Monday, June 6, 2016

The Beauty of the Name Muhammad & the Legacy of Muhammad Ali

Now, there are Caucasians (European/White) people in this country (USA) and worldwide that may express great admiration/respect and even love for Muhammad Ali. {Of course there are Negros too; however I will classify you with the Caucasians for the purpose of brevity - because you will share similar activities/actions and attitudes.} So what say you for those of us who also bear this name Muhammad - do you deny us access, opportunity and respect, equal with the best in this society? When you see Muhammad or other Muslim Names does it arouse suspicion, disdain and repute? Is your sincere appreciation and respect for Muhammad transferable to those of us who live and contribute to this country and the global community or are you really just faking? How about for those of us who dare to stand proudly as Muslim and demonstrate high civilization and intelligence? Or are you afraid to be associated with a Muslim?
Better still, do you understand that Muhammad Ali never "left" the Nation of Islam (The Nation) but followed The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad (TMHEM) until his departure in 1974, and then remained with Imam Warith Deen Muhammad through various transitions of the faith and movement afterward? Do you know that he visited Mosque Maryam and THMLF in 2002.? A clear sign of his love and appreciation of his basis/roots - The Nation of Islam.
He did not go out seeking to change his faith nor did he ever denounce The Nation or TMHEM for that fact. Also, Muhammad Ali did not choose his name it was given to him by TMHEM. Today, those of us who subscribe to the tenets of this faith - Islam (as Muhammad Ali); introduced and taught to us by TMHEM, today exemplified by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, wear this same name - Muhammad. Muhammad was given to us too - we did not just wake up one day, read a dictionary, become self aware, convert to Islam and change our names to Muhammad.
Moreover, Muhammad was hated, vilified, mocked, stripped because he spoke and lived truth to power. What truth you may ask - just start with two books that Muhammad directs all of us to study - The Holy Quran; The Message to the Blackman, referenced in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that led to Muhammad Ali's acquittal.*
Muhammad Ali was not careless with his words - as a certain head of state recently claimed. He was deliberate, direct and never needed interpretation - he was not taught by Malcolm X, he was taught by TMHEM to speak straight words, as we who follow this teaching are also taught. Muhammad gives all of his students access to the knowledge; everyone is allowed to excel at their own pace. Muhammad Ali like Malcolm, like Farrakhan are exceptionally great. TMHEM also inspired countless black nationalist scholars scholarship such as Maulana Karenga and James Baldwin as well as the epic Roots by Alex Haley.
Therefore, if you really love Muhammad Ali, then you would seek first to understand and then be understood. You would seek to uncover the roots of his fearlessness in the face of loss, suffering and death. You would stop trying to revise, interpret or so-called correct "him/his life/his meanings/his message" now that he is not in this dispensation of time and place. You would not say things like, "oh Muhammad Ali was not like the other Mooslems, he's different" - thereby making him a token Negro; token Muslim. Realize and recognize that Muhammad always speaks for Self, by the way we are taught that in the teachings of TMHEM.
But don't worry, that's what we the scholars of Muhammad are here for. We will not let you write him (or us) down in history with your bitter twisted lies - we will rise! We may not have your high level profile platforms to get our messages across - but still we will fight to declare the truth of our lives and message. We will fight your lies, subtleties and bold faced insults with truth, directness and confidence. And we will do it just like a Muhammad.

*Joining the Nation of Islam more than a mere confession of faith. First one must study the teachings of TMHEM which includes foundational books such as The Message to the BlackMan; Fall of America; Our Saviour Has Arrived; and the Supreme Wisdom Lessons. One is examined and then receives an X. The X symbolizes that the student has learned critical tenants of their faith and is prepared to live in accord with those tenets. Students can also demonstrate exceptional abilities to share/teach others which may earn the student a name such as Ali; Muhammad; Rahman; Karreim; etc. Additionally, one must study intense reading materials written by numerous scholars on religion/spirituality; economics; sociology and history.
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