I just finished re-reading Manning Marable’s analysis of Malcolm X. Marable ends with his belief that Malcolm would have denounced the 9/11 attacks as being fundamentally against everything Islam stands for, despite the claims of those who carried out the terrorism. Marable’s thesis at the end is Malcolm should be held up as a symbol for hope and dignity across all cultures, in the way he’s an icon among the culture he fought the hardest for (the black underclass).
I use that introduction because that definition of Malcolm is very symbolic of how important, in a much larger sense, the ideal of ‘community’ is in Islam. It’s tied into how we greet each other (Peace be unto you, and unto you be peace). It’s tied into our facing the same direction, using the same physical prostrations. It is, I believe, why we are considered to perfect half of our religion when we marry. Beyond our internal community, I also feel that it extends to our larger sense of ‘community’, and our interdependence on each other as beings who are ‘renting’ this physical space we’re all sharing for however long we’re meant to share it.
A few of you know this, but 2Pac has been my example more than Malcolm when it comes to community works. Specifically, 90 percent of your service is off the radar; only you and God and the recipient needs to know about it. I’m not suggesting you’re wrong if you want more ‘credit’ for the good things you do, but I may be questioning who you need credit from if it’s truly a selfless act. Truthfully if you find it in yourself to do anything for others, you’re one of the good ones. This came up in the dinner conversation I had last night, and most of us see it whether you live in a metropolis or not, but the gap between the haves and the have nots isn’t getting smaller. That’s just the way the world is going; what’s a little worrisome now though is that the haves seem much less inclined than ever to have empathy for the have nots. Yeah, this could be a whole blog into itself, so let me get back on point…
As I’ve settled into my ‘spot’, I’m very thankful to have likewise found the right wavelength where I can contribute in whatever way I feel comfortable to spreading good karma in the world I live in. As I’ve been telling friends recently, I bring 100 percent of my ego to my professional life, so it’s nice to balance that with trying to make the world a better place in relative anonymity.
Last Ramadan post for the year next week.