A NEW PEOPLE STAND
Imam W. Deen Mohammed's Language is Life and Direction for a New Human Community Being Created by G'd
Earl Abdulmalik Mohammed
Representative of Imam W. Deen Mohammed
As-Salaam Alaikum. That is, peace be upon you. This is our traditional Islamic greeting spoken by all Muslims wherever we are in the world. And these are also signature words identifying a special group in the history of this country. These words identify a new mind and cultural influence, a new dignity, a new pride, and a new people in America. It didn't come from immigrants. Immigrant Muslims didn't appear here in great numbers until the 1960's and by that time the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and his following had been using this greeting with each other for 30 years. We say these words imperceptibly now, they are such a normal characteristic in our religious and cultural habits as Muslims. But they have very significant meaning for our religious life. With this greeting we are saluting G'd's purpose for each one of us, and we are asking G'd to preserve us for that purpose in each other and for each other. These words, if we obey them in what they allude to, guarantee and secure a righteous existence, a peaceful existence; a peace-loving, G'd-centered society. We do not believe as Muslims that we come out of G'd. But, we do believe that we have something from G'd. That He has given us something of Him in His attributes. G'd acquaints us with the power of peace and acknowledgement of Him over human society. These greetings make our concentration on peace an intimate matter. It is our peace to have for our individual lives, for our family lives, for our lives in society. See how wonderful our history is and what powerful presence our Muslim history has for America when we see these things in the correct way? When the first teachers in the Temple of Islam introduced these words, do you not see that they were greeting America: "As-Salaam Alaikum," for the first time?
Praise be to Allah. He is the Lord and Cherisher. We are introduced to Him firstly as our Lord. In Islamic teaching we do not know Allah as G'd before we know Him as Lord. He introduces Himself to Muhammed in the words of the Holy Qur'an as "the Lord Who Creates." In the Islamic meaning Lord says a Caring, Loving, Nurturing Presence that brings us along step-by-step to the destiny He fashioned for us. He brings us from the first environment of care -the family, and evolves us upon education and to progress. And this is what this world took from us. It took this primary environment from us. It destroyed the social structures that our Lord created for all humanity to develop from. It took from us that natural system which Allah made to form people into a social reality -tribes and nations. The family of those enslaved in America's system of slavery was totally destroyed. But the world could not do that without G'd's authority. And so we have been created again as a people in this way in America for some great, important purpose. I intend to identify this meaning for our life in this address. But, it would not be possible without the knowledge and language of Imam W. Deen Mohammed. These sensitivities cannot be expressed properly without him. G'd permitted our condition and our circumstances as a people for language to form in us in order to speak the words that characterize man as G'd intends. A language of conscience spoken not in Arabic or English or any other of these languages; it is the purest of Islamic language spoken to a modern, international world lost to man's true purpose. His language is the language of knowledge of a new human community created by G'd to teach what human life has been created for.
We witness that nothing is to be worshipped except Allah, the Lord-Creator. And we witness that Muhammed is His Messenger. This testimony or 'shahadatain' as it is called is a language of transformation. It is to witness to a fundamental, inescapable truth that human life and progress is not possible without acknowledgment of G'd, and what He revealed for man to know about himself, his environment, and his creation to benefit from his human spiritual nature and the material environment. This truth transforms the human life from less to more, from good to better, from progressive to the highest performance in human excellence. This understanding He revealed in the words of the Perfect and Clear Book, the Book with no defects, the Holy Qur'an. And He revealed the Holy Qur'an to Muhammed, His Messenger. We pray the choicest favor and blessings on him. He is the most excellent of human beings and the leader for human society and the example for that life in perfect demonstration, if we understand him. And all language and knowledge for establishing the order of Peace and Mercy in man's world comes from him and his model life of human excellence and its teaching. We, his community are witnesses to him. If we fail in establishing the correct picture of human society it is because we are disobeying or falling short of his example.
