Malcolm X: The Future Belongs to Those Who…

January 13, 2008 § 9 Comments

A world famous American Muslim named Malcolm X once said,

“The future belongs to those who prepare for it.”

This statement, which is often misquoted, is a practical wisdom that points to a very profound and fundamental element of religion, our existence. In one way or another we are all concerned with our future and its outcome. Even the atheist, the person who believes that there is no afterlife, is at the very least concerned about death, which is at some point in the unknown future. And whether that future be fifty years or fifty seconds away it is, at some level, a concern to all of mankind. But the reason Malcolm X’s statement is so profound is because it draws a simple but reasonable answer to the many possibilities that may occur in our future. In other words it points us in the right direction by suggesting that those who prepare for the future are the ones who hold the key to their own future. And I am not taking this quote in the context of Malcolm X’s time on the Earth or with respect to his political and ideological association. No, I am taking it purely at face value and applying merely as I see it in the context of my life today.

Preparing for future is an interesting proposition. But how can we prepare for the future if we do not even know why we are here, here on the face of Earth? Modern Western Science is not telling us why. Perhaps science discusses various ideas of how we came to be, but it often avoids the “why”. But in the Islamic Sciences this question has been answered. Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an,

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” (51:56, Tran. Pickthal)

This means that our reason for being here, on this Earth, is only to worship our Creator. Thinking on this a bit puts a number of things in perspective for the Believer. The first being, the purpose of life itself. Today’s people have lost this understanding. We all have lost this understanding, Muslims, Christians, Jews. Today, it doesn’t even matter what religion you are. It doesn’t matter what color or what part of the world you came from. People from newborns to those that are ready for their graves, North; South; East and West are carrying emptiness in their heart. Life has become sour and everything that they do has become a pain. A reason to complain. And no one is satisfied with anything. This is true for men and women; children, adults and the elderly. We do not realize that trying to fill our heart’s emptiness with things of this world will never satisfy us. Perhaps, we can satisfy our stomach’s with things of this world; we can satisfy our physical bodies with things of this world but our heart, it is a place that the world cannot satisfy.

A man may have everything, he could own half of Manhattan but not be in peace. He will only run after more and more. Running after everything, when he already has everything. But he had to run after these things because there was nothing that he acquired that could replace that emptiness inside his heart and slowly he loses his mind. Because it’s a maddening cycle that makes tyrants, tyrants.

Doubt is what continuously empties the heart. It slowly empties the heart of that which satisfies the heart, belief. Belief in Allah Almighty and the Afterlife, removing any doubt from the heart by the grace of Allah Almighty fills the heart, it satisfies the heart. Allah Almighty said in the Qur’an,

“I created the jinn and humankind only that they might worship Me.” (51:56, Tran. Pickthal)

He also said of mankind,

“And they are ordered naught else than to serve Allah, keeping religion pure for Him, as men by nature upright, and to establish worship and to pay the poor-due. That is true religion.” (98:05, Tran. Pickthal)

It is here that the word Arabic word mukhlisin is translated as “pure”, but means more than just our English translation of those whom are pure. This purity is matter free from contamination particularly in one’s intention, in other words those who are sincere. Allah Almighty defines sincere religion saying,

“Surely pure religion is for Allah only.” (39:03, Tran. Pickthal)

Therefore, performing the acts that have been set forth, the admission from the tongue that there is a Creator and Lord of the Heavens and Earth. The act of praying, fasting, alms giving and devotional pilgrimage are indeed the admission of faith through one’s actions. But the purity of these acts comes from the heart, and in the heart is where you find one’s sincerity; one’s intention. When we use our tongue to worship our Lord sincerely, that fills some of the emptiness in our hearts; when we pray with sincerity we find that emptiness receding; when we fast, give to the poor and perform the pilgrimage, that is when we find our hearts being satisfied. When we put high the things that our Creator puts high and put low those things our Creator puts low that is when we are being sincere.

This is how the Believer prepares for the future. This is how the Believer prepares for the next life. By putting high what Allah Almighty loves and putting low that which is hated by him, making this more than just words or empty actions but part of our lifestyle. So brother Malcolm (ra) was onto something here and perhaps if he were still with us he would have explained a little more about this. But he is not here and we are and it is time that we stop running from death as if we cannot die. It is time to stop acting as if we are so free, we are prisoners between our two breaths and if one of those two breaths are taken away, thats it. Where is the freedom in that? We are not free to do whatever we want, this life has a great reward at a heavy price and its our time, right now to prepare for our future with sincerity.


