(Reprinted from the Muslim Journal (11-7-03 to 12-26-03)
Researching Our Faith and Supporting Business Life in Our Neighborhoods
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(This public lecture by Imam W. Deen Mohammed was the first in a monthly series to be given every first Sunday at the Homewood Ramada Inn, 17400 S. Halsted Ave., in Homewood, III. This lecture was given Oct. 5, 2003, with the next monthly lecture scheduled for Nov. 2, 2003, at Homewood Ramada Inn.)
G-d is the Greater, and we worship none but Him, Only The One G-d. And we follow the human example, the best of His creation, His Servant and Messenger Muhammed, and those who were modeled before him. Our first father, Adam, whom He created was created in the most excellent mould. And Abraham is also said to be in that mould, and we follow the Order of Abraham, the upright in his nature.
We know that G-d wants us to be the best human being that we can be. That is why He created for us these excellent figures or examples for us of how G-d wants us to be and live, in order that we have success and heaven in this life and after. And we pray that G-d keeps us always in the best life and save us from the life that takes us down. Amin.
It is wonderful to see you all here on this first occasion for us in this area, where we will be addressing an audience monthly, on the first Sunday of each month. This is our first Sunday in this plan. We used to do this years ago and invite the surrounding areas, especially those towns and suburbs nearby the big mother town of Chicago.
Milwaukee always has had very faithful and devoted members. They always came. Before my time, I saw how faithful they were in answering the invitation to come to this area and hear my father, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad.
We have a few other neighboring places like that too. We also had Detroit to do the same. And now we have Racine and several other places not far from us. There is St. Louis and even as far as Kansas City. We have Imams and representatives of those towns coming, whenever we have a meeting of this size or of this importance.
I have nothing to say to trouble. I have nothing to say to confusion. I have nothing to say to disappointed people. But I have a whole lot to say to people of good sense, to people of faith, to people who are not disappointed with me.
This is no small work that we are doing. This is a big, big work, a big, big job. It's bigger than what I imagined it to be when I was a boy sitting some where on the third or fourth row from the front, listening to my father preach.
It's bigger than what I imagined it to be when I became a minister under my father, preaching in Philadelphia and getting good results for him and the Nation of Islam.
It is bigger than what I imagined it to be when I became the leader upon the passing of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. I had thoughts. As I saw it then, it was big. But as I learned more and experienced more in the Path of G-d, I came to see that it is bigger than we imagined it to be in all the time behind us. This job is big.
Sometimes, I feel like I am all alone. But I hope that as we have opportunities like this to address the major concerns that are still in the Path for us, we all will come to see, as the Christians say, "better by and by."
Many of us who are not really comfortable with what the religions have offered us. And we certainly are not comfortable with what man's world has offered us. I say many of us, and I am talking about believers. I am not talking about just any people who are just out there on the street.
I am talking about people who want to be right in the light of what G-d has established. We want to know what G-d has established. And as I said, religions with an "s" have not satisfied many of us. When I look at the religions of the world today, I see those religions needing help. The religions, themselves, need help.
Christianity in the world needs a lot of help. Judaism in the world needs a lot of help. Islam in the world needs a lot of help. If I had not already been converted to believe in G-d and follow The Way, this world and its religions could not get me.
I wouldn't want Judaism. I wouldn't want Christianity. And I wouldn't want Islam, the way I am hearing it lived and preached in this world today.
Their representatives would not attract me at all, not even those in Mecca. I would have no interest in them. Looking at their world, how messed up it is, and how they seem to be unable to come out of the mess, I wouldn't be attracted to that. Someone will ask, "But what are we going to do?"
We are going to follow the best. That is what G-d tells us to do. G-d says, "Follow the best thereof," in talking about the religion itself. The religion invites many levels to it, regarding good sense or intelligence, and many levels also regarding decency or moral nature. It does not want to place burdens on anyone that that individual can't manage.
It doesn't burden the person who is not interested in education. They don't have any interest to become students and excel in education. This religion doesn't put a burden on them that they can't bear. It has an invitation on them to have a family, to have a job, to be honest and decent and not be worried with higher knowledge.
