by Saab Lofton

Sorry, we sold all our copies of A.D.

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"A day in the life"

     Even the best laid plans of mice and Klansmen don't
always come together. As it turned out, it was
unrealistic of Tom Metzger to demand that every other
state (besides those that were collectively known as the
Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America) in the union
be made his. After the majority of the mass deportations
he called for were said and done, approximately 75
million Whites were left within the borders of what
became Aryan Amerikkka. Out of that amount, only a
quarter of a.million included all of the actual members
of White Aryan Resistance, the Ku Klux Klan, the Nazi
Party, and the farthest of the Religious Right (the
latter having been put in charge of regulating culture)
who ruled Amerikkka with an iron hand.
     This select few had to keep a policing eye on an
area that stretched from Maine to Florida, from Los
Angeles to Atlanta, and most points in-between. And the
tighter their proverbial iron hand squeezed, the more
rebellious Whites who didn't recognize Aryan authority
slipped between its fingers. The maintaining of internal
control over Aryan Amerikkka in the early part of the
21st century was a constant challenge. For Metzger and
his ilk always wanted their vision of a White bred
homeland to be fully populated with people who would be
willing to fill up the scenery of said vision. Instead,
Amerikkka's number one priority quickly became convincing
the Whites who couldn't afford to leave the country to
submit to the new order "by hook or by crook" as Tom
Metzger's son and successor John had put it.
     All of this was why right before the USA completely
acquiesced to WAR in 2006, Metzger agreed at the very
last minute to allow all of Northern·California, Oregon,
and the state of Washington to be left with the old order
just like Alaska and Hawaii had been. Because just as the
Aryans knew they wouldn't be able to maintain a real,
strategic hold over them, they also correctly figured the
less states within North America that had to be policed,
the better. After all, nuclear blackmail was fine for
repelling international invaders, but against one's own
populace? In one's own backyard?
     A Berlin Wall-esque wall was built all along the
western borders of Nevada and Idaho. The wall also cut
California in even halves and took the first decade of
the new order's reign to complete. The fenced-in Pacific
Northwest was euphemistically called by the Aryans the
Divided States. Those within the wall in turn called
Amerikkka, "the land where men are men and sheep are
scared" and also called the Lost-Found Nation of Islam
"New Africa" A label the Nation of Islam hated as much as
they always hated the term "Black Muslims" because it
kept them from feeling as though they shared the same
legitimacy as orthodox Muslims. The use of New Africa
didn't exactly sit well with those from the actual
continent of Africa either. Understandably, the patriotic
residents of the Divided States tried their best to hold
onto all that was the old order and every single vestige
of what was Americana. Including the Constitution itself,
with the actual hemp-woven piece of paper it was written
on still perfectly preserved. Which was why when the
Fourth of July rolled around, the general mood of the
entire Pacific Northwest was uplifted to the 12th power.
Spirits were higher during the days surrounding
Independence Day than they were around Christmas time and
certainly more so than New Year's Eve or Day which had
become morbidly known as Nuke Year's Day because of the
sorry fate that befell Australia.
     But to one Elijah Isiah of the Lost-Found Nation of
Islam in North America, July the 4th in the year 2030
A.D. was just another Monday morning in which he'd have
to get up and go to work.
     In English, the muezzin essentially meant "the one
who calls Muslims to prayer." But to Sharrieff it might
as well had been Arabic for "he who everyone in town
wants to see left hanging from a tree." Though swear
words had been nakon or forbidden for over twenty years,
Sharrieff could still hear them in his mind's ear
directed at him anytime he caught dirty stares from the
brothers and sisters who happened to find out what poor
Sharrieff did for a living. Which was to sound what once
was known as an air raid siren every morning at sunrise
(6 a.m. if the sky was overcast) in order to wake
everyone within the reach of the cry of "Sharrieffs
trumpet" as he called it. The siren was to let people
know it was time to give praise to Allah in the form of
the Fajr, the morning prayer, and get their day started.
     There were seven of these sirens strategically
placed across the city of Chicago but Sharrieffs trumpet
in particular was heard all over Chicago's South Side and
the sound wasn't welcome at all in the small three
bedroom, two bath on the corner of Harlem and 125th
Street. At the very least, it wasn't appreciated by
Elijah Isiah. The previous day, Sunday, July the 3rd, was
Elijah's 38th birthday and for a hot moment he thought
that if it had fallen on a Monday instead, then that
would be enough of an excuse to stay home from work.
Wasn't there something in the Koran about a man not
having to work on the day after his birthday? Especially
if that workday fell on a Monday, Elijah jokingly thought
to himself. Alas, the last thing Elijah wanted was to be
reprimanded for befitting the stereotype of the lazy
Negro, so even though he felt magnetized to his mattress,
Elijah proceeded to crawl out of bed and stagger towards
the bathroom.
     Elijah wiped the snot out of the corners of his eyes
before looking over at his wife Nayirah, who was already
wide awake and impatiently waiting for him to finish
using the bathroom. Since, as the man of the house,
Elijah had to perform the morning ablutions before anyone
     "In the name of Allah, I perform the ablution,"
Elijah said once he finally made it to the sink. He then
scrubbed his hands as if preparing for surgery, brushed
his teeth, and rinsed his mouth in an almost mechanical
fashion that had evolved from years of routine. The only
point in which this mechanized rhythm was broken was when
Elijah hesitated with a barely detectable look of mild
disgust on his face before rinsing his nostrils three
times. A part of the morning routine that seemed to
Elijah immune to the decades of repetition he had put
into the process.
     As Elijah was about to enter the shower, he stopped,
went back to open the bathroom door that led to the
master bedroom, and when the opened door gave him a clear
view of the still scowling Nayirah lying on their bed,
Elijah called out, "you know, Nay--you could be doing
your ablutions while I'm in the shower."
     Nayirah folded her arms at that. "As-Salaam-Alaikum,
dear heart," she said with the last two words dripping
with attitude.
     Elijah's face fell as he sighed. The first thing
that was to be said every morning was "peace be unto
you," and knowing how adamant Nayirah can be, Elijah knew
she wouldn't respond to anything else until he answered
back "and unto you be peace," or--
     "Wa-Alaikum-Salaam. Now, to save us some time, why
don't you come do your ablutions while I'm showering?"
     "You know that wouldn't be appropriate, dear heart,"
Nayirah responded. "And please don't call me 'Nay."'
