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A Sense Of Self Makes Living Better

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  • visionaries4
    12/11/1988 Muslim Journal A Sense Of Self Makes Living Better By Imam W. Deen Mohammed (Editorial Note: The following public address by Imam W. Deen Mohammed
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 26, 2012


      Muslim Journal

      A Sense Of Self Makes Living Better

      By Imam W. Deen Mohammed

      (Editorial Note: The following public address by Imam W. Deen Mohammed from December 11, 1988 — Atlanta, GA again brings to us Allah's purpose for man's existence and how he functions in Allah's creation.)

      As-Salaam-Alaikum. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. I bear witness that there is but One Lord; there is no other divinity. I bear witness that there is no divinity except Allah and that Muhammed is His Servant and His Messenger.

      In the Book of Allah the chapter titled "The Gathering" also referred to as "The Banishment," I will read only the English translation for the verses we have already heard recited in a very beautiful and excellent Qur'anic Arabic by Imam Yahya Abdullah of Dallas, Texas.

      Qur'an 59:18-24

      "O Ye who are the believers be regardful of Allah, and let every soul look to what it proposes for tomorrow. And duly regard Allah. Emphatically, Allah is aware of what you are doing.

      And be not like those who forgot Allah, wherefore He caused them to forget their souls. Such is characteristic of the wrongdoers, the corruptors.

      The associates of the fire do not compare with the associates of the Garden of Paradise. The associates of the Garden are the victorious.

      Had we sent down this Qur'an on a mountain, certainly thou would have seen it humble itself and split open out of fear of Allah. We drive home such illustrations in order that they, the people, may reflect.

      He is Allah, other than Whom there is no divinity. He is Knower of the Unattested and the Attested. He is the Merciful Benefactor, the Merciful Redeemer.

      He is Allah, other than Whom there is no divinity, The Sovereign, The Holy, The Source of Peace, The Trustful, The Controller, The Exalted, The Overpowering, The Infinitely Great, having glory above the partners they attribute to Him.

      He is Allah, The Creator, The Evolver, The Designer of forms in creation. To Him belongs the Most Beautiful Names. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth bespeaks His Glory, and He is The Exalted, The Wise,"

      Those are the Words of Allah revealed to Muhammed, The Prophet, and we have it in the entire revelation that came to the Holy Prophet more than I400 years ago. The Qur'an, is the Holy Book for Muslims all over this earth. The prayer and the peace be upon Muhammed, the Prophet and the Messenger, whom Allah designated to be the last and universal one for all people and a mercy to all nations. On him be the peace and on his family and on his Companions all. And the peace be on us, this gathering and all of us here today.

      Believers and dear people, our Prophet said, "Whoever has seen himself has seen his Lord." Or as it has also been quoted, "Whoever has known himself has known his Lord." In view of the overwhelming evidence in the most authentic and correct sources of our religion, we must readily reject a belief that man is Allah. Such is of confusion, and such is of mad men. Hence, this saying of Muhammed, Allah's Messenger, calls for the reader's intelligent attention.

      To know what we are is to know in the same instance what we are not. A sense of self makes living better!

      Religion promotes in us a sense of self. The world also promotes in us a sense of self. And these two senses of self are in conflict. The sense of self promoted in us by true religion leads to proper understanding of self, the proper regard for self, and the proper attitude towards self, as well as the right disposition towards The Creator of self.

      As told in the Qur'an the Prophet Abraham was in a situation where he had to differ with his own father and his own people. His father was very highly respected and an influential man among the people of Abraham. So to differ with him was no easy thing, but Prophet Abraham's (Ibrahim's) faith was of such strength that nothing could stand in the way of his faith.

      As Allah reveals in The Holy Book, Prophet Abraham says to his father and people, "Certainly I am clear and free from being charged with being associated with the things you worship other than the One Who originated me. For surely He shall guide me." Prophet Abraham told them, surely the One Who originated him would also guide him.

      Prophet Abraham for those who do not know, and for you who know we want to remind you, peace be upon the Prophet: Prophet Abraham is called by all the Muslims "Father Abraham" — as is the case for Christians and Jews. Two major prophetic figures are given the title "father." The first is Adam. The second is Abraham, peace be upon them.

      It is also believed there was no man created or existing before Adam. Adam represents to us something in our creation.

      It is stated in recorded tradition that the Prophet said of Adam, "No one dies or is raised up from death, except it be upon the design of Adam." This is to say that we do not only die in Adam, we also live in Adam. Some of you have heard, I am sure, the church expression — "All died in Adam." Well, the Prophet wants us to know that not only do we die in Adam, we also come alive in Adam.

      If man dies, he dies the death of Adam. If man lives, he lives the life of Adam. In our religion Adam is not a figure representing original sin. In our religion Adam is the most noble respected human-nature figure. And whatever he did that caused problems and harm to himself and to the generations was not an intentional act on his part. It was a sin by omission rather than commission. It was under circumstances too great at that time for Adam to deal with. Our religion says in the Holy Book, The Qur'an, that when he remembered his Lord and turned to his Lord and repented, Allah forgave him. The language is, "And he met with a Word from his Lord, and repentance was granted." It means that Adam's innocence earned for him Allah's forgiveness and help.

