NETWORK-Viewpoint Omar Hashim Sharif, Halal Meats at Masjid
Omar Hashim Sharif
WE WERE SINCERE IN THE DARK…
Our history as a people requires us to look deeply into how it ('our circumstances') came to be. Most (Many) of us do not consider how things (societal conditions) come into being. We have not given serious consideration to how we have arrived at where we are now. We have unconsciously accepted that things simply 'are' and that we have no choice in the outcome or their effects on our lives. We do not consider the effort (planning) that was put into place to advance a singular line of thinking in an entire people; the financing that went into securing an environment in which we could initiate a plan. We have given the matter little if any thought. Many times, the person who brings these issues to mind is labeled a 'conspiracy nut'. However, after giving some thought to what has been said, the faultfinders are discovered re- telling and elaborating to others what they have heard and are suddenly deemed experts on a matter they initially deemed without merit.
In the series of discussions that follow, we are going to look closely at those things that have brought our people to where we are now. We are going to discuss religion, slavery and strategies for building society and their effects on both the individual and the collective. Our focus will be mainly on our own ethnic group, the Bilalian or African-American people, but these discussions will be universal both in their implications and application. We hope to bring greater clarity to the mind of the reader as he/she thinks carefully with us on these matters which have burdened us, stifled our growth, our productivity and our establishment as a people.
The basis for advancing this discussion is derived from the Logic and Leadership of our leader, Imam W, Deen Mohammed. Without his instruction and guidance we would not be able to see our way to understanding the religion we have chosen, Al-Islam, and all that it encompasses and entails. We would be unable to read any religious knowledge and arrive at the proper and correct conclusions and discern a path for progress. It is Imam Mohammed's clear logic and divinely inspired leadership that has enabled us to look, with clarity, and make proper connections with our distant past, our present and our looming future, For me, and others like me, Imam W. Deen Mohammed is the light of Prophet Muhammed in this modern world, and we are his community.
Put an End to Confusion
THE SEARCH FOR MEANING
Earlier we discussed Laylatul Qadr and how it reflects a group destiny. We want to continue making connections along these lines. For most, when we think of 'Laylatul Qadr' we think of a 'one night event', when in fact the process happened for Prophet Muhammed over a period of time, rather than just in that instant. The same idea applies to any individual and or group seeking to find their purpose. Layla or Night or The Darkness of Not Knowing, when connected to the Term Qadr suggests an active process.
Let us look at the process that brought Prophet Muhammed clarity. Prophet Muhammed made a habit of going to the hills away from society to reflect on the condition of His people and his own condition as a member in that society. His habit is what we are describing here as 'Layla'. He was in the 'dark'. He did not know how to address the condition of his people or what his purpose was in the process of healing that society. While observing the ritual of fasting and engaged in deep contemplation, he was inspired and was shown what needed to be done, 'Qadr'. He was shown the path that he should take. It was a path that was followed the DESIGN of something already influencing the life of his people and people in general. But Prophet Muhammed would give that DESIGN new life and renewed meaning.
Again, we want to make connections and hopefully help clear the air of romanticized thinking in religion. Let's go back quickly and think about this. The month in which he would seek answers to his concerns is which month? Yes, Ramadan, What did he do? He fasted. What does that suggest? It suggests that the ritual of fasting during the month of Ramadan pre-dates Islamic history. Why am I saying this when it seems so obvious that that is the case? Because many of us seem to think of fasting during the Month of Ramadan as an exclusive activity for only Muslims, instead of seeing what Prophet Muhammed did with this particular ritual. What did he do? He gave that ritual purpose in the life of those that would follow his way.
That ritual was already in place. It already served a purpose, but it did not have a place in helping to heal the life of society until Allah, through Prophet Muhammed, established it as a key principle in the life of those who followed Muhammed's way.
Let us look now at another ritual, Hajj, which also pre-dates Islamic history. Let us look now at Hajj, how it was practiced and the purpose it served in pre-Islamic history. The Ka'ba at Mecca has long been a place of gathering for persons of many faiths and backgrounds. That place has been a center for the coming together of humanity for a very long time and the rituals that we observe now are the same if not very similar to the ones predating Islam.
I am not giving details here, my focus is on meaning. When we look at the performance of Hajj in pre-Islamic Arabia, we see that the people would perform the rites and rituals in the nude. Most of us think that this was due to the lack of intelligence and a predisposition to vulgar behavior on the part of the people. Also, one might think that it was due to the ruling order of wealthy Meccans showing dominance over the poor. While the last part has some merit, the fact is, for the most part, those who participated in the ritual understood what they were doing. As they circled nude around the 'Sacred House' they were identifying with a stage of human development--the idea of going back to ones original, pure, infant nature.
Prophet Muhammed saw the beauty in that meaning, so, once he was in charge of the sacred rites, he kept the original idea but gave the physical presentation dignity. He gave the people the image of a new born after culture had touched it--wrapped in swaddling clothes--a new born in the care of its human mother. He brought the people away from identifying with base animal life to identifying with the idea of returning to the natural origin of human society wrapped in its purest cultural expression.
We can look at all of the rituals and see that Prophet Muhammed used what was already influencing the life of his people to help guide them out of their darkness into the light. We can see that all of the rituals that we perform pre-date Islamic history. It was and is the meaning and its strategic value that Prophet Muhammed gave to them in advancing human society that makes the rituals so important for us. Can we now look at our condition as a Bilalian People and make connections with how we came to appreciate Al-Islam?
Can we see how Master Fard, used the strategy laid out before you in this discussion to give help to our people? Remember 'Laylatul Qadr' is a time period not to be seen just as a single night during the month of Ramadan. Our journey, our 'Laylatul Qadr' began with the dawning of The Honorable Elijah Mohammed's mind in this American society. If we deny this or turn away from this truth, then we will abort what comes next in the process of our obtaining our 'Laylatul Qadr'.
It was Imam W. Deen Mohammed that helped us to find meaning in our blind devotion to The Honorable Elijah Mohammed. It was Imam W. Deen Mohammed that showed us how W. D. (4D) Forty Put his plans together. He showed us how to understand the meanings in the rituals and how they are applied in society building. I say again, Imam Mohammed is the Light of Prophet Muhammed in these modern times. We need to give our attention to what he is saying. Stop putting yourself under these so-called local leaders and charge them to listen along with you to our leader, Imam W. Deen Mohammed. If you want true progress, study what we are saying here in the light of community establishment. Listen to Imam W. Deen Mohammed with a new and renewed ear.
Hear The Son of Elijah.
More to come...
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ASA dear believers.
We are working with Variety distributions to make Halal Meat products available at the masjid. We have family plans and individual packages available. Meat will be delivered on saturday twice a month to your specifications. Please see the attached flyers and price list for more information.
As Salaam Alaikum
Imam Kashif Abdul-Karim