     The reason why Elijah suggested what he did was
because he wanted to spend slightly longer in the shower
than usual that morning. Mainly to wash the proverbial
cobwebs out of his head but also because of the
especially hot, sweaty, and sticky lovemaking session
Nayirah and he had had the night before. It was one of
her birthday presents to him and Elijah had to put in
more of an effort than usual because she had recently
found out about an edict that stated a Muslim man is not
permitted to leave his bed until his woman is-satisfied.
     During said session, Nayirah wrapped her legs around
Elijah's waist especially tight towards "the end" as if
she was trying to entrap him. At the time, Elijah
arrogantly thought this was merely the synapses of her
thigh muscles clenching out of some sort of orgasmic
reflex. While in the shower however, Elijah realized
Nayirah had been trying to entrap him in a sense. All
forms of artificial birth control were made nakon a few
years ago (It would have been made illegal sooner except
the amount of Blacks with AIDS within the Lost-Found
Nation had to first be lowered to a small enough number
to make discreet mass exile a possibility. Until that
point, safe sex needed to be practiced.) and Nayirah was
trying to get Elijah to secrete inside her in hopes of
being impregnated.
     Nayirah should have known by now how he felt about
having another child, Elijah thought. Despite the call
for the population to grow so the Lost-Found Nation of
Islam in North America wouldn't look so barren in places,
Elijah said to himself he couldn't care less if 35
million Blacks weren't enough to adequately fill up all
of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and so forth. Little Elisha
had just turned 10 on June the 23rd and it seemed as
though the older he got, the more his high metabolism
required that he eat. Though where all the food Elisha
ate went was beyond Elijah since his only son was skinny
as a post. In addition to not knowing if he could afford
another mouth to feed, Elijah never was entirely
confident of his parenting skills to begin with. He
always feared those skills would be spread too thin if
another child should enter the picture and Elijah had
enough of a time protecting Elisha from the world around
him as it was.
     As Elijah stepped out of the shower, he decided to
test his wife of 11 years. Without immediately reaching
for his towel as he usually did, Elijah walked out of the
shower stall in the altogether in plain view of Nayirah,
who decided not to wait to begin her ablutions after all
and was in the middle of rinsing her nostrils. Nayirah in
turn predictably averted her eyes in silence, hurriedly
stripped out of her pajamas, and ducked into the stall
without looking back. Married over a decade and she still
won't look at his naked body unless they were making
love, Elijah thought. Doesn't she realize they haven't
installed hidden cameras in everyone's homes (at least,
not yet anyway) and you only have to follow the rules to
the letter when in public? Or did Nayirah actually derive
pleasure from not only following the rules but making up
some rules of her own as she goes along?
                     * * *
     In the living room Elisha Isiah had already emerged
dried from his shower from the other bathroom in the
house and in his prayer robes. The ceremonial rug was
already spread underneath Elisha who was squatted on it
in a position indicating to Elijah as he entered the room
that his son was ready to pray. Except that unlike his
mother, there wasn't any impatient scowl on Elisha's
face. For like his father, Elisha knew what the world
expected of him and only did just enough to Set by
without Setting too anal-compulsive over whatever it was
that had to be done. As Elijah knelt beside his son, he
affectionately rubbed the boy's head, almost as if for
good luck, as they did back in the days of old--before
the Apocalypse a quarter of a century ago.
     "Can't we just pray now and drink? I don't want to
wait for mother to get out of the shower, I'm thirsty."
     Elijah looked up out of reflex to see whether or not
Nayirah could hear--as if she had the hearing of a female
canine necessary to discern anything that was being said
down the hall amidst running water. "Nay'll be done in a
minute. And remember to say the greeting when she does
comes out."
     When a still damp Nayirah walked into the living
room in her robes, Elisha did just that and called out,
"As-Salaam-Alaikum, mother."
     "Wa-Alai ku m-Salaam," Nayirah answered i n a soft
but guarded tone as if to say "quieter next time." She
parted the curtains of the living room window which had
a view of the eastern skyline and the rising sun, then
took her place on the rug and knelt next to her husband.
The Isiahs all bowed their heads, raised their forearms
slightly so their elbows were chest level, and cupped
their hands as if catching rain.
     "I perform the morning prayer to Allah, the most
high. Allah is the greatest," Elijah began. "Glory to
Thee, oh Allah, Thine is the praise. Blessed is Thy name
and--and--exalted," Elijah said finally as if he had to
recall the word first, "is Thy majesty. I bear witness
that nothing deserves to be served or worshipped besides
Thee." Elijah slowly glanced over at Nayirah, waiting for
either her approval or a hard look. And sure enough, it
was the latter.
     "I really wish you would learn your Arabic, dear
heart," she said softly. "Someday it will be our national
language and you don't think the rest of our 750 million
brothers and sisters in the Muslim world say the morning
prayer in English, do you?"
                     * * *
     Elijah drank his second cup of coffee, spied all the
food he had in his kitchen cabinet, and already found
himself wishing it was dinner--the one solid meal a day
they all were allowed. Elijah then looked out the kitchen
window and saw something he feared: He could tell even
that early in the morning that there wasn't going to be
so much as a wisp of a cloud in the sky to block at least
some of that July/Chicago heat. Elijah stuck an index
finger into his shirt collar and tugged on his bow tie as
if a cartoonish plume of steam would vent itself into the
air from between his neck and the inside of his shirt.
Elisha mimicked his father in-between swallows of his
orange juice and since the two were both drinking from
cups while dressed identically because of the national
dress code, the scene looked almost surreal. Certainly
bewildering enough to Nayirah to keep her from making the
usual "quit fidgeting" remarks.
     Instead, she asked, "when are you going to fix that
gas main, dear heart?"
     Elijah looked up from mulling over whether or not a
third cup of coffee would fill him up until 6 p.m. and
then answered, "what do you mean fix it, Nayirah? You
know I'm the least mechanically inclined man that was
ever born. Besides, I don't hear that hissing you keep
talking about anyway. Just call somebody that would know
what to look for."
     Nayirah was standing over the kitchen sink as if
listening for something but when her husband said what he
did, she put her hands on her hips in irritation. "That's
your answer to everything, isn't it? Call somebody. As if
the Nation didn't have more important things to do than
to provide some special service to be at your beck and
call for whenever you didn't feel like taking
responsibility for what goes on in your own home."
     "We pay our tithes, our tides, we pay our 'duty' at
the temple don't we?" Elijah quietly commented without
looking right at her, "we should get something back."
