TEHRAN (FNA) – The thirteenth annual commemorative program in honor of slain American Muslim/social activist Malcolm X was held Saturday night at Howard University in Washington, DC.
The program was sponsored by Al-Mizaan, an Islamic organization based in the metropolitan Washington area, devoted to developing community education, purification and economic self-reliance.
Before the keynote address, the annual Community Service Award was presented to Br. Hodari Abdul-Ali, for recognition of his tireless efforts for the Washington community, as an activist and speaker; who established Pyramid Books, a publishing agency for the distribution of Islamic-themed literature and also the founder of Dar Salaam Bookstore, FNA correspondent in Washington said.
Abdul-Ali mentioned his trips to Sudan, where he was warmly welcomed by the people there, not because of his own personal worth, but because he was seen as a member of the tribe that had given birth to the great Martyr Malcolm X.
He further commended the Muslims for their successful actions, saying that although “we live in the heart of modern Babylon, Islam still thrives.”
The keynote speaker of the night was, Amin Nathari, who is Imam of the mosque in Newark, New Jersey, an activist and author of Insight and Foresight: Aiming near and far; an invitation to self-examination (What Would Malcolm Do?)
Imam Nathari quoted the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in saying that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Imam Nathari urged the assembly to contemplate the dynamic actions of the Martyr Malcolm X (Hajj Malik Al-Shabazz) as an expression of the many Quranic injunctions to put faith into action.
Having grown up in the Nation of Islam (later converting to orthodox Islam) and been strongly influenced and motivated by the actions and powerful speeches of Malcolm X, Imam, Nathari offered the same method employed by the American-born Muslim Martyr to put into action in our own lives. The method involves self-examination (and the accompanying self-correction), priority setting and planning (for both this life and the Hereafter).
Quoting the English translation of the Holy Quran, Nathari gave illustration of the philosophy of priority-setting in the Quran by using the verse which relates that “those who clean/protect the Kaba and serve water to pilgrims are not equal to those who struggle with their lives and property in the name of Islam.”
He spoke of the absolute necessity of using Quran as an owners’ manual for success in life.
In comments given after the talk, Nathari summarized by saying that Muslims who apply Quran in their own lives are capable of being a positive force for change in the US, by demonstrating the Positive Lifestyle of Islam. As in his speech, he emphasized that “personal expressions of worship alone are not enough to stabilize our communities; if the message of Quran and Islam are to be effectively conveyed to our youth, awareness of societal conditions and activism are also vital.”