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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 7

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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 7

On May 19, 1925 in Omaha, Nebraska, Malcolm Little was born to

Reverend Earl Little and Louise Little. The Rev. Little, who believed

in self-determination, worked for the unity of Black people. Malcolm

was raised in a background of ethnic awareness and dignity, wherein

violence sprang from white racists to stop such Black people, like

the Rev. Little, from preaching for the black cause.

When Malcolm was six years old, his father was murdered by

white racists. The history of Malcolm’s family tree shows that his

dedication to Black people, like that of his father, may have been

motivated by the total oppression of his family. By the tender age

of six, Malcolm, his parents and brothers and sisters, had been shot

at, burned out of home, harassed, and threatened, culminating in

the death of his father.

Some years later, Malcolm became a “drop-out” from school at

the age of 15. Learning the ways of the streets Malcolm came to

know the hoodlums, thieves, dope peddlers, and pimps. Convicted

of burglary at 20, he was in prison until he was 27 years old and

was released in 1952 a changed man. During his prison stay he

attempted to educate himself. Just as important, it was at this time

of imprisonment that he came into the knowledge of the Black

Muslim sect.

Upon learning about the Black Muslims, Malcolm studied the teach-

ings fully. When released from prison he went to Detroit, joined

the daily activities of the sect, and was given instructions by Elijah

Muhammad himself. Malcolm’s personal commitment helped build

the organization nationally while making him an international figure.

Envy and other problems forced Malcolm to leave the Black sect

with intentions of starting his own organization on March 12, 1964.

“I feel like a man who has been asleep somewhat and under some-

one else’s control. I feel what I’m thinking and saying now is for

myself. Before, it was for and by guidance of another, now I think

with my own mind.” - Malcolm X

Malcolm was 38 years old when he left Elijah Muhammad’s Nation

of Islam. It is then that Malcolm reflects on event that happened

prior to leaving. “At one or another college or university, usually in

the informal gatherings after I had spoken, perhaps a dozen gener-

ally white-complexioned people would come up to me, identifying

themselves as Arabian, Middle Eastern or North African Muslims

who happened to be visiting, studying or living in the United States.

They had said to me that, my white- indicting statements was sincere

in considering myself a Muslim--and they felt if I was exposed to

what they always called “true Islam,” I would “understand it, and

embrace it.” Automatically, as a follower of Elijah Muhammad, I

had bridled whenever this was said. But in the privacy of my own

thoughts after several of these experiences, I did question myself:

if one was sincere in professing a religion, why should he balk at

broadening his knowledge of that religion?

Those orthodox Muslims whom I had met, one after another, had

urged me to meet and talk with a Dr. Mahmoud Youssef Shawarbi...

Then one day Dr. Shawarbi and I were introduced by a newspa-

perman. He was cordial. He said he had followed me in the press;

I said I had been told of him, and we talked for 15 or 20 minutes.

We both had to leave to make appointments we had, when he

dropped on me something whose logic never would get out of my

head. He said, “No man has believed perfectly until he wishes for

his brother what he wishes for himself.”

The pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, is a religious obliga-

tion that every Muslim fulfills, if humanly able, at least once in his

or her lifetime. The Holy Quran says it, “Pilgrimage to the Ka’ba is

a duty men owe to God; those who are able, make the journey.”

God said: “And proclaim the pilgrimage among them; they will

come to you on foot and upon each lean camel, they will come

from every deep ravine.”

It was after leaving the Nation of Islam that Malcolm became an

Orthodox Muslim, made a holy pilgrimage, traveled through the

Mid-East and Africa, and talked with many diplomats and heads

of state. The effects it had and his change was clear in his attitude,

words, and actions to the degree that many were confused as to

what his new program was. The Quran was his guidepost and his-

torical as well as personal experience made him the most dynamic

leader of the Black Revolution.