We say that those descended from slaves and brought to an awakening of their human life destiny and purpose in the teachings of Islam in the continuity of community that began with Mr. W.D. Fard and his Lost-Found Nation of Islam, their conscious descendants, and all those identifying in its language environment of faith and direction, are a new people on the earth. To say that a new people inhabit the earth is a spiritual language and description because it first speaks to spiritual needs and sensitivities. It is spiritual truth, but it has deep significance and relevance in all aspects and expressions of human life. Mr. W. D. Fard, the first teacher of the Nation of Islam idea, and his language could be and was confusing to the untrained and unauthorized observer. However, one aspect of his often confounding logic was clear, undeniable, and indisputable: To identify the slave-name, that is, the names forced upon enslaved Africans in America to identify them as the chattel property of slave traders and owners, as illegitimate -rejecting and marking that illegitimacy with an 'X', Mr. Fard was emphasizing and verifying that this people did not belong to the heritage of the plantation brand they had been forced to carry and produce for, nor could they or should they claim any entitlements or social benefits from identifying with it. He wanted them to reject it, reject its very nature and foundations, and separate from its influence and authority in their lives. He taught them through his primary minister and obedient creation -the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that their identity was 'X' and their worth as humans was 'X' -an unknown, unvalued property. They were neither African -because their African-ness had been ripped from them; nor American -because their American-ness had been denied them. The names forced upon the slaves were brands on the faces of the enslaved, not to be confused or associated as any extended or dignified human, socio-cultural tradition. 'Sally' and 'Buck' So-and So -the 'typical' black slave mistress and field slave, were not the natural or legal mate of the slave master nor his employee; nor were the names given them a reflection of the heritage of their human selves. I am not speaking of the exceptions. I am identifying the general picture and intent of the slave world. Those names were intended as permanent brands upon those who had been reduced by slavery to an animal-level property, marked and trained to respond as an animal to its owner's call. The identity given the slaves by the slave-masters were not intended by the slave master to be reflective of any true human reality. It was solely to label them in their chattel slave reality. It was not meant to serve them as human beings in the manner that names serve human community identity in social progress. This was the logic of the Temple of Islam. And in this new language-world, the language-world of American-style oppression as confronted by the natural urge to see G'd's will by way of Temple of Islam perceptions and determinations, the language of Imam W. Deen Mohammed's knowledge began to form.
Muhammed the Prophet, the prayers and the peace be on him, forbade the branding of the faces of animals designated for labor. He asked for Allah's curse on a woman who confined a cat in her home with no provisions, and prevented that cat from seeking its own cat-dignity with free access to the natural world. Islam requires progressive and substantial movement against any form of oppression -physical, mental, spiritual, psychological, or material. A society satisfied with or insisting that it retain any form of slavery for a human being is not and can never be a true Islamic society. Such a society is not under an Islamic authority no matter what it may claim. I know someone who reads this or hears this address will say, "Islam authorizes slavery." You have been misinformed. Or, you may be a devil. I know that those who want us to abandon faith and the way of faith in G'd say this. But let me inform you: Islam wants dignity for human labor, and it requires the cultivation of moral sensitivities to abolish the notion that a created human soul inspired and guided by G'd's Word, is created to be anything less than G'd's slave-servant. Islam teaches that it is beneath human dignity to barter for any identity other than human identity and all of its respected properties. It is the honor conferred on Adam and all of his descendants.
Family names record for us that a generation of peoples belongs to the generation of that same people before them. Essential traditions of social life are formed from celebrating these names. Traditions marking new milestones of progress are in the group identity as family names. In this way even the oppressed retain a semblance of their lives even under brutal abuses. This is true of the Native Americans, South Africans, and more recently the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar (or Burma) and Uyghur Muslims of China. They have been and are oppressed peoples, but while their struggles to throw oppression off of them may constitute for them a new reality, they are not new human communities. They remain a distinct people in spite of displacement and abuse. Many peoples have been renewed by fresh ideas, and they have been enabled to remake themselves socially, and rise in degrees of human excellence. So, to say there is such a thing as a new people is not necessarily new language. But, the standing of the people of Imam W. Deen Mohammed is language of a new human creation spoken for the first time in legitimacy since the time of Muhammed the Prophet.
