Who was Malcolm X’s Shaykh?

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By Omar Zaki 

This article was originally published by the Sudanese Community and Information Centre – London. Apr 5, 2014

Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz) is by far one of the most influential activists of our time and increasingly so in a period when young Muslim generations have gained ‘a new  kind of consciousness’ as Malcolm once said, in light of increasing violation of Muslims civil liberties and Islamophobia primarily in the West, since 9/11.

To many Muslims, Malcolm X holds a great place of respect and admiration as a man who spoke and fought for not only the rights of African-Americans but for the oppressed people of the third world. Even Rosa Parks whose act of refusing to move from a white only seat triggered the civil rights movement, stated that Malcolm X was her hero.

Throughout the active political years of his life with the Nation of Islam until his end,  Malcolm X had few but interesting encounters with Sudan and Sudanese. He travelled to Sudan in 1959 visiting Khartoum and Omdurman and spoke of Sudanese in glowing terms saying, ‘’I was impressed the most by the Muslims of the Sudan. Their religious piety and hospitality are unmatched anywhere. I really felt in heaven and home there.’’

In 1962 Malcolm X felt increased resentment from high ranking Nation of Islam members in Chicago for his public recognition and were suspicious that he wanted to succeed Elijah Muhammed. Malcolm sought to deflect these feelings by reducing his media appearances and promote Elijah Muhammed’s cult by defending the NOI against orthodox Muslims. The Muslim community in America looked at the NOI from the outset as a heretical cult but rarely spoke against it outright.

One of the first Orthodox Muslims to publicly criticise the NOI was a Sudanese student at Pennsylvania University called Yahya Hayari. Malcolm responded both private and publicly with a letter to the Pittsburg Courier against Hayari saying it’s ‘’difficult for me to believe that you’re a Muslim from the Sudan’’, he further aggressively defended Muhammed and accused Hayari for sounding ‘’like a brainwashed, American negro’’ that had ‘’been in Christian America too long’’ yet Hayari continued prompting Malcolm.

In the same year, another Sudanese student from Dartmouth College called Ahmed Osman, who attended services at No. 7 Mosque (the active Harlem Mosque that Malcolm himself set up) engaged with Malcolm  during a question and answer session. He directly challenged Malcolm on Elijah Muhammed’s prophetic claims and that whites were literally ‘’devils’’. Osman was ‘’greatly impressed by Malcolm’’ but not by his answer. Afterwards the two exchanged letters and Osman sent literature from the Islamic Centre in Geneva with which Malcolm was grateful for and requested more. Despite Osman’s insistence for Malcolm to join true Islam, he was unprepared.  These engagements between Yahya, Ahmed and Malcolm must of helped lay the tracks for Malcolm’s searching into orthodox Islam as he would later incorporate their discourses against the NOI.

In chapter 18 of Malcolm’s autobiography edited by Alex Haley, when he discusses his Hajj and the warm exchanges with various Muslims who expressed their solidarity with the struggle of African-Americans in the US, he pointed out a Sudanese ‘high official’ who hugged him and said ‘’You champion the American black people!’’. When at Mecca, Malcolm befriended a Sudanese called Shiekh Ahmed Hassoun who taught in Mecca for 35 years and would serve as Malcolm’s spiritual advisor and later taught at the Muslim Mosque Inc. which Malcolm created four days after his departure from the NOI in 1964.  It was Shiekh Ahmed who prepared Malcolm’s body for burial at the Faith Temple Church of God in West Harlem where he lay in state and oversaw his burial.

It is common that Sudanese feel their country is rarely recognised or mentioned some way in contemporary history, however many I believe will take pride in knowing that Sudanese were involved closely in the inspiring picture of Malcolm X’s incredible life.

Omar Zaki is an active half-Sudanese student with an BA History degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and former Union Secretary for the SOAS Student’s Union. 

Published in: Uncategorized on April 8, 2020 at 16:40  Leave a Comment  

Hadith on the Benefits of Reading Surah Al-Kahf

(Sahih Muslim » The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)

وَحَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، حَدَّثَنَا مُعَاذُ بْنُ هِشَامٍ، حَدَّثَنِي أَبِي، عَنْ قَتَادَةَ، عَنْ سَالِمِ، بْنِ أَبِي الْجَعْدِ الْغَطَفَانِيِّ عَنْ مَعْدَانَ بْنِ أَبِي طَلْحَةَ الْيَعْمَرِيِّ، عَنْ أَبِي الدَّرْدَاءِ، أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏ “‏ مَنْ حَفِظَ عَشْرَ آيَاتٍ مِنْ أَوَّلِ سُورَةِ الْكَهْفِ عُصِمَ مِنَ الدَّجَّالِ ‏”‏

Abu Darda’ reported Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) as saying: If anyone learns by heart the first ten verses of the Surah al-Kahf, he will be protected from the Dajjal.