      What is that saying to us? That when Allah created Adam, He did not create an angel. He did not create a G'd. He did not create a perfect being in the sense of an angel or in the sense of a G'd. He created a perfect being in the sense of the purpose and aim in nature of this creature. His nature is perfect. His nature is always to obey his Creator and to do right. And we all live by that nature and die by that nature.

      Allah says of the community of Muhammed, the Prophet, (PBUH) "You are the best of communities (evolved) brought out for the good of all people. What is this community brought out of? It is brought out of the confusion of the misguided world.

      You are the best of the communities brought out of the confused world. You should be separate from the people of worldly behavior. You should be distinguished from them. You should not follow their ways and their habits. You should not take examples from them. This is what is implied and much more.

      However that is not the whole of it. "You are the best community brought out for" — here begins the second emphasis of importance in what Allah is saying. You are the community brought out from the world with a distinction that makes you above the rest of them. What purpose is it for Allah bringing you out and giving you this distinction above the rest: That you may serve the good "of all people."

      How in this period are we going to realize that best community? How are we going to realize it convincingly to our satisfaction and convincingly before the eyes of the world? If we have Qur'an and if we have Muhammed the Prophet in our hearts, the Qur'an and the Prophet's guidance, then I say we are already the best community even though we fall very short in many serious areas. Our performance is terrible in the international body of Muslims. Our performance in this nation is regrettable. But in spite of that I still say we are the best community. And you should know it also. Allah says it.

      I know you will find some rare instances where Christians and others look better than Muslims in your eyes. But again, that is rare. Take all of the Christians together and look at how they behave. Take all of the Jews together and look how they behave. Take all the Muslims together and look how they behave. We apologize to Allah for our behavior. For on the whole their behavior is so bad that we need not apologize to them.

      How are we going to realize that excellence as an American minority and as an international body? I believe we are going to realize it as we establish our excellence here in America as African-Americans from a very bad past of abusive treatment from America's ruling bodies, and as we and nationalized Muslim Americans identify and compete in the system.

      Even though we are Muslims, we still have a lot to overcome. And we are going to achieve, not by looking to the community of African-American Muslims or black Muslims or overseas Muslims to liberate us, but by coming into the personal excellence that Allah has created us for. The more of us who come into that human functional excellence that Allah has created for us, the more the whole of us will grow into that excellence that Allah has written for us. 'You are the best of communities brought out (evolved) for the good of all people."

      Part II

      This address today, which we insist upon calling a public address, while we are realizing that the great number in this Atlanta Civic Center today are Muslims. We have few here today, as on most occasions that represent the public make-up. However, we will never be discouraged to give up hope that the public is going to respond to our invitation. We will never give up hope and will keep on saying, "this is a public address." The public is always invited and we will keep inviting the public as long as we are here.

      We will keep our respect for the public and for the concerns of the public and for the needs in the general public for as long as we are here. For that is our Islamic obligation. Our obligation is not only to ourselves as Muslims; our obligation is to the whole of mankind. That is why Allah says, "You are the best of communities brought out for the good of all people."

      Now we will turn the focus from the collective body of man and Muslims to the individual person. A sense of self makes living better. I want to speak now on the major process in the native progressional sense of self. By "native" we mean inherent, that which comes with our creation — that which is from our Creator. We did not get it from others. We got it from the Creator. There is a progression in that nature towards more improvement and towards greater meaning, towards higher performance and greater vision. It is a progression towards greater importance and greater responsibility. There is a natural progression written into the very design of our creation by Allah our Creator.

      We are not the only ones who have realized that or who have been informed regarding that. The great nations of the West and nations before these great nations of the West were blessed to see that and believed that man is destined to come to bigger and better days. Destined! He must come, and he cannot help but to come. It is a must. It is inevitable. It is unavoidable for society. G'd has established it in man's natural design that he must come to bigger and better days.

      This involves the kinds of influences we need to be aware of. For what you say in an expression comes in two major parts. It comes in the form of communication, and it comes in the form of influence. Every word comes in those two parts. And the worldly interest is talking to us constantly and does not respect our best interest. Allah and his servants promote our best interest. When the word comes from Allah, it comes to us with a communication and with an influence for our best interest.

      Some of you will sit and look as if you want to go to sleep. You might say, "W. Deen, why did you come so late?" You need a whole lot of time to think over my concern in coming before you. And you make me think you want to say, "Hurry it up. Let's go." That is okay. But I am not going to let go. If you must, you are going to have to leave. I am trying to hold you for about forty minutes.

      Not only the words of language proper, but also everything you see, everything that you come in contact with through your senses is reaching you with these two bodies or parts — the body of information or communication and the body of influence. You do not even have to be able to hear. You can be deaf and you are still being communicated to. What you touch, what you feel, what stirs in your soul are signaled by things in the environment which you cannot hear with your ears. Yes, you are deaf, but you can touch and feel. You have other senses that are operating and are making possible the receiving of communication and influence.

