Happy Birthday! Brotha Malik,
I think the best gifts I can give to you would be this.
You were father to six baby girls, husband to Dr. Betty Shabazz, minister to Muhammad Mosque # 7 in Harlem, public orator, Human rights leader and an evolved, redeemed, Brotha!
You were a MAN!
I would suggest folks run out and buy "Remembering Malcolm" and place it alongside their copies of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It that tome, Minister Benjamin Karim, Malcolm's assistant minister of Mosque # 7) tells us about you as a Minister, how you preached, how you taught your congregation, how you pastored your Mosque. It shows a practical, pragmatic, patient approach that enshewed extremism. This is vastly different than the public speeches we see on you tube.
It also dispelled some of the myths. You remember the scene in the film Malcolm X where after speaking at Harvard or Boston College, The young white female student, asks Brotha Malcolm what she could do to help? And he said " Nothing!" Minister Benjamin said that Malcolm always regretted that because if he had been alone he would have had a cup of coffee with her and gave her ideas on how to help but he was with his group of young ministers and he put on a show.
Malcolm didn't go to Mecca to learn about the Universal Religion of Al-Islam, he knew it quite well beforehand. He was able to embrace it fully and demonstrate it after his Hajj though. He also had a real relationship with Dr. King. They kids used to play together. Minister Malcolm would come up to Mrs. King and say tell Martin, that I'm going to preach out against this hard this week and he should preach the opposite so that we can get something done. They'll think Martin's being sensible. They were not at odds they way people think.
Again, The Orthodox Islamic Community had approached Malcolm on several occasions, he had spoken with them, shared views, he knew them and they wanted him. They gave him a check for five million dollars to leave the Nation of Islam and start an Orthodox Mosque years before his public falling out with his mentor The Honorable Elijah Muhammad. He showed that check to his ministers and to John Henrik Clarke and mailed it back to them. He was loyal but he knew when someone was trying to co-opt him. He was friends with Wallace Muhammed, eventual leader of the Nation of Islam, who was repeatedly sanctioned by the NOI for failing to teach the NOI doctrines and teaching Orthodox Islam in his mosque. He taught Malcolm alot of Al-Islam however one must remember Malcolm met people from all over the world and Malcolm read voraciously. He wasn't in the dark about Al-Islam. He had been at one time but he grew and he would later criticize the Orthodox Community in his later speeches for not making a better effort to share the truth in the Black community and leaving us prey to any charlatan that came along. He also criticized Elijah Muhammed who he said could have brought us into the true light of Al-Islam but instead continued to teach what are seen as heresies in Al-Islam. Malcolm said it! Check it out!
Remember Malcolm had been through Philly many times, this is home to the first and oldest Mosque in America and started by alot of Afrikan Amercans in 1899. It was an Orthodox community mosque.
So when Noble Drew Ali, both Wally Fards, and Elijah Muhammad came on the scene teaching doctrines Malcolm later rejected there had been a real orthodox community available that failed to reach out. The Moorish Science, Allah Temple and Nation of Islam filled the vacuum, with race pride and uplift, drug rehabiliation and prison in and outreach and an economic plan that's rivaled only by Marcus M. Garvey economic plan.
Happy Birthday Brother Malcolm Little X Shabazz, African, Afrikan American, Minister, Father, Husband, Activist, Brotha! We love you and Miss you!
Be Mindful! Be Prayerful! Be Careful!