Imam WD Mohammed on Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s resignation in 1981

Dear beloved Muslims As – Salaam – Alaikum.
Dear Beloved Muslims what I have just said is “‘Praise be to  Allah  The Guardian Evolver, Cherisher and Sustainer of the worlds, we seek His aid we seek His assistance, we ask forgiveness from Him, we believe in Him and we bear witness that nothing is worthy of worship except Him alone. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

I am happy to be with you this Sunday here in Brooklyn in the month of Ramadan. The occasion does not take any of that happiness away, Allah the Most High says in the Qur’an call on Him with fear and with humility.

Surely indeed the mercy of Allah is near to the believers who do good.

Dear beloved Muslims the right faith in our hearts is salvation for us.  Prophet Muhammad peace and the blessings be on him, he once said, there is a piece or lump of flesh that when it is good, the whole body is good, or the whole person is good, and when it is bad the whole person is bad, and when he was asked to name that lump of flesh, he said it is the human heart.  It is the heart, when it is good the whole person is good, when it is bad the whole person is bad.

Now we are not the All Knowing, we can’t judge each other, we can only identify in the light of God what we see as right and what we see as wrong, but to judge the person is for Allah alone.
Imam Siraj’s resignation
I think Imam Siraj is to be commended for the human Muslim decent way in which he resigned. And when I heard of his difficulty and his intentions of resigning before seeing him or knowing he was coming to see me, I had already accepted his resignation in the spirit of ‘friendship and brotherly love.

Muslims are not obligated to follow anything in this Religion against their conscience; we are all free to follow this Religion as our conscience bid us.  And when our conscience presents difficulties for us or something presents difficulty for us in our conscience then we are not obligated to continue with that thing.

WDM leadership
My own leadership in this part of this world, is I’m sure, a trial for me and for you, and I am not about to insist that all Muslims follow me to the letter; for me to be in a position for me to accept them as Muslims. I accept Muslims everywhere I go.

They all are Muslims, as long as they behave like Muslims, as they show the spirit of Muslims, as long as they greet their brothers and sisters, then with me they are Muslims.  I am not ever going to be the one to divide Muslims. However in this particular situation there is a strain on the community, especially the local community here because of difference in understanding, and that difference in understanding involves the leadership and an Imam who represents that leadership for this Masjid.

The right thing to do in such case is what Imam Siraj has done; this is the honorable and peaceful way to solve such problems. I told him in privacy and I’ll tell you right here before him, what he has done, that is his decision,  his, decision to leave my leadership and this community is no cause for me to treat him any different than I would treat the many, many millions and millions of Muslims out there who feel the same way.

I meet them every day, they are my friends, Pakistanis, Sudanese,  whatever, many, many nationalities, I meet all  the time, and  they don’t have the understanding that I have.   If they do they don’t say so. Most of them, they are against it most of them, and they are my brothers.

The important thing is to obey the spirit and the letter of the Qur’an, that’s the important thing we are entitled to our opinions as long is those opinions don’t violate the spirit and letter of the Quran. Now, when the matter becomes so technical that it takes the finest tools to deal with it then we should  just say “As-Salaam-, Alaikum , Wa Alaikum As Salaam”, forget it brother see you later”.

And I believe what I’ve been discussing with you that most of the Muslims have a difference with, is knowledge in the Religion that it takes a very,  very sharp tool to deal with.

Jesus Had No Father:

Q.3.47; Jesus Immaculate conception
She said: “O my Lord! how shall I have a son when no man hath touched me?”  He said: “Even so: Allah createth what He willeth; when He hath decreed a plan He but saith to it `Be’ and it is!

Luke 1.26-35; Immaculate conception
The Imam (Siraj)  and I guess many others are of the opinion that I am saying that Joseph is the Father of Jesus Christ. That is not correct. I’ve never said Joseph is the father of Jesus Christ,  no Jesus Christ had no father. Allah created Him and still everything I said before is right; but that’s our difference; that’s our difference.