Malcolmmade the pilgrimage that every Muslimmust make at least

once in a life time to the holy city of Mecca. It is during this time

that Malcolm reflects on his pilgrimage to Mecca. “Every one of the

thousands at the airport, about to leave for Jeddah, was dressed this

way. You could be a king or a peasant and no one would know. Some

powerful personages, who were discreetly pointed out to me,had

on the same thing I had on. Once thus dressed, we all had begun

intermittently calling out ‘Labbayka! (Allahumma) Labbayka!’ (Here

I come, O Lord!) Packed in the plane were white, black, brown,

red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blond hair, and my kinky

red hair--all together, brothers! All honoring the same God, all in

turn giving equal honor to each other...”

“That is when I first began to reappraise the ‘white man’. It was when

I first began to perceive that ‘white man’, as commonly used, means

complexion only secondarily; primarily it described attitudes and

actions. In America, ‘white man’ meant specific attitudes and actions

toward the black man, and toward all other non-white men. But

in the Muslim world, I had seen that men with white complexions

were more genuinely brotherly than anyone else had ever been.

That morning was the start of a radical alteration in my whole out

look about ‘white’ men.”

“There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world.

They were of all colors, from blue- eyed blonds 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.”

“America needs to understand Islam, because this is the one religion

that erases from its society the race problem. Throughout my travels

in the Muslim world, I have met, talked to, and even eaten with

people who in America would have been considered white--but

the ‘white’ attitude was removed from their minds by the religion

of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood

practiced by all colors together, irrespective of their color.”

“Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater

spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black

and white. The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial

animosities--he is only reacting to four hundred years of the con-

scious racism of the American whites. But as racism leads America

up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have

had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the

colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall and

many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth--the only way

left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must

lead to.”

“...I believe that God now is giving the world’s so-called ‘Christian’

white society its last opportunity to repent and atone for the crimes

of exploiting and enslaving the world’s non-white peoples. It is ex-

actly as when God gave Pharaoh a chance to repent. But Pharaoh

persisted in his refusal to give justice to those who he oppressed.

And, we know, God finally destroyed Pharaoh.”

“I will never forget the dinner at the Azzam home with Dr. Azzam.

The more we talked, the more his vast reservoir of knowledge and

its variety seemed unlimited. He spoke of the racial lineage of the

descendants of Muhammad (PBUH) the Prophet, and he showed

how they were both black and white. He also pointed out how color,

and the problems of color which exist in the Muslim world, exist

only where, and to the extent that, that area of the Muslim world

has been influenced by the West. He said that if one encountered

any differences based on attitude toward color, this directly reflected

the degree of Western influence.”

Malcolm also took time to recognize the contribution that his sister,

Ella had on his life. “I couldn’t get over what she had done. She

had played a very significant role in my life. No other woman ever

was strong enough to point me in directions; I pointed women in

directions. I had brought Ella into Islam, and now she was financing

me to Mecca.

It was during his pilgrimage that he began to write some letters

to his loyal assistants at the newly formed Muslim Mosque in

Harlem. He asked that his letter be duplicated and distributed

to the press. “Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality

and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practiced

by people of all colors and races here in this Ancient Holy Land,

the home of Abraham, Muhammad, and all the other Prophets

of the Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been utterly

speechless and spellbound by the graciousness I see displayed

all around me by people of all colors...”

“You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on

this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced

me to re-arrange 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 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 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 were truly all the same (brothers)--because their belief in

one God had removed the ‘white’ from their minds, the ‘white’

from their behavior, and the ‘white’ from their attitude.”

“I could see from this, that perhaps if white Americans could

accept the Oneness of God, then perhaps, too, they could ac-

cept in reality the Oneness of Man--and cease to measure, and

hinder, and harm others in terms of their ‘differences’ in color.”

“With racism plaguing America like an incurable cancer, the so-

called ‘Christian’ white American heart should be more receptive

to a proven solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps it

could be in time to save America from imminent disaster-- the

same destruction brought upon Germany by racism that even-

tually destroyed the Germans themselves.”

“....They asked me what about the Hajj had impressed me the

most...I said, “The Brotherhood! The people of all races, colors,

from all over the world coming together as one! It has proved

to me the power of the One God.” “...All ate as one, and slept

as one. Everything about the pilgrimage atmosphere accented

the Oneness of Man under One God.”

