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Imam's Retreat - Part 1

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  • visionaries4
    01-16-1999 Randolph, Virginia Imam s Retreat – Part 1 By Imam W. Deen Mohammed Qur an 19:93; Whatever beings is but servant Not one of the beings
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 16, 2011
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      01-16-1999       

      Randolph, Virginia

      Imam's Retreat – Part 1

      By Imam W. Deen Mohammed

      Qur'an 19:93; Whatever beings is but servant

      "Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to (Allah) Most Gracious as a servant."

      Allahu Akbar As Salaam Alaikum [Al humdu lillaahe Rabbil `alameen] Ramadan Mubarak and if I don't see you before `Eid, also a blessed `Eid, `Eid Mubarak.  We praise G'd Al hamdu lillaahe Rabbil `Alameen], Who is the Lord, Sustainer, The Keeper  of the universe, of all the worlds, that is, we witness that He is One, He exist alone without any needs; He has no need for anything of His creation, He existed before His creation and will exist after His creation is finished.  And we witness that He has no partners in the rule of the heavens and the earth and no one comes to Him except as a servant.

      QUR'AN 33:40; Muhammed of the Prophets

      "Muhammed is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things."

      QUR'AN 7:157; Muhammed mentioned previous Books

      "Those who follow the messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures),- in the law and the Gospel;- for he commands them what is just and forbids them what is evil; he allows them as lawful what is good (and pure) and prohibits them from what is bad (and impure); He releases them from their heavy burdens and from the yokes that are upon them. So it is those who believe in him, honor him, help him, and follow the light which is sent down with him,- it is they who will prosper."

      Deuteronomy  18:15; Prophet like Moses

      "The LORD your G'd will raise up to you a Prophet from the middle of you, of your brothers, like to me; to him you shall listen;"

      And we witness that Muhammed (PBUH) to whom the Qur'an was revealed is the seal of the Prophet mentioned in the Qur'an as the one who is mentioned in the Books that came before the Qur'an  to the people we call Jews and to the people we call Christians; in the Torah and in the Injeel as a liberator, one who comes to purify the people, to teach them the Book and the wisdom and to relieve them of the burden, slavery and free them from bondage or free them from all forms of slavery. 

      Worst enslavement of will, brain

      And the worst enslavement is the enslavement of the will, the spirit, the worst form of enslavement and the next worst enslavement is the enslavement of the intelligence of the brain, the senses we call the intelligence.  And finally we get to that enslavement which is the enslavement of the physical person, to restrict the physical movements of a person and to possess that person to the extent that, that person has no choice in the matter of where it will, where it will live or go or travel and we know that Islam as demonstrated in a perfect way by Muhammed the Prophet (PBUH) also came to free human beings from that kind of slavery also and it did.  So we wish peace to him always, we salute him with the traditional salute (PBUH).

      Dear brother Muslims and sister Muslims its good to see you good to be here with you, I'm very impressed to see you all here in this number down here in no man's land, a good place to start, whatever you want to start, I guess, as long as its within the law, permitted be the law.  And we look to this place for big contribution to the needs of our community.  I believe many of our community needs can be fulfilled here and I'm supporting our Imam Izek Pasha and we will be supporting him and looking forward to the continued development of this land that he has acquired with the help of his associates.

      Damascus Syria trip

      I would like to before addressing the purpose for which I'm here and that is for Ramadan sessions with you, I would like to give you just a quick report on my visit to Damascus, Syria.  It was my first time in Damascus, Syria I never been there before but ever since I learned of the importance of Syria, Damascus and the history of Islamic civilization, I have wanted to visit Damascus.  And then when I learned later in my life of Bilal ibn Rabah going there, may G'd be pleased with him, going there from Mecca or from Saudi Arabia and making his life there, residing there and dying there and his burial place is there.

      And learning recently that they Syrian government had done, made some improvements on the site where he was buried, built a kind of a shrine around his burial place; I want to go and pay my respects to that place because of my respect for him firstly as a devoted, loving, passionate follower and companion of our Prophet Muhammed (PBUH).  So I did visit the burial place of Bilal and made Dua' there for Bilal and the other important figures of Islam there in that same spot, same immediate area.  I also visited what is called the burial place or tomb of Salahud Din, some of you might remember Salahud Din from Cecil B. Demil's movie the Crusaders, if you don't remember him as a student of Islamic knowledge or history.  Salahud Din, so I paid respect to that place also and I was surprised to learn that it is believed the Prophet John (Yahya), upon him be peace, also buried there, we paid our respects to his burial place also.

      We learned that many of the companions of the Prophet, among them females also, wives of the Prophet, I believe one or two, I know one, perhaps two wives of the Prophet are buried there in Syria.  Syria as a country, as a piece of geography reminds me somewhat of parts of Europe I had been in.  And if you been to Europe, I'm not talking about the night spots, if you been to the big cities of Europe, any country you just name it, to me they are about 50 years behind us in environmental development, physical environment; at least 50 years behind the United States.

