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Speak to my Heart
Communities of Faith and Contemporary African American Life.

Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture

Interview with Imam Ghayth Nur Kashif

Iman Ghayth Nur Kashif
"...Islam makes you a responsible person--man or woman--responsible to your creator.  And, so, you can't be blaming everybody else for what happens to you..."

MS. MORRIS:  This is Jennifer Morris interviewing Imam Ghayth Nur Kashif at the Masjid Shura. May 15, 1997. Now, are you a native Washingtonian? 
MR. KASHIF:  No, I'm North Carolinian. 
MS. MORRIS:  And, when did you reach the Washington, D.C., area? 
MR. KASHIF:  Let's see. Somewhere in the fifties. 
MS. MORRIS:  When did you realize that Islam was the religion for you? 

"...southeast has been without a regular Masjid until we came over, . . . when we came, we started out being socially responsible to the community here..."

Well, it was during the same period, between 50 and 60. In the 1900's, 1950 to 60. That was the time I was leaving military service and it's usually a time men start looking about what they're going to do in life and what course they are going to take. [Note: he speaks very quietly at times and it is difficult to hear what he is saying] My interest was, more or less, the civil rights of our people and ______. One of the things that I thought about a lot and cried about a lot, in fact. And, I had joined the NAACP and I'd gone to New York. And, then I saw the flush of various different activities. All kinds of movements that were going on there. And, I heard people speaking on the street corners and all this. My military service, I spent some time in Newfoundland and I used to read a lot of books in the library. And, came upon the Koran in the library in Newfoundland. And, I read it. It seemed to be in the same religious vein as the Bible, and the words seemed beautiful, even more beautiful and more, more in the glorification of God, it seemed to me. So, I spent some time in the library going back and forth reading the Koran quite a bit. And, I guess you could say that was what gave me sort of an orientation toward Islam. And, then I read a book by _____ Walter Trine, Twine. ____ Walter Twine. And, his book was a book on Jesus. And, it expressed what I had always felt about Jesus as I was growing up. Jesus seemed to be me to be like an elder brother who had come in contact or had been given the spirit of God. But, he was among the people, and he dealt as people, as a human, he was a human among the people. And, that he had a hire level of knowledge. And, I used to read where it says I knew you and me are we in God. That sort of thing, you know. And, so that sort of oriented me to look more into the practical side of religious life and to view Jesus in a role that was much closer to the human affairs. And, also the deeper appreciation of the creator of the heavens and earth. So, that's sort of -- this is from there. Later on, I went to New York. While I was there, I was doing writing and doing a thesis and things like that for some of the students. They write their Ph.D.'s. I used to write, even at that time, and edit their works. But, that was just a part of my education. I did a lot of thesis for the students at CCNY in New York. So, you know, when I was trying to get into the school. So, that sort of lead me into writing. I finally wound up going into journalism, you know, from there. I bypassed a lot of other stuff to get where I got. But, after that, I lived in the YMCA there for a while. And, there was a merchant seaman there who befriended me, or I befriended him, and when I visit him, he had this book all wrapped up on the shelf. And, he would take it down sometimes and say excuse me and go into another room. And, I'd ask him what is this book, and he showed me the book and, I said, oh, that's the book I used to read in the library. So, actually he was only there for about a month and then he went back on his ship. But, that was the other point about Islam. Here, all of a sudden, here comes Islam again. And, so, that was when I began orientation towards Islam. From there. 
MS. MORRIS:  Okay, how long has the Masjid been located here? 
MR. KASHIF:  About eight years. 
MS. MORRIS:  Eight years. And, what is, as an Imam, what is your role and responsibility to the Islamic community? 
MR. KASHIF:  Well, as a Muslim, initially, a Muslim's responsibility is that of a caretaker. A Muslim man and woman, they're called kalipa, and that is sort of like a vice _____. A sergeant of responsibility to take care of what God has provided, whether it's land, whether it's property, whatever we are in charge of, we are responsible for. And, we don't own anything per se, but we make use of what we are given. And, we're supposed to take care of it. Whatever skills and knowledge that we have, we have to recognize these things come from God. And, so, therefore, we have to be responsible to exercise those skills and talent and knowledge that we have and the resources in a way that's pleasing to God. So, the Imam has to understand as much as he can about the guidebook of God. And, that is, the Koran, which clarifies and synthesizes the scriptures, such as the Torah, _____, Gospel, and ______, Psalms, and the scrolls of Ibrahim. 
MS. MORRIS:  Okay, for lack of a better word, does the congregation come from this area, this community, the people who come to the ______? 
MR. KASHIF:  Obviously about 50%, 50, 60%. 
MS. MORRIS:  And in general, how does the Masjid impact the community in general? 

