Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Sacred Invitation - Malcolm X

Malcolm X

United States of America

Hajj 1964 AD / 1383 AH


Malcom X was among the most influential African-Americans in modern history. Originally named Malcolm Little, he was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1925 AD / 1343 AH. His Muslim name became El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after making his hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in 1964 AD / 1383 AH. A year later, he was assassinated while delivering a speech at the Manhattan Audubon Ballroom.

His early life was turbulent, with constant changes of foster homes. Trapped inside the underworld of Boston and New York, he was arrested for robbery and sent to Massachusetts State Prison in 1945 AD / 1364 AH. In prison, he became a member of the Nation of Islam, a movement that generated self-esteem and self-identification for black Americans and black races in general. After his release in 1952 AD / 1371, he visited Elijah Muhammad, the head of the Nation of Islam, in Chicago and the two became close friends.

Within the Nation of Islam, ‘Malcom X’ played a role as a leader and spokesman for this movement. He propagated the rights of black Americans against racial discrimination, particularly by white supremacies. His natural talent as an orator brought him prominence, attracting many new members to the Nation of Islam. Due to conflicts about ideas and interests with Elijah Muhammad, he announced his departure from the Nation of Islam in 1964 AD / 1383 AH. In that same year, he decided to perform his Hajj pilgrimage.

Extracted from the book: En Route to Mecca – Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries

Publisher: Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

(This book is published in conjunction with the En Route to Mecca: Pilgrims’ Voices Throughout the Centuries exhibition, launched in October 2009.)

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