Wednesday, May 19, 2010
On the Birthday of Hajj Malik Al Shabazz (a.k.a. Malcolm X)
In the name of Almighty God, Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Today was the birthday of one of the most famous and influential American Muslims in American history. While most of his life was spent in the racist and frankly blasphemous ideology of the Nation of Islam, he did eventually come to true Islam after his trip to Hajj. Even though he didn't live all too long after that, what little speaking and preaching he did then was profound and contained a spirit of Islamic brotherhood that all Muslims can learn from. I thought I'd share his words from a letter he wrote just after his Hajj pilgrimage...
"There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood that my experiences in America had led me to believe never could exist between the white and the non-white.
You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to rearrange much of my thought patterns previously held, and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions. This was not too difficult for me. Despite my firm convictions, I have been always a man who tries to face facts, and to accept the reality of life as new experience and new knowledge unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind, which is necessary to the flexibility that must go hand in hand with every form of intelligent search for truth.
During the past eleven days here in the Muslim world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk from the same glass and slept in the same bed (or on the same rug)-while praying to the same God with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were the bluest of the blue, whose hair was the blondest of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of white. And in the words and in the actions and in the deeds of the ‘white' Muslims, I felt the same sincerity that I felt among the black African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
We are truly all the same-brothers.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds."