September 10, 1993
Islam in America
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed, Muslim American Spokesman
for Human Salvation
The first supporters for Allah's Messenger, Prophet Muhammed, 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 uncivilized behavior. Yet Prophet Muhammed attracted those of rare character to his I side. The Prophet, himself, never followed the corrupt way of that dark age society. He lived an upright life, never prayed to idols, and never indulged in immorality.
For this reason, Allah says in the Qur'an to Prophet Muhammed, "Say, 'I have already lived a lifetime among you.'" This addresses the historical fact that even before the revelation came to the Prophet, he already had a lifetime — 40 years established — of human excellence. Allah gave nature's urge to all 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.
However, when Muhammad the Messenger told the people of his day, "There is but One Divine, Allah, the Lord Creator of everything," the trouble started and increased until they exiled him, putting him out of Mecca, the town of his native birth. Yet, some wonderful people gave him refuge, the first being Abyssinians, who are now called Ethiopians. These were good Christian people under the rule of King Negus, who accepted the Prophet's followers as persons of excellence and gave them refuge.
So there is a parallel here. There is a tradition of diplomacy between Muslims and Christians, and we want to demonstrate that same good diplomacy that brought benefits by the Grace of Allah from a Christian ruler. Let us use the same intelligence to introduce ourselves to a Christian society in today's world. The Prophet and the Muslims survived but not without great loss in comforts and lives of precious close relatives.
Now Islam has roots in America, and a Muslim can go into politics and aspire to be the mayor of this city, or governor of this state, or a member of Congress and the Senate, or the president of these United States and not be burdened by a spiritual-world-material-world contradiction. When the Muslim obeys the Religion, the pleasure of success on the job is akin to the pleasure of reading Qur'an. We have no fear when reading the Qur'an that we are doing the right thing. Allah gives this Qur'an to us and He loves that we read it. Allah loves that I put the Qur'an in my heart and in my head and in my soul and in my spirit. It should be likewise at ease at work in our fields of endeavors as an obedient Muslim.
Allah says He made to be utilized by you whatever is in the skies and in the earth. So go into the fields of endeavor that Allah approves. We can serve Allah in America in science and in religious rites; there is no contradiction there. If we are serving Him in spiritual matters and in material matters, there is no contradiction. Join the army and become a skilled officer, become a captain, a five-star general, and keep respecting what Allah wants of us in this religion of Islam.
Allah made this religion upon the original pattern upon which He made man. This is the religion of the original pattern in the nature of the universe. It is a comprehensive religion. And America's most serious problem is confused power, although there is a lot of innocence with the confusion. There is a hunger for image and power, which has become the preoccupation of many activists and rival groups. We are talking about power realized through something.
There is the cry for economic power. There is the talk about homosexual power. Usually here power means "voter power". There is institution-based power held by the government, held in schools, in the commercial world and banking systems. The media is a great power, as well as the entertainment world. A definition of power given by the Western world says, "Power is the ability to influence behavior or attitudes of other persons and groups."
There is also power in the places of religious worship, for religion is a great power. A society is most often held together by the institution of religion with its many inner institutions. For Muslims we have the institution of zakat (charity), salat (prayer), of fasting and pilgrimage. Universally supported institutions represent the most powerful basis for power. Religious institutions may represent for a society the most concentrated and most influential power.
If we look at the broad definition for Muslim, we have to say that even though a Christian may be worshipping Jesus the Christ Prophet more than he is worshipping Allah, he or she may be Muslim in their spirit. They may still be Muslim, though the orientation has now dominated their Muslim urge. The person carrying a heavy cross may be a Muslim inwardly. So it is for a Jew, or a communist, or a Buddhist, or a Hindu. You may find among them all an inclination in their nature to follow the best direction in their human nature towards their human goal of maturity.
Before the Senate of the United States of America I gave this prayer as a Muslim American with an interest in this country:
Our Creator, the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer, Who opens for all people a way to have good conscience and a good life:
Grant to this Nation that Americans continue to live as a prosperous nation of "many in one" and as a people of faith taking pride in human decency, industry, and service.
Let us pray that this great Nation's two centuries of national life may inspire other nations to move toward social and economic justice for all. Grant that her big heart for charity, compassion, repentance, and mercy continue to beat strongly within all of us. Grant that Americans always have more hope than troubles and ever grow in goodness and in wisdom.
Bless Americans to always cherish our freedom and the noble essence of the American people. Grant that we Americans understand better our brothers and sisters around the world and reject unsuitable national pride for a global community of brotherhood and peace.
Bring all citizens and government together, those of great means and small means, to appreciate more our Nation's, solemn pledge of liberty, peace,' and justice for all.
Bless our homes and our schools. Bless the parents, our troubled youth, our burdened inner cities to never be without hope or direction. Bless Americans to keep to the best of our ways.