return of the mecca

It makes me so furious when people attack Islam for Muhammad’s marriages and polygamy, and only name A'isha and then go on to describe her as a child bride.

Yet they’re all silent when it comes to how A'isha was able to lead battles, shape politics, and influence the development of Islam after the Prophet died.

They’re all silent when it comes to talking about his twenty-five years of monogamous marriage to Khadija bint Khuwaylid, a woman who was fifteen years older than him, his employer, and the one who proposed.

They’re all silent when it comes to Sawda bint Zam'a, who Muhammad married because she was widowed and had suffered too many hardships to remain unmarried.

They’re all silent when it comes to Hafsa bint Umar, the woman who could recite the Qur'an better than most men and whose memory influenced the version of the Qur'an we have today.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Khuzayama, the woman referred to as “the mother of the poor” because of all her charity work.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Salama, the woman Muhammad went to for advice during the Treaty of Hudaybiya, the treaty that allowed Muslims to return to Mecca.

They’re all silent when it comes to Rayhana bint Zayd, an upper class Jewish woman who taught Muhammad the traditions of the Torah.

They’re all silent when it comes to Zaynab bint Jahsh, a tempermental and slightly egotistical woman who was constantly praised by Muhammad’s other wives for her charity work and her religious devotion.

They’re all silent when it comes to Juwayriyya bint al-Harith, the woman who married Muhammad to create a political alliance that would allow one hundred enslaved families to be set free.

They’re all silent when it comes to Safiyya bint Huyyay, a Jewish noble woman whose relationship with Muhammad changed the antisemitism attitude among his followers.

They’re all silent when it comes to Umm Habiba, the woman who converted to Islam despite the protest from her polytheist father and who remained Muslim despite her (at the time) husband converting to Christianity, because she believed in Islam and refused to waive that belief.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maryam al-Cibtiya, the mother of Muhammad’s only son, Ibrahim, named after the ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, tying all three monotheistic religions together.

They’re all silent when it comes to Maymuna bint al-Harith, the woman from Mecca who proposed to Muhammad and whose marriage reconnected him to Mecca, the city Muslims face when they pray.

It’s really amazing how people can go on and on about how Islam is so misogynistic because of Muhammad’s polygamy and his marriage to A'isha while simultaneously never bothering to learn who these women even are and what amazing things they did to influence Muhammad’s life and Islam itself.

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Malcolm X photographed by John Launois, 1964.

The Saturday Evening Post editorial accompanied a shortened version of Malcolm X’s then unpublished autobiography. The excerpt, titled “I’m Talking to You, White Man,” gave an account of losing a father to violence and a mother to insanity, drifting into crime and drugs, finding faith in prison through the Nation of Islam and its leader Elijah Muhammad, and taking his spiritual journey even farther.

After returning from a pilgrimage to Mecca, Malcolm X was asked what had most impressed him. He replied, “The brotherhood: The people of all races, colors, from all over the world coming together as one! It has proved to me the power of the One God.” As a result of what he had seen in the Holy Land, he wrote, “I have turned my direction away from anything that’s racist.” But, in consequence of renouncing racism, “some of the followers of Elijah Muhammad would still consider it a first-rank honor to kill me.”

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63 Songs You Need In Your Life This Month

