HASHEEM SMITH: As-Salaam Alaikum Imam Earl Abdulmalik. I want to thank you for making yourself available to the community to address our concerns. And I thank G-d for you continuing the work and language of Imam W.D. Mohammed (May G-d forgive him his sin and grant him the highest place of Paradise).
As I go about my day from home to work and about, I see, hear, and know of people who are suffering from the addiction and madness of sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, workaholism, pornography, eating disorders, smoking, etc. and I ask myself what the hell is going on? Such behaviors are even considered normal or one may say that: "Everybody is doing it." Some of these people happen to be family, friends, or people I know of from my neighborhood. It hurts me to see people suffer in such a way. My question is: 1) How are we to defend ourselves against these coping mechanisms; and 2) How can we help those suffering?
IMAM EARL ABDULMALIK MOHAMMED: As-Salaam Alaikum Brother Hasheem Smith, and thank you for expressing your concerns. I appreciate this opportunity to reply to you.
Our world is under an assault by those who are enemies of the human life that G'd created for humans to have. As Muslims we believe that G'd created human life to be lived and enjoyed. He created our beautiful world, the natural world, to inspire the minds and hearts of human beings. Allah says in the Qur'an that "do not think that the creation of man is a greater matter than the creation of the world -the heavens and the earth." It means that human beings need the natural world in order to realize their human potential. We are to perceive the natural world as our honorable mate. Allah created our minds to bond with the natural world. We are created to be curious about our world and ourselves. And there are those who have studied this world, knowing the attraction we have for it, and they have studied human psychology, and they have manipulated human psychology to invite those who have had trouble realizing the human purpose to seek, in place of that purpose, a placebo pleasure or stimulatory pleasure that falls well short of the satisfaction and well-being that Allah put in our nature to draw from our interaction with the natural world.
These influencers, who are in the form of industries and predators, have manufactured all kinds of stimulants and amusements to attract and seduce human beings who have for some reason become disappointed by man's world, by inviting them to satisfy their natural urge for pleasure but in an a-moral or im-moral purpose. Most of the time it is amoral, meaning that the person who is engaged in the activity cannot even reason as to why they are pursuing it. They are in a non-thinking, non-feeling state. Most of them are not immoral. It is the world that is immoral. It is this nasty, ugly, immoral, manufactured reality made by enemies of man that has invited a teenager or a mother or a father of innocent children to have these perceptions of human life. This world has made them 'zombies.' A walking dead-people. They are alive to seek and consume pleasures, but dead to the understanding of why G'd created in them a nature to pursue pleasure, and therefore dead to their true humanity and human purpose. We don't just watch and lament. We fight this with our logic and determinations to feed what is healthy back into the human world. This is why our vision of community is necessary, and this why we must have my voice heard in this country.
Man's world can be good and bad. If man's constructions in the world are developing from the healthy and natural affinity we are created to have for the world G'd made for us to enjoy, those constructions will feed us and strengthen our human lives and communities. G'd made us to have the urge for pleasures. We are drawn to beauty. We are drawn to peace. We are drawn to tranquility and serenity. These are the pleasures in the soul and the heart and the mind. To the healthy human mind those pleasures are understood to be gifts to be enjoyed as part of the human processes that bring out all of the beauty within our humanity. Allah says in the Qur'an "He has created man's balance, and He brings man to his destiny by the power in his potential, and then He brings out the beautiful growth." So Allah did not create these properties in us to lead us to any excesses, because we understand inherently that there are supposed to be limits and boundaries to our enjoyments. Our enjoyments are supposed to support our progress. But, if our pursuit of enjoyments impede our progress and development, then we have a natural stop mechanism in us that warns us to adjust ourselves. This is the balance in our nature, and this balance is supported by G'd's Guidance. The mind that G'd created for man and the moral interest that develops for that mind because of its mating with the natural world, wants to find all of the benefits in what G'd has made, and it wants to share that benefit in the interest of goodness and justice, and the best possible existence for human life. That is the healthy, moral human mind. But, there is another mind that wants to warp man's life, and that mind manufactures false or placebo pleasures to trap us in its world of addictions and abuses.
This is what you are describing in your comments. People seeking to escape from the weight and trouble of the world by way of an addiction to pleasures. The pursuit of pleasure is natural, but G'd intended it as a motivator to develop human life. Allah says in the Qur'an that the soul that is well-pleased and pleasing, is the same soul that is admitted to the Paradise, which is an assembly of devotees, an assembly of obedient, productive workers. This condition for the soul is what G'd wants for us, but He has designed this state or condition for the soul -the soul of the perfect state, for the purpose of qualifying for G'd's pleasure. And G'd is pleased with us as His human creation when we are correctly perceiving and respecting the reason for our creation. He says that he has created us for no purpose other than obedience to Him. Therefore, obedience to Him is our highest form, our highest achievement. When we build our community dignity, and provide for the needs of our families, and protest any oppression of our created worth, we are moving in this direction. Allah did not create this beautiful world to turn his human creature into a drug addict or a sex addict or a narcissist, or any form of addiction to the false pleasures. It is the enemy of G'd and the enemy of man that wants to turn human creation into this.
As Muslims, we have the incentive and the teaching to change this world's thinking. We have the moral logic and message to transform these communities, and also to teach individuals what is necessary to help them transform the condition of their own souls, who live and tolerate this situation of assault on their lives. All that is required is a change in the condition of the heart and the thinking. And no one has a more potent, useful, powerful message of reform than us. No one has more clear reasoning on what assaults man's life than the People of the Holy Qur'an, and how to free man's life from this grip. It is not enough to say that certain behaviors are forbidden in Islam. There is reasoning to support those prohibitions. And that reasoning is what we have to share with people who have been made weak by these addictions. We want them to be restored to their strength that G'd intended for them as their inherent weaponry to defend themselves against invaders into their sacred human space.
Brother, I am praying that you will help me get this message out in all major cities in this country. This is why Allah raised us in America. It is to address and address effectively these very problems you have pointed to. Who, in America or anywhere else in the world, have the answers that we do? We are a special people with a special task. Stand with me brother, and let us remake this world with the Qur'an and with Muhammed the Prophet, as Imam W. Deen Mohammed taught us and prepared us to do.