Muhammed was the new life for humanity in his person, in his leadership, in his nature, in his intellect, and in his universal mission to humanity. He is the example and model of human excellence. The Arabs were remade as a human community because of the Prophet's influence and teaching in their lives, but they were not a new human creation. The Arabic language was perfected by the Holy Qur'an, its communicative properties concentrated and expanded by the miracle of Divine Guidance, and the Arabs retained their Arabic tongue but with a new and profound elevation of knowledge supported by the Revelation. Their influence has been felt on all continents and by their efforts Islam has been introduced and been the factor in transforming many human lives and societies. Africa is an example. The Africans, who had built and ruled advanced civilizations, witnessed the momentous changes in the character of the Arab's moral and intellectual reach. This change in the Arab moral conscience impressed the African and ultimately was a key in re-fashioning them as new African peoples in Islam. As functioning Muslim societies they reached new heights of knowledge and rose to even greater heights of moral awareness and material progress, re-categorizing their new achievements in the sciences as favor on them from G'd, and dismissing old notions of themselves as gods. But even they, though reformed and renewed as great African peoples, were not a new human creation. I could give more examples of ancient and even more modern peoples who by some important social or political forces, or potent trends of change were transformed in some powerful way, and became a new and improved version of themselves as witnessed by other peoples on the universal, human stage. After World War II, because of spiritual, social, and financial pressures coming from the Christian West and a reordering of the world's power bases, Germany was a defeated people. It may well have been coerced, but it became a new people, but not a new human creation. In the last half century, the people of Cuba, in a few short years of revolution by way of the sciences of political messaging and social dynamics, became a new people speaking a new, infectious language into the ears of oppressed minorities worldwide. Their political language influenced many throughout the world, romancing even African-American intellects, but, they as a new Cuban people, were not a new human creation.
All of these groups I have mentioned retained their human life traditions. In many ways their human social identity was improved or refreshed or renewed. But, unlike the group formed from the womb of African-American struggle, none of them are a new human creation. I am saying with the support of the history of social movements in the world, and even the history of Islamic achievements and progress, that this world has not known a people like us before. I know that there will be African-Americans who cannot permit themselves to see an existence separated from the authority of the white race's analysis of human history, and so they will reject what I am suggesting in this address. They will lament the white world's abuses and concede the historical record of slavery and oppression, but they cannot see themselves as anything other than the creation of the white world. And so, they remain locked into a psychological slave identity where their only salvation is the white world's misrepresentation of their worth -an inferior being programmed and destined to serve anything and everything but its own good interests. This psychological slave does not beg G'd for Guidance to free himself so as to stand in the dignity of his own human nature and excellence. He has been trained to beg the man-god image branded in his psyche for any modicum of presence in his society, even if that be an animal-level people cloaked in a gilded straight-jacket of artificial, vulnerable social establishments. It is not the animal that I am criticizing because that animal is obeying the nature G'd created for him. No, I am identifying that Negro creation of the white world who has evidence all around him of the autonomous human-community dignity G'd created him for, but undresses and refuses that dignity and chooses to be only a cheap reflection of someone else's self.
We are a people destined to be ourselves, and no matter what level of eloquence we acquire to appeal to all others to want us, we will be rejected. We will be rejected by this world unless and until we embrace our true destiny. It is given in the Reading preceding the Holy Qur'an that the "the stone that the builders rejected becomes the cornerstone of the House of G'd." This is not talking about a black people in America, as such, but it is identifying a new people in human creation who are the harvest from the black people of America. This is a people who would be denied access to the potent nature G'd created to serve humanity. The nature was poisoned for their use, and therefore could not be used effectively by them or for them. The productive properties of their nature were killed, dead to its true purpose, so the builders of this world cast it aside as a worthless stone. This is a people cast aside from the proper association with their created dignity, separated from that which is required to build a human community. And then when mankind in totality became lost to the human design because of the societal influences that forced the black people enslaved in America out of their nature, G'd restored that nature to them in a new language of understanding, and they became the symbolic-stone by which the new order of humanity aligned itself. And they would rise upon the power of the meaning of that symbolic-stone and House as Guidance, in the tradition and teachings of Muhammed the Prophet, and they would witness for themselves and explain in their new language the great elevations and destiny for man as established in the symbolic structure and order in the heavens. We are speaking of that stone which was placed in its proper designation by Muhammed's hands. That stone that was kissed by Muhammed. That stone and House that all representatives in the human family cherish and salute. That stone and House that preserves in symbol man's precious original pattern and purpose. And G'd says in the Holy Qur'an that the House was placed there, full of Blessings and Guidance for mankind, in an uncultivated valley.