Dear beloved Muslims I didn’t come to entertain you here today, I came to let you know that I have no problem with any believer differing with me on commentary or interpretations of Scripture as long as your difference is accepted by the majority of the Muslims, because those are traditional teachings, and we accept Muslims and really Allah wants us to believe that He has power over everything.

And we know that children are not to see adults when they are not in their proper dress, is that right? So maybe some children have seen the adults not in their proper dress I don’t know, but an adult has to know how to take off  his clothes and put them back on right? And he has to get naked sometimes doesn’t he?

Right, so if someone sees him in his privacy and gets disturbed its a problem right? ‘What I want to see this community do is stay on the right path of this religion, accept the Quran as the perfect guidance for all people in all times, accept Prophet Muhammad to whom it was revealed as the Messenger and the example for people for all times to love each other, to support each other in righteousness and hold back support for each other when wrong doing is involved.

This is what I want to see in this community; sincerity on the part of the believers and a determination to please Almighty  God, whose proper name is Allah, and have a determination to live a full and complete life as Allah intended for us to live. We are not to become saints; the world  doesn’t  need saints, the world needs good human beings, while saints came to take on a character and personality that separates them from normal human beings.

When I speak of saints, I don’t mean a good person. I want to be as good as I possibly can. When I speak of saints, I mean the attitude of mind that makes a saintly person stop being a common ordinary human being. I know there is a tendency in us to give ourselves to extremism in the religion, just as we give ourselves to extremism in our daily life, many of us can’t help but give ourselves to extremism, we can’t play normally, we have to play too much.

Most of us can’t even live with each other normally; we have to love too much, I’m sure you understand. Most of us can’t be righteous normally, we have to be righteous too inhumanly, too angel like. I don’t want that, I know that in us; there is a tendency to be abnormal, to go to extremes, and I know that. This has been one of the main weaknesses in this people and the race, so I don’t want to see that.

Before I became your Imam, I was for years associating with people that you call orthodox Muslims and accepting them as my brothers,  and not only accepting them as my brothers but also identifying in their beliefs. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad himself taught me to accept them as my brothers because he did it. He invited them to his home, he had dinner with them, he treated them, he said As –  Salaam – Alaikum;  he treated some of them better than he treated us. I know a Pakistani that he did more for than he did any of his children.

I just don’t like to see people mistreated and I don’t like to see people venting their hostilities on people out of justice; that’s what I don’t like.  I don’t like to see people sneaking around and doing things behind the curtain or something, that’s what I don’t like, you know.  But if you stand out in the open and you are sincere, I love a person like that,  I respect a person like that, and that’s the way I was raised; that’s the way I am;

Now I  know some of the devils around here; I hope they are outside today. I know they are disappointed, they are greatly disappointed; they thought we were going to come in here and curse each other out and tear up the place. We have work to do and all of us are qualified to do something. All of us should be free to do what we have to do and what we are qualified to do; yes all of us should be free to contribute the best of what we have to contribute. But, any of us who oppress another believer we are guilty of being a tyrant, guilty of being a wrong person; don’t oppress the good in anybody; encourage the good in the people; oppress the bad if anything, don’t ever oppress the good.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad has a son Akbar, my youngest brother, you know the Honorable Elijah Muhammad treated Akbar better than he treated me? And Akbar left him ten years before I did; Yes this is a fact, if you don’t believe it go and check in Chicago any of the family they will tell you yes he left long time ago. But me, he was constantly on me; every time they would report something then he would get on me.

Akbar would come in there and challenge him right at the table, and say Daddy how can you say so and so and such and such when the…” He would try to explain to Akbar and they would talk and Akbar would get up from the table and say “Daddy can you give me a couple of thousand dollars I need to pay some bills, and Daddy would go and open up his vault and give Akbar a couple of thousand dollars.

Now I wonder how come he wouldn’t give me fifty? We have a lot to learn don’t we, we have a lot to learn.  People are not all the same and believe me some people justify means by ends, and the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was such a man, he justified means by ends, I don’t believe in that. I believe that means and ends must be upright, that’s the kind of man that I am; that’s why I differed with the mystic, because I don’t believe that ends justify means. And believe me I know the story of the wise man too, and I still don’t believe ends justify means.” Pardon me, that I can do a wrong for a good purpose and it’s accepted. No, I don’t like that, I can’t accept that, I don’t see that in the Qur’an. No you have to be straight all the way, straight all the way.

