Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Growing Up X- Review

I had to sit for quite awhile after I read this book because I was overwhelmed by my feelings after reading it. The book was so disappointing and sad but not due to the quality of the writing but the quality of the lives of the people left behind after Malcolm X died. We all know if we've read the book or seen the movie about Malcolm X that right before he died he was on his way to being a true believer and no longer part of the Nation of Islam. He had just completed his hajj and was a new man and things were looking up. Of course his life was cut too short and this newfound way of life didn't have a chance to bloom completely and influence his family. His wife did become a mainstream follower of Islam but seemed ignorant of many of the teaching based on what her daughter mentions about her practice and the way she raised her daughters.I never had any idea how the daughters grew up and this filled in many of the blanks but not the way I wanted or expected. I assumed that they had grown up poor with the loss of their breadwinner but on the contrary they grew up affluent and even went to private schools. I felt sad that so much emphasis was placed on secular education and african education at the expense perhaps of an Islamic education. They did go to the mosque on Sundays though but that seems to be the total influence of Islam in their lives. Not once does she mention them praying although she did mention Ramadan. Had Malcolm lived I am sure his daughters would not have grown up doing so many haram things. At RIS Atallah (the oldest daughter, the book is written by Ilyasah the third daughter) kept saying "don't focus on the fact that I'm not wearing hijab". Maybe we wouldn't have focused so much if she hadn't kept mentioning it. After reading the book now I know why they all don't wear hijab. The ending of this book is so gloomy and I feel so bad for this family in so many ways but the thing that makes me the most sad is that they never turned into truly practicing muslims the way their father would have expected them to. May Allah guide them to the true practice of  Islam. Amin.


  1. This just out in the news. I think this is one of the twins.(not the author)


  2. Salam alaykom,

    Subhanallah, I read a few reviews similar to yours when you first posted about the book. I think Malcolm X would be very disappointed but this must be their fate, allahu alem!

    Inshallah they are all guided to the real beauty of Islam.

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