C. SHABAZZ: Brother Imam Abdul-Malik! As-Salaam Alaikum akhee! Thank you, thank you, thank you Brother Imam. Me and my family we love you and we are with you. I am challenging brothers to come up off of their hypocrisy and weakness. Stand up! Your teachings are fire on the hypocrites! Alhamdullilah. I am in the haven of the big hypocrites Brother Imam, and I have been fighting and fighting them with all that I have. Imam W. Deen Mohammed would have been so proud of you for fighting this fight even from your current predicament. I am not worried brother. Allah will bring you out in the right time just like He did all of our leaders. You are most surely his Imam W. Deen Mohammed's representative and successor. I challenge any of these people who oppose you, to show one shred of evidence that Imam W. Den Mohammed didn't hold you up as the next one after him. I challenge them to show where anything you have been teaching is not exactly what the Imam was teaching! I know you are busy doing the work. I am excited that you are doing this work and getting the word out. Thanks be to Allah! One question Brother Imam. Please explain what you mean when you say "vinegarization of Imam W. Deen Mohammed's body of knowledge."
IMAM EARL ABDULMALIK MOHAMMED: Praise be to Allah. Even though I am having to read your words and not hearing your voice, I can feel your beautiful spirit and determination. You are inspiring me. We are thankful to Allah for you, and your family.
Vinegarization is my term. I don't know that it is a proper English term that we could find in the English-language dictionary, but it says something important without too much verbiage, and it is based on Imam W. Deen Mohammed's teaching about the false or true preservation of knowledge. I know I am taking some liberties with the English language, but I do respect all intelligent uses and moral uses of language, and I think the term 'vinegarization' qualifies for an intelligent and moral usage. I would prefer to speak about this teaching in a class rather than in a public address, or answering a public question. It requires some extended explanation and it is a very sensitive matter. But, I know your question is sincere, and I believe it is for me to answer. I am answering it in an abbreviated way. But, please ask me again in a class setting.
A little while ago someone who wanted to criticize me said in a message directed toward hurting the spirit of persons who wanted to be supportive of me, that he supported the "Big Show", meaning he supported Imam W. Deen Mohammed. He used the term 'Big Show' to describe Imam Mohammed. His reasoning was that people should not support any leader after Imam Mohammed because the Imam is the only 'Big Show'. In a way he was saying that it is sufficient to say that you support Imam Mohammed and that he is the leader for our community for all times, and that there is no need for any other. I absolutely agree with that in general, but this person was not motivated by a sincere attachment to Imam Mohammed or his teaching. His intent was to punish and tear me down in the eyes of others, and he hoped he could discourage support of me.
Just speaking for myself, I know that I would have no expression for Islamic truth, or Islamic faith, or the Islamic destiny were it not for Imam W. Deen Mohammed teaching to me and all of us. In my mind there is no language of expression for this except his teaching. There is no understanding of it in our context as a People and within the American construct or reality, than with the Imam's teaching and language. This person who was attempting to hurt me knows that this is what I think and what I am committed to. In fact, anyone who knew me in the years of my public work for Imam Mohammed, knows that I didn't deviate from his teaching, and publicly enforced it and I defended it, with knowledge and skill. In those days, I was fierce in my enforcement, so much so that many of the Imams were critical of it and me. Imam Mohammed told me once in our private conversations:
"They (the Imams) can't separate you from me. Not with friendship, not with persecution. Whenever you come around they change the channel. They can't speak openly around you. They think they can fool me by being nice to me, but the real picture is in how they treat you. If they love and support what I am saying then they embrace you. If they don't, then they are not really with me. My brother told me this too. The ones who are with me and who were truly with my father see it."
Imam W. Deen Mohammed actually encouraged me to duplicate and distribute my speeches at that time. But, I just couldn't see the need for it. His teaching was all that my soul wanted. But, he knew what he was doing with me, when I didn't.
I have seen the publications produced since the Imam passed away that present his teaching. Most of them are very fine works, and they respect him, his intent, and the dignity and purpose of his teaching. But, some of them are the products of other motives, and only a person keenly sensitive to his teaching will see it. Some of them are full of errors. I am not speaking of errors in grammar. That would be too obvious for a schemer to produce. A schemer will not be obvious. He is subtle. I am speaking of errors wherein the person or persons who produce the books skillfully weave in their biases and their shortcomings in understanding under Imam W. Deen Mohammed's name. They don't say they are the authors of the books, they say they are the compilers of the material. They suggest that the works are Imam Mohammed's commentary direct from his addresses or classes, but they do not document the date of the class or address so that any of it can be verified.
Any of Imam Mohammed's better students can see the errors plainly. But, those diseased ones who sense there is something wrong with the publications, support them anyway. They are what Allah says of them, that they are foolish, treacherous, and hypocritical because they twist and distort the meanings of the words thinking that they will get away with it. That no one will detect the error, and they can ease themselves into a position of authority over people. I even saw a commentary of verses in the Holy Qur'an that was circulating under Imam W. Deen Mohammed's name. I can tell you, if the Imam had seen that, he would have been furious. We would have seen no wrath from him more focused than what he would have put on those responsible. It did not reflect on any level the special love and devotion a Believer has for the word of G'd. Believers do not treat the word of G'd as common language. The word of G'd is treated with the highest and greatest reverence. Imam W. Deen Mohammed would prefer to remain silent before commenting on something in the Holy Qur'an, or having it presented in a way, that was unclear or confusing or misleading in any way.
So, this is their strategy. They hold his body and his name up for show. It is not his real body. It is an embalmed body. I am speaking of his body of knowledge. They mummify the body to promote their own knowledge. The life that becomes a mummy is dead, but the science to preserve the body is what they want you and me to know they have knowledge of, and that they want to intimidate us with. The mummy is a scary figure in pop-culture and literature. Imam W. Deen Mohammed did not trust them to bury his body under Islamic authority or Islamic intent. No matter how learned they want you and me to think they are Imam W. Deen Mohammed did not trust their knowledge. This is why he told the chief among them that there should be no leader after him. He was telling him that "I know your plot. But that mummy you create will not have offspring." That is why he made it known that our immigrant brothers he trusted should handle the responsibility. He knew what these impostors would attempt to do with his body. They would drain it of blood (the spirit and basis of his teaching), remove its vital organs (the principles of his teaching), and fill it with an embalming agent (vinegar) to preserve its outward appearance so they could "Show" it to the people and thus initiate and execute their "Big Show" vinegar scheme. This is what I mean by 'vinegarization of his body of knowledge.'
Now, the Imam did not know what the future would bring. He could read and teach the Signs, but he rejected the notion that his leadership was that of a prognasticator. All he could do is what all human mortal leaders have done for all times before him. All he could do is what Prophet Muhammed did, and that is teach his people sincerely, and leave with them the evidence and the clarity of where Allah wanted them to go and what methods Allah approved for them to get there.
I will conclude this by saying that Imam W. Deen Mohammed told me, with many witnesses -some of them opposed to me now, "Abdulmalik, you will keep my shroud clean." They want to criticize me for not being present at his burial. I was no participant in their plot against his body of knowledge.
Praise be to Allah. For as long as I have life, it is my intent and my charge to succeed him by keeping his shroud clean.