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EL-HAJJ MALIK EL-SHABAZZ - HIS LEGACY by Shaykh 'Allama Al-Hajj Ahmad Tawfiq

In the various considerations being made of present-day events, very little importance is placed on the Wisdom of Allah and His Way of doing things. Therefore, when the new hour is sounded and a most disrespected people unite to become “The Nation” among nations charged with the responsibility of carrying the glowing torch of civilization, many people from leading communities will stand in awe of this rising group; utterly dumbfounded, they will stand with their mouths shut wide open.

The Afro-American people constitute a young nation, which, like the proverbial phoenix, is gradually rising from the ruins and dehumanization of slavery and its inherited ills. Slowly and painfully, this new nation is re-embracing the ways of its honorable ancestors. And the value of Islamic procedure is recognized with each degree of redevelopment. But many obstacles remain in the path of this humble people-obstacles which check their growth by creating problems which only they themselves can solve.

It is fortunate, therefore, that Almighty God, Allah has given to some persons among them a clearer Insight, Wisdom, and Understanding and has commissioned these chosen ones to be standards and beacons for the people in their darkest moments. The man called Malcolm X was one of those chosen and commissioned from among his oppressed people. He was indeed, a standard and a beacon!

To practice Islam (which is Submission to the Will of Allah (God)) a man must get out of himself. He must grasp and be held by a principle, which demands something more than his own wisdom and strength has prepared him to achieve. This principle must bring in to his sights the people, the problems, and the opportunities, which demand of him a service and self-sacrifice, which drive him to Allah in self-despair-there to be lifted by a profound certainty of help and sufficiency. Or to put it another way: “Moral purpose and spiritual Passion will always keep the fires of Islam lighted.”

Unfortunately, when unenlightened people think of Islam or Muslims, they usually direct their attention only to the Arabs and their culture. They assume that anyone striving to adhere to the teachings of the Holy Prophet, Muhammad ibn Abdullah of Mecca, (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him) is merely attempting to adopt an Arab culture. Nothing could be further from the truth.

What they fail to realize is that the Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Him), who happened to be an Arab, was actually the “seal” of a long line of prophets, including Adam, Noah, Buddha, Moses and Jesus. The unenlightened fail to recognize the fact that just as the millions of followers of the “truth” which these Holy Prophets (May the blessings of Allah be upon them) taught are not necessarily of their particular national cultures. There are, and always have been, millions of Muslims who are not Arabs and who, indeed, have their own national cultures.

Because of that basic lack of information, Afro-Americans who are Muslims or those who are striving to be Muslims are misunderstood in many instances. Actually, the person who would accept Islam needs to know that Islam is the oldest, most-perfect religion on earth and that it was the religion of every true prophet who ever lived, including the one familiar to the Western World, Jesus. From that understanding, let me proceed to speak of one of the most resolute of 20th Century Muslims.

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, better known as Malcolm X, grabbed hold of the handle of Islam after an orphaned (In Islamic law a child is considered “orphaned” when the father dies) childhood and while incarcerated as a consequence of an unfortunate adolescence. During his confinement, he educated himself, obtained an early release, and then became a willing sacrifice in the cause of Freedom, Justice, Equality, Unity, and Love for his people.

Having been introduced to another way of life (Islam as taught by Elijah Muhammad) Malcolm X soon took great pride in the unique ideas of freedom incorporated in Islamic principles. He had been critical of the “Turn the other cheek” and “Love your enemy” philosophic of the Judaeo-Christian teachings of earlier years, because they had been misused to allow the unscrupulous to oppress and exploit true believers. He was attracted by the fact that a Muslim is not only encouraged but required to strike out against all evil and evil doers.

And from the time that Brother Malcolm bore witness that nothing deserves to be worshipped except Allah until his dying breath (when he is reported to have said “Allahu Akbar,” that is, “Allah is the Greatest”), he walked the straight path, which, many who worship under the banner of Islam seek, but few find. For to find and stay on the much sought-after “Straight Path”, represents the crowning achievement of a Muslim.

Unfortunately, many professed followers of the philosophies brought to man at various times and in different places by great men have allowed themselves to be misled by the devil (that is, by forces voluntarily moving against the will of God). As a result, they become worshippers of idols. Why wear a Cross, a Star of David, a Star and Crescent, or any other such symbol if the wearer does not attempt to adhere to the principles these symbols represent? There are many people who are using and misusing the shields of righteous men and principles of honorable religions to mask their own dirty programs; or at the very least, they do not sincerely endeavor to understand or live up to the “truths” of the symbols and banners under which they profess to stand.

