3 Verse 185
Muslims believe in a judgment because judgment is necessary. How can you justify a belief that denies the fact that judgment is coming upon every individual? How is the criminal who ruins the life of an innocent victim going to pay for his crime? This world is not made with injustice so that the big criminals escape and never meet the court. Brothers and Sisters, everybody has to meet the court. The Holy Quran says, "....And only on the Day of judgment shall you be paid your full recompense."
You are paid in part for unrighteousness while you live on this earth, but there is coming a time when you are going to have to pay your debt in full. No one can escape the judgment because everything must be compensated. This is a scientific law operating in nature as well as a divine law. In fact, all the physical (scientific) laws that we see in nature are reflections of the divine will working in the creation.
The Life of Deception
The Holy Quran continues, "...Only he who is saved far from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have attained the object (of Life)..." In this world's life, we fool ourselves in thinking that we are gaining victories by accomplishing wordly success. Some people live the life of hunger just for dollars. Others live the life of hunger just for power. If you are in this pitiful condition, do not think that you are fooling anybody. You are going on the wrong track in the wrong direction and you are fooling nobody but yourself. The verse concludes, "...For the life of this world is but goods and chattels of deception."
Many people are slaves to things like money, power, flashy jewelry, showy garments, beautiful women and handsome men. These things may be very attractive to you in this world's life, but the Holy Quran says that these things are but "chattels of deception." Many parents look at their children with proudness because they see more power of themselves in the world. How many of them, however, have lived to see those very objects of pride and of happiness turn against them, worry them to death, and send them to their grave? There is nothing to be guaranteed in this life. Even if worldly things do not catch up with us in this life and prove themselves to be nothing but deception, there is coming a time when reality must come home in its fullness.
The Reward of Allah's Good Pleasure
Muslims ask for Allah's merciful blessings to come into our lives and to give us the strength to endure whatever we must endure in this world. We want to remain steadfast so that we will gain the great reward of succeeding as a human life in this world. We want to win the victory over all the things that deceive us in this life and gain the reward of Allah's good pleasure. We should remember that the most precious thing in life for any creature is to be favored by his Creator. If we struggle to please Allah and to gain His pleasure, we will always have happiness in our lives. Many people fail to see that the Creator is the One Who deserves all the thanks, all the praise, and all the obedience from us. All the things that we enjoy in creation are gifts of the Creator. The ungrateful people give all of their love and their attention to the gifts, but they forget the giver. They should understand that nature, itself, is going to punish them because nature will not support a people who ignore such a great reality as the presence and the power of Almighty Allah.
Many people come into the world and they find all the good things with which to create the conveniences that they desire. Yet, after getting all of the conveniences and enjoying them to the full, they go out of life without ever giving thanks to the One Who made all of the conveniences possible for them. Muslims must not fall victim to that kind of thinking. We must remember that we have not created the world by ourselves. Although we came into the world knowing nothing and having nothing, we have enjoyed the things that were provided for us before we came into existence and before even our forefathers came into existence. We have enjoyed things that none of us could have made possible but Allah, so we should remember to give credit where credit is due. Some people laugh at the Muslims because we say, "All praise is due to Allah," or because we are steadfast in our daily prayers.
Brother and Sister, ignore those people because they are the biggest fools that the world has ever produced. Even if they numbered in the thousands in the millions, or in the billions, we do not pay any attention to them. Many of them consider themselves to be "wise" and "scientific," yet they cannot see that there is a scientific obligation on them to give thanks to the Creator Who made everything possible. Let us remain strong, let us keep up our morals, and let us remain true for each other.
The Three-Fold Obligation
Allah says through Prophet Muhammad (May Allah be pleased with him) that there is a three -fold obligation on each and every Muslim. You are obligated to give due respect and due compensation to Allah, Who has provided everything for you. Not only are you obligated to Allah, but you are also obligated to your community. You have not worked by yourself to bring about the conveniences of your community, you have worked together with other men and other women in the society. Your community also has a charge against you and you are obligated to do something for it. Not only are you obligated to Allah and the community, but you are also obligated to yourself. You have come into power that you have in three ways: first, by the gifts of Almighty Allah; second, by the works of society; and third, by your own self. Allah has blessed you with a physical body, with five senses, and with the intelligence of human mind. How many of you remember that you have to respect your physical body and that you have to give some credit to it? Certainly your mind has developed, but it has used many tools of the physical body like the hands, the ears, the eyes, the feet, etc.