The religion has room for everybody. I think this is in the Bible, too. But it expects you to be decent, to want to have good behavior. It expects that of all of us. It expects us to want to have good character and not to be feared by others because of our bad character. They shouldn't fear that we'll rob them or corrupt the neighborhood.
It wants from all of us decency and human innocence, where you are not having any bad thing on your mind to carry out affecting others. That is what religion wants. That is what our religion wants.
As I have said, our religion invites people from all levels of interest, from the smallest interest of the man who just wants to eat and sleep and have a nice place to rest and wake up and go to work and come back home to his family and do that until he dies. Religion invites that person.
The man who carries the burden of the neighborhood on his mind, that he wants to see the neighborhood improved, he wants to see life better for people, the religion invites him too. The man who questions the logic and good sense in things and is not satisfied with the world as he is seeing it and thinks the world is not quite as sensible as it ought to be, G-d also invites that person to come.
G-d gives help to all levels. The man who wants nothing but a nice family life, G-d gives help to him on his level. He gives him so much help, until one day he might have a transformation and say, "Girl, I think I'm going to start working with the good leaders in my neighborhood. I think I want to make a contribution to the community." He might have an awakening and experience a transformation. That has happened.
G-d says, "And take the best thereof." I'll give you an example. G-d says that during the Fast Month of Ramadan, if you are of sound mind, if you are sane and healthy bodied, you should fast all the days of the whole month of Ramadan, 29 or 30 days. But G-d also says that if you are sick, you don't have to. If you are traveling, you don't have to fast those days you are traveling.
Then G-d says you can make up those days you don't fast by feeding or giving a poor person his or her meal for each day you missed. There are some who are very comfortable financially, and when Ramadan comes, they just carry on their business like they normally would do. And when Ramadan is over, they just feed 60 people. You feed 60 or double for the days, when you intentionally break the fast.
It is easy for them to feel 60 people, so they give enough to feed 60 people for 60 days. But G-d also said, "And take the best thereof." And what is the best. G-d said, "It is best that you fast, if you understood, because it teaches you piety and self restraint." It is so that you will come closer to what G-d wants you to be for the good of yourself, your family and for mankind.
Let's go to Muhammed, himself, prayers and peace be on him that is the way we salute him traditionally. He, himself, is the model of human excellence, G-d says for any who believes in Him and the Last Day. That means anyone who believes that his life should be lived for G-d. And if it is not lived for G-d, then you are going to be answerable for living a life that G-d does not accept.
For people who believe that, and they are Christians and Jews and many others, those who have that kind of faith, our Holy Book that G-d gives us tells us that Muhammed is an excellent model for those people. It is not just for Muslims. Jesus Christ is a model for
humankind or mankind. Muhammed is a model for humankind or mankind, not just for a particular group of people following a certain way. No, he is for all human beings.
This human model we are talking about, as G-d says, he is a human mortal like you. He is not an angel. He is not a god. We are not given a god to imitate, and we can't imitate G-d. That is impossible. We are not divine creatures; we are human creatures. We can't imitate G-d; we can only follow G-d in His Descriptions that we identify with. But we can't be as perfect as He is in that.
G-d has described Himself to us as The Merciful. So we know that He wants us to be merciful. He is described as The Pure, and He wants us to want purity and to seek purity. He is described as The Truth, and He wants us to be truthful. So in His Descriptions or Divine Attributes that He shares, in that He has imparted that to us by way of creation, then to that extent we can follow G-d.
We cannot be perfect, for we are not perfect beings. We are beings subject to err, as the philosopher says. And we are subject to lose the good life that we have and the good sense that we have and have to be rescued by good people or by the Mercy of G-d, as G-d says.
Muhammed the Prophet is the model for us, a model for our human life in its excellence that G-d wants for all human beings. So G-d tells us to follow him and to believe in him, first of all. He says, "Believe in G-d and believe in His Messenger." To believe in G-d is one thing.
