September 3, 1999
Imam W. Deen Mohammed Speaks In Charleston, SC., June 12, 1999 "Better Relations Between Jews, Christians, and Muslims"
Believers, Muslims, As-Salaamu-Alaikum. We praise and thank G-d the Lord, Sustainer of all the worlds. We witness that He is One and there is no deity with Him. Nothing comes to Him except as a servant, as is given in the Qur'an the last revelation, the Book of G-d.
And we witness that Muhammed to whom the Qur'an was revealed over 14 centuries ago is the Seal of the Prophets. Muhammed is the last to receive a book from G-d. Muhammed is a mercy to all the worlds.
We worship Allah, we worship nothing with Him. We give ourselves in faith completely, wholly to G-d. And we carry the argument to its conclusion that there is One G-d the Creator of everything. We carry the argument to its conclusion. We say for Him is the religion.
We are Muslims after our father Abraham, upon him be peace. Our hope is the hope of Abraham, the upright in nature. We are the community of Muhammed the Prophet (SAW). G-d says that He made us a community. He made Adam a man; He made a community.
Also, we know that G-d made Prophet Abraham a community. G-d says that in the Qur'an. We are the community of Muhammed the Prophet after the order or hope of Abraham, the "father" to all nations, the leader (Imam) to all the nations.
It's important to know ourselves to see the picture clearly: Muslims are not just a people of faith, Muslims are not just a people belonging to a religion, Muslims are people obligated to live a model community life. G-d says He made us a witness for mankind, a witness for all people. Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) is a witness for us. He's a witness for us, if we are following his way, and a witness against us, if we are not following his way.
Muhammed left a model community in Medinah the Illuminated City. We're only to contribute to that model, so that that model stays on earth and continues to grow. Wherever we live, we should seek to establish a model community life.
I use to be a minister for the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, my father, and what we talked about then was big. We were talking about helping African Americans. However, if we are talking now about what Allah ordered Muslims to establish in the Qur'an, we are talking about something bigger today.
If we think in the dimensions that Allah wants us to think in as Muslims, taking care of business and the neighborhood, we will grow bigger. We shouldn't be looking at a temple or a masjid on some corner somewhere, we should be looking at a community. We should provide a place for the neighbors to have worship, a school for their children, a community shopping with themselves, and money circulating among them at least five times before it goes outside.
If we concentrated on nothing but providing halal meats to our community, that business venture would bring enough money into the community to build the Mosque Cares Project. So we need to just think bigger.
One thing the Hon. Elijah Muhammad did for me - and I am sure he did it for many of you who followed him - he made me have the courage to think as big as the White man, any man. There is no man on this earth who thinks any bigger than I think.
When I studied the Qur'an and really learned what G-d had obligated us to do on this earth, I started to think as big as any man. I don't care what color he is, my thinking is as free and as big as his. That is what Islam will do for us, if we accept it in its full dimensions. We have to accept the whole life and live the whole life.
So let us stop thinking Islam is all about not eating pork, not drinking whiskey and not taking drugs. Let us start thinking of Islam as a religion that obligates us to have community life and obligates that community to behave in a certain way. Obligates its stores, its businesses, its schools, its mosques, its transportation services, whatever, obligates everything to behave in a certain way.
If we start to think that way, brothers and sisters, these little individual problems and temple problems will become light. They become so light, we won't feel a burden. It's said in scripture, take up my burden; my burden is light. Now I know what that's talking about. It is talking about taking up responsibility for life on this earth.
Islam is a message to the worlds. Islam is a world mission. Its object is to establish something in the world for the whole world. Islam is a human community model, a model of how people have to live in community, and its a model that G-d has given us to invite all the people of the world to look and see if a better model can be found.
So we are offering a human community model to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to South America, North America, to the whole world. We are offering this to Russians, to Chinese, to Japanese, to Spanish. Allah is offering us a way to live together with each other in community. How can we think small, knowing that G-d has put us in that situation?