America has said it accepts everyone in the equality of their humanity, but our experiences and recently others' experiences are saying something other than this. We are addressing this, and we see that there is something terribly wrong with this America, but I am not saying that we shouldn't love America and contribute to it. The reality I am pointing to is not political in nature. It is spiritual in nature with political implications. It is spiritual in nature with social implications. It is spiritual in nature with material implications. We should cherish our citizenship and look out for the best interests of our Muslim-American and American identity, and defend our place in America as native Americans, and defend America as a democratic idea in society. But what I am referring to is in the spirit of a people seeing themselves as qualified and entitled to negotiate our citizenship contract with America just like other citizens. We have been formed as a people in the America's spiritual environment even as America denied us the rights to a citizenship contract. The spiritual reality of America's environment in forming us as a people is registered by all who encounter us. It is because it extends beyond the physical. Its abuses register in the psyche of the people and they wear and display it in their knowledge and behavior. It doesn't even matter what religion your mouth professes, if your heart is dead to your true nature you will be second-class or under-class in all societies of religion until you register this reality I am speaking of. You may give up your American citizenship and seek the acceptance of Muslims in Arab lands thinking that you can be your true Muslim self within their reality, but you will find yourself only recognized as the Arabic-speaking foreigner or identified as an Arab-dressing pretender. You may think you have convinced the native people that you belong among them, but they will see you in your true self. I am not speaking of your skin color or your language accent or hair texture. There are Arabs speaking their Arabic dialects -Shamiy, Masriy, Hejaziy, whatever they are, with skin blacker and hair kinkier than yours. So it is not ethnicity or race or skin color or some Wakanda-land fantasy that makes you a special people. Prophet Muhammed indicated that he was aware of a time when the black people were the ruling authority in the world. He didn't only identify rulership with whites or Arabs. He said plainly, "there is no superiority of a white over a black , or a black over a white, or Arabs over non-Arabs, or non-Arabs over Arabs. The only true distinction is human performance before G'd." So, as a component of nature, if you are an artificial human life imitating human life you will be recognized in your internal conflict, in your denial of your true self. You will be such an imitation that you will search to identify with others even in their shortcomings and weaknesses. And, if they improve or correct themselves you will insist that they made no error. Though you will not acknowledge it, you are in an active and self-destructive denial of the fact that G'd did not form you in the same way he formed others. Your physical constitution is the same human form, but you are a brought out of that physical form as a select people. G'd says that he forms your physical reality in the stages of physical development, but then He brings you out as another creation.
You have been formed to be a new human creation with a specific human purpose. And there have been no people on this earth like us. It is only when you accept that reality that you become comfortable. When you accept that you have been selected by G'd, and all of what has formed your condition and circumstances are as a result of what G'd intended. There is no moral or rational answer to explain the degree of rejection and forced subjugation in the spiritual nature of us as a people, where the whole people were destroyed as a human community, destroyed in your natural urges to perform for yourself, except that G'd was recreating you as a new human being. If you refuse to see this, or you actively resist the responsibility to shoulder it and progress within its disciplines, then you will find yourself cursed and under a punishment from G'd. Allah says that He created for you death, and that it is common property to all that have life. And then he brings you out of death into a reality of which your knowledge runs into its limitations, and you have no reference to measure the possibilities for what has been created anew.
