THE MEANING OF HAJJ“THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X”
El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz
Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and the over-whelming spirit of true brotherhood as is practised by people of all colours 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 colours.
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 Zamzam. I ran seven times back and forth between the hills of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mount Arafat.
There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of all colours, from blue-eyed blonds 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.
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 whose attitude had been removed from their minds by the religion of Islam. I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colours together, irrespective of their colour.
You may be shocked by these words coming from me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen, and experienced, has forced me to re-arrange 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 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 were truly all the same (brothers) – because their belief in one God had removed the ‘white’ from their minds, the ‘white’ from their behaviour, 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 colour.
Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white.
Wednesday 22nd of May 2013