Human Security: Reverence For God More Important - "The Identity Of Our Concerns”: Part 3
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editorial Note: How to manage "importance" was the focal point of this lecture by Imam W. D. Muhammad in Newark, N.J. on July 9,1988, with that number one importance being Allah and the management of our duties to Allah.)
Allah says for us not to pursue anything for which there is no knowledge support. If there is no knowledge to support it at all, then give that up. Do not waste your time with that. So when we invite people to believe in the Lord Creator, there is knowledge to support that. Though it requires belief and faith, and it requires some trust in certain measures, it is still not without knowledge. There is a knowledge base for it and there is knowledge to support it.
We don't just say, "I believe! Count me among the converts, for I believe!" We say, "Ashsha-du," or "I witness." The Muslim is supposed to be an intelligent convert, a rational convert. The strongest appeal in our religion, when we examine it along with other religions, is the rational appeal or the intelligent appeal. This is important for us.
You sit there saying, "Oh, I thought he was going to talk about the current crisis." Well, this is the current crisis. I am right on the current crisis. Alla-hu-Akbar. We say, "Ashshadu an la-illaha illallah." That begins with "I witness." And to be a witness means to be present, also. We also are told that whoever is present in the month of Ramadan should fast that month. And the word that is used is the same as here, "sha-hada." So a witness should be present.
If you go into court and the judge asks you, "Are you a witness to this case?" You answer, "Yes, I am a witness." He will then say, "How are you a witness?" Then you say, "Well, I am a witness because I believe." He will say, "Please excuse this person." You can only be a witness when you have seen something. You were present.
Abraham was a witness, because his senses were present, when he witnessed or found God and when he found faith. Again he is a witness, because his senses were present. But some of you who get heavy into spookism, speaking in tongue; then your senses aren't present. You will be asked, "What kind of witness are you? Your senses weren't present."
For there to be a witness there has to be two of something. There has to be the thing that is witnessed and the witnesser. There has to be something to be witnessed and the witnesser. There has to be something to be witnessed and something to witness it. in this case it is God that is to be witnessed. And also there was the witness bearer, in this case being the first of the Muslims. Prophet Abraham. This does not mean that he was the first of the Muslims in some general sense. It means in the technical sense only. For we know that everything God created is Muslim by nature. It was then that Abraham became conscious of his Muslim faith, and therefore he was the first conscious Muslim. So two are needed.
We say, "Ashshadu an la-illaha illallah." I bear witness that there is no deity but the One God. There is no second or third god, there is only One God. Any second, third or fourth is not to be acknowledge or recognized. We recognize only The One God. That is the Muslim way. And you also must bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. "Wa ashsha-du anna Muhammadan rasul-lullah." "And I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of The God."
What are we saying with this second witness bearing or with this second testimony? We are saying that we witness that there is a God upon faith and also upon intelligence. And also that we witness that this knowledge did not come to us by way of spookism or guesses or by dreams, no! We witness that there is a human mortal, who has enlightened us and taught us and called our senses to witness what he witnessed. So we witness The God and we witness the Messenger of God. That is we witness The God as the Source or Cause, and that the Cause also has a communication line, and I have received this from the Messenger of God.
But the Messenger of God also has to witness the same. Don't you know that Muhammad, The Prophet, had to say the same thing? "Ashshadu an la-illaha illallah." I witness that there is no god but The One God. "Wa ashsha du anna Muhammadan" - even though he is Muhammad - "rasullul-lah." He had to witness it also.
Why is this? It is because many mortals have perceived that there is a Cause behind all of this; they have called it a god or deity or some other name, and then went and made the mistake of introducing themselves to their disciples as the god. So the pure water and light then became wine, and they got drunk to a degree that they got confused from what they had experienced. Then they said, "I am the god!"
So Muhammad has to witness that "I am a Messenger of God. I witness God, and I witness that I am the Messenger." This is to say that he is a "mortal," and a human mortal receives communication from the Lord of the Universe. At the same time it is to say this human mortal is not the Lord of the Universe; this human mortal is only the messenger of that Lord. We have to witness that.
To make this very clear to you - the distinction between The God and the mortal Messenger, Allah says in our Holy Book that is right here before me, "Say to them, O Muhammad: 'I am a mortal."' "Basharun." If you go among the Arabic speaking people anywhere and ask what is "basharun," they will answer that it is you or any flesh man or woman, giving the feminine form of the word also.
This is given in hopes that it would not be taken to any wrong conclusion, for the truth can be said so simply to the wine drinker, but still they will even find in the simple truth room for their distortions, their lies and their confusion. They will say, "Oh yes, he is a human mortal. But he is not a human mortal like us; he had the divine spark in him. He was illuminated with God! The Divine Presence was in him! He was a divine human being, because God was in him. God dwells in him and when he spoke, he was God speaking!" So Allah protects us from that kind of wine drinker's conclusion by telling us that the Messenger is a mortal human just like you. "Qul, anna basharun mith-liqun." "I am a mortal person like you."
That also means that you have sex, and he had sex. You hunger and he hungered. You have thirst, and he had thirst. You need clothes for protection, and he needed clothes to protect him. You get cold when the weather is cold, and he got cold. You get hot and needed a fan, and he got hot and needed a fan. You get tired and need rest, he got tired and needed rest. You get lonesome, and he got lonesome. Beauty makes you liven up, and beauty made him liven up. You worry and he worried. You need the Lord because you are weak, and he needed the Lord because he was weak. You reached a point where you wanted a wife, and he reached a point where he wanted a wife. You love children and wanted to have children and so did he. He found comfort with his relatives when he couldn't find comfort with anybody else, and you find comfort with your relatives when you can't find comfort with anyone else.
He wanted to see justice in the society, because he had a good human heart just like you. He wanted it so bad, that he rejected the whole society, because it wouldn't straighten up just like you. He went away and sought solitude with his Lord, and his Lord answered him just like He will answer you.
But He won't give you the Qur'an, for that isn't necessary. It is here and is protected for all days. Then who knows, maybe you haven't had this Qur'an. Maybe He will give you the Qur'an. Many of us have it in the house, on the bed or laying around - we have it, but we don't have it. So maybe He will give us the Qur'an. But when we get it, if He gives it to us, we will know that we aren't supposed to go out telling anyone that "Allah revealed the Qur'an to me." He didn't reveal it to you, he gave it to you. You didn't have it, so He gave it to you. That is to say He will give you the ability to read it and get the right understanding.
Now in the Call to Prayer, itself, it says, "Hayya alia salat." This comes after the witnessing in the weakening call. What does "hayya" mean? "Hayyun" means living. "Hayya" means to liven up or to become alive. Wake up, for you are dead. The one that is sleeping is like being in death. "Hayya" means to wake up and to come alive.
But you are a creature noted by scientists for being the most intelligent creature on this earth. And you are identified as a species, not because of your bodily attributes, but because of your human attributes. The attribute that they have identified and have designated as your specific identity is your unique mind and intelligence -"Homo Sapien."
(To be continued)