Brother Amir Junaid Muhadith, born 20 June, 1975 in Harlem, New York as Chauncey Lamont Hawkins, was formerly a hip-hop and rap performer who worked under the stage name of ‘Loon.’ He earned his fame as a part of Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records, where he not only released a self-titled debut album, Loon, but also performed with many of the industry’s notable R&B and hip-hop celebrities.
In 2004, Loon left Bad Boy to start his own label, Boss Up Entertainment. Having started his music career as a member of Mase’s rap collective Harlem World, Loon branched out into acting and was featured in two movies directed by Damon Dash, State Property 2 and Death of a Dynasty.
Born to a Christian family, Chauncey Lamont Hawkins changed his name to Amir Junaid Muhadith after Allah guided him to Al-Islam in 2008. Following a life-changing visit to the city of Abu Dhabi along with prolonged exposure to the Muslim lifestyle, Amir explained his attraction to Islam in an interview:
‘I visited Abu Dhabi, Emirate’s capital, and there I found the real happiness and tranquility which my wealth and fame failed to give me all over my life as a singer. I was affected with the Muslim’s culture; and I admired their refined morals, their kind treatment with people, and especially their regular going to pray in the mosque five times every day. Consequently, I began to ask about the reality of this religion, and whether it was only exclusive for Arabs, and I realized that Islam includes all human beings without any consideration to their nationalities. Then, I announced my conversion to Islam after a profound thinking, and I prayed for the first time after my return to my home in Harlem, New York.’
Shortly after having become Muslim, Allah blessed brother Amir by guiding his family to Islam: ‘My relief increased a lot when my wife and my son accepted Islam.’ Allah continued to shower His bounty upon Amir by facilitating the ability for him to perform Umrah, an incredibly moving experience for him:
‘…When I was performing Umrah, a few days ago, I lived a very poignant moment when I saw the holy Kaaba for the first time in my life. I could not bear this affecting situation, so I could not stand on my feet, and I began to cry thanking Allah who allowed me to perform this magnificent ritual, and to visit the Prophet’s honorable mosque.’
May Allah accept him, his family and their deeds, and may He keep them all steadfast, Ameen. Amir has since ended his rap career, and has instead chosen to spend his wealth, time and life seeking knowledge and giving Da’wah; educating Muslims and non-Muslims alike about Islam, and calling people of all faiths and backgrounds to the Religion of Truth. Having found peace in Islam which his previous wealth and lifestyle could not provide, Amir embraced his new life and mission with a renewed enthusiasm:
‘Islam turned my life upside down since I renounced the profession which I practiced from seventeen years old; however, now I feel the serenity and peace of mind which I longed for all my life. …I became very enthusiastic to know more about Islam when I joined a Canadian Organization calling for Islam, and now I work on attracting the popular singers and artists to understand Islam’s tolerant principles.’
Allah swt says in the Noble Quran, Truely, the Religion with Allah is Islam. ان الدین عند الله الاسلام
[Translation of the Holy Quran 3:19]