Remember we have to pay Allah for what He has given us; we have to pay the society for what it has done for us; and we have to pay ourselves for what we have done for ourselves. All of these things are gifts of Allah, so He should get all of the credit. We never say, "All praise is due to Allah" to any one individual or to the world. We only say, "All praise is due to Allah" to Allah alone. All the praise and all the thanks goes only to the One God.
We must take care of everything that Allah has instructed us to take care of our duty to Allah, our duty to society, and our duty to ourselves. We must keep all of the instructions of Almighty Allah to come into our full life. If we fall short of any instructions that He has given to us, we are going to fall short of our full human development.
Your brother, W.D. Muhammad
Marriage In Islam
In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Peace and Blessings upon His Servant and His Messenger, Muhammad forever, Amen.
There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
As -Salaam –Alaikum
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Islam is a religion that is in accord with the natural life of the people. Simplicity is highlighted throughout the religion. When you understand the simple rules of nature, you see that Islam is not complicated.
In Western society, and in much of Eastern society, there is much effort to make things beautiful on the outside. A lot of time and patience is taken to decorate pretty wedding cakes, but we know that often there is only beautiful icing and not real cake under the icing.
In Islam we don't like a lot of show of ritualism. Everything is done in a way to go straight to the point of the natural life and the natural rules of that life.
MAN IS THE MAINTAINER
The Holy Quran says that the man is the maintainer of the home life. He is to provide the material needs for his household — that burden is on him. If his wife is able to share a part of that burden with him, that is to be considered as a gift from her. She is not obligated to give to him because he is the maintainer.
Because the man is the maintainer, nothing should be said or done in the marriage ceremony that would blind him to his natural role as provider over the household.
When weddings are conducted in Western society, people bring gifts (aritcles for the house) or money to give the new couple "a start." This practice helps to blind the man to the role that is ahead of him of providing for his wife and his house. The people are not going to come with more gifts to keep the rent and the car note paid, so why start this practice?
MAKE LIFE MORE NATURAL
In strict Muslim lands, people do not come to weddings with a lot of gifts. It is traditional that the new couple give their guests something, usually in the form of a wedding feast. If Muslims would go back to that tradition and perform marriages as they were performed naturally in the past, it would bring about a natural change for the better in our society and it would make life more natural. A lot of things have happened to make marriage and home life unnatural and to make the wedding and the marriage artificial. It is our job to make marriage and the home life natural and real again.
1. O mankind 1 reverence
Who created you From a single Person,
Created, of like nature,
His mate, and from them twain
Scattered (like seeds)
Countless men and women ;—
Reverence God, through Whom
Ye demand your mutual (rights),
And (reverence) the wombs
(That bore you): for God
Ever watches over you.
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura IV: Verse 1
HEAVEN AND HELL
In the above Quranic verse, our attention is drawn to the burden that is placed upon the married couple and the good or bad consequences that result from such unions that affect the condition of the world.
If every couple from the early ages had been seriously interested in preserving the best of human life for generations to come and if they had conducted their lives in a way to safeguard the future world, we would not have the hell and the misery that we have in the world today. We would still have an "Eden" or a "garden of paradise," so to speak.
It is not mysterious or supernatural things that make life a hell or that destroy the "garden of Eden" — heaven is in the hands of the men and the women who form the union (marriage) and begin increasing the population of mankind with children.
PARADISE IS AT THE FEET OF THE MOTHER
If each of us would accept this burden and safeguard the society by doing what we know is proper and best, we would be making our contribution to keeping the world in order. If we don't accept this burden, we should share the blame for the world being out of order.
Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that paradise lies at the feet of the mother. Whenever two people come together in marriage, we expect that there will be children.
Society begins growing in the womb of the mother and, as little children, the new future society clings to the apron strings or around the legs of the mother. In his saying, Prophet Muhammad tells us in plain words that the future heaven of the society depends upon how the mother raises the little children that are at her feet.
