The Qur’an, The Final Frontier

ImamMohammed Islam is a portable religion that you can put in your bag and carry it wherever you go. It has no priesthood. These are the important features of Islam. It has no order for qualifying its leaders to preach Islam. What qualifies us is our respect and studious labor to under-stand G-d’s Word given to us in the Qur’an.

The Qur’an is not to be kept by any priestly order or by any clergy. The Holy Qur’an’s language will never become a dead language. It is not given to us as Arabic to practice in some kind of religious circle or order and to have another language for our secular world or for the public. No. It is the language for the common man.

No matter how much you are deprived of a formal education, if you say you have become a Muslim, you were converted, or if you were born a Muslim, you are obligated to study the Qur’an. You are obligated to learn to read, if you don’t know how to read, so that you can read the Book that G-d gave to all of us – learned and unlearned, the rich and the poor. This is Islam.

You won’t have any excuse in the Day of Judgment. G-d will say, "Didn’t you know that the Qur’an was for every man and woman? Did you try to read it to see what I said there?" And we are obligated to study history and it is available to learn about Muhammed the Prophet. He is our first guide, our first teacher, our model of the human life that Allah wants of all of us and that He created us with.

Muhammed didn’t say he came to represent a model that G-d hadn’t created in Adam. It is the same model that He created when He created Adam, before Adam was deceived to come out of that model.

It is a natural inheritance that Muhammed wants us to know about, and it is projected before our eyes as the model that G-d created us to be. We are still the descendants of Adam and whatever G-d created for Adam, we still have it.

G-d extends what He gave the first creation and it continues to be extended. All of us have in us "the Muslim" that Allah wants us to be. As the Christians say, "Christ within us," we say "Muslim within us." Christ is called the Second Adam coming back after overcoming the deceptions of Satan. And then he is shown to us in his purity before Satan deceived him, and that purity is called Christ.

Islam and Christianity are not differing regarding this. Islam called Christ the original Muslim. Christianity called Christ, "The Christ." It calls the original Muslim "Christ" or the First Adam. We call Muhammed "The Model," so for us we have our Christ. Our Christ is the model Muhammed; Christianity’s Christ is the model Jesus. Muhammed said that at the end of the world, you shall see Christ and Muhammed together. And I have just put them together for you.

This is a new day. The Qur’an or "what is to be read," that is its meaning, and it is also called "that to be recited." The Prophet established the practice of having all the people who learned Islam to recite the Qur’an. No matter what your position or status is in the society, you are obligated to read Qur’an and to recite it. Our public is supposed to know how to read Qur’an. Most of you here know how to recite al-Fatihah, the opening chapter of the Qur’an and the most important chapter. By the learned scholars, it is called the whole of the Qur’an condensed, like a concentrated drink that has to be mixed with water. That one chapter we are obligated to say in our formal prayers and at all important occasions. And Muslims will say part of it for all serious occasions: With G-d’s Name, the Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer.

This includes the Names of G-d, particularly Ar-Rahman. And there
is a whole chapter in the Qur’an that elaborates on the name, Ar-
Rahman. If you want to see G-d as Ar-Rahman, then read the chapter
in the Qur’an by that title. The Qur’an is a Book of reading and of
recital.

G-d tells us in this Book that what He gave Muhammed is not
something newly formed, but it is what was revealed to those who
came before Muhammed and a clarification of what they were given
from G-d and an explanation, so we will know how to apply it in our
time, our life. And it is a conclusion, as we have it worded
here: "The Qur’an, the Final Frontier."

There is also a chapter in Qur’an translated as "The Conclusion"
or "The Unity." It tells us that for Islam, "Unity is the
conclusion." The word plainly says "conclusion," but the language
of the chapter also says "unity." It begins with the Unity or
Oneness of G-d: "Say, ‘G-d is only One Alone.’" It means that He has
no gods with Him. And that is what the Old Testament says: "Make no
gods with Me."

The Qur’an came back to reinforce that in Suratui Ikhlas or the
chapter called The Conclusion. The Qur’an then also is revealed to
conclude matters. What matters? Not the matters of our Pop
Culture; it doesn’t address this kind of stuff. It is the matters of
revelations, what has come to the people of G-d from G-d as revela-
tion. It comes to conclude those matters.

The books that they received also told them to expect the Day when
the matters will be concluded. The Qur’an is in fulfillment of the
prophecy that was given in the books. Muhammed the Prophet received
the first words of the Qur’an that say: "Your Lord is the Creator."
Those first words to Muhammed did not tell him, "Your Lord’s Name is
Allah." He didn’t hear that word until after he had received the
first communication from G-d. Later G-d gave him the word Allah in
the communication.

The first communication said: "Read, in the Name of your Lord Who
created, created mankind from a small clot of blood. Read, and your
Lord is Most Generous, Who taught mankind knowledge and how to
record it. Who taught mankind what mankind was not before
knowing…."

G-d says in another part of the revelation that came much later to
Muhammed:
If all the seas or bodies of water were doubled in number and they
were made as ink and all the trees on earth were made as pens with
which to write would all be used up, before the Words of G-d could
be used up."