To believe in the Messenger of G-d is to believe in the possibility of human beings living a successful life, succeeding and enjoying all the joy that G-d created them to enjoy. That means that you believe that human beings can conquer corruption in their life. They can conquer laziness. They can conquer indecency in their life.
You believe, then, that human beings can live with each other and trust each other. You can live with each other and not fear that you'll be hurt or harmed by each other or robbed by each other. So you believe, then, that human beings can have a peaceful and good community life, if you believe in Muhammed.
And that is following the logic to its correct conclusion. G-d tells us to follow the logic to its correct conclusions. And G-d did not send men into the world from Him. When G-d calls a man to serve Him, He first takes him out of the world. And when He prepares him, He then sends him back into the world. But He first has to take him out of the world.
Once G-d prepares him, he knows how to do his job in the world. So G-d puts him right back into the world. Muhammed, we follow him in his excellence, and G-d says to believe in him and to obey him. "Obey G-d and obey His Messenger." Not only that, it says, "And obey those whom you put in authority."
You put somebody in authority you voted or elected that person and put him in authority. You put them there. Then you are supposed to obey them, until you disqualify them. If you disqualify them, then put another one or others there. But those whom you have authorized, you are to obey them.
And they shouldn't order anything that they don't have an authorization for. As Muslim leaders, we are authorized by two sources The Word of G-d called our Holy Book or the Qur'an and the Life Example of Muhammed the Prophet who received that Book from
So if I come from myself and start ordering or saying things arbitrarily, or on my own, without respect for the Sources that I'm supposed to be under or obeying, then you reject me as your leader and don't follow me in those things. G-d even tells children, if they can read the Book, to disobey parents.
It says, "Obey them. But if they order something that you cannot find support for from G-d, then don't obey them in that. But keep good company with them in this world." Do you hear that?
This world will tell children, "Don't listen to parents!" And it doesn't follow it up by saying be nice to them in this world. Some will say, "This world is not telling children to not obey their parents." Well, I was watching a commercial on TV, and they were trying to sell my child something that I didn't approve of. So they were telling my child to disobey me.
This was the commercial; I'm not talking about the wild streets. The commercial was trying to sell my children something I wouldn't want them to buy. It was trying to make them spend too much money. It wants them to live rich, and they are poor. Life is hard enough without that invitation from the commercial world. It is hard enough already on the poor.
G-d says to obey your parents, but if they order something from you that you don't find any support for from Him, G-d, then don't follow them in that. But keep good company with them in this world. That means for the rest of their life. As long as you and they are living, you are supposed to be kind to them and have good company with them.
Even if they told you, "I don't like that religion you have now. We are Christians and you have become a Muslim." You are not supposed to say, "You kafir!" That is the crazy Islamic world we see today. "You kafir. Even though you be my mother, I reject you, you kafir!"
But he will be looking up from Hell Fire, and G-d will permit him to have one glimpse of his Christian mother and relatives in Heaven, and then cut it off right quick! Life is a road that begins the moment we come into this world. Muhammed said of himself, peace be on him, "I am like a traveler in the world, and I stop under a tent."
The tent is like the comfort he finally reaches, and then he returns to his G-d. Life is over. So it is for all of us. Life is a journey. Life is a road. The poets, the philosophers, the preachers of religion, we all know that life is a journey. We know the first step is the life that G-d created for us, this life that all of us know.
Our human life, our flesh body serves as a home and as a transport. We live in this body that transports us. That is the first life that G-d gave man. And G-d tells us of this life and promises us a better life than this one. G-d says that He knows His creation. He says, "Who can know creation better than The One Who created it and has been around for all periods of time, observing it, watching it."
Since the very first day of creation, G-d has been aware of His creation. And G-d says of His creation, that we are created from a small life germ, placed in a place of rest inside the female or our wife. And it starts to develop and develops into a clot from murky whitish fluid into a clot of blood.
G-d goes on to tell us how it takes on form higher and higher. It becomes like a morsel of flesh or a fetus lump with no bones. G-d says that He continues the creation of that life, until it becomes complete with flesh clothed all over the bones and becomes a nice looking figure. Then He gives it into the world.