When we perform the marriage ceremony in Islam, we take the things into account that are most important and most vital to us as protectors of society.
REVERENCE THE WOMB
The above Quranic verse also mentions that the wombs of the female should be revered. Many men tend to look down upon the woman as a producer or as a child bearer. Even many so-called great religious orders have regarded this physiological function of the female as something to be despised or as something evil.
The Holy Quran says that we should revere God, but we should also reverence the womb. Prophet Muhammad also said that women should not be despised because God has placed an abundance of good in them. There are many such sayings in Islam that help us to see why it is necessary for us to respect the womb of the female and reverence the mother.
ALLAH IS THE SAVING FORCE
If we as Muslims cannot settle arguments among ourselves, we carry the argument to a higher authority among ourselves. If our questions or complaints are not settled there, they ultimately go back to Allah, Who is the source of all of our knowledge and of all of the things we regard as valuable to us in our society.
70. O ye who believe!
Fear God and (always)say
A word directed to the Right:
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura XXXIII: Verse 70
102. O ye who believe!
Fear God as He should be
Feared, and die not
Except in a state
Holy Quran Translation by Yusuf Ali: Sura III: Verse 102
“Obligation” Instead of “Love”
Since we are going to carry our complaints to Allah and let His Divine Image and Law settle them, we should always live as Muslims respecting Allah. If we respect Allah as man and wife, we have a saving force in our union (marriage). We should not disregard Allah, nor should we fail to remember that He is above our marriage.
We should consult Him before making big or drastic steps that will bring about consequences that affect our children and our families, as well as us as individuals. Since we do not live our lives alone as a married couple, Muslims are taught to recognize their relatives and, above all, to recognize Allah as the saving force in our lives and our marriage.
The second traditional verse from the Holy Quran regarding marriage cautions us to speak the right word (the word that is not deceitful nor the word that is not designed to hide the truth). Sometimes the truth can be spoken in such a way as to hide the truth.
The Holy Quran tells the new bride and groom in particular not to "beat around the bush," but to speak straight words. This verse deals with problems that arise in the life of the couple that are usually germs for destroying the marriage.
Notice that up to this point we have not mentioned the word "love." It is not necessary to talk about love because love is something that is to be expressed naturally. Instead of "love," we should talk about "obligation." In marriage we are committed to each other and we are obligated to do certain things for each other. We should keep the obligations in mind and not a lot of love talk.
If the husband and the wife remain open with each other, they do not hide anything from each other. If you keep everything out in the open, you will have a force working in your union to keep you united. The moment you start deceiving each other in any mild degree, you have begun untying the wedding knot. If deceit continues, the knot will get looser and looser and it will finally come apart.
"FROM A SINGLE BEING... "
According to the teachings of Islam, when two people come together to form a union, they come to each other as two halves, not two wholes. The Holy Quran teaches us that the creation of the species began with a single being. That single being was made into two beings (male and female) to form the human family as we know it.
The male and the female as sex entities are not whole beings. They are halves and you cannot take a half and reproduce a whole. You have to have two halves because only a whole reproduces whole things.
Since we are halves in this function, we should regard each other as equals in this sense. We should not do anything without the other half having knowledge of it because whatever is important to the halves is important to the whole. Since one half can't make the whole, we shouldn't hide anything from our other half. If we do, we are on the way to trouble.
The Quranic verse above teaches us the importance of fearing Allah. This fear arises because of the love and the recognition of the importance we have for Allah. We recognize how important Allah is in our life and, because of that, we fear to disobey or to displease Him and we fear to leave His Presence.
This verse also admonishes us to hold fast to the way of life that we are coming to. If we hold fast to that way, we have another safeguard working in our union to preserve the marriage.
If we forget that we are Muslims and start to live a life that is injurious to the Muslim life or that is against it, the Muslim laws that we respect will mean nothing in our lives. Soon, then, Allah will mean nothing in our life and our marriage will come to ruin.
Marriage in Islam is natural and beautiful. Its beauty lies in its natural relationship with Allah. We invite you, Brother and Sister, to join us in the Nation of Islam (the Body-Christ) and to learn of the natural beauty of marriage in Islam.
As-Salaam -Alaikum Your Brother, W. D. Muhammad