Letter From Mecca
letter was sent from Malcolm to his assistants,
new Muslim Mosque, press and his wife, during
the conclusion of his pilgrimage to Mecca. The
content is reproduced from The Autobiography of
Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley".
Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality
and the overwhelming spirit of true brotherhood
as practiced by people of all colors and races
here in this Ancient Holy Land, the home of
Abraham, Muhammad and all other prophets of the
Holy Scriptures. For the past week, I have been
utterly speechless and spellbound by the
graciousness I see displayed all around me by
people of all colors.
I have been blessed to visit the Holy City of
Mecca. I have made my seven circuits around the
Ka'ba, led by a young Mutawaf named Muhammad. I
drank water from the well of Zem Zem. I ran
seven times back and forth between the hills of
Mt. Al-Safa and Al-Marwah. I have prayed in the
ancient city of Mina, and I have prayed on Mt.
There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from
all over the world. They were of all colors,
from blue eyed blonds to black skin Africans.
But we were all participating in the same
rituals, displaying a spirit of unity and
brotherhood that my experiences in America had
lead me to believe never could exist between the
white and 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
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,
irrespective of their color.
You may be shocked by these words coming from
me. But on this pilgrimage, what I have seen,
and experienced, has forced me to re-arrange
much of my thought patterns previously held, and
to toss aside some of my previous conclusions.
This was not too difficult for me. Despite my
firm convictions, I have always been a man who
tries to face facts, and to accept the reality
of life as new experiences and new knowledge
unfolds it. I have always kept an open mind,
which is necessary to the flexibility that must
go hand in hand with every form of intelligent
search for truth.
During the past eleven days here in the Muslim
world, I have eaten from the same plate, drunk
from the same glass, and slept in the same bed,
(or on the same rug) -- while praying to the
same God -- with fellow Muslims, whose eyes were
the bluest of blue, whose hair was the blondest
of blond, and whose skin was the whitest of
white. And in the same words and in the actions
and in the deeds of the 'white' Muslims, I felt
the same sincerity that I felt among the black
African Muslims of Nigeria, Sudan and Ghana.
We were truly all the same (brothers) -- because
their belief in one God had removed the 'white'
from their minds, the 'white' from their
behavior, and the 'white' from their attitude.
I could see from this, that perhaps if white
Americans could accept the Oneness of God, then
perhaps, too, they could accept in reality the
Oneness of Man -- and cease to measure, and
hinder, and harm others in terms of their
differences in color.
With racism plaguing America like an incurable
cancer, the so-called 'Christian' white American
heart should be more receptive to a proven
solution to such a destructive problem. Perhaps
it could be in time to save America from
imminent disaster -- the same destruction
brought upon Germany by racism that eventually
destroyed the Germans themselves.
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 conscious racism of the
American whites. But as racism leads America up
the suicide path, I do believe, from the
experience 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.
Never have I been so highly honored. Never have
I been made to feel more humble and unworthy.
Who would believe the blessings that have been
heaped upon an American Negro? A few nights ago,
a man who would be called in America a 'white'
man, a United Nations diplomat, an ambassador, a
companion of kings, gave me his hotel suite, his
bed. By this man, His Excellency Prince Faisal,
who rules this Holy Land, was made aware of my
presence here in Jedda. The very next morning,
Prince Faisal's son, in person, informed me that
by the will and decree of his esteemed father, I
was to be a State Guest.
The deputy Chief of Protocol himself took me
before the Hajj Court. His Holiness Sheikh
Muhammad Harkon himself okayed my visit to
Mecca. His Holiness gave me two books on Islam,
with his personal seal and autograph, and he
told me that he prayed that I would be a
successful preacher of Islam in America. A car,
a driver, and a guide, have been placed at my
disposal, making it possible for me to travel
about this Holy Land almost at will. The
government provides air conditioned quarters and
servants in each city that I visit. Never would
I have even thought of dreaming that I would
ever be a recipient of such honors -- honors
that in America would be bestowed upon a King --
not a Negro.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all the
El-Shabazz (Malcom X)
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