     "When we had such services--or just plain vices that
we had to call the White man 'sir' to get, our people
grew fat and lazy from their dependence on them, and that
made us fall prey to the White man! Now that the
Honorable Khallid Muhammad has completely privatized our
economy, he has liberated us so that we can finally do
for self. Mash Allah!"
     Praise God for what, Elijah thought. That at some
point he was going to have to find some technical manual,
get under that damn sink, and tinker around where Elijah
knew he had no business? Oh well, Elijah said to himself,
at least finding a fix-it book would be easy, they didn't
ban or burn those.
     The Noble Drew Ali Elementary School (known before
the Apocalypse as Trinity Christian College) was only
around the corner from his house but Elijah still didn't
like to see Elisha walk there all by himself. Mainly
because it reminded Elijah that he wasn't getting any
younger. But beyond that, Elijah missed all the walks and
talks that he and his son once had on that short route to
school--alone. For Elijah used the opportunity to inform
any new teachers at the school that Elisha was not to be
subject to the usual corporal punishments. And that if
Elisha did do anything wrong, they were to merely inform
his father, and his father only, because supposedly
Elijah's "special brand of discipline" was far more
severe than anything the school could conjure up.
     There had been some close calls over the years and
it didn't help that school was year-round, but so far
Nayirah nor anyone else of any dangerous significance had
found out about Elijah's one transgression against the
will of the Nation. Elijah didn't protect Elisha from the
world around him just because he loved his son so, which
he did. It was fast becoming as of late Elijah's number
one reason for living in that world at all.
     On those days of schooling the school on turning
Elisha over to only him in case of trouble or mischief,
Elijah used to let Nayirah take the Isiahs' one car to
her work while he would just take the bus to his job. But
by the end of the last fiscal year, public transportation
was viewed by all the ministers in all the temples across
the Lost-Found Nation of Islam as interference with the
Black man's independence and ability to pull himself up
by his bootstraps. So since the last budget cuts, buses
and commuter trains had been made nakon, leaving only
taxi cabs, if one considered them public transportation.
Elijah wondered to himself whether the elimination of
public transportation was because the car manufacturers
from neighboring Michigan wanted to make all the more
money--because he didn't dare wonder any of this out
loud. He was already taking more than enough chances at
it was for covertly going against the school system's
innate right to discipline Elisha.
     Also, Nayirah read somewhere that it was common
courtesy for the man to drive his woman around and drop
her off at different places. So now Elijah had to watch
his son walk off into the world and drop his wife off at
her job. Which was teaching at the Muslim Girl's Training
and General Civilization Class at a school that was once
called Saint Xavier College. After the Apocalypse, it was
renamed the Sarah X School for Girls after some martyr
from the days when the slave names of Muslims were
replaced with a "X" and before Black people were all
assigned their true, Afro-Asiatic names by the ministers.
     The ride to the all-girls school was relatively a
quiet one. As was the case for the majority of Elijah's
rides with Nayirah--unless of course they were arguing.
To avoid an argument, Elijah tried to get to Sarah X as
fast as the already heavy traffic would permit. When they
finally did arrive at the school, Nayirah sardonically
said, "you don't have to pick me up today. I have to get
some things for dinner and I know how 'busy' you are, so
I'll take a taxi to the market after school." Then she
practically leapt out of Elijah's 2025 black four-door
sedan, and flounced past the school's front gates with
her white chador and roosarie flowing behind her in what
little wind there was in the air on this balmy morning.
     Though her robe and scarf were a solid white,
Elijah's selftrained eye could still barely make out a
silhouette of the hourglass shape of Nayirah's filled out
body as she disappeared into a crowd of similarly dressed
women and thought back for a moment to the day that they
     Actually they never "met" in the traditional,
eyes-met-across-a-crowded-room, romantic sense. They were
"matched" by the Ministry of Love. Back in the 20th
century, there was a time when light-skinned Blacks with
keen facial features were treated by Whites better than
dark-skinned Blacks with flat facial features. The
lighter, keen-featured Blacks were considered better
looking than their darker, flat-featured counterparts and
whenever favors for Blacks were given by Whites, they
would invariably go to any Black who appeared all the
more White visually.
     This dynamic had existed even within the Black
community itself. The bias over nose bridges, lip sizes,
and shades of skin color spilled over into the arena of
interpersonal relationships between Blacks. According to
all the ministers in the Lost-Found Nation, dark-skinned,
flat-featured girls could never get suitors while their
light-skinned, keen-featured rivals always could. To
remedy this, the ministers decreed that in order to "even
out the playing field," the Nation would take it upon
itself to prearrange who would be allowed to date, let
alone marry, whom. Light-skinned, keen-featured brothers
would be paired by the state with dark-skinned,
flat-featured sisters, and in the case of the Elijah and
Nayirah it was the other way around.
     Since Elijah was so dark and Nayirah was so very
light, Elisha came out with an deep, even tan. Which was
exactly the kind of result that was sought after by all
concerned. For the consensus among the ministers was that
within a few generations, everyone in the Lost-Found
Nation would be a uniform shade of brown. It was both
thought and taught that things were best this way because
once everyone had the same skin tone no one would ever
feel they were any better or worse than anyone else.
     Elijah's eyes then fell on the front seat where his
wife was just sitting, to see out of a perverse sort of
curiosity, whether or not the extra couple of pounds
Nayirah had put on lately had caused her to leave a still
visible impression in the cushions. It was at this point
when he noticed the book that she left behind. Nayirah's
copy of The Black Woman by Dorothy Wedad was lying on the
car floor on the passenger's side, and as Elijah snatched
it up while hopping out of the car he thought for certain
that this was an opportunity to coax a smile out of his
demanding wife for returning her book before going to
work himself.
     Elijah didn't ask for permission to pass the
school's front gate, he had forgotten he needed to. And
because he had, Elijah found himself surrounded by women
in white, flowing chadors that covered them from head to
toe before he had gotten too far into the school's
perimeter. It was almost like being accosted by a slew of
ghosts in pale sheets from some 20th century Halloween,
but Elijah remembered why he was suddenly being yelled
     "You know the rules! Men are nakon!"
     "No men are allowed here!"
     "No men at all!"