Sahih Muslim » The Book of Prayers (Kitab Al-Salat)

وَحَدَّثَنَا ابْنُ الْمُثَنَّى، وَابْنُ، بَشَّارٍ – وَاللَّفْظُ لاِبْنِ الْمُثَنَّى – قَالاَ حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ، جَعْفَرٍ حَدَّثَنَا شُعْبَةُ، عَنْ أَبِي إِسْحَاقَ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ الْبَرَاءَ، يَقُولُ قَرَأَ رَجُلٌ الْكَهْفَ وَفِي الدَّارِ دَابَّةٌ فَجَعَلَتْ تَنْفِرُ فَنَظَرَ فَإِذَا ضَبَابَةٌ أَوْ سَحَابَةٌ قَدْ غَشِيَتْهُ قَالَ فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لِلنَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ ‏ “‏ اقْرَأْ فُلاَنُ فَإِنَّهَا السَّكِينَةُ تَنَزَّلَتْ عِنْدَ الْقُرْآنِ أَوْ تَنَزَّلَتْ لِلْقُرْآنِ ‏”‏ ‏.‏

Ibn Ishaq reported:

I heard al-Bara’ as saying that a man recited al-Kahf when an animal was there in the house and it began to take fright. And as he looked around, he found a cloud overshadowing it. He mentioned that to the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ). Upon this he said: O so and so, recite on (the surah) as-Sakina descends at the (recitation of the Qur’an) or on account (of the recitation) of the Qur’an.

