"Remember Those Who Sacrifice"-2008 Memorials Day Address
Memorials Day Address-2008
"Remembering Those Who Sacrifice"
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed (raa)
Peace unto all of you, As-Salaam-Alaikum. It is great to be together again, and Believers are always together, because our spirits and our hearts are one. I was coming here and was told to see what was behind me. It says, "WELCOME HOME!" And this is my home. I was born here.
My mother said she brought me to Chicago in her arms; I was 11 months old. It is always good to be here in Detroit. This is where a new life began. African Americans came into a new life in 1930-1931, in this Motor City. I always think of Detroit as my home.
Actually, I was born in Hamtramck, Michigan, and that is the same as Detroit. Detroit is so big,it envelops all of these small places like Hamtramck. I was born on Yemen Street, and a lot of Yemenites live in this city. I think they still live in this city.
Yemen is the place where the Lady of Saba had her kingdom. She is called Sheba in English. You have heard the story of Solomon and Sheba. This story is not forgotten, because it is in the Qur'an as well.
The people of Sheba's kingdom were not called Yemenites by the people of old history; they were called the people of Saba. They were very progressive and great builders.
A very prestigious magazine and popular on college campuses recently carried a front page story on the Ancient Yemenite people. Also many other Muslims came to make their home in Detroit and have lived there for generations.
No wonder Detroit is where we met Mr. Fard Muhammad or Mr. W. F. Muhammad, who introduced himself to the poor African American community of Detroit - called the Black Bottom.
He invited them to come to "their religion." He called them "the lost people, who had been lost from their religion." He established the idea of the "Lost Found Nation of Islam in North America" and called it "in the Wilderness of North America" or the "Wilds of North America."
He established that and named their places not mosques or masajid; he named them "Temples" after the order or design of the Shriners or Masons. They called their places Temples and until now call them Temples. Mr. Fard also designed a plan for us in North America and called them Temples.
He started here in Detroit and called this Temple No. 1. From here, Mr. Fard went to Chicago, and the Hon. Elijah Muhammad already had been selected from among the people here to be his assistant. So my father went with him to Chicago. And there together, they established Temple No. 2.
Before Mr. Fard left America, they went to Milwaukee and they established Temple No. 3. Those three Temples were established with the Master Teacher. He was a Head Master in the Fiji Islands and in what is now called Pakistan, although it was not called Pakistan then.
The Muslims had not yet achieved political independence and established the state called Pakistan. This was done in the early 1940s, and I am talking about in the early 1930s.
Mr. Fard left and went to Mexico, and after Mexico we don't know if he went back to England he also came here out of England, or he could have gone back to Pakistan, then called India, his birth place. Or he could have gone to the Fiji Islands, a place where he gained a big following and was called Master G. He is still called Master G by his followers in the Fiji Island.
CIRCUMSTANCES THAT INFLUENCE US
We should know these circumstances. We understand our own beginnings better when we know the circumstances belonging to that beginning. That is why I am talking about these things.
This is Memorial Day, and this is a day that is very serious. We are supposed to call to mind the veterans that are alive and dead and who made the ultimate sacrifice to have this country safe and secured and protected.
We know wars are fought and they are not always honorable wars, like the one going on in Iraq right now. We know our presence in Iraq right now is not for the American people and not for the Iraqi people.
It is for the oil interest. You can say, "If we secure our interest in that area for the protection of Israel and to make sure the oil doesn't get into our enemies' hands...," you can reason like that.
But oil is business and money, and look how our money has been hurt by staying too long in Iraq. I was supporting our country going into Iraq, because our country put Saddam in power.
I thought it was our obligation to take a dictator who was oppressing his people out of office, especially since we were involved in putting him there and keeping him there.
But once Saddam had been captured, I felt we had no reason to stay there, in my understanding and opinion. Those people would be better off protecting their own interest and bringing their own citizens into agreement to support the kind of government that they were willing to support.
We respect the will of the people, the will of a nation; that is the American way. So we should respect their will to bring into place the kind of people they will support.
THE PECULIAR NATION of ISLAM
Would you believe the same professor who brought this strange and peculiar -and by peculiar I mean there was none like it - the Nation of Islam.
There was no organization like the Nation of Islam in the history of mankind, until Mr. Fard came up with the idea and established it with us and the honorable leader who passed away in 1975, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad. Nothing like that had ever been done on the planet earth, and I don't think it will ever be done again. That was a very unique thing that was done.