Then G-d says, "Thereafter, there comes to it another creation." Then G-d says, "G-d is The Best of creators," which is another reference to this same progression or developmental steps that we take that G-d ordained for us or created us to take in order to come here as a full human being in good shape.
He says, "Blessed be the Name of G-d, The Best of creators."
Then G-d says, "Do you think G-d is unaware of what you are doing?" He is referring to those led by the ones who are not looking to know how The Designer, The Great Artist, G-d Himself, wants the world formed.
But they are going out on their own arbitrarily and have taken upon themselves the authority to shape a world for other human beings.
They design their world to be a huge womb creating man all over again, after G-d has created him. They design the environment to be a huge womb in which they place human life, so that it will be created all over again.
Some of you did not know that Satan was a creator. It says there is nothing that G-d revealed to His Servant that Satan didn't conspire to do the likes of it. G-d creates, and Satan wants to create and he does create.
Why am I saying this? It is because of you all who are in trouble and can't trust another human being. You can't trust the establishment and can't trust the system. You can't trust the preacher or the rabbi or the Imam, and you can't trust yourself.
You don't have faith in anything. I want to tell you that this may be your day, more than anybody else's. I think most of us need to do that, just stop trusting everything and then maybe we will find the right thing.
How did man come to Truth? It was first by doubting. He said, "I'm looking at this, but I don't think this is all of it. I don't think this is the last picture or the last word. I'm going to have to question this and search it."
He questioned it and searched it and came up with another meaning, a meaning that he didn't have when he first looked at it. So man came to a better and richer and more productive idea by doubting the thing that he was looking at.
A very wise and pious old man, my old friend Muhammad Abdullah who moved to Hayward, Calif., and died there, may G-d give him paradise, told me once, "You know, our kalimah (our sacred creed) begins with a negative. It says 'no' before it says yes." It says "La illaha illallah"; there is no god to worship, except The G-d. The kalimah begins with a negative.
We got this creed from our Father Abraham, and we know the story of his searching the creation and doubting the things that his father was worshipping, as G-d brought him to say that none of these things are G-d.
The story ends with him witnessing a beautiful sunrise after studying the stars all night long. And then he saw a star fall and said, "You cannot be my G-d, for my G-d is not one who falls...."
Then the sun began to rise and it was a splendid morning and the atmosphere was just right for that beautiful morning and Abraham said, "Oh, this is a splendid one rising. This must be the G-d." This is a story to teach us. It goes on, "And he sat and observed it, the sun, until it began to decline."
When its light went out or it set, Abraham said, "Oh no, you can't be my G-d. My G-d is not one to set." His conclusion was that all of these things were on some kind of plan and The Planner was G-d. That is why I said earlier that we follow the Order of Abraham, the one upright in his nature.
Getting back to the first step in the road. G-d creates human beings and human beings are born innocent all of them. In the history of the study of criminal law in the United States, we find there was a time when there was a belief that criminals could be protected from society by castrating them, so they couldn't have any more children or couldn't give birth to more criminals.
That law existed for a while, but the good sense came back and they got rid of that law. That tells us that civilized nations do not believe that criminality can be inherited, that you can get it from your mother and father. That also is our belief. Allah G-d tells us over and over that everyone has a clean slate when he is born.
Not only that, for there are those who have been deceived by the Satan or deceived by ignorance and lost the good life. And once they take shahada, that is that they have declared openly with witnesses, that they are divorcing themselves from that kind of life now to serve G-d as witnesses and to follow Prophet Muhammed's example, G-d says everything prior to that is wiped cleaned, as though you are a newborn baby with no sin.
This is Islam. And there is the same idea in Christianity with Born Again Christians. We have a chance to be born again in Islam also.
At the beginning of human life, this flesh we have is innocent, until our thinking becomes wrong. Babies learn love right away from their mothers. Babies learn trust and faith right away from their mothers.
They will come out just today and in a few minutes will be resting peacefully against the bosom of the mother, trusting the mother and not fearing anything, leaving it all to the mother to protect them.
That is innocent life. We start with this physical flesh body, which is good and comes from G-d. So far, no one has been able to create this flesh body. They can only use what G-d has created and maybe bypass a few important things to make things happen quicker.
