Estimated reading time: 22 minute(s)
Source: Hurt2Healing Magazine
Wesley Muhammad (WM): All praise is due to Allah. Thank you.
EM: You are not the only one that has had those type of questions relating to faith. You opened up about what you described as a tear in your spiritual garment, regarding where Allah, Master Fard Muhammad, intervenes in our affairs on an individual basis, aside from His anointed Servants. You said, “I didn’t see myself as being on the radar of the Lord of the Worlds.”
What was it that caused you to feel that way and draw that conclusion?
WM: Well, again, partly my path and partly the way my mind actually works. By path I mean I was an atheist before Islam. I was anti-religion as an intellectual. When I did come to Islam, it was through the Five Percenters, and the Five Percent Nation is anti-religion. We think differently about religious matters. We tend to need more demonstration of a point of a religious matter than most religious people. So I already had that predisposition to need greater demonstration of faith matters. That’s what it is. Faith matters. Matters that have no empirical proof, but we have to have faith in their regard.
After 28 years of critically engaging this teaching, I’m pursuing religion with a totally academic perspective. I bear witness that there are still matters that are a matter of faith. We just cannot prove them, and those are very valuable matters of faith. But in my earlier stages, those matters of pure faith, I needed a more robust demonstration of them. And one of those matters was, “Is the God, Whom I acknowledge as Master Fard Muhammad, interested in the affairs of the little believer?” Life’s challenges makes all of us ask the question, “Where is God in our life?” And for me I needed mathematical or critical demonstration of it. We would bring such questions to our pastors or ministers, “Where was God in our life when this happened?” We bring those to our pastors and we get the pastoral answers. We get the “foot prints in the sand” poem type of answers, but for me as an atheist and Five Percenter, that just was never persuasive to me. They weren’t real helpful to me. Those pastoralisms weren’t helpful to me. I needed something more concrete to make my religion make mathematical sense on a personal level. On a global level it made all the sense in the world. Master Fard Muhammad, He is Master of all of these planets and life forms that are on all of these planets. He’s the Master of them, so He’s very pre-occupied, in other words.
So I did not, I could not telescope the God into my personal life, not intellectually. Not in a way that was intellectually satisfying to me. So that was my blind spot. I needed demonstration of His intervention in my affairs, and on a critical thinking level I did not feel that I was able to point to convincing proof to me. Even though, of course, they were there all the time, but where I was in my thinking I could not point to demonstrable proof that He was intervening in my affairs all while He is protecting His Messiah against the most power government in the world, and marshalling the forces of the other civilizations of the planets to come against the enemy. He has big ticket responsibility. I was looking for and I needed more convincing evidence in the midst of all of that He even had time to consider my affairs.
EM: You answered that so beautifully, and you answered the second question regarding what evidence you were in need of that you weren’t receiving. Thank you for going right into that.
This next question is regarding your research and your doctoral dissertation revolving around the reality of God in Him being a man. We know that…well I’ll speak for myself, because I have your books; I know that there’s no deficit in your knowledge, but how and when did you realize…
WM: Well we all have deficits in our knowledge. We all work with a margin of error. The only one who does not work with a margin of error is the Messenger of God. Anything short of revelation, has a margin of error.
EM: Yes sir, thank you for your correction. Allow me to say it like this in the context of this question: How did you and when did you realize that there was a deficit in your faith compared to your level of knowledge?
WM: That was always a nagging question for me. It followed me and it nagged me. I’ll tell you this if I can share it.
EM: Yes sir, go ahead!
WM: There’s this experience. There was this Summer between one of my semesters. I was a poor, very poor student. So eating and finding the next meal was a task. One time I went up to a brother’s house, who was a F.O.I., and he happened to have a fish fry. And he happened to have enough for myself and my brother who I came with and who was my Five Percenter teacher. I hadn’t or didn’t want to join the mosque yet. There was the discussion about praying over the food. Obviously, the Muslims were praying. I was inclining towards the Muslims, but I was there with my teacher who was a Five Percent who gave his reason why not to. So I conceded to his reasoning, and as fate would have it, as they all were enjoying and as he was enjoying his fish sandwich, mine fell on the floor before I could take a bite of it. I was so mad and so hungry. (laughs)
The question of whether I, as a little believer, am on the radar of the Lord of the Worlds that He would even receive it (prayer over food) was what the argument was. Why would He receive it if it’s ritualism? Why would He receive this praying over fish? So that issue nagged me throughout my whole journey. There were some nagging issues. So it wasn’t a moment in which I discovered the tear. It nagged me from the beginning until I got to Chicago and demonstrable proof, demonstrable evidence, was given to me. But it nagged me the whole time.
EM: Yes sir, thank you.
In January of this year, the Study Group webcast that was shown from the Final Call Administration Building in Chicago with Sister Ava Muhammad and a few others, featured clips of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan teaching about faith and knowledge. He said, “Faith is greater than knowledge. Faith is in the absence of knowledge.”
EM: And he went on to say, “We are not the Best Knower, we have to have faith in Him, Allah.”
WM: That’s right…
EM: He said, “Big belief can accomplish what those in this world with knowledge cannot.”
WM: That’s powerful.
EM: Yes sir. How and at what point did you begin to tip the scale of what you know toward faith? What was that first thing that you had to do, or what was that first step you had to take?
WM: Beautiful question. The faith versus knowledge dynamic was also the dynamic that was in my consciousness from the very beginning. It became acute for me, because Allah happened to bless me to know. This is to emphasize the tear in my spiritual garment, because Allah blessed me, Sister Ebony, to factually know the reality of this Teaching of Islam. My introduction to the Teachings was totally intellectual. My approach to it was academic. I studied every aspect. The truth of this Teaching, the body of wisdom is not a matter of belief or faith to me. It is a verifiable body of knowledge that I can demonstrate by Allah’s grace across the world.
Allah blessed me to become a knower of the truth of His Islam, not a mere believer in its truth. However, therein lies my challenge and my trial. All while I’m sure and self assured that Allah has blessed me to be a knower of the truth of my religion, while I’m seeing people all around me — and I’m the main antagonist in many of these situations– people having their faith ripped out from under their feet, because knowledge will come to them or something would challenge their faith, and oftentimes it’s me ripping their rug of faith out from under their feet. True story. So while I’m self-assured in the truth, I’m still conscious of the fact the Quran is very clear that, “Blessed are the believers…”. It’s the believers, not the knowers. So I’m conscious of that this whole time, but not knowing really what that means except that I know that I had my deficit.