     "Alright, fine!" Elijah countered. He was slightly
taller than the tallest woman there and felt like wading
through the lot of them like Gulliver amongst the
Lilliputians but he didn't want the Fruit of Islam called
on him. Elijah didn't have a criminal record and he
didn't want to start one over something this banal. "Will
somebody just give this to Nayirah Isiah?" Elijah called
out while holding up Nayirah's book for all to see.
     "I will give the book to the sister," said the
tallest woman there as she took it from Elijah.
"As-Salaikum, my brother."
     "Wa-Salaikum," muttered Elijah under his breath as
he sulked back to his car.
                        * * *
     Elijah thought he would never get on the expressway.
Now that he was on it, Elijah was certain he'd never set
off of it. Traffic was backed up for miles and he would
be late for work for sure. As Elijah looked over at his
fellow drivers nodding politely back at him whenever eye
contact was made, Elijah noticed that most of them were
driving Cadillacs, mini-vans, and sedans just like he
was. It also occurred to Elijah that there was usually
only one driver within each of the cars all around him
and--if every four drivers or so would share a single car
. . ? Alas, if people were to pool their resources like
that, they might become too dependent on one another to
get back and forth, and everyone in the Nation was
supposed to be as self-reliant as possible. At least, so
conventional wisdom would say, thought Elijah.
     But he did wish that someone was responsible for
fixing all of the pot holes that lay all along the
highways and byways of Chicago. Elijah's drive to work
every morning was akin to a soldier's trespass across a
minefield and if it was expected of him to get to work on
time so that he could be all the more productive, the
Nation should step in with some kind of service to repair
the roads.
     While they were at it, Elijah pondered, it could
also be looked into as to why it was one couldn't see the
stars in the sky at night anymore. Or why temperatures
continue to rise every year and why the summer of 2030
was the hottest on record? Or why the air tasted so stale
and the horizon looked so hazy?
     Could it simply be nothing more than all of the
exhaust that was being put out by the extra cars on the
road and all the smog one sees emanating from the city?
There were a few who believed that, but they weren't
heard nearly as much as the ministers who maintained
either a silence concerning the issue or that everything
was alright. People were told at their temples that
complaining about one's eyes spontaneously watering at
midday only made Blacks look bad. As though they were
whining children who depended on some great power to take
care of them. What would the Aryans from Amerikkka think
of the Black man then?
     As Elijah pulled into State Street he thought about
how many times such concerns were fielded by those who
claimed that no such services could be provided for the
infrastructure or the environment because all of the
Lost-Found Nation's resources were being diverted toward
the protection of its borders from the White devils of
Aryan Amerikkka.
     It never made complete sense to Elijah why the
ministers would be that worried about an invasion of the
Nation. The peace has been kept for 25 years, so if
Amerikkka were going to take over the states allocated to
be the homeland, surely they would've done it by now,
Elijah concluded.
     When Elijah brought this up some months ago after a
service at his temple, one of the ministers there

Sure our truce with the White man has kept the peace. But
seeing as how they always were mortal enemies of the
Black man, Metzger and his legions could decide at
anytime to betray the agreement that was grudgingly
hammered out at the last minute by Minister Farrakhan and
the blue eyed devil during the Apocalypse. Luckily
Minister Farrakhan and the Metzger were able to
temporarily put aside their many differences so that our
people could survive.

     Nayirah believed the minister's explanation and
accepted it as a rationale for why the Nation's
attentions couldn't be focused on the welfare of its own
people at home. But then, "Nay" would stand on her head
if a minister asked her to, provided she could see to it
that the ends of her chador were pinned to her socks so
that her legs wouldn't be seen. Elijah wondered as he
looked for a parking space if all the people he saw
walking along State Street that morning were as accepting
of everything that was told to them as Nayirah was. Or
did some of them, any of them, ever question the
authority of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam, the
ministers in their temples, and the Honorable Khallid
Muhammad--if nowhere but in the privacy of their own
minds? Not disobey their edicts, just question them, and
maybe dare ask if they're justifiable.
     Elijah amazed himself with his ability to think such
subversive thoughts when he looked the neighborhood
surrounding the Old Water Tower on his long trek between
his parking space and his job. The Tower was one of the
few structures in the area to survive the Great Chicago
Fire but just about everything else has changed in the
past 25 years and it was hard not to feel overwhelmed by
the Nation of Islam when you felt surrounded by every
aspect of them anytime you came downtown.
     The only form of art that the Nation saw fit to fund
were the displays on the sides of nearly every other
building for all to see depicting the likenesses of the
Honorable Khallid Muhammad, leader of the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in North America; his retired
predecessor, Minister Louis Farrakhan (though most of the
pictures depicted him during his peak, circa 1984-2010,
and rarely was he shown at his current age of 97); and
the last Messenger of Allah himself, Elijah Muhammad.
     Gigantic banners were also hung from lamp posts and
flag poles with slogans like "Each One Teach One,"
"Unity," "Unity Nation," or "Unity in the Community,"
"Respect" or "Respect Your Elders," "Knowledge of Self,"
"Do For Self," "It's On You," "Wake Up, Black Man," "The
Black Woman is the Queen of the Universe," and "Buy
Black" which Elijah always found an incongruity because
there weren't anyone but Black folks in the Lost-Found
     And then there were the more religious slogans in
both Arabic and English saying "There is No God but
Allah," "God is Great," "Praise Allah," "God is a Black
Man," "The Black Man is God," and "Allah Will Provide."
     Elijah crossed over from State Street to the corner
of Chicago Avenue and Rush Street towards his place of
work, Mustafa Enterprises in the Akbar Office Building
where for five days a week Elijah Isiah becomes a
     Elijah thought about how comically ironic the title
of his position was to take his mind off of him having to
walk up the 14 flights of stairs to his office because
the building's elevators were broken yet again. Elijah
mused over the


fact that he was only a dictator in the
sense that he took dictation from his editor, Mustafa
All, and dictated what he said or wrote by typing it into
a computer data base.
     When Elijah finally reached the offices of Mustafa
Enterprises on the 14th floor, he crept inside as to not
draw attention to his tardiness. He was only 15 minutes
late but it wasn't the first time and the last thing
Elijah needed was to lose this job, which was probably
one of the best Elijah ever had. As a dictator, he was
part one of the Nation of Islam's first entries into the
super information highway--an encyclopedic database that
would contain the entire history of the world from the
beginning of time to the modern era. Events, dates,
famous battles, or even historical trivia could be
available via internet and accessible through computer
terminals that would be installed at every junior high
and high school in the Lost-Found Nation within the next
     It did bother Elijah that this move would mean
schools would have all the less reliance on history books
but Elijah still viewed his job as a venture that
probably should have been made decades ago. And it would
have too, except that the majority of the Nation's
attentions went either towards defense of its borders or
the strict enforcing of its Islamic fundamentalist edicts
at home. Not to mention the 25 year old world wide
embargo and sanctions put upon the Lost-Found Nation that
were, according to the ministers, imposed out of spite
because no one wanted to see an all-Black, independent
nation succeed.
