Preparation for the Life of the Hereafter!
“O thou who wrappest thyself up, Arise and warn, And thy Lord do magnify, And thy garments do purify, And uncleanness do shun, And do no favor seeking gain, And for the sake of thy Lord, be patient.” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 74, verses 1-7
As we continue this series entitled, “Research Expedition into the Mind of Allah (God)” with written testimonials of the participants under the name “Reflections,” we will now hear from members of our Latino family, husband and wife, couple, Steven and Jennie Muhammad from Phoenix, Arizona.
The first day set the tone of the trip with the powerful expression from Sister Nadia who taught us about racism in Mexico and the “grand confusion”. It was so touching hearing her story and how it was so much the same as the Blackman and Black woman of America. What was so touching to me was how it took most of her young life to come to the understanding of the affliction of White Supremacy. Being so pure of heart looking at all of those in and around your life thinking that they have the same base concept of who we are as human beings only to find the shocking horror of the realities we live. Every one of us could feel her pain. She then took us to a museum in Acapulco. It was interesting to see the cultures that were represented there, especially from Asia. Another aspect to this is every museum we travelled to, there is some remnant or reminder of Mexico’s war torn history. A reminder of how the savages came to destroy an ancient God-conscious people.
We later took a boat ride on a river that lets out into the Ocean. It was not difficult to settle into the tranquil environment and beauty that surrounded us. Just by being outside of America, you can feel the stress of the American way of life lift off of you. The next day we set off further south to an area known as Costa Chica.
To me being in Costa Chica on the Day of Mexico’s Independence from Spain was very significant. They opened the museum just for us on the holiday, and it was here we were learning about the TransAtlantic slave trade and the Trans Pacific slave trade that started in Mexico. I loved how the guide at the museum spoke so passionately of his history.
It was here, when the deeper understanding of the Expedition into the Mind of God started to take place for me. I was realizing that we were fulfilling our role inAllah’s plan. He saw fit to allow these things to happen. Now, it is his active will that we reunite the Lost Found Nation of Islam, all over the planet earth. We were chosen by Allah to reconnect to our family. This further crystallized as I saw how serious and intently Brother Sergio listened and spoke to us when we met with him and his group to discuss the “encuentro” they were putting together to help uplift their communities. They, too, were left to fend for themselves when slavery ended for them. No help for the Black man and Black women of Mexico. Then to see their faces light up when we donated booksto them; it was confirmation to them that we were sincere. It showed them we were not just about feel good talk; it showed we genuinely care about them. You could see it in their eyes.
When we got to Corralero, which is further South, and saw how basic and impoverished our people were living was even more humbling. We did not stay in a hotel because there wasn’t one. We experienced a day in their life. Even though the people did not have much of anything, they had what they needed. Strong, tight families and a community that was peaceful. People who knew the true joys of life. They treated us so well and warmly. They served us with love right on the beach looking at the Pacific Ocean, and had it all to ourselves. It was like a day in paradise for us. Before we left, Mother Tynnetta gave a special prayer of healing to our loving hosts, who were descendants of the same people of Africa, who went through the same horrors. I watched as she prayed, at the looks on their faces. They had tears of joy because they knew that they were loved and not forsaken! Most of us arrived as strangers but left as family. We now have a second home.
Reflections from Jennie Muhammad
This journey was one of the most humbling experiences I have had. Part of the journey was making a stop in Acapulco. Of course, I jumped with joy at the thought of sitting on the beach taking in the sun, sand, and the waves, but Mother Tynnetta let us know that we would be passing through the touristy part of Acapulco and that we would not be staying in the luxury hotels. We would be staying with a host family for the remaining few days. For most of the journey, we would have to learn how to live like the people in the communities we would be visiting.
In Acapulco we had a presentation from Nadia, a teacher and local in the community. I felt that the experiences Nadia had growing up were similar to my childhood. As a young girl I would always wonder why my skin tone was darker than those of my classmates, why my hair was black and coarse and most girls’ hair was fine and blonde or brunette. My sisters would tease me because I was darker than they were and it would sometimes go as far as them telling me I was adopted or calling me “negra”. As a young child you don’t know how to handle this and you just ignore it but it’s still there in the back of your mind as you grow older.
As Nadia shared her personal childhood experiences, I realized that racism still exists today and will continue until the Original People are made aware of who they really are and where they came from. Media has made us to believe that white is “bonito” and anything other is ugly. Especially in the telenovelas or Spanish soap operas, and most times you see it in the families where one child may take the lighter parent’s skin tone and that child is treated much more special. As Nadia mentioned in her presentation, accepting racism is not acceptable but it will take people willing to accept the truth to share it with those who do not know that their ancestors were forced to come here in slave ships and why they have been made to suffer because of it. I really enjoyed the time spent with Nadia and I took her experiences to heart.
“Nay, by the moon! And the night when it departs! And the dawn when it shines!–Surely it is one of the gravest (misfortunes). A warning to mortals, To him among you who will go forward or will remain behind. Every soul is held in pledge for what it earns. Except the people of the right hand.” –Holy Qur’an, Surah 74, verses 32-39
To be continued.