      Allah has made us to know this. However, science also says that if you take the human being who is born today and put it away from its species into a situation or into circumstances away from humans, it will not develop as a human being. Then we need human communication. We need to come into the form that is inherent in us, that is there to come out and be expressed. In order to realize human form, aim, and destiny, we need human circumstances or natural circumstances for the human being. If we don't have those natural circumstances, then there is no telling what kind of form we will fall to.

      It has been documented that a certain boy, whom the sociologist studied and named, was found among the animals in the wild, while yet he was a young child, separated from his family, and never had human life communicated to him. When they found him, he was running like an animal and making sounds like an animal and had no evidence in him whatsoever that he was human. Fortunately, they rescued him from that situation and brought him in contact with other human beings and gradually he grew into self to be what Allah intended — a human being with human expressions, human feelings, human language.

      Why am I saying all of this? It is to bring us back in better touch with ourselves. That is the answer. We have lost ourselves. Isn't that what the Prophet Abraham said, when he realized he was barred from his needs? "Surely, I have been wronging my own self." "I have been neglecting my own self," "I have been oppressing my own self." "I confess my faults." Then Abraham asked of Allah, "So forgive me my faults all of them, oh Lord. For no one can forgive faults but Thou! Only You!"

      This means that if you have done something wrong, your friend may say, "Oh, I don't hold anything against you. It is in the past as far as I am concerned, man!" But if you have not made up with your Lord, then you are not yet forgiven. You will not yet feel free or relieved. You will be burdened still with that sin, because you have not yet asked forgiveness from your Lord.

      This is from nature. This is not something that is above your head. This religion has preserved for us the common life and common excellence of natural people. It is the common excellence of natural man that has made possible the rise of great nations and great civilizations. For without this man would have never realized that ascent. This is what we should know, and this is the Great News.

      Allah gave the Great News to the Prophets. And He gave the Great News in the greatest measure to Muhammed the Prophet, peace be on them. It was given to Muhammed in the clearest form to bring man into his universal vision and its dimensions of life and excellence.

      This progressional sense in man that Allah created him with and created him for—it is a ''sense.'' In order for him to come into it, he is going to meet with and have difficulties. Most of the time it is not going to be easy for him. He is going to have difficulties and will have to fight his own undisciplined appetites and the confusion that he makes for himself.

      Allah has revealed that we are brought through three veils of darkness. And the Prophet has told us that in the womb that there are three periods of forty days each in succession. And in the first forty-days a complete phase of our life is formed. That will decide for us our possibilities in the years to come.

      Man is created with a potential that has to be realized. We should be careful of what circumstances we give our young children to. For those circumstances are like the mothers. They are like the wombs and will shape them for establishment or for destruction. Allah says that He creates you in the wombs of your mothers. Allah also says that He has patterned you on the pattern of creation itself, Prophet Muhammed has said in support of this point that I am trying to drive home, peace and blessings be on him, ''Everyone is a Muslim at birth and is made other than that because of the circumstances that the baby is put into."

      How pitiful it is that we surrender to burdens of our own doings and give up the controls and blame Allah rather than face our shortcomings. Yes, even a believer in certain trying situations can come to that abysmal darkness and doom and throw insults at Allah. The broken-hearted believer says, "He is not helping me! I'm not sure I believe anymore." How many of us have come to that pitiful state? All we have to do is remain sensible and don't let drunkardness of mind drown out our good senses. Mature faith will not break up like that.

      We must keep striving for intelligent answers, for just and truthful conclusions.

      A progressional sense in man is given to him by his Creator. If he does not realize it, he dies a bad death. Allah tells us, "Do not die, unless you die as Muslims.'' That means do not die out of the nature created for you. Do not die out of or a stranger to human excellence.

      We have the human edifice, the structure that Allah created and wants established for the good of self and the whole of human society. That is what we have in focus right now. Addressing the classic issue, that is we are addressing what particular urge is in our development that announces the beginning and the rise of the human species, human beings as a community, a family.

      Allah says, highly glorified is He, to Adam, "Inform them of their names."

      Here in revelation (Qur'an) is the scene of Adam and his role in creation. Allah shows him as being a little above angels in estimation. That is another distinction of our religion. That Allah tells us that we have been created in our original nature a little above angels in value. That should bring in a renewal of spirit to you in the West. You have been made to believe that man is "born in sin." That man is doomed by his own nature to be a sinner, and that something must happen out of the rules and laws of nature to redeem him. And on and on and on it goes.

      However I will stop, for I realize that some of you who greet me with As-Salaam-Alaikum are of another religion disguised. And I want you to be as comfortable as possible. I should say you are "bad Christians." For a good Christian would not be in disguise. Peace be on him, Jesus said according to their church Gospel, "Why have you come to arrest me in the night?" This is saying, "I have done everything in the open and do not go in disguise." So why have you come here in disguise? The same Gospel holds that Peter was one who would go into disguise; it holds that he even pretended that he was not a follower. Peter said, "I do not even know the man, Jesus." But this same Peter said, "Jesus left the key to me, the key of heaven and hell." We will speak on that another day. But for now, it is good not to forget.