Maybe they can take something from the life and instead of putting it where G-d wants it to be, they put it in a tube somewhere or another protective environment.
But still they have not created the life. They are just using the life that G-d created. Even that has been proven to be very risky. Although we have all the great sciences and can do wonders with those sciences, still it is G-d that we have to look to in order to have creations reproduce. Still, we are producing from His Patterns. Man has not created a pattern separate from G-d's yet.
We start with this human life, and we can trust this life. We can trust our human life to support our good thinking. We can trust our human life to support our good dreams and aspirations. We can trust this.
In fact, when we start to have dangerous thoughts, the body becomes alarmed, and you may break out in a sweat. Or you may start stuttering, when you have never stuttered in your life.
That is your own nature telling you, "I am not comfortable with what you have on your mind now!" So we can trust the life that G-d created, but what is giving us trouble is the life that we created.
G-d says He is The Best of creators. That is to tell the wise among us who are working behind closed doors, working in secrecy, having secret counsel planning man's life in secrecy, G-d is speaking to them through a human being, Muhammed a man He revealed these things to.
G-d is telling them in their secret places, "I know you are creators, but I am The Best of creators. And don't think that I have not been observing what you have been doing with My Creation. ...And I am going to call them back to the life that I gave them in Paradise."
Islam is the life. Islam is the Call to Life. “Come alive for prayer.” It is said twice, because you had a good mind, the mind that your good nature gave you. So if you are still in that good mind, still come because you have to be educated. It is not enough to be innocent and good; you have to be educated.
And don’t think education is only for those who want to get a certificate from high school or college. Education is for every human being born. That is why G-d has preachers and messengers and that is why we have men who take it upon themselves to inform the public and have the public to be educated.
We are not left to the mercy of these institutions, although they are much needed and we have to support them. They are our best help, the excellent schools we have – public and private. We know that, but we are not entirely dependent upon the mercy of those institutions.
For G-d will inspire and awaken a politician or a social worker or just a common person who is satisfied to punch a clock, punch in and out and go back home and go to sleep and enjoy his house and then go back to work. Sometimes a change will come over that person, and that person will be the one to say “the public is kept too stupid; the public needs to be informed.”
That is G-d in us that won’t let us just suffer and suffer and suffer from something that He has created us to rise above or with the power to change. G-d will move us to the point where we have to do something about it. G-d is Greater.
Step 1 is to begin in your innocence. We want to make progress in the road; we don’t want to fail. We want to get to the end of the road. The end of the road though is not the end of living; the end of the road is the end of struggle and suffering and confusion.
The end of the road is a good life here on earth and Hereafter. It is where you will feel good about yourself and you will feel good about how you and your family are living. You will feel good about how your neighborhood is thriving or existing. You will feel good.
But how can we feel good completely or perfectly good, as long as there is another neighborhood suffering like ours used to suffer? Or another nation suffering like ours used to suffer?
See how G-d has created us to be one family and to register hurt for all people, to feel their hurt and not be comfortable in our souls, until everybody has a life that is livable. We know all of us are not this conscience, for some of us have practiced putting things out of our minds that bother our conscience.
We’ve practiced so much, until we can look at people suffering and crying and moaning and dying and miserable and being mistreated, and we will keep on smiling and go to sleep and rest good at night.
But there is always a few whom G-d has created who won’t accept that. And one day from the few will come one to disturb your rest and call you out into the field to go to work and make things better. This is the way of G-d. Thank G-d, and thank good people.
The Second Step: If you have made up your mind that yes, you want a good life, a life that you don’t have to be ashamed of and want to be of good character and somebody that other good people can feel comfortable around, who good people can trust and be loved and appreciated by your family, if you are that kind of person, you have already made the first step. The temple of the individual, the flesh body, is in good order.
The Second Step, then, is for you to want to be informed, so that you can make progress on the road of life. As I have said, it isn’t for everybody. You can’t make progress on this road without being educated; you have to be educated. And I am not speaking of the academic world.