"...the Imam has to understand as much as he can about the guidebook of God.  And, that is, the Koran, which clarifies and synthesizes the sciptures..."

Well, initially, for a better part of a few years, the Masjid did not have the 50%, 60, maybe it could be 70% now, ______ because, the Masjid were located outside of southeast Washington. It was late in getting a Masjid itself. Although, one time, down near Clara Muhammad School, for a brief period of time, there was a Masjid there, okay? But, Masjid in southeast, I mean, southeast has been without a regular Masjid until we came over, and we were from places like Maryland and Virginia. But, over time we found out there were a lot of Muslims over here. And, but they were, like they were going to way over to northwest and other places, and they sometimes continue this as part of a membership thing. And, then, later on, you know, with the discovery of a Masjid here and with the conditions changing, and Islam just becoming more and more universal, more and more Muslims from this area ____ to come here. Now, initially, when we came, we started out being socially responsible to the community here. So, immediately, we went to the police department, fire department, civic groups, and these kinds of things to see what we can do to be a part of the community. We wanted to share what we have with the community. The Muslims have a strong reputation, I think justly deserved, of discipline, high morality, and organizational kind of skills. This is sort of a tradition among Muslims. And, integrity is there, and we have our degree of nationalism and, I mean, with the community. I don't mean that we're parochial to ourselves. So, we know this is of great value, especially to African Americans and the Christian community, because we see a great weakness and seemingly confusion as to what, how the community should go in the face of all of the politics and abiding racism. 
MS. MORRIS:  Do you have any programs for the youth? Like Muslim youth. 
MR. KASHIF:  The Muslim youth, we combine our programs with the Muslim youth with the other Muslim communities across the city, where many of the programs have already been ongoing, okay? So, we try to have our youth participate in those programs and programs that we develop here. We're working on programs in association with the police Boys Club and that is, of course, with some karate type things and other programs which, hopefully, will combine with the total youth in the community. But, we have a real, real responsibility to our youth in southeast particularly because the whole climate here has to change. The whole climate has to change, and it will have to be the youth that come from the communities like our and maybe some others from Christian communities to really bring about a change. We have also the responsibility of understanding the youth, period, mindset. And, we have to get a handle on it. 