The kind of betrayal of faith and falsifying of principle as previously described was certainly not true of Malcolm X. He was tried and tested many times by Allah and by the devil. He met and passed these examinations with the steadfastness of the saints of old. Malcolm believed in Allah and he continued to hold firmly to the handle of Islam under some of the most taxing circumstances and conditions.

After unfounded charges forced him to leave the organization known as The Nation of Islam, his life was extremely disturbed, mentally as well as physically. He borrowed money to make a pilgrimage to the Holy Shrine of Mecca where he hoped to find the strength and guidance needed to recompose his life and his ideas. Upon arrival at the gates of Mecca, he was detained and confined because the authorities did not believe that he was a Muslim or even that he was the person he claimed to be.

However, after proving his identity and faith, he was allowed to complete the rites of pilgrimage and was treated as a Guest of the State.

During this same period, a meeting of African Heads of State was taking place in Cairo, United Arab Republic, under the auspices of The Organization of African Unity (OAU). With that fact in mind, Brother Malcolm prepared a text on the plight of Black Americans and went to Cairo to deliver the text before the members of the OAU. He hoped that they would bring the case to the attention of the United Nations.

As a result of this lobbying on behalf of his people an appropriate resolution was prepared by the Africans and presented to representatives of many nations, including the one named as the offender.

After completing Hajj, and after his efforts in Africa, Brother Malcolm, returned to the United States with renewed composure and vigor. Throwing out a call to all Afro-Americans to unite with the common goal of total liberation for all, he then proceeded to build an organization, which he hoped would house the coordinated leaders of the many factions of Afro-Americans. These leaders were to become the much-needed United Front. And although the dream of Afro-American Unity was not fulfilled during his lifetime, Malcolm X was the man who paved the way for future united moves by Afro-Americans.

But there were numerous occasions when he was forced to wish that the loud cheers were instead quiet reflections; that the thunderous applause was monetary support to better aid the “spreading of the word.” He wished many, many times that the good-natured chuckles were tears shed in awareness; that the foot-stomping was the sound of marching feet at the forefront of an Afro-American “Freedom Army;” and that the shouts of support were in fact strong adherence to the philosophy and principles which he expounded.

However, the unfortunate fact is that too many times Malcolm X was the victim of those who love the tent but not the inmate. That is, there were many people who appreciated his “form” but not his essence.

Many times those who wished only to be seen of men came around and glad-handed him with no other purpose than to be part of an in-crowd. Tragically, the same attitude is still evident with regard to Malcolm X as well as other outstanding persons now in the public eye. Locally, nationally, and internationally many homes display portraits of Malcolm X. And all over this country, people own and listen to recorded speeches by our brother and read so-called “authoritative” literature about his life. But few of these people try to understand the essence of the truth for which they shout praises and buy symbols.

It should also be noted that most of the reminders of Brother Malcolm are deliberately designed to portray him as anything and everything but the Muslim he was. Paradoxically then, many who claim him as their martyred hero actually move against the very principles of Islam for which he died. Alas! There are those who collect symbols of great persons merely for the sake of a fine decoration or prop; and this collecting soon degenerates into base idol worship. Malcolm X was a Muslim. He was a believer! And he did what he did because it was what he had to do to live at peace with himself and his God. He laid his life on the line because he was one of the few Afro-Americans who believed that self-survival also included the survival of his people. He did what he did because he felt that his people had stood too long on the brink of true arrival, and was willing to become a stepping-stone toward the success of the people.

One of his goals was the propagation of Islam throughout the United States of America. In a country biased against it, and among a people who had been tricked too often by various “religious programs,” this aim was not to be easily achieved. However, let the record show that Malcolm X, El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was a Muslim. And although his mission was cut short, he was one of the foremost champions of bringing Islamic ideas and guidance to Afro-Americans, the people who stood in greatest need of the benefits to be gained from them.