     Elijah quietly slid behind his desk amidst the
snide, whispered comments about him made by the four
other dictators already behind their desks typing away.
Dictating from hard copy was thought of as a form of
secretarial work, which in turn was considered feminine,
which was why the only other dictators in the office were
all Muslimah. Each Muslim woman dressed as per the
national dress code in her white chador looked up from
what they were typing and gave Elijah a contemptuous
stare but were all too submissive to alert their boss,
Mustafa Ali in the next room that his only male employee
was late again.
     Elijah couldn't help but to grin. The fact was he
had the fastest typing speed in the office and at 80
words per minute, Elijah's status as Mustafa Enterprise's
most valuable employee was still unchallenged. He even
had the one desk in the room closest to the window which
made Elijah feel all the more important though he never
liked the billboard that he was in plain view of. It was
a cosmetic ad for Muslimah which showed nothing but a
woman wrapped in a single-eye chador and her one, visible
eye had on the eyeliner the ad was trying to sell. The
caption to the side of the visuals read, "Power Products
presents--Eye of Edwina, the only make-up you'll ever
need . . !"
     Nayirah never completely approved of Elijah being a
dictator because as far as she was concerned it was not
what she considered a very "manly job." "Nay" probably
would've been happier if he was some burly member of the
Fruit of Islam throwing transients in overcrowded jails
all day to keep them from loitering and becoming eyesores
for potential tourists. Then she could have something to
brag to her girlfriends about. Elijah was certain that
his co-workers, whom he hardly ever spoke to at all, felt
the same way except they just wanted to be rid of him and
didn't care if he was boasting material or not. The only
woman who seemed to appreciate Elijah's presence at the
office was Mustafa's personal secretary, a young girl
with the most unusual African name Elijah had ever heard,
     "Have you found anyone else with that unusual name
of yours yet?" Elijah called out as he saw the 17 year
old Minitrue in her white gown and headdress come his way
with a stack of hard copy from Mustafa's office for him
to dictate.
     Minitrue giggled, "No, Mr. Isiah."
     "Because you know sometimes Black folks make up
African names as they go along," Elijah quipped. "I never
did think anyone from the motherland was ever named
"La-Ti-Quisha" or half of the names I've heard."
     This caused all the other dictators to
simultaneously stop what they were typing for a moment,
look at one another for a moment or scowl at Elijah, and
then resume typing. Minitrue seemed oblivious to all of
this and laughed probably louder at Elijah's comment than
conventional decorum would have had her.
     "My name is going to continue to be the running joke
in this office isn't it, Mr. Isiah?"
     Elijah looked about at the four women typing around
him, "Mini, it's probably the only joke in this office."
     "Well, here you go," Minitrue leaned over to set the
stack of papers Elijah was to type on his desk, then
whispered, "I don't think Mr. Ali noticed you were late,
Mr. Isiah," and walked back to Mustafa All's office.
     Elijah glanced towards his boss's office. It had a
tinted window with a view of the rest of the office but
mercifully Mustafa Ali usually had his back to it. As far
as bosses went, Ali was tolerable. Considering he used to
be a speech writer for the Honorable Khallid Muhammad's
most likely successor, Professor Griffith Muhammad, the
former rapper who was kicked out of his rap group back in
the 20th century for being uncompromising in his belief
and support of Minister Farrakhan's teachings at the
     When the technology finally became available to the
Nation of Islam a year and a half ago to deposit an
almanac of world history inside internet, the ever
enterprising Mustafa Ali was able to use his connections
to land an exclusive, private contract with the Nation
for the producing of his computerized tomes of world
history. But while a decent conveyor of ideas with an eye
for managerial business, paradoxically, Mustafa Ali was
never very computer literate. Hence his need for the
     In a rush to get the historical data downloaded as
quickly as possible, Mustafa would churn out as many
pages as he could either
by hand or on his electric typewriter, and leave
correcting any syntax or grammatical errors for his
dictators. Once the information was in the computer, it
could be accessed by Mustafa to see if what had been
imputed was to his liking and if it met with the final
approval of the group of ministers who oversaw the bulk
of his historical research. The accessing of the program,
one which was intended for children anyway, didn't
require that Mustafa Ali or the ministers possess any
great amount of computer literacy so much as the ability
to move a cursor and hit the return button.
     These same ministers were also Mustafa's primary
source of historical information seeing as how only
ministers of temples had access to certain books from the
past. Which made Elijah wonder every once in a long while
about whether or not what he was typing into internet was
the whole truth.
     Elijah remembered when he first became a dictator
one of the very first entries he had been told to input.
It told of how Christopher Columbus had sailed across the
Atlantic Ocean, landed in the Americas, and was
wholeheartedly accepted by the indigenous population that
he ran across once he arrived. Considering all that
Elijah subsequently typed about the myriad struggles the
same population had to face from others who came across
the Atlantic in the centuries to come, something told
Elijah that maybe Columbus had been just as bad as those
who came after him. It didn't made much sense that
Christopher Columbus was the only voyager who treated the
indigenous people of the Americas well--especially if
Columbus' mission was to bring gold back to his king by
any means
     Elijah brought his concerns to Mustafa Ali who in
turn waved them off citing that the research that he and
the ministers had done was thorough and that it wasn't
Elijah's place to question their final judgment seeing as
how, at the time, he had just started the job.
     A little over a year later, Elijah had become the
only dictator who ever asked questions about what he was
dictating that were of a philosophical nature and not on
strictly a grammatical one. It was only once in a long
while when he would attempt this, but that was because
Elijah only felt like pushing his luck in-between long
     Elijah would've just as soon not had today be one of
those days, but Elijah was the type of man whom life had
to make sense to, otherwise it wasn't as easy to live
through. And what he currently had to dictate struck him
as a trifle senseless.
     Elijah was plowing through the latest stack of hard
copy about the post-World War II era that Minitrue had
left for him and at 80 words per minute he was almost
ready for another batch from her. And then he got to a
point in the copy that spoke of the Jews and all that the
Nazis had put them through.
