Concepts In Religion - part 1
Imam Mohammed speaks from Harlem - Book 1
Concepts In Religion
Muslims, friends, people, As Salaam Alaikum. Praise be to Allah the Guardian Evolver, the Cherisher and Sustainer of all the worlds. There is nothing worthy of worship except the One Lord alone and Muhammad is His Messenger. Dear beloved people, today we would like to talk with you on concepts in our religion and we hope to relate them to concepts in the mind or thinking of the world.
Allah, in our religion as in Christianity and the other major religions, has promised not only heaven or Hereafter after the physical life as we know it is gone, but He has also promised a resemblance to that on this earth while we live in this life as we know it. We know that the Bible shows us the human being starting in a spiritual kind of life and existence, and progressing and also regressinggenerating and at the same time degenerating. But the object, the goal, is to finally reach the stat'e of life where the human beings would have their good aspirations fulfilledtheir good and noble aspirations fulfilled. So we see this kind of promise and this kind of development in the religion of Christianity and in the major religions. It is also in our religion, Al-Islam.
In Al-Islam it is told in many ways, but we will go right to the short phrase from the Qur'an where Allah tells us through the heart and through the prayers of the faithful say, "Our Lord, surely you are marshaling us (bringing the whole humanity, not one people, but all the people) to a day wherein there will be no defects." We know that this marshaling of the human life by Allah, by the will of Allah, is not only for the Hereafter as most of us think of it, but it is also for the life as we know it.
Allah says to us, "Qul: ("say" in Arabic) 1 seek refuge with the Lord of humanity"not the Lord of a particular race, not our personal Lord that we imagine that is for us individually, but the Lord that is for all the people"Say, I seek refuge with the Lord of all the people." And again Allah, Most High, says in the Qur'an, "Say, I seek refuge with the Lord of the Day Break." And Allah says in Qur'an that whenever we begin to recite sacred words, Al-Qur'an, or whenever we feel an impulse to do wrong, He says, to us "Say, 1 seek refuge with Allah from the rejected Satan." And Allah also says to us in Qur'an: "Die that you may live." So, we see here that death is a pre-condition or an antecedent state for life.
Now, let us think on this a moment. We just said that death is an antecedent state for life. What do we mean by "antecedent"? It means a necessary condition that must exist prior to whatever it is referring to. So He has said, "Death is an antecedent to life." Allah says, "Mauto fa hayaa" (Die, that you may live). There are many places in the Qur'an that point us to the natural state of the world as our place of birth, as our place of gatheringcoming together, the place for us to come together, the place for us to be born. And, Allah says also, the place where we must die. We are talking about religious concepts. We are going to relate them, Insha'Allah, to the general thinking in the minds of the people.
Allah has said He has made this physical earth a place for our birth, a place for us to come together, and a place for us to die.
Let us deal with the earth as a place for coming together. What brings man together? Why are we together here? Because the earth's influences in our lives make us share concerns. There are influences in our lives from material earth that make us have concerns for place. We need concerns for place. "Oh, my place is not good, brother, let us come together. Is your place good?" "No." Why should not we come together? "How about your place, sister, is your place good?" "No." "Well, how about us coming together and see if we can't improve our place."
So we are talking about just a physical place, physical earth in the sense of space, a place to live. So we begin to come together. Then, later on, the place is situated and all of a sudden there is a threat from the outside. A community is springing up over there too, and they want to improve their placethey have some designs on our place. So we come together again to fight the enemy. "Brother, are you threatened by them too? Sister, what about you?" "Yes, we are threatened." "Well, let us get together and deal« with this threat." But where is it all centered? In the earth. It is because of the earth that we have come together on these concerns.
And Allah has said, He has made it as a place for our birth. Now, when is a man alive? When is a woman alive? We know these have other applications, but we are dealing with the application on this side of the mind. When is the person alive? The person is alive when he or she has relevant concerns. If they do not have relevant concerns, they are not alive. What do we mean by "relevant concerns"? If I have a concern in my mind to be the "New American Hero" that is, doing some foolish act to get attentionif I have a desire to be like that, that is not "relevant." If that is our concern, we are not alive yet. But once we get concerns that are earth-based, that are earth-related, that are natural environment related, then we have what we call relevant concerns, and we are considered to be a live people. We are alive. Allah says, the earth has been made as a place for you to be birthed, born, come into life. That tells us that, until we get these relevant concerns in ourselves, we are not considered alive.
Now, let us look at the other part. It says, "...and also the place for you to die." Now, these concerns they grow in us to a degree where they begin to blind us to our original, natural kind of relationship with this reality. If we are not guided by God, these concerns reach a development in us where we are taken from our original relevant concerns. Instead, we want to build up material mass, just to show that we are more powerful than the other people across the street. Or just to show that we can dominate the circumstances here: "I'll show them, I can control the circumstances here. All I have to do is get a monopoly on the material needs, and I'll be in control." So we begin to have devilish aspirations. He begins to have irrelevant concerns. They are not relevant to the natural order and the natural demands of that order. They are only relevant to a warped, distorted, unnatural kind of sensitivity, and we find that we have a need to die.
