My conversion to Islam began in my eighth grade year. There
was a Muslim student by the name of Raphael who first told
me a little about Islam. At the time he was not so knowledgeable
about Islam, but he put the initial interest in my mind which
never went away.
In the ninth
grade there was another student by the name of Leonard who
claimed at one time or another that he was a Muslim but
he was more or less a 5 percenter. The one thing he did
do was to give me a pamphlet on true Islam which increased
my interest in Islam. I didn't hear much more about Islam
until my tenth grade year.
That year me
and Leonard would sit in the back of geometry class and
blame all of the world's problems on white people while
we would exalt the status of black people above all other
races. At that time in my life I thought that Islam was
the religion for black people, but unfortunately the Islam
I was talking about was nothing more than black nationalism
with a slight touch of true Islam. It was very similar to
The Nation of Islam. As time went on I began to see that
my black nationalist views and my perception of what Islam
was about became tired. It was useless to hate almost all
white people and to blame this on Islam. Around the same
time I totally denounced Christianity as my religion. I
got tired of the unintelligible doctrines and the many contradictions
within the religion.
The next year
of high school I was conversing with a few students about
religion and they told me to buy a Qu'ran so I did. I went
to the nearest bookstore and bought a very poor translation
of the Qu'ran but it was the first real look into the truth
about Islam. Within a few weeks I took on the beliefs of
a Muslim even though I hadn't taken shahadah yet. Most of
what I was doing concerning Islam was wrong because I never
had a chance to go to a masjid because my mother totally
forbade it. As time went on I finally got an Abdullah Yusuf
Ali translation of the Qu'ran which opened my eyes to so
much about Islam.
In the meantime
my mother was doing everything in her power to prevent me
from embracing Islam. She took me to see her preacher three
times which was of no avail. As time passed I began to learn
more and more about Islam from various books I could get
my hands on. I finally learned how to make salat correctly
from one of these books. My mother was still trying her
best to make me become a Christian again.
My mother and
I would frequently argue about religion until one day my
mother had enough and told my dad that I was going to have
to live with him. He had absolutely no problem with this.
The day after I graduated from high school I moved in with
my dad. I can see now that my parent's divorce was actually
a blessing in disguise. Their divorce provided me with a
place to live in which I could practice Islam freely. My
dad had no problem with my interest in Islam.
One day I called
the Islamic Learning Center in Fayetteville and a brother
by the name of Mustafa told me to come down for the Taleem
(lesson) to learn more about Islam. Everybody was extremely
hospitable and Mustafa even gave me a ride home. After three
weeks of going to Jumuah (Friday congregational prayers)
and Taleem I finally took my Shahadah on July 2,1995. Ever
since then I have been an active member of the Islamic community.
I am also very pleased to say that Raphael (the person who
gave me my initial in interest in Islam) got back to Islam
seriously and took shahadah a few months before I did. We
still keep in touch even though he is in England.