by Malaika H Kambon
The spiritual warmth could be felt flowing all through the hall in the stately Islamic Center in downtown Oakland, as over 300 people mourned, paid last respects, celebrated his life and gained inspiration during the service held Friday morning, May 17, in loving memory of Hajj Malcolm Latif El Shabazz.
The faces of grief and mourning were also the faces of strength, courage and commitment.
“Young Malcolm,” as he was often recognized, in remembrance of his grandfather, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X), was a jewel in the making, just coming into his own when he was assassinated this past week under circumstances that fairly reek of COINTELPRO manipulation.
But this service celebrated his life, even as it mourned his passing.
An obituary read to the audience spoke of Hajj Malcolm’s travels in the states and in the world, where he spoke out against global injustice, Black on Black violence and the prison industrial complex. He advocated for political prisoners and visited Mumia Abu-Jamal and Sekou Odinga. He learned from all whom he encountered, most particularly human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama, whom he adored. One of her relatives was present in the audience.
It also bespoke his travels to Qatar, France, Holland, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, stating that “the two most enjoyable highlights of his overseas experiences were his Hajj (spiritual pilgrimage) to Mecca in 2010, where he met the late scholar Shaykh Amri in Medina, and his studies of Islam from ulama (scholars) in Damascus, Syria, at the Hawza Ilmiya Zainabiyah (Islamic Seminary.) It was also here that he made a spiritual connection during a ziyarat (visitation) to the tomb Hazrat Zainab, the granddaughter of the Prophet Muhammad (AS).”
His educational objectives included not only advanced studies for himself at the University of California at Berkeley’s Islamic Studies Department, but the building of masjids and educational centers in America. His goal was to emphasize the need for qualitative changes in the American educational system, such that all children would have access to a quality education. To this end, he spoke at many universities, schools and local community centers across this country.
In a beautiful video, his speeches flowed. Even those who may not have known him (myself included) could see and hear that he was gifted in his ability to hold the attention of a crowd, that he was extremely popular with young people, and that even as he reached people of all ages and from all walks of life, it was evident from his conversation that he was a scholar.
From infant to elder, he inspired confidence in all whose lives he touched with humility and grace. He worked for human rights, dedicating his life to the mission of his grandfather, El Hajj Malik El Shabazz, hoping to create a world filled with the true meaning of justice and peace.
Aside from being a consummate teacher and activist, he was also a father and a son, with uncompromising love for his daughter, Saudi Shabazz, and for his mother and comrade, Qubilah Shabazz. He was also soon to be the author of two books, one of which was a memoir.
And so, from all walks of life, religions and creeds, from Oakland, frequently his home base in recent years, and far beyond, people came to express their love. They listened intently to the Quranic recitation of the Al Fatiha, the Ahadith reading, opening remarks, statements of condolences in the form of a video presentation of the life of Hajj Malcolm Shabazz, told with loving memory, to remarks by professors from UC Berkeley, clergy, family and friends, the eulogy and final dua and prayers.
There was a table of fresh fruit, from which people could partake, as well as water.
Buttons were being made and sold outside the service to defray the cost of carrying Hajj Malcolm Latif El Shabazz to his final rest beside his grandparents in New York.
At the conclusion of the service, those who wished formed a line in order to say their personal farewells in prayer or by touching his casket.
Hajj Malcolm Shabazz’ family included the pre-deceased El Hajj Malik El Shabazz and Dr. Betty Shabazz. He is survived by his mother, Qubilah-Bahiyah Shabazz, his daughter, Saudi Shabazz, and his aunts, cousins and paternal and maternal great aunts and uncles.
Hajj Malcolm Latif El Shabazz has made a profound and an indelible mark upon the world. In the finest traditions of the Shabazz family; by his life he will continue to inspire.
The photographs, taken after the ceremony with the permission of the Imam, reflect the love of Malcolm’s global community for him, and his love for his community.
Malaika H Kambon is a freelance photojournalist and the 2011 winner of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association Luci S. Williams Houston Scholarship in Photojournalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tribute to Malcolm
by Yahaya Ezemoo Ndu and Gerald A. Perreira, African Revolutionary Movement
Africans all over the world mourn the death of Al Hajj Malcolm Al Shabazz, grandson of the great African revolutionary, Al Hajj Malik Al Shabazz (Malcolm X). ARM is in no doubt that this young African freedom fighter, who was using his legacy to inspire a whole new generation, was targeted for assassination.
Anyone familiar with the aims and objectives of COINTELPRO can immediately read the signs. He was under constant surveillance as a result of his activism at home and abroad and the circumstances surrounding his death reek of a setup.
The Empire is in deep crisis and knows that the final blow will come from the mounting internal resistance to its reign of terror. Young Malcolm’s assassination comes at a time when the Empire’s state terrorist apparatus is intensifying its harassment of militant African organizations and leaders and has recently placed Assata Shakur at the top of its most wanted terrorist list.
We send our deepest sympathy to the Shabazz family. As revolutionaries, we know only too well the toll that our struggle takes on our families and the sacrifices they must make. The Shabazz family has made the ultimate sacrifice too many times, and it is with deep appreciation and respect that people all over the world are praying for and with them at this time.
The corporate media’s shameless attempts to discredit this young warrior has fallen largely on deaf ears, since it is clear to all that these agencies of mass deception are simply in the service of Empire. There is hardly an African family in the Diaspora whose young sons have not had issues with “the law.” As many African scholars have noted, it is in fact “the law” that has issues with our youth who are targeted globally.
Truth be told, no youth on this earth has suffered more than African youth. No amount of slandering or character assassination by a discredited corporate media can detract from the stature of this young son of Africa who is mourned worldwide.
May Allah welcome him as a martyr, who died like his grandfather, in the service of his people.
African Revolutionary Movement Chairman Yahaya Ezemoo Ndu and International Secretary Gerald A. Perreira can be reached at email@example.com.
Read the words of Malcolm Shabazz
So that you may come to know him for yourself, following are a few of the stories posted at SFBayView.com by and about Hajj Malcolm El Shabazz:
The legacy of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz lives! an interview wit’ his grandson Malcolm Shabazz In this extremely revealing interview, Malcolm addresses such difficult topics as the fire that killed his grandmother, his time in prison and who killed his grandfather.