      Part III

      It is a saying of the wise men who study and value history, that "those who forget history are doomed to repeat it." I bear witness that I have seen that in my short life. They forget history and find themselves unknowingly repeating it. There are forces out there now doing the same things that were done one thousand years ago. They have not changed.

      Their way of keeping things under their control is essentially the same today as it was one thousand years ago. They have prepared for you "seasons and garments to wear." And if you forget history, you are going to find yourself in their garments and under their seasons.

      Allah says to this man Adam whom He created, "Inform them (the angels) of their names." What does this tell us about Adam? And also understand that Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) has told us that every verse of the revelation has an applied meaning — that is to be applied directly, and also it has an implied meaning. It is broadcasting from two directions and in two veins of communication. Such is the nature of communication.

      When Adam had informed them of their names, Allah said to the angels, "Did not I tell you that I know what you know not." Here is Allah clearly separating man's identity from angels, and He is raising man in a distinct way above angels. The angel is Allah's creation, but the angels are not so special in His creation that He can't create something even above angels.

      Allah created man and then challenged the angels as if to say, "You thought I could not do better than you. But look here at what I have done. I have created a mortal subject to defects, subject to error, but with a perfect nature and urge to perceive all that exists. I have created an intellect!" That is what Adam was — an intellect. Allah created a curious intellect. Every child is born a curious intellect. If accepted, he has to grow to be intellectual. But he is by nature created as an intellect. That is every creature — male and female — is created as an intellect with intellectual curiosities and for enlightened destiny.

      So you may ask, "How is it an intellectual curiosity, when he has not yet become an intellect and has not been exposed to the higher knowledge and learning, et cetera?" What makes all of that possible? You may be a Ph.D. doctorate, but you can be so stupid, you cannot stay out of jail. The Ph.D. doctorate cannot stay off drugs. So what is the proof of someone coming into that intellectual life?

      The wise among these doctorate leaders know that it is not possible for them, unless it comes by a way beyond them and out of their control. What must accompany and assist rational thought in the intellect of man? The wise will say, "A G'd-given natural urge." A certain man has written a book and entitles it "The Intuitive Edge." In this book he goes forward to establish that what has made the difference between poor performing societies and great performing societies is this intuitive edge. He establishes that you don't get this intuitive edge from books. You don't get it from your professors. They cannot give it to you. When you have it, you are not in control of it. You, yourself, cannot even control it. It works for you, but you have to wait on it to work for you. It is something given to you by Allah — the intuitive edge that man gets that puts him in a better circumstance and a better situation than those who have not yet come by it.

      Some have called it "the sixth sense." Many of us have confused things that have a resemblance. We will think we have it, when we do not. We will think that we have witnessed it in other people, when we have not. But if you really know what we are talking about, it is something that you cannot get at your own command. You cannot give it to somebody else. Allah has to create you with it, and Allah must make available the possibilities for you to realize it. Allah must bring you into this power of the intuitive spirit, this intuitive activity in the soul and mind of man. And when I say "man," I am referring to male and female.

      Allah told Adam to inform the angels of their names. This tells us that the first urge in that progressional line of developmental life is the urge to "know." I have studied babies for myself. I have learned that babies do not come here with foolishness on their minds, no matter how foolish the parents, no matter how foolish the household. The new baby does not come liking and favoring foolishness. Others will work with that baby daily and all day long talking foolishness. The baby will look back as if to say, "What in the hell is going on?" After being worked on for days and weeks, then the baby may give in to that same silliness of mind. The baby comes here as Allah created it, with an intelligent mind and with a sense for what is intelligent.

      Now I am still addressing the great edifice or building of the individual human person. I will now turn to something else that science has brought to our attention. That is the difference between maturation and gestation. For different creatures this period of gestation differs. For some it is long and for some it is short. Gestation is the time spent in the womb from the time of conception to the time of delivery.

      For the human being it seems that the period of gestation is about midway. It is in the balance. You cannot say that he is the one representing the shortest, and he is not the one representing the longest rest. It seems that his period is a representation of the midway. And Allah has said that He has made you "a midway nation." He also tells us that He has put everything in a balance. You must face the scales one day! The period of gestation for the human being in the womb according to the information that we get from modern science is 275 days. The huge animal, the elephant, has a much longer period of gestation — 645 days.

      Look at the gestation for the opossum, which our people in the South learned to eat and love when steaks were out of the question. Let me stop to say that some of us don't realize why we love some things that the doctors say are bad for most African-American people. They will tell you to stay away from certain foods. We do not understand why we have a love for what means bad health.

      If you take a little poison, you may get by. But if you keep taking a lot of it, then you will be in serious trouble. And because we did not have better food available, we had to eat unhealthy foods. If you eat it long enough to answer strong hunger, "fat back" starts to taste so good! You are hungrier than hell, and fat back is good! Chitterlings, which are hog bowels, become good and are called delicious. Why would that be so delicious? It is because you were hungry like hell and hog bowels were seasoned down with salt, sage and pepper. Now you are eating salt, sage, pepper, grease, and bowels of hogs (pork). It is a shame that we had to ever be put into such circumstances.