We have to be able to come to some appreciation of, say, rap music, okay. But, not in a carte blanche way, because, and when we say respect, we should appreciate the generation of the thing. But, there is insidious danger in the lyrics of much of this music _____, extremely dangerous. We talked about it earlier, words make people. And, as we talk from a spiritual point of view of the concepts of fertilizing the mind to be able to withstand the onslaught against mentality and morality, we have to be able to shape our words and take the words that we use so that we won't be lavished. Just to give you an example, when I say words, God and man's nature is uprightness. Man is Homo erectus. One who walks straight. This distinguishes him from others, okay. And, our language, in the Arabic language and so forth, you know, the word for straight is ___, it's called mustikeem or con, and those three letters that we told you about means so much. In this case, it's Q U M, and it means straight, standing straight. And, we say we are on the path of the mustikeem, straight path. So, where man is to come from, as they say in masonics, from a dead level to a living perpendicular ____ square. God intends to make us straight. Now, the culture, to show you drastically, we say a man is straight. But, they want to be crooked. We say, are you straight? Okay, right? That's true to the way man should be. But, they don't say be straight and they don't say get up. They say, let's get down. What is down? Down and dirty. And, they know what it means. The mind knows all of this. The men don't walk straight. When I was growing up, the had a different little hop, hip -- it was never straight. And, today, it's not straight anymore. It's swagger from side to side. Just got to go side to side. You develop an attitude that you have to defend yourself, even for ten seconds of looking straight in the eyes of somebody. You're not allowed to do that anymore. So more seconds, you've got to count the seconds before you turn away. Or someone will say, what are you looking at. If you don't answer right, then you've got to -- it's woman or man. It's uncomfortable. You can't even walk the streets. You can't even -- we have to change this, and the language has to change. The gutter language that the women are involved in degrades them. Why they don't understand that, I have no idea. They want respect, but, in the eyes of the man that they love, there is no respect for a woman who uses vulgar language. They made it into a culture, but the psychology is the same. The more the woman acts vulgar or sides with the man in the language, the more he feels he can _____ with you. And, this is what this is. The woman can really change -- excuse me for going on like this, but the woman can actually change -- the young women, if they are taught properly, they can change the violence, they can change the immorality that's there with their men. They go with the man because there's no where else to go. And, they adapt. The know the guy's a bad guy or whatever, but, he's not all that bad, as far as they're concerned. He's just in it. That's the way life is. And, I love him. Okay. But, if they say, if you want to be with me, you can bring that stuff around me; if you want to be with me, I'm not going to have that stuff going in my face. I'm just telling you, that's the bottom line. And, believe me, no matter how macho, how wrapped up this brother is in his game, whatever, if he's interested in the girl, he's going to change his habits. But, there's nobody to teach the girls this. They're out there on their own. They don't have any cares. They're trying to do something with the men, but it's the girls, too. It's the girls first. The mother, that's why the mother's important. She taught everybody. And, the boy, he's gotten away from it now, but the mother has a strong influence that hasn't been completely destroyed. The feminists almost did it. But, if you listen to the football games and you see at the intermission, they shoot the camera on the big husky football buy. He hardly says hi dad; he says, hi mom. Mom comes first. So, mom still has some influence. And, I mean by that, women have influence, and they're going to have to exert it. You know. They can exert it. They can cool off these hot heads, you know, and all they have to do -- they can't do it like a man. Because, they're going to have problems on that. But, they just do it like a woman, see? And, so, that's one of the things that -- we try to have educational programs where we learn from the public and they learn from us. And, we learn what kind of relationships that we should have. And, hopefully, we can get a lot of people into the matrimonial mode and that also helps them an awful lot. I'm telling you, when people don't know how to sit at the table, they don't know how to eat, they eat like animals, this is not just blacks I'm talking about. The whites ____ passed masters ____ this stuff. And, what they wound up calling civilization, like the Southern Belle's and all like this, there's a lot of filthiness behind all of that stuff. And, when integration came and our people really became to get involved with them on different levels, you know, our people take stuff to the max. I mean and that's the whole thing about it. It's from this creativity kind of thing. And, the ebonics and everything else. We will do something with the language. You know, if you don't control us, we will, you know it. So, but see, this creativity that we have, we have to marshal this to make it productive in ways that it will be productive for us. And, it's obvious. Even if you look at Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods or whatever it is, I mean, we just go to the max. It might be one of us that can get through -- Althea Gibson or Arthur Ashe or whatever in those sports we have -- wait until we get into -- [phone ringing, can't hear] We just need the money to get into the stuff. And, they try to say, well, you do this on sports, you don't do this intellect. But, at the same time, the doctors and everybody knows that good health is a foundation for good mental health, they know it. So, the combination is there, you see. But, this disbelief and this inferiority, things like that they have bred into our people, have kept us from not exercising that key creativity and innovation and knowledge to be applied to science and technology and to administration and to all of these other things. As quietly as it is kept, there are so many black people that are in extremely sensitive and important positions in the scientific world, in particular. And, every now and then, as television expands, say, observatory, and you go in an office, you'll see it's a black woman in there or a black doctor or a black scientist. You know, and these people, they don't really want to be known, so much, for obvious reasons. But, they're there. Look to the Secret Service they have around the president. Proportionally more blacks. So, what's all of this. All of those trainees in the military service, those sergeants, been having all of this fun. But, where were they. I mean, they're black. Okay. So, we see this as partly political, too, because they don't want too many Colin Powells. And, the Army, military, is an avenue that you can really grow. If you've got anything on the ball and, because it's merit, for the most part. I went through it. And, it's really merit, you have to give them credit. You know, there's discrimination here and there, but somehow the military has got this thing in such a way that if you've got something on the ball, you can be a leader, you really can. I don't know they did it, but, maybe that ought to be the example ____ for outside. 

