We Must Project The True Image Of Al-Islam: Part 7
Imam W. Deen Muhammad
(Editor's Note: The following is excerpted from the Muslim convention address Imam Muhammad delivered July 20, 1986 at Cobo Hall in Detroit. This is the seventh installment.)
We can't be happy over the state of African-America. Why? Simply because we are still in a bad situation. We still have a burdensome sense of insecurity and are still a long way from getting what our soul wants. Let the doctors of sociology and psychology find out on their own exactly what's wrong with us if they want to. But we know that something is awfully wrong with us. I heard that a patient once went to a doctor, and the doctor asked "What's wrong?" The patient said, "I don't know. "Why did you come to me? ” the doctor asked.. The patient said, "Because I'm sick."
The doctor asked, "Well, do you have any symptoms?" The patient asked. "What is that?" The doctor asked. "Well is there something bothering you in the legs? Is something bothering you in the head or the stomach?" The patient said, "I don't know." So the conversation went on and on. and the doctor concluded that nothing was wrong. "You aren't sick, go home, stop wasting my time," he said.
So the patient, as he was leaving, said. "Doc, I think I'm gonna die, because I'm sick as hell. And he just left. He knew he was sick. But the doctor couldn't find what was wrong and the patient couldn't tell the doctor what the sickness was.
We're in the same situation. The African-American man and white society and institutions of learning can't tell us what's wrong with us. They look at us and say, "Hey, you Negroes, go on about your business. There is nothing wrong with you all. Your complaints are over. You are complaining for nothing. Go on about your business. We don't have time to listen to you all anymore. We're listening to the Haitians, Cubans, Koreans and Vietnamese. We don't have time to listen to you anymore. Go on about your business. There's nothing wrong with you." We've been walking away saying, "we're sick as hell." We know something is terribly wrong with us.
Our souls tells us that we haven't gotten to where we're supposed to go, and our spirit is heavy upon us. For many of us, it's as though we've stopped in our path towards liberty at a door of death. Some of us can't see ourselves getting past the door, because they have worked to condition us for failure by building our hopes up to drop us down.
If you want to really discourage a person from his or her endeavor, encourage him or her to put the most in an endeavor, and then plan and control the person's failure by bringing the failure on right at the point where the person thinks he is going to get victory or success. That's what our enemies have done to every great effort on our part to liberate ourselves. They do it to our collective business, political, religious and social efforts. They watch us and plan, orchestrate, work under and behind in every deceitful way to calculate our movements and progress to accelerate us only to bring us down.
As I have told you the only way to avoid this is to do it without their help. Don't be fascinated and taken when they bring big help: if they bring you big help, study it. It may be in your wisdom to reject it. If it is in your wisdom to accept it, don't get excited over it, because if you give your spirit over to it, they will destroy you. They will keep it going until your spirit is all with it. They will stop that help and your spirit will be dropped again, in hopes of killing your will and spirit to move on to your destiny.
But we are here in Detroit. in Cobo Hall, and we are not stopping, they will not kill our spirit; they cannot kill our will, we have found a greater purpose. We have found a greater purpose than equality with the white man. We have found a greater purpose than integration with the white man; we have found a greater purpose with God, and it is eternal. Our purpose is with God, not with the white man or America and its concept of democracy. Our purpose will outlive America itself'.
Most of the immigrants come here with something in their life like that. They come here to get what America has to offer, but they have committed themselves to something that will outlive America.
The Asians come here with a concept of life, that he's going to have if he leaves America, or if he stays. The Jew came here from Jewish quarters, but he came here with a life, that he intends to hold on to, whether America lives or dies.
Irish Catholics, Roman Italian Christians, Germans and Cubans — all these newcomers — come here with an idea of life that they are going to hold on to whether America lives or dies. The reason why _ our situation is so pitiful is that we don't have an idea of life that we can live beyond the life of America. But those who follow the Qur'an, the Sunnah of the Prophet and are with me and this religion have a life that will live beyond the life term or the lifeline of the United States of America.
It is only when you have such life, that you can compete in a society like this. You have to have a life that is precious and dearest to you that you value above the society that you are in. Because if you don't and that society turns all of its forces against you, you are going to lose your spirit and hope. You will be finished, because you don't see anything beyond the country you have given your whole soul to.
I thank God I've never given my whole soul to the United States of America. I give my whole soul to Allah and to obedience to His Word, and to following His Prophet, Peace be upon him, and his Sunnah and pattern of conduct. That's what I've given my whole soul to.
And because I give my whole soul to that, I can live in America and survive the life of America. I can live in America while America is disappointing, crushing and working vehemently to see my life end. I can still live in America with hope, because what I have will outlive America. What I have is bigger than America, and I invite you to join what I have.