Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The Synthesis btwn Intellectualism & Action This is actually a topic within a topic - via a large analogy. Perhaps, 72 news cycle hours ago, most of us were exposed to the Weight of the Nation Docu. If so, one episode focused on the Brute Force that most farmers were confronted with in the form of the corn & soy lobby. The numbers were alarming. Perhaps the one that stood out to me the most was the one that stated that only three percent (3%) of US farms were dedicated to fruits and vegetables. And, in that episode a Farm Collective explained the many reasons why that number was reality; issues ranging from inability to compete price was with imported crops to an inability to focus enough acreage to said crops. It seems a hopeless reality. Yet the farmers keep farming. And while they farm, they come together, meet to discuss ways to make their produce more readily available. They could easily yield to the Corporate Farm System, sell their land, make that lump sum profit, and turn their backs to the burden that's inherent in farming...but they continue on. Imagine this: these same farm collectives gathered together, discussed the problems in details, marched and protested, wrote books about the situation, started College Departments dedicated to the Reclaiming of American Farms. Soon rivalries popped up between Reclaiming groups - apple farmers don't agree with orange farmers - nevermind the fact that, well, it's comparing apples and oranges - their needs, while fitting into the major struggle mentioned above, differ in every way imaginable. Forums began popping up all over America for the cause of Fruits and Vegetables; Leaders emerged. The above mentioned rivals boil to the point where violence seems eminent. All of those things...but those Farmers never harvested a single crop. Between the writing and protesting and warring and organizing, they never had time to farm. Well, that sounds ridiculous, right? How can one consider themselves a farmer and they've never farmed? Of course these non-farming farmers would point to the generations that came before them - hardworking farmers - farmers who had little use for words, simply hard work - they would point to them and say, "I'm from a long line of Farmers - it's in my blood." All of that. And these non-farming farmers would say all of this with no sense of shame or irony. Meanwhile outside of their farms, lie hundred of acres of dead, arid fields. What would happen? You guessed it. Corporate Farmers, seeing all this USEFUL LAND, would swoop down on the divided farm protestors and one farm by one would buy acres upon acres of land, often at a profit. Seeing this, instead of UNITING, the Fruit & Vegetable Farmers would up their campaign against their rivals. Shouts of "Sell Out" or "Uncle Tom Farmers" would be the chants of the day...and still, they would not farm. Now - doesn't that sound crazy? Enjoy the article: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSBRE83Q0ED20120427?irpc=932 Peace.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
"Islam is Mathematics and Mathematics is Islam" This is what we've been taught. And, while often we go with the simple definition that it means that a thing can be proven, weighed & calculated logically...and that's Islam. That's true. But what makes this statement so profound is that if one were to interview a cross-section of Black people - from drug dealer to diplomat, most would profess (almost proudly, in many instances) that they don't know or aren't good at Math. "My uncle cannot talk his own language." Having introduced Math to the world, isn't it quite fascinating that even now in all of our "free-ness," so few of us take on Math as a main subject of study? I was blessed to have had the opportunity to attend Clark Atlanta University when one of the preeminent Mathematicians in the world - a man responsible for 80% of all Black Mathematicians - held a chair postion there. His name is Dr. Abdulalim Abdullah Shabazz - formerly Dr. Lonnie Shabazz, Minister of Mosque #4 prior to 1975. I often went in His often (he had an open door policy) and asked Him random questions about Math - all centered around the same theme: What can you use this math for? He told me that (and I'm paraphrasing) we have been reduced to a people who see a problem and can't figure out which tool to use to fix it. Math, he would say, provides that solution. It would go over my head but I enjoyed talking with him and he enjoyed answering questions - a true teacher. In retropect, Math provides solutions to all problems - resonates with me. Of course, in the literal sense, all modern life is essentially run, as I often state, by algorithms - with the "best" algorithm giving google the advantage it has over all search engines. But if Mathematics is Islam, then the formula should tell us that Islam is the answer to all of our problems...should. "Did I hear you say that some of the seventeen million do not know they are muslims?" I would argue (and a list of questions would verify) - most of us (self included) are unable to solve, step by step, Math problems beyond the most basic of Algebra. I would also argue that many of us don't care to learn any more than that, as we function day to day without ever having to do more than mere subraction and addition...if that. (I'm sure studies would find that most people in modern society can go months without ever using any math)... Yet there are people who dedicate their lives to solving problems as complex as Hilbert's Problems - a group of 23 "unsolved" problems. Most have been, but Mathematicians still work day and night to find NEW ways to solve these 112 year old problems. Why? "Then what happened?" Despite being told that said above quote for nearly 82 years now, how many of us can say we are truly proficient in either Math or Islam? If Herbert Berg were to pull one of us aside and attempt to have a conversation about how the Honorable Elijah Muhammad practiced the Sunnah, how would that conversation go? Do we know what the Sunnah is? Who Herbert Berg is? Is Arabic - what we are taught is our Original Language - even a priority? "Well, They wanted to go to their own country but they could not swim 9,000 miles." Wherein I could use any of the thousands of statements given by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad stating that Master Fard Muhammad came to make us the Best and that we would be a Model for the world. Surely in our present state - with a fear of math and so-called "orthodox" Islam, we can never rise to that state. How are we going to go to our "own country" and all we speak is English, know little Islam, and can't use Mathematics to solve the problems of infrastucture (and corruption) that plague most of the post-colonial world? These are just questions - but All Praise is Due to Allah there are simple answers to them provided by Our Lord. Peace.