What's your story?
First, Allah creates all of us as Muslims. My decision to follow the religion of Islam and the way of life is based on many factors. In growing up in the inner-city of Philadelphia, I was from a young age exposed to many things good and bad, but as a young man without much spiritual guidance I was attracted to a life of sin and decadence and believing in a lot of bad information. That belief has led to many personal and physical problems and emotional pain and mental anguish which led to a disbelief in any God as I understand Him. Then I had no knowledge of Islam ,but many of my friends from childhood to young adult were practicing it and their lives had changed tremendously, I tried many different churches but I soon discovered the concept of Christianity was not one I could grasp a hold of. I then wound up joining the Army to get away from the streets and possibly a life of crime and imprisonment.
After seven years in the military which altered the way I thinking, I found it hard to adjust to society so I became a drug addict, which ultimately led to a life of depression, homelessness and despair. I wound up in several drug treatment centers and mental institutions. Faced with a hopeless dilemma I went to the Veterans Hospital in Coatesville Pa. Once there I met a Muslim brother who worked on the homeless ward, I was amazed at his ability to remain calm and rational in many a trying situation when dealing with other veterans who had lived their lives the same as I did or worse. The effect that it had on me was so profound that I immediately asked him about Islam and how I could revert back to Islam , which at that time I did not know that I was born a Muslim.
He then gave me some literature, asked me to study it and study the Shahadah and when I thought I had it memorized to come back and recite it in front of him and another witness, I recited it, he then choose a name and here I am five years later, still practicing Islam. After 1 hip replacement, 2 knee replacements, and 1 shoulder replacement and a number of chronic health problems it is now my belief in Allah and His Book and His Messenger which help me to understand what it truly means to be a good Muslim. Allah has truly changed my heart and given me a gift which fills me with great humility and joy. I have never been surer of anything as I am sure that Allah is The Most Merciful and Most Forgiving.
By no means am I still the same man I was five years ago, I am now a loving husband and father to a young son six years old, in my opinion a better human being and a good and honest companion to my Muslim brothers and sisters and a productive member of my community.
ALLAHU AKBAR, ALLAHU AKBAR, ALLAHU AKBAR...