Would you believe that he, Mr. Fard, had his followers to form a baseball team, and they played baseball right here in Detroit. Some of you are so stiff, you put the flowers under the table instead of on top of the table. Mr. Fard was not stiff like that. It is easy to go to extremes when you don't know where you should be.
MUSLIM LIFE NOT FOR GRAVEYARD
We should know what Muslim life is and understand Muslim life. Muslim life is not in the graveyard, it is not under an iceberg. Muslim life is the best human life possible on this earth.
To say "human" means warm. Inhumanity is cold; humanity is warm. This is food for thought; I love to cook the real food at home, to taste it and sit down and enjoy it with company. Even in prison, I had to eat with everybody else.
With G-d's Name, The Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer. We always acknowledge G-d, that there is no god but the One G-d, the Creator of everything in the heavens and in the earth, everything.
And we witness that Muhammed is the Seal of the Prophets to all people and to all nations, the prayers and the peace be on him.
THINKING ON BILAL
Understand that when I was making this outline, I was thinking on Bilal Ibn Rabah, may G-d be pleased with him, the Companion with the Prophet almost all of the time and the one who would make the call to prayer - called the muadhdin.
Muadhdin comes from the Arabic name for the ear, "udhun." When the call is made, they put the hands on the ears - with one hand or both hands to the ears. When you get up in age, you throw your hand up to the ear to cup it and extend the ear out with the palm of the hand.
You can say, "Did you hear me?" There can be many reasons, if you do not hear someone. But parents will tell a child who says they did not hear, "You had better pay attention to me when I am talking to you."
So actually, it means attentiveness. The muadhdin is supposed to be attentive and calls the others to be attentive.
It is "attentive" to what? The obligation to put G-d first. Bilal was the one assigned to the Fajr Prayer, the first prayer before the sun rises. When there is a little sign of light on the horizon, that is the time for Fajr Prayer. Muadhdin." Bilal was assigned to that responsibility.
What do we say of the prayer, especially the Fajr Prayer, with the Adhan: "Prayer is better than sleep." And what kind of sleep is this? It is the sleep of not being attentive to matters that you should be attentive to, matters that deserve our attention. That is the sleep.
When we are not awake or conscious of matters that we should be attending, according to Scripture we are the sleepers of the earth. The call is to the awakening of the conscious that our Creator wants in us. That is the Adhan, the Call to Prayer. Bilal was assigned to that.
Bilal also was looked down upon, like many of us were and still are looked down upon by the people who are not black. In that time of the Prophet, Bilal was looked down upon. One of the Companions close to him belittled or looked down on Bilal. The Prophet said to him, "We all are Bilal."
When the Prophet said that, he was saying two things, importantly. First the Prophet was saying, "When you speak disparagingly of one of us, you are speaking to all of us."
Number two, the Prophet was saying, The nature that has been rejected in Bilal and his people, that same nature is in all of us.
It would take too long, but I could show that history supports that explanation or gives proof for certain things and it does for what I am saying now. It was a time in this country when the Blacks carried a heavy burden in their soul. And Blacks were forced to go to things to relieve their misery - to sing too much, to dance too much, to play too much.
When we were doing that to escape living a miserable life, knowing how we were rejected and put down, unwanted and socially rejected, what happened?
We survived upon spirit, the determination in our spirit to change things for the better. But now the same condition has grown in other races, and they have become persons who have given themselves to too much fun making, too much play.
EVERYBODY NOW IS SOUL BROTHER
The Whites who came from Europe to America used to be stiff like Frankenstein. Can you imagine Frankenstein dancing on American Band Stand? But in time, their soul was touched so much over the years, that they are soul folks now. No longer is it just the Black man who is soul folk.
The Asian comes over here now, although he never was as stiff as the European, and he is a soul brother now. Everybody now is a soul brother. Why? Because misery and hell are everywhere.
Everybody's soul is burdened and aggravated. To get away from facing that realty and to get it out of their minds, they go to the extremes of pleasure.
I am speaking to you as a psychologist, and psychologists started with the religious preachers - not with the secular world, not with education in Europe and America.
Psychology started with religious leadership. If you think of how your preacher works on you to get that offering, he is still the best psychologist in certain places.