I am talking about good common sense and knowledge of how G-d made life and how He made you to live. You may not want to call it “G-d,” then call it creation or Mother Nature or whatever you want. But something is responsible for making you the human being that you are. You should want then to know that this plan that you’ve gotten from Mother Nature or creation – we know G-d is the Author of it. Then G-d created matter or Mother Nature to give birth to us the first time. So if you don’t want to include G-d, stop right there with Mother Nature. Say, “I want to be the best that Mother Nature offers me.” That is the first step.
Then say, “I want to see what direction, what help is in Mother Nature for my mind, for my reasoning, so that I reason better and my reasoning will serve me better, so that I will become more successful.” Mother Nature is a teacher, herself. She is our first teacher.
Muhammed, peace be on him, was not stupid when G-d called him. He was a successful businessman. Muhammed was not immoral or indecent when G-d called him. He was already a decent and admired human being by his own people. They called him As-Saadiq, The Truthful One. And they called him El-Amin, The Trustworthy One. They were calling him these names before G-d called him to be the Messenger of G-d.
So G-d is telling us by revealing that He chose Muhammed the same thing that it is telling us with Jesus Christ, in his Sign, in his mystery. It is telling us that a human being can have a good life without having revelation or prophets being sent to them. G-d does not have to come to us that way; G-d made us to have a good life.
If we just respect the good life that G-d made for us, we can have a good life as Muhammed had a good life. And Muhammed is just one given to us as an example; there are many human beings who become very decent and keep a good life and become very rational, very intelligent and very productive without joining a religion. This is a fact of history and a fact of nature.
Isn’t that good news? For the Christians, this same message is in The Nativity, the birth of Jesus Christ. It is shrouded in mystery. The same message is coming to the Christian world that I am giving to you right now. And that is why the Bible’s New Testament is called The Good News. This is the Good News.
These phonies in religion are telling people that they have to repent their sins – repeat, repeat, repeat – and reject this mortal flesh, this mortal nature, this gross body and that its temptation will lead you to damnation. So the Good News is that they got off track and went blind in their own self-righteousness.
The Good News is that human beings are born good and it is only your wrong thinking that makes you bad. That is the good news, that we all can have salvation. Thank G-d; Allahu Akbar.
The Second Step is to truth your natural good senses, your natural good intelligence that created you with. And that you want to become more intelligent, more informed in the ways of life, in the ways of living successfully. I will come back to that.
Now you have a Third Step to make. The Third Step is to struggle to know what is my purpose in this plan that I find in Mother Nature. Am I to worship matter? Am I to worship the earth? Am I to worship the trees? Then you go on the search. You search the things you know, to see if those things are worthy of your worshipping them or coming under them.
And if you search without revelation, without G-d – keep all of that out of it for right now – if you search with your good natural intelligence, you are going to come to the conclusion, “I can’t manage this by myself. I have to serve something above me.”
You can call it the Idea of Truth. You can call it a perception of your destiny. Call it whatever you want, but you have to serve something bigger than you. G-d tells us, “Oh man, don’t think that the creation of the human being is a bigger matter than the creation of the skies and the earth.”
This world will overwhelm you. This world will beat you down and bury you and wipe your history out, as though you never existed. It is a bigger matter than you. So at least find that discipline that accounts for this world being sustained. If it breaks its own laws, it will destroy itself.
Find that discipline that sustains matter, the earth, Mother Nature’s order, and then say to yourself, “This world is sustained, which is bigger than me, by obedience to certain laws. So I am going to have to recognize a set of rules, a set of laws, that something governs me bigger than my mind.” Call it what you want, but that will be your salvation.
I cannot understand how in this day and time on this earth, as we are enjoying all the benefits that we owe to the productive minds of human beings: The creation of modern transportation, industry, skyscrapers, air conditioning – heat in the winter and cool in the summer, entertainment for the mind after working hard, entertainment so technical, so scientific that it blows our minds….
All of these great wonders coming from the brain, the productive intelligence of the human being; all of the material comforts that make life so much better; all of the health benefits that have made life so much better; all of this progress we have made in the road toward justice for human beings – protecting the work environment so that it does not abuse or unnecessarily hurt human life….