      And I would say Syria is a poor country but seems to be a very stable country, the people seem to be at peace, I didn't feel tension, I couldn't sense any tension in the public, they seem to be at peace and they seem to be mostly warm hearted people, I didn't know that and they dress, except for women, and even some of the women dress like we do in America, that's why I said I thought of Europe it's a country of we call white people, Syrians are so–called white race and I felt very comfortable there with them, even much more comfortable with the host people who invited me to come.  The grand Mufti of Syria invited me it was a personal invitation from the grand Mufti of Syria who is a Religious leader, Islamic leader.  His most respected title is not Mufti, its sheik and you know sheik means many things, but he is the big sheik, that means he's the well respected, admired, highly valued leader in Islam.

      As you know I met him in America and got to know his thinking, his language, his concerns as a speaker and teacher of Islam to the world, he addresses the whole world, he travels world wide to Russia, China, even before the change for Russia, he had visited them and made speeches and also made friends for Muslims in Islam in those communist countries, China, Russia. He has schools outside of his country, in fact he has an office here in the United States, I don't know exactly where it is, but there is an office in the United States, do you know where is office is?   In Baltimore, yes and there is some activity there in connection with Damascus and he also has a college outside Damascus, Syria.

      I visited a new facility there but before going, giving you information on my visit I would like to say something about the   personality of the grand Mufti and the persons in his immediate association who's working with him as members of the Mosque that he belongs to and I was also a guest of that Mosque, it's called Abu Nur and you will recognize the meaning of that.

      They are very special personalities, they are not the average personality, they are very Religious, pious people with a rational balance that all of us can appreciate in America, they are very special persons and I want to emphasize that to you, these are no ordinary people who are in the leadership of this group that the Mufti heads as their grand sheik.

      Its no ordinary group of people its an extraordinary selection of individuals that have come together behind the grand Mufti has an Islamic mind and by that I mean a genuine, moral, pure, universal, human mind.  He's universal in his concerns, he's universal in his outlook, he has made a kind of prediction that the year 2000, the beginning years of this new millennium, the year 2000 that's coming, he said that America is going to turn in great numbers to Islam, that's his prediction.  And I share that belief with him, I strongly share it with him, not only because of us but because the Americans in my opinion are not biased or prejudiced people, they don't like to think of themselves, we Americans don't like to think of ourselves as biased or prejudice people, biased or prejudiced  against something without knowledge.

      And once they know the truth of Islam they are not going to treat it with disrespect, they are going to respect it and they are going to give it it's place among the great Religions of America, they are going to accord it the respect that they give to Christianity, Judaism and other great Religions, I'm sure that's happening already but it's going to happen even more in the future.  The more the American people see Islam in its true picture and see Muslims behavior, Muslim life in its true picture, the more we're going to see Americans accepting Islam as a Religion that they welcome in this land.  And the more that happen the more rational mind of the old and middle age and the youth is going to be investigating and studying Islam and no rational person with a healthy man can investigate and study Islam without being influenced by Islam.

      So it's inevitable that Islam is going to become a majority Religion in America because the American people as a majority are innocent, sincere  people, loving justice, wanting to be on the side of justice, you can't hardly find an American that doesn't want to be on the side of justice, you see?   So there's something very special about the American people and the Americans are rational and the American believe that you should live and let live.  So this is a good place for Islam to take root and grow and I do believe that the beginning of this new millennium is going to witness phenomenal conversion to Islam, en sha Allah.  That's our prayer, that's our expectation.

      So much for that, now let me get to a few of the details, I have good news, I will start with the most important first, I signed an agreement, its official with cameras and everything on me and on the director of education there, the director of the institute there I signed an agreement for us to receive 20 scholarships for our youngsters ages 16 yrs to 20 yrs in 1999 and a total of 100 scholarships to be given to our youngsters, you're going to really like this, no cost for education, free, no cost for living quarters, free, no cost for food, free.  I don't know about you but me if I sent my son there or my daughter there that's all they would get, we have to pay the transportation, all they would get is transportation that's all, they don't need pocket money, they need to be devoted to the purpose. 

      So you eat what they feed you, you aren't going to starve, what you need pocket money for?   Eat what they feed you and that's it and go to bed and get back up and go to work, that's the way I would do it, but you know if you want to give them a few dollars in the pocket that's ok that's fine, don't give them enough to go to the movies, just enough to buy popcorn to eat outside the movie.

      Now that's the big news also we're offered a program summer intensive course in Damascus, Syria again for youngsters but also for adults, those who propagate the Religion and those who teach the Religion, school teachers and Daa'e the propagators of the Religion and they didn't put a number.

      They just want us to see how many of us would like to come, send them the numbers and they will tell us how many they can accommodate, I would think it would be at least 50, but I'm not sure, we'll find out.  I think it's a very excellent place to study Arabic and Islamic Religion, Islamic knowledge that's my opinion.  Especially hosted by Abu Nur's Mosque, the Mosque of the grand Mufti, excellent place, well balanced, no politics involved, excellent environment, the facility that our students will be going to is a brand new facility its not even complete, I walked through it some minor details is still left there like here, this is a good example of it, this is the condition of it, the walls are up, the utilities are all in there, electric, gas, the major equipment is there, ultra modern kitchen but some areas still have to be carpeted and some minor work done like doors and things like that, but except for that its complete and its for boys only, for males only.

