Black Muslims hail spiritual leader’s return to Detroit

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080830/NEWS01/808300312/1003/NEWS

BY NIRAJ WARIKOO • FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER • August 30, 2008

Thousands of African-American Muslims from across the United States are gathering in Detroit this weekend for an annual convention that’s returning to Michigan for the first time in more than a decade.

They are followers of Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, a Hamtramck native who now lives in Chicago. He is the son of Elijah Muhammad, the former leader of the Nation of Islam, founded in Detroit almost 80 years ago. Given metro Detroit’s sizable Muslim and African-American communities, the convention has special significance for many locally.

After Elijah Muhammad’s death in 1975, Mohammed took over and reformed the black nationalist organization into a group that preached a more orthodox Islam that opposed any racial or ethnic divisions. A few years later, Minister Louis Farrakhan broke off and formed a new Nation of Islam he felt was more in line with Elijah Muhammad’s teachings.

While Farrakhan is the leader who gets more media attention and is most often associated with Islam among African Americans, Mohammed is thought to have more followers. In contrast to Farrakhan, Mohammed is low-key and speaks more like a scholar than a preacher.(MORE)

Comments based upon Imam WD Mohammed’s sermon today

Thousands of Muslims packed the Cobo Hall today to hear American Muslim leader Imam WD Mohammed deliver the Friday sermon.

What I found most interesting about today’s sermon was the section where he continued his discussion about the intrinsic excellence of man and that man’s role in its “Christ-like” and Muhammad (SAAS) like nature is to elevate thinking to the level of scientific observation in all matters.

The example that Imam Mohammed gave was quite interesting in his reference to man’s purpose being higher than animals.  He stated that animals have family life, male animals in some species look after their families, have sex outside of public view and groom themselves.  Thus, a man looking after his family is nothing special, for animals even do this much. 

He stated that man’s role is more elevated than this in its purpose to govern varying aspects in this material world under G’d, and that this can only be achieved by those who are alive morally and intellectually, not dead.

He stated that most in our society are morally dead.  Having money and a family doesn’t make one alive to purpose.

This made me reflect immediately on Sen. Obama’s recent remarks about black men taking care of their families.  On one hand, he’s right for this is incumbent on men.  On the other, it made me also think that this is nothing special to call men towards taking care of their families and that being a man in the sense of Adam, Jesus Christ and Prophet Muhammad (SAAS) is so much more than this base responsibility.

People are driven by expectations.  If they expect nothing, they achieve nothing.  If they expect to live a life no more elevated than the animal life, they live the animal life of seeking the bare mininum.  Turn them onto their human purpose and potential, their character will be close to the prophets, and they will be the renewers of civilization and innovators that help advance humanity.