MS. MORRIS:  Well, I know that a lot of churches are bringing in images of Jesus as black or they're having like rites of passage type of programs for the youth to try to bring the youth into the church, what are some of your views on this as far as, or do you not having problems getting youth into the Mazi, or -- 
MR. KASHIF:  Oh, yeah, well we -- that's a bit effort that we're making now. Actually, ______ probably the medium age for the ones attending now is maybe thirty, may thirty at most. Forties are very small. And, on up it narrows to ______. So, most of the age group of young men, I'd say from 35 to 18, to kind in pack in at that age. And, so they're ready to get on with their lives. They're really at a, like two stages -- to take hope and take direction and also get a mate. Take hold, take direction, get a business, start to get a job, has to get a business, and get a wife. And, that's it. And, so, we're trying now to become a job bank, by having everyone who's even heard of a job bring it to us so we can post it. And, so, the brothers can get employed, you know, taking care of their own little things that they've got to take care of. And, then, parlay this into some form of self-independent businesses and things like that. That's what we're trying to do. We're trying to get some people now to rent these places that are on side of us now. And, we've been in negotiation for about two years with this building here, the entire building, and at this point, we're the only people that they want to accept. So _____. But, we're trying to orient all of our community into the work ethic that gives you your freedom. And, if you don't have your work ethic, you wind up having a dependency. Now, we except that, whatever any of our people have worked for in America, they're entitled to the benefits that everybody else is entitled to, and they should have it. Because, whether they make a dime or a dollar, they've been taxed, and they have paid their share, for the most part. One way or another, they have paid their share for America. And they're entitled. Now, America has a problem right now, a serious problem, and they think they can solve it by taking the money from charity, away from charitable efforts, whether it's welfare or other things -- you know, now they're working on housing right now. And, now they want the people who are in the public houses, they have to justify being there with a job, you know, they're going the whole Oswelian type of thing that they're doing now, okay. They may get some satisfaction of it, those that may be oriented racially or whatever, but, that's not going to solve the problem. The problem is what we call ____, usury, and interest. The Muslims are aware of this and it's forbidden for Muslims to participate or be involved in the usury. And, simply put -- usury is to make money off of money. All right, you buy something from me and I charge you 18, 20%. That is usury, okay. and, that is really what's breaking the country. When people talk about debt, that's what this is. You're paying off the loan, and you're not even paying on your premium. You're paying interest. You see. And, the thing with Latin America -- Latin America, all these other countries, they're so much in debt now, the Western countries can go in and say, listen, I ____ to give you a debt, but I want a piece of this land. Put Coca Cola on it. General Motors. And, so it's the acquisition of land without pirates coming and taking it. It's the same method of ___ land is being taken from this economic system and people going broke. Have no ownership. You know, it's not like debt to God, it's debt to man. So, listen to _____ maybe, you know, hopefully, our people -- [tape changes sides]-- so hopefully, our people, _____ some how have some discussions with economists in this country, because, everybody is looking at -- [talking to low] -- 220, they care about what's going to happen, you see. And some of it, you know, is due to the year 2000. Everybody is in a panic -- what's going to happen, that the judgment, or there's a whole lot of that going on. But, people make their own beds by their own beliefs, too. It may not be the real thing, but, believe me, people will try to bring about what they predict to bring about. And, even the computer thing, you see how they were gearing, they just went to 2000. So, why didn't they go to 4000 when they set this thing up? See, it has to with a lot of this thinking. So, if, this is a part of this, like the whole process. 

This is why Islam is just not, you know you're going to church, you're shouting, and you know, you're calling on the name of the prophet or Lord or Jesus or whatever. And, that's the end. Islam makes you a responsible person -- man or woman -- responsible to your creator. And, so, you can't be blaming everybody else for what happens to you. Okay. 

MS. MORRIS:  Okay, now could you explain the concept of zakat and how it is manifested in the community? 
MR. KASHIF:  Well, there are two words. I have to add another word. We have zakat, zakat, and sadaqa. Sadaqa. Now zakat is generally accepted to be that that each Muslim must give of his salary, a very low percentage, 2%, point something, or his salary, yearly, monthly, weekly, or however, but it's a set thing. And, it's like a tax. But, the money is to go to the poor and the keepers of the charity, the ____, things like that. That's what it's designed for. And, so, that's where, that's where the charity comes in, and for the welfare of the people, and that money, then is to go the people that are in need. Now, zakat is sometimes very, very broad, in some institutions, where it includes everything, which is the upkeep of the ___, what are the salaries that are necessary for the people that are working in the ___, whatever _____ has, both properties or something like that. Here, the ____ is primarily for the charity and the welfare and the welfare and what the people need, things like that. The other term sadaqa. Sadaqa, in its general sense, means any charity that you give, which is a smile, which is a good word, kind word, just _____ money. And, sadaqa, money is used for upkeep, the other things that are needed, like utilities and all these other kinds of things. So, this relationship between zakat and sadaqa. Sometimes they are interchangeable. Now, there's one thing about charity in Islam. Allah commands us, whenever we come into fault, when I do something wrong to you, or some fault that I have, some sin, or whatever I do, even if I make a vow to do something, then I do not do it. Okay. And, that's a fault, too. So, we have expiation for these things. You could say it's repentance or whatever it is, expiation. And, we are then required to give, to feed someone as of the meals that we eat. Sometimes it's two or three days that we feed people, give enough for the meals of people. 
MS. MORRIS:  Do people come to the Masjid for that? 
MR. KASHIF:  No, we have to find them. 
MS. MORRIS:  You have to find them, okay. 

