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On Imam W. Deen Mohammed – Past, Present and Future (The Next Evolution)

By Mubaashir Uqdah


THE FUTURE -Education (BIRD #1)

The first bird of social resurrection and enlightenment is enlightened education.

It is imperative that we are clear about what we mean by enlightened education.

Enlightened education can mean different things to different communities. We must know what it means for our community.

Typical Islamic and American educational curricula are not sufficient for the type of individuals that this school system must develop. "Follow the logic to its conclusion," our Imam said.

If we are producing new minds, a new culture, and a New Africa, then a new educational system must be designed to reproduce and enhance the new minds that must implement this logic.

Carter G. Woodson wrote a book titled, "The Miseducation of the Negro." The premise of this book is that we have been trained under the guise of education, but not really educated.

Woodson asserts that our miseducation is that we were taught the knowledge and skills to build the world for others, but not how to apply the knowledge and skills relevant for our own advancement.

He used the example of a dog that is highly trained to bring back food for his master, but does not know how to use those same skills to feed itself.

Imam Mohammed called education our number one priority and he said at the 2006 Ramadan Session: "Education is the greatest tool for advancing the society." We do want to advance our society, don't we? Are you a part of a society or are you just a part of a Masjid?

What kind of education do we have going on in our Masajid? What is its focus? Are we training our students to be good tools for other people's constructions or beautiful props in other people's plays, or do we have a real story to write?

As we think about our educational system, the Clara Muhammad and W. Deen Mohammed Schools — do not forget the message of Carter G. Woodson.

In the domain of education, there are many goals to achieve; many tasks to undertake. At the top of this list must be the creation of an authentic Clara Muhammad School System (CMS) Educational Curriculum.

Imams, educators, parents, take note: We must be able to reproduce the mind of Imam Mohammed in this current generation of believers, both new and old, and the next generation of young Muslims fortunate enough to have an interest in Al-Islam and this community.

We are not born knowing the teachings of Al-Islam and the commentary of Imam Mohammed. If the knowledge body of Imam Mohammed is not taught systematically, it will not be learned systematically. If we do not learn it systematically, then we cannot reproduce that knowledge body systematically.

If we cannot systematically reproduce that knowledge body in ourselves, then we cannot systematically reproduce the New Mind, which is the basis of the New Culture of New Africa and the model communities we seek to build.

If there is no system of education, then our education is left to haphazard chance, to a gamble. Would we gamble with the life of our child? How can we gamble with G-d's Gift of compensation for our ancestor's 400 years of horrifying slavery?

Allah carefully designed everything in the creation (Qur'an Surah 22:73) and put at least one purpose in the design of each thing. This is a pattern of creation; this is a Fitrah. Our educational system must be built according to this Fitrah, with design and purpose.

The success of our educational enterprise is measured by the product it produces relative to the design and purpose of the educational system.

The goal of the community of Imam W. Deen Mohammed is to produce the new minds that will create the new culture — model communities - New Africa, new society, which will serve as the womb of birth and reproduction of generations of new minds.

These minds will become the vanguard of the band of people arising to work together with all right-minded people, inviting America and the world to embrace the good and reject the bad. Our educational system must be designed to accommodate these purposes.

A curriculum is the path taken to reach the goal of an educational system. The curriculum of the Clara Muham-mad/WD Mohammed School System is the systematic roadmap from a student's starting point in our system to their birth as a new mind with the rudimentary skills and understanding needed to advance the life of their individual and collective identity.

In between the beginning and end of the journey along this roadmap are courses they must take, checkpoints they must reach, requirements and standards that must be met, because these are indicators that the student is progressing toward the destination.

Our curriculum must chart courses that develop the knowledge, understanding, and skills required to manifest the vision Allah provided through Imam Mohammed.

What are the essentials of this curriculum, at least, for the next 5 to 10 years? What must we develop in our students (all of us are students of Imam Mohammed) to move along the roadmap to the destination that we envision?

In addition to the curriculum ideas described below, please review an article I wrote in 2006, titled "Curriculum for the Clara Muhammad Schools."