Allah says, "Die, that you may live." And Allah also says, "Die not unless you die the death of a Muslim in Al-Islam." Die not unless you die in the state of Muslim. And Allah says, "Die that you may live." And Allah says too that He "has made the earth as a place for you to die." So how will we die? We will die because of miscalculation of just what our relationship is supposed to be with this world. Or we will die because of a conception of what should be our natural relationship, and that will cause us to die to the misconception. The right conception will make us die to the misconception. So either way, we are going to die. you either die believing in the wrong mind and you will have to die to the misconception; or you are in the right conception trying to get out of it, and you are going to die to the right conception, your death will be in misconception. It is all related to the earth. It is all related to something real. It is not up there in a dreamyou don't say, "Let me see if I can get a hell of a thought: bam, shoozaam, that's real!" No, that is not real.
We come now to the next "Qul" here. Allah says, "Say, the reality has come." Now we know that this is translated in the Qur'an: "Say, the Truth has come." What truth? Truth is The Reality: Jal Haq. Say, The Truth has come. This definition I am giving you of Al-Haq is not mine; this is the definition in the context of the Qur'an. In the context of Qur'an, you will find Al-Haq means Real; you will find Al-Haq means Truth, you will find Al-Haq meaning Scientific. It has many meanings, but they all agree.
"Qul Jal Haq" or "Say (Prophet Muhammad) to the people, Now the reality has come, and vanity, superstition, false imaginations, deceit, cheating the people out of the real knowledge, it perishes." And He says, "It was ever doomed to perish." So Allah's will has always been that truth come, that truth be with the people, and that truth be the principle in our life. Allah always intended that. Allah has always intended that we do not live under the shroud, the heavy shroud, the oppressive shroud of superstition, of mysticism, that has no reality, but that we live in the light of truth, and that it be the principle, the deciding principle in our life. Allah has always intended that.
So we go back to the Qur'an: "Surely, our Lord, you are gathering the people, you are marshaling the people to the day when there win be no defect." What is this defect referring to? We find that we have a problem trying to keep the healthy function of our emotionality, our sensitivities, and the material demands on that. There is a problem for most people, for most societies, for most nationstrying to keep the healthy relationship, the healthy function, that healthy operation of emotionality, senstivities on one side, and the material demands on the other side.
The material demands are under the law of the material universe. The material demands are of the natural earth. The human being, because of his emotionality and his tendencies, he goes astray from what is real. God has made him bigger than the world He put him in. And, nevertheless, when it comes to obedience to God, He has made him smaller than the world he is in. Because the world he is in will give him life, and the world he is in will give him death. Because the world he is in is orientated by God. The world he is in is under natural law, under universal law, and the world has no mind, no independent will to shoot out of that. So the world stays into that, while he roams, plunders, and goes astray. So he finds himself often having to come back to the world saying, "May I live again?" And Allah says, I have put it in the earth for you to live again. Go back.
So he goes back and he says, "Oh, thank you Allah, thank you Allah."
So, dear people, not only individuals, but societies and nations have a great, great problem trying to keep that healthy function, trying to keep that healthy balance, trying to keep that healthy operation, because we get out of it, we stray. And Allah says, "Jal Haq." Why? Because somebody has come in now and gotten scientific insight. This has been that mythological deity of the Greeks that stole the heaven, Prometheus, that stole the light from heaven. Now, they have stolen the sciences of the prophets, and they do not want to use them as the prophets used them. They want to use these sciences to secure for themselves a monopoly on the world and its resourcesboth its human resources and its material resources. So they see in this an opportunity for a diabolic mind to maintain control of the circumstances of the earth. They have this tendency now of being transformed into an "angel of light." But actually he is no angel of light, he is Satan himself.
So the Books says, "Satan is transformed an Angel of Light." And now we have the essence of Haq in the wrong hands. So the manipulator, the one who heads the resources of man for his own particular desires and exploits, now he is a big problem. How will we deal with this? Some say, "Allah will deal with this, Allah has to come down. 'Oh God, come down from heaven, this is too big for us. Oh God, come down this is too big for us! Come down and deal with this manipulator who is manipulating our life, monopolizing our resources. He has a light that we can't handle. Come down and deal with him, God!'"
So Allah says, No, no need for Me to come down. I have created a man down there. The man handled it a long time ago. It is just time for him to handle it again. Say, Muhammad, "Kun faya Kun": "Be and it is." And Muhammad, "Say, The Reality has Come, and the cheating of Satan is perished." We are going to put an end to it, we are going to perish it, starve it out, kill it. It says, "for surely the scheme of Satan, the scheme of the cheater, was doomed to perish." And again, what are we told? "Strike Satan in his head." Don't hit him in the foot, they tried that before: they hit him in the foot, he fell down and got right back up and kept walking. Some say shoot him in the heart. But his heart is dead! If you shoot him in the heart, he laughs: "Ha, ha ha! Try that again, try that again," he will say.