All of this progress we have made with our brains. You Muslim brothers, you Imams, see all of this help we’ve gotten from Islam, all the help we have gotten from Muhammed the Prophet, saying that one day the common man is going to be competing with the establishment to build skyscrapers.
This was in the sayings of Prophet Muhammed before there were skyscrapers. But don’t think there was not a history of skyscrapers being put on the earth before this period we are enjoying now call modern times. Ancient nations were able to build high towers. You have heard of the Tower of Babel.
In Arab lands, they have found ruins that establish for them proof that their ancestors were once great builders of high stone structures. That is just in one place, but all over the world that has happened. They have unearthed remains of civilizations gone by that were able to do those things.
Now Muhammed the Prophet was a businessman. He wasn’t a shepherd out with his sheep looking at the stars at night and going to sleep and waiting for the sunrise, so he can go back and take care of his sheep. He was a businessman writing contracts and signing contracts, traveling to other towns and cities, even as far as Syria is from Saudi Arabia. And G-d called him to be the Last Prophet.
How in the world, then, can you Imams with your mind awake criticize Imam W. Deen Mohammed for having an interest in business? Do you think the ships that brought us over from Africa to put us into slavery were a dream? That was real history.
Do you think all the years and generations of suffering we’ve gone through and denied a chance to be free citizens enjoying citizenship with other people, including Whites? That is real history.
There might be a man or a woman alive today who knows a lot about that terrible time and maybe even experienced some of the abuse back in time. This was no dream. That was real.
Do you think all of these millions of African Americans in America now singing the blues and saying that we still don’t have what we are supposed to have and “when are we going to get ours” – reparations or something, all of that is a dream? That’s no dream, that’s real.
If you are really the brains that you claim to be, how come you can’t read the history of your own people and see that the history of your own people demands divine intervention?
Then rise to your feet and walk behind Imam W. Deen Mohammed, if you are a real Muslim. I don’t claim anything big. I don’t like to look at myself as being important. But I know that G-d has blessed me with a soul and with a spirit that has made me so wise and spirit-wise that I am fit to be my own Imam. I am happy and proud to say, “Imam W. Deen Mohammed is my Imam.”
I have a question here, not about my resignation but about the centers and mosques and masajid that have made public statements that they have resigned from the ASM. The question is in essence what should they do now or what kind of relationship they should have with my office.
I want you to be responsible for your own affairs and continue to be responsible for your own centers or mosques or businesses. You have to be responsible for whatever you have.
A donkey is a small animal that looks like it has too much head for its small body. You can have too much leadership; your leadership should be small in comparison to the mass of your body. You should have many people but not a whole lot of leaders dictating to you how you should live.
G-d wants each of us to have enough respect for our own intelligence to be responsible for our own behavior. You don’t need anybody telling you to shine your shoes; that would be stupid. You are not babies. You don’t need anybody to tell you to wear decent clothes and not come to the prayer smelly. That is an insult to an intelligent person and to those who are sane.
You are responsible for yourselves and you are also responsible to keep good leadership. If you have bad leaders, tell them. If they won’t let you talk to them, leave them. If you are fed up and can’t beat them, then leave them. Tell them, “There is nothing making me come to you.”
I speak only from scripture. G-d says that when the Judgment Day comes, there will be some people saying, “Well G-d, we had to live like this, because they were too powerful for us. We couldn’t do anything about it.” G-d will say, “Didn’t you know My earth is spacious? Why didn’t you go somewhere else?”
Brothers and sisters in positions to hold offices, please listen. In order for you to have me as your spiritual leader, you are going to have to produce for me deeds on your centers, on your mosques, on your schools – all property that you are responsible for to your congregation. You will have to produce copies of those deeds for me, so that I will know that they are not at risk because your name is on it or someone you know is on it.
They have to be put in a trust and protected for the congregation. That is one condition. If you have schools, you have to accept my leadership and do what I ask you to do with those schools.
It is a new situation; it is not ASM anymore. Thank you, As-Salaam-Alaikum.