"...and, [I] came upon the Koran in the library in Newfoundland.  And, I read it.  It seemed beautiful, even more beautiful and more in the glorification of God..."

This is like in the case, an individual situation. I mean, it could be your cousin, your brother or somebody, whatever. We have to find ways to give this food or give this money. Okay. This is setting up a mind-state for us to do. Okay. So, that we can compensate for these faults that we have, some things that we do. Okay, in addition to that, we have to ask forgiveness for the people who we bring harm to, if we can. And, then, naturally, first of all, we as forgiveness of Allah, God. So, but, we have this as a compensation. 

Now, if we cannot give in the charity, if we cannot feed somebody, then, we're asked to fast. We have to fast. So, in the fasting, we abstain from food. And, in the process of fasting, it also helps, helps us in our discipline and helps us to rid ourselves of feelings of guilt. One of the problems with us is we carry guilt with us. Not conscious guilt all the time, because we're able to amass that or bury it, but our unconscious person, our sense, knows we have sinned or something, okay, and it's going to get its compensation in one way or another. Whether we walk out in front of a truck or, you know, hurt ourselves or whatever, the burden of guilt, of sins, can be very, very devastating, so, Allah has a system for us, soon as we become dirty or impure by whatever reason, next few hours, we've got to go make _____, pray. Next few hours. So, each time there is a purification, because we do so many things we don't even know how serious we are. We speak to others in harsh terms. For us, no problem. But, to got, it may be very serious. The more that we know and the more responsible that we are, the more that we know what we shouldn't do, the greater will be the responsibility that is placed on us. And, our punishment of the weight of our own punishment on ourselves is greater. The soul is saying, listen, you did wrong, you can't keep doing that. Something's going to happen. You cannot continue like this. It starts talking back to you, and you say, oh, shut up, I don't want to hear this. And, you go, you just keep masking, whatever, it just keeps building up. And, then, as Allah says in the Koran, if you continue to do this, then he'll switch up on you and allow you to believe that what you're saying is correct. So, therefore, you'll feel comfortable and then you start doing more and more and, as Allah puts it, see, he won't punish you as long as there's a chance for you to repent. But, once you pass that state, even in the Bible it says, God a heart and pharaoh is harder. It wasn't in that sense, but it had reached the point where the heart then was hardened so pharaoh would definitely get the punishment. God is all merciful and he placed mercy on himself, that's his highest attribute. And, he placed it on himself. Okay. But, at a certain point, one goes out of the mercy of Allah. There's a time, you know, his mercy also is conditioned on -- well, I can't say that, is conditioned, because I might be saying too much. But, he does say there is a time for all of us. Time for life, time for death, and a time for the punishment or the time for the reward. When those times come, nothing we can do to stop them. They gonna come. And, a lot of us gamble. 

So, charity is a very strong principal in Islam. If we use the system correctly, there wouldn't be a problem with welfare, with all the sinning we do. We'd be feeding people. Yeah, shoot. People be out there crazy, why you giving me this? We'd be walking down the street, here. It's a beautiful faith, though, you know. It can be practically lived without the fanaticism that you find in religion. Fanaticism that turns people off. We talk about faith and religion a lot, of course, but not -- not like fanatics. We don't have extremes in our faith. We're not supposed to. We're not supposed to pray all night and all day and all that. We pray some, we sleep some. Your wife has rights against you, your husband has rights against you for time, quality time. Kids have rights for quality time. Yourself and in your unity, you have quality time for that, so, you don't have just all praying, all of this, all of the time. You have to spend time with every area of your life. This is what Islam advocates. But, your primary, once you do your primary thing, that is your duty to God, you greatfulness to him, your continuous praise of him, and your seeking of his forgiveness and your seeking of his help, these are things that are standard. You must do these things. And, the rest, you go ahead and do. Enjoy yourself and -- even that is a wonderful enjoyment, once you really come to appreciating the security of mind that God gives you. His removal of the worries, grief, that surround us. That's a double jeopardy, double jeopardy. You know. You can't walk down the street and enjoy yourself and look at the flours and trees and all because you're worried about this or you're worried about that. Things we can't do anything about. And, if we don't have a firm philosophy of life, we're going to suffer enormously. We see Islam ____ say philosophy, it's a way of life, it's not a religion, it's a way of life. 