      A dormitory accommodates 500 boys ultra modern cooking facility I repeat that, I saw it, I love to cook so I appreciate that ultra modern kitchen and the food is delicious.  At the old facility we ate with the students, I visited classrooms and greeted them and recognized two of our members over there by face, didn't know them by name, I knew there faces.  And the young lady she was veiled but she recognized me and I said you have American students here I would like to meet them, they said "where is so and so"?  Not here today and I think it was a reason for them not being there, I forget what it was but it was Ramadan fast month but it was something else happening to that caused them not to be there and somebody said "so and so is here", the girl I can't remember the girl's name and I said where is she I would like to see her, so they said "here she is", she was maybe like ten feet away so I greeted her and congratulated her for having interest in having her Islamic knowledge and Arabic language there in Damascus at that particular facility under the I would say care or auspices of the Abu Nur Mosque of the grand Mufti so I congratulated her and wished her well.  When I got back home my office told me a girl called from Damascus, Syria and told her mother that you came to her school to see her, she was all excited, that made me feel good but I said I didn't go there to see her.  When I learned that we had Americans there I wanted to see them and she just happen to be the only one that's there in that classroom at that time, but I liked it still, I liked what she said, I came there to see her, she's right I came there to see her, praise be to Allah.

      Opportunities are open for us through the grand Mufti and the administrators of the college there and now for the second in importance for me I think was something that was symbolic, they gave me a medal, but I think they gave us a medal because the works that we've accomplished in this America is our work and that's what they are seeing. 

      Grand Mufti visited Honorable Elijah Muhammed

      They have studied our history since the time of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed in 1967 the grand Mufti with his interpreter visited the home of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and was a guest in the home of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and he discussed with the Honorable Elijah Muhammed the need for the Honorable Elijah Muhammed to take his community to the right Islam and he said the Honorable Elijah Muhammed was very respectful and a good hospitable host and he said the Honorable Elijah Muhammed told him that brother we don't have the Religion, but that will come later.  He said and that was enough for him, he said he believed that it would happen and he said now you have brought the people around to the right Islam, I'm just giving you in my words what he said and I'm not quoting him word for word but I'm giving you in a quick summary what he said.

      If you recall me receiving a medal from Egypt with the president of Egypt being present at the ceremonies and presiding over the ceremony, if you recall that the medal that I received from Egypt was about that big (demonstration), the one from Damascus was about that big (demonstration), its big and I don't know why they put a red, white and blue ribbon on it but that's what its got, so I said well either they like our colors or they respect our nation; he's a citizen of America so lets make his ribbon red, white and blue and that's what I think they did, because they know I'm a citizen of the United States of America.

      I'm trying to give these things in order of importance to us as lovers of our Religion and lovers of our community, so lastly is the money.  We have opportunity to order directly from factories in Damascus, Syria, get things at factory cost, we have the opportunity to have our interest cared for by a honorable high standing person, a member of this Abu Nur Mosque, who has 20 yrs experience in this kind of business in Kuwait, when the war broke out, I guessing that he left when the war broke out, he moved to Damascus, Syria for five years he has had business going on and we're talking about 30 yrs experience in business.

      The countries that he has done business with, European countries, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China I can't recall the others but he has that experience.  When he was telling of his experience, he was introduced to me by the leaders of Abu Nur Mosque, the mosque of the grand Mufti at our meeting with them and as he was telling me of his experience I thought of Allison Dobra, some of you who go way back with us, you remember Allison Dobra, he worked with the Honorable Elijah Muhammed to bring goods in from overseas, fish from Peru, sardines from Morocco, some appliances, china ware I think from Japan, different things came in to the nation of Islam, with Allison dobra overseeing it.  And to my knowledge he was the most experienced and the most effective person working with the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and the national staff to have us realize what we did realize in imports from overseas.  This gentleman in my opinion promises us much more than Allison Dobra was able to give the nation of Islam, I see much more coming to us because of our connection to him.  I was so impressed with him and he with me that I hired him without your consent cause I knew I would get it and if I didn't get it I was going to fire you and start all over again, I'm just joking you know, but I knew I'd get your approval, I felt 100% sure that I'd get your approval; because if you knew the person like I know him you'd give your approval.

      Come to find out it was his house I was staying in, I didn't know it was his house, they had a young professor there look like he may be about 27 yrs old, he was taking care of me with another one who worked with helping foreign students from abroad with Islam.  He was there, two youngsters were there taking care of my needs, making sure I was taken care of in his house.  And after I met him he came by the house to see me to pick me up and carry me around the factory and then I learned it was his house, so I thanked him for opening his house to me and sharing his house with me for the time that I was there.