      Soul ... culturing a taste for garbage. It is said that a taste for a thing can be cultured. Then you can culture a taste for something bad. This simply means to overcome a natural hesitation and bring about a habit. When the habit is established, then the thing becomes one's culture. Now we have soul food as the culture of the soul folks. We are getting help to learn more about the Muslim diet and the Islamic eating habits and also the Islamic benefits. An excellent book for children was put in my possession recently by Brother Atique Mahmood of the Muslim Journal staff.

      Brother Atique Mahmood, the photographer and who does graphic arts and writes for Muslim Journal has become a great addition to its staff. This is one I had nothing to do with getting him on the staff. I am very pleased with Brother Atique. I have told the Muslim Journal, "We all have to manage our responsibilities- I am not responsible for your organization." They are proving capable of the management of their organization.

      They have done wonderful and have gotten some excellent help in Brother Atique Mahmood and in Sister Ayesha Mustafaa, who is carrying the responsibility of Editor right now. I think very soon she will even have a better future with us. She deserves it in that she is outstanding. I have observed Sister Ayesha over the years as a hard and serious worker. She is a professional worker and very Muslim-like in her person. She is dedicated and committed, alert and sensitive. And she will, as meek and soft as she appears to be, stand up when she has to.

      Let us return, as we were talking on the gestation and maturation periods of the human being! The human being has a gestation period that is about middle of the range of all such gestation periods of various creatures. And this gestation period of the different creatures according to science tells us in its observations that these created forms have clocked right into them the influences for their survival and for their livelihood.

      The outside and the inside environments challenge all. When we are born from our mothers, the outer environment is too much of a challenge. After the period of gestation, Allah brings us under the mother's care directly, where before we were just living in and on her system. Then He delivered us out from her system and made negligible the umbilical cord. But that now separate system cannot survive on its own. Allah has put mercy, love, and caring nature in the mother for the weak child. Eventually with much help the child is trusted to the outer environment.

      The other period called the maturation is where you go from delivery to maturity. It is said this growth process for us is about twenty years before it is completed and we stop growing. Some may stop earlier and some will grow a little longer, but for the great majority it is about twenty years.

      Although for the other creatures maturation is much shorter, some of them have longer periods of gestation than we do. As science explains they have to be prepared for the wilds. They have to come out of the womb and get up quick and go. We know certain animals that come right from the mother, as educational television is so good with showing nature series, animals come right from being delivered, stumble a little and soon are running right with their mothers. They do not have to wait for long periods of growth and maturity to be able to perform as does the adult animal.

      While the human is special, we are also delicate. Allah says, "He has made signs in the skies and signs in the earth, and also in you...." But how many of us go along not caring and not paying attention?

      (Part IV is missing)

      Part V

      We must work to preserve the true "self-interest." We can look at the self from different angles and see the different aspects of self through our self-interest. Thereby, we come to appreciate self and come to have a rational sense of self-interest. We should work for this true self-interest and realize that peace is a natural requirement in our nature.

      We are called Muslim, which means resigned to peace or accepting the state of peace. Our greeting is As-Salaam — the peace, and Alaikum — be on you. So our greeting is not to say good day as much as it is to say peace be on you. But some people will say "good day," "good night," and "good-bye." And many times they will mean something else. They will not mean G'dspeed in the way that the English people understand it. In effect they will be saying, "Good-bye, be gone, G'dspeed you away from here."

      You at times will have to have an exchange with persons you know nothing about at all. You will out of necessity have some type of relationship with them requiring that you ask them to move their car or whose car is that or to say "give me five apples." They may not be aware of their attitude towards persons they have never seen before.

      A teller in the bank gave me a "Good-bye." The intimation and intonation she gave with the "good-bye" carried that certain attitude and rudeness. The money deposited helps the bank and the teller. So I said, "G'dspeed." And this Caucasian woman teller said back to me, "We are all going to the same place." With those words it was clear she was devilish and caught my intimation. I said, "I don't see how you come to that conclusion. We are not going to the same places now." Do not pay for insults. Do not give your dollars to people who treat you ugly and insult your intelligence. Also correct them right on the spot.

      Some African-Americans and European Americans got the same airport terminal elevator. One European American said to another European American, "It's getting dark in here." I say to their innuendoes: When winter comes the earth is white and is dead, wherefore you cannot have crops and good times. Then the white flesh body dies and it turns black. Allah brings death in black and in white.

      Let us now turn to the great figure types in the Prophets Adam and Abraham. It appears that the focus on Adam is on him mainly as a creature created in the nature that Allah wants for all of us. And in that nature the person is a creature that wants to make sense. He does not want to make foolishness; he wants to make sense. From scripture it appears that members of Adam's genetic mold and spirit progress intelligently and humanly. Learning and industry and everything else followed the creation of Adam. Man realized great industrial nations and powers, great sciences, general and broad development.

      Then came Prophet Abraham whom we believe from the study of history and also from what is indicated in the revelation, that he was born in an advanced society. He was not a product of any backwards society in terms of science and material advancement. He was born into an advanced society. But that society was retarded humanly. It had lost its human excellence, just as this society that we are living in right now. It is advanced scientifically and industrially, but on the whole it is retarded humanly.