Jami` at-Tirmidhi » Chapters On Al-Fitan

حَدَّثَنَا عَلِيُّ بْنُ حُجْرٍ، أَخْبَرَنَا الْوَلِيدُ بْنُ مُسْلِمٍ، وَعَبْدُ اللَّهِ بْنُ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ، دَخَلَ حَدِيثُ أَحَدِهِمَا فِي حَدِيثِ الآخَرِ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ عَنْ يَحْيَى بْنِ جَابِرٍ الطَّائِيِّ عَنْ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ عَنْ أَبِيهِ جُبَيْرِ بْنِ نُفَيْرٍ عَنِ النَّوَّاسِ بْنِ سَمْعَانَ الْكِلاَبِيِّ قَالَ ذَكَرَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم الدَّجَّالَ ذَاتَ غَدَاةٍ فَخَفَّضَ فِيهِ وَرَفَّعَ حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاهُ فِي طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَانْصَرَفْنَا مِنْ عِنْدِ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ثُمَّ رَجَعْنَا إِلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَ ذَلِكَ فِينَا فَقَالَ ‏”‏ مَا شَأْنُكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ ذَكَرْتَ الدَّجَّالَ الْغَدَاةَ فَخَفَّضْتَ فِيهِ وَرَفَّعْتَ حَتَّى ظَنَنَّاهُ فِي طَائِفَةِ النَّخْلِ ‏.‏ قَالَ ‏”‏ غَيْرُ الدَّجَّالِ أَخْوَفُ لِي عَلَيْكُمْ إِنْ يَخْرُجْ وَأَنَا فِيكُمْ فَأَنَا حَجِيجُهُ دُونَكُمْ وَإِنْ يَخْرُجْ وَلَسْتُ فِيكُمْ فَامْرُؤٌ حَجِيجُ نَفْسِهِ وَاللَّهُ خَلِيفَتِي عَلَى كُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ إِنَّهُ شَابٌّ قَطَطٌ عَيْنُهُ قَائِمَةٌ شَبِيهٌ بِعَبْدِ الْعُزَّى بْنِ قَطَنٍ فَمَنْ رَآهُ مِنْكُمْ فَلْيَقْرَأْ فَوَاتِحَ سُورَةِ أَصْحَابِ الْكَهْفِ قَالَ يَخْرُجُ مَا بَيْنَ الشَّامِ وَالْعِرَاقِ فَعَاثَ يَمِينًا وَشِمَالاً يَا عِبَادَ اللَّهِ اثْبُتُوا ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ وَمَا لُبْثُهُ فِي الأَرْضِ قَالَ ‏”‏ أَرْبَعِينَ يَوْمًا يَوْمٌ كَسَنَةٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَشَهْرٍ وَيَوْمٌ كَجُمُعَةٍ وَسَائِرُ أَيَّامِهُ كَأَيَّامِكُمْ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَرَأَيْتَ الْيَوْمَ الَّذِي كَالسَّنَةِ أَتَكْفِينَا فِيهِ صَلاَةُ يَوْمٍ قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ وَلَكِنِ اقْدُرُوا لَهُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ قُلْنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ فَمَا سُرْعَتُهُ فِي الأَرْضِ قَالَ ‏”‏ كَالْغَيْثِ اسْتَدْبَرَتْهُ الرِّيحُ فَيَأْتِي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهُمْ فَيُكَذِّبُونَهُ وَيَرُدُّونَ عَلَيْهِ قَوْلَهُ فَيَنْصَرِفُ عَنْهُمْ فَتَتْبَعُهُ أَمْوَالُهُمْ فَيُصْبِحُونَ لَيْسَ بِأَيْدِيهِمْ شَيْءٌ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْقَوْمَ فَيَدْعُوهُمْ فَيَسْتَجِيبُونَ لَهُ وَيُصَدِّقُونَهُ فَيَأْمُرُ السَّمَاءَ أَنْ تُمْطِرَ فَتُمْطِرَ وَيَأْمُرُ الأَرْضَ أَنْ تُنْبِتَ فَتُنْبِتَ فَتَرُوحُ عَلَيْهِمْ سَارِحَتُهُمْ كَأَطْوَلِ مَا كَانَتْ ذُرًى وَأَمَدِّهِ خَوَاصِرَ وَأَدَرِّهِ ضُرُوعًا قَالَ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي الْخَرِبَةَ فَيَقُولُ لَهَا أَخْرِجِي كُنُوزَكِ فَيَنْصَرِفُ مِنْهَا فَتَتْبَعُهُ كَيَعَاسِيبِ النَّحْلِ ثُمَّ يَدْعُو رَجُلاً شَابًّا مُمْتَلِئًا شَبَابًا فَيَضْرِبُهُ بِالسَّيْفِ فَيَقْطَعُهُ جِزْلَتَيْنِ ثُمَّ يَدْعُوهُ فَيُقْبِلُ يَتَهَلَّلُ وَجْهُهُ يَضْحَكُ فَبَيْنَمَا هُوَ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ هَبَطَ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ بِشَرْقِيِّ دِمَشْقَ عِنْدَ الْمَنَارَةِ الْبَيْضَاءِ بَيْنَ مَهْرُودَتَيْنِ وَاضِعًا يَدَيْهِ عَلَى أَجْنِحَةِ مَلَكَيْنِ إِذَا طَأْطَأَ رَأْسَهُ قَطَرَ وَإِذَا رَفَعَهُ تَحَدَّرَ مِنْهُ جُمَانٌ كَاللُّؤْلُؤِ قَالَ وَلاَ يَجِدُ رِيحَ نَفَسِهِ يَعْنِي أَحَدٌ إِلاَّ مَاتَ وَرِيحُ نَفَسِهِ مُنْتَهَى بَصَرِهِ قَالَ فَيَطْلُبُهُ حَتَّى يُدْرِكَهُ بِبَابِ لُدٍّ فَيَقْتُلَهُ قَالَ فَيَلْبَثُ كَذَلِكَ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ ‏.