“You’ve seen me pointing this weapon on you, don’t you know I could have shot you?”
And the man looked at me, with a smile on his face, and he pointed his finger to the sky, and said in his broken English:
“I only fear Allah.”
I grew up in a black household, you know, we go to church every Sunday. So the missionary Baptist church, the church where they got a hoot and holler for God, singing kind of songs, people speaking in tongues…
It was always a good time I searched.
We’d be there all day on Sunday, it was a good time.
Once my mom locked me down the whole summer. I was in punishment. And in doing that, I didn’t have much to do, so I watched on my video cassettes. Then I came across this movie, it’s called “Malcolm X”.
I heard about Malcolm X in school and public schools don’t teach you a lot about Malcolm X. we’ve heard a lot about Martin Luther King and other activists… but I’ve never learned much about Malcolm X.
So I remember looking at the video cassette, which was a long movie about two and half hours. I watched it all the way through and I remember at the end of that video, I was a little bit left in shock because Malcolm X was never really Christian, he did all his work in the name of Allah, and helping people benefit, and then he was Muslim.
But the problem was that, for me, as a Christian, I have learned that if you didn’t accept Jesus into your life as a savior, you’re going to hell.
Well, I looked at Malcolm and said: “Well Malcolm believed in God, when believing in all these different religion, he’s losing God. He’s going to go to hell, because he didn’t believe in Jesus the way I believe in Jesus and to me, at the time, that makes sense.
I didn’t want to go to college, so I knew I had to do something to get out of here, I know how to get out of the city. I joined the army in 2008, two weeks after I graduated, I was in army.
The military was a very interesting experience because, in the military, you’re not paid to think for yourself. They do all the thinking for you, they tell you where to go, they tell you to do this and that… everything is already planned for you.
One day, I’m guarding this gate, armed up with my weapon, and a truck approaches and gets closer to the gate and I’m telling the truck to stop. The driver gets out and he starts walking towards the gate.
Well, I told him: “I say you have to stop” He had a smile in his face.
I said, ‘this man is crazy. What’s wrong with him?’
Anyways, he continues to come closer and closer. By this time, I pointed my weapon at him telling him I’m going to shoot. But something was telling me not to pull the trigger and shoot, so I didn’t.
He approaches me, and from his underarms, he produces his paper work telling him it was ok for him to get in the gate.
Well, in the conversation I’m having with him telling him, “you can’t come in at the gate, then you’ve seen me pointing this weapon on you, don’t you know I could have shot you?”
And the man looks at me, with a smile at his face, he pointed his finger to the sky and says: “I only fear Allah.”
What happens is that I come back out of California about October 2011 and then I took my shahadah at Al-Faruq mosque, because I knew a guy that actually was going there at the time that I had met through some other friends, that I was going there at the time.
He invited me to come through and take my shahadah.
One thing that I would like to say to everybody, ‘don’t hesitate to do the research and visit a mosque’.
I’m not going to lie to you, yes, it may be a little strange at first. Obviously, when you’re doing something new, or you’re looking into something that might potentially change your life. And it’s a bit overwhelming at first.
And sometimes, when we discover the truth, we try to run away from it because we don’t want to believe it. But the problem is that you can’t run away from the truth forever, it’s always going to be in the back of your mind.
Sometimes, when people discover Islam, they look at it and they say, “no, this can’t be true.” They know it’s the truth but they back away from it because they’re scared of the truth.
And in that sense, you have to understand, yes, the truth is a bit scary sometimes, but it’s still the truth. And in doing that, don’t be afraid to go to visit the mosque. Don’t believe what the media is telling you. That’s rule number one.