BILAL A NAME ANSWERING PROPHECY
Bilal is the name chosen answering prophecy. Bilal and prophecy go back to the donkey in the Bible. The donkey had a rider on his back called Baal, and there is a definite connection with "B A L L." "We were having a "Ball" last night, man. So and So got so drunk, he fell out on the floor!" "BALL."
Who is riding the donkey's back? Baal. Baal did not ride the camel's back and did not ride the horse's back. Baal rode the donkey's back. So how do they control the ignorant masses?
Give them the spirit to "have a ball." And they have to carry that ball or that spirit upon their soul or upon their backs.
You don't see your soul. Your soul is always behind your back sights. So a ball riding my back is really my own soul riding my back. The circumstances that I am living in have turned my soul into a burden that is riding me.
The African American people are the most ridden of all people, when it comes to ball. No other people have been carrying the rider of his own soul that has become too pleasure directed, too fun directed - not just pleasure. Some are motivated for different reasons to seek happiness and be pleased.
Some find their pleasures in many things. But those who find their pleasure in fun life, they are the ones with a ball on their backs. And no people are more involved in fun life than the African American.
That is what we live for. We go to church to pay our dues; that is a temporary stop. We are going to be finished with that as soon as the preacher stops preaching. We are gone and looking for some fun. This is serious.
JOVIAL SPIRIT TARGETED for EXPLOITATION
Understand that Bilal is a prophetic figure representing what the world has done to Black people. They see us having this jovial spirit, a tendency to be given to fun life and merriment, and they target us for exploitation. They say, "Here is a group we made a lot of money off. Let's keep them in fun life."
Look how they help us to get on the stage and act a monkey. We didn't have enough money to finance our fun; our fun was financed by other people. I am not going to mention any names, and I don't recognize that language of "Jews and Gentiles." All people are "human."
BILAL CHOSEN to CALL for PRAYER
All over the world, Muslims are making the Adhan. Who did the Prophet choose to make the Adhan? An African. Not just any African, it was an African who had been enslaved.
The Companion of the Prophet who became the second ruler or khalifah, Abu Bakr As- Siddeeq, may G-d be pleased with him, on behalf of the Prophet and the believers, went and took his own money and paid the ransom for Bilal, to buy him from his cruel slave master.
He learned of Bilal accepting Islam and rejecting the many gods which was the religion of many people of the world.
Although Christianity and Judaism were present, many people of the world were still pagans. But Bilal refused to accept more than One G-d. He was tortured so much, that he was too weak to speak.
And he would hold one finger out, like the Muslims do when sitting in prayer in jalsa position, sitting down and saying, "I witness that there is but One G-d."
Bilal's master would come to check on him and ask, "Are you ready to give up that religion?" And Bilal would put one finger out. His master would put a big hot stone on his chest and make him lie out in the hot sun with that heavy stone on his chest, hoping that he would say, "I give up that religion, and I will obey you, master." But Bilal never did, and he was freed.
That is just one man. What Black people from Africa were made slaves in America? It was us from Africa made slaves. For what reason, were we captives of war? No. We were not fighting anybody, unless it was ourselves on the continent of Africa. It was not against the White man.
ENSLAVED as CHEAP or FREE LABOR
But we were enslaved by Christian Whites for no other reason than they wanted free or cheap labor to help develop the new land, the new world as laborers -farmers, cotton pickers, etc. That was the reason.
The Southern White people, who were poorer than those in the North and the East and less educated than those in the North and in the East also were used. The big guys didn't just want you for picking cotton. They were looking way down the line; they were making a "servant class."
Let's go back to Scripture. Scripture says Noah the Prophet got drunk and was lying nude. He had three sons, and the oldest one was Ham.
HAM'S CHILDREN, THE CANAANITES
Scripture says that is Egypt. The Scripture says that Egypt is in one of the two Misraines - the two Egypts, one is northern and the other southern. One is now called the Sudan, no longer called Egypt.
Scripture is giving us figures; these are not true people. These are depictions of major dispositions in the souls and natures of people, making some to appear silly and given to too much fun.
Another is depicted as too serious. The other is the beautiful nature and the one who wants to be at peace. These are the three sons of Noah.
Ham was not cursed directly. The curse he earned fell upon his children, and his children were the Canaanites.
If you listen to that word Canaanites, you can hear the word "canine." The children of the Canaanites have been barking for the last 10 or 15 years. Whenever they are excited, they bark - at the dance, at the movie.
