“We have explained in detail in this Qur’an, for the benefit of mankind, every kind of similitude: but man is, in most things, contentious.” Qur’an 18:54
The new year 2021 is also the witness of a new publication, a 550-page book, “Commentary (Tafsir) on Qur’an” by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, also known as “Wallace,” the son of the honorable Elijah Muhammad.
This commentary on the Qur’an has many biblical connections and Bible references that show the numerous correlations between the Muslim and Christian communities. Published by Words-Make-People Inc., the “Commentary (Tafsir) on Qur’an” by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed was produced by a team of African American Muslims from around the United States, under the leadership of Imam Nasir Ahmad of Miami, Florida, who has compiled a historical collection of Qur’anic commentaries given by the late Imam Warith Deen Mohammed who succeeded his father as the leader of the Nation of Islam in 1975 and who led the largest indigenous group of Muslim Americans until his passing in September 2008. Now his students have compiled his 30-plus years of commentary on the Qur’an in this new hard-bound publication.
Many Muslim Americans see this publication as proof that a new “school of Islamic thought” has been born in America, from the loins of descendants of slaves — an Islam void of Middle Eastern, African or other foreign influences yet 100% in accord with the Qur’an and the life exemplified by Prophet Muhammed, peace be upon him.
The contents of this book, while serving as a source of reconciliation in religious thinking, may also challenge many theological conclusions with fresh insights into current interpretations of our sacred texts. This text may prove valuable in interfaith studies.
An excerpt of the book, explaining an important portion of the Muslim daily prayer, reads:
Then you say, “As salaamu alainaa wa alaa ibaadullaahi saliheen, Peace be on us because of you and on the righteous servants of G_d.” “Alainaa,” aren’t we the righteous servants of G_d? Why do we say, “Wa alaa ibaadullaahis saliheen” (and on the righteous servants of G_d)? It is because there are righteous servants out there among the Christians, among the Jews and other people and we wish them peace, too. Isn’t that beautiful? When you really know what you are practicing, it is salvation. It is beauty. It is what will make us comfortable with other good people all around the world and make them comfortable with us. If you just take them my commentary, it will open up the world to you. People won’t fear you. They will love you.
Imam Warith (Wallace Deen) spent his 33-year leadership uniting and reconciling the human family. His commentary on the Qur’an — while strongly maintaining traditional Islamic values — connects scriptural language from various faiths, namely the scripture of Jews and Christians.
Another excerpt that relates to Chapter 30, verse 30 of the Qur’an reads:
It is said that if a Muslim does not believe in Christ Jesus, he is not truly a Muslim. He is ignorant of his own identity, because to believe in Jesus Christ is to believe in yourself. It is to believe in the possibility for your own self if G_d puts His Spirit and His Word into you. You should be able to become Christ-natured and we agree in that.
But we do not call it Christ nature. We call it fitraa, the original life pattern and discipline that G_d established in creating human beings for them to evolve into it, to hunger for it, to struggle and work hard for it, until you arrive there.
The “Commentary (Tafsir) on Qur’an” by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed is coming to you soon via all the major book outlets and at your local masjid (mosque) for $45 (wholesale prices available). The “Commentary (Tafsir) on Qur’an” by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed can be ordered here.
Michael “Mikal” Saahir is the resident Imam of Nur-Allah Islamic Center. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 317 753-3754.