Allah says, hit him in the head. And right now, our blessed Hajjis, the Haji sisters and brothers, they are in the precincts of the Holy City, the Holy Land where the prophets lived, where they walked, and where they talked. They are there and they are going through the rituals that have great meaning for the whole world, for the whole life.
One step in the ritual will be to stone the Satan. They collect 49 stones, seven times seven, they collect their 49 stones and they go to stone the Satan. The big object of that discipline is to hit the big Satan. There is a little one, he gets in one area of the light; there is another one, he is a little bigger, he gets in another area of the light; and then there is the one biggest of all. He is the master, he is the Chief Satan. Now how do we get him? We pick up the stone and we try to hit him dead in the head. Every time we miss, that is wrong; we have to try it again. Every time we hit, "Allahu Akbar". When you hit hinl in the head, dead in the head: Allahu Akbar! Then you take the other stones and do it until you do seven: seven times dead in the head.
Now, Allah speaks to us in the Qur'an concerning man's nature as it relates to his growing potential. The human being is a developing creature, developmental being. He is growing into his full measure or his full dimensions, full possibilities. This growth starts somewhere and it begins to proceed. The potential begins to open up. It begins to unfold like a seed put in the right ground, in the right soil, with the right conditions. It is put in there dry, dead. It is put in the ground dry and dead by all reasoning. It is as a rock, as a piece of wood, the seed is dead.
The dead seed is put into its natural environment for lifewhere God intended for it to have life. When the conditions that God intends for it come to that seed, that seed begins to break out of its own confinement. The seed is confined, the seed is limited by its own structure, and it begins to break out of its own confining structure. It cracks itself, splits, bursts. It starts expanding, and a little part of it wants to go up; and a part wants to go down. So it starts shooting down into the earth, and starts shooting up. It wants to go down and up. So it starts going down and up. Soon you will see the sign of it, it has peaked up out of the soil. You say, "Yes, I'm going to have a pretty nice crop I think. Looks like most of my seeds came up." That is what the planter says. But what is the seed saying? The seed is saying, "Al-hamdu-lil-laa-hi Rab-bil 'aa-la-meen." Because the seed opens up its arms. It says, "Al-hamdu-lil-laa--hi Rab-bil 'aa-la-meen." And the more it grows, the more it praises God. After a while another pair of arms shoot out, "Al-ham-du-lil-laa-hi Rab-bil 'aa-la-meen" And then another pair of arms, "Al-ham-du-lil-laa-hi Rab-bil 'aa-la meen." Every time it grows, it throws out its arms again, "Al-ham-du-lil-laa-hi Rab-bil 'aa-la-meen." Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.
Now, if it is grass it grows straight up, and we don't hear, "Al-ham-du-lil-laa-hi Rab-bil 'aa-la-meen." The blades go straight up, and if they bend, they just bend a little bit, "Thank you, Lord." Just a little bit: "Thank you, Lord." Like the letter "V": "Thank you, Lord." A tight "V": "Thank you, Lord."
So where is the life? The life is where Allah put it. You have to go to where Allah put the life, and then put that life in an environment that Allah made for it, not in an environment that you dreamed up for it. Put that life in an environment that Allah made for it. Then it will start to grow, to reach its full potential.
Some great minds in the world think that this sensitive nature of man, the emotionality or emotional nature of man, is a nature that dooms man to failure, dooms man to fail. So they want to take emotionality out of man. But not out of all men; they just want it out of the elect. They want to take the emotionality out of the elect so that the elect will be able to rule the world by what they call "objective reality" or pragmatic kinds of directions.
So he wants to rule the world like that. Where does that take him? That takes him to be Satan. If he keeps that up, eventually he is going to be Satan. Because Iblis, the very name Iblis, tells us that his growth is mainly straight. He wants to just go up vertical, like the palm tree. The palm tree has not much horizontal growth, does it? They have "Palm Sunday" before Easter. The palm tree does not have much horizontal growth, it goes straight up, and everything that tries to grow out vertical on it diesit kills it. And if it dies, it does not want to give that away evenit hugs it to itself, keeps everything and just grows straight on up.
The grass, though it is much weaker than the palm tree, the grass is the same wayit goes up. But there is something good about the grass: its going up finally teaches it a lesson, because it is small. The more you know, the more difficult repentance is; but since the grass is so small in its knowledge, repentance is not too hard for it when it runs into great difficulty.
So the grass grows up and it just wants to go up, up, up: "take me up, I want more, I want to see higher, higher!" And the grass gets up there and realizes that the weight is a strain on it, it starts bending anyway. No matter how hard it wants to keep straight, the weight has too much strain on its little body.
The grass starts bending and it says, "Oh, something is wrong. Allah, Allah, help me! Allah, help me!" And Allah says, Alright, I will give you something, I will give you the code for your development. I will let you see the code for your development. So the grass, instead of having branches, it throws up a seed, and the seed holds the code to that grass' development, shows it itself. He sees the code for his development and says, "Oh, is this what I am, Lord? Is this really the secret, the scientific explanation for my kind of development and my kind of aspirations? Well, if that is it, God, then this is born to die." And the grass throws its seeds into the earth.