Like a planted seed when its time to grow has come-pushing away earth a thousand times its weight, splitting rocks in its path of growth, and traveling in two directions (one toward water and the other toward the sun) with one aim-the person who became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, a servant of God, pushed away thick layers of ignorance which had been used to cloud the minds of his oppressed people. He split the bearers of deceit who had been used to stunt their growth and he traveled in what seemed to be diverse directions. But all his directions had one aim: to inspire more abundant life and courage in the young nation within a nation, the Afro-American People! The Afro-American people are the progeny of enslaved ancestors, and now they have come into the dawn of their civilization. They are stepping onto the evolutionary pathway of their “Ancient Fathers,” a path which is now unbarred. And there is no turning back for any of them because their actions are prescribed. Thus, there is a constant flow of souls commissioned to their ranks to serve as standards and beacons. Descendants of the most Noble Ancients, they are now in their own right-becoming a young and grouping nation in need of Supreme guidance. The “lift” which brings souls down and takes them back to paradise is situated within. That “lift” is the breath. These souls come to earth with the breath, and with the same, they return Brother Malik was one of our recent experiences with one of these lifting, lifted souls. Others that are traveling to this earth plane are usually impressed by souls coming from this earth plane. Quite often as not, people who are deeply impressed by a certain personality, ideal, thought, or feeling become, in time, the same as that personality, ideal, thought, or feeling. We come to realize that “man is his impression.” And the entering soul-impressed deeply in the spiritual world by some personality going from the earth that leaves an impression so deeply engraved that it can never be thrown away-certainly becomes that personality with which it was impressed. For that reason, it is safe for us to consider our beloved Brother Malik as having been engraved with the same spiritual impression as many of our honorable ancestors like Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey, Peter Poyas, Mingo Harth and Nat Turner. When thinking of Brother Malik-Malcolm X– I automatically remember the gallant group of Muslims who left the Nation of Islam with him. Like some noble samarai they too have borne hardships, humiliations and sufferings with staunch faith. In view of their unsung dedication, these verses from the Holy Quran hold particular meaning: “And certainly We have left a clear sign of it for a people who understand.” Sura 29: ayyat 34, 35.

The Holy Quran (The Holy Book of the Muslims) reads further 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 most delicious fruits of his labor. For surely we belong to Allah and to Him we will return.

Hajj Malik was a servant of the people and surely his efforts are not vain. For “All of us will not go to the devil because there is a Supreme Director watching over our affairs.” Our darkest days are over.

We are now in the dawn. These times are merely times of separating the wheat from the chaff. So, we need not be discouraged by a few lingering years of disunity; it is only through bitter experiences that we shall learn the folly of fratricidal strife. And the time is very near when we shall clearly see how gravely harmful are the fights we wage among ourselves. When these terrible days have passed, all of us-cleansed and reorganized will return to sanity and settle down to a stronger, steadier advance.

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon us.

Reprinted from The Western Sunrise Newspaper, February 1972. Published by The Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood, Inc., Harlem, New York


REFLECTIONS ON THE TRUE HISTORICAL LEGACY OF EL-HAJJ MALIK EL-SHABAZZ/MALCOLM X by Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid

Reflections on the True Historical Legacy of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz/Malcolm X , as a Muslim Fighter for the Liberation of his People by Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid

In spite of the words of the Star-Spangled Banner and other American odes to truth and justice, the real measuring stick for freedom in The United States of America was and is its treatment of African Americans, with regards to Social Justice matters. The most famous and influential champion of both Allah’s Cause of the establishment of Al-Islam, and the pursuit of social justice for his people, was El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X, may Allah’s Mercy and Favor be upon him).

The two major voices for Social Justice in America, at least during the latter half of the 20th Century, were El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz - a Muslim, and Dr. Martin Luther King - a Christian. The significance of Shabazz as a leader with a voice echoing a prophetic social justice dimension, has been written about often, by both non-Muslims and Muslims. Professor James Cone , author of Martin and Malcolm and America, describes the two men as “resources in the struggle for justice” . He wrote of them (pp. ix,x):

“Martin and Malcolm illuminate the two roads to freedom (i.e. “ the two main resistance traditions in African-American history and culture- integration and nationalism”) that meet in the African-Americans search for identity in the land of their birth.”

“The reason that sympathetic interpreters often miss the central role of religion in Malcolm’s thinking is that religion is commonly separated from struggles for justice. That was why Martin had such difficult time getting the white church involved in the civil rights movement, and why liberation theologians in the Third World are so controversial today.

“Many people think that religion has everything to do with an individual’s personal relationship with God and nothing to do with society and one’s fight for justice in it. When Malcolm X identified the fight for justice as the central religious act , his message was usually misunderstood. His friends often avoided the subject of religion and ignored the strict moral code he faithfully obeyed. Malcolm’s enemies accused him of using religion as a façade for fomenting hate and violence.”

“Even though Martin is generally and appropriately credited with deep religious commitment, a case could be made that Malcolm was more religious than Martin…I contend that the depth of any religious commitment should be judged by one’s commitment to justice for humanity, using the liberation activity of humans beings as the lens through which one sees God. By this criterion both Martin and Malcolm must be considered deeply religious persons.”

Although Shabazz and King will be forever linked in American history, in truth the Muslim acted as a deliberate counter-point to his Noble Peace-Prize winning contemporary. In words that would electrify American society if publicly spoken during this, the “post 9-11 world”, he once stated:

“No, I’m not an American. I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter , or a flag-waver – no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see an American dream. I see an American nightmare.”

