February 21 2015 marked 50 years since the assassination of outspoken African-American Muslim stalwart Malik al Shabazz. Malcolm X, as he was also known, was gunned down at the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem in 1965 while preparing to give a speech.
As an NPR blog notes, Al Shabazz can be considered as one of the great public speakers of all-time.
And while Malcolm X may have had a natural leaning toward dramatic interpretation, for him public speaking was a learned skill. At the age of 21, he was a middle school dropout and prison inmate who, “didn’t know a verb from a house.” Three months shy of his 40th birthday, he was an international media presence, a voracious reader, tough debater and a leading proponent of black nationalism.”
Below we reproduce some of al Shabazz’s iconic words, many of which may still ring a poignant bell today.
Ya Rabb (My Lord), Ya Al-Mu’Min (The Giver of Peace), Ya Al-Malik (The Sovereign), Ya Al-Rahim (The Merciful), Ya Al-Darr (The Afflictor), Ya Al-Muhaymin (The Protector)…
Ya Allah who knows the best of all his names, please help them. Ya Al-Mu’Min if they can not have peace on this earth then grant them peace in their hearts on the battlefield and grant them the loftiest of peace in the hereafter. Ya Allah Al- Aziz (The Almighty), Ya Allah Al-Mu’izz (The Honourer), Honor them with the highest of Honors. Ya Al-Adl (The Just), bring justice to the oppressed. Send them thousands of angels to help them, and send those who fear none but you. Ya Al-Halim (The All-Clement), pardon our mistakes and disobedience to you for you are Al-Tawwab The Acceptor of Repentance). Ya Al- Hafiz (The Guardian), please guide those oppressors, soften their hearts to Islam and Ya Al-Wakil (The Trustee), if guidance is not written for them, then protect us Al-Waliyy (The protector) in every way from them. Give those suffering, strength, patience, and jennah for this trial is great. If they die let it be with li illiah hi il lallah on their lips. Ameen.