See how you are manipulated to do things that shame you in the eyes of the intelligent and learned people of the world. It is time to break that. Professor Fard left something that went into Elijah and went out of Elijah into Wallace Mohammed, and we are ready to break that forever.
Here is the story of Prophet Noah being seen in his nakedness and drunk and his son, an African -Egypt is in Africa - behaves in a shameful way - showing ignorance instead of intelligence and laughs at the condition of his father.
For that, he is cursed. The curse does not fall immediately upon the African people, but it falls later on those who were lesser evolved culturally and politically the Canaanite people.
INTERESTS and ADAPTATIONS BECOME GENETIC
Those Canaanites were superior in iron work. Do you think that left us? Just like the tendency to give ourselves to fun life is still with us, the skill for iron making and making ornamental designs never left us. If you go to the Carolinas, you will find that the African Americans there are known for beautiful iron works.
The Palestinians were builders in ancient times, and the Palestinians who live in Israel today are the builders for Israel. Some things we are born with in our genes from our father, our first human type Adam.
But over a long period of time, over generations, if a particular people give themselves to certain interests, to certain occupations, eventually that spirit will go into their children and be seen manifested in their children.
Not only will that interest go into their children, but their children will be easily adapted to the same jobs and occupations that their forefathers were adapted to. We are great wood carvers -Africans and African American people - designing and making things with wood. It came from our ancestors and has survived in our genes; it's genetic.
This Bilal type is also genetic. We are not Africans anymore, but we are certainly Bilals. We are easily moved by sadness and joy, by the extremes of both.
FROM JOVIAL to JUVENILE
We are the ones like the black woman of Africa, who saw the white woman who could not nurse her baby. So she went to the white woman and said, "May I take your baby? I am nursing my baby." And she nurses the baby of the white woman right along with hers.
The extremes are in us, and they are beautiful. But extremes need to be controlled. You say, "Those people like jubilation; they like to be happy. They are jovial." But what about "juvenile"?
That is where it is going, if you don't check it. You will go to an extreme where your whole people, the grown ups, will become juvenile. The next thing is juvenile delinquency.
When you see all of our boys out there, some of them 30 and 40 years old, still acting like they are teenagers standing on the corner, having no interest in getting a job and taking care of a family, they have become juvenile delinquents. It is because the whole race has given itself to too much fun making.
They have burned out the intelligence of the brain with too much fun making. This is very serious. Once you know what caused your condition, then you should just automatically stop behaving that way and show the people, "I am not of that mind anymore."
Don't let me hear that you went to a party and partied the whole night or weekend. If you have been doing that, you should say - after hearing what I am telling you, "No, I am not doing that anymore."
Bilal in the Scripture carries "baal" upon his back; I'll just say he carried "having a ball" upon his back, always having a ball. He carried "baal" upon his back and his own soul was riding him. He stopped, because he saw an Angel in the path ahead of him, standing blocking the way.
According to the Scripture, the Angel had a flaming sword in his hand. Even a donkey will stop when seeing something like that. When he saw that, he asked his rider, "Why have you struck me, strapped me these three times?"
THE THREE: LIVING FLESH, MIND and SPIRIT
Life starts in the physical body, the flesh. When a baby is born from its mother, it has no life anywhere except in its physical body. It becomes conscious of our world, then life starts in the mind and in the soul. But before that time, there is no life anywhere except in the physical flesh.
The baby is not expressing itself yet. Sometimes, they don't wake up automatically on their own. The doctor has to strike the flesh to get them to breathe air and for air to come into them.
Once they breathe air on their own, now he is a living child, a human. If he does not breathe air, he is called a still born. He is dead and never came into life as a human person.
The first life is in the flesh before even the conscious comes on and life comes in the mind. If the mind hangs around long enough, that particular child is going to develop its own spirit. Now the child is a living spirit. Living flesh, living mind and living spirit. That is the three.
The donkey asked the rider, which is a living soul, "Why have you struck me, strapped me these three times?" No answer came. But the donkey had stopped being a donkey. The donkey spoke with man's voice, not with an animal's voice, not with a donkey's voice.
I close this out by saying Mr. Fard had a point, when he told them to form a baseball team. Everything that happens in human life, as designed by our Creator, has a sign for our intelligence, for our mind to read. And everything carries both knowledge and mercy.
When you understand the knowledge in the problem, now you have a way to bring mercy. Peace, As Salaam Alaikum.