“O you who believe, enter not houses other than your own houses, until you have asked permission and saluted their inmates. This is better for you that you may be mindful. But if you find no one therein, enter them not, until permission is given to you; and if it is said to you, Go back, then go back; this is purer for you. And Allah is Knower of what you do.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 24, verses 27-28
In revealing the history of the extraordinary coffee bean originating from the coffee tree in the region of Ethiopia where it was transported first to Yemen, to Cairo, to Turkey and to the Holy City of Mecca in Saudia Arabia and onward to Europe, principally England, France and Italy and Venice, all leading the way with much collaborative effort is rooted in great controversy in the trafficking, commercialization and drinking of coffee as it still remains a controversial beverage today. Yet, in every effort to quell its use, more and more evidence is forthcoming that in its proper use there are medicinal benefits being reported daily by scientists and the medical profession. It has arisen in this day according to the latest statistics to a commercial and marketing value second only to petroleum.
In a discussion with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in the early 1970s concerning the controversy over the drinking of coffee, he stated simply that the Savior (referring to Master Fard Muhammad) said that coffee was good for us. Of course we know that in its proper use and preparation, which we have learned from the Divine teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we have learned of its benefits in the making of “egg coffee” from this process of boiling the coffee grounds with an egg shell combined in its brewing, we get a milder and more healthful blend than can be obtained in regular brewed or percolated coffee.
In a visit to Ethiopia in 1984 with a small group of metaphysicians, we had the opportunity to observe the natural coffee bean prepared in an Ethiopian home where the mother of the household had her own small roasting equipment which she set in the middle of the floor and roasted some of the raw green coffee beans into a mild roast. Later this was added to water and brought to a boil, and when completed we enjoyed the freshest coffee ever by her hands. When something comes to us in its natural or original state, untampered with by pollutants and chemical derivatives, we have a better chance to live a richer life.
In our Mxodus coffee product, we are attempting to bring to you the best organic state coffee from its pristine origin. The coffee bean was brought originally from the old continent, Mother Africa, and planted and grown by Europeans nearly in our backyards in Central and South America with our center of manufacturing coming from the state of Chiapas in Mexico and the neighboring border country of Guatemala.
While in Mexico, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad instructed me in many ways what Mexico, its nation and people, represents to us today and in the near future. He discussed the importance of getting to know the natural products produced in our own environments and particularly put emphasis on the products that our neighboring country of Mexico produced. While he discussed this subject with me at length, never did I have any idea that a coffee bean from one of the major coffee centers in Mexico in the state of Chiapas would fall into my hands, along with the richness thereof, along with other products that would also be introduced to me in this region. I am giving our readers a background on the history of the coffee story that has come to the Nation of Islam over the past five years. The great struggle to bring this pure product to our Nation and other communities in the United States of America was never foreseen. One day I will explain more fully the details.
When one is blazing a trail in the wilderness, we must be strong and forge ahead to the goal regardless to the difficulties. Another unexpected development took place in the midst of our work and investigation about coffee that brought us into the company of one of our most prominent researchers and professors in the area of the Black or African presence in Mexico which spiraled into a great enduring friendship that initiated several years of MXODUS educational tours beginning in the summer of 2000. Quoting from her magnificent educational manuscript prepared for all participants in our tours that took us to Veracruz, to Jalapa, the capitol, and Yanga, Tabasco and Chiapas, here are some of her inspirational writings, “Mxodus Tours: The African Diaspora in Mexico 2008 is the fruition of my dream and vision to lead tours that explore the little known and unrecognized contributions of African people in Mexico and in Latin America. This is my third opportunity to lead a group of sojourners through Mexico. Our tours in 2006 and 2007 were awesome. We intend to enlarge on those experiences and make this tour even more memorable. What is unique about this experience is that we will integrate the ancient with the contemporary to gain a deeper understanding of Africa’s impact in Mexico.
“In 2005, I curated the Where Black is Brown: The African Diaspora in Mexico Exhibition in Pomona, California. It was during this exhibition that I first met Mother Tynnetta Muhammad. I was intrigued to find that she, too, has been on her own journey to uncover Mexico’s African heritage and has found remarkable linkages among the Olmecs, Maya, and other Indigenous cultures in Mexico. I am extremely grateful to her for recognizing the importance of my research and am deeply indebted to her for her determination, tenacity, support and magical grace to make this tour a reality.
“Along with my admiration of Mother Tynnetta’s life quest to elevate our understanding about the global Black presence, I extend my thanks to her for supporting my research. I also am grateful to Sisters Callie Muhammad and Darnita Muhammad and Brother Steven Muhammad for their tireless, behind-the-scenes- efforts to make Mxodus Tours: The African Diaspora in Mexico Tour 2008 a reality.” These words are written in her educational workshop manuscript for all participants in the Mxodus Tours and is signed by her as Professor Toni-Mokjaetji Humber, Ph.D.
“It is no sin for you to enter uninhabited houses wherein you have your necessaries. And Allah knows what you do openly and what you hide. Say to the believing men that they lower their gaze and restrain their sexual passions. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is Aware of what they do.” —Holy Qur’an, Surah 24, verses 29-30
To be continued.