      I brought back some goods from there enough to pay for my trip, I'm going to sell what I brought back and its going to pay for my trip, get all my money back.  I don't know whether I can show you I don't have anything, I don't want to show my undershirt in front of these sisters, my undershirt I got it from there, I'm wearing it because I got it from there Damascus, I got several things but we got some nice lady garments, children clothes, jackets for males, already got rid of that, that's gone. 

      A few gold pieces, necklace with Allah and Muhammed on them, a lot of look like porcelain, china ware pieces that look just like the real thing but its not you might have seen that cheap kind its like plaster of Paris hardened and its coated with something like glass or porcelain, glazed.  So its easily damaged if you drop it, it shatters or if you hit it with something hard, it shatters but its very beautiful and I'm going to compare the prices over here, I'm guessing the price that we can get this at would make it very attractive for us to have gift shops and just fill it up whit these beautiful pieces, Religious and non Religions pieces.  They put actual gold on there with a brush, very beautiful and I would like to see us and I already introduced it to our business office, I would like to see us open one or two shops right away selling this kind of porcelain materials with candles, they have candle holders.

      Candles are good business it hasn't caught on with us but candle is a good business, I have never gone into a candle shop without customers being there and on the phone too ordering, they usually have a phone in one hand and waiting on you at the same time.  So I think that will be a very good business for us it will catch on, Imam from Detroit is here Dawud Ali, we just had everybody introduce themselves, I'm introducing you, okay?  Imam Dawud Ali from Detroit Michigan our good brother.

      We can have a gift shop and if one goes big we try in a few towns like Harlem, N.Y., Chicago maybe and we could easily make it national, we can have our won national gift shops all through out the nation that are making some real good money, nice jobs and good money; especially if you know how to locate them in the right places, parts of the town.  And another thing that I saw that I'm interested in introducing to our community is fabrics, I had an interest in fabrics for a long time.  They have fabric shops, but fabric shops are not owned by us for some reason and they are good business, they lady in the bank she said "how many rabbits you killed for that?"  Since she said that I'm a little sensitive wearing that hat....

      ... fabric shops, yard goods, that's what we use to call it, that's what I use to hear folks call it when I was a child yard goods.  Women like to make things and we have a small percentage of our women that have not stopped making clothes, they still make clothes, they love to do it and if we could open fabric shops and sell at the same price, no higher than these other fabric shops and have a very nice, quality place I believe fabric shops will catch on in our neighborhoods.  And you can sell other things not just the fabrics, a little novelty shop right in the fabric shop, I think it will go over big.

      Believe in my thoughts

      I don't fool myself, so I never tell myself, Wallace you got a revelation so I'm not going to fool you, I going to tell you just what I tell myself, "Wallace obey your thoughts because they always prove out to be correct".  And I believe in my thoughts, when my thoughts dwell on something I believe in it from experience, I do believe is you take my advice you will be very successful, that's not the only business, we're going to go in many businesses but don't forget candle shops and fabric shops. We have enough sisters in our community to support two or three fabric shops, I'm sure they will, they will support it.

      You will see in the journal en sha Allah, if not this issue the following issue, I think it will be the following issue, you will see the person's name I met in Damascus with Abu Nur staff members, this Issue, his name is Norfel and when he said Norfel I said is that Norfel the same as the uncle of the Prophet's wife lady Khadijah? 

      He said yes, he smiled, he was happy to know that I recognized the connection, he said "yes the same name" and as you remember Norfel was a Christian who was familiar with Scripture whereas the Prophet and his family was not, they were not familiar with Scripture except on his wife's side, her uncle.  And obviously she didn't know either the Scriptures, all she knew that her uncle perhaps could help him because he knew about Scripture, her uncle Norfel that is.  Any way I took it upon myself to offer him the position with the business and I offered him position to do what he's trained to do, what he have done for 25 or 30 years or more so I gave him the title of with his permission, approval of negotiator of overseas purchases and he promised that he would do what he's trained to do he said, he said he would inspect each item, every piece and I know he will do that because what I bought that's what he did. 

      He said be patient brother Imam, he said you just can't buy stuff and walk out the door, he took every piece, looked at it and questioned them about certain things he saw and some things he threw back, he said I will personally inspect every piece before the put them in the cartoon, then I will go to the port and make sure all the cartoons are on the ship in the container and everything has been completed to your satisfaction before the ship leaves port.  So what more can we ask and I'm talking about from a man who's not just doing this for money, he's doing this because he's a Muslim and loves what has developed here in America with this community of ours and knows something about its history and shares the love and admiration of the grand Mufti for us in this country for our work in America, so it is a blessing from Allah that's what it is.  So that's my brief report to you on my visit to Syria, my office, the ministry that is will personally handle all questions or applications regarding the scholarships that are open and also the summer program that is open and for the students of our schools I'll be working with Imam the convener of the Shuraa Imam Plemon Tauheed El Amin to see that if any students are selected from our schools they will be the best of those that we will feel comfortable representing us here in this country as students in the schools of Abu Nur Mosque administrators, so with that I think I want to leave that now and come back to what we hope to have in the program for us during Ramadan.