Powered by ScribeFire.


Tagged: , , , , , ,

§ 9 Responses to Malcolm X: The Future Belongs to Those Who…

  • Aaminah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    MashaAllah, very good.

  • bjoernsen says:

    You are absolutely right. But where is the chance to feel free for everyone? It´s not easy to feel free as human being in fetters. That´s the thing!

    Feeling free means in my opinion to do the right things and like Malcom X said: “The future belongs to those who prepare for it.” But what i have to do for being prepared? Say no to a capitalized world? Or take part in this “gernated” world just in a sufferable way?

    My god is around me, and i hope Allah is helping me to be on the right path.

  • Saifuddin says:


    as-salaamu ‘alaikum. bjoernsen, thank you for stopping by and commenting. It would be my pleasure to see you here more often, you thoughts seem insightful and sincere, and sincere people are always welcome here.

    “But where is the chance to feel free for everyone?”

    Well there is something very specific that I noticed in your statement. You said, “feel free”, there is a difference from feeling free and being free. Actual freedom is attainable in Hereafter; in the Paradise, this is what we are striving for here on Earth.

    While on Earth our purpose is to worship our Creator and follow the guidance brought by the Holy Prophets. The heart is satisfied in this way, by sincerely following the guidance of the Holy Prophets. Yet as long as we are on Earth we cannot escape suffering. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an,

    “Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path. Or think ye that ye will enter paradise while yet there hath not come unto you the like of (that which came to) those who passed away before you? Affliction and adversity befell them,” (02:213, Tran Pickthal)

    He also asks those whom seek to enter the Paradise,

    “Or deemed ye that ye would enter paradise while yet Allah knoweth not those of you who really strive, nor knoweth those (of you) who are steadfast?” (03:142, Tran. Pickthal)

    Does this begin to answer your questions?

  • bjoernsen says:

    Thanks for your answer and exception Saifuddin. Acutally there is a big difference between feeling free an being free. But i think both belongs together.

    In some parts of the world there are no proprietary rights. Humans are slaves of the capitalized world. This humans can´t feel free, but maybe they being free. I made this experience on my trip to india for some years ago. This people aspiration is that it is getting better afterlife.
    In context of our industialized world in Europe there is an adjustment between feel free and being free. Most people here think buying junk makes them happy. But are they really free? I think the most of them not!

    So what i want to say is that we need more justice to get a ballance between feeling free and being free. We need people to fight for that in a peacful way. Nobody can say i´m in peace with myself because other people are not either in the one or in the other way. We need a balance between this two poles.

    I think our purpose is to worship our creator too. But I think this must happen in a way to safe the earth. The means of existence gave form our Creator! It´s not enough being free in mind when we don´t try to escape suffering and help to be consistent with that God given present.

    Best wishes

    “Sorry for my bad english :)”

  • True Life says:

    Subhan’Allah, great food for thought!

    lol When reading the first paragraphs and seeing that a quote follows I always expected some other Ayat or Hadith.

    The one where the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam himself says something very similar to Brother Malcom’s statement, that the most intelligent person is remembering death and preparing it. For example this one I was expecting at the first place Quoting Ayats.

    When you talked about emptiness in the heart, I expected:
    “‘Ala, bizikrillahi tatma innal quloob!”

    This is no critic, just how my thoughts went while reading and then getting slapped by a different verse. Very nice.

    May Allah give us all the tawfiq to practice upon on this Naseehat and cure our illnesses inside. Jazak’Allah khairan.

    Was Salam

  • Saifuddin says:


    wa ‘alaikum as-salaam. True Life, thank you for stopping by. You wrote,

    “This is no critic, just how my thoughts went while reading and then getting slapped by a different verse. Very nice.”

    Alhamdulillah! I am so happy that you were moved to think of Qur’an and Sunnat, mashaAllah!


  • Asad Shah says:

    Asalaamu alaikum.

    You have truely understood the importance and significance of this life and the sole purpose of serving Allah (swt).
    MashaAllah, very nice.

  • Exellent post. You got some really good points there thanks for sharing.

  • mike pacheco says:

    powerful powerful blog!

    please check out the new release by the socio-political hip hop band the welfare poets


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading Malcolm X: The Future Belongs to Those Who… at SEYFETTİN.


%d bloggers like this: