The Freedom Movement Lives
The Freedom Movement Lives
By Imam W. Deen Mohammed
(Editor's note: Following are excerpts from Mujeddid Wallace Deen Muhammed's 4th Sunday address delivered at Masjid Elijah Muhammed in Chicago, March 25,1979.)
With the Name Allah (In the Name of G'd), the Gracious, the Compassionate
All praise is due to Almighty G'd, the Guardian Evolver and Sustainer of all the Worlds. The blessings and peace be upon Muhammed, the Messenger of Allah to us all.
O Allah, guide us, forgive us our faults, and grant us the blessings of faith. I bear witness there is no deity except Allah, and I bear witness Muhammed is His Servant and His Messenger. Peace be upon him, his descendants, his companions, the righteous servants, all of them, and upon us in America and throughout the world:
The struggle to dignify ourselves as a race has not changed. It's still the struggle to measure up with other races in human, social, cultural, political and economic terms.
That's the struggle. You won't dignify the race by simply wearing a big afro, or a dashiki. You'll make the race wonder what's wrong with you, and make others wonder, too. They'll say, "Why do they go to these extremes?"
If you go to Africa, you can't find a bushel basket of hair on an African's head. But come to America and you'll find African-Americans with a basketful of hair on their heads.
You can look all over Africa, and it's hard to find a man with long hair. They want to put their time and money into production in the city, in the town, on the farm...they need time to produce economically, politically, and otherwise they can't spend all their time working on an afro.
But we will tie our time up because we still think as the slave that the Caucasian slave-master created. He created a slave that was artificial, that didn't have any real presence in the natural history of reality. You have yet to find your presence in the natural history of reality, so you're still looking for artificial identity.
You have to understand that terms are limited in their power to convey what you mean. You say you want racial dignity. As long as you know what you mean, that expression is good. But once you lose your grip on what you mean by racial dignity, that term means anything the society wants it to mean.
The whole of the 1960s was a period of drastic spiritual change. The old spirit of the freedom movement was being usurped or undermined for another spirit. The spirit for real things was being supplanted with a spirit for superficial things. During that time, the meaning of racial dignity was lost; what you came to understand in that expression was not what we started with.
See how a people can lose their mission? Lose their just struggle? A simple change of language without your recognition that language is changing can cut off the growth of your freedom struggle stop it dead. Kill it! And allow the wild forces of the enemy to take it over.
That's exactly what happened in America. Enemy forces took over the clean freedom struggle of our ancestors and turned it into materialism, artificial race pride a black consciousness that's really racism, and racial supremacy.
They robbed our ancestors of their just struggle.
Two leaders stand out in recent history as fighters for the old spirit of the ancestors the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Those two men represented the extreme poles of what we wanted in this country the inner dignity and the outer comfort. One represented nationalism or separatism, and the other civil rights or integration.
Both were really on the same case. They had inherited the works of their father the slave ancestry that would not give up. Those two great men kept us on some sensible, solid ground until their passing. When G'd took them away the bottom fell out from under us.
In fact, there was no bottom there anyway, just the influence of those two strong personalities, and once that influence was taken out of the society we just came apart.
G'd didn't fail us. G'd didn't leave us. He's been with us all the time. He never left us. We let our eyes close on the direction that had been pointed out to us in strong ancestral leadership. The direction inherited by the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and Dr. King.
I must give both their names because neither of them alone can represent the freedom struggle of our ancestors. The Honorable Elijah Muhammed represented one side of what we wanted, and Dr. King represented the other.
Dr. King realized in the late years of his life that he only had been representing one side and he began trying to get into the business of the other side. But G'd didn't choose him to get into that side; He chose him for the side that he mastered. When he tried to struggle into the other side, G'd took him away from us.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammed saw the end of his one-sided revolution, and when he started to speak to the other side, G'd saw fit to take him away also.
But Almighty G'd united the two spirits in me. I have no problem with balance because I was free to set my own stage, and I set it in balance as G'd intended it to be.
I spoke in recognition of the spirit of the ancestors as it was demonstrated in the leadership of Dr. King and in the leadership of the Honorable Elijah Muhammed.
Twenty years ago, I recognized there was a need for the Honorable Elijah Muhammed's spirit and the spirit of Dr. King or the Civil Rights Movement to come together because they were spirits of one life-force!
They should be together. Not separated by one-sided vision....
There is a great sign in the history that G'd left on the pages of the Bible the story of a people that doesn't have any real relevance in that time period but actually is relevant in this time period in the history of the descendants of the slaves that were brought to this country from Africa.
Our leadership can see the great role, the great revelation, the great future for our people. Why don't they join combine forces and say, "Look, we now have an organization that represents the historic struggle of our people for justice and dignity in this country." Why don't they come?
