Special: Thought Provoking Interview with the Widow of Imam W Deen Mohammed
A Conversation with A Purpose! With Special Featured Guest: Sister Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed
Transcribed by Na'im Rahman Part I
Essalaamu `Alaykum Sister
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: Wa `Alaykum Essalaam. And I wanted to thank you all for inviting us to speak on your show and to let you know that this is an honor to be here to speak with you all and to speak to the general community. I'm sad I can't stay the whole hour but I'm going to try and do as much as I can do. Insha Allah it will be beneficial to all who listen. Did you have a question for me that you wanted me to answer first?
Host: plays a clip of previous event where the guest (Khadijah) responds to question.
Question: In light of what your father said at the library this morning I was deeply concerned after hearing your presentation and I have had others to share with me when you put something on the email concerning when the passing of our leader W.D. Mohammed which is your husband. I am totally against the method that was done in reference to you showing you respect as his wife. And my question to you is, with all the leadership that pledged support of Imam Mohammed, did they stand up and acknowledge to the people that you were in fact his Islamic, his wife period. Did they do that?
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: It saddens me to say, it gives me no pleasure to say, no. And the days following Imam Mohammed's passing I thought I was going nuts you know because I'm like any day now. Because I went with him, I traveled with him and they were like "Ah Brother Imam, We're with you Brother Imam" and these same people, I'm not going to say names that they could just shake the ground if they felt like it. And they say "You're my brother, here's this for you or here's that for you" and then when he passes. And even if you don't care about me, and I don't care that you care about me Allah will take care of me. But what hurt me is that they watched when he could not do anything, he's passed away, and his character...even if you don't understand why the relationship...all you know is I loved him, he loved this therefore I'm going to protect it. But it took my father and Allah knows who he gave the child to because it took my father to stand up to wake people up and still we have very few people that understand the insult. It's an insult and it's just hurts me and I can't explain it...
Host: You're on Conversation with a purpose, on Station IWDM and you're on with Sister Khadijah. Sister, since that day in New York to now has anything changed? Are there any updates in other words have you had any conversation with Wallace, Layla, Shirley anything of that nature, any kind of sit down talk to resolve this situation?
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: No. Everything is as it was after he passed I haven't talked to Layla, I haven't talked to Wallace, and I haven't talked to Shirley. Things pretty much at least from his children, Shirley things are pretty much the same as they were before and so no everything remains the same.
Host: I would say that we have a moral issue and also have a legal issue. And as far as the probate case people tend to look at that as an answer in my opinion but to me it's more of a moral issue where as when someone calls themselves a Muslim or a believer in G'd you expect a certain pattern of behavior. Not being deceptive not being vindictive not being you know having any negative traits we all know people have human flaws. Time and time again I've seen persons who have some sort of material wealth and the family members just go ballistic in fighting over that wealth. I know probate judges and probate lawyers see it all the time, and they tell you the first thing they do is sit down and talk. And if people don't want to talk what can you do. I'm pointing to a solution and the solution is that, this is a tough topic where people have emotional ties. I'm talking about the community members. And they really don't look at the book to solve a problem. For instance I'm talking about Islam 101, the hadith, you're supposed to help your brother if he's in the right or the wrong. That's what prophet Muhammed said, and the companions asked him what do you do if they're in the wrong, you're suppose to stop him when he's in the wrong. So I see the situation where as the whole community has been, the only way
I can say it is they've been conned. A myth has been put out as to what's been happening and there have been outright lies in terms of Shirley coming out of the wood works and coming out of the courts saying essentially, I'm the wife. That blew my mind, I said it before, and I'll say it again, how can somebody do that? There has been a promotion along with the Muslim journal I would say in cahoots to tell their side of the story and deny your side. Not fair reporting what so ever. Tell me your views about the updates in the case.
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: What's the updates in the probate case?
Host: Yes. Last time we heard they had 3 chances to file documents for extension. Shirley being the administrator she was suppose to file the court was asking them to provide some documents. Has she done that yet?
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: They had presented some papers that they want to file and I'm not sure if they filed it, I don't think the have, they may have. The problem is that it's not thorough and you can easily see by looking at it that they have overlooked things that would be in their favor as far as possessions and vehicles. If you know anything about Imam Mohammed's life as far as how the courts would see it as far a possessions anybody would know that what they presented to be filed is not anywhere near what needs to be filed and we're pushing for transparency and we're pushing for them to be honest. We are accepting that as the final thing because we know that Wallace is steady selling Imam Mohammed's tapes he's published a book after his death. Personally I don't mind, I think he's done an excellent job when Imam Mohammed was here and I believe the quality of what he does is still excellent. And I do believe in the future we will need people to preserve his lectures and his works, but I do take issue with the spirit in which he does it and that he doesn't respect what we have to do, like you said we need to come together as a family and whether they like it or not we are a family. And you have to respect what the court has asked them to do, I guess more specifically his mother which would trickle down to all of us. Which is to hold off on everything you're doing until we can figure out exactly what's going on in the estate, the different possessions so that it can move out of the probate but Wallace has not responded to anything. We've asked him kindly, we've asked that if he doesn't stop we're going to have to let the judge know because all of that is in violation against what you're suppose to do at this point in the process. That's pretty much where we are now is trying to get them to at least respect the venue in which they chose to solve this dispute and that right now is not happening but Insha Allah we'll keep working and hopefully what we're doing will produce a result. Another thing I would like to say is that tied up in the estate is the money of the group volume buy purchasers we're pushing that to see what we can do get that money out of the estate and get it back to the people who it belongs to because it's a sizable amount there. It's those concerns not little small concerns of who owns this and who owns that, that's not a big deal but making sure that really the community is looked after for because I see myself not as an heir like I'm going to get anything but I truly believe that whatever I have really just represents what part the community has in what Imam Mohammed left and I do believe that we as a community we are heirs, and we should be considered as a community when these issues are resolved. I hate for it to go the way of many other honorable leaders of our African American community where the family members forget why this person was so honorable and respected was because of the love and respect that the people had for that person and we forget that when you think that its just about my daddy or my brother and it's not. This person meant so much to people who you don't even know and you have to respect that when you go laying down rules for the future, even the use of his name you have to be sure when you make those things that we have to do in this day and time it respects the love and the relationship that every community member had for our leader. And that to me is the biggest thing that I'm pushing for. Where trying to find a way to make that happen through the court system such that when those rules are set down as far as selling or using names or anything like that, that the community interest is also looked out for.