      Ramadan retreat

      Ramadan is an excellent month for us to meet because we are already I would say in a kind of rigorous program for our spiritual enrichment, that's fasting, we are fasting the month and we are reading the Qur'an those who can afford to.  I know some of us are time is so occupied that you hardly can do anything but rush and get ready to go to your business or to your activities and return and rush to eat or whatever and get prepared to go to bed and its like that day after day that's it.  Well I don't want any of you to feel that I hold it against you because you're not up on you Qur'an reading, I don't hold it against you, I hold it against the society.

      Five hour work days

      I hold it against the society that they work us too much for a very little pay.  A man should be able to work five hours and that should be enough that day, he should be able to earn enough money to take care of his family needs within five hours, he should have the rest of the time to be with his family and to take care of other needs he has.  But that's not the way this society is designed, its designed to keep you occupied all the time, just to survive or manage your livelihood, to take care of your wife and your children or your property, its designed to keep you busy at that all the time and you're lucky if you get that Sunday off or that holiday off once a week, Saturday or Sunday or Friday to go and attend your Religious place of services and then go back home and continue the same pace where you're life is totally occupied, that's no good.

      Contribution before death

      There are many concerns I want to bring to you Imams and we have to work on, if we don't do anything but just make people aware of it, at least we made some contribution before we die, we got to make some contribution before we die to changes things, things shouldn't go like this.  You know we think it's the good life, it's the good life in terms of what life is somewhere else but in terms of what G'd wants for us, its not the good life, its far from being the good life.  Life in America compared to life in many other parts of the world that I know, this  the excellent, best, good  life, but when I think of what G'd wants for us in life, this is a bad life.

      Need time for self, family

      You're suppose to have time for yourself, for you own regeneration, rehabilitation, whatever, renewal, refreshment, rejuvenation of your own life, your whole life, your mentality and everything, you mind, you need time on yourself, you need time to study, time to contemplate, you need time to relax.  And your family needs that and you need time with your family to do that not just with yourself, you hear what I'm saying?  You need time with yourself, now many of us will say "oh I need some time with my family", you need some time with yourself, you need time just to be free of everything and just be by yourself to just relax, that's so healthy and then you need time with your family.

      So we are not satisfied with the way our time is I would say is used or possessed, we are not satisfied with it at all so en sha Allah we have to change it, I have other things to I want to bring to your attention but let me get on with what I hope to be the agenda, kind of a daily program for us.  The Imam have given you the time periods that we expect to meet and have the sessions together, I want to give you some topics now that we are going to be discussing, I discussed it already with the Imam now if you make the notes, I haven't made my own notes so somebody make notes for me, Imam Plemon make notes for me too.

      1.  We want to study the Qur'an as a message to the world for its betterment, improvement I would like to express it in these words, we want to see what is the global mission of the Qur'an.  We want to study in order to know more about the, I want to say character, I will use both, character and nature of the Qur'an as Revealed Knowledge or Revealed Scripture.

      2.  We want to study the personage or the person Muhammed the Prophet (PBUH) to know his nature and is message to humanity, the message to humanity in the person and nature of Muhammed the Prophet (PBUH). 

      My studies of Muhammed the Prophet in Qur'an has brought me to see that both has a nature and both have a mission or message to humanity.  The message, the mission of the Prophet is in the context of the Qur'an but it is also in the sunnah of the Prophet and I'm using sunnah now as a reference to his life and how he lived it. So en sha Allah the remaining of these days, the time that we have we will be addressing those two topics, the Qur'an and Muhammed  the Prophet (PBUH).

      So fajr time will be soon and we just got through talking about our time how we need some time with ourselves and out here isn't anything out there, the family is at home, if you want to talk to a tree out there, you can do that I guess. 

      Dhirk session

      You know what these are don't you?  Rosary beads, call them dhikr beads but the Catholics had them before we had them and I never thought that I would have them in my pocket, that Mufti over there he had some kind of charm, he got your Imam carrying dhirk beads and worst than that I want to introduce it to you and still worst than that I'm going to show you how to use them and even worst then that I want you to have some dhikr sessions, the sister has some she showing she got hers.

      He convinced me that we can improve our mind and our spirit more importantly by practicing dhikr so that's something else I'm going to introduce to you, we should begin practicing dhikrs, but in an organized way in sessions.  We've already been introduced so I'm going to introduce you too, I just introduced one who came in, this is Imam Qasim Ahmed from Houston, Texas he just came in and joined us; Wa Alaikum As Salaam brother Imam another good brother.

      Dhikr occupies mind

      So I'm sitting over there with the Sheik in these sessions I didn't get the holy ghost but something hit me and I guess he saw in my eyes that I had come under the spell, he handed me some and I started (dhikr), see I can do it, I got it down I am not missing a bead.  So I think we need it over here for our sanity too, see what it does it occupies your mind, holds your mind and you recite the names of G'd or you just recite one name of G'd the all and all name of G'd, Allah, Allah, Allah, Allah etc., and then when you have done that for about 10 minutes then don't say anything just let you inside speak, let your heart speak, Allah, Allah without you vocalizing it, I'm doing it now, it brings you great peace.

