Pakistani Muslim Looks At Demise of Malcolm
Reprinted by Popular request from the March 5, 1965 edition of Muhammad Speaks Newspaper
Pakistani Muslim Looks At
Demise of Malcolm
By Abdul Basit Naeem
“Verily, from Allah we come and unto Him we shall return, ” states the Holy Qur’an on the subject of our mortal life. The verse is the first expression a believer utters upon receiving the word of a Muslims demise-whatever the circumstances.
“Verily, from Allah we come and unto Him we shall return” is precisely what my lips uttered, in Arabic, when I first heard the news of Malcolm’s tragic end. I recited the verse- almost automatically- because I felt that the former ” Nation of Islam” member and one-time aide to the Honorable Elijah Muhammad died, not as a Christian, but as one who had accepted Allah as his God.
Knowing as I do -as did Malcolm-that death is both inevitable and pre- destined ” event, I cannot share the belief of those who may advance the argument that “certain circumstances being different, he would be alive today,” Insignificant beings as we all are, we can neither create nor prolong our earthly existence “at will.” The Supreme Being ( Allah ) alone indeed, rules and exercises full control and sovereignty over the realm of life and death.
I also know that no words of solace and consolation can truly unburden a widow’s heart or satisfy the yearning of her young children for their departed parent’s affection. Nor, however can their mourning or other expressions of extreme despair and grief bring back a member of the family who has simple ” ceased to be.”
The survivors-relatives, friends and acquaintances- must nevertheless reflect on the accomplishments and shortcomings, if any, of the deceased …Thus it is that I, being an acquaintance of malcolm for well over seven years, find myself pondering over the sudden and unexpected end of his noteworthy career:
It appears to me, first of all, that the tragedy of the event under reference lies not in the violent nature of Malcolm’s death but in the role he had unfortunately chosen to play since his separation from the “Nation of Islam” and its undisputed leader and his acknowledged mentor, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. In my opinion, Malcolm need not have wasted the last year and a half of his life as he did.
I express this belief as I know that I did at least try to prevail upon Malcolm the absolute and dire necessity -in the interest of ISLAM itself – of ceasing ” forthwith” his unwarranted attacks on the respected Messenger. ( I trust both Sister Betty Shabazz and two or three of the associates and confidants of her late husband can attest and will bear witness to this fact.) I tried my level best to convince him that his anti-Muhammad campaign represented an act of blunder which, if continued, would greatly upset and cause much too much confusion in the “just- opened” minds of new and would- be converts to our Faith. I told him in the plainest possible terms that such work would serve no useful purpose for anyone except our avowed enemies.
Risking my own position in the eyes of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad- who had no advance knowledge of my visits and discussions with Brother Malcolm – I even offered to help him in certain aspects of his “Afro-American Unity Organization” work, provided he accepted my suggestions mentioned above.
As one last attempt in behalf of a possible reconciliation between Brother Malcolm and the Honorable Messenger, I reminded the former, at a chance meeting in New York City in Oct, 1964 that the teaching of our illustrious Prophet Muhammad ( may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him ! ), as contained in the “HADITH” ( or Collection of Traditions ),explicitly stated that a believer was to obey his leader and maintain the solidarity of his group ( at all cost ) and that “whosoever separated from his community was to be cast in fire.”
I also pointed out to him that yet another Tradition of the Holy Prophet, quoted by the learned Muslim scholar, Dr. M. Rafi-ud-Din, in his excellent treatise, ” The Manifesto of Islam” ( Page 110 ), proferred a blunt and far more serious warning : “When you have agreed to follow one man, then, if another man comes forward intending to break your stick ( i.e., weaken your strength )… kill him .”
Here I do not by any means imply that this Tradition- or, for that matter, certain other aspects of Islamic jurisprudence and #### injunctions on the subject ###### attacks on its rightful leader, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, no harm would ever come to him from any quarters.
Believing, further, that Malcolm recognized me as an individual solely interested in the advancement of American Muslims and selflessly dedicated to the cause of Islamic solidarity every-where, I somehow felt quite confident that he would heed my earnest pleas.And knowing that Malcolm’s “defection”from the hitherto-solid ranks of the “Nation of Islam” had vastly delighted the “devils, ” I fervently hoped that he would soon return to its fold ….But alas! All of my hopes as well efforts in this direction proved in vain.
And now, it is entirely too late for Malcolm to realize or correct his many mistakes. The once virile, extremely articulate and eloquent Malcolm, silenced finally and eternally by his Maker, is no more.
In conclusion, I would like to state that it is indeed preposterous and indubitably complete madness on the part of those who blame or charge the peace-loving and law-abiding Muslims with the ghastly crime of Malcolm’s murder…