      Abraham comes in as a second father to lead man to rational insight and to a perception of nature, purpose, and destiny. The process that followed the creation of Adam was one supported by the G'd-given nature. But in time the G'd-given nature and its ability to handle the affairs and problems of the world runs its course and reaches its limitations.

      Then the dawning of intelligence and of enlightenment must come and meet the challenge of prevailing artificiality. The rational faculties must come alive to examine what man is doing, to study what has happened to him in the past that brought him from heaven to hell, that brought him from Adam's excellence to the sins of the world. This new vision brings man to face his own nature to study it, to take it and examine it very rationally in order to come up with answers to cases of poor logic and illogical behavior.

      Just as nature was given to him by Allah that sustained him so long over the many generations and brought him into great excellence, likewise the help is here to study what has happened in the past. This help to study what happened in the past and to come up with answers and solutions must also come from Allah. We believed that Allah created man on the sixth day, just as others do, and man cannot reach these solutions without "the intuitive edge." In addition, the intuitive edge must come to him as a gift from Allah just as did his nature.

      When we focus upon Abraham, we see him as a creature established for his faith and reasoning reconciled in him as a functional need. We find faith, reasoning, and purposeful functional accord in that great figure, Father Abraham (Prophet Ibrahim), Praise be to Allah. The power, the resourcefulness, the utility (or however it is said) of faith and reasoning one day must come into some kind of accord. The two must work together. You who are aware of what we are speaking on could talk on this for hours. It is not something that we can conclude in a few moments; we are just bringing these points out to view, so that hopefully some of you will enlarge upon it, or take this to more avenues of practical interest.

      In our religion the order established by Prophet Muhammed is after the order of Prophet Abraham, peace be upon the prophets. And the respect for man as an intellect is promoted more in our religion than in any other religion -openly promoted.

      Prophet Muhammed's first activity as a prophet responsible for the great gift of the final revelation was seen as a teacher having patience even with the most neglected person in terms of needing help for his mind and intellect. He had patience with them. He worked with them. He encouraged them, once they were able to learn one line of reading, one line of revelation, one verse of knowledge, those persons were then obligated to teach others.

      Prophet Muhammed was a teacher not confined to the walls of institutions. He was not confined to the limitations of institutions. He was a teacher that made education not only a right of the public but also a responsibility of each member in the public of the Muslims. Every Muslim is responsible to pass on knowledge as you get it. He made all of them teachers with that responsibility. He encouraged them and sent all of them off as teachers. I hope you can appreciate what is seen here.

      Suppose we had that kind of devotion and dedication, that kind of commitment to the commands of Allah. Look how quick we could rise up as a great force for literacy and education in this country. We would have a situation where all of us would accept the responsibility to be helpers of one another. If we had that kind of spirit and commitment, we would not pass through streets and blocks and neighborhoods seeing our people crazy-minded, idle, ignorant, and abusing themselves. We would not see them neglecting the human destiny and not, ourselves, take the time to go in there and make a sincere effort to help them out of wastefulness, idleness, and destruction.

      You should approach them and say, "Brother, Sister, Neighbor, I do not think you are aware of the great help in the world for you and for me and for all people. If you were aware of it, you would have a different spirit, a different mind and would be getting into better situations for yourself to progress in this world." Then leave them a leaflet or a pamphlet, even if you have to write it yourself from a piece of the information that has influenced your life for the better.

      I admire the Jehovah Witnesses, although I do not believe in their religion, for their dedication and sacrifices that they make. They will have well dressed men and women and will sometimes carry their children with them from door to door, not knowing what kind of response they are going to get from a resident. They will ring your bell and risk having their feelings hurt to tell you something or to bring you something that they have respect for and value. Now, in these days, more Muslims need to become like that.

      Our prophet is the best example for everybody. Those who knew him and responded to him became like him. They devoted their life to help bring more people to appreciate the excellence that Allah intended for the human being. In the Qur'an Allah gives us verses calling our attention to the great human soul and the need for man to respect that great creation, to become conscious of it and to work for its excellence. Allah's word of revelation says to "spend on it."

      We will spend on fun and image. We will neglect the future of our children just to spend on fun and image. That is foolish spending. And we will spend impulsively. There was no inventory taken today and there is no knowledge of what is in the refrigerator, but you will go to the store in excitement. Such persons will buy ears of corn and go home and find ears of corn still in the refrigerator from last week. They will buy flour and then find that there is flour already at home. This is not just sisters, there are brothers who are also foolish spenders. They will buy meat and go home to find meat there already. You should respect your good sense to take inventory before you go to spend more money.

      Allah wants us to spend on our own souls. "Successful is be who spends on his own soul." What in particular is he investing in when he is spending on his own soul?

      Allah says, "...the soul and its need for enlightenment and regardfulness." A person can grow in enlightenment or intellectual ability or perception and still be a failure when it comes to achieving in the world. This happens when we ignore the other major need in our soul. That is the ability to be regardful of things that should receive due regard.