Host: That's fantastic. In terms of the natural thing of talking to each other and communicating. There was the convention as you know; there were about 4000 people who showed up. From the very get go, personally I was against the convention being held at that particular place I was against the Mosque Cares holding it, and going back to New York ... During an Imams meeting it was suggested that people give their oath and loyalty to Wallace. I want to know did you hear about that particular incident?
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: No not in detail, my father did tell me something about people should take allegiance to Wallace but I didn't hear about the particular incident.
Host: When the Imam passed away how is that Wallace was named president of the mosque cares? Did the Imam intend that, did you ever hear, because I heard something different.
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: From what I know of the legal paper work on the different business I can' be for sure but I wouldn't be surprised if his name was listed as president. I want to be clear that I'm not against Wallace; I'm not against any of his siblings or his mother. I believe that everyone has an excellence about them but when we put something before our humanity is when I take issue. I wouldn't be surprises if his name was listed as president it might have well have been I don't remember the documents at the time of his death but I just want to be clear that this isn't a war on Wallace or Layla or N'gina, they are people like everyone else but it's like Allah says in the Qur'an "The Believers are protectors of one another and they protect each other by enjoining what's right and forbidding what's wrong." So I've seen Wallace and I've seen Layla and I've seen N'gina on good and beautiful days but if we love the community we say we love then you have to protect it. And you protect it by pulling people back when they're not doing things the way that we know is best. And that is what this struggle is about, it's not trying to wrestle the Mosque Cares out of his control, to take everything he has from him, that couldn't be further from what our goal is.
Host: I understand what you're saying and I agree 100%. We're standing on principle... I
Host 2: I understand what you're saying but you are an heir. You are the Imam's widow. The Imam I travelled with him and G'd knows he could have made the choice to be with who he wanted to be with and he chose to be with you and he was happy with it from his conversations with me. So the confusion that's going on really shouldn't be going on because anybody with any sanity knows what the truth is and the reality is that the Imam chose you to be his wife. And a lot of these same brothers that you're talking about if the Imam was alive, would have laid down on the ground to make sure you didn't walk in the mud. So I really don't understand the attitude of the people and why they just don't deal with the truth instead of living a lie because the truth is the Imam chose you as his wife and you are his widow. It's nothing to talk about, shouldn't be anything to argue about. What was done was wrong at the Janazza and anybody that was there knows it was wrong and there's no justification for it. And I feel that everybody should just wake up and let's just do what's right.
Host 3: I just want to change the subject a little bit to focus on if Sister Khadijah could just speak on what she believes or what the Imam has shared with her as to what the community should be doing after his earthly life has ended. If he shared with her what he would like for us to be doing or focusing on or how he saw the community's future growth once he was no longer here with us physically. That would be something I'd like to hear.
Khadijah Siddeeq Mohammed: Imam Mohammed never said this is what you should do after my death but looking and reflecting on his teachings I think he wanted us to do what he wanted us to do when he was alive, and I think that we have to come to terms individually with our reality as people on this earth meaning I think we're looking at things too big. We want to see how we're going to take the whole community and shift it in different directions or even to the right direction as we perceive it. But the more I listen and the more I reflect, what he wanted you to do was to take the same journey that he took. In his life he was met with certain circumstances and certain challenges. And instead of looking outwards to solve of shift things he went inward and better himself and because of that Allah moved all obstacles out of his way and allowed him to accomplish his tasks with excellence. And I feel that our focus should be making sure that we're living to the best of our ability not just mediocre but each of us knows individually what it is we can do better and we have to do it. And I believe that now we said our Salat as a community Imam Mohammed led us. But then you have your sunnah prayers , you have to stand up, you have to reflect on what you know and how the prophet lived his life and how we saw the reality in our own time, that if you accept that same challenge that Allah will bless you. And if we all do that individually this community will be okay, and Allah will guide the bigger aspects of it because if we all turn our hearts to him, then he will be the instrument that moves us. There are so many examples in history that everything will be okay, even our own nation, we look at the time when we established this nation, the founding fathers did something completely radical from the life of their countries they came from which was trust the people. And most people would be like "What, trust the people? What if you get someone who's stupid and doesn't know anything, what if one person takes the country to war?" But look what happened; Allah made sure that every president that came although not perfect they brought us closer and closer to the best example of a county on this earth. And if we want to realize that for our community we have to trust that in everybody there is an excellence and that Allah is over that and encourage them to turn to that in everything they do. I feel like that is where we should be as a community, we should be looking at what it is Allah has blessed us with and work on truly perfecting it and I don't mean in an intellectual way, I mean sitting down have having that hard talk with yourself about what you need to fix in your own heart. Because that's all we're responsible for is making sure our heart is right. When that becomes right, then we can understand Qur'an, because the Qur'an has to come through the heart before you can digest it in your mind. That's the kind of community we want and we need each individual in the community to be working towards that so we can have that type of community.
To be continue