RELIGION DEVELOPS OUR BEHAVIOR
RELIGION DEVELOPS OUR BEHAVIOR
Brother Robert Islam: Then I assume that one of our real roles in humanity is to perfect our behavior, to have a better behavior towards other people and other national groups, other ethnic groups, and other social groups?
Imam W Deen Mohammed: Certainly, that's the purpose of religion. It is to awaken the consciousness of man; to make him see that it is good sense - not only is it charity or good deed, but it is good sense to be right by other people. Because when you're not right by other people, that has a damaging effect on you. Just to behave that way reinforces a spirit and an attitude that will eventually rob that person behaving that way of his or her own life and of good opportunities to live a good life in the future. You don't get happier by making other people unhappy.
Brother Robert Islam: That kind of behavior will affect other people, and other people who are susceptible to those influences will cause it to spread.
Imam W Deen Mohammed: Yes. The Scripture says your death and your resurrection is "ka nas ta Wahida," is as one person or one soul. We understand that to mean that Adam slipped from the way, and then sin multiplied, wrongdoings multiplied and oppression came. And then whenever one turns the right way, G-d says to him "He turned." Adam himself turned according to the Qur'an. In the Bible it says that Jesus came before to fulfill the second Adam. But in the Qur'an it says that Adam himself turned. It says he met a Word from his Lord or he met with G-d's Word, and he turned. G-d accepted his repentance. As one man can represent what is the common life of all of us, then Adam represents the common natural life for all people. And that common natural life has the capacity to rise to the pinnacle or the highest degree of excellence in G-d's creation.
This comes because of an attitude agreeing with the best nature that G-d made for all people. And it is lost because of us going away from that attitude of complementing or of fulfilling the best nature that G-d created for us. So it's our attitude towards the better person in us that brings us up and brings us down.
Brother Robert Islam: That reminds me of a verse in the Qur'an that says that Allah will never change the condition of a people, until they first can change that which is in their souls.
Imam W Deen Mohammed: Yes, and it means their attitude. It says, until they change what is bothering their souls. That is an Arabic expression or a Qur'anic expression. In English it simply means until they respond to the pricks in their conscience, or the voice that says "Come away from this bad life, and come away from these bad habits. Come away from this bad attitude." I don't care how far we get into crime, we never get so far into crime where the conscience does not rise up occasionally. So until we respond to the better mind or the better spirit in us, we will continue to suffer the consequences of our wrongdoings. And I have to repeat, that nobody can make their own situation better by making another person's situation bad. Eventually it hurts you more than it hurts those that you're trying to hurt.