1. British singer-songwriter ROMANS’ soulful, euphoric “Uh Huh.”
2. Little Mix’s unapologetically bubblegum “Black Magic.”
3. Hit-Boy’s woozy twilight anthem “Go All Night (ft. Travis Scott).”
4. Reggae meets pop-punk on Twenty One Pilots’ genre-bending “Ride.”
5. Country singer Kelsea Ballerini picks up where Taylor Swift left off on the twangy “Xo.”
6. Years & Years continue to rule the dance floor with the effervescent “Shine.”
7. French-Canadian singer Cœur de pirate gets an assist from Peter Bjorn and John’s Björn Yttling on “Carry On.”
8. Synthpop trio Wet’s breathy, delicate “Deadwater.”
9. Bebe Rexha’s bittersweet EDM ballad “Sweet Beginnings.”
10. Major Lazer’s latest synth-heavy dance-hall banger, “Too Original (ft. Elliphant and Jovi Rockwell).”
11. Willow Smith continues her alt-R&B experimentations on “WEEPINGWILOUGH/LETSGOTOMECCA (ft. Mecca Kalani).”
12. Grunge queen Courtney Love returns to her roots on the snarling “Miss Narcissist.”
13. Ascendant grime star Jammz’s hard-hitting “Final Warning.”
14. ASAP Rocky’s wobbly, intoxicating ode to psychedelics, “L$D.”
15. Tori Kelly’s good-girl sass is front and center on the ’90s-esque “Unbreakable Smile.”
16. Long Beach native Vince Staples’ sparse, ominous “Señorita.”
17. Sage the Gemini’s sultry, pulsating “Good Thing (ft. Nick Jonas).”
18. Tink pays homage to R&B goddess Aaliyah on “Million.”
19. London-based rapper Tinie Tempah’s joyful Jess Glynne collab, “Not Letting Go.”
20. Albert Hammond Jr.’s breezy, guitar-driven “Born Slippy.”
21. British electro outfit’s Hot Chip sneaker-inspired meditation on the passage of time, “Huarache Lights.”
22. Luke Bryan makes a bid for pop radio with his latest tailgate anthem, “Kick the Dust Up.”
23. Paul Thomas Zito’s spacey, NASA-sampling “Cosmonaut (ft. Phil Jacoby).”
24. Rita Ora’s “Poison” is a deceptively sweet track about the appeals of toxic relationships.
25. U.K. producer Hudson Mohawke’s relentlessly bright party-starter, “Scud Books.”
26. Country star Jake Owen’s quirky, Sugar Ray–inspired “Real Life.”
27. “Cerulean,” a slow, seductive bit of alt-R&B from U.K. producer Maths Time Joy.
28. The rollicking, stream-of-consciousness ramblings of Courtney Barnett’s “Dead Fox.”
29. EDM wunderkind Zedd teams up with YouTuber turned pop star Troye Sivan on this ambitious, seven-minute epic “Papercut.”
30. Alex Winston’s charging pop anthem “Careless.”
31. Jamie xx’s “I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) [ft. Young Thug and Popcaan]” sounds like its inspiration: a summer drive over the Williamsburg bridge soundtracked by New York hip-hop station Hot 97.
32. Swedish pop rapper Elliphant’s glossy, genre-defying single “Love Me Badder.”
33. Kopecky’s dance floor-ready “Talk to Me.”
34. Singer Grace combines classic, Adele-style vocals with Rihanna’s bad-girl swagger on the swooning “Feel Your Love.”
35. Hitmaker Ester Dean finally has a smash of her own with the irresistibly catchy “Crazy Youngsters.”
36. “All I Need,” a soaring devotional from über-producer The-Dream.
37. Icona Pop’s shout-sing over a trumpet sample on the feverish “Emergency.”
38. Twenty-three-year-old Hunter Hayes gets nostalgic for the recent past on the summery “21.”
39. Rationale’s lush, unpredictable “Re.Up.”
40. Disclosure’s soulful, house-inspired “Holding On (ft. Gregory Porter).”
41. Romantic uncertainty has never sounded more appealing than on Flor’s “Unsaid.”
42. The dreamy, lo-fi “I Can’t Explain” from West Palm Beach–based rockersSurfer Blood.
43. Rudimental’s subdued drum-and-bass single “Never Let You Go.”
44. Waterbed’s warped, bubblegum-y “Do2Me.”
45. Montreal-based quartet No Joy’s genuinely sad shoe-gazer “Moon in My Mouth.”
46. Fight Like Apes’ arch take on the everyday, “Pop Itch.”
47. Moresounds’ skittering “Dead and Bury (ft. Fracture).”
48. The distorted funk rock of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Ur Life One Night.”
49. “Darker,” a mournful ballad from the electric, genre-defying Shamir.
50. Destroyer’s bombastic, saxophone-heavy “Dream Lover.”
51. Multihyphenate Lane Moore falls head over heels on It Was Romance’s boisterous “Philadelphia.”
52. Norwegian singer-songwriter Jenny Hval’s fragile, incisive “That Battle Is Over.”
53. New Jersey punk rockers Titus Andronicus’ howling comeback single, “Dimed Out.”
54. The Mynabirds’ melancholy synthpop stunner, “Semantics.”
55. Danish singer-songwriter Kwamie Liv’s fiery, slow-burning “Higher.”
56. Indie rockers PHASES’ infectiously upbeat “I’m in Love With My Life.”
57. Patrick Watson’s shimmery, spaced out “Places You Will Go.”
58. R&B godess Lianne La Havas’ gravity-defying love song, “Unstoppable.”
59. Allen Stone’s funky, irresistible “Upside.”
60. Anti-Flag’s riotous “Brandenburg Gate (ft. Tim Armstrong).”
61. The Civil Wars’ Joy Williams wrestles with regret on the plaintive “What a Good Woman Does.”
62. The Weeknd continues to make the most out of his menacing midnight confessions on “The Hills.”
63. Alessia Cara defiant anti-party anthem, “Here.”

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Muslim festival, Anohia Village, Afikpo Igbo Village-Group, Nigeria.

Unmarried female Muslim dancers, Anohia Village, Afikpo, at one of their festivals. Most of this village converted to Islam in the late 1950s when a village son returned as a Muslim, an Alhaji, after being to Senegal, Mecca and elsewhere, converting many of the inhabitants of the village. The dance movements were fairly typical of Afikpo but the songs were in praise of Allah and the dress differs.

I have no information on what became of the Moslem community following the outbreak of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war.

Simon Ottenberg (1971). A Moslem Igbo Village. Cahiers d'Études Africaines, Vol. 11, Cahier 42 (1971), pp. 231-260

#WhoisMuhammad ﷺ

After being mercilessly persecuted,
having numerous assassination attempts on His life, ﷺ
being subjected to near famine conditions,
which took the life of His ﷺ wife, Khadija [RA].

After being exiled from his own home, his own city.
After 17 years of oppression,
when He ﷺ returned to Mecca with an overwhelming army of 10 000,
what did he do?
He forgave.

He said:
قَالَ لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ
يَغْفِرُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
“No blame will there be upon you today.
Allah will forgive you; and He is the most merciful of the merciful.”
[12:92]

When He ﷺ could have finally gotten reprisal for the cruelty, the brutality, and many grave injustices His community had to suffer through,
He forgave.
Live by His example, ﷺ.

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Yasiin Bey on Malcolm X, for “Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop”

“A statesman without a state, a revolutionary, an outlaw…”

Salute!

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Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) on Malcolm X, for “Return of the Mecca: The Art of Islam and Hip-Hop”

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Malcolm X’s Famous Speech After Returning From Mecca