Why don't they say, "We have no right to keep any allegiance with the church?"
Why don't they say, "Let us bring the church spirit to the masjid, and let us go down on the pages of history as a Christian society that was adopted into Christianity by Western slave-masters and helped by Quakers, and other good Christian groups but still couldn't realize the full measure of the spiritual freedom that we wanted, that our ancestral souls called for, until the coming of the leadership of the World Community of Al Islam in the West?"
Why don't they tell the people, "Join that part of history with this new history and let it all become one history let the world see that G'd has been our co-pilot from slave days until now through the church time to the mosque time? Let us all come together and show the world one history!"
Can't they see the great dignity and the great honor, and the great place in the world we all would have?
We'll go down on the pages of history as a people who evolved into a new cultural and social creation evolved to advance psycho-social and cultural leadership.
We will go down (in history) as a people who evolved into the epistemology (the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity) of America and the world!
This is a big term but it's small, dear people. They use this term in academic circles. They know that knowledge evolves. They know that knowledge has its own nature that knowledge has its own development. They know that if knowledge is correct knowledge useful knowledge it must be based on what is naturally correct. They know that all other additions are false additions - - grafted additions.
They know that the strength of world leadership is in the epistemology. Those that are aware of this epistemology and those that evolved in this epistemology know that the leadership is there.
G'd has brought me and you with me. I evolved out of you and you evolved up with me Insha Allah.
G'd has brought me into the knowledge of the epistemology of the world! All I need is people that will have the same-mindedness and the sober-mindedness to embrace the leadership and be sincerely devoted to it.
Then I can take you all to an empty island with no industry, nothing but bare land, and we could live there and be happy and grow day-by-day. In time, industry would rise, government would rise and we would become a great nation on that island.
G'd has blessed me with the roots of civilized knowledge. He has blessed me to see the natural structure those roots support. He has blessed me to see how the human being is created as a social, cultural and political creature with knowledge of how man and woman as a society are raised up step-by-step, stage-by-stage into advanced leadership, advanced society.
G'd has shown this to me. I don't have to study their books. You're looking for dignity to come to each individual, but it comes through just one.
Allah tells of a people like you in the Qur'an who say, "When G'd sends us a scroll down from heaven in our own hands like he did for you, then we will believe."
That's your attitude. "G'd has given you that knowledge? Why didn't He give it to all of us?"
G'd has established a pattern of human development and growth, and He has established leadership in that pattern. If you don't accept the leadership, He's not going to give you the blessings.
You can have all the resources you need but if you don't have the correct vision, there is no progress.
We have had leaders with partial vision, seeing part of the needs, seeing one side of the problem, but now the Honorable Elijah Muhammed and Dr. King - the civil rights movement and the movement to dignify the social creature, up from slavery have come together and there's balanced vision in this leadership.
The opportunities are here. Nothing is holding us back now but your allegiance. This government that had a face of Dr. Jeykll and Mr. Hydea diabolic drooling beast on one side of his personality and a democratic minded society on the other; that could bring out either face it wanted for the circumstances to keep us in hell-has purged its blood and accepted to be a human personality with one face for all the citizens of this country.
The ugly signs of Jim-Crow days have gone from the South. Emmitt Till would not be crucified now the way he was. He might find it more pleasant in the South now than in many of the northern quarters.
I've been to the South and I find more hospitality there, more welcome, more genuine human sentiments than I find in many northern cities.
We have lived to see Eisenhower, a Republican President bring out the National Guard to threaten and punish his own people at the point of a bayonet. Threatening them with death if they stand in the way of our justice.
We have seen a great President Kennedy assassinated because of the stand he took for justice in this country. We have seen his brother, the Attorney-General, assassinated because of his firm attitude toward justice.
They couldn't bargain with those men. They couldn't bribe those men. They couldn't force them to back up.
They were men who died for the cause of justice in this country. That meant they died for the cause of our justice also. The courts are on record for standing up for all the rights of every citizen equally.
This is a new day in America, but a big price was paid. The leaders of the establishment paid with their lives and our leaders have paid with their lives. Sacrifices spirit, anguish of mind and soul all went into the price that was paid in addition to the loss of physical life. Dr. King was assassinated. Malcolm X was assassinated. The Honorable Elijah Muhammed was assassinated.
Yes, he was assassinated, too. It wasn't a gun that killed him. It was infiltrators -the pressure of infiltration of the Nation of Islam that made him weak in mind and body, that made his willpower weak so that sickness took over his body and caused his death.
The same forces that killed President Kennedy and his brother, the same forces that killed Dr. King are the same forces that killed the Honorable Elijah Muhammed.
They didn't do it with a bullet. No! But they did it all the same.