Malcolm returned from the Hajj pilgrimage with new spiritual

incite as Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz with the knowledge that the

struggle had increased from civil rights of a nationalist, to human

rights of an internationalist and a humanitarian. The question

had been raised concerning the support of African and Muslim

people even in the United Nations on the treatment of minori-

ties in America. Malcolm was Hajj Malik, a true Muslim and a

threat to the immoral establishment of America.

Malcolm in becoming Hajj Malik, called America (Black and

White) to the true religion of humanity. He saw Islam as the

answer to individual and national problems such as racism, and

perhaps the only hope for America.

“If I can die having brought any light, having exposed any

meaningful truth that will help to destroy the racist cancer

that is malignant in the body of America, then all of the credit

is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.” -Al Hajj

Malik Shabazz

Al Hajj Malik Shabazz was assassinated on February 25, 1965,

at a rally. Thanks to God, he performed the Hajj and was guided

to the true religion of Islam.









Asmaa bint Abu Bakr belonged to a distinguished Muslim family.

Her father, Abu Bakr, was a close friend of the Prophet (pbuh) and

the first Khalifah after his death. Her half-sister, Aishah, was a wife

of the Prophet. Her husband, Zubayr ibn al Awwam, was one of

the special personal aides of the Prophet (pbuh). Her son, Abdullah

ibn az-Zubayr, became well-known for his incorruptibility and his

unswerving devotion to Truth.

Asmaa herself was one of the first persons to accept Islam. Only

about 17 persons including both men and women became Muslims

before her. She was later given the nickname, Dhat an- Nitaqayn (the

One with the Two Waistbands), because of an incident connected

with the departure of the Prophet (pbuh) and her father fromMecca

on the historic hijrah to Madinah.

Asmaa was one of the few persons who knew of the Prophet’s plan

to leave for Madinah. The utmost secrecy had to be maintained

because of the Quraysh plans to murder the Prophet (SAW). On

the night of their departure, she prepared a bag of food and a water

container for their journey. She did not find anything though with

which to tie the containers and decided to use her waistband. Abu

Bakr suggested that she tear it into two. This she did and the Prophet

(SAW) commended her action. From then on she became known

as “the One with the Two Waistbands”.

When the final emigration fromMecca to Madinah took place soon

after the departure of the Prophet (pbuh), Asmaa was pregnant. She

did not let her pregnancy or the prospect of a long and arduous

journey deter her from leaving. As soon as she reached Quba on

the outskirts of Madinah, she gave birth to a son, Abdullah. The

Muslims shouted in happiness and thanksgiving because this was

the first child to be born to the muhajireen in Madinah.

Asmaa became known for her fine and noble qualities and for the

keenness of her intelligence. She was an extremely generous person.

Her son Abdullah once said of her, “I have not seen two women

more generous than my aunt Aishah and my mother Asmaa. But

their generosity was expressed in different ways. My aunt would

accumulate one thing after another until she had gathered what

she felt was sufficient and then distributed it all to those in need.

My mother, on the other hand, would not keep anything even for

the morrow.”

Asmaa’s presence of mind in difficult circumstances was remarkable.

When her father left Mecca, he took all his wealth, amounting to

some 6,000 dirhams, and did not leave any for his family. When

Abu Bakr’s father, Abu Quhafah heard of his departure he went

to his house and said to her: “I understand that he has left you no

money after he has abandoned you.” “No, grandfather,” replied

Asmaa, “in fact he has left us much money.” She took some pebbles

and put them in a small recess in the wall where they used to put

money. She threw a cloth over the heap and took the hand of her

grandfather-he was blind-and said, “See how much money he has

left us.” Through this stratagem, Asmaa wanted to allay the fears of

the old man and to forestall him from giving them anything of his

own wealth. This was because she disliked receiving any assistance

even if it was her own grandfather.

Asmaa had an attitude and was not inclined to compromise her

honor and her faith. Her mother, Qutaylah, once came to visit her