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Malcolm X's Prime Directive was to spread Islam throughout America

Reader comment on item: How Elijah Muhammad Won

Submitted by Ron (United States), Jun 8, 2012 at 00:29

The vast majority of people have no idea how ultra-Orthodox Malcolm became during the last six months of his life. He studied the Koran and Hadiths for sometimes 12 to 15 hours a day. He was wrapped and buried exactly according to Islamic tradition. He knew that he was marked for assassination, so he drew up a plan to be carried out after he died.

In Saudi Arabia, Shabazz/Malcolm X's studies were supervised by Shaykh Muhammad Sarur As-Sabban, the Secretary-General of theMuslim World League . During this period of time, The University of Medina offered Shabazz 15 scholarships for young African Americans, to go along with those offered by Al-Azhar. Thus it is evident that those detractors who think that Malik Shabazz had no formal Islamic training according to the Sunna are clearly mistaken. In fact, his intensive training occupied five of the last eleven months of his life.

Both Decaro and Edward E. Curtis IV quote Richard Murphy, who was an American embassy official in Jedda, Saudi Arabia in 1964, as reporting an interview between Shabazz and a reporter that published in the Jeddan newspaper Al-Bilad. During it, Murphy wrote, "Malcolm X stressed his pleasure at his visits to Saudi Arabia and their benefit to his personal spiritual development. He took pain during this conversation to deprecate his reputation as a political activist and dwelt mainly on his interest in bringing sounder appreciation of Islam" to African Americans. Further, it must be stated here that Shabazz envisioned a connection between Islam and Muslims in Africa and in America, as evidenced by the photograph that he took wearing the traditional turban and robes of the Jamaa'at of the esteemed Muslim leader, Imam, Shaykh, and reviver of The Faith, Uthman Ibn Fudi (Usuman Dan Fodiyo), in Nigeria (May Allah forgive the sins of the Shehu and reward him with Paradise, amin). This has been clearly indicated by the Amir of that Jamaat in North America, Muhammad Shareef ibn Farid. The traditional African Muslim robes and turban were presented to Shabazz by a Nigerian government official, described by Peter Goldman as the "Nigerian High Commissioner". Dr. Yusuf Naim Kly, a Muslim who is former Chairman of the Canadian Branch of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (the political organization founded by El-Hajj Malik) and an internationally reknown scholar of International Law, verifies this desire as expessed by Malik Shabazz, in writing : "…under the guidance of Dr. Mahmoud Youseff Shawabi, Imam of the New York Islamic Center, Hajji Malik El Shabazz accepted Sunni Islam as his personal faith, made the hajj to Mecca, and traveled to Africa wherein he became engaged with the following three major concerns that occupied the remainder of his attention until his untimely death in the Audubon Ballroom that winter Sunday of 1965: a. The introduction of the Islamic civilization into America . The introduction of the Afro-American question to the United Nations b. The organization of an authentic internationally-recognized Afro-American national liberation movement c. The replacement of the irresponsible traditional negro leadership, for without this no meaningful changes or new conceptualizations could reach the masses." This it is evident that Shabazz's first priority was the establishment of Al-Islam in the West, and that his close second priority was the liberation of his people (African Americans) from oppression. He undoubtedly saw the former as essential to the latter. So sweeping and comprehensive was the scope of Shabazz's work that after his passing it was taken up by several organizations, Muslim and non-Muslim, all of whom have built entire platforms of activity, work and action, around only various parts of the MMI program.

The threads of El-Hajj Malik's life and work as a reflection of the history of Al-Islam in America, manifested themselves even in his passing. According to Shaykh Hajj Hesham Jaaber (see below) many of the Imams of that time (i.e. the mid- 1960s) in New York and New Jersey, either couldn't or wouldn't (mostly wouldn't) officiate over Shabazz's burial ( due no doubt to fear of reprisal from either the U.S. government or the so-called Nation of Islam). In the M.M.I., Tawfiq was still a student in Egypt. Many of the soldiers of the M.M.I. were in a state of both covert and overt warfare with the so-called Fruit of Islam (FOI) of the Nation. Besides, at that time the soldiers lacked the knowledge of the Sunna to conduct traditional burial services, even if they had been in the position to do so. Thus the remains of Malik Shabazz were prepared in the traditional Islamic way (i.e. according to the Sunna) by Shaykh Hassoun. The Janaza prayers were courageously led by Shaykh Jaaber (whose roots lie in the Addeynu Allahu Universal Arabic Association – a pioneering Sunni Muslim community founded in 1930), and Sunni Muslim African Americans from Elizabeth, New Jersey, including Haj Muhammad Taleeb, Yahya Bashir, Wakeel Abdu-Nafi, Jamil Abdul-Aziz, Yusef Abdu-Razzak, and Ismael Abdu-Ghani.

Other African American Sunni Muslims from what was affectionately known in New York City as the Ansar House were also trying to be of assistance. This is evidenced by a letter that had been left at the New York Medical Examiner's office by one of the Ansar House's representatives, Sister Hajjah Jamillah Hassan. The letter was intercepted by the New York City Police Department, and it is not clear whether or not Sister Betty Bahiyyah Shabazz (Malcolm X's widow) ever saw it.

At any rate, Shaykhs Hassoun and Jabber saw to it the Malik Shabazz was properly prepared and buried. Shaykh Jaaber has written , "History has recorded my participation at the Janaza of Haj Malik, but few in history have ever reported or known that we were an indigenous community of Sunnah Muslims, born, raised and touched by Allah on the soil of the United States". Lastly, Al-Hajj K. Ahmad Tawfiq, the founding Imam and Shaykh –'Allaamah of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc. (May Allah forgive his sins and have mercy upon him) wrote of his leader, "The Holy Qur'an (The Holy Book of the Muslims) reads in Sura 2:Ayyat 154: 'And speak not of those who are slain in Allah's Way as dead. Nay, they are alive, but you perceive not.' "A Muslim is taught that the doors of Paradise are flung open for those who die fighting in the way of Allah. So, may it be remembered that our dear, beloved brother in Islam, Malik El-Shabazz, was a Muslim who died fighting in the Way of Allah. In that faith, he knows no sadness and is at this very moment enjoying the fruits of his labor. For surely we belong to Allah and to Him we will return. "

(Content taken from article written by Imam Al-Hajj Talib 'Abdur-Rashid is the Imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood Inc. in Harlem, New York (USA). He is also the Amir of the Harlem Shura, the Chairman of the Justice Committee of the Majlis Ash-Shura of New York, and the Deputy Amir of The Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA))



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