Welcome. My issue with Elijah is that, he turned a lot of blacks to adopt the doctrine, of their worst of the worst slavers. The ones who did the capturing, the culling, the selling as well as documented mass 'eunuching', a big part of why Turkey does not have a slave 'black problem'.
I am not saying Elijah should have adopted brazilian doctrines as brazil had a very high ratio of death among their own slave populations, and they had a lot and for a very long time. But still, associating islam with emancipation? Why? How come? In which Century?
I am hoping you might have a better perspective on that issue as my knowledge is lacking. I am also murky on the conditions malcolm left the group. IF you can enlighten me or recommend some books that would be great.
I am well aware of the racism and slavery in Muslim history (and in the present). I mixed with Muslims for a long time - met racist and anti-racist Muslims. I've read the ghastly information presented in Race & Slavery in the Middle East
by Bernard Lewis. I should also add that I am not an expert on, nor have I ever subscribed to the teaching of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad
so i am not the person to answer your questions.
him only for his audacity and bravery. If you're looking for my opinion
I think that his teachings were designed to change mindsets from one of one "love thy enemy" and "turn the right cheek" to 'do for self and kind'. The word 'devil' robs the white man of his humanity in the same way that 'nigger' robs the black man of his. The Nation of Islam was in a sense the antithesis of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan except they didn't organise lynch mobs to kill white people. I am aware that they are not entirely free from violence either, and I don't believe in 'do for self and kind' - unless 'kind' means 'humankind'.
So my conjecture
is that the teachings of [the second] Muhammad were to break the hold of Christianity on the hearts and minds of African Americans and thereby reclaim some dignity. Mr. Muhammad also taught that there was no heaven or hell except on earth so suffering for some promised redemption was also out of the question. He built up an extensive business enterprise which provided immediate income and a disciplined programme for people who had just left jail for example. The way the Muslims dressed was in suit and bow tie: once again, a dignified way to dress. Yes, he got rich through this and lived in a nice mansion. I would suggest reading Message to the Black Man in America
. I read it years ago but I haven't studied the book so little of it is available in my memory for immediate recall.
I think the first Muhammad (ibn Abdullah) was also a well-intentioned man and tried to help improve the lives of people in his day and age. While I am aware of racist hadiths
, for example in Ahmad ibn Hanbal and elsewhere, I think you can also find examples of anti-racism - most famously in the Last Sermon and his appointment of Bilal ibn Rabbah as muezzin and treasurer of the early Muslim community.
Some things in Islam which can be considered to be anti-racist:
49:13 O mankind! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes that you might get to know one another. Surely the noblest of you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most righteous. Allah is All-Knowledgeable, All-Aware.
2:138 (We take) Allah's colour, and who is better than Allah at colouring, and we are His worshippers.
35:27 Seest thou not that Allah sends down water from the clouds, then We bring forth therewith fruits of various hues? And in the mountains are streaks, white and red, of various hues and (others) intensely black.
35:28 And of men and beasts and cattle there are various colours likewise. Those of his servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah. Surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.
30:22 And yet others of His signs are the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the difference of your languages and colors; surely there are signs in this for the knowledgeable.
32:7 [Allah] made beautiful everything that He created, and He began the creation of man from dust.
Sayyid Qutb writes that "in Egypt, the principal jurist consulted in the days of Umar ibn Abd al-Aziz was Yazid ibn Abi Habib who was a black client from Dongola" [Islam and Social Justice 2000, p.190].
'Once the Messenger of Allah while entering a mosque saw a man surrounded by the people. The Prophet enquired about the man. He was informed that the man was an 'Allamah. The Prophet enquired, "What is an 'Allamah?" The people told the Prophet, "'Allamah is a person who of all the people knows most about Arab lineage, Arab battles, the days of ignorance, and all about the Arab verses and Arab literature." Hearing this the Prophet remarked, "This is precisely the knowledge, the acquisition of which is neither of any profit nor is the non-acquisition of it of any loss."' [Kitab Al-Kafi, The Book of Excellence of Knowledge, 46-1]
Al-Bukhari reported that Abu Dharr and Bilal, the Abyssinian, both of whom were among the earliest Muslims, once quarreled and insulted each other. Carried away by his anger, Abu Dharr said to Bilal, "You son of a black woman!" Bilal complained about this to the Prophet (peace be on him), who turned to Abu Dharr, saying, "Are you taunting him about his mother? There is still some influence of jahiliyyah in you!'' (Reported by al-Bukhari.)
Of course the cynic in me suspects Muhammad wanted to get rid of any ideas (eg. Arab nationalism) in competition with his (the Muslim nation). But even if this was the case, he's still anti-racist. "The best lineage is good character" is a saying often ascribed to Muhammad in Ghazali's Ihya Ulum id-Din (see for example 22.1 in TJ Winter's translation). Even if Muhammad wanted to build a new, intolerant in-group who hated all others, that group was still one comprised of many different races, cultures and languages.
Racism however is only one form of despisal of others. A religious nation can lead to other forms of asabiyyah
and Muslims seem to prefer to help their own 'kind' and have brother
hood only to their own. So fuck 'em.
As for the reasons Malcolm X left - they are indeed murky. The Nation of Islam maintains that Malcolm went on hajj in 1958 and he never mentioned anything about eating with white people with the bluest of eyes then. It was only after his second hajj that he had this epiphany. I don't say anything against Mr. Shabazz either as I admire him greatly. Nor can I help you regarding the real reasons he left the Nation of Islam. If I remember from his Autobiography (another book I haven't read for about 14 years) the 'official' reason from his side is that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad was having sex with some of his secretaries.