Imam W. D. Muhammad
Although he had said things to that effect, I understood him. I knew that he did not actually mean what we thought he was saying — he meant something else. He meant that a great understanding, a new way of looking at the book, was coming. So, in our life, it would be like a new book coming in.
Then, it came to me. I said, “My father is telling us that the new book that is to come is really a new book to us because we have never known the Holy Quran.” We have known the Bible. Most of us know much more about the Bible than we know about the Holy Quran. In fact, for most of the years of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad’s leadership, he did not allow the Holy Quran to be preached or to be handed out freely among the believers, but he always held it up high as “the book.” He said that the Holy Quran was the pure book, but he never encouraged us to really get into it. I knew that his vision of a new book was a vision of the Holy Quran, but it was vague in my mind. The idea, or the thing that I was seeing, had not taken complete form, so I put it aside.
While I was trying to think of a new drawing for the mosque blackboard, the picture came to form. I said that the vision should not be a drawing for the blackboard, but it should be the new flag for the Lost – Found Nation of Islam.
The new flag is really a book, and the book is the Holy Quran. On the book is written “La ilaha ill – Allah,” which means, “There is nothing worthy of worship as a god but Allah” and “Muhammad – un Rasulu-llah which means that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
If you have some knowledge of the contents of the Holy Quran, you know that this first principle (kalimah) or pillar of faith, is all through the Holy Quran from cover to cover. It dominates the whole Holy Quran. If you count the number of times that the letter “lam” is repeated in that kalimah, you will see that it stands out more than any other letter in the kalimah. When you look at it, you see “lam” before you see anything else.
So, this was his vision. I think that the Honorable Master Elijah Muhammad (peace be on him) should get the credit for this vision, and I think that it is a flag that you all can identify with and be proud of. A new world needs a new flag. The Muslim world has come to be identified with the symbol of the crescent and the star, but when you read the Holy Quran you do not find any crescent and star in there.
Islam is a simple religion; that is, it is not a religion that is covered up with symbolism or ritualism. It is a religion that comes straight forward and straight out in the open with what it is all about. What brought on the Islamic flags with the emblem of the star and the crescent was the Christian crusades that came against Islam.
The leaders of the Christian army carried the cross, so the Muslims, reacting to that, raised the crescent. The crescent was a better symbol because the cross represents death. So, here was an army representing a nation or society of people that held sacred an emblem of death, and they could not see the ugliness of what they were doing. All they knew was that it was Jesus that they identified with. When you really think about it, the lifting of the cross as something sacred really is a disgrace to the beautiful world that Jesus brought into existence.
The emblem itself brings to mind death and misery — it does not bring to mind life. You have to interpret “Jesus” to arrive at life as a meaning for the cross. You have to connect Jesus, his purpose, his sacrifice, and his teaching with the emblem-but how many of us will see the cross and do all of that interpreting? When we see it, we see something that is on graveyards. We think of the suffering and the misery that Jesus had to bear. To us, it is an emblem of death and shame and suffering. So, the star and the crescent is a better emblem to us than the cross.
What the Muslims were saying to the Christians is this: “You lift up death and you see death as glory, but God has pointed out in His scripture that His glory is readily seen — not in the grave, but in the heavens.” Read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. God never points to the graveyard to show us His glory. He says that we should look at the heavens and how they are lifted up in glory—the sun, the moon, and the stars. Muslims were saying to the Christians that the sign of God’s glory is not death, but life, and that the sun is the source of life in this physical world and the moon is a necessity. The stars are very useful to man because they direct his path at sea and through the land.
So, the Muslims raised a much better sign, but they did not raise the sign upon orders from Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They raised it as an answer to the cross that was raised in war against them. What should -we really exalt? What should we really raise? It is knowledge!
We know that emblems cannot save humanity and pictures and signs cannot save humanity. Men can look at the stars and the moon in the sky all their life, for generation after generation, until the land grows old and dead. That does not mean that they are going to be lifted up as a society. The savage, primitive man and woman see the sun, moon, and stars but what has made the difference? Knowledge.
The book of knowledge for the Muslims is the Holy Quran. If we exalt anything other than knowledge, we exalt the wrong thing. You may ask, “What about God?” God is not something that we know in any sense other than in a body of knowledge. We do not know God in flesh and we do not know God in symbols. We know God in knowledge. You may say, “I feel God in my flesh and that is how I know God.” That is only the beginning of knowledge. Feelings are the beginning of knowledge, but you cannot say that you “know” until you grow up a little bit taller than feelings.
WHERE CAN OUR FLAG BE ACQUIRED?
Try this site of Brother Najee-ullah, Lithonia, GA
Forwarded your response to his email address to make sure he got it. I ordered a flag for myself. Thanks for posting this.
I would like to order a flag. What is the process? Jazak Allahu khyran
Tony, unfortunately, I have not been able to reach the brother who was advertising them. I’ll let you know if I ever reach him or I find someone else who produces them. They should be more easily available.
ASA Imam Mubaashir, Ramadan Mubarak,
I have Just received the e-mail with the link to this potentially great site, and the Tasfir (religious and social commentary) of our Beloved Imam W.D Mohammed (RA) on the birth of the reasoning and the knowledge behind our (unique and special) Muslim community Flag.
This is the 27th night of Ramadan and the possible “Night of Power”. This commentary has been my “Night of Power”.
Wishing you Much Success and a Wonderful and Fulfilling Ramadan and Eid,
Abdullah Lateef Qadar
All I can say is excellent information as always. This should be on a wall in a plaque of every believers house.
As salaam alaikum and Ramadan Mubarak Imam Mubashir. I just wanted to take some time to say how much I truly and sincerely thank you and appreciate the work you are doing on this website for our community. I especially want to thank you and comend you for posting up the history of our community’s flag. This is necessary and critical information that our community needs for ourselves and our children, grand children and great grand children to have. This is also information that the entire Muslim world needs to have access to do that they can be more enlightened as to their own flags and the history behind them. It’s my opinion that the history, symbols and meaning of our flag should be a staple in the Muslim Journal in every issue. This would help our community become more informed and also it would enlighten others who are not Muslims to learn more about our flag and Al-Islam in general. This article by our Imam (W. Deen Mohammed (raa) ) was very informative, enlightening and necessary for this website. Thank you Imam Mubashir and may Allah continue to bless you and help you in your works . ASA. RM.
Wa Alaikum As Salaam and Ramadhan Mubarak!
Alhamdulillah and thank you Imam Sabree for the encouragement. Indeed, there are explanations the Imam has given us that we must preserve and then make available to our public to increase our literacy in our history of progress.
One of the great things was that coming across this talk was a direct result of the IWDM Preservation Project that has been underway in our community for several years. The vast majority of these lectures have been preserved and are being uploaded to websites for our community and the public’s study and research.
Soon, I will post an explanation and a little history about this work, for there are people who are deserving of some recognition for their efforts.
For those who may read this comment and not be aware of some places to read and hear Imam Mohammed’s lectures, visit the IWDM Study Resources links and learn powerful explanations of Qur’an and the previous scriptures, about insights into the African American situation, and the power of the human being.
Thanks Imam Ahmed, you and the believers keep up the great work!