“I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it is for or against. I’m a human being first and foremost, and as such I’m for whoever and whatever benefits humanity as a whole.” Malcolm X
Malcolm X Shabazz - Human Rights Activist and Muslim
As Black History Month draws to a close, we at The MuslimMoon will continue our efforts, beyond this month, to learn and grow in our lifelong journey to be allies to marginalized communities and those who advocate for racial equality and justice.
To commemorate the closing of this month we would like to highlight the life of one of the most pivotal figures in the Civil Rights Movement and modern-day Islamic history - Malcolm X Shabazz.
Born in 1925, Malcolm Little - as he was then known - endured an unsettled childhood due to the passing of his father at a young age and the hospitalization of his mother. He grew up in the foster care system and weathered much hardship as a Black youth, isolated from his family, at a juvenile home in a predominantly all-white community. Malcolm also faced racial discrimination as he succeeded as an all-A student but was dissuaded from pursuing a higher education because of the colour of his skin.
This would become a pattern in young Malcolm’s life. He used self-taught knowledge and skills to overcome his the limited access to education and opportunities due to systemic prejudices. The importance of education stayed with him as Malcolm X was later quoted as saying, "Without education, you're not going anywhere in the world." A testament to his determined spirit, while incarcerated Malcolm X embarked on the transformative journey that commenced his lifelong passion for Islam, education, and the fight for racial justice and equality.
Conversion to Islam
In 1952 Malcolm took on the last name X as a symbolic reclaiming of his ancestral African name and worked as a dedicated voice for Black empowerment with the Nation of Islam.
During the 1960s Malcolm X changed his name to El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz after a life-changing trip to Makkah and Madinah. In 1964, he visited the countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia where he stated in his autobiography that he saw the kind of equality amongst people of all different ethnicities that he had never seen before in the United States.
Influenced by the idea of Islam as a unifying force where all people are equal before Allah SWT, Malcolm X's ideology shifted from Black separatism to equality and justice for all marginalized people. He later shared in his well-known “Letters from Abroad” the sentiment that “Islam...is the one religion that erases the race problem from its society.” Upon his return to the United States, Malcolm X was working to advocate for Black equality on a human rights level by bringing forth the systemically racist policies of the United States to the United Nations, when he was assassinated in 1965 at the age of 39. Malcolm X Shabazz was survived by his wife Betty, and their six daughters : Attallah, Qubilah, Ilyasah, Gamilah, Malikah and Malaak.
Malcolm X Shabazz was a prolific voice in Black history and culture as a staunch supporter of justice for all, accessible education and racial equality. It is these integral and inspiring qualities which make it so important that our young people know about his life and legacy both as a Muslim and a human rights activist.
From the Eyes of X
‘From the eyes of X’ is limited edition series of 200 sets, which contain two prayer mats that have been inspired by the spiritual journey of Malcolm X Shabazz to the holy sites of Makkah and Madinah. The prayer mats are accompanied with two prayer mat carry bags and an exclusive framed wall art creation of The MuslimMoon, which features the iconic Malcolm X Shabazz spectacles, embossed with images of the Kaaba and the Masjid Al Nabawi.
What makes this limited edition unique is a letter of appreciation signed by Malcolm X Shabazz’s eldest daughter - Ambassador Attallah Shabazz, thanking you for your contribution towards a better tomorrow for underprivileged children and those suffering from emotional health issues in marginalized communities. This letter is encased within the framed wall art.
Support Black Healing & Empowerment
Proceeds from the sales of the X Collection prayer mats will go towards supporting The Pilgrimage Foundation and Black Men Heal as detailed below. As a family, you too can support healing and empowerment for Black communities through these charities and other local endeavors.
As we close our Black History Month feature, we hope that your family will continue to learn and grow throughout the year, always striving to create the equality and justice that Malcolm X promoted.
$10 from each mat ($20 total) will go to Black Men Heal, and help to normalize the conversation of emotional health among men of colour, and create safe spaces for Black men to be vulnerable, heal, and develop positive emotional health practices.
The Malcolm X Shabazz High School (STEM Academy)
$150 will go to The Pilgrimage Foundation Inc. towards strengthening the STEM Academy and providing for a better tomorrow for underprivileged children at The Malcolm X Shabazz High School.