Amongst Muslims, Shabazz/Malcolm X has been written of by Dr. Yusuf Naim Kly Dr. Kly is the former Chairman of the Canadian branch of the second group founded by Malik Shabazz, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He has written of the man who had been his leader :

“It is ironic that when most Americans think of Malcolm X, they think of him as un-American or anti-American. However, this is no doubt due to confusion between his being against certain government policies, as opposed to being anti-American. When we look unemotionally at he political philosophy of Malcolm X, there can be little doubt that Malcolm’s values represented a far greater integration into the American majority system than, say, the political philosophy of the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While King’s absolute belief in non-self-defense or nonresistance against violent aggression reflected strong Hindu or Buddhist orientation, Malcolm’s philosophy was really about the same as any majority American would hold, given similar circumstances and grievances…”

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was the most effective American-based international voice for liberation of African people. During his July, 1964 stay in Cairo, he made the following recommendations to conferees st the Organization of African Unity Summit:

1. Civil Rights organizations in the United States have accomplished the most they can hope for under the existing conditions.

2. The time has come to internationalize the American Negro problem so as to accentuate the struggle.

3. This can be done only by linking the fate of the new African states with that of American Negroes.

4. This can be done by employing the racial situation in the United States as and instrument of attack in discussing international problems.

5. Such a strategy would give the African states more leverage in dealing with the United States and would in turn give American Negroes more leverage in American society.

This level of analysis and organization created tremendous concern and opposition in the circles of the American government. Intelligence sources began to circulate memos discussing neutralizing Shabazz.

Further, the importance of Shabazz (Malcolm X) to the African American psyche has been cited by Eugene Victor Wolfenstein in his book The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution, where-in he states:

“Taken as a whole, we may represent the development of Malcolm’s self-consciousness as the process through which he learned to think for himself, to recognize that his sincerity was his credentials, and to accept the responsibility for revolutionary leadership

“This process, which Malcolm’s autobiography so clearly reveals, is a moving and dramatic affirmation of the human spirit. But its significance is neither simply individual nor abstractly universal. As Malcolm’s speeches and the subsequent role played by The Autobiography of Malcolm X indicate, his experience became a medium for the reproduction of that experience in others. He became a mirror in which black people saw reflected their pain and rage, and he provided interpretations of that pain and rage which led to both insight and to action. His interpretation of the black American experience provided insight into the souls of black folk for black folk themselves and, by so doing, led toward organized black revolutionary action…In sum, Malcolm represented the interests and mobilized the emotional resources of the black masses and black people in general.”

Carew (author of Ghosts In Our Blood) writes (pg. 103) of Malcolm X: “He was one of those rare speakers who always gave his best to his listeners, and through his discourse he took them into his confidence. He was at different times a teacher, a storyteller, and a griot. He could use words to distill he collective griefs of Black people and transform them into hard, crystalline calls for action. His was an eloquent exercise in Aristotle’s catharsis and purging and purging of the spirit as he shifted the collective mood deftly from the somber to the amused and from the indignant to the sad and the triumphant”.

In a masterfully ironic turn of history, Malik Shabazz furthered a struggle envisioned by his parents, both of whom were followers of the honorable Marcus Garvey. It is well-known that his father, who was a proud defender of his family and his people, was killed when Shabazz was a young boy. Although it is not known exactly what Earl Little (Malcolm X’s father) was doing on the night of his death, he was undoubtedly attacked and killed then by White Supremacists (the original American terrorists). According to Evanzz , this brave man had been generally gathering signatures on a petition being circulated by the followers of Garvey, on his instructions. The petition was designed to bring the grievances of people of African descent before the League of Nations; the forerunner of the United Nations.

This was never done, as the U.S. government itself conspired to exploit the weaknesses of Garvey’s nobly intended organization (the United Negro Improvement Association), destabilize it, and destroy both it and its leader. This campaign was led by a fledgling commander of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the F.B.I.), named J. Edgar Hoover.

The great African American freedom fighter and world citizen Paul Robeson, took up this cause and along with another gallant activist named William Patterson, did in fact submit a petition requesting relief for African Americans in the denial of their human rights. When Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and began his evolution into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the Sunni Muslim revolutionary and inheritor of the mantle of leadership embodied by his father, his father’s leader (Garvey), and Robeson, he took up that same struggle.

Not only did El-Shabazz/Malcolm X permanently etch the strategy or pursuit of human rights upon the consciousness of Americans of African descent, but he actually lobbied and gained support for the move amongst leaders in Africa and the Middle East. He did so during a time when the image of the United States as a defender of global freedoms was vulnerable.

