Abdul Aziz, 28, was born Jermaine Boddy and was raised in Charleston, West Virginia, United States, as a Baptist Christian. He took his Shahadah just seven months back but has learned much of Islam including the Arabic language. Currently he is serving the Muslim community as chief of Daawah. Below he narrates how he converted to Islam.
As a youth I attended Church and Sunday School regularly until my adolescent years mundane things like friendship with opposite sex suddenly became more important to me. I consider myself as “sinful” when I was on the street, but I was always conscious of Allah, or I may say God in those days, and used to ask forgiveness on occasions for my sinful deeds in vain by the way I had been taught, “in the name of Jesus,” may Allah forgive me.
I continued on in my sinful ways despite a number of events in my life that were very life threatening such as drugs, being shot in the head, loss of jobs, and family and friends dying.
Only after my incarceration did I begin to seek refuge in Allah and I was “saved” while incarcerated in the county jail. Even then as I faithfully read my Bible and prayed every night before I went to bed, there were still some doubts in my mind as far as the Christian faith was concerned.
I continued to try to live my life as Christian when I came to prison but eventually went back to my old ways of my lower self. Again after several years of constantly staying in and out of trouble worrying about worldly matters and confronting frustration I began going to Church again but only half–heartedly.
I really enjoyed the singing and also the eloquent speech of the preacher Hightower but there were always unanswered questions, which I still cannot understand.
The more I think about it the more outrageous it sounds — ‘Jesus died on the cross for the whole world’s sins.’ I seek Allah’s forgiveness.
Even though I was still confused, I held on to Christianity and started to seek knowledge elsewhere. I had been introduced to Al-Islam briefly while on the streets by a friend who was not very knowledgeable or righteous but yet I somehow was drawn to this religion back then.
I can remember telling my mother that I wanted to be a Muslim after hearing the Ayas of the Holy Qur’an. She dismissed it by saying I did not know what I was talking about which I did not but somehow I knew that this was the True religion.
I had attended the Jumah (Friday) prayers on a couple of occasions with a brother named Islam and then again with one of my home boys but never really understood what was going on because I was not paying any attention.
Sometime later, I then asked a friend, Shahid Qazi to place my name on the callout to attend Jumah but for the wrong reasons. My intentions were to just get out of going to work in the afternoons on Fridays.
Actually I began to stay and listen to the Khutabah (Friday sermon) and after a short while some of my previous questions were beginning to be answered.
I would continue to attend Hightower’s services on Thursday nights and then go to Jumah, or Fridays, for at least nine months.
And, over the last part of those nine months I began to ask Allah to show me the straight path because although I still proclaimed to be a Christian I knew that Islam was a true religion.
Slowly Islam touched my heart and I stopped attending the Christian services there. Shortly after I took my Shahadah (Masha-Allah) and my life changed drastically ever since!
May Allah Almighty keep him strong in his faith. Ameen.
— Courtesy of www.islam-universe.com
Reproduced from Arab News