The Muslim Journal
1999 Islamic Convention Address: Part IV
Imam W. Deen Mohammed
G-d said: "When My servant asks about Me, tell them I am near." So we don't have to holler so loud; we don't have to destroy our lungs. You can whisper and G-d hears. He is near; He hears the thought that makes no sound. That is what G-d says in the Scripture, praise be to G-d.
So let us not go to sleep and forget any of the bad things that occurred in history to set us back or to destroy our humanity. Let us not step back in the past with that dark and troubled time. Let us recall it just for the purpose of knowing how to avoid it in the future, as we march forward with more things favoring human life now than ever have existed since the world began.
Except where there is a garden, the Garden that G-d placed man in. But after the garden, after the loss, after the fall, after the man was put out of the Garden until today, there has not been a better time for human beings to be living on this earth. This is the greatest time ever.
"Oh brother, what about the golden days of Islam?" If they were here now brother, they might get the Holy Ghost. And that is not becoming of Muslims to get the Holy Ghost, but if they were here and saw the freedom and the privilege we have to speak on Al-Islam in a Christian country that is majority Christian, with the history of this country - preaching from a black body, from a white body, from a red body, any colored person preaching Al-Islam ...
... And getting this respect and this protection; don't you know the police would shoot somebody if they came in here to disturb this meeting? If Muslims of the golden days were here to witness this, they would get the Holy Ghost. This is the best day; thank G-d that you are alive today.
This is not only a good time just for our diversity of cultures and languages and colors, but it is a good time also for our individual differences. And that is what the leadership has to respect - the right of individuals to their individuality.
We were told in the Nation of Islam that one black man got so dissatisfied because people wouldn't speak one language that he wanted. So he said: "Since I cannot make them all speak one language, I am going to destroy the whole world." He then made a powerful powder - more powerful than any other powder ever known before - a black powder, but not dynamite.
This dissatisfied man then drilled a hole one-third of the way down into the earth and poured into that hole this powerful powder and set it off. That caused the earth to split. And when the earth split, one part was not called earth but that was our home. And the other piece fell so far out into space from its orbit, that it had to find its orbit again. It became the moon.
This is what we were given as the creation of the beginning of the earth and the moon. This was all done because one mentally disturbed person wanted everybody to speak the same language.
Leaders in this community and everywhere, I would like for you to also give your attention to what I am saying: People have been created by G-d to be individuals. No two individuals are alike, so we are told in science. And we know that.
"To Allah belongs the East and the West; whithersoever you turn, there is the presence of Allah. For Allah is All-Pervading, All Knowing." (Qur'an 2:115)
G-d says of that central place that is our direction in prayer and our direction for Pilgrimage to the Holy House once a year, Hajj, that all of you turn your faces toward this qiblah. "Qiblah" means central place for you to focus on for direction in your life, for prayer and Pilgrimage.
G-d says that wherever you may be, you will be brought all together. G-d is telling us that if we have that as our focus for our unity, that our differences will not be a cause for us to be alienated from one another or to separate from one another. That this common focus will hold us all together, and it is the protection for our differences.
"To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) toward all that is good. Wheresoever you are, Allah will bring you together. For Allah has power over all things," (Qur'an 2:148)
I wonder how many Imams have really read and heard what they were reading. G-d says for each one of you is a direction, so turn all of you to this qiblah. G-d wants to preserve your individuality.
G-d is saying, "I want all of you to be on the path that I have shown you, all of you to be united in the humanity that I created for you, But I also want all of you to get your individual blessings for yourself on your own by your own choices."
(To be continued)