Human Security: Reverence For God More Important — "The Identity Of Our Concerns": Part 6
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.)
The animal that plays with his sisters and brothers or mother and father is developing his survival skills or his work skills. The slap in play with the brothers and sisters is the development of a survival skill; the same thing that he did in play, when he meets an enemy, he will do with seriousness. The same agility with which he moved out of the way of the blow in play, he will do that in the real contest.
But when a people want play just for play's sake and are not interested in the skills of play, then they have degenerated. "Oh, I have to go out and have some fun." And that is just what they mean. Then they will put the cap on it or seal it for us, to let us know I am really talking about play for play's sake. "I want to go out and have fun, girl. I am going to get funky tonight!" That is being reckless, isn't it? Poverty. Recklessness, Wastefulness. All of these are connected.
Another circle that he gives is "misery." There is poverty and misery. Anyone who tolerates poverty long enough will become miserable. And not only miserable, but they also become pessimistic. They feel nothing is going to happen good. They sit and say, "You are going out to look for a job? You are crazy! Man, they aren't going to hire you."
There is poverty and crime. You are poor and don't have a strong moral constitution from your home or from your guardians, or you got out among bad associates and became influenced in the wrong direction. Now, you don't have any strong moral constitution, and poverty now will influence you into crime. You will find yourself thinking of criminal things.
These are some of the cycles of poverty that this man mentions, and he gives many. He even mentions pawning. That poverty will cause a person to start pawning. 1 know this for a fact, for I knew a close friend that would pawn everything that he could get. When this family ran out of money, they would lose everything to the pawn shop and never be able to get it out.
When we think about the condition of the African-American people as a whole - unemployed, welfare, crime. Doesn't that speak for the majority of us? I know there is a strong minority among us, and thank Allah that that minority is growing stronger. But still we have this majority that are either in a situation of unemployment and are just tolerating it. Or they have also gotten into crime and are also on welfare. And there is another one also, the fourth one — they are in jail. So it is unemployed, on welfare, in crime, in jail; that is the majority.
What 1 am saying to you in my conclusion is this, that you should not come to religion for dollars, money, etc., even though we may be in a situation to help some of you who qualify some of the time with some of that kind of help. But that is not how you should come to religion. None should join the religion for money or for charity.
You join the religion to have your life's needs attended. That is your personal, internal life's needs — your heart, your soul, and the intellect. You have these things attended in hopes that you will become a functional being within yourself, capable of going out there and living in the world and making progress without crying, moaning, complaining, cursing everyone out, and without telling dark tales all of the time.
That is the greatest help you can get. The greatest life is the internal life. It makes possible success in the world. And the greatest help we can get is help for the internal needs. You cannot put a price on that. 11 I would right now single one of you fellows who don't have enough spirit to do any more than to hold your hand out, and I said to you, "Don't worry any more. 1 am going to authorize the MACA Fund to give you $500 a week for nothing." That would be absolutely nothing compared to what we have just tried to give you today.
And we pray that God bless us and guide us aright and keep our minds sound and sane. Allahu-Akbar. As-Salaam-Alaikum.