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Independent African American religious scholarship

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Imam Michael Saahir

“And never have We sent forth any apostle otherwise than [with a message] in his own people’s tongue, so that he might make [the truth] clear unto them; but God lets go astray him that wills [to go astray], and guides him that wills [to be guided] -for He alone is almighty, truly wise.” – Qur’an, Chapter 14; verse 4

As Muslims around the world are completing the last few days of fasting during the Islamic month of Ramadan, we greatly anticipating the observation of one of our Muslim holidays, called “Eid Al-Fitr, (April 9-10th).”

Ramadan is the month of blessings; therefore, Muslims look forward to big blessings during the days of fasting. The release of the book, Commentary of Selected Verses of the Holy Qur’an by Imam W. Deen Mohammed, is one of those blessings – not just for Muslims but for all of humanity.

This 550 page book not only offers insights into verses from the Qur’an, it also offers clarity of some Bible verses, as well as providing correlations between the Bible and the Qur’an; a true mark of independent African American religious scholarship.

The major influencing contributors to the foundation – the undergirding – of our African American religious growth and development have come predominantly from outside of our race and ethnicity; namely from the aged-old thinking birthed from the European line of thinking.

There have been African American thinkers such as Dr. Howard Thurman, Dr. James Cone – even our own Dr. Thomas Brown of Indianapolis – men and women who think outside of the “mental locks” that our people inherited from the days of chattel and mental servitude. They all must be diligently studied for our success.

The book, Commentary of Selected Verses of the Holy Qur’an by Imam W. Deen Mohammed is right in-line with the freedom thought process; freedom for the religiously oppressed African Americans and – due to the universality of the books message – freedom for all of humanity around the world.

An excerpt from this book reads, “As servants of Al-Islam, Allah; in the path of G’d in Al-Islam, you have to be aware that this is the time for inclusion, unity, and cooperation. People who are doing similar work have to respect each other. Christians and Jews are doing similar work, and some other religions. If G’d recognize (other) religions, we must do so also.” (Page 203)

Imam W. Deen Mohammed (1933-2008) is the son of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. For 33 years he was the leader of the largest indigenous American community in the USA, resulting in the largest conversion of Americans to the Islamic faith; however, he refused to let race, religion, or ethnicity to limit or define his leadership. Imam Mohammed has been recognized around the world by religious leaders and scholars such as Pope John Paul II, the 14th Dalai Lama, and many other world leaders. His students have preserved his teachings for humanity.

Imam W. Deen Mohammed’s commentary explains that, “Jesus Christ represents the inspiration that comes into our nature. First, it is a spiritual urge that eventually leads us to an encounter with the rational.” Imam Mohammed explains, “Jesus said, ‘You will see me no more and you will see me, again.’ The urge that was in Jesus; didn’t the intellectual expression come back, and it did so in Prophet Muhammed (PBUH)? The original pattern, on which Allah designed man, needs expression, needs to be revealed. Jesus is an expression of something already in the original man, Adam.” Imam Mohammed concludes this line of thinking as follows. “Then, does it stop with Jesus? Every man has that in him. Adam, the original man, John the Baptist, Aaron, they are Prophets. They must be in me. They are expressions of something that must be in me, my original nature.

To learn more about this book of independent religious thinking visit www.nurallah.org. It is a must read for people of any faith, even those with no particular faith at all. After reading this book your understanding of scripture will be forever uplifted!!

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