     He went ahead and typed the passages that had been
given to him as they were, accounting for Mustafa All's
occasional grammatical errors. But as soon as Elijah was
finished entering what he had dictated into internet, he
got up, knocked on his boss' door, and asked that he come
to inspect what had just been written.
     "I don't know if you noticed all of these books and
papers in my office, Mr. Isiah, but they indicate that
I'm a very busy man." Mustafa Ali fumed. Being in his
early 50's with an afro that was balding ever so
slightly, Mustafa was a diminutive sort of fellow who
felt as though the presence of his charisma needed to
overcompensate for his lack of size in order for him to
be listened to. Elijah always joked to himself that this
was why Mustafa always wrote speeches and never gave
them. Because all the posturing in the world wouldn't
have made him any more visible from behind a podium.
     None of this meant Mustafa Ali couldn't fire Elijah
at any time. Or worse, call the FOI on him for
"interfering with the smooth running of a profitable
business," so Elijah chose his language very carefully.
     "Forgive me, Mr. All, I just thought that you might
want to make sure that what I typed was worded exactly
how you wanted it."
     "Elijah, you know full well that the ministers and
I will eventually go over all the entries in due time,"
Mustafa folded his arms and blew a frustrated breath out
the side of his mouth. "But now that you've already
bothered me, go ahead and show me what it is you're
talking about."
     Mustafa Ali then followed Elijah to his desk, where
Elijah sat back behind his computer terminal and moved
the cursor so that the last paragraph he had just typed
would appear in the center of the screen so that it could
be seen in its entirety all the clearer.
It was believed for decades that an unimaginable six
million Jews had died in the so-called "Holocaust" that
the Jews claimed they went through during World War II.
It has been found, however, that only a million Jews died
during that time and not even by the means in which they
claimed the deaths occurred. For instance, the infamous
gas chambers the Jews described turned out to be a
complete fabrication and no Jew ever died from being put
into such a chamber.
     "I don't see a problem with what you wrote," said
Mustafa All. "That's exactly how I wanted it, minus the
spelling errors, of course. Good job."
     "The problem, sir, is that it doesn't make any
sense," Elijah explained. "Who could make up such a
thing? Why would anyone lie about something of
that--magnitude? And where did you get this information?"
     "To gain undue sympathy, of course," Mustafa stated
simply. "They wanted people to believe that they had gone
through more suffering than the Black race. But if you
must know, Elijah, our main source for this material was
from a 1976 book entitled, The Hoax of the 20th Century
by Dr. Arthur R. Butz."
     "Sir, it's just that--if only a million Jews died,
then where did the other five million go? Were they in
hiding?" Elijah's voice started to rise slightly. "And
since the missing five million Jews must have surely had
children--and great grandchildren by now, then are they
all in hiding too?"
     Mustafa Ali looked around to see if the women in his
place of business appeared to be taken in by Elijah's
defiance of him. The four other dictators continued to
type and practically ignored the scene going on before
them. Minitrue, however, had emerged from Mustafa's
office and looked as though she felt sorry for Elijah. As
a former speech writer, Mustafa Ali knew the importance
of maintaining popular opinion or, at the very least, a
consenting one. So an example would have to be made of
Elijah in front of everybody.
     "Mr. Isiah, I could have said something about you
coming in late this morning. I could have said something
about your lack of respect for your Black sisters as far
as the comments you made earlier, and yes, I did hear you
make them, but I didn't. Now you have interrupted the
flow of this business day with your questioning of the
historical facts that the ministers of the Nation of
Islam themselves and I have painstakingly researched.
Questioning that I see now I have tolerated too long.
     "By all rights, I could call the Fruit of Islam on
you and have you carted off for any of the offenses I
just mentioned. Actually, I should fire you, but you know
as well as I do how valuable you are. Therefore, I'm
going to go out on a limb and do something as liberally
communistic as to give you one last chance. I hope that
you don't abuse the privilege. As for the rest of you,
it's almost noon. Get ready for the Zuhr prayer." Mustafa
Ali then spun on his heel, stormed back to his office,
and slammed the door behind him.
* * *
     "The Black Woman by Dorothy Wedad is one of the
single most important books that any young lady in our
great nation will ever read." Nayirah held up her copy of
the book in question that she would've forgotten had it
not been for Elijah. She waved it in front of her class
at the Sarah X School for Girls as though it was a bible
and she was an evangelical preacher from long ago. And if
Nayirah's intent was to generate anything close to the
kind of spirited reaction such preachers could stir up in
their day, the effort would have been a complete waste.
For the pre-teen girls who were in attendance knew all
too well what could happen to them if they were to
display too wildly emotional of a response in the middle
of class.
     "Soon this book will be required reading and you'll
have to memorize it, cover to cover." Nayirah paced back
and forth in front of the front row of desks while she
tried to turn to a page she had intended to read from.
     "Nineteen seventy three: The year when the old
United States had just legalized the killing of Black
babies and called it `abortion' or `birth control.' The
beginning of an era when anyone who called for the
extermination of the Black race was called `pro-choice.'
This was the era of Dorothy Wedad, a proud Black woman,
a strong Black woman, who had the courage to face up to
the so-called `feminists' who claimed they were for
`women's liberation' but were actually as bad as Nazis
and spoke the truth to the White devil woman's face."
Nayirah stopped pacing in front of the class when she
found the page she was looking for.
     "For a time she wrote for Muhammad Speaks and this
book reprints pieces from what was once our national
newspaper. Here is something that she had written for
Muhammad Speaks on March 2nd, 1973." And with that,
Nayirah began to read.

Prior to the coming of Almighty God, Allah Who came in
the person of Master Fard Muhammad, and raised up the
Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Black woman in America was
totally ignorant to herself and her role. The devil
(White man) had done such a thorough job of destroying
the Black family and forcing the woman into a more and
more dominating role, until today she actually pictures
herself as being equal to the man. In this so-called age
of the "liberated woman," the Black woman following along
behind the devil woman frowns on the idea of woman as
homemaker, mother, and wife. She feels that [she] should
have equal job opportunities in any field, the same as
the man. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Messenger of
Allah to all of our people, has been missioned to right
the wrong that has been done to us by the White man. His
teachings to the Black woman in America are designed to
return her to her rightful role which is the "Mother of
Civilization and the Queen of the Universe," a most
beautiful role. But first he teaches her that the Black
man is the first in the creation and she was next. And,
that man being self-created, then made her for himself as
a means of reproducing himself. Immediately she learns
that she cannot be equal to man, when from the beginning
they were created for different purposes. He further
teaches her that she is the field in which man plants the
seed, and another life is born. From this alone, she can
see the magnificence of her role, to be the means by
which human life is reproduced.