MS. MORRIS:  You wrote a book about, how should I say, reflection on hodge. What did you want to communicate to others about that experience? 
MR. KASHIF:  Well, the hodge experience is like no other experience, I think for anyone, especially Muslims who make the pilgrimage. And, anytime that you bring it up, you ignite a lot of memories and a lot of good things or thoughts when we relive it again. On the hodge, as you, know, there are several million people from all around the world, go the hodge each year. They're supposed to do this once in a lifetime. Some do it several times if we can afford it. 

You see mankind ______. In America we come close to the hodge in terms of the people -- you see Chinese, Japanese, a lot of people here in the United States. Maybe Brazil and a couple of other countries, but in the hodge, it's like everybody's there, all colors, all shapes, all nationalities, all sub-groups, so forth. For the men, in particular, women, they don't dress in the same garb in the men, but they're clothed, but there's no mandate for them in terms of their dress. But, for the men, they all have to have the same thing on. It's simply two sheets, two sheets, and that's all they wear. Two big sheets. And, the rest, nothing else. And, much of symbolism in all of this is there's no bars on the shoulders, there's no business suits, there's no turbans that qualify this -- 

MS. MORRIS:  So, kind of like equal. 
MR. KASHIF:  Everybody's equal. I was over there during the time the president of Turkey, vice president of Turkey was there. [phone ringing, difficult to hear him] President of Pakistan _____. Arafat and all of them. I had a ____ chance to meet with them, talk to them, things like that. They were just like everybody else. Everybody else. We all marched. We marched and ____ together. The spirit of unity from that point of view was very big. But, probably the most spiritually rewarding thing about the hodge is that you become a speck, a speck. Your individuality is gone. Totally gone. There is no I anymore. You're just in a sea of humanity. And, everybody is hollering at the tip of their voices in praise of God. And, there are periods that you simply disappear. And, there are, I did have one experience for about thirty minutes. Not thirty minutes. Maybe three minutes, four minutes, I don't know. Where I was just ______. But, it had a physical affect on me because I was hobbled with an ankle injury and I was going -- [speaking too low] -- and then I was _____. And, I wound up against the ______. Stuck up against the ______. And, gave me an opportunity to touch the stone, that's part of the _____, black stone. And, I came of this, _____ no problem with my ankle. And, it was seriously hurt. No problems at all. Just _____. I don't emphasize that in my book. I don't necessarily emphasize that, but this happened. And, I've heard many other stories. It just shows what potential we have within ourselves. And, ____ the hodge, there's no differentiation also in rank or roles between men and women. They all live together. So, it's a very difficult ritual we do. 

