MALCOLM X IN MECCA 1964
A MOMENT IN HISTORY
Malcolm described his pilgrimage to Mecca in
as a life changing event that gave him a
universal vision of justice for our planet.
We could say more but we will let Malcolm's own
words tell the story.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia – April 1964
Never have I witnessed such sincere hospitality and overwhelming spirit of true
brotherhood as is practiced by people of all colors and races here in this
ancient Holy Land, the home of Abraham, Muhammad and all the 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
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 the Zam Zam. 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. Arafat.
There were tens of thousands of pilgrims, from all over the world. They were of
all colors, from blue-eyed blondes to black-skinned Africans. But we were all
participating in the same ritual, displaying a spirit of unity and brotherhood
that my experiences in America had led 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 been
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 rearrange 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 experience 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 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 words 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
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 the conscious racism of the American whites. But as racism
leads America up the suicide path, I do believe, from the experiences that I
have had with them, that the whites of the younger generation, in the colleges
and universities, will see the handwriting on the walls 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. 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 Worlds.
Al-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (Malcolm X)
(From the AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM X with assistance from Alex Haley, the author
BELOW ARE SOME RECENT PICTURES OF MECCA
THAT CAN SHOW YOU THE POWER OF THE