Also, please note that the first curriculum refers to Imam Mohammed's commentary, however this includes the study of the Holy Qur'an and the life of the Prophet. Because Imam Mohammed's commentary centers on the Qur'an and example of the Prophet.

Curriculum Essentials

1) The first curriculum essential are courses that teach us the language of Imam W. Been Mohammed. This essential includes understanding the meanings and interpretations of the symbols, parables and stories in the scriptures (Qur'an, Bible, others), the interpretation of the signs in the creation (animate and inanimate), and the interpretation of the rituals in religious traditions and practices.

This curriculum essential includes not only learning the meaning and interpretations of things taught to us by Imam Mohammed, but the logic and method of thinking of the new mind which enables the student to read the signs and extract wisdom independently of the direct teachings of Imam Mohammed.

This curriculum essential must also include exercises and training in expressing the concepts and practice in applying the teachings in different forms (for example, the cultural, political and business expression of an idea; etc.)

This curriculum essential also must include learning to read Qur'anic Arabic. We must be able to see Qur'an with our own eyes. All of us do not need to become fluent Arabic readers, reciters and conversationalists. But all of us need to/must become proficient enough with Qur'anic grammar and use a good Arabic/English dictionary to be able to read the Qur'an and see what it is saying using our own eyes and brain.

When we are able to do this, we will see, as the excellent Arabic professor, Imam Salim Mu'Min has said, "Imam Mohammed's teachings is the Arabic language of the Qur'an."

This curriculum essential is mandatory, because in these courses are the ingredients out of which Imam W. Been Mohammed was produced and out of which that new mind — the knowledge body called Imam W. Been Mohammed — will be reproduced over and over again. Out of these courses will also evolve the applied knowledge needed to manifest the new culture.

2) A second curriculum essential are courses that cultivate the original human nature of the individual. This essential includes learning and training in knowledge and practices that purify and feed the soul of the individual. This essential is moral and spiritual training.

Courses in prayer, dhikr and du'a (in a WDM sense), meditation, reflection and contemplation are a part of this curriculum essential. This essential also must include courses and training that cause the student to experience the benefits of charitable acts on his/her soul as a result of helping others.

Self-mastery must be a course in this curriculum essential. Its goal is to awaken within the original nature of the student the exhilarating consciousness of the power of the self, when it discovers the virtue of having the discipline to plow through adversity and struggle to reach a goal and achieve a victory.

This curriculum essential is required for our educational system, because we have been taught that Allah created the human being in the best of forms and as Imam Mohammed believed: If we can return the human being back to his original nature and form, he will become a superman in this world and will be a great force for manifesting our vision and remaking the world.

To build New Africa and model communities, we must be natural human beings living on a moral foundation. If our souls are not alive with the Ruh (Spirit of Allah), then we are nothing.

3) A third curriculum essential are courses in the study of Bilalian (African American) history and heroes and Islamic history and heroes. After learning who we are as humans and members of the human family first, we must learn our ethnic and cultural history.

We must be taught our role and purpose in the world, as a consequence of 400 years of slavery (as described by Imam Mohammed).

We must be taught the lessons of our leaders and the lessons of our people's responses to our condition. We must be taught about the negatives in our mentality, culture and emotional makeup.

It is very important that the student is fully aware of the kinds of thinking, feeling and behaving that must be avoided.

4) A fourth curriculum essential are courses in the knowledge of others: Social Studies, History and the Humanities. Our students must have knowledge of the peoples in our society and world. We must know something about other cultures and religions.

Our students must be taught an appreciation for the history and ways of others. To be together as one human family is our destiny, we must be prepared with the interpersonal skills and knowledge to get along with other people.

We must be able to get along comfortably with others, because we must build alliances with other right-minded people and faith communities in the struggle against the schemes of Satan and the building of paradise on earth.

This essential includes learning about the history of Islam, the life of Prophet Muhammad and all of the Prophets and great religious people and ideas that have shaped our world.

(This article is part 5 of a series by Mubaashir Uqdah that first appeared in the Muslim Journal)