Thinking Inside the Box
October 2, 2015
My new book, “Yes, I Am Your Brother: Understanding the Indigenous African American Muslim,” chronicles the life of the Prophet Joseph as narrated in the Qur’an and it emphasizes one main point. That is that according to G-d’s Plan Joseph, through no fault or volition on his own, was put into one “container” after another. The well he was put into by his brothers is a container for water. This one was apparently dry and became a container for Joseph. A container keeps contents in and foreign objects out. For the human who is designed to grow and evolve from the interaction of our five senses with the world around us, this container deprives the person of this interaction, and forces the person to turn those senses inward and build the inner self.
Even Joseph’s later circumstances consisted of containers also. He was a servant in a master’s house and a servant is deprived of personal will and volition. The servant has no individual will except that of his master. Obviously, the prison was another container and again you are denied contact with the outside world. Ask an ex-offender about that.
So, how did coming from all of these containments work to put Joseph into ultimate power in Egypt? He developed the inner soul–dependency on nothing but G-d, having faith in G-d’s perfect compassion and perfect justice, and wanting his soul to be acceptable to G-d.
Imam W. Deen Mohammed interpreted Prophet Muhammad’s journey to the cave at Jabal An-Nur, the Mountain of Light, to meditate to also represent his going into his own cave (skull) in seeking G-d and answers to life’s problems. So when you are put into these containers–these restrictive circumstances–you have no choice but to turn to G-d.
My dear brothers and sisters do that and you will find that all of these big problems of the world that are so much bigger than us will be cut down to manageable size.