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Hajj – The Journey That Transformed Malcolm X

The pilgrimage to Mecca, known as the Hajj, is a religious obligation that every orthodox Muslim fulfills, if able, at least once in his or her lifetime.

The Holy Quran says it:

..Pilgrimage to the House (of God built by the prophet Abraham) is a duty men owe to God; those who are able, make the journey… (Quran 3:97)

God said:

And proclaim the pilgrimage among men; they will come to you on foot and upon each lean camel, they will come from every deep ravine.’ (Quran 22:27)

Every one of the thousands at the airport, about to leave for Jeddah, was dressed this way.  You could be a king or a peasant and no one would know.  Some powerful personages, who were discreetly pointed out to me, had on the same thing I had on.

Once thus dressed, we all had begun intermittently calling out Labbayka!  (Allahumma) Labbayka!  (Here I come, O Lord!)

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Packed in the plane were white, black, brown, red, and yellow people, blue eyes and blond hair, and my kinky red hair — all together, brothers!  All honoring the same God, all in turn giving equal honor to each other…

That is when I first began to reappraise the white man. It was when I first began to perceive that white man, as commonly used, means complexion only secondarily; primarily it described attitudes and actions.

In America, white man meant specific attitudes and actions toward the black man, and toward all other non-white men.  But in the Muslim world, I had seen that men with white complexions were more genuinely brotherly than anyone else had ever been.  That morning was the start of a radical alteration in my whole outlook about white men.

There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world.  They were of all colors, 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 the white attitude was removed from their minds by the religion of Islam.  I have never before seen sincere and true brotherhood practiced by all colors together, irrespecitve of their color.

Malcolm’s New Vision of America

Each hour here in the Holy Land enables me to have greater spiritual insights into what is happening in America between black and white.

The American Negro never can be blamed for his racial animosities – he is only reacting to four hundred years of the conscious racism of the American whites.

But as racism leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges and universities, will see the handwriting on the wall, and many of them will turn to the spiritual path of truth — the only way left to America to ward off the disaster that racism inevitably must lead to.

I believe that God now is giving the world’s so-called ‘Christian’ white society its last opportunity to repent and atone for the crimes of exploiting and enslaving the world’s non-white peoples.

It is exactly as when God gave Pharaoh a chance to repent.  But Pharaoh persisted in his refusal to give justice to those who he oppressed.  And, we know, God finally destroyed Pharaoh.

I will never forget the dinner at the Azzam home with Dr. Azzam.  The more we talked, the more his vast reservoir of knowledge and its variety seemed unlimited.

He spoke of the racial lineage of the descendants of Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, the Prophet, and he showed how they were both black and white.

He also pointed out how color, and the problems of color which exist in the Muslim world, exist only where, and to the extent that, that area of the Muslim world has been influenced by the West.

He said that if one encountered any differences based on attitude toward color, this directly reflected the degree of Western influence.