Now we know that each individual cannot do that. Most of us can only go back home and boil some eggs or eat peanut butter spread on some bread. Most of us are not able to do very much. We know that. However, as a group accepting this obligation, we can find the best among us, the most qualified and resourceful among us, and put them in the lead and all of us can work with them.
I have watched ants work together. I did not see any ants dropping out. I have never seen ants sitting by the wayside saying, "I can't do this. Hell, let them do that." All the ants are doing. All the ants are working. None of them say, "Well, I can't." Maybe they can't throw dirt out of the hole, but they can carry something useful down to ants below. All of them are busy.
If we would all devote ourselves to the cause.... The cause is not Brother Imam So and So or Imam W. D. Mohammed; the cause is Islam. The cause is a community for all people. So this is what we have to measure up to. America is in focus more than any other nation. We want to work with everybody.
We have been without social establishment. The laws were changed, but not without sacrifice by us and others, our friends. And now we have this freedom to have our life established. If we can take advantage of this freedom hour now and answer the call of G-d to establish a model community life of how people should live together on this earth, this will reach more people than Mecca can ever reach.
We could get the world's attention, if we would be successful at establishing model community life. The whole world would look at us again. It would be such a powerful sign from G-d that more people would be coming into Islam because of us than ever could come to Islam because of Mecca. This is what I know in my heart and soul and in my mind, I know this.
So I am devoted 100 percent, 1,000 percent, whatever percent is a complete percent. I am devoted to achieve the establishment of this model Muslim community life in America.
It shouldn't be just for one particular area. We want to invest wherever the opportunities are. If it is here in Charleston, very well. Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, where the opportunity is. We don't need a whole lot of territory, just a few blocks so that Muslims will walk out of their homes in a Muslim environment.
We can have Christians living next door. We want to show them we are good neighbors and we love them. Muslims will concentrate there and be the majority. The effort of the people will be for Islamic community life. Before I leave this earth, I hope we will have several models. I hope to hear the adhan being called and wake up at Fajr time and go out of the house to the mosque and do my prayers there.
I hope to buy what I need from the store down the street, tour a factory, call a cab, Brother Ibrahim's cab service to get me to the airport. It's not satisfying a need in my soul with another man providing my wife with all her needs and my children with all their needs, and I (the race) just punching a clock.
When I was a little boy, people didn't like the Prophet Muhammed, and they said his name like they hated him. "Oh, that's a Muhammadan." But that has changed now. That is not the world around us anymore. They use to just think that Muslims were anti-Christ, against Christ Jesus (peace be on him). That has changed.
Now, Allah has opened this land up, this new world up to Islam and the establishment would rather see us be Muslims than to see us be what many of us are now. They would love to see - the intelligent ones and the establishment of the United States of America and anywhere I believe - they would love to see us establish our Muslim life.
They much rather see us do that than to see us remain in the state that so many of us are in right now. Because we are a burden on ourselves, we are a burden on each other, we are a burden on our neighborhood, we are a burden on law enforcement. We are just a burden right now, because we are not productive and we are not about anything really constructive enough to promise great production. So let us keep that in mind.
And if we are going to have Islamic community, how is this community life going to help our relationship or help bring us together for good causes with Christians and Jews? When peole know that you have a definite goal in mind, they can trust you. But when you don't have any direction for your life, who can trust you? They don't know what's going to happen down the road. They don't know if you will remain loyal.
But if they know you have a permanent model of your life you want to establish, they can trust you. They can tell each other, "We can trust these people, we know where they are going." Don't think they don't know where they are going. America in 1999, almost year 2000 as far as Christianity is concerned, it's the America of 1899. It is still simply the same America in terms of what the church wants, what the religion wants, what the people want for their lives.
Industry and newer opportunities for having a better material existence have come and that makes for physical changes. But as for how Christians will raise their families, nothing has essentially changed. If we establish that we are Muslims and we mean it, then they know they can predict what we will be 100 years from now, 500 years from now. They will say, "We can live with them, because they are committed. They are going to be loyal."
