Malcolm X, born Malcolm Little and later also known as el-Hajj Malik el-Shabazz (Arabic: الحاجّ مالك الشباز), was an African-American minister as well as a very active human rights protector. He was born back on the 19th of May in 1925 and was assassinated back in 1965 on the 21st of February.
Malcolm little was born in Omaha in the state of Nebraska, and he was the fourth of a total of seven children of Louise Helen Little and Earl Little. Unfortunately, Malcolm had a rather rough life growing up. His father was murdered back when he was just 6 years old while his mother got instituted in a mental hospital when Malcolm was just 13 years old. As a result, he spent his early life living in a variety of different foster homes.
It was in 1946 when Malcolm got arrested for larceny. In prison, he got involved with the group called Nation of Islam. Once he got his parole back in 1952, he quickly became one of the most influential leaders of the group.
In March 1964, Malcolm X left the Nation Of Islam and started his own religious organization, the Muslim Mosque, Inc., on March 12, 1964. Later that year, Malcolm went on the islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. During this travel, al-Hajj Malik Shabazz wrote a powerful letter! (you can read it at the end of this page)
He was also part of the Organization of Afro-American Unity.
Malcolm X praying in a mosque in Cairo (Egypt)
By the late 50s, Malcolm X was already using a different name – Malcolm Shabazz or also known as Malik el-Shabazz. Of course, it’s well known that he was famous as Malcolm X. In any case, his comments on different pressing, mainly racial issues got mentioned on television, radio, in print and he was also featured in a production called The Hate That Hate Produced.
Malcolm X, being the African-American activities that he was, got murdered back in 1965 on the 21st of February in 1965. He was shot with a sawed-off shotgun, and the autopsy report managed to identify 21 gunshot wounds to his left shoulder, chest, arms as well as legs. It was one of the most dramatic murders of all time as it took place at a public convention with an audience of at least 400 people.
Letter: "THE PILGRIMAGE TO MAKKAH"
When he was in Makkah, Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz wrote a letter to his loyal assistants in Harlem... from his heart:
"Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and 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.
"I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of Mecca, I have made my seven circuits around the Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad, I drank water from the well of the Zam Zam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Mt. Al-Safa and Al Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt. Arafat."
"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 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."
"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 always been 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 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 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 accept 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 eventually destroyed the Germans themselves."
"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 conscious 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 walls 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."
"Never have I been so highly honored. Never have I been made to feel more humble and unworthy. Who would believe the blessings that have been heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago, a man who would be called in America a white man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his bed. Never would I have even thought of dreaming that I would ever be a recipient of such honors - honors that in America would be bestowed upon a King - not a Negro."
"All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
(From the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X with assistance from Alex Haley, the author of ROOTS)
Malcolm X saw and experienced many positive things. Generosity and openheartedness were qualities which were impressed on him by the welcome which he received in many places. He saw brotherhood and the brotherhood of different races and this led him to disclaim racism and to say: "I am not a racist... In the past I permitted myself to be used... to make sweeping indictments of all white people, the entire white race, and these generalizations have caused injuries to some whites who perhaps did not deserve to be hurt. Because of the spiritual enlightenment which I was blessed to receive as the result of my recent pilgrimage to the Holy City of Mecca, I no longer subscribe to sweeping indictments of any one race. I am now striving to live the life of a true Sunni Muslim. I must repeat that I am not a racist nor do I subscribe to the tenets of racism. I can state in all sincerity that I wish nothing but freedom, justice and equality, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people."
(The preceding material was excerpted from The Autobiography of Malcolm X quoted in an article written by the Institute for Islamic Education.
January 31, 2017