A lot of rituals we are extremely difficult and require very, very good physical health. So, when we go to hodge, we have to make sure that we go to a doctor first. So that we can get the best advice. It's extremely strenuous, extremely hot. And, many, many people fall ill on hodge. And, every year, something may or may not happen this year because of fire. So many people died in the fire. But, we, many people even go to hodge hoping not to come back. Some elderly people, particularly in Africa, they just save up all their life until they get to 80, 90 years old. That's when they go to hodge. They gonna _______ [speaking too low] And, even when we go, we gave to make sure all of our things are taken care of, have no bills, and all of that stuff like that. The hodge itself is actual the ritual of the, the principal ritual is the ritual Ibrahim, Ishmael, and his wife, Hagar, _____. And, we have to follow the trail that she made. She was trying to run and get the water for her child Ishmael, back in _____, so we have to go there seven times. It's about a mile, I guess. And, then we have to around the kaba seven times. They have a little monument right behind the kaba. The kaba is the house that Ishmael and Ibrahim built ___ years ago for God, first house dedicated to God. There's a little circular monument behind that. And, that's called Hagar's skirt. And, it's reported that she was buried in the confines there, of that particular _____. And, the only woman having that type of distinction. And for us, of African origin, you know, it has something about it. When I grew up in the South, we had to explore this a lot more, but, there was a custom there in North Carolina and in South Carolina where the older people would say to us, you're _____ Hagar's children. Which is quite common in the old people ______ Hagar's children -- [he is speaking very low, difficult to hear] -- and they would also have, at least for the masonics who were in the black churches, when they would commit some crime or something, they would have to go to court, they would stand in a certain way and they would say to the judge, is there any help for a widow's son? And, this had some association with Hagar, as well. So, there's a lot of the African history, the Islamic connection, and things like that, that make us feel very comfortable when we're in that environment. We don't feel, you know, I've been to other countries sometimes -- ____, Soviet Union, China, and places like that. And, you know, there's an adaptation that you have to make. You know, you have to make an adaptation to something like that. But, in this environment, it just seemed like at home, totally at home, you know. And, then, we also learned about people and cultures, and we find that everybody has something to bring to the table. Everybody has something to bring to the table. And, for us, the African American, we seem to be the most unique of all. We do. We seem to be the most unique of all, because, you know, it looks like we have so much potential. There has to be some reason for us being here also. Because, there's something to learn by being here. We have to apparently learn whatever it is that slave masters had. Okay, we have something they don't have. Of course, ____ be a profound wisdom that's not covered up, almost like the pyramids, and it has to unearthed and someone has to know how to read the hieroglyphics to get us into where we're supposed to be. But, in the Koran, there are two significant stories, one about Moses, and other about Joseph. And, both of these stories was that these people were taken from their own people. Okay, so Joseph, his brothers sold him. Musa, they put the baby on the basket and he wound up ____. Both of these men wound up in the houses of the kings. They wound up in the houses of the kings. And, both of them had some problem with the king. 

They, because of them being there, the government had to deal with that situation. In the case of Egypt, which resisted, we see what happened, and you see how Moses came out, and he was victorious over them. Also, it had something to do with Joseph family and Joseph. Musa's family and Moses. In the Koran, Allah says that he set this up -- he set it up. And, so when the baby got to pharaoh and pharaoh wife, pharaoh wife couldn't, the baby wouldn't suck. And, so, God had the woman go there and say, listen, I know a woman that that child will suck from. And, the lady agreed. And, it was Moses' mother. So, she nursed her child. Secretly ___, so he nursed from him mother and not from anybody else. In the case of Joseph, when Joseph got into the kingdom and he was in the house and, of course, you know the story about the woman trying to rape him and all of that or whatever. And, he goes to jail. But, when he gets out, he's exonerated. And, he's a master of _____ and dreams and stuff. He gives the dream, the knowledge to the king, the king says, okay, what kind of reward you want. Where do you want me to put you. And, he says, I want to be over in the grain. It's the economics. _____ economics, in the whole country. Set the thing straight. Then, when he got to his brother's, played a little game with him, then after he got him, boom he was able to give them that. So, if these stories, which are ancient stories, and you find similar stories even in other literature or everything like that, they're universal. And, they have universal meanings. And, we've got to look at ourself here in America. And, look at the role that we have here in America. America is a country that's literally ____ independent, as is, if you look at. That's oil. If they cut out the oil -- [talking too low] -- many hundreds of years. They're not even using it. And, they're going around getting stuff from everywhere. But, it, the way it's situated, you've got two oceans on either side, like this, this country could be like none other. _____ people finally accepted God and God bless the country, it could be like that, then it could be like the country of pharaoh, as well. But, ______ to agree because we are here. We are innocent people. And, I think that if we started, we don't have to do anything but set our mindset in this direction. And, we should speak as authority in America. You know, not arrogant authority. But, we should warn and remind and teach. And, I think we'll gain respect in America, and I think these young people, which _____ the Europeans, they're very young people, they will listen and come to their senses. And, they have to put in check this propensity they have to listen to this eblisse. That's where the power come from. Because, eblisse, _____ been given, God gave him authority, like ___ the Bible gave him authority, ain't got time to do all the _____, what he does, he come to anyone, he come to a group of people. And, if they agree with him to work together hand in hand, he can produce a lot of things -- wealth, everything else. But, in the end, he's going to desert him and simply say, don't blame me, buddy. You know, I know who God is. My Lord and your Lord, too. I know. So, don't blame me, you blame yourself for getting into this situation. And, that's why we say as Muslims, the word is ______, meaning, no partners. God has no partners. 


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