Like Garvey and Robeson, Shabazz too was the object of covert intelligence operations carried out by the U.S. government on the orders of Hoover; who saw them as he later would see Dr. Martin Luther King, and all American strugglers for freedom, including Civil Rights and “Black Power” leaders and organizations, the Native American and Puerto Rican Independence Movements, and the Anti-War Movement of the Vietnam Era. Hoover and those in power over him in the Executive Branch, considered these true patriots enemies of America, and acted accordingly by implementing COINTELPRO .

Nonetheless, Shabazz/Mallcolm X succeeded in firmly planting within the analytic and tactical manual of social struggle in America, the notion that it must be human rights and not just civil rights oriented. This is and continues to be a major point being pursued by American activists, as exhibited by the Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, during then end of August and beginning of September,2001. It is exactly the type of forum that El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz helped bring into existence, with his ideas, influence, and vision. He would have reveled in its proceedings. Post-Nation of Islam Work

The indefatigable work of Malcolm X in building the Nation of Islam is well known, as are the circumstances of his departure from Elijah Muhammad’s proto-Islamic organization. Not as well known to some people though, is the breadth of his vision, and the work he began after his departure from the so-called Nation of Islam, and acceptance of the authentic faith of Al-Islam.

While it is true that at first he and those of his followers who made hijra from the so-called Nation of Islam didn’t know a great deal about canonical Islam , none can deny that he was firmly on the True Path when he was martyred. His conversion was conscientious, and based upon knowledge-not just sincerity.

Beginning in early March, 1964 Malik Shabazz received almost nightly Islamic instructions for several weeks from Dr. Mahmoud Yussef Shawarbi; then director of the Islamic Center of New York (an institution that now shines on the corner of E. 96th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, New York City).

On March 12, 1964 he held a press conference at the Park Sheraton hotel in New York City, during which he stated “I am going to organize and head a new mosque in New York City, known as the Muslim Mosque Inc. This gives us a religious base, and the spiritual force necessary to rid our people of the vices that destroy the moral fiber of our community”.

True to his word, on March 16, 1964, he and his followers who were ex-members of the so-called Nation of Islam, combined their efforts with other Sunni Muslim African-Americans, to legally incorporate the Muslim Mosque Inc.

George Breitman writes “Malcolm founded a religious organization first, because he and most of the people willing to work with him at that point wanted to remain Muslims although outside of the Nation of Islam.”

Their religious intent in forming the mosque is evident in their stated purpose, outlined in the seven points of their certificate of incorporation:

“To provide a suitable place of worship for its members and others in accordance with the Islamic Faith.

“ To maintain a house of study for the advancement of the Islamic Faith and Religion.

“To stimulate interest among the members in the formation, maintenance, and the teachings of the Islamic Faith.

“To publish textbooks, pamphlets, brochures, and to solicit, collect and in other manners raise funds for the hereinabove and hereinafter enumerated purposes..

“ To work for the imparting of the Islamic Faith and Islamic Religion in accordance with the accepted Islamic Religious principles.

“ To purchase, lease, acquire, sell and mortgage improved or unimproved real property and any interest therein.

“The foregoing clauses shall be considered both as objects and purposes, and it is hereby expressly provided that the foregoing enumerated specific objects and purposes shall not be held to limit or restrict in any manner the powers of this corporation, but that this corporation shall be entitled to enjoy all the powers that a religious corporation may have under and by virtue of the Laws of the State of New York.”

Thus it is clear that the stated intention and purpose of the Muslim Mosque Inc. encompassed the traditional areas of (Sunni) Islamic belief , doctrine and practice, namely ibaadat (worship), tarbiyya (religious education), da’wah (propogation of the Faith), ‘Aqeeda (traditional binding beliefs, understanding and actualizing Islam in accordance with “accepted Islamic principles”, and thus separating themselves from the NOI), and ‘iqaamatud-din (establishment of the faith through institutionalization).

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz/Malcolm X departed the U.S. for hajj on April 13,1964. He completed his pilgrimage and then went on to visit Africa and the so-called Middle East. When he returned to the United States, Shabazz continued his mission of liberation of the oppressed African American masses.

The strategic plan formulated by him called for two-pronged leadership amongst his followers. He arranged for Koli Ahmad Tawfiq (see below) to take the entrance exam to Al-Azhar University. When Tawfiq passed the exams he was dispatched to that esteemed institution as part of a plan that called for him to eventually become the first African-American Imam of the Muslim Mosque Inc, which never happened. At that time prayers were being led and guidance according to the Sunna was provided, by a Shaykh from the Sudan named Ahmad Hassoun. Shabazz continued to lead the Organization of Afro-American Unity – providing political leadership for the African American masses, while the M.M.I. was being built for provision of spiritual leadership.