      So to strengthen our souls and our spirituality and to purify it more dhikr is important practice for us, so I'm introducing this and this is new for us and I'm going to help you set up sessions where you spend 10 to 20 minutes in groups at the masjid, at some time, morning prayer, evening prayer, some prayer, you can decide that for your own convenience you decide the time when its best for you to meet and sit down and practice, go through dhikr exercises and I think its going to  help us out a lot.  I `m convince with experience with them.

      I met a Sheik over there named Ramadan you know we have John Ramadan works with our publication staff, this Sheik is named Ramadan he is beyond retirement age and he's full of humor like some of us are, like I am, I like humor.   (There was) a long flight of stairs, look like the stairs connecting three stories but its only one, you've seen those stairs, like in some department stores, the level is three high, but its only one staircase and he look at me he was with me, signaling that something is getting ready to happen, he hit those steps and G'd is my witness, here's how he sounded going do the steps (pat, pat, pat, pat), that's him going down the steps, top shape.

      He invited me to his home and we broke fast together and he had a piece of exercise equipment he got on the equipment and he walked and the thing is moving kind of fast and he's stepping fast with it the tread mill, he cut it of and he  said "I made that equipment", so then one of the brothers said brother Imam there is hardly anything that he doesn't make.  So he looked at me I was getting ready to leave, he said "would you like to have one of these lounging outfits I got on?"  I said sure, he said "I'll have it for you tomorrow when you come, come tomorrow same time".  I came and he had it, nice tailored, made it himself.

      Increase brain power

      This is the kind of life we need; we need this energy and this life and you can't have that if you're just burdened with the paycheck and getting to the job, you got to get something else on your mind, you got to free your mind so you can appreciate the beautiful and ordinary things of life and then we will have greater brain power, greater creativity in everything, so en sha Allah we're going to work on this.

      I think there will be a good business in his garment that he made, it's a lounging garment I mentioned that for you business people, we could take his garment with his permission to the factories, have them made up real cheap and we can sell it has lounging garment and put his name on it Ramadan.  Those who think is Ramadan fast month that's good but for us who know that's Mr. Ramadan who goes down the steps like that (pat, pat), that's good too.

      Its nice all white, we could have it made up in different colors, nice real blousy, big blousy pants, plenty room, see you need room to breath with elastic in the waste, simple garment to put together and a white top that hangs very loosely too that goes with it.   I know what our brothers are going to do, they are going out in the street with them, its not going to be just in the house, they are going to be out in the street with them, Aladdin and his lamp walking down the street.  They are very comfortable and I think they will catch on and it could be some easy good money.

      Nightly Ramadan sessions

      Let me conclude this, this evening by getting back to our Ramadan sessions I went to Morocco invited by the King of Morocco King Hasan V of Morocco and I attended Ramadan sessions with them and it made me think of us here in America, we don't have it yet but I hope that one day we will have more free time so we can have Ramadan sessions every night and those who can afford to come they'll come and those who can't they won't, after Tarawih prayers we'll have discussion of Religion, discussion of the Scripture, Qur'an and the life of Muhammed and discuss our community needs together all of us making contributions to better solution to our life here in America and G'd will reward us greatly during the month of Ramadan, if we will do that.  So en sha Allah we hope to start that soon.

      QUR'AN 23:12-14; Creation of human

      12. Man We did create from a quintessence (of clay);

      13. Then We placed him as (a drop of) sperm in a place of rest, firmly fixed;

      14. Then We made the sperm into a clot of congealed blood; then of that clot We made a (foetus) lump; then we made out of that lump bones and clothed the bones with flesh; then we developed out of it another creature. So blessed be Allah, the best to create!

      The most important thing for us to understand about Islam and Muhammed the Prophet is that Islam is a Religion that sees G'd's creation as the beginning of life and opportunities for His human creation and that the human creation is not in conflict with the creation of G'd but rather it is intended to be a complement, that is continuing it and completing it.  G'd didn't complete His creation when He made these physical bodies we call earth, moon, sun and planets, He wasn't finished with His creation.

      Out of this body of creation we call the earth comes living things, trees, animals and man come out of this living body.  So He didn't finish it and then out of the living flesh comes a human spirit or into the living flesh comes a human spirit and a human mind, intellect that expresses itself beyond the physical limits of the physical creation, its expressions goes beyond the limits of the physical world that G'd made. 

      So this is most important for us to understand, Islam more so than any other Religion that I know, its hinted in some other Religions, its hinted in the Gospel, this what I'm talking about right now, but no other religion that I know of makes it clear to us that man and the natural world are related and keeping the connection is absolutely necessary for the successful continuation of the human life, the keeping that connection is a must for the successful continued growth of matter in the form of man or the human being, is that clear?  