Now, aren’t we poor students, when we think that all the Words of G-
d are in the Qur’an? And it all can’t be in the Bible either or in
the Books of the Hindus or about the Luminated Buddha and in all
the other religions, you still will not have all the Words of G-d.
And G-d is still teaching.

I am a student of G-d’s and I’m still learning. And that is the
living and plain and unadulterated truth.

In the Old Testament, we read that blood is the life of the body.
And in the New Testament we read that blood is the spirit of the New
Testament. G-d said in the first verse given to Muhammed
(PBUH): "Read in the Name of your Lord, Who created…." And the
second verse given to Muhammed, the Prophet, says: "… Who created
mankind from a clot of congealed blood."

In the Bible, G-d reminds the People of the Book: "When I found you,
you were wallowing in your own blood." It means the blood from the
birth, the blood of the woman, their mother who delivered them out
of blood and water. The learned Jewish teachers and rabbis know what
this means.

He (G-d) found them socially confused and socially corrupt and
without the spirit of social and community life, as G-d wants them
to have it in their bodies and in their people. So they were lost
from their social calling as a people and as a community. And G-d
had to lead them back to their true nativity, so they could follow
their true lifeline and become a great people, as G-d wanted them to
be.

We may say that G-d found us after slavery, a whole people –
African Americans or Blacks – wallowing in our own blood. And we had
to have Frederick Douglass and a few others to stand up out of that
blood as a man in the mold that G-d wants us to be in and to lead
the rest of us so that our race would come to stand up as one man in
our social establishment created for us by our G-d.

For the religious people, especially for Muslims, community is the
body. We are not supposed to see our body as our personal body. When
you look in the mirror and see yourself, that is not the big
picture. When you see your whole community, that is the big picture.
That is the self, the collective body, that we want to establish.

That is no more than G-d reached the first man, Adam, with. He
didn’t want Adam to see himself in his own personal body. That is
why He revealed in Genesis of the Bible that Adam is not to be seen
as one body. Adam is to be seen as humanity, a collective body. In
Adam, the person, we are to see the picture of the whole humanity –
what G-d wants for all nations and for all races of people, the
collective body.

The spirit of the community is what we want, not one person’s
spirit. I was once in Saudi Arabia with some of the learned teachers
there in religion. When the meeting was over, we sat to have our
break and to drink tea. One of them near me said: "You know, Imam
Mohammed, Adam was a community." I said, "I do know that. I read it
in Genesis." He said: "And Abraham was a community." So I was
listening then, and he left it there.

I think where he wanted me to take it was "… and Muhammed is a
community." But he didn’t say that. You know the saying, a hint is
enough for the wise. So he stopped it right there. So I carried it
the next step to say: "We are Muslims and Muhammed is a community."

We do say that this community is the community of Muhammed, the
Prophet, peace be upon him. He was the one who G-d gave the vision
to on how to establish it, and he was the one who actually
established it in his lifetime.

Prophet Muhammed established the ummah of Al-Islam or the
international community of Islam. So Adam is a human type for all
people, as Abraham is a human type for all people, and Muhammed is a
human type for all people.

How do we know that he is not just a human type for Muslims, but a
human type for all people? We know by G-d’s Own Words. G-d says to
us in the last revealed book, the Qur’an: "In Muhammed, you have the
most excellent human model for any who believe in G-d and fear the
Last Day."

This means that you believe that there is not only G-d, but also
that G-d is going to hold you accountable for the way you lived your
life. In our Book, we are told that Muhammed the Prophet is a model
for any who believe that, and the People of the Book believed that.
They believe in G-d and also in Judgment Day, that they have to be
accountable to G-d.

G-d tells us in the Qur’an, of Muhammed: "Certainly, Muhammed is a
mercy to all the worlds." Doesn’t this sound like the same language
that we find in the New Testament and in Christian theology of Jesus
Christ? That Jesus Christ comes to bring peace to the whole world
and that he is a mercy to the whole world. It is the same.

When we understand these religions in their pure logic and in their
beautiful language, we see that these religions are addressing the
same major concerns. And the biggest of all concerns is that we
perceive or see truth correctly.

Firstly, truth of this big world that we have, of the heavenly
bodies and the earth with all of its beauty and wonders. That it
reaches our thinking mind and that we give it thought, to command
what should our relationship be with it. What should our respect for
it be? How dependent are we on it, etc.?

Also, it is to have us look at our own selves and not just see the
human form -the body and the abstract higher reality on the inside
of the flesh.

Listen closely to what I am saying; I try not to waste a single
word. We have to look at ourselves as human beings and as created
things, as people, as humans, and not take our own creation for
granted. Look at it to appreciate it as a thing of value that G-d
has given us. When I look in the mirror and see the person as body,
I want to think about it as a Muslim.

The Muslim is a thinker; a Muslim doesn’t just live to act and
react. When you took your shahadah, your shahadah says "don’t
convert, until you have thought about it, until you have given seri-
ous thought to it."

We are thinkers, no matter how low we are on the level of society in
education. We are obligated, all of us, to be thinkers. In Islam,
you are not to be called a man, unless you are thinking for
yourself. The word for man means you are thinking for yourself. If
you are not doing that, you are not entitled to be called a man.

  • Imam W. Deen Mohammed in Hinesville, Ga., on Feb. 10, 2002 (excerpt)

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