Tawfiq began matriculation at Al-Azhar in September, 1964. At the same time Shabazz returned to Makka, to make Umra (the lesser hajj), having been in Cairo since July. Much attention has been made to Malik Shabazz’s political activities during this, his second tour of Africa and the so-called Middle East. His meetings with heads of state, observances of various political proceedings, and speeches before such august bodies as the Organization of African Unity were vitally important for his cause. They also brought him much attention and targeting by the U.S. government. At the same time though, he was also furthering his own religious training on the path of the Sunna (prophetic tradition of the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

Sunni Muslim Training and Education

During a four month period of time from July through October of 1964, Shabazz studied Al-Islam under the supervision of the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs in Cairo, Egypt and the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia. His training and education was not designed to make him an imam or ‘alim, but rather to further correct his understanding of dinul-Islam and to strengthen his qualification as America’s most visible Sunni Muslim and potential da’ee (propagator of the faith of Al-Islam).

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. “

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)


THE SUNNI ISLAMIC TRAINING AND MISSION OF EL-HAJJ MALIK EL-SHABAZZ/MALCOLM X by Imam Al-Hajj Talib Abdur-Rashid

Reflections on the True Historical Legacy of El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz/Malcolm X , as a Muslim Fighter for the Liberation of his People by Imam Al-Hajj Talib ‘Abdur-Rashid

In spite of the words of the Star-Spangled Banner and other American odes to truth and justice, the real measuring stick for freedom in The United States of America was and is its treatment of African Americans, with regards to Social Justice matters. The most famous and influential champion of both Allah’s Cause of the establishment of Al-Islam, and the pursuit of social justice for his people, was El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X, may Allah’s Mercy and Favor be upon him).

The two major voices for Social Justice in America, at least during the latter half of the 20th Century, were El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz - a Muslim, and Dr. Martin Luther King - a Christian. The significance of Shabazz as a leader with a voice echoing a prophetic social justice dimension, has been written about often, by both non-Muslims and Muslims. Professor James Cone , author of Martin and Malcolm and America, describes the two men as “resources in the struggle for justice” . He wrote of them (pp. ix,x):

“Martin and Malcolm illuminate the two roads to freedom (i.e. “ the two main resistance traditions in African-American history and culture- integration and nationalism”) that meet in the African-Americans search for identity in the land of their birth.”

“The reason that sympathetic interpreters often miss the central role of religion in Malcolm’s thinking is that religion is commonly separated from struggles for justice. That was why Martin had such difficult time getting the white church involved in the civil rights movement, and why liberation theologians in the Third World are so controversial today.

“Many people think that religion has everything to do with an individual’s personal relationship with God and nothing to do with society and one’s fight for justice in it. When Malcolm X identified the fight for justice as the central religious act , his message was usually misunderstood. His friends often avoided the subject of religion and ignored the strict moral code he faithfully obeyed. Malcolm’s enemies accused him of using religion as a façade for fomenting hate and violence.”

“Even though Martin is generally and appropriately credited with deep religious commitment, a case could be made that Malcolm was more religious than Martin…I contend that the depth of any religious commitment should be judged by one’s commitment to justice for humanity, using the liberation activity of humans beings as the lens through which one sees God. By this criterion both Martin and Malcolm must be considered deeply religious persons.” :

Although Shabazz and King will be forever linked in American history, in truth the Muslim acted as a deliberate counter-point to his Noble Peace-Prize winning contemporary. In words that would electrify American society if publicly spoken during this, the “post 9-11 world”, he once stated:

“No, I’m not an American. I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy. So I’m not standing here speaking to you as an American, or a patriot, or a flag-saluter , or a flag-waver – no, not I. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of the victim. I don’t see an American dream. I see an American nightmare.”

Amongst Muslims, Shabazz/Malcolm X has been written of by Dr. Yusuf Naim Kly Dr. Kly is the former Chairman of the Canadian branch of the second group founded by Malik Shabazz, the Organization of Afro-American Unity. He has written of the man who had been his leader :

“It is ironic that when most Americans think of Malcolm X, they think of him as un-American or anti-American. However, this is no doubt due to confusion between his being against certain government policies, as opposed to being anti-American. When we look unemotionally at he political philosophy of Malcolm X, there can be little doubt that Malcolm’s values represented a far greater integration into the American majority system than, say, the political philosophy of the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While King’s absolute belief in non-self-defense or nonresistance against violent aggression reflected strong Hindu or Buddhist orientation, Malcolm’s philosophy was really about the same as any majority American would hold, given similar circumstances and grievances…”

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz was the most effective American-based international voice for liberation of African people. During his July, 1964 stay in Cairo, he made the following recommendations to conferees st the Organization of African Unity Summit:

1. Civil Rights organizations in the United States have accomplished the most they can hope for under the existing conditions.

