The Autobiography of Malcolm X

by Malcolm X, Alex Haley

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Chapter 17 Quiz: Mecca

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Study Questions

1. What does Dr. Shawarbi give Malcolm before his departure to Mecca?

2. The first city Malcolm visits in the Middle East is Cairo. Describe this city.

3. What is the literal meaning of Hajj in Arabic?

4. Malcolm learns that rugs play an important role in the Muslim culture. Name the five ways Muslims use these rugs.

5. What important ritual do Muslims practice before prayer?

6. Where does Malcolm stay when he is in Jedda?

7. Why is Malcolm amazed by the hospitality of Dr. Azzam and his family?

8. At the conclusion of Malcolm’s pilgrimage to Mecca, where do he and his fellow pilgrims go?

9. What impresses Malcolm the most about his pilgrimage?

10. After his pilgrimage, to whom does Malcolm write?


1. Dr. Shawarbi gives Malcolm a letter of approval for his upcoming pilgrimage to Mecca. He also gives Malcolm a book, The Eternal Message of Muhammad, by Abd ir-Rahman Azzam.

2. Cairo is one of the most highly industrialized cities on the African continent. It has modern schools, housing developments, highways, and automobile and bus manufacturing industries.

3. The literal meaning of Hajj in Arabic is “to set out toward a definite objective.”

4. Muslims use rugs to pray, eat, sit, sleep, as a courtroom, and as a classroom.

5. The important ritual Muslims practice before prayer is ablution, or washing one’s body.

6. Malcolm stays in Mr. Azzam’s suite in the Jedda Palace Hotel.

7. Malcolm is amazed by the hospitality of Dr. Azzam and his family because they are white, and he has never met Dr. Azzam or his family.

8. At the conclusion of his pilgrimage, Malcolm and the other pilgrims go to Mount Arafat to pray.

9. The strong sense of brotherhood that Malcolm feels throughout the pilgrimage impresses him the most.

10. After his pilgrimage, Malcolm writes to Betty, Ella, Dr. Shawarbi, Wallace Muhammad, and to his assistants at the Muslim Mosque, Inc.

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