This is where the knowledge and language of Imam W. Deen Mohammed defines the life and direction of a new human community. It should not be expected that a new human creation with Islamic identity would express themselves using language that has been corrupted by at least 450 years of misuse in the Muslim world, and with the present-day Muslim world leadership failing to straighten-out the effects of its own ignorance, sinful excesses, and neglect. The language of this new people will be pure, fresh, and of a clarity so pristine until any mis-statement or misrepresentation clashes so obviously with its truth, that even a person uninitiated in its reasoning will be able to determine the error. This is why what I am saying is so different from others in its language, reason and emphasis. It is because I was taught by the man himself to reason in his language, to think in his language, and to communicate in his language with the degree of fluency and skilled use that, even while I sit in prison, its validity has proven itself in an obvious and unequivocal way. Accept it or deny it, he authorized, enabled, and trusted my public use of his knowledge in a way unlike any other of his students. The reason is because he wanted it established that there would be no leaders in the community of his people without the sincere and skilled use of his knowledge. To deny his way is to be marked by your own tongue. It is sad and hurtful, but you will find them struggling and weak in their ability to address the needs of his people, utterly incoherent and confused in his knowledge, even though they claim to be advanced students or even masters of the Arabic language and Islamic teaching. It is because their knowledge is alleged, borrowed, and unsatisfactory for use. They allege it to be true Islamic understanding, but it is actually borrowed from the stores of other peoples' knowledge. Those bases of knowledge address circumstances that don't fit the people of Imam W. Deen Mohammed's purpose, nor do they satisfy the necessary applications of Islamic knowledge for this critical time in mankind's universal reality. They have traded away the superior value of what G'd has given them for universal use in all seasons and for all people, for that which doesn't even permit them an honorable entry or exit.
It is in identifying our purpose as a new human community, and addressing our needs in the context of how that signals a new appreciation for the possibilities of a new human world and reality, that we can readily appreciate the value of Imam Mohammed's knowledge. He would not want that his name to be mentioned in any context other than serving the best life of humanity as G'd intended within the context of his people's story and journey. Not only the African-American people at large, but the specific group, the following, that began with his father's efforts to restore respect and dignity to those people. It is ludicrous to think that the understanding that formed from this people, and this language that speaks and shares that understanding with the world so as to serve the best human interests and highest perceptions and pursuits of human existence and excellence, would not be cherished, preserved, and defended by his people. And so by living in its substance and exercising its science of application for the human life we earn purity and charitable credits from the Lord-Creator.
What we have is Islamic knowledge and reasoning, but it is that which comes with a new human life. It is the true origin of Islamic knowledge and true conclusions of Islamic reasoning with emphasis to serve a people in their new life. It is the speech of a selected people, who in the full light of human history are known to have been denied their human life identity. What people would be more deserving to carry the Message of Guidance in the modern world than these people? If we understand the final message to humanity from G'd to be the Holy Qur'an, then it must be a people speaking the Holy Qur'an language in all of its considerations, corrections, and completions but with an appeal to more than ritual understanding and existence. It must be also be an innocent people untutored in the power schemes of worldly authorities. It must be a people without any supportive heritage that could claim and save them. It must be an un-named people.
It must be an un-valued people. It must be an 'X' people. A people no nation wanted or could lay claim to. A people selected by G'd.
Perhaps some people reading or hearing this will not have patience with the spiritual nature of what I am referring to. They prefer and are more comfortable with the language of the commercial world, or the political world, or the scientific world. As I said this is spiritual language, but with far-reaching implications. A people awakened to this reality will begin the processes of re-evaluating their existence in every single way they interact with their environment. Every point of entry into society will be affected by their new knowledge and language. They will begin the process of questioning the political language and appeal around them and interpret that language in the context of a new appreciation for their worth as a human being. They will question the quality of their material existence and place new demands on their income and investigate new possibilities for sources of income. They won't be satisfied with a neighborhood or community existence that falls below their new-found human worth. All because they have recognized for the first time that their condition has been permitted by their Creator, so that they would be enabled to come into a new mind, a new energy, a new human morality all framed within a picture of a new human identity. Perhaps, for the first time, they will understand what a human being is and what the human life has been created for, and they will see how humanity has been separated from this picture, and how they as a member in a selected group have been designated to restore this picture as G'd intended.
This is the life and direction of a people being created as a new human community. This is the language of the people of Imam W. Deen Mohammed. We claim it for ourselves. We claim it in the context of our mission as a people. We claim it for our service to the human life and human identity. We claim it as salvation for the African-American soul.
Thank you, As-Salaam Alaikum.