Hajj as a shift against racism: Malcolm X's letter from Hajj

Hajj Pilgrims on the plain of Mina

Many Muslims who have been blessed to make Hajj often speak of how the journey is a life-changing experience. This is more the case for some than others.

Malcolm X is one Muslim who saw the light of true Islam through his Hajj in April 1964. As a former member and speaker for the Nation of Islam, a black spiritual and nationalist movement, he believed that the white man was the devil and the black man superior.

After leaving the Nation of Islam in March 1964, he made Hajj, which helped change his perspective on whites and racism completely.

Here is an excerpt of a letter El Hajj Malik El Shabazz wrote about his Hajj experience. In it, he explains what it was during this blessed journey that made him so profoundly shift his perspective on race and racism:

"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."

 

Photo Attribution: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Hajj_2009

 

Comments

Wonderful. I am very glad you posted this.

Location

Santa Clara, CA

could have gone more in depth but over all it is very informative on the topic

Location

alaska

I wish the article had gone a bit more into details, but nevertheless, it has much to teach us. If only the people today could learn from Islam how important unity is, just like Malcolm X did. Jazakallah

Location

It is important to note that El Hajj Malik El Shabazz also explained (in this same speech) that just because he'd made the Hajj did not mean racism had suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth. He was very emphatic in explaining that the struggle against racism needed to continue because of the 30 million African-Americans who suffered under racism in their daily lives. In fact, Malcolm went on to found the Organization of Afro-American Unity in an effort to banish the American brand of racism when he was murdered.Also, he was not a racist. To understand the true definition of racism, please see the works of famed psychiatrist Dr. Frances Cress Welsing.

Location

Miami

i never knew all these stuff!!!

Location

london

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