Corrupt elements from a corrupt society and a corrupt government came into the Nation of Islam and virtually imprisoned the Honorable Elijah Muhammed, fed his weaknesses, fed his lust and deprived him of his good nature, his good tendencies, deprived him of his aspirations of realizing anything at all and gave vent only to his weaknesses. They came in and destroyed the moral and virtuous achievements of the Nation of Islam.
And in time they destroyed our leadership. They even found their way into the private lives of the civil rights leaders and corrupted them the same way they corrupted the leadership of the Nation of Islam.
This is had and good. It's bad that we would have these weaknesses. It's also bad that a society would be so wicked as to exploit our weaknesses.
It's good that Allah has revealed to us a weakness and a wickedness that will keep us on guard for the future.
Let me quote the words of one of our slave ancestors, a woman by the name of Julia. Responding to the cruelties she had witnessed as an African - American slave. She said, "White people look like G'd in the face, but act like the devil in their heart."
See how this was hinted before the Honorable Elijah Muhammed spoke it? It was in the ancestral spirit. When the opportunity came it had to come out!
The Honorable Elijah Muhammed said, "You're a race of white devils." It had to come out because our innocent souls could not understand a human being that cruel unless he had become possessed by the devil himself.
A lot of you don't understand my leadership yet. "His father taught that the white man was the devil. He says he's not the devil."
I say he is the devil!
But not all of them. And you're the devil, but not all of you.
At one point in our history, we were so much subdued and overwhelmed by the white man's power that we had no room to be devils. So the only devil here was the white devil. With freedom came room for us to be devils. Now we have all kinds of devils here in America.
I hope you'll never forget the words of that slave woman, Miss Julia. In her words is a revelation. I mean that G'd let that woman's words stay here until today as a sign.
A sign of what? A sign that the Caucasian Western world gave us their image as the image of G'dgave us a Caucasian image on a cross as the image of G'd.
It made the slaves think Caucasians were in the image of G'd more than we were because they looked more like the image on the cross.
And that woman speaking out in innocence said, "They look like G'd in their faces,"meaning they look like Jesusthe image she thought was the face of G'd"but act like the devil in their heart."
That woman suffering great anguish of mind and spirit, trying to reconcile, trying to understand"How could a people looking like Jesus more than I do be so far from being righteous?
I'm telling you, that is a prophetic statement. Of all that I say today, I'm trying to point out thisG'd has been in this struggle all the way! We haven't been deciding. G'd has been deciding for us all the way!
Nat Turner didn't receive a revelation on Mt. Sinai or any other mountain, but he was an instrument of G'd to bring this freedom movement closer to its destiny.
He showed the Caucasians that although overwhelmingly outnumbered, thoroughly subdued, having no hope to do anything, "I will commit suicide." He knew that would kill him. But he did it.
Nat Turneryour genes are in me! You didn't lose out, we are all here together.
How else can you inherit an ancestor except that you inherit his hope, his spiritual needs, his social yearnings, his economic and political ambitions? Those who have inherited the aspirations of their upright and courageous ancestorsin them our ancestors rejoice! This is nothing spooky, this is reality.
We are trying to review what has happened historically in the leadership that is behind us in hopes of better appreciating the great opportunities that we have today.
Sometimes you have to go back and count your sheep to realize your blessings. (Splinting your sheep means counting those you lost and those you still have.
To become a free social being in the context of American history means that you have to have selfhood. You have to gain selfhood and you have to gain the ability to evolve self along the same lines of historical, social, cultural development that the other world societies came along.
Do you think that I have abandoned that? The Honorable Elijah Muhammed saw the need, but it's my mission. The Honorable Elijah Muhammed never realized it; he just gave you a superficial dress of achievement: the selfhood is being built now.
These past four years of leadership growing on the foundation that was laid by Dr. Fard Muhammed, the Honorable Elijah Muhammed, Dr. King and the Freedom Movement, has brought you spiritually, mentally and intellectually into new birth.
Everyone who has embraced what I've taught and not fought it can bear witness with me that you have a new mind! A new spirit! A new vision! A new light on what you are!
You can travel about now in the world of yourself and locate most of your members in the world of yourself. You have achieved a sense of selfhood!
They can put you on an island away from all human beings and you can live on that Island and find peace.
That's the man G'd created and that's the man G'd brought back through this leadership.
G'd didn't want us to fall short of this blessing. Salvation and liberation has to go beyond civil rights, equality before the courts; it has to go beyond that, even beyond economic strength.
I could talk to you until the sun goes down and comes up again. Almighty G'd knows this is what I love. This is what my soul has been hungering for over 400 years in the genes of my ancestors that are with me.
Allah is the perfect being. Allah is all righteous, truthful no imperfections in Allah. Allah is Supreme and Perfect without any imperfections.
O Allah. Make us of those who purify themselves and of those who repent, and guide us in your path. Amen.
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