      QUR'AN 30:30; Deen al Fitraa

      "So set thou thy face steadily and truly to the Faith: (establish) Allah's handiwork according to the pattern on which He has made mankind: no change (let there be) in the work (wrought) by Allah: that is the standard Religion: but most among mankind understand not."

      I want it to be perfectly clear when G'd says that this is the Religion of Fitraa the pattern upon which He evolved human life.  Deen al Fitraa the Religion of Fitraa of which he originated or patterned the human life upon it.  So there was a pattern existing before our existence and then G'd created us to be fitted upon that pattern, now its not talking about matter directly, its talking about the Deen the Religion.  The pattern upon which He formed the man the human being.

      The word Fitraa if you know Arabic, those who need help I give it to you I know some of you I'm looking at you, you don't need any help, it's the letter F.T.  the Heavy "T" and then R. and the feminine "T" the one that's tied with two dots above it, tied like a loop.

      What does fitraa mean?  We don't have to go outside the Qur'an to learn the meaning of Quranic terms, G'd is Al Faatir and what does Al Faatir mean?  The Originator, He's the One Who originated the heavens and the earth, so fitraa must mean original beginning, first start, it is Deen Al Fitraa it is the Religion of the Original beginning, the first beginning of Religion for mankind.

      Primitive Religion

      Studying now as a student of society or of social life for human being living in society or anthropologist, what is the beginning of Religion for man?  The beginning of Religion for man is primitive Religion isn't that what they will say, primitive Religion, but let us go further into that what you call primitive Religion.  You go further and further into Primitive Religion when man had not himself studied his own Religion, he was living it but automatically living it, living it without knowing he's living the Religion.  What was his Religion?  Fear of a superior, fear of a greater authority over him and the belief that, that great authority over him communicated to him through the material world, is that not right?  That was the original Religion, the belief that there was a superior authority no matter what he called it, One that he shouldn't challenge but obey and the belief that, that superior authority communicated to him through the material world.  The lightening in the sky, the sunrise, the rain that came down from the sky, the storm, the wind, whatever, the fertility of the land and his own mind, his own spirit, his own nature. 

      QUR'AN 31:27; If the trees were pen, ocean ink

      "And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of Allah be exhausted (in the writing): for Allah is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom."

      So he felt that, that Superior was communicating to him through the material existence, so what does G'd say?  G'd say to us in the Qur'an if the see could be made into ink and doubled and if all the trees could be made into pens, well doesn't that come from the idea that this material world communicates?  Seas becoming ink and trees becoming pens.

      QUR'AN 45:3-6; Sign in heaven, yourself

      3. Verily in the heavens and the earth, are Signs for those who believe.

      4. And in the creation of yourselves and the fact that animals are scattered (through the earth), are Signs for those of assured Faith.

      5. And in the alternation of Night and Day, and the fact that Allah sends down Sustenance from the sky, and revives therewith the earth after its death, and in the change of the winds,- are Signs for those that are wise.

      6. Such are the Signs of Allah, which We rehearse to thee in Truth; then in what exposition will they believe after (rejecting) Allah and His Signs?

      Deuteronomy 6:13; Fear the Lord thy G'd

      "You shall fear the LORD your G'd, and serve him, and shall swear by his name."

      And to come home with it G'd says and in the heavens there are signs and in the earth there are signs and as well as in yourself, there are signs, right?  Messages that's what sign mean, that's what it is saying that G'd speaks through His material world, creation not only through that but He speaks through the material creation and this is the original Religion of man, belief that there is a G'd over him that he's accountable to and that, that G'd communicates through His creation or through the  material realities all about him.  And they say in Religion what?  The beginning of faith or the beginning of obedience is fear, you have to fear the Lord, the commandment came in the Old Testament fear the Lord G'd, isn't that what it says, fear the Lord, G'd.  And says also that your first teacher, I believe that's the way its put, that's the way I remember it maybe I translated it for myself, I can't recall now it been so long since I read the poison, excuse me, been so long since I read that.

      Primitive Religion

      That's what I recall fear being your first teacher so the original Religion of man is a Religion given to man by the Creator Himself before Revelation came.  Before He revealed to man He had already created man with a spirit, a soul and a human makeup that recognize that there was a Superior over him and that, that Superior communicated to him.  And in that baby state of Religion or in that primitive for want of a better word, in that primitive Religion he was innocent, he was not guilty, he was not a liar, deceiver no he was innocent person, his Religion was innocent, his Religion was pure.  His Religion respected the order of the world the natural order created by G'd, his Religion respected that.

      Man extension of creation

      Right now we can study the history of the Indians in America so-called native Americans and you will find in their Religion a lot of respect for the material world, so they are living proof that man in his early development as a Religious person had strong attachment to the physical or natural world.  Mother earth we may say and the environment beyond and this is Al Islam.  We must see G'd as Creator and understand our existence as an extension of creation, G'd Creator and our existence as extension of creation that should not disagree with the G'd given design and purpose for creation.

      So the world that G'd created is expressive, look how expressive it is, am I holding you too long here Fajr time.                  

