Blast From The Past
On this day of Knowledge Equality all being born to God, I want to send a shout out to all the Gods and Earths in the blogsphere making knowledge born about who we are, what we teach, and what we will achieve. I want to send a special shout out to my brother and alike in Living Mathematics, Justice Rajee Allah, who's celebrating his Understanding Cipher (30th) degree day today. We call them degree days because when you get a year older, you move to another degree in development. Justice was the first brother I taught here in Power Born almost 11 years ago and has stayed just and true to our culture since his day 1. I can't forget my brother Knowledge Build who flipped to his 30th degree ("Tell us what and how everything is made?") on the build or destroy day of March.
While I'm at it, I want to take the time to welcome my sister Aymara Islasia Earth and her sun Justice to the cipher in Power Born. Finally, much respect to my brother Aru Self Allah who completed 120 degrees today. I tip my crown to you my brother!
For those who may not have done the knowledge to it, below is a piece written by Michael Muhammad Knight, a writer for MuslimWakeUp! last year regarding the cipher here in Power Born. Please know that the best is yet to come and that the babies truly are the greatest!
I don’t care much for conferences, since I’m not a scholar or an activist and writing for me is just a matter of spilling guts. Scholars can find value in your work only by relating it to things that have already happened (Oh, you live your Islam like a heretic? You must be heir to the Qalandars and Hassan bin Sabbah). Activists, meanwhile, would rather a piece remain ideologically correct than reveal its author’s ugly parts.
But still there was a panel: “Islamic Anarchism: Pipedream or Reality” at the National Conference on Organized Resistance in D.C., arranged and moderated by a white convert named David who regularly says “peace be upon him” after the Prophet’s name. His group consisted of a professor, a guy from Farid Esack’s clique, a South Asian girl and me. When it came my turn I spoke about the Five Percenters as a movement against the use of religion for power and exploitation, with W.D. Fard’s whole theory of how unseen mystery-gods were sold to the masses as a means of controlling and pacifying them. During the question-and-answer period, a white woman stood up and warned me about the dangers of a white man speaking about “Five Percenterism,” apparently because I had missed out on some important facet of it. She didn’t know where I was coming from.
After the panel I drove from D.C. to West Virginia, running over her comments in my head and returning to the same question that I’d been asked enough times by Muslims, non-Muslims, Gods and Earths: Irish on your mom’s half, Austrian on your dad’s, how’d you get into this? Why do you wear that pin with a black man’s face and the word “ALLAH?”
I don’t have to go back four hundred years to find the devil in my blood.
My dad’s house sits atop a wooded hill, just beyond a gas station that sells pickled pig-knuckles. It was dark so I had to pass the hill a few times before finding his hidden driveway. I parked alongside the road because my car would never make it up; I can barely survive that hill on foot. At the top I stopped to catch my breath and stared down Dad’s kingdom. Outside he has stacks of firewood, a shed with the Lord’s Prayer carved into its door and buckets catching the rainwater, scattered salvaged junk and two pickup trucks, one black and one white.
He seemed glad enough to see me. Turned out he has a TV now and we were in the third quarter of the Super Bowl. “They have to stop McNabb,” he said. Later in the conversation he told me that people had black skin because they were cannibals. “And also,” he added, “if you have sex with a white girl on a freshly covered grave, her skin will turn black too.” Dad’s a racial separatist. I first met him in 1993, when I was fifteen years old. By then I had already devoured Malcolm’s autobiography and watched the movie three times. The director of Afropunk theorized to me that some Caucasians may come to Islam as a means of acquiring oppression and becoming the Other, which I can see, but sometimes we just need to murder our fathers.
My hurting Buick’s odometer passed 170,000 miles on the way to Boston, current center of the professional sports universe, where I met up with the Kominas. Basim’s calling himself Basim SWT now, and Shahjehan has become Shahjehan PBUH. Joyriding through the city with Basim SWT behind the wheel, he built for me on the history of Irish-Americans and Boston’s uniquely Irish punk scene.
“I’m sorry,” he said. “I’ve got a fetish for your culture.”
“That’s okay, I’ve got one for yours.”
I spent a few days with him and ate all the spicy food in his house. Then it was back to the road and sleeping in parking lots. That Sunday I arrived in Pittsburgh, which the Gods and Earths called Power Born, for parliament.
My Power Born connection was a God named I Majestic, respected as one of the more prolific teachers in the region and maybe the Nation as a whole. The parliament was held at the home of Zyhier, one of the earliest Gods to teach in Pittsburgh.
I immediately recognized Abu Shahid as he walked in—he’s an Elder going back all the way to the Father’s time at Temple #7. I couldn’t help but pester the God and ask him the same questions he’s been hearing for the last forty years. Abu Shahid introduced me to his seven-year old daughter Jhonaziya, who already knew her lessons. When Jhonaziya recited the earth’s distance from the sun, she watched me write it down to make sure I had it right.
According to I Majestic, “colored men” (Caucasians) that study with the Gods often fall into one of two categories: either they’re suffering from racial guilt and want to repent for their ancestors, or they want to be Gods themselves. The exact place that a colored man can find with Gods and Earths has not yet been defined. The Nation hasn’t seen enough white converts to make it an urgent issue, but there have been a few. I Majestic told me about one named Gadreel whose father had actually tried to join the NOI before him, even writing a letter to Elijah Muhammad; and he knew of one God that had encountered a young John Walker Lindh. As a teen the American Taliban would lurk in online chat rooms, pretending to be black.
Upstairs I stood at the periphery of a circle and watched Gods building in turn. A Puerto Rican “yellow seed” named Sha-King built on the day’s math while watched by his two-year old son, Shaborn. The children in the room were repeatedly showered with praise; the NGE’s self-deification seems its most pure and true when applied to kids. At a Harlem parliament, one Five Percenter pointed at a toddler and told me, “he’s God.” Why contest that?
After the parliament broke up I thanked Zyhier for having me in his home, and I Majestic for opening this particular gate, and Abu Shahid for building on his forty years in the desert. The Elder wished me a safe trip. It’s a long ride, insha’Allah, from a jagged sun to a quarter-moon. We just so happened to be in the first ten days of Muharram, so I drove to a Shi’a function in Monroeville with plans to slap a dent in my chest.