The things I’m telling you, believe me. Anything I’m telling you that seems to be difficult, because it’s different, believe me as I see it. It’s in accord with the Qur’an. I wouldn’t give you anything that I didn’t see was in accord with the Qur’an.
Now I don’t claim to know it all; but I know one thing, this world has not been fair with the common person; those who have had the knowledge they have hoarded it just like these people have hoarded money to get a material advantage. They have hoarded knowledge of the religion to get a religious advantage, and I don’t like that.

Now my argument with them is that – “you, are cheaters”,  they can like it or not. They know it. I tell them in Saudi Arabia. I was in Saudi Arabia, I sat with the highest Imam in Jeddah, ok. I have addressed the highest people over there; I don’t hide anything. What I say to you, I say it there, Alright. And on things they might not agree with me,  but they still respect me for it just like brother Imam respects me for being honest, for being honest and that’s the only way that I can be.

We are not to hoard knowledge from the people, in fact the Quran says of Prophet Muhammad  and this is Allah putting it in his mouth to say this, I have not withheld anything from you because of desire to do so.  The believer is to have the desire to give everything to the people, everything, so if there is anything you it is something that you think might hurt the people or not be proper or something like that.   Isn’t Prophet Muhammad the example of how the Muslims should live their lives. And if it is said of Prophet Muhammad in the Quran that he has not withheld anything out of a desire to hold something back from the people, shouldn’t that suggest to the intelligent man’s mind that, that was a problem.

If it wasn’t a problem, why is it dealt with in the Quran? The Quran is too big a book for foolishness or for things that are not important. So it is very important. All through the Qur’an wrongdoers are charged with what, do you know what “Barkil” means? Cheating the people, cheating, giving them inferior knowledge, and holding back the superior knowledge.

This is my case. I want you to understand brother Imam, I’m speaking mainly for the Imam here, but for you all too. This is my problem, I’m angry with the cheaters. If they have got nothing to hold back they’ll stop cheating. So, I’m not going to hold anything back. I’m going to give it all. They won’t have anything to hide; then they stop cheating, they will start being fair with the people; we will get rid of those cheaters.

What the person is not supposed to be given is something that will contribute to his weaknesses and his wrong doing. That’s what he’s not supposed to be given. There are some things of the religion, that maybe, if I discuss it too plainly with some immature minded people, it might cause unnecessary burdens on them and cause them to behave in a bad way. But there is a time for everything isn’t it?

Now I hope you can understand some of what I am saying.


8 thoughts on “Imam WD Mohammed on Imam Siraj Wahhaj’s resignation in 1981

    • You can find an extensive collection of Imam W.D. Mohammed enlightening speeches (lectures), articles and audio tapes on: new africa

  1. Pingback: historical statements | 5cylinders's Blog
  2. As-Salaamu-Alaikum,

    This speech was very informative and enlightening. One can learn
    much from it, in terms of how we should be as decent human beings, always being straightforward in our dealings with others, and refraining from taking the role of being a judge towards other human beings. Knowing our proper roles and spending our time in that is the more important thing. And, indeed, we all have a role to play in doing our share to make our existence in this life, the best that it can possibly be. This being both for ourselves and others as well.

    Waleed Muhammad

  3. An excellent model to better understand Islamic principles on leadership.
    Imam W.D. Mohammad’s legacy continues in generations to come. I pray that we realize the gift from Allah that he is to the community of Al-Islam.

  4. We prayer that Imam Waris Uddin Muhammed leadership was and is approved by The Lord of all systems of knowledge. We must study and reflect on what he has and still is teaching us of Allah’s word the Qur’an. He is an example for many leaders of today to emulate. We thank Allah for intervening in our lives and blessing us with our brother Imam W.D.Muhammed. He was and is an instrument that promoted us to a higher islamic, Qur’anic thinking. May Allah shower our bother with Rahiima.

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