      One may not regard his employer or the rules of the establishment that he is employed by. And with all of his intellectual ability, he may soon be seen on skid row as a drunkard and failure.

      This is a fact of life supported by so many cases. Therefore we do not have to go to science to find out why that man with a Ph.D. is in the gutter. Or why he is sticking up little old ladies.

      Or why he is shooting dope into himself. Allah says the soul's requirement or the need in the soul is for enlightenment or intellectual growth. The other need in the soul is for the growth of regardfulness, proper respect for those things due that regard and respect.

      Everything that Allah has made is deserving of a certain regard and a certain respect. So we must spend on the soul. And look how beautiful it is, for when the soul responds as it has been created by Allah to respond, it finally comes into its destiny of excellence. Allah says, "Oh soul, return to your Lord, the One Who evolved you, the One Who gave you that orientation in your nature to bring you from lesser to greater, from inferior to excellence, from poor taste and small mindedness to rich taste and great mindedness: Return to your Lord, the One Who is responsible for that." It continues, "...pleased and pleasing."

      And too, there is another big epidemic in our society which is the drunken impulse in the foolish to be pleased, but they do not have a spirit to be pleasing. The two must be together. Just as you have a spirit and a need to be pleased, you should also have a spirit and a need to be pleasing. So why should I keep pleasing you, when you don't give a damn about pleasing me? That is not right.

      We should note that certain behavioral trends make society very rude, discourteous, and unfair. There are individuals with ugly sensitivities and are addicted to false pleasures. They have an appetite for explosive, but small, cheap pleasures. Human creation is expensive, not cheap.

      Part VI

      There are those who will say to you, "Please me, honey, and I will give you what you want." Here it has become a business deal now. Maybe I am not talking about pleasing me, and maybe that is not the issue between us. Maybe I am displeased because you are not pleasing the requirements of yourself.

      Your own nature may be asking for better treatment from you. That you are not responding to your evolutive nature, that may be the issue between us. Maybe you are not respecting the children, or the house, or the order of society. Maybe that is displeasing me.

      What will change this trend against intelligence in our society and get rid of this problem? It will occur when we change and respect and value the great edifice that Allah has made in forming us. We must come into the knowledge of its true self. We must know what is the true self, what is the true direction in the life of self, and what is the true aim in the natural urges of self.

      When we return to functional intelligence, then we must appreciate it and respect it so much, that we cooperate with it and care for it. We must give of our earnings to help it grow and come into its excellence. It is of one's ascent to look at another human being and not see them so much as "Joe" or "Mary," but that person be seen in your own destined image, the same form that you appreciate for yourself. It is ascendant of your intelligence that you accept that Allah has created them with the same powers and with the same abilities for managing life at home and in society.

      You should not want to spend just for yourself to get to the excellence that Allah created for you, but you should also want to spend so that Joe, Yusuf, Mary, or Maryam can also come into more of the excellence that Allah created for them.

      "Love for your brother what you love for yourself," is what the Prophet said. And he says, "The Muslim believer is a mirror for his brother." We love our brother. We don't lie to him. When we see him going down, down, down and further and further away from the disciplines of Muslims, and giving himself to dissipations of the world, we "call him back" from that.

      If we look at our brother and see him, as the Prophet says, covered with haram or things that are not permissible in the religion, the Muslim will not ignore that. Some worldly constituted members will greet him and say, Yea, you look good, man." That is not the responsible brother.

      You should be conscious to see your responsibility and then say, "Brother, have you taken a look at yourself lately? I don't think you want what is happening to you. The image that I am seeing of you is not good." Prophet Muhammed, peace and blessings be upon him said, "The believer is a mirror for his brother." So he is saying no more than we are true and reflecting helpers of one another.

      We do not lie to our brothers and sisters just to keep their friendship. We love them like the good mother. The good mother will put pain on the behind of a child. She does not love to hurt and does not want to hurt that child. But she will make that little child's legs hurt because she truly loves that child. She will risk having that child crimp his lips up and look at her pitifully. She will risk the love bond for her and her child in order to save the child's good fife. And that is real love. Except Allah's love, there is no better love than the love of a true mother.

      Many of us will have good hearts, but we have fallen into the ways of the world. Then we think that we will be out of place or won't be accepted if we risk hurting a person's feelings that we are friends of and love. If you are really a friend, you will risk not only hurting their feelings, but you will also risk losing their friendship to support their good life.

      Allah says in the Qur'an to the soul that has come into its final and complete phase of excellence, "Return to your Lord pleased and pleasing." That is the condition for returning to your Lord and for being accepted by your Lord. That you are pleased with Allah, your Lord, and that you are in the order established by your Lord. You are pleased with Him. You are pleased with the order that He has established for your life and for the life of all. You are pleased with Allah's rule and with His Law and with what He has prescribed for you. And you are pleased with Allah's creation of you.

      "Return to your Lord pleased and pleasing." When you are pleased with Allah, then you can become pleasing to Allah and pleasing to yourself. After which Allah says, "Enter you among my servants." And this is speaking of Paradise. Paradise is not only a beautiful place, Paradise is also a place where I am going to join other workers for Allah. A servant is a worker for Allah. Allah says, "Enter you in the company of My workers." And at this point Allah Highly Glorified says, "Enter you into My Garden of "Paradise."