2. The time has come to internationalize the American Negro problem so as to accentuate the struggle.

3. This can be done only by linking the fate of the new African states with that of American Negroes.

4. This can be done by employing the racial situation in the United States as and instrument of attack in discussing international problems.

5. Such a strategy would give the African states more leverage in dealing with the United States and would in turn give American Negroes more leverage in American society.

This level of analysis and organization created tremendous concern and opposition in the circles of the American government. Intelligence sources began to circulate memos discussing neutralizing Shabazz.

Further, the importance of Shabazz (Malcolm X) to the African American psyche has been cited by Eugene Victor Wolfenstein in his book The Victims of Democracy: Malcolm X and the Black Revolution, where-in he states:

“Taken as a whole, we may represent the development of Malcolm’s self-consciousness as the process through which he learned to think for himself, to recognize that his sincerity was his credentials, and to accept the responsibility for revolutionary leadership

“This process, which Malcolm’s autobiography so clearly reveals, is a moving and dramatic affirmation of the human spirit. But its significance is neither simply individual nor abstractly universal. As Malcolm’s speeches and the subsequent role played by The Autobiography of Malcolm X indicate, his experience became a medium for the reproduction of that experience in others. He became a mirror in which black people saw reflected their pain and rage, and he provided interpretations of that pain and rage which led to both insight and to action. His interpretation of the black American experience provided insight into the souls of black folk for black folk themselves and, by so doing, led toward organized black revolutionary action…In sum, Malcolm represented the interests and mobilized the emotional resources of the black masses and black people in general.”

Carew (author of Ghosts In Our Blood) writes (pg. 103) of Malcolm X:

“He was one of those rare speakers who always gave his best to his listeners, and through his discourse he took them into his confidence. He was at different times a teacher, a storyteller, and a griot. He could use words to distill he collective griefs of Black people and transform them into hard, crystalline calls for action. His was an eloquent exercise in Aristotle’s catharsis and purging and purging of the spirit as he shifted the collective mood deftly from the somber to the amused and from the indignant to the sad and the triumphant”.

In a masterfully ironic turn of history, Malik Shabazz furthered a struggle envisioned by his parents, both of whom were followers of the honorable Marcus Garvey. It is well-known that his father, who was a proud defender of his family and his people, was killed when Shabazz was a young boy. Although it is not known exactly what Earl Little (Malcolm X’s father) was doing on the night of his death, he was undoubtedly attacked and killed then by White Supremacists (the original American terrorists). According to Evanzz , this brave man had been generally gathering signatures on a petition being circulated by the followers of Garvey, on his instructions. The petition was designed to bring the grievances of people of African descent before the League of Nations; the forerunner of the United Nations.

This was never done, as the U.S. government itself conspired to exploit the weaknesses of Garvey’s nobly intended organization (the United Negro Improvement Association), destabilize it, and destroy both it and its leader. This campaign was led by a fledgling commander of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (the F.B.I.), named J. Edgar Hoover.

The great African American freedom fighter and world citizen Paul Robeson, took up this cause and along with another gallant activist named William Patterson, did in fact submit a petition requesting relief for African Americans in the denial of their human rights. When Malcolm X left the Nation of Islam and began his evolution into El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, the Sunni Muslim revolutionary and inheritor of the mantle of leadership embodied by his father, his father’s leader (Garvey), and Robeson, he took up that same struggle.

Not only did El-Shabazz/Malcolm X permanently etch the strategy or pursuit of human rights upon the consciousness of Americans of African descent, but he actually lobbied and gained support for the move amongst leaders in Africa and the Middle East. He did so during a time when the image of the United States as a defender of global freedoms was vulnerable.

Like Garvey and Robeson, Shabazz too was the object of covert intelligence operations carried out by the U.S. government on the orders of Hoover; who saw them as he later would see Dr. Martin Luther King, and all American strugglers for freedom, including Civil Rights and “Black Power” leaders and organizations, the Native American and

Puerto Rican Independence Movements, and the Anti-War Movement of the Vietnam Era. Hoover and those in power over him in the Executive Branch, considered these true patriots enemies of America, and acted accordingly by implementing COINTELPRO .

Nonetheless, Shabazz/Mallcolm X succeeded in firmly planting within the analytic and tactical manual of social struggle in America, the notion that it must be human rights and not just civil rights oriented. This is and continues to be a major point being pursued by American activists, as exhibited by the Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, held in Durban, South Africa, during then end of August and beginning of September,2001. It is exactly the type of forum that El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz helped bring into existence, with his ideas, influence, and vision. He would have reveled in its proceedings.
Post-Nation of Islam Work

The indefatigable work of Malcolm X in building the Nation of Islam is well known, as are the circumstances of his departure from Elijah Muhammad’s proto-Islamic organization. Not as well known to some people though, is the breadth of his vision, and the work he began after his departure from the so-called Nation of Islam, and acceptance of the authentic faith of Al-Islam.

