I love the story about Shakeela Hassan. I just told it again last night, in fact. In the late 1950s, Shakeela Hassan arrives in the U.S. from Lahore, to begin a medical internship at Northwestern University. She is greeted at the airport by Malcolm X, a young minister in the Nation of Islam, who was sent to meet her because of a chance encounter between her brother-in-law and the NOI prophet, Elijah Muhammad. Her husband’s family is related to the Pakistani publishers of the most widely read English-language translation of the Qur’an, and although Shakeela Hassan never joins the Nation of Islam, she becomes a regular dinner guest at Elijah Muhammad’s home, a great admirer of his wife, Clara, and the improbable designer of the hats which become Elijah Muhammad’s trademark. As readers of Frequencies: A Collaborative Genealogy of Spirituality will know, this is a much-too-short version of the story Winnifred Sullivan recounts in her eponymous entry.Read the rest of Besides.
Constance M. Furey
Constance M. Furey teaches in the Department of Religious Studies at Indiana University. A co-founder of the Initiative for the Humanistic Study of Innovation, she has published a book on the Religious Republic of Letters with Cambridge University Press and essays on subjects including friendship and marriage, virtue and vitriolic religious debates, and theoretical questions of relationality and intersubjectivity. Recent work includes an article, “Body, Society, and Subjectivity in Religious Studies,” in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion (Winter 2012) and a book project about how male and female poets in early modern England re-imagined intimate relationships as sites of utopian longing and fulfillment.