      QUR'AN 13:11; Change condition of heart

      "For each (such person) there are (angels) in succession, before and behind him: They guard him by command of Allah. Allah does not change a people's lot unless they change what is in their hearts. But when (once) Allah willeth a people's punishment, there can be no turning it back, nor will they find, besides Him, any to protect."

      ...problem with it unless it is in accord with G'd's Plan no person with a bad life can tell me they have a good spirit, I'll never buy it, you have a bad life you don't have a good spirit, you have a life of a rebel in the path of G'd you don't have a good spirit, you have a life as a criminal you don't have a good spirit, can't tell me you have peace, you don't have it, you can't have peace, no way for you to have peace. Its only when you are trying to be good, right when you have peace and that registers in the spirit not necessarily in the mind and ultimately everything corrects itself because of the spiritual factor not because of the rational factor, help from the rational but first the change must come in the spirit, then the rational can follow that spirit, the direction in the, can help the direction in the spirit by giving assistance.

      QUR'AN 26:192-194; Qur'an revelation on the heart

      192. Verily this is a Revelation from the Lord of the Worlds:

      193. With it came down the spirit of Faith and Truth-

      194. To thy heart and mind, that thou mayest admonish.

      The world was in darkness and ignorance and it was out of step with material reality, it was going counter the truth for the material world, the truth, the reality, it was going counter, in conflict with that reality, this was the Gnostic era, we know that and what happened?  A man strained because of burden on his heart it didn't say his mind burdened, certainly his mind was burdened but where was the burden really taking effect?  On his heart that's where it was taking effect not really up here more than here, on his heart and he went up into the mountain of Nur in Mecca Muhammed the Prophet (PBUH) he went up there to get away from the world to be alone away from things and G'd says and He caused it to descend upon his heart, Revelation came down upon his heart.  He went there because of a burdened heart

      and G'd says that He caused it to descend upon his heart, Revealed it upon his heart.  And he went through very, very trying, spiritual experiences, very trying to him because he didn't understand it, his spirit was strained, disturbed, pressured, he experienced great extremes of strain, turmoil in his spirit.  

      They say he would break out in heavy sweats when he was experiencing it and what happened?  Revelation came to him eventually by way of Jibril, right?  The angel Jibril and now we can't understand, we're not made to understand that level of, I would say ascension for the soul of man, Prophets understand that because they ascended to that height.

      Man Spirit strained seeking understanding

      But lets come down some to our level of experience.  You maybe, me yes, I know I did strained because of something in my spirit, belief in my spirit that this isn't right, my mind couldn't explain it, couldn't come up with the answers but my mind was burdened because my spirit was burdened, others that I knew in the same situation with me in terms of environmental conditions, language environment and everything else, they were in the same environment with me but they were not disturbed they were comforted, their minds were not troubled, their minds were comforted, my mind was not comfortable because my spirit was not comfortable, my soul was not comfortable.  The spiritual life of Wallace D. Muhammed was not comfortable so because of that my mind started to work to bring my spirit into some kind of state of ease some kind of state of peace, so my mind started to work questioning this and that trying to understand this and that, trying to put things together one and two together, you know? 

      So that's what started to happen, my mind wasn't dictating this to my spirit, my spirit was dictating this to my mind, yes.  My mind knows how to make adjustments and get relief, rationalize, I had been doing that so my spirit said I can't take no more of this foolishness, I had been doing that I knew how to do it very well, when I was a minister on Greenwood in Chicago you know I could do it real well because you became a member of the nation of Islam after me doing it so well, yeah I made fiction sound like truth, I gave rational support for it and thought I was pretty straight, thought I had real facts backing me up, but every time I fixed up something I go to sleep with it wake up the next day trouble again.  I went to sleep on this I thought it was alright took this pill it was alright last night, and I wake up and I got the same ailment have to start all over again with another rationalization and finally the spirit say you have to throw all that crap out, you cannot make it gel.  When I did I had to throw it all away its all bad it can't work, its all wrong, not to be understood like that, doesn't make sense, not in the real man's, real worlds language, doesn't make sense, had to throw it away to find my peace.

      So that was the spirit making my mind uncomfortable with what it believed, so G'd says and never will a change come in your condition until you first change what is bothering your soul or what is upon your soul means what is burdening your soul.  G'd does not change what is troubling a people or bothering a people until they change what is bothering their own souls, so understand this that the Prophet experienced on a level that we can't ascend to.  All we have to understand is how man strains his mind because of something inside of him this isn't right yet, so he strains his mind to come up with the right answer and straining and straining with not enough support or answers from the knowledge available to him or from an experience something happens and we don't know the whole explanation for it, but we know the experience.

      Intuitive power 

      Something happens and something else kicks in, something else starts working for us that was not present for us in our makeup before, it's the intuitive power, the intuitive power starts working for us and all of a sudden we're seeing things but not directly with our rational mind, we are seeing it because of intuitive life or intuitive power, intuitive knowledge, right? 

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