While it is true that at first he and those of his followers who made hijra from the so-called Nation of Islam didn’t know a great deal about canonical Islam , none can deny that he was firmly on the True Path when he was martyred. His conversion was conscientious, and based upon knowledge-not just sincerity.

Beginning in early March, 1964 Malik Shabazz received almost nightly Islamic instructions for several weeks from Dr. Mahmoud Yussef Shawarbi; then director of the Islamic Center of New York (an institution that now shines on the corner of E. 96th Street and Third Avenue in Manhattan, New York City). On March 12, 1964 he held a press conference at the Park Sheraton hotel in New York City, during which he stated “I am going to organize and head a new mosque in New York City, known as the Muslim Mosque Inc. This gives us a religious base, and the spiritual force necessary to rid our people of the vices that destroy the moral fiber of our community”.

True to his word, on March 16, 1964, he and his followers who were ex-members of the so-called Nation of Islam, combined their efforts with other Sunni Muslim African-Americans, to legally incorporate the Muslim Mosque Inc.

George Breitman writes “Malcolm founded a religious organization first, because he and most of the people willing to work with him at that point wanted to remain Muslims although outside of the Nation of Islam.”

Their religious intent in forming the mosque is evident in their stated purpose, outlined in the seven points of their certificate of incorporation:

“To provide a suitable place of worship for its members and others in accordance with the Islamic Faith.

“ To maintain a house of study for the advancement of the Islamic Faith and Religion.

“To stimulate interest among the members in the formation, maintenance, and the teachings of the Islamic Faith.

“To publish textbooks, pamphlets, brochures, and to solicit, collect and in other manners raise funds for the hereinabove and hereinafter enumerated purposes..

“ To work for the imparting of the Islamic Faith and Islamic Religion in accordance with the accepted Islamic Religious principles.

“ To purchase, lease, acquire, sell and mortgage improved or unimproved real property and any interest therein.

“The foregoing clauses shall be considered both as objects and purposes, and it is hereby expressly provided that the foregoing enumerated specific objects and purposes shall not be held to limit or restrict in any manner the powers of this corporation, but that this corporation shall be entitled to enjoy all the powers that a religious corporation may have under and by virtue of the Laws of the State of New York.”

Thus it is clear that the stated intention and purpose of the Muslim Mosque Inc. encompassed the traditional areas of (Sunni) Islamic belief , doctrine and practice, namely ibaadat (worship), tarbiyya (religious education), da’wah (propogation of the Faith), ‘Aqeeda (traditional binding beliefs, understanding and actualizing Islam in accordance with “accepted Islamic principles”, and thus separating themselves from the NOI), and ‘iqaamatud-din (establishment of the faith through institutionalization).

El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz/Malcolm X departed the U.S. for hajj on April 13,1964. He completed his pilgrimage and then went on to visit Africa and the so-called Middle East. When he returned to the United States, Shabazz continued his mission of liberation of the oppressed African American masses.

The strategic plan formulated by him called for two-pronged leadership amongst his followers. He arranged for Koli Ahmad Tawfiq (see below) to take the entrance exam to Al-Azhar University. When Tawfiq passed the exams he was dispatched to that esteemed institution as part of a plan that called for him to eventually become the first African-American Imam of the Muslim Mosque Inc, which never happened. At that time prayers were being led and guidance according to the Sunna was provided, by a Shaykh from the Sudan named Ahmad Hassoun. Shabazz continued to lead the Organization of Afro-American Unity – providing political leadership for the African American masses, while the M.M.I. was being built for provision of spiritual leadership.

Tawfiq began matriculation at Al-Azhar in September, 1964. At the same time Shabazz returned to Makka, to make Umra (the lesser hajj), having been in Cairo since July. Much attention has been made to Malik Shabazz’s political activities during this, his second tour of Africa and the so-called Middle East. His meetings with heads of state, observances of various political proceedings, and speeches before such august bodies as the Organization of African Unity were vitally important for his cause. They also brought him much attention and targeting by the U.S. government. At the same time though, he was also furthering his own religious training on the path of the Sunna (prophetic tradition of the Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).
Sunni Muslim Training and Education

During a four month period of time from July through October of 1964, Shabazz studied Al-Islam under the supervision of the Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs in Cairo, Egypt and the Muslim World League in Saudi Arabia. His training and education was not designed to make him an imam or ‘alim, but rather to further correct his understanding of dinul-Islam and to strengthen his qualification as America’s most visible Sunni Muslim and potential da’ee (propagator of the faith of Al-Islam).

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. “


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)