     Nayirah closed the book, set it on her desk, and
said, "On March the 23rd of that same year, sister
Dorothy Wedad said, 'tell the White man we are not
interested in women's liberation--another trick to steer
our minds from motherhood.' It is because of proud,
beautiful, Black sisters like Dorothy Wedad that we are
able to live in the truly liberated Black nation as we
all do today. Any questions, class?"
     Without a doubt, the best thing about being a
dictator to Elijah Isiah were the hours, 10 a.m. to 2
p.m. (Mustafa Ali despised keeping anyone on the clock
when there wasn't much to do and dictating wasn't that
demanding). This was not because he was as lazy as his
wife Nayirah thought him to be, it was because those lax
hours enabled him to be home at approximately the same
time as Elisha and the both of them would be home at
least an hour before he would usually pick Nayirah up
from school. And Elijah didn't even have to today,
because this morning Nayirah's general disgust for him
made her decide at the last minute to take a taxi to the
market. So now Elijah and Elisha had all the more time to
     Not that Elijah and Elisha were anything like the
subversives that the Fruit of Islam were always scouring
the city for and had something secret to say, they just
wanted to be able to talk about father and son things
without feeling as though the eyes and ears of the Nation
were upon them.
     Elijah also thought it was important that someone
was in the house when Elisha came home from school rather
than him being what they called in the 20th century a
"latch-key kid." Nayirah would have been more than happy
to fulfill that role as the everpresent homebody except
that Elijah's penchant for cushy jobs forced her to pay
the majority of the bills and he never wanted to exert
his rank as husband to demand that she stay at home--as
Nayirah would've wanted him to (Elijah only exerts that
rank to keep Nayirah from ever beating Elisha).
     Nayirah had occasionally threatened to call the FOI
on Elijah throughout the years over her being made a
breadwinner against her inclinations but after a while
she began to like teaching school. Eventually Nayirah
came to love it so much that not only did she not mind so
much that at one point Elisha was a latch-key kid (she
would have minded more if Elisha was a girl), but she
settled into the habit of staying long after school to
help clean up after the cooking classes. Which was why
Nayirah was usually the last one home.
     Elijah and Elisha were sitting at the kitchen table
enjoying the buffer zone of quality time that they had
alone together before Nayirah would have to enter the
picture. Elijah told his son about how he was almost
fired and then asked one the most cliched questions on
     "So what did you learn in school today?" Elijah
queried as he put his hand on Elisha's shoulder.
     "Weird stuff, father." Elisha shook his head as he
sighed, grimaced as though he was trying to recall
something, and said, "Mr. Bogam said that Black folks
were descen--descended from some folks called the
Original Men. They could talk to giants from Mars and
used to live on the moon way, long time ago back when the
moon and the Earth were one, big planet. Then everything
blew up," and with that, Elisha illustrated the explosion
he was describing with his hands and a sound effect he
made with his mouth. "And then the moon and the Earth
split into two planets like now. Then the Original folks
came down and built Mecca and they were all in the tribe
of Shazam."
     "You mean the tribe of Shabazz," Elijah frowned.
This story was sounding all too familiar to him.
     "That's right. Anyway, there was this evil scientist
with a big, giant head named Yacub. He was real smart and
the Original folks put him on punishment and then sent
him to an island. Then Yacub got mad and made White
people in his la-labor-laboratory. He made everybody,
father! First he made brown folks, then he made red
folks, then he made yellow folks, and then he made White
folks. And you know what else, father?"
     "What?" Elijah answered back unenthused.
     "Mr. Began said the White folks were animals in
caves and then Allah sent Moses to get them out of the
caves and the White folks that Moses got out of the caves
turned into Jews!"
     When Elijah heard the door open just then, he found
himself surprisingly relieved. Even though he knew it was
Nayirah, at that moment he actually thought it might be
easier to deal with her than the idea that they had
gotten around to teaching his son Yacub's History. To
Elijah, both events were things that he would just as
soon avoid.
     "What are you doing?" Nayirah demanded as she set
two grocery bags on the kitchen table. Elijah and Elisha
were sitting around."Are you out of your minds? It's time
for the Asr and you haven't gotten the rug rolled out or
the curtains parted or anything!"
     "We won't miss the late afternoon prayer, Nayirah.
It's not even close to five o'clock yet," Elijah
     "I don't care!" Nayirah exclaimed, which was rare
because of her usual parochial restraint. "We're
permitted only one meal a day that I have yet to fix and
I don't have all that much time to fix it because in case
you've forgotten we still have service at the temple to
go to tonight."
     Nayirah then sent Elisha to roll out the family
prayer rug and then muttered to Elijah under her breath,
"Since you don't stay at work long enough to work up a
man's sweat, the least you could do is see that
everything is prepared for the end of the day. You can
call the Fruit of Islam on me for disrespecting you if
you want, for I would rather be fined or jailed for
telling the truth than for sitting idly around with a
child like a child."
     As Elijah drove his family up Ridgeland Avenue to
the neighborhood still known in Chicago as "Burbank"
where the nearest temple to the Isiah home was, he
wondered for a moment why would a Black nation such as
the one in which he lived allow its streets to still be
called something as Caucasian sounding as Burbank and
then he remembered. All of the semantic remnants from the
old order would simply be translated to Arabic once it
became the national language in approximately a decade.
With all of the Lost-Found Nation's other worries,
linguistics simply hadn't been the priority that it once
was in the days when the Nation was first founded. But
making sure that everyone showed up to their Monday,
Wednesday, and
Friday night temple meetings always was one of the Nation
of Islam's top priorities.
     After Elijah finally found a place to park, he,
Nayirah, and Elisha all filed into Muhammad's Temple of
Islam Number 42 (which used to be a movie theater until
motion pictures were made nakon) behind the scores of
other Muslims and Muslimah who were already in line
heading for the front entrance. After a while, Elisha let
go of Nayirah's hand and proceeded to hold Elijah's as
the one line that they were all in became two, with the
women parting to the left and the men to the right. Once
everyone, male or female, made it to the front door, they
were searched. Even the children were frisked from head
to toe.
