Soundtrack: Talib Kweli “Self Savior”
In July I spent four days in Detroit as one of the stops on my Tantra Tour 2014. I was there during the time that Muslims from all over the world observe the Ramadan fast in remembrance of the revelation of the Qur’an to Prophet Muhammad. Detroit is a city of major significance for Islam in the United States.
When I was fifteen years old I was introduced to Islam as taught by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and I decided to discipline my life to that body of knowledge. Several years later I switched my college major to Religion and Philosophy and my overall outlook on religion and spirituality changed. My knowledge of how and why human beings do religion was deepened and broadened. I was influenced to change the direction of my spiritual focus from the Nation of Islam, established by Elijah Muhammad and led by Louis Farrakhan, to the 5% Nation of Islam, innovated by Father Allah (Clarence 13X) using the foundation laid down by Elijah Muhammad.
Over time my Islam has become more and more of a personal matter for me. It is not something that I wear on my sleeve. Though this may be a crass analogy, Islam for me is like undergarments — I keep it very close to me but I cover it up with the appearance that I choose to show to the world. Being in Detroit during Ramadan was the first time in a while that I was made keenly aware of my own Islamic identity and heritage.
I stayed in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn. Dearborn has the largest Arab population of any town in the United States, 42% of the population is of Arab ancestry. The inner city of Detroit is where the Nation of Islam was founded by an Arab man named Wallace Fard (W.F.) Muhammad, who is pictured above. I went sightseeing to the location of the first Nation of Islam headquarters and other historic Islamic sites in the city. All of this caused me to think about the philosophy of Islam from the perspective of where I stand now as a Tantra practitioner.
W.F. Muhammad is regarded by the members of the Nation of Islam as the “Mahdi”. The word Mahdi means guided one, divinely guided one, or self guided one, depending on who is doing the translating. It is a prophesied figure in Islamic tradition who is expected to appear in the last days along with the Messiah, bring justice to the world, and remove all tyrants. I’ll come back to Mahdi in a bit.
The Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught that “God is a man, and Man is God”. He taught that human beings are direct descendants of the Originator of the heavens and the earth. He said that Knowledge of God and Knowledge of Self are one in the same. In his talks about the Originator, he constantly emphasized that that First God was self-created, He brought Himself into existence. What practical benefit can we get from accepting that concept as truth? (I’m skipping over a lot of what I could say to provide context to these things in the interest of brevity. I hope I’m not losing anyone)
If it is true that we are created in the image and likeness of God, that we are all gods and children of the Most High God, that we are direct descendants of the Originator, then it makes sense that we share in God’s attribute of being self created. It is important that we understand that the First God was self created because that is the most crucial thing for us to understand about ourselves. We bring ourselves into existence.
It’s important that I mention that I’m only speaking for myself when I say these things. Pretty much all of the different divisions of Islam would disagree with my position here for one reason or another. This is not mainstream Muslim thought by any stretch of the imagination. This is revolutionary MJ’s perspective on what I have read and practiced of Islam for nearly twenty years.
It is my belief that there is one Consciousness at the root of the universe. There is one Ultimate Reality which is aware of itself as having existence. That Infinite Intelligence is the ultimate root of every single living being. As human beings, with our unique level of self awareness, we have a unique relationship with and connection to the Ultimate Reality. God experiences his/her/itself through us as human beings. We are God’s eyes and ears and hands. We are individuated pieces of the Ultimate Reality. We are eternal beings. We were all THERE/HERE in the beginning when the Ultimate Reality became aware of his/her/itself and decided to split into separate parts so that he/she/it could perceive what he/she/it was made of.
Before we come into physical existence as embryos in the womb of our mothers, we make a conscious decision from the Ancestral realm of what kind of body and life we want to be born into. Based on that resolute decision we attract that situation (parents, family, body) to ourselves and take on a new physical life. Even though we forget about the decision we made once we start adjusting to living in this realm of relativity and perceiving the world through our physical senses, at our core we are still deciding what life we choose to live and we attract life to us based on our thinking. We are self created.
W.F. Muhammad, the self-guided Mahdi, represents a frequency that we can all tune into. He’s like a tuning fork and we’re all musical instruments. He sets the tone and we can all tune up according to him. He represents a body of knowledge that allows us to fully remember that we are gods and then function according to that knowledge. The modern world is making it very difficult for the major western religions to maintain their grip on the minds of the people. The theology and mythology of these religions was developed at a time when people were ignorant to many scientific truths. The people needed some sort of explanation about natural phenomena in order to put their minds at rest. Now, technology and the information age are quickly making these ancient inventions obsolete. The people are yearning for something that matches their modern minds.
Elijah Muhammad said:
“Master Fard Muhammad aims to raise the Lost-Found (so-called Negro) into the knowledge and wisdom—the very ideas—of the Gods of the past.
“He also aims presently, to raise His people into His own ideas, in Himself, that the scriptures may be fulfilled: that those to whom He reveals Himself become the sons (and the daughters) of God—sons and daughters in the wisdom of God.
“He aims not only to reveal His ideas for the present creation of the universe, but also to give to man the nature and the creative wisdom to produce creative ideas as The Father of Civilization.
“This is what was prophesied: that God would make man like Himself. He aims to make The Nation of Righteousness, who will rule in the Hereafter, with the potential knowledge of producing and bringing into action, or existence, that which He has been able to produce. We call this ‘ideas.’ He aims to make each one into a God.”
The people of the future will no longer rely on books of scripture, priests and reverends, or divination systems to access the mind of the Divine. We are moving toward a time when humanity will be reunited with our true identity as extensions of the Ultimate Reality. We will remember how to consult our heart and our feelings as the Messenger of God. We will learn to trust our intuition. We will become the self-guided ones.