What I am saying is that if you will concentrate on being what Allah wants you to be and establish your community life, you then will be more attractive to Christians and Jews. They will be able to trust you. They will see you as stable, constant people. They will be able to trust their children among you.
One man told me, "Mr. Mohammed, hearing from you what a Muslim is, I would be happy to have you as my neighbor." I said, "I would be happy to have you as my neighbor." We should be happy to accept each other when we know the other is committed to something that is safe and helpful to society and is not just temporary.
Islam wants us to look to the future. Islam says the future is the best. Allah has given us a model life. And if we devote ourselves to that life, we are devoting ourselves to a life that is not a fad, not something that is coming in and going out, not nationalistic ideas for two decades, then it's gone like Communism after 70 years.
No, Islam is not that, Christianity is not that, Judaism is not that, Buddhism is not that. What you get from G-d is based upon the higher reality and not upon transient things but upon permanent things. As Allah says, "What is with Us stays, what is with you shall perish," shall go away. What Allah has revealed through Angels and Muhammed the Prophet stays. What Allah has given us as a model for human life stays.
We can map Chicago, we can map the whole earth, but do you think any man can map the universe? Do you think any man can map the skies and show you where the borders end and tell you what is at the end of that border and what starts next? No man on earth can do that.
So G-d has created man with all this intelligence, the great brain, all this great technology and everything, but man can't tell us the end of this world we are looking at. He can't tell you what the last border is. He can't tell you what is at the end of these bodies we are looking at in the night skies. He can't tell us the end of space. Shouldn't that tell us something? With all this powerful technology, no human being can tell us what the map looks like, the map of the skies.
They can tell us what a galaxy looks like. They can tell you what so many galaxies together look like, but ask what is on the other side of that. They don't know. What is at the end of this design? Does this design continue forever? They can't tell us.
Here is man with all this power, with all this knowledge and he can't give us the full picture of his room he is living in. The room is so big, the room is beyond our perception and our intelligence to grasp it or to perceive what is at the end of it. G-d has put us in a room like the baby in the mother. G-d has put us in the universe and we can't see the last wall. We can't see the door.
Doesn't that make you feel like humbling yourself? Don't you feel like making sajdah right now? I do. In fact, I am going to do it. Allahu Akbar.
We need to think about how small we are in this big creation and put our heads to the floor for the Real G-d Who made all of this. And then do the work and work hard. And thank G-d Who entrusts life, future and freedom to us.
He entrusts us with all that: "Well, I knew you're going to make a mess, some of you are going to make a big mess. But I'm going to trust all of you with your life, with your future, with your responsibilities." He tells us build a model society, a model of how people are to live together in a community and, "I am with you."
Then He tells us, "You are the best community evolved for all people." Isn't that wonderful? You are the best of communities brought out or evolved for the human beings all over the world. This is wonderful. So let's not think of dialogue any more as a big matter for us in our relationship with Christians and Jews. Dialogue is okay, and we are going to have to have dialogue with them.
But the biggest way to impress the Christians and Jews is to build a model community life, so that they will see what we've got in our hearts, or what we should have in our hearts and minds as a future for ourselves.
There will be a model community life under G-d, the hope of Abraham. The hope of Abraham is also that we will fully make use of all the good properties that G-d has created us with, especially our moral nature and our rational minds, to make full use of that and cultivate the world. Make the world accommodate human life and human aspirations, good hopes of people.
To be after the order of Abraham, is to cherish the highest moral life and also to cherish rational life. We are tc put our rational mind to work, so that we have more good accommodations in an environment, in an outside environment for the good nature and the good spirit and the good aspirations of the human person.
This should be the real focus for us and don't think that anybody is left out of this. Ants carrying a piece of bread or something! It doesn't take a whole lot to get started. It only takes a few determined people. We are not telling you we need a start. We have a start already, we need to finish.
Thank you very much. Peace, As-Salaamu-Alaikum.