     A man who stood in front of Elijah was told by the
temple guard searching him to open his mouth so that the
man's breath could be smelled. The man still refused to
do any such thing after having been asked three times. In
response to this, two temple guards who seemed to Elijah
to appear from nowhere grabbed the man from behind and
held him down as the guard who originally had a problem
with the man pried open his mouth. The temple guard then
smelled the man's breath as he originally wanted to and
declared that he had to have been drinking. The man swore
what the guard was smelling was the alcohol base of the
medicine that he had been taking as of late. This story
wasn't believed by any of the temple guards so the man
was carted away and Elijah didn't see him for the rest of
the night.
     After uneventful searches of their own, the Isiahs
entered the temple with Nayirah finding a seat on the
left-hand side of the temple where the women sat, Elijah
finding a seat of his own across the aisle from Nayirah
on the temple's right-hand side where the men sat, and
Elisha being escorted to a basement where all the other
children were kept during services (Elijah had even
schooled those in the temple at one point on not
disciplining Elisha and to his astonishment it had worked
so far). At the head of the temple was a simple, Spartan
speaker's stand that seated six with a microphone and a
podium in the center. Behind the stand hung the national
flag of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America,
an all white field with a red star and crescent moon in
its center. The temple guards and the ministers took
their places on the speaker's stand as other guards
posted themselves by the doorways.
     When all of the seats in the temple were completely
filled to capacity one of the elder guards took the mike
and a roll call was taken. It took over an hour to go
through the five hundred names on the list and to send
guards out to see about calling the homes of the few
people on the list who didn't answer "here" or "present,"
but once that was finished, the minister that was to
speak for the night finally stepped up to the microphone
and led everyone there in the Maghrib or evening prayer.
     " ... And we cannot even take our pilgrimages to
Mecca, our Hajj because we are welcome nowhere in the
world. We cannot leave this mighty Black nation that we
worked and waited so long for so that we can make the
journey to the Ka'ba like any other Muslim should be able
to. Why? I'll tell you what they say, the Jewry, the
camel jockeys, the faggots, the Euro-trash, and the
Orientals, I'll tell you what they're talking about! So
never let it be said that the Black man is any kind of a
censor or whatever it is they call us. They restrict our
travel abroad because they're all under the delusion that
Minister Farrakhan somehow knew in advance that 'the
Great White Demon' Metzger was going to bomb Australia.
Can you believe it? What lies! There were Black people on
Australia! We would never drop a bomb on Black people! In
case they hadn't noticed, we are Black people!"
     "Yes!" ..."Teach, minister!" ... "Take your time up
there, little Messenger!" ... "You right!"... "Tell
it--tell it!" All these and more were among the many
cries from the temple's congregation. A couple of them
even came from Elijah, but his shouts weren't Freudian
slips so much as they were cried out of reflex. Also, who
knew what would happen if anyone noticed he wasn't
shouting as loud as everyone else.
     "Then they insult us and our intelligence by telling
the lie that somehow, some kind of way, we collaborated
with Metzger and his devils during the Apocalypse? And
they say we're guilty of creating mythologies!" The last
line garnered a great deal of laughter from the crowd in
the temple. "All those conspiracy nuts need to quit
smoking that marijuana and start living right! Maybe then
they'll stop suffering from all these delusions!" Even
more laughter than before rose from the crowd. "And
what's with all these folks going around calling us
'right-wing' and 'rightists' . . . Just what does that
Jewish psychobabble mean, anyway? 'Right-wing,'
'left-wing"-brothers and sisters, we are Black-wing! They
need to know that their Whitewing rules don't apply to
     At this point there was a standing ovation, at least
from the men's side of the temple. Displays of this type
were considered by the Nation of Islam throwbacks to the
era of the Black Baptist and Christian churches and were
actually supposed to be nakon but Elijah was at a more
liberal temple. So every once in a while such
emotionalism was permitted, but only among the men.
     Elijah tried to looked over at Nayirah from across
the aisle. He had deliberately picked a seat directly
across from her so that she could always be within his
sights. Yes, she could get on Allah's nerves, but
sometimes Elijah just liked to gaze upon his wife and
wonder what it would have been like if they had met
completely at random because their eyes happened to meet
across a crowded room. A crowded room like this temple,
perhaps. What if they never knew each other and the look
that Elijah was now throwing Nayirah's way marked the
first time he ever laid eyes on her?
     Just then, Nayirah returned Elijah's stare but no
actual eye contact was ever made. Rather, she seemed to
Elijah to be looking at something right behind him. And
before Elijah could turn to see what it was, he felt two
gloved hands twist his neck forward.
     "Brother, there's a reason why we separate the
brothers and sisters. To keep one another from being
distracted. Now pay attention to the minister before we
have to take you somewhere."
     Before Elijah could give an obedient response, the
temple guard had resumed his post by one of the fire
escapes. Now that he was more than suitably shaken enough
to not risk anything else for the rest of the evening,
Elijah found himself clapping from a false state of
euphoria as a couple of frightened and shameful tears
started to involuntarily roll down his cheeks.
     "If the rest of the world wants to try and ignore
us, fine. If they want to continue this embargo of
theirs, that's fine too. Because we'll know the real
reason why, won't we brothers and sisters? It's because
they're jealous of the Black man and what he's
accomplished here--in the wilderness of North America!
Jealous, I say! And fearful too, because they know that
we provide the threat of a good example to all the many
Black people in the world who would try and establish an
all-Black republic just like ours. Because that's what we
are, brothers and sisters--Black republicans, and the
rest of the world can't stand it!"
     Elijah couldn't understand it. He lived off of one
meal a day and yet there was enough in his system to get
him up at two-thirty in the morning to urinate. The trick
now was to not wake Nayirah up in the process. Which
meant pissing not in the center of the toilet water,
which would obviously make a sound, but to hit the inside
surface of the bowl itself and not flush the toilet. And
all of this had to be done in the dark too.
     But even the best laid plans of mice and Black
Muslims don't always come together. For no sooner had
Elijah stealthily wrested free from Nayirah's embrace,
slipped out of bed as quietly as he could, and made it to
the bathroom door did he hear his wife's voice sternly
say out loud, "Isha."
     The late evening prayer. The one every Muslim is
bound to perform if he happens to get up in the middle of
the night. Actually the rule stated two prayers, but
"Nay" let Elijah slide--this time ...