‏ قَالَ ثُمَّ يُوحِي اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِ أَنْ حَرِّزْ عِبَادِي إِلَى الطُّورِ فَإِنِّي قَدْ أَنْزَلْتُ عِبَادًا لِي لاَ يَدَانِ لأَحَدٍ بِقِتَالِهِمْ ‏.‏ قَالَ وَيَبْعَثُ اللَّهُ يَأْجُوجَ وَمَأْجُوجَ وَهُمْ كَمَا قَالَ اللَّهُ‏:‏ ‏(‏ مِنْ كُلِّ حَدَبٍ يَنْسِلُونَ ‏)‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَمُرُّ أَوَّلُهُمْ بِبُحَيْرَةِ الطَّبَرِيَّةِ فَيَشْرَبُ مَا فِيهَا ثُمَّ يَمُرُّ بِهَا آخِرُهُمْ فَيَقُولُ لَقَدْ كَانَ بِهَذِهِ مَرَّةً مَاءٌ ثُمَّ يَسِيرُونَ حَتَّى يَنْتَهُوا إِلَى جَبَلِ بَيْتِ الْمَقْدِسِ فَيَقُولُونَ لَقَدْ قَتَلْنَا مَنْ فِي الأَرْضِ هَلُمَّ فَلْنَقْتُلْ مَنْ فِي السَّمَاءِ ‏.‏ فَيَرْمُونَ بِنُشَّابِهِمْ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ فَيَرُدُّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ نُشَّابَهُمْ مُحْمَرًّا دَمًا وَيُحَاصَرُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ وَأَصْحَابُهُ حَتَّى يَكُونَ رَأْسُ الثَّوْرِ يَوْمَئِذٍ خَيْرًا لأَحَدِهِمْ مِنْ مِائَةِ دِينَارٍ لأَحَدِكُمُ الْيَوْمَ ‏.‏ قَالَ فَيَرْغَبُ عِيسَى ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَصْحَابُهُ قَالَ فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ إِلَيْهِمُ النَّغَفَ فِي رِقَابِهِمْ فَيُصْبِحُونَ فَرْسَى مَوْتَى كَمَوْتِ نَفْسٍ وَاحِدَةٍ قَالَ وَيَهْبِطُ عِيسَى وَأَصْحَابُهُ فَلاَ يَجِدُ مَوْضِعَ شِبْرٍ إِلاَّ وَقَدْ مَلأَتْهُ زَهَمَتُهُمْ وَنَتَنُهُمْ وَدِمَاؤُهُمْ قَالَ فَيَرْغَبُ عِيسَى إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَصْحَابُهُ قَالَ فَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا كَأَعْنَاقِ الْبُخْتِ قَالَ فَتَحْمِلُهُمْ فَتَطْرَحُهُمْ بِالْمَهْبِلِ وَيَسْتَوْقِدُ الْمُسْلِمُونَ مِنْ قِسِيِّهِمْ وَنُشَّابِهِمْ وَجِعَابِهِمْ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ قَالَ وَيُرْسِلُ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِمْ مَطَرًا لاَ يَكُنُّ مِنْهُ بَيْتُ وَبَرٍ وَلاَ مَدَرٍ قَالَ فَيَغْسِلُ الأَرْضَ فَيَتْرُكُهَا كَالزَّلَفَةِ قَالَ ثُمَّ يُقَالُ لِلأَرْضِ أَخْرِجِي ثَمَرَتَكِ وَرُدِّي بَرَكَتَكِ ‏.‏ فَيَوْمَئِذٍ تَأْكُلُ الْعِصَابَةُ مِنَ الرُّمَّانَةِ وَيَسْتَظِلُّونَ بِقِحْفِهَا وَيُبَارَكُ فِي الرِّسْلِ حَتَّى إِنَّ الْفِئَامَ مِنَ النَّاسِ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الإِبِلِ وَإِنَّ الْقَبِيلَةَ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الْبَقَرِ وَإِنَّ الْفَخِذَ لَيَكْتَفُونَ بِاللَّقْحَةِ مِنَ الْغَنَمِ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمْ كَذَلِكَ إِذْ بَعَثَ اللَّهُ رِيحًا فَقَبَضَتْ رُوحَ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ وَيَبْقَى سَائِرُ النَّاسِ يَتَهَارَجُونَ كَمَا تَتَهَارَجُ الْحُمُرُ فَعَلَيْهِمْ تَقُومُ السَّاعَةُ ‏”‏ ‏.‏ قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ صَحِيحٌ غَرِيبٌ لاَ نَعْرِفُهُ إِلاَّ مِنْ حَدِيثِ عَبْدِ الرَّحْمَنِ بْنِ يَزِيدَ بْنِ جَابِرٍ ‏.‏