      The two conditions are then connected. There is the urge in man for pleasure fulfillment and proper regard for Allah and the Order that He has established. And there is also the urge for self-approval to be pleased with one's self. To which Allah says, "pleased and pleasing," I am pleased with myself, for I strove and succeeded in pleasing Allah. This heavenly state is had when you are pleased with yourself, satisfied with your efforts that you have made and with the fruit of your work to the point of feeling and believing that Allah both approves of you and promotes you.

      Honest work is self-fulfilling! You do not get great happiness, you do not come into that real ecstasy or the highest idea of self unless you appreciate work and service. Life needs an appreciation for work, a commitment to please your Creator by doing something to improve the state of affairs. Thereby you come into a great sense of fulfillment and happiness. This disposition favors a life of productivity, a life of work and responsibleness. It is Allah to whom respect must be paid for everything.

      "Enter you among My workers. Enter you into My Garden of Paradise." I think that clearly tells us the condition for us to be accepted into the Garden of Paradise is to fulfill work requirements in nature. This aim and purpose comes like a three stage rocket — 1) the urge to realize self in nature, 2) the urge to realize self in conscience, and 3) the urge to realize the establishment of self in society, in the environment. Those are the three great urges in the human life. Self under the weight of functional demands of home life and community life operates to ignite our rocket fire.

      At one time or another, you must come upon Allah or the devil! You will end up in one or the other's charge. You have to pursue human destiny, for Allah has clocked it into your very nature. You also have to pursue it by a certain route. And it may be before you get to step two or after it, but in that route at one stage or another in that three-stage venture you are going to go one, two, three and will meet Allah or the devil. The outcome will depend on your disposition, your attitude, your respect, your make-up, your sensitivities.

      Important for this part of this writing is another reminder from the Word of Allah in the Holy Qur'an. Allah says, "Why do you not respond to the Prophet?" It is referring to Muhammed, the Prophet, peace be upon him. It continues, "... when he invites you to that which will give you life?"

      "By the sun and its brightness, by the moon whenever it follows it. And by the day whenever it illuminates it. And by the night whenever it enshrouds it." Now comes the verse that brings to eye view the vision of self. "And by the sky and how it is structured": which says according to my understanding, the skies hold for us many mysteries, even after science has attempted to take out the mystery. It is still mystifying.

      We know of the laws of universal gravitation, but still for myself as a student of science (and I'm sure it is the same for many of them who write the sciences), I am amazed at how those great balls of mass material many times greater in size than our earth continue to float up there with seemingly nothing supporting them. Not even is there air out there. Out there is airless space.

      This holding in place the bodies of the heavens is explained as universal gravity or attraction. We know of invisible attraction called magnetism. The crane operator in the scrap metal yard will let down an electromagnet which is nothing but an electrically charged flat disc of metal that will pick up thousands of pounds of metal by no visible means. It is done with an invisible grip. Whenever the charge is turned off, the disc is dead and can pick up nothing. Although I understand it in the light of science, it still amazes me.

      Allah speaks of the heavens and how it is structured. On the other hand, we have a spiritual component- They work separate, and they also work in conjunction with each other. It is like the husband and wife. The husband and wife have their separate lives, but they also live together especially to reproduce themselves.

      So we have this spiritual component or dimension of the human life and form, and we have that material component and dimension. This spiritual component and dimension also amazes us and mystifies us right today. Mysteries still lure our senses after the sciences have come to explain everything in a material context. I have read the words of scientists acknowledging a mysterious side of creation (matter).

      The side that we cannot clearly understand, Allah wants that to be put on solid basis. He wants that to have rational support in us and intelligent behavior. Allah invites our rational senses by telling us to look at the heavens, for it is as mysterious as we are. But see how Allah has made it work in orderly systematic obedience to Him? It obeys Him, and see how wonderful it is and how much it satisfies the ecstatic needs in our Life? See how it inspires a sense of order and wondrous beauty in us.

      It is such a great influence in this respect that the Prophet Jesus prayed, according to their reports of what he said, "Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in the heavens." So what was he responding to that he saw in the heavens? The great vast order of harmony, of agreement, of brightness, of goodness, of beauty, of peace, and of independence in that unity.

      The heavenly bodies share unity and are all working together but also have separate governments and separate working space. They have their separate orders but work in conjunction with the other heavenly bodies and systems.

      Why can't I be trusted to look after the future of this home, this neighborhood? I want my body in the heavens too.

      One spokesman (Marcus Garvey) for the African black man's recovery said, "I believe the day will come that Africa" — meaning that African people and children and all of us -"will take its place in the constellations of the heavens." He meant that we would have that lofty place in the eyes of man and society. We would have that independence in the eyes of man and society. That one day we will be respected as a disciplined order of stars, with orbits of our own, with fields of command of our own, with territories under our command. Why not?

      Thank you very much. We pray for Allah's Mercy and Guidance.

      As Salaam-Alaikum.

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