TO FULFILL ALLAHS PURPOSE
TO FULFILL ALLAH'S PURPOSE
Q&A with Brother Robert Islam and Imam W Deen Mohammed
RI: Then, it would be true that Allah has really blessed man with the ability to control his own destiny.
WDM: We believe that man has been freed to make contributions to his destiny and to shape his own future. But we believe that Allah has already decided that man can only fulfill what Allah has made him capable of doing. And if he becomes great, it is because Allah supplied him with the instruments, with the tools and the faculties or whatever to do that and also to find an environment that invites him and supports him in reaching his great destiny. So we don't want to say "man controls his own destiny," without qualifying that. Yes, we do believe that man is free to work his own future out. But whatever he does, it is because of G-d's creation and His Generosity and Mercy.
RI: In the same sense then, if he lives the life that G-d has made for him to live, then he can reach his full potentials?
WDM: Yes. He's fulfilling his potential. But since G-d designed that and designed the world to favor that, he's also fulfilling G-d's purpose. So we can't say that man is shaping the future, or that he is working out the future for himself. Nor can we say that man is building or shaping his own destiny. We have to say that he is fulfilling his potential as G-d intended.
RI: Then if he does not follow the plan that Almighty G-d has set forth for him, do we say he is working against himself?
WDM: He certainly is. And the key is to know that you can't change the whole world. People have to remain free to choose the life they want. We cannot take that freedom away from people. But for the benefit of those who don't want to disgrace themselves and don't want to let down their excellence for they want to respect their excellence in fulfilling it, if they can for the benefit of those people, then we have to say that in order to fulfill your potential, you have to be motivated by good and by the desire to do good. We can't do that, if we're not motivated by the desire to be good.
With all of our genius, for some of us have great genius no matter what we have, we can't progress the world in a good way that benefits everybody and brings about the release of that great potential in us as we want, unless we have the desire to do good. It is because if I don't have the desire to do good, as your potential starts to match mine, as your potential starts to unfold, and you begin to get credit along with me, and your name becomes as popular as mine if I don't have that motivation to do good in me, then I will become jealous and begin to work against your potential. And if I work to hold down your potential, then eventually I become an oppressor I'll hold down any man's potential.
So we have to try not to go away from the very simple things in religion. And that is that we should be motivated by the spirit to do good. Charity is not only a number one principle in Christianity, charity is also a number one principle for Muslims.
RI: Imam Mohammed, we thank you for the insight that you've given us.