It was narrated from An-Nawwas bin Sam’an, who said:

“The Messenger of Allah(s.a.w) mentioned the Dajjal one morning, he belittled him and mentioned his importance until we thought that he might be amidst a cluster of date-palms.” He said: “We departed from the presence of the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w), then we returned to him, and he noticed that(concern) in us. So he said: ‘What is wrong with you?'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! You mentioned the Dajjal this morning, belittling him, and mentioning his importance until we thought that he might be amidst a cluster of the date-palms.’ He said: ‘It is not the Dajjal that I fear for you. If he were to appear while I am among you, then I will be his adversary on your behalf. And if he appears and I am not among you, then each man will have to fend for himself. And Allah will take care of every Muslim after me. He is young, with curly hair, his eyes protruding, resembling someone from ‘Abdul-Uzza bin Qatan. Whoever among you sees him, then let him recite the beginning of Surah Ashab Al-Kahf.'”He said: ‘He will appear from what is between Ash-Sham and Al-‘Iraq, causing devastation toward the right and toward the left. O worshippers of Allah! Hold fast!'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! How long will he linger on the earth?’ He said: ‘Forty days, a day like a year, a day like a month, a day like a week, and the remainder of his days are like your days.'” We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Do you think that during the day that is like a year, the Salat of one day will be sufficient for us?’ He said: ‘No. You will have to estimate it.’ We said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! How fast will he move through the earth.’ He said: ‘Like a rain storm driven by the wind. He will come upon a people and call them, and they will deny him, and reject his claims. Then he will leave them, and their wealth will follow him. They will awaken in the morning with nothing left. Then he will come upon a people and call them, and they will respond to him, believing in him. So he will order the Heavens to bring rain, and it shall rain, and he will order the land to sprout, and it will sprout. Their cattle will return to them with their coats the longest, their udders the fullest and their stomachs the fattest.’ He said: ‘Then he will come upon some ruins, saying to it: “Bring me your treasures!” He will turn to leave it, and it will follow him, like drone bees. Then he will call a young man, full of youth, and he will strike him with the sword cutting him into two pieces. Then he will call him, and he will come forward with his face beaming and laughing. So while he is doing that, ‘Eisa bin Mariam, peace be upon him, will descend in eastern Damascus at the white minaret, between two Mahrud, with his hands on the wings of two angels. When he lowers his head, drops fall, and when raises it, gems like pearls drop from him.’ He said: ‘His (the Dajjal’s) breath does not reach anyone but he dies, and his breath reaches as far as his sight.’ He said: ‘So he pursues him(the Dajjal) and he catches up with him at the gate of Ludd where he kills him.’ He said: ‘So he remains there as long as Allah wills.’ He said: ‘Then Allah reveals to him: “Take my slaves to At-Tur, for I have sent down some creatures of Mine which no one shall be able to kill.'” He said: ‘Allah dispatches Ya’juj and Ma’juj, and they are as Allah said: They swoop down from every mount.’ “He said: ‘The first of them pass by the lake of Tiberias, drinking what is in it. Then the last of them pass by it saying: “There was water here at one time.” They travel until they reach a mountain at Bait Al-Maqdis. They will say: “We have killed whoever was in the earth. Come! Let us kill whoever is in the skies.” They will shoot their arrows into the Heavens, so Allah will return their arrows to them red with blood. Eisa bin Mariam and his Companions be surrounded, until the head of a bull on that day would be better to them than a hundred Dinar to one of you today.’ “He (s.a.w) said: “Eisa will beseech Allah, as will his companions.’ He said: ‘So Allah will send An-Naghaf down upon their necks. In the morning they will find that they have all died like the death of a single soul.’ He said: ” ‘Eisa and his companions will come down, and no spot nor hand-span can be found, except that it is filled with their stench, decay and blood. So ‘Eisa will beseech Allah, as will his companions.’ So Allah will send upon them birds like the necks of Bukht(milch)camels.’ They will carry them off and cast them into an abyss. The Muslims will burn their bows, arrows and quivers for seventy years.’ “He(s.a.w) said: ‘Allah will send upon them a rain which no house of hide nor mud will bear. The earth will be washed, leaving it like a mirror. Then it will be said to the earth: “bring forth your fruits and return your blessings.” So on that day, a whole troop would eat a pomegranate and seek shade under its skin. Milk will be so blessed that a large group of people will be sufficed by one milking of a camel. And that a tribe will be sufficed by one milking of a cow, and that a group will be sufficed by the milking of sheep. While it is like that, Allah will send a wind which grabs the soul of every believer, leaving the remainder of the people copulating publicly like the copulation of donkeys. Upon them the Hour shall begin.'